Celebrity First Pitches have to be one of the goofiest traditions in baseball, but the fans sure seem to respond.
Flavor Flav! If I’da known I would have made it down for that! And he didn’t do a half bad job with the pitch either!
YEAH BOYYYYY, @FlavorFlav threw out the first pitch for the series finale between the Flying Squirrels and Altoona Curve. The @GoSquirrels got the rain-shortened 2-1 win over the Curve. It was a win-win for everybody tonight at the Diamond. Here is a peak on @8NEWS #MiLB pic.twitter.com/09Hfcvn2SZ— Natalie Kalibat (@NatalieKalibat) June 22, 2018
Nice arm, Flav (He threw a little shade at 50 Cent in his post-pitch interview too)! Remember, these days you can’t see who’s in cahoots!
HIGHLIGHTS: Jeff Samardzija worked 73 pitches, struck out 7; the Layer brothers combined for 5 hits and 3 doubles; Gregory Santos and Jasier Herrera both K’d 5 in 5 innings with 0 earned runs;
Yeah, this one was a dog alright. The starting lineup produced as many errors as hits, and a parade of relievers had trouble holding the Pooches in check. Tyler Beede walked two more and allowed four of the seven batters he faced to reach base — failing to complete an inning for the second time in his last three appearances.
3 ⬆️, 3 ⬇️ for— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) June 22, 2018
Duggar leading off pic.twitter.com/b4WYzAfKyN
But let’s focus on the positive, shall we? And the positive came in the form a big Shark! This weekend Sacramento is featuring 40% of the Giants presumed Opening Day starting rotation as they once again focus hopes and dreams on getting the band back together. The results last night were mostly positive. Samardzija didn’t have his normal excellent command back, as he threw just 46 of his 73 pitches for strikes. But he extended himself well, and his velocity was pretty good as he punched out 7 in his 4 innings of work. He did, of course, mix in the standard long HR (to fellow major league rehabber Austen Hedges) but on the whole it was a very positive night for the Shark.
Samardzija done. Hit 95 in 4th. 73 pitches, 4 hits (1 HR), and no walks. Last pitch he threw with a pretty nasty slider for his 7th strikeout.— Giant Potential (@giant_potential) June 22, 2018
And speaking of velocity, we have Terminal Black! This was a “one day of rest” performance. Are we inching closer to trying the back to back nights experiment again?
Ray Black's 8th inning:— Giant Potential (@giant_potential) June 22, 2018
98, 100, 88, 89 (K swinging)
99, 98, 100, 100 (K swinging)
99, 100, 98, 100, 90, 99 (pop out)
The RiverCats will be sending Johnny Cueto to the mound on Saturday night in a highly anticipated return to action for the Giants second ace.
Richmond beat Altoona Curve (Pirates), 2-1 in 5 inn (rain)
winning their series, 2-1
CJ Hinojosa is working hard to make up for lost time. The SS has collected hits in 12 of the 14 games he’s played this year, including all seven since his return to Richmond. Yesterday, he made a big noise with his hit, going out of the park for the first time this year on an 0-2 pitch. That proved to be the winning run in the game when the rains that had been there since the start and washed away the final 4.5 innings.
Jordan Johnson picked up the short Complete Game, and had another excellent outing— especially when you consider he was pitching in a steady rain the entire night. Johnson allowed just one run while striking out 5. Johnson has 68 Ks (to just 28 BB) in 69.1 IP this year and has cut his HRs allowed down to 3 in what’s proving to be a nice bounceback year for the RHP.
#SJGiants 2B Jalen Miller begins second half seventh in Cal League in AVG (.305), second in hits (81) & sixth in doubles (18). Already a career-high 7 HR. 78-point increase in his AVG from his final 2017 mark in Cal League (.227). Still the second-youngest on SJ's roster (21).— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) June 22, 2018
Miller started off the second half of the season right where he left off the first. He extended his career high in HRs to 8 when he hit a 3-run bomb to open up a 4-1 lead for San Jose. But after Melvin Adon labored his way through 4 innings, the middle relief came up a bit short, as Carlos Sano surrendered four runs and the lead.
The suddenly torrid Brandon Van Horn helped bring the team back in the 8th when his second double of the night brought in the game winner. Van Horn is now hitting .324/.375/.595 in June, after entering the month hitting just .202/.265/.283 on the season. The big day at the plate helped make up for an unusually rough time in the field. Van Horn committed two errors in the game, including one that made the 9th inning a little more white knuckle than necessary.
Pitchers Jason Bahr and Frank Rubio have joined the #SJGiants from Augusta. Bahr had a 2.75 ERA & 1.06 WHIP in 13 starts w/Augusta + second in South Atlantic League with 88 strikeouts (in 68 2/3 IP). 5th round pick last year. Rubio 1.55 ERA & second in SAL with 10 saves.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) June 21, 2018
San Jose got some bolstering to their pitching staff before the game (to the detriment of Augusta’s pitching depth), and that came into play immediately. Frank Rubio picked up the six out save in his first day in the Cal League. As noted, the 9th got a little hairy as the tying and winning runs reached base with no outs, but Rubio bowed his neck and delivered the win to start the half on a happy note.
There’s All Star scouting reports on Jalen Miller and Logan Webb from Baseball Prospectus’ Wilson Karaman here:
An hour long rain delay in the 2nd inning turned this one into a bullpen game early. The Greenjackets got the better of the middle relief battle tagging Rome RP Hayden Deal with two big HRs. The first of those came from 1b Ryan Kirby who leads the team with 11 big flies.
Kirby has shown some prodigious power this year, but the hit tool has been lagging behind for the 23 year old 1b. Over two seasons in Augusta he’s been just a .226 hitter in the Sally.
The second HR was the big swing of the night, as Jacob Gonzalez broke a 1-1 tie in the 5th, with a 2-out, 2-on blast.
Jacob Gonzalez just smoked one out to deep left-center. There's some tantalizing power in that frame if he can develop the hit.— David Lee (@David11Lee) June 22, 2018
One of the longest I've seen so far. Between the batter's eye and big ads in left-center. One-hopped off the cement and disappeared.— David Lee (@David11Lee) June 22, 2018
Augusta has lost a lot of pitching from the staff that lead the league in run prevention through much of the first half—particularly from their bullpen. So it’s likely that Camilo Doval will need to play an important role for the team in the second half. He got off to a good start last night, blowing through the 9th inning and striking out the side on 14 pitches.
Before we go, I noted yesterday, 2080 Baseball’s Adam McInturff has been impressed by Manuel Geraldo over the last week. And he’s sharing the love—and some video he’s collected of Geraldo—with us:
#SFGiants SS Manuel Geraldo is a player who is turning heads for @GreenJackets and I want to put something out about. Physical switch-hitter w/ flashes of pop, athletic at the 6 for a muscular frame, stock is rising. See FV 45 super UTIL guy w/ some pop, maybe more. SAL all-star pic.twitter.com/MdOHVF4l0k— Adam McInturff (@2080adam) June 22, 2018
The pitching matchup of the night came in Boise where Gregory Santos locked up with the Rockies #3 prospect Riley Pint. Colorado has struggled with the development of Pint, the 4th overall pick in 2016, who was hitting triple digits in High School with a Bugs Bunny curve but who struggles to throw strikes.
The Giants, on the other hand, have to be thrilled with the development they’ve seen from Santos, The 18 year old is currently the 3rd youngest player in the Northwest League, but isn’t letting his youth and inexperience get in his way. Santos went 5 shutout innings last night, striking out 5 and walking none. Santos has had some troubles with control so far in his young career, so it’s great to see him pumping strikes like he did last night, throwing 47 of his 65 pitches in the strike zone. Santos features high 90s velocity on his fastball and two different sharp breaking balls, as well as showing the beginnings of a change that can be effective as well. The future looks very bright for the 18 year old Santos, who may be the system’s best pitching prospect in the not too distant future.
Santos left the game, leading a taut 1-0 pitcher’s duel. But the Volcanoes soon erupted for 3 runs to extend their lead in the top of the 6th. It was a good night to be a Layer brother, as Jose and Abdiel combined in their games for five hits, including three doubles. Older brother Jose also walked, scored a run, and drove in what proved to be the game winner with his second hit of the night.
Human toolbox Alexander Canario hasn’t quite found his groove at the plate yet, but that doesn’t mean he can’t wow the scouts with his other abilities. Canario stole three bags and threw a runner out trying to stretch a double, proving he has lots of tools to help build a victory.
Yorlis Rodriguez followed up his 3-hit debut with two more hits last night as the Cuban teenager continues to barrel up the ball.
As noted above, the Layer Bros. had an excellent night. Younger brother Abdiel picked up the first hit of his pro career and liked it so much he did it twice more before the game was done. The three-hit night included two doubles.
Also getting his extra base hit on was OF Franklin Labour who doubled and tripled to drive in two.
Jasier Herrera had a strong season out of the bullpen for the 2016 DSL Giants, but then missed the entirety of 2017 with a shoulder injury. The intriguing arm strength 20 year old made a triumphant return to the field last night with 5 strong innings, allowing just three hits and an unearned run while striking out 3. Jasier is not to be confused with RHP Johan Herrera, who also had an excellent season with the 2016 DSL team and also missed all of 2017. Both Herreras are on the Giants’ AZL staffs this year.
One night after Sam Wolff made his organizational debut, Israel Cruz—the second arm the Giants picked up in the Matt Moore trade did the same, somewhat less impressively.
The Giants’ teams nearly picked up a sweep of high scoring affairs, but Clay Helvey’s pro debut was a disastrous one, allowing 7 runs in the 9th inning, while trying to protect a one-run lead. Interestingly, SS Hector Santiago came in to put the game out of its misery. The 20 year old has spent four seasons now in rookie leagues without showing much success at the bat. Is he a potential conversion candidate?
Lefty Juan Sanchez suffered his first poor outing of his career, as the Mariners cuffed him around a bit and ran him to the showers before the 3rd inning was over. Like their elder brethren in Sacramento, the Giants lineup produced as many errors as hits (4) and like the RiverCats this proved not to be a successful strategy.
Enoc Watts with the ultra-rare midseason transfer from Dominican camp to Scottsdale as he moves on up to AZL.— Roger Munter (@rog61) June 22, 2018
Prior to the game, an unusual transaction took place, as Enoc Watts was promoted from the DSL to the AZL. I won’t say that’s unprecedented, but I can’t off hand recall other players moving to the domestic side in-season in the last several years. Watts, a $300k signing in the 2016 J2 class (along with Ghordy Santos and Samuel Jorge) was off to an excellent start, hitting .333/.440/.429 over 42 ABs. But it’s possible the move was also made with an eye to providing more SS innings for guys like Juan Peña and Santos on the DSL team.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Matt Gage vs. Luis Perdomo
Richmond: Conner Menez vs. TBD
San Jose: Mac Marshall vs. Dustin May
Augusta: John Gavin vs. Huascar Ynoa
Salem-Keizer: Greg Jacknewitz vs. TBD
DSL: Freddery Paulino vs. TBD
Woah, these 8 game days are mammoth! Sorry for the War & Peace edition! Maybe today will be less eventful?
But who wants that?