Lovers of relief pitcher At Bats, rejoice! (That’s you Mr. Pavlovic!)
Oh Come on, Blue! That was clearly outside! Like that mighty hack of Simpson’s though!
HIGHLIGHTS: Conner Menez struck out 7 in 5 innings of work; Heath Quinn had his second consecutive 3 hit game.
It's a beautiful day for some baseball at Cheney Stadium! We're underway between the Tacoma Twins and the Sacramento River Cats. pic.twitter.com/Q7eHcdwZeB— Tacoma Twins (@RainiersLand) April 22, 2018
The only real question from this game was who had less reason to enjoy this beautiful day: starting pitcher Casey Kelly, who walked five of the nine batters he faced and failed to get out of the 1st inning? Or Derek Law, who was so recently enjoying the perks of major league play, only to find himself cast out to the wilds of Tacoma, Washington, doing mop up duty in a game that was already a laugher and turning it into a rout, with a 4-run 8th inning that included three doubles and a hit batsman?
Such existential questions perpetually float about the surface of Sunday evening blowouts in AAA.
Steven Duggar reached base three times for the second consecutive game, including an RBI single and a double. After 14 games Duggar has gotten his line up to .298/.395/.386. He did commit his fourth error of the year, so not quite perfect. But Duggar definitely seems to be settling into a comfort zone. If you didn’t see it, Hank Schulman has a nice piece on Duggar and Slater and the options for getting them to San Francisco in the near future:
Richmond won at Altoona Curve (Pirates), 5-4
winning their series, 2-1
Richmond won its fourth consecutive series, albeit in nail-biting fashion. They split a season opening four-game series in Trenton and have one every series since. But they’ve lived on a razor’s edge from Opening Day on. The Squirrels are 6-1 in one-run games so far on the year and have yet to win a game by more than 3 runs.
Shaun Anderson took the start, and took awhile to settle in, allowing three runs in the first two innings of work. Anderson has shown excellent control, coming into the game with just three walks in 17 innings of work. But he walked two in this game, hit two more, and threw two WP. The most costly of those was an inning-opening HB in the 2nd that immediately preceded a HR to the Curve’s #8 hitter. Anderson has allowed just 7 runs this year and five of them have come off of his three HRs allowed. That was all the right-hander would allow in the game however, so the offense to get to work.
Jonah Arenado put two on the board in the 1st with his 2nd HR of the year. Arenado’s gotten off to a very rough start, posting just a .225 OBP over the first three weeks, but he’s shown some power. Six of his 10 hits on the season have gone for extra bases.
In the 4th, another struggling hitter came up with a big hit, as Ronnie Jebavy’s triple tied the game up. Jebavy would come in to score the go ahead run on a Ronnie Freeman single.
It was the only contact Jebavy made in the game, as he had a hat-trick otherwise. Jebavy has really struggled with AA pitching, hitting just .157 and slugging just .235 so far, but he has been doing one thing to help the offense.
RVA Acorns: Ronnie Jebavy has also been working his way on base. 2 more BB yesterday for Jebavy, leads the league with 12 free passes— Jay Burnham (@Burnham_Jay) April 22, 2018
Jebavy and Matt Lipka are 1-2 in the league in walks and Lipka has the league’s second best OBP (thus Lipka’s recent ascension to the top of the lineup).
In the 5th, Shaun Anderson got involved in the offense himself when he blooped one into RF that was misplayed into a leadoff double. That would lead to the team’s final, and ultimately decisive run. But as we saw at the top, Anderson wasn’t the only pitcher with a memorable plate appearance. The Squirrels brought Caleb Simpson in to get the team out of a jam in the bottom of the 8th, and wanted to leave the Eastern League’s saves leader in for the 9th.
That strategy very nearly backfired when Simpson found himself in a two-on, one-out situation in the 9th, with Pirates #24 prospect, the dangerous slugger Will Craig coming to the plate.
Just another HA-HA-HA-HA...laugher, as Krukow would say.
The first place Squirrels head on to Bowie today. I am starting to wonder about the sustainability of one-run victories every day though, as a long-term strategy.
Before we leave, subscriber only, but there’s an excellent write up of Ryan Howard in today’s Monday Morning Ten Pack at Baseball Prospectus.
I wrote about the very toolsy Daniel Johnson for the Ten Pack. There’s also reports on Adrian Morejon, Anthony Kay, Nick Pratto and more. ($) https://t.co/VHep1f8gMv— Jeffrey Paternostro (@jeffpaternostro) April 23, 2018
San Jose beat Modesto Nuts (Mariners), 5-2
winning their series, 3-1
No dramatics this time, just the continued dominance of Conner Menez over the Cal League. The crafty lefty now stands second in the league in ERA (0.60) and 7th in strikeouts (22), despite having taken a one game sabbatical up to the PCL (not quite as suited to Menez’ liking). Conner did finally allow his first Cal League run of the year yesterday, but ... there were circumstances.
Conner Menez continues to roll for the #SJGiants. Today's start: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 SO. Lone run scored due to a ball lost in sun - the first run Menez has allowed in 15 innings w/SJ this season (22 SO).— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) April 22, 2018
Patrick Ruotolo had a rocky first outing this year, but he’s settled back into his old dominating mode of late. The RHP has allowed just three baserunners in his last five innings of work, and for the year has 10 Ks against 3 BB in 7 IP.
The Giants offense scored a single run in each of the first four innings. Their methodical offense strung together nine hits (all singles), five walks, and a HBP. They also ran early and often, stealing five bases in the game. Johneshwy Fargas has only gotten into seven games this year, but he now leads the team — and is 7th in the league — with four SB.
Heath Quinn paced the team with three hits and two RBIs. It was Quinn’s second consecutive three hit game. The slugger is now batting .316 on the year though he’s not quite showing the power he was exhibiting early last year before the shoulder struggles.
By the way, when I said there were no dramatics in this game, I meant of the baseball variety:
Augusta’s series ending game at Rome was rained out
Today's @TheRomeBraves and @GreenJackets game has been postponed due to heavy rainfall. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader in Augusta during May. Rome begins long road trip through West Virginia and Maryland tomorrow evening ⛈☔️⚾️ pic.twitter.com/pamwJhW7OH— Kevin M. Karel (@KevinKarel21) April 22, 2018
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Tyler Herb vs. TBD
Richmond: Jordan Johnson vs. Jordan Kipper
San Jose: Mac Marshall vs. Lake Bachar
Augusta: Garrett Cave vs. Kutter Crawford
Some wild side offerings take the mound today. Jordan Johnson hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts and has stayed in the strike zone for the most part. Mac Marshall returns from having skipped a start, as the club continues to proceed cautiously with both Marshall and Logan Webb. And Garrett Cave attempts to breathe through his eyelids like the lava lizards of the Galapagos Islands. Cave has walked 6 batters in each of his past two starts (3 IP and 1 IP respectively) and now has 14 walks in 9 IP. We need to get Crash Davis to Augusta, stat! It’s pretty there, Crash, really!
What a STUNNING view of Downtown Augusta’s changing skyline from the new @GreenJackets stadium across the river! If you look close enough between left & center field, you’ll see our school’s new home what a time to be a part of Downtown Augusta! pic.twitter.com/YuuhIIOjaX— AUG Cyber Institute (@AUG_Cyber) April 19, 2018