I really don’t think that’s how you’re supposed to use that thing, Ryan.
HIGHLIGHTS: Stetson Woods threw 5 shutout innings in season debut; Jacob Gonzalez doubled, homered, and stole a base; Ryan Kirby homered and doubled twice.
Ryder Jones hit a booming, majestic 3-run homer in the 1st inning (something of a theme on the day) helping the RiverCats cruise to an easy victory. Jones has been heating up at the plate — after his 1st inning HR he’d had 9 hits in 11 ABs — and one wonders if the news from SF last night could mean another shot at the majors for the young power hitter. Probably not initially with Hunter Pence and Alen Hanson both on the way to join the big club this weekend. Jones’ power has mostly been of the doubles variety this year as last night’s shot was just his 4th.
Tyler Beede went 6 innings, surrendering just 1 hit and 1 run to earn the victory. From a process POV though, it was more of the same for Tyler. He walked 5 and threw two WP, and finished with just above 50% strikes (56 strikes in 102 pitches). He also struck out 7, earning the “Effectively Wild” sobriquet. Still, that’s 46 walks in 57.2 IP this year for the RHP. Last night he debuted a mechanical twist, one presumes hoping to tame his command:
As a few #SFGiants beat writers mentioned the other day, Tyler Beede is pitching exclusively out of the stretch.— Giant Potential (@giant_potential) June 2, 2018
One wonders how many steps away from the Kyle Crick model Beede might be at this point. Is there a bullpen in his future?
Beede got excellent shutout relief help from Jordan Schafer, Ray Black, and Derek Law. For Black it was his 6th consecutive scoreless outing. He’s allowed just three baserunners over that time while striking out 12.
Law worked in just his second game since May 9.
Richmond got two-run homers from both Luigi Rodriguez and KC Hobson and an RBI double from starting pitcher Garrett Williams in a big 5-run 2nd inning — and then held on for dear life through multiple Reading comeback attempts.
Garrett Williams was much less effectively wild than Beede. He walked three and hit a batter in his 3.2 innings of work, and also barely surpassed 50% strikes (39 in 76 pitches). Williams was also quite hittable, with 6 hits in his short afternoon. All in all he’s allowed baserunners at a prodigious clip this year, posting a WHIP of 2.09 on the strength of 49 hits allowed, 32 walks and 4 HB in just 38.2 IP. He’s K’d a batter per inning and he’s allowed just 1 HR, which are the silver linings. But AA hitters are really punishing his inability to command the zone with regularity.
Williams helped set Reading on the comeback trail and by the bottom of the 7th the game had reached a 6-6 tie where it stayed until the 10th inning. After their 2nd inning outburst, the Squirrels offense shriveled up — they had just three hits the rest of the way (two from Ryan Howard). But the extra innings rules helped them score a run in the 10th without ever putting a ball in play. Aramis Garcia, placed at 2nd to start extras, showed off his Catchers wheels, coming round to score on two WP by Reading pitcher Seth McGarry in the course of striking out the side.
Patrick Ruotolo then walked the high-wire, surviving a bases-loaded bottom of the 10th to secure the victory. Ruotolo’s dramatic save was helped by a conservative base-running decision from Reading’s manager, who held up the potential tying run on a 47-hopper up the middle from old friend Brandon Bednar with one out.
Ruotolo was struggling to throw his curve, and ended up walking the bases loaded and then going 3-1 on the final batter of the night before coming back to retire him on a routine fly to RF.
With a 6-4 stretch lately, Richmond has climbed back to within 1.5 games of first place in the Western Division of the Eastern League.
Woah! Scary sight! Stetson Woods popped up from XST to take a spot start in Conner Menez’ place, and he made his 2018 season debut a memorable one. The big dude with the Randy Johnson hair smothered the Nuts, allowing just 1 hit over 5 shutout innings. In fact, newcomers did nearly all of the heavy lifting for San Jose in this shutout victory. Woods and Norwith Gudino pitched 8 shutout innings in their first game appearances of the season. While in the lineup, CJ Hinojosa and Dylan Manwaring each doubled (San Jose’s only extra base hits) and scored a run.
The Giants managed 4 runs on just 5 hits in the game. They were helped by three walks which curiously enough were issued to three consecutive batters in the 2nd inning. That helped the Giants post a two-run rally with the virtue of just 1 hit. The strong pitching made that lead hold up helping San Jose to their 30th win of the season.
The Giants are just the second Cal League team to the 30 win mark, unfortunately they’re in the wrong division just now. The red-hot Stockton Ports are pacing the league with 34 wins and the Giants chances of running them down before the 1st half ends are dwindling. Had they been in the Southern Division — where currently no team sports a .500 record — they’d be cruising toward a first half title right now. San Jose does have several head to heads with Stockton remaining so they do have some chance of turning the tide. You can hear Joe Ritzo and Justin Allegri’s thoughts on the first half — as well as a fairly in depth interview with Player Development Director David Bell — in the latest Inside the San Jose Giants podcast.
Augusta got 3-run homers in the first innings of both halves of yesterday’s double header and strong offense throughout, but they ran out of arms trying to cover yet another double header, and lost the chance for a sweep, ultimately falling in extra innings in the nightcap.
In the first game, Manuel Geraldo and Ryan Kirby kept up their spirited home run chase, with each going deep for the 8th time this year. Geraldo wasted no time in going deep for the third time in four games, with a three run shot in the 1st. Geraldo cooled off for the rest of the night though, going 0 for 6 the rest of the double header.
Garrett Cave made that swing stand up with his finest night of the year. Cave very nearly picked up a 7 inning complete game, but hitting the 100 pitch mark he was removed one out short of the milestone. Cave, too, was effectively wild, with 65 of his 100 pitches entering the strikezone. But he mixed his fastball, curve combination effectively, and even threw in some changes to keep the Legends off balance throughout. Cave ended the night with a career high 8 Ks, while walking just 1.
His lone mistake of the night came to Royals #3 prospect Seuly Matias, who homered in his third consecutive game. Matias now leads all minor leaguers with 15 home runs on the season. The game got momentarily tight when John Timmins, tasked with getting the game’s final out, allowed a two-run homer instead, but he managed to pick up the one-out save.
As he has twice before this week, Ryan Kirby responded to Geraldo’s challenge for team lead in HRs. Kirby moved back into a tie by hitting his 8th HR in his final AB of the 1st game, a 423-ft job that left the stadium. Kirby had one of his best days of the year, picking up three extra base hits in 7 PA on the day.
Game two started out the same way game one had, with Jacob Gonzalez launching a three-run homer in the 1st. Gonzalez had gone hitless in the opener, but he had an excellent nightcap, homering and doubling among five PA.
Unfortunately, the Greenjackets couldn’t hold onto the early lead. Frankling Van Gurp was pressed into the spot start and went a spectacular three innings, striking out 6. But Tyler Schimpf allowed 4 runs in his one inning of work, tying the game up. Frank Rubio was then asked to go 4 innings — just the second time this year he’s gone beyond the two inning mark. Augusta scratched out a run to take the lead and Rubio almost had a heroic win in his pocket, but with one out in the 7th (and supposedly final) inning he allowed the tying run to score. The 8th started extra innings rules. The two teams traded runs in the 8th, Augusta scoring on a Ryan Kirby RBI double, before Lexington ended the long day with a walk off win in the 9th.
Still, Augusta moved closer to clinching a playoff spot, maintaining a 3 game lead, and moving their elimination number to 14.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Taylor Hill vs. Jesse Scholtens
Richmond: Chase Johnson vs. Ranger Suarez
San Jose: Melvin Adon vs. Randy Bell
Augusta: John Gavin vs. TBD
DSL Giants: Juan Sanchez vs. TBD
Short season/rookie ball begins today as we have our fifth team joining the lines. Juan Sanchez is a LHP signed out of Venezuela for $125k. He’s a projectible kid with loose arm action whose fastball has been ticking up to the upper 80s this spring. Last year Alexander Canario springboarded from out of nowhere in the DSL to plant his flag as one of the most exciting players in the system. While three years ago Manuel Geraldo made huge strides in his repeat of the league, encouraging the Giants to try to jump him all the way to full season ball the following year. Who will be our stars on this year’s edition of the foreign rookie league? Time will tell.