Good morning from a wet Washington DC, where we’ll be struggling to play baseball later today. Let’s open with some defense! Have a montage of great catches from Augusta’s Logan Baldwin, who continues to sparkle with the glove (as we’ll see later on):
@LoganBaldwin23 became a fan favorite for making plays like this while a member of @GSAthletics_BSB Now, a professional with the @GreenJackets and nothings changed. The story tonight in Sports on @WJCLNews pic.twitter.com/uycBfmSGJu— Frank Sulkowski WJCL (@TheBigGuyWJCL) June 8, 2018
HIGHLIGHTS: Austin Slater had two hits including his 20th double; Shaun Anderson struck out 6 over 6 scoreless innings; Jean Peña homered twice and doubled.
Matt Gage returned from the DL to face a powerful SkySox team that featured 2017 NL 20 HR player Keon Broxton and a rehabbing Marcus Thames. Both of those players ended up with three hits in last night’s game, with Thames delivering a critical three-run HR off of Gage.
Sacramento hitters picked up 9 hits themselves, but they ran into three outs on the bases which stymied rallies a few times. Steven Duggar extended his hit streak to 9 games in the 1st, but he was immediately caught stealing for the 4th time this year (against 9 SB) and he also had his 9th error of the year in the game. Nearly all of them have been throwing errors as he maybe tries to show off that gun of his a little too much.
Austin Slater responded to a tower-buzzing fastball at his chin by ripping his 20th double of the year in the 7th and Ryder Jones immediately followed with a triple off the wall. A Sac Fly from Chase D’Arnaud and Sacramento had all of its scoring for the night.
In addition to Gage, Steven Okert made his second appearance since coming off a lengthy DL stint. Okert was the only Rivercat pitcher who didn’t give up runs on the night.
Richmond pitching shut out the Senators for all 14 scheduled innings of a double header yesterday — which should have been enough for a sweep! But, alas, Squirrels hitters couldn’t find a way to score in the nightcap until it was too late. They went into “extra innings” tied 0-0, and Harrisburg’s 3 run uprising in the 8th was more than Richmond could overcome and they had to settle for the split.
Richmond got excellent starting efforts in both games—first from spot starting Jake McCasland (who still features better stuff than results) and in the nightcap from Shaun Anderson, who’s been the team’s best starter all year. Anderson has been scuffling a bit of late—he’d given up 4 runs in three of his past four starts. But he was on his game against the Senators, striking out 6 and surrendering just 4 hits in his 6 innings of work. Anderson’s 71 Ks on the year (in 67.1 IP) is tied for the lead in the Eastern League.
Miguel Gomez picked up his 2nd HR of the year, while Dylan Davis and Jonah Areando both collected two hits to help lead the Squirrels to the Game 1 victory. In the second game the team managed just four hits (against 10 Ks of the their own). One of them came from Aramis Garcia, boosting his batting average back up to the .200 mark.
Richmond has more pitching help on the way, as Augusta’s bullpen is getting raided again. Good news for Van Gurp; tough news for Augusta.
RVA Acorns: @GoSquirrels have added RHP Franklin Van Gurp. I'm excited to be able to say his name. Up from Augusta, a 2017 selection from FIU.— Jay Burnham (@Burnham_Jay) June 9, 2018
Two batters into the game, San Jose had a 2-0 lead as Jalen Miller reached a new career high with his 7th HR. But the Giants struggled to find a way to push runs across the rest of the night, despite 10 hits. In the 9th down 3-2, they tied the game up thanks to a Modesto error and a two-out run scoring WP. But Miller couldn’t bring home the go-ahead run, striking out for the third time to end their threat. And Peter Lannoo would surrender three hits (and a walk) to the Nuts in the bottom of the inning as Modesto walked it off on a bases loaded infield hit to SS CJ Hinojosa.
Logan Webb broke his 17 inning scoreless streak in the first, but he still looked great overall. He mixed a sharp curve, a fastball that was up to 96, and a solid change to keep a good hitting Nuts offense in check. His trouble came immediately as he surrendered all three of his hits for the game and his walk within the first four batters. But with runners on 2nd and 3rd and nobody down, Webb bowed his neck, striking out both Joe Rizzo and the league’s leading hitter Bryson Brigman and then getting a pop up to end the threat. He dominated the Nuts the rest of the way. Webb continues to look poised for a breakout next year once his innings limit is taken away, with possibly the best all around stuff in the system.
A two-out bases loaded walk in the bottom of the 10th pushed Augusta’s losing streak up to 5. They’ve been in the classic losing stretch routine: when they get hitting they don’t pitch; when they get pitching they don’t hit. Augusta hitters struck out 12 times while accumulating just six hits and a walk in 10 innings of offensive futility. Mets #2 prospect David Peterson totally dominated the lineup, picking up 10 Ks on the night.
Jose Marte made that stand up for most of his outing, though he had help from a perfect relay at one point, from Logan Baldwin to Ryan Kirby to Jeffry Parra.
Manuel Geraldo has been slumping a bit since the calendar turned to June. He’d gone hitless in five of his last six games. But he picked up two hits in this one, including an RBI single in the first, to get his average back to .300. The All Star hit a torrid .384/.413/.626 in May.
Augusta now sits 1.5 game out of first with just over a week to play. It looks like they’re letting a great opportunity for a playoff position slip out of their grasp.
The Giants got a huge game from young Jean Peña, acting as the DH in this game. Pena had two HRs and a double in the game, driving in four runs. Peña is now tied for the league lead in HRs with, among others, teammate Luis Toribio. Peña has swung quite a power bat so far, as he has five extra base hits among his seven hits on the year. Peña won’t turn 18 until late December. Let’s watch him in action, shall we?
Video of SS Jean Peña's (17.5Y) second HR yesterday, and third overall this season for the DSL Giants. Pena is hitting 389/.429/1.056 in 21PA this season. pic.twitter.com/mYU7CjpTO0— GPT (@giantsprospects) June 10, 2018
Video of his triple from a few days ago: pic.twitter.com/zDiZOQxLaJ— GPT (@giantsprospects) June 7, 2018
Another hitter who’s been delivering a great start for the DSL team is SS Enoc Watts, another $300,000 signing in the 2016 J2 class (along with Jorge and Ghordy Santos). Watts hit just .134/.205/.209 in 28 games for the DSL club last year, but he’s been hot to start 2018. Watts has hits in each of the five games he’s played and has two hits in each of the last three. He has just three extra base hits (all doubles) but is sporting a nice 2BB/2K ratio.
Mike Krukow would have been disappointed by Yovanny Moronta’s effort. Shut down inning? No, sir! Following a four-run Giants’ rally in the top of the 7th to tie the game, Moronta allowed a three-run rally to untie it in the bottom of the 7th, and that’s how it ended.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Daniel Camarena vs. Freddy Peralta
Richmond: Jordan Johnson vs. TBD
San Jose: Sandro Cabrera vs. Reggie McClain
Augusta: Joey Marciano vs. Chris Viall
DSL Giants: SUNDAY OFF
We’re just over a week away from a full component of 8 teams going (8! Good lord!). But today we get one final day of just the four full season clubs in action.
Enjoy a little Sunday baseball everyone (hopefully that includes the Giants!)