Sacramento’s victory yesterday pulled them up to a 15-15 record, which means we start this week with all four affiliates at .500 or better! Got Minor Lines steaming into Monday like
HIGHLIGHTS: Ryder Jones homered among 3 hits; Matt Gage allowed just 1 run in 5.2 IP; Jeffry Parra homered, doubled, and reached base 4x.
Matt Gage continues his stealthy climb up the system, doing what he does, which is normally preventing runs. For the second start in a row, Gage allowed just 1 run while pitching into the 6th, setting the RiverCats up for a win. So far, Gage’s second attempt at the PCL is going much better than his first. After a mid-season promotion to AAA last year, Gage posted a 5.75 ERA over 13 games (67 IP), more than 2 runs per game higher than his career average. The crafty lefty from Siena College (10th round pick in 2014) definitely steals a page from Ty Blach’s Big Book of Pitching to Contact. Though he lacks Blach’s overall athleticism in all facets of the game, he’s another lefty who moves his pitches around the zone well.
Most of the action came late in this game, as it was a tight 3-1 heading into the extra innings. A big 8th inning gave Sacramento breathing room, when Ryder Jones and Kyle Jensen went back to back with big flies to open a 5-run lead.
Derek Law, who had pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning then ran into a buzz saw trying to finish the game off in the 9th. Law allowed five consecutive singles to open the inning, and six overall before being relieved by Manny Parra to finally get the final out.
Law continues to wander in the desert in 2018, as he now features a 10.13 ERA in the PCL to go with his 9.95 ERA in the majors. It’s small sample size, of course, as Law has been excellent in most of his outings with Sacramento, but he does seem to have a Girl with the Curl syndrome this season — when he’s bad, he’s awful. This was his second 4 run inning with the RiverCats this season, which accounts for nearly all of the 9 runs he’s allowed over 8.0 IP. Still the total numbers are ugly. Between Sacramento and San Francisco Law has allowed 16 ER in just 14.1 IP. He’s given up an astounding 24 hits in that time, as well as 6 walks and 2 HB.
Mr. Law, we really need you to find your groove again! This is a wish, fervently held by nearly all Giants’ fans!
Hunter Pence vs Derek Law Dance-Off pic.twitter.com/1CaZEbdsWZ— Carmen Kiew (@carmenkiew) February 10, 2018
Richmond won at Reading Fightin’ Phils, 4-2 in 5 inn (rain)
winning their series 2-1
Let’s let play by play man Jay Burnham set the scene for the series finale:
Jay does that every day, by the way, which makes him a great twitter follow to keep up to date on all things Squirrels. Jay’s intro was almost as long as the game yesterday, as they shut down the afternoon affair after 5 soggy innings.
This one was cut short... but we'll take it! Squirrels coming home winners. pic.twitter.com/Pwaq2tm24w— Squirrels Baseball (@GoSquirrels) May 6, 2018
That allowed Jordan Johnson to pick up his first career Complete Game! Not exactly fully legit, but I’m sure he’ll take it. Johnson was terribly sharp, walking four batters in just 5 innings, but he battled through. His biggest test came in the first inning. Following a leadoff error by Ali Castillo, JJ walked two of the next three batters and uncorked two WP as he was clearly struggling to get a feel for things early on. A two-run single from old friend Brandon Bednar put Richmond down early. But that was all Johnson would allow as he got better as the day went on.
The Squirrels countered with a four-run inning that was also aided by a throwing error, as Reading pitcher Elniery Garcia threw away Johnson’s sac bunt attempt setting up a big rally.
Ryan Howard singled in two runs, and Jerry Sands and returning new comer John Riley added RBI hits to complete the scoring. For Riley that was his first AA hit after hitting .343 in Augusta this year. Being on the east coast is translating into a pretty big opportunity for Riley, who has really struggled to get established in full season ball in his first five years. He’s always had juice in his bat. Perhaps the Willow Glen kid can open some eyes with this chance.
We don’t necessarily think of the Squirrels as a big power threat, but after their series in Reading Richmond is just 1 behind the league leader with 26 team HRs. They tend to be boom or bust however, because they are 10th in the league in Runs scored with just 104 on the season.
San Jose lost at Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies), 12-5
winning their series, 2-1
Lancaster lived up to its billing as an offensive haven as the two teams combined for 45 runs in this three game series. San Jose came into Sunday looking for their first sweep of the season, but it was the Southern Division leading JetHawks who had their best hitting shoes on for this one. Every Lancaster batter had at least one hit in the game, and they piled up 18 as a team. Melvin Adon took most of the punishment, allowing 10 hits while recording just 10 outs — not a good ratio for a starter! Lancaster SS Alan Trejo nearly returned the Giants favor from last trip, as he finished just a double short of a cycle in this game, while 1b Robert Ramos had four hits including a double and a homer.
Three San Jose hitters went deep as well, including Heath Quinn’s 3rd of the year. But after Lancaster’s big 5-run 4th inning that chased Adon from the game, San Jose was never seriously in the hunt the rest of the way.
Still, San Jose shares a three-way piece of 1st place and the best record in the league, so they’ll be happy with a road series win, enjoy an off night tonight in Modesto, where they continue the trip tomorrow, still flying high.
Greenjacket hitters were given a pretty good challenge assignment for the day: going up against the Orioles 1st round pick from last year, and #5 prospect, hard throwing 19 year old lefty DL Hall. And they handled the challenge pretty well. Hall picked up 5 Ks in 4 innings (his longest outing of the year), but they were able to take advantage of his bouts of wildness.
Heliot Ramos worked a bases loaded walk to push across the first run of the game against Hall. Ramos didn’t make any solid contact in the game, as he continues to scuffle, but he did manage to work two walks. It looks like the book so far on Heliot is to really attack the outer third of the plate, where he does seem to have some coverage issues, so that’s likely an area of work for the 18 year old.
While Ramos didn’t get much of a chance to show me anything at the plate this weekend (missing nearly all of the first two games), he did show off his defensive chops with a tremendous running/leaping catch at the base of the CF wall to end the 8th.
Not really any great Heliot Ramos to show you, but you may enjoy this shot of him running the bases!
Indeed, my camera work was particularly lazy yesterday, as I was sipping a beer or chatting with my wife when nearly everything exciting happened, and filmed a whole bunch of ground outs and walks. Sigh.
Anywho, their were two real stars of this game for the Greenjackets, a vet and a youngster!
Logan Baldwin came into this series hitting just .161 on the year, but he caught fire the last two days. When he drilled a triple off the wall in the 4th, Baldwin had reached base in six consecutive PA, including five hits — and all were scorched. Baldwin also showed off a terrific arm, very nearly catching a runner tagging and going to 3b on a deep drive into RF. And he showed off great tracking skills with two fantastic catches, one leaping up against the RF wall on what might have been a HR, and the other running straight back and leaping and twisting to catch a tricky line drive. Just a terrific all around game for the 21st rounder from Georgia Southern, who’s now up to .214 after six hits in the last two games. Here he is blooping a double right on the line (less impressive than his triple, which was roped).
But I have to say, leaving Delmarva, my single biggest impression for this series was really what a good prospect the Giants have in young Jeffry Parra. The Giants drafted the 20 year old Dominican Catcher in the 24th round in 2016 from a New Jersey High School. Parra impressed me with nearly everything he did this weekend. Catching two of the three games he looked athletic and smooth behind the plate, blocking and receiving very well. He showed off a canon of an arm yesterday, nailing a base runner who got a very large jump off John Russell. And offensively, he showed a strong sense of the strike zone. He didn’t offer at things outside the zone, working three walks in the two games I saw. And when he offered, he hit things with authority. Parra hit a long, majestic, moonshot of a HR off of Hall yesterday, and ended the series 4 for 5 with two doubles and a HR. Again, I have video of him walking, but not the HR. Sigh. But as with Baldwin, I do have a shot of perhaps least well hit ball he had this weekend, which he shot past the 1b for a double.
I was surprised when Parra got the full season assignment this year over his fellow young-ins Genoves and Angulo, but he definitely showed me what the Giants see in him this weekend. Parra’s a kid to keep an eye on.
Augusta and Delmarva feature the two best records in the Sally and lead their respective divisions. The Greenjackets have a chance to deliver a statement by taking the four game series on the road this afternoon.
As a final note, starter John Gavin’s status might bear watching. He never looked really comfortable yesterday, walking four (half his season total) and came out after just 4 IP. He looked to be stretching his leg after his final inning, so I wondered if perhaps he had a tweak in there that was throwing him off. He was mostly in the high 80s with his fastball.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Dereck Rodriguez vs. Cy Sneed
Richmond: TBD vs. Shao-Ching Chiang
San Jose: OFF DAY
Augusta: Jose Marte vs. Michael Baumann
Couple of closing notes. If you’re a Baseball Prospectus’ subscriber, check out this Matthew Trueblood piece on the Giants’ CF situation. I don’t totally buy into his notion that a window of opportunity closed when the team chose not to keep Steven Duggar on the Opening Day roster, but he does lay out a clear opportunity for improving the team going forward this year:
And while you’re at BPro’s site, today’s Monday Morning Ten Pack includes notes on both Mac Marshall and Tyler Cyr.
And lastly, Minor Lines bids a fond farewell to the inimitable Ichiro Suzuki, who made his MLB debut at the age of 27 years, 162 days old (15,417th oldest in MLB history) and went on to do this:
We’ll never see Ichiro’s likes again I don’t think.