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SF Giants Minor Lines 5/25/18: Ugly losses and a soggy win

minor lines

This one’s for Kevin, known uniform afficianado! In honor of one of San Jose’s most treasured ballpark attractions — Paul the Churro Man (who will also be honored with a bobblehead for the game), the Giants will rebrand as the San Jose Churros for one night only

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, folks. Let’s get to some ball!

HIGHLIGHTS: Sandro Cabrera allowed 1 run over 6 innings; Sandro Fabian homered for the second day in a row.

Sacramento lost to Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies), 12-2

With two outs in the bottom of the 8th, Hunter Pence grounded a single through the left side of the infield, driving in Caleb Gindl with Sacramento’s second run. “Garbage time,” you say? “Meaningless runs?” NO, it tied the game up at 2-2 heading to the 9th inning!

But, oh, what a 9th inning happened then. Jose Flores, brought into the game to preserve the tie, retired none of the 6 batters he faced and the RiverCats turned into one of the ugliest, sloppiest innings we’re likely to see all year. The 10-run 9th featured four walks, two errors, and six hits. A pinch hitter batting twice AS a pinch hitter and was offered two free bases: once on a walk and the second time on an error. ‘Tope SS Garrett Hampson collected a double and a HR in the inning.

It was a spectacularly awful way to end a night.

Hunter Pence had yet another two-hit night. It was his eighth two-hit night since restarting his rehab assignment — which has now reached 14 days. Decision time on Hunter will be coming soon. Swing’s looking pretty good!

2b Chase D’Arnaud clubbed his 7th HR of the year for Sacramento’s first run of the night, though he also contributed an error to the 9th inning mess.

Sacramento social media knew what to focus on after the game to make everyone feel better though:

Richmond lost at Akron Rubber Ducks (Indians), 14-6

No twist here — the score looks like a massacre and it WAS a massacre. Worse yet — most of the damage came at the expense of prized lefty Garrett Williams, who was simply drubbed over his 3.2 innings of work. Coming off his best outing of the year, Williams hoped to springboard to a new level of success. Instead he was routinely cuffed around.

Things started out looking great. Richmond hitters picked up six hits in the 1st and 2nd innings, and when Jerry Sands went deep in the top of the 2nd (7th this year) Williams was armed with a 6 run lead. But he opened the 2nd by failing to glove a little dribbler in front of the mound, and then compounded that mistake by hitting the next batter. Ryan Howard chipped in with his own fielding error on the very next batter and Akron had themselves a free rally. The Ducks ended up with 3 runs in that inning, and added three more in the 3rd to tie things up. A huge 6-run rally in the 4th inning ended Williams’ night and took the big lead away from Richmond for good.

Williams allowed four doubles among his 9 hits, including one to rehabbing big leaguer Lonnie Chisenhall and two crucial ones to Akron’s #8 hitter, SS Will Castro (who had a 4 hit night).

The LHP now has a 6.69 ERA in the EL and is putting hitters on base at an alarming rate — he sports a 2.06 WHIP at this point. In 35 innings of work he’s walked 29 batters and hit 3 others, while also allowing 43 hits. Yowza! Including unearned runs he’s allowed very nearly a run an inning in AA so far this year. The challenge assignment to AA has been a challenge Williams is really struggling to meet. He’s getting a bellyful of advanced hitters so far this spring. Bounce back, big guy!

The Squirrels would manage just one more hit after Sands HR in the 2nd and nearly all of their hits came from the two vets at the top of the order — Luigi Rodriguez and Jerry Sands. C Aramis Garcia is another prospect having a woeful spring. With another 0 for 4 yesterday, Garcia is at the Mendoza Line and his K% is a little elevated at 23%. His OBP is a woeful .248 and his Iso is now at .148. Rough spring for Aramis!

After posting their winningest April in team history, the Squirrels have stumbled a bit, going just 9-12 in May. They’re still in 2nd place in the Western division, just 4 games back of these Akron Rubber Ducks, so picking up some wins this weekend would be a great idea.

And before we go, it’s worth a mention that Akron is a solid entry in the Best Baseball Names category. Included in their lineup last night we had Ka’ai Tom, Dorssys Paulino, Jorma Rodriguez, and, of course, C Sicnarf Loopstok. No wonder these guys are in 1st place!

San Jose lost at Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres), 3-2

With Patrick Ruotolo gone (Dylan Rhealt was also gone for a couple of days) it’s time to rearrange the back of the Giants bullpen. Last night it was Nolan Riggs who tried to fill some of those innings. But Riggs allowed a game tying run in the bottom of the 7th and a game losing run on a long solo HR in the bottom of the 8th, as San Jose dropped their third game in their last four on this long road trip. The HR, or I suppose the HR trot of Eguy Rosario —caused tempers to flare and set off an ugly brawl that resulted in the ejetions of Riggs, Rosario, and Catcher Tanner Murphy. (Murphy came over from the Braves organization, wonder if there was some Brian McCann style “game policing” going on there).

That was enough to win it on a night when San Jose collected just four hits. All of the Giants’ offense came in a span of two pitches in the top of the 2nd. Jacob Heyward led off with his 11th double of the season and on the very first pitch he saw Sandro Fabian followed him up with his 5th HR of the year, a towering shot to LF. For Fabian, it was his 2nd HR in two nights and his 3rd of the road trip. His OPS has popped up just over .702 now and he’s posting a respectable .246/.315/.492 line for the month of May. His 5 HRs is now tied for the team lead and he looks like he’s starting to wake from his early season slumber. The K rate is still way too high though, near 30%. But the coaches are working with him to tone down the over-aggressiveness and hone in on pitches he can really attack. We’ll see how the learning curve progresses. Good week for the 20 year old, anyway.

The other Sandro, LHP Cabrera, also had a nice night, going 6 strong innings. He allowed just 1 run on a solo HR to perhaps the league’s finest hitter, Storm LF Buddy Reed. The Giants did get some TOOTBLAN help from the Storm in trying to stay in the game. Twice Storm runners broke for home during a rundown elsewhere on the base paths and were nailed at the plate trying.

That’s a TOOTBLAN* alright!

*thrown out on the bases like a nincompoop

Roster note before moving on:

Augusta beat Rome Braves, 8-4 in 5 inn (rain)

Augusta has had a tough time getting in any game action between the showers this week. They’ve had a game suspended in the second, two postponements, and now a rain shortened affair that was soggy from start to finish. But hey, a win’s a win! Especially over the team that’s hot on your heels for 1st place. It started with a rain delay, it played on through a drizzle, and then it ended in a rain delay. Fun night!

In between the drops, the Greenjackets were uber-efficient, scoring 8 runs on just 6 hits and 2 walks. Rome chipped in with two big errors to help things along, as well as four WP and a run-scoring balk from Braves #23 prospect Huascar Ynoa.

Heliot Ramos had a big RBI double to kick off a 3-run 2nd inning that put Augusta in the lead for good. Ramos also showed off his arm, gunning a runner down at 3b in the game.

(Stupid no-video new park! grumble grumble).

Manny Geraldo kept his hot hitting up, going 2 for 2 and lifting his season line to .311/.367/.450. In his third try at the Sally he’s showing the kind of offensive game that he’s displayed in the NWL the last couple of years — the kind that made him an NWL All Star in 2017. The switch hitter has, however, shown an extreme platoon split: as a LHH he’s batting a sensational .340/.385/.500, while from the right hand side he’s a pedestrian .255/.333/.353.

Jason Bahr didn’t have quite his typical sensational Sally night, allowing a season high 4 runs. Nearly all the damage was done on one swing of the bat, however, from Braves terrific CF prospect Drew Waters (Waters’ signing was one of the transgressions that cost GM John Coppalella his job, however unlike the international players, the Braves were allowed to keep Waters and forfeited draft picks for his irregular signing).

David Lee, now I know you’re a card carrying Braves’ fan, but could you do us a solid and maybe keep the video machine running when the Greenjackets are doing something interesting too?

Bahr did pick up 6 more Ks. He leads the Sally league with 66 strikeouts in just 46 IP and boasts a sensational 66-14 K-BB ratio.

With the win Augusta boosted it’s 1st place lead up to 2.5 games. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Giants hold off on promoting Bahr (or any of these Augusta starters) for the next three weeks while they try to nail down an early playoff position.

Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Madison Bumgarner vs. TBD
Richmond: Chase Johnson vs. Sean Brady
San Jose: Conner Menez vs. TBD
Augusta: Garrett Cave vs. Alan Rangel

Garrett Cave has a strong chance to take the lead in the Best Performance by a Garrett competition.

Hey, look at that! We have a genuine Potential Top of the Rotation Starter on the mound tonight! When’s the last time we could say that in Minor Lines? Probably this guy, right?

Please be good, Madison! And please come back soon. If nothing else, I want to see this again!