Minor Lines: come for the baseball, stay for the fancy new dance steps!
#Angels veteran Eric Young Jr. (@EYJr) introduces what could be called the Tacoma two-step for @SaltLakeBees. @RainiersLand— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) June 4, 2018
VIDEO: https://t.co/WFMdoRxznQ pic.twitter.com/09bdz6bmQR
Like the Mounties, #Mariners catcher Mike Marjama (@MMarjama) always gets his man. In this case, #Angels No. 21 prospect David Fletcher (@d22fletcher) of @SaltLakeBees.— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) June 4, 2018
VIDEO: https://t.co/VHJTZKNnKn pic.twitter.com/PeTz6kWmGT
HIGHLIGHTS: Jose Marte struck out a career high 10; John Riley doubled and homered;
Sacramento lost at El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres), 5-0
winning their series, 3-2
On a rainy Texas night that delayed the start of this Sunday night game, Sacramento was whitewashed on the final night of their quick, five-game road trip. Casey Kelly, coming off two straight excellent outings, was shaky in the early going, surrendering five runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings. That was more than enough to do in the RiverCats on a night where the offense totaled four baserunners — all coming on singles. Eury Perez paced the attack with two hits. Austin Slater had just one, but he did steal his 7th and 8th bases of the year.
Ironically, Sacramento tied a season low for strikeouts in the game, with Cat hitters K’ing just four times. Lots of early count swinging, lots of balls in play. All in all, the affair had the strong feel of “getaway day” baseball. Here’s one of Sacramento’s three PA with a man in scoring position for the game:
Ray Black has now allowed runs in just 3 of his 19 games this year (crossing both AA and AAA). He has a fairly ridiculous 52% K rate on the year in the two top levels, having struck out 39 batters in 19.2 IP while walking just 9. It’s been a long, long, LONG road for the 2011 draftee, but he is inching ever sooooooo close to his call.
Richmond played their fourth consecutive one-run game, with three of those going the Squirrels way. Strong pitching led the way, as four relievers combined to surrender just two hits over the final 4 innings. Cory Taylor worked his way through 10 baserunners over his 5 innings before handing it to the pen. Taylor’s 8-1 record belies some ugly peripherals this year. He’s combined an exceptionally low 12% K rate with an exceptionally high 11% BB rate, all while surrendering about 1.5 HRs per 9. Ouch! No wonder his FIP is creeping towards 6.00.
Aramis Garcia and Jerry Sands provided most of the offense. The venerable Sands hit his team-leading 8th HR as well as his 9th double. He also walked twice. Garcia started both of the team’s rallies, scoring in front of Sands’ HR and Ronnie Jebavy’s two-run single, which ultimately provided the game winning runs.
Right-handers Patrick Ruotolo and Dillon McNamara have nailed down the final innings in each of the last two Squirrels victory, going three innings on Friday and 2.2 innings yesterday. Interestingly, McNamara set up Ruotolo Friday night, while the pair reversed the order on Sunday. The 26 year old live-armed McNamara has been a nice pick up for the organization, and is fitting nicely into the back end of the Richmond pen.
The Squirrels offense has scored the fewest runs in the Eastern League, as they’re heavily relying on a pitching staff that has the third best team ERA in the league. That staff isn’t playing the power game, though, as they are last in the league in striking out their opponents.
San Jose lost to Modesto Nuts (Mariners), 6-5
losing their series, 1-2
San Jose has clearly installed an Emergency “Kit Gloves” station in the clubhouse in case they happen to misplace their regular Kit Gloves for handling Logan Webb. Despite Webb breezing through 3 innings on just 24 pitches, he exited the game as planned at that point. Webb hasn’t allowed a run now in his last 5 starts, covering 17 innings. He’s allowed fewer than a runner per inning in that time, with just 7 hits and 6 walks, against 13 Ks. Webb’s ERA is down to just 1.46 on the year and dropping every time out.
Once Webb departed, however, middle reliever Carlos Sano let the game slip away, giving up 5 runs between the 4th and 6th innings. After San Jose rallied to take a 4-2 lead in the 5th, Sano immediately gave the lead back with a 3-run 6th. NOT a shut down inning!
Gio Brusa rejoined the team after DL stint caused by taking a ground ball to the face. And he was clearly eager to get back as he took the first pitch he saw out of the yard.
Brusa finished with three hits — his first multi hit game since picking up 5 hits over two nights on May 10-11. Matt Winn also homered for the Giants, his 6th of the year.
One interesting note I missed from Saturday:
Rodolfo Martinez works two perfect innings of relief tonight with several pitches at 97-98 MPH - his FB velocity has increased in recent outings. Martinez in his last 11 appearances: 1.88 ERA, 3 ER/14.1 IP, 3 BB, 11 SO.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) June 3, 2018
That’s a good sign for the power armed reliever who’s suffered through a couple of miserable years and poor health.
Augusta lost at Lexington Legends (Royals), 6-5
losing their series 1-3
Augusta wasted a brilliant performance from Jose Marte, dropping their third consecutive game in Lexington. For the second consecutive start, Marte set a career high in strikeouts, posting the first double digit K game of his career. He effectively paired his slider with an electric fastball, overpowering the Legends the first two times through the lineup. He twice got series star Seuly Matias swinging. Marte’s best effort came in the 6th, when he struck out the side including getting the Royals #1 and 3 prospects consecutively. Let’s take the long view:
Unfortunately, disaster struck in the 7th. Marte opened the inning by striking out his 4th consecutive hitter, but the ball got away from Jeffry Parra allowing the leadoff hitter to get to 1b. On the next play Jacob Gonzalez threw away a potential double play ball. Following a pop-up, Marte’s night was through and Camilo Doval came in to try to preserve the lead.
Doval had an excellent May, but the girl with the curl showed up in this outing (as Owlcroft used to love to say). A hit, a walk, and a WP erased the lead, and another hit and wild pitch led to an insurance run the following inning.
Heliot Ramos followed up his four hit night with another two hits. Neither was particularly stung — a soft liner past SS and a nubber that the pitcher couldn’t field — but he’s doing much less swinging and missing the last few days. Probably a matter of improving his selection but the plate coverage appears to be getting a little better as well. His strikeout in this game was of the called variety.
John RIley brought the big lumber for the game with a two-run double followed by a two-run homer. It was Riley’s fourth of both on the year.
“Popped up into Right Field...well not popped up exactly. In fact that goes on out of the ballpark!” That’s a call back for the old-timer Giants fans.
Aaron Bond singled twice and walked twice, and scored three runs
The Greenjackets record has been built on a tremendous performance from their pitching staff, but they have to leave Lexington feeling they really let the series slip through their grasp — particularly the bullpen. Augusta blew late leads in two of the last three games and the pen allowed Lexington to score add on runs in the late innings continuously over these three losses.
They head home with their division lead down to a single game and their elimination number stuck on 14. But they do get the league’s worst team coming to visit for four games.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Richmond: Shaun Anderson vs. JoJo Romero
San Jose: OFF
DSL Giants: TBD
That’s not a tremendous amount of information, is it? Kevin will be back tomorrow with the exceptionally short slate. And just maaaaaybe, that will give him some time to discuss other system-related developments that may pop up tonight.
Happy draft day!