As we face yet another slate full of losses, we’re forced to conclude once again that T.S. Eliot was correct: April is the cruelest month...mixing memory with desire
Remember back in April when everybody in the system was winning, leading divisions, best in their leagues, etc? July has been a brutal reminder of what the long, hot summer can do. Sacramento, Richmond, and San Jose have each won just 7 games this month (7-15, 7-16, 7-18). The top five affiliates are collectively 42-77 in the month of July, good for a .353 winning percentage. Only the two AZL teams have managed a winning record this month.
It’s been a rough month under the hot sun, and the dog days are still out there waiting.
HIGHLIGHTS: Aaron Phillips struck out 9 in 6 IP; Beicker Mendoza doubled and homered;
Omaha was more “Storm Bringers” than “Storm Chasers” as they battered Shaun Anderson in his Sacramento home debut. Anderson struggled with his command in this one, particularly early on, and he contributed to some defensive issues that allowed three runs to score in the top of the 1st on just one hit.
However, the Storm really came up in the 5th and 6th innings, when Anderson would allow 6 runs on 6 hits, including two doubles and a homer. He did pick up a strikeout on his last hitter of the night (just his second of the game) but all in all it certainly wasn’t the night Anderson would have wished for. In two PCL starts he’s allowed 11 runs (8 earned) in 11 IP.
On the bright side of the ledger, however, this happened:
Mac’s was one of two Sacramento home runs on the night, with long-time farmhand Myles Schroder going deep as well.
Oh okay so we all just goin off tonight, huh— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) July 27, 2018
Schro goes solo yardo for a tie game pic.twitter.com/4yq8Qteuem
The RiverCats said goodbye to one major leaguer and hello to another as Evan Longoria ended his rehab assignment while Joe Panik started his. Panik singled in three at bats and scored on Williamson’s homer.
After breaking a seven-game losing streak in their final game of the road trip, Richmond brought the winning feeling home with them. The two teams had 13 hits, but the only ones that mattered were the ones that went over the fence.
The two clubs traded solo HRs in the 1st inning, with Luigi Rodriguez going deep for the 12th time this year. After a scorching hot spring, Luigi has really cooled off in the summer. He’s hitting just .109/.197/.255 in the month of July.
The game stayed 1-1 until the 8th, when another old vet came up with the big hit.
Garrett Williams had a shaky 8th inning, allowing singles to the first two batters. But he wiggled free of the jam with a clutch strikeout and a ground ball double play. Thanks to Gindl that was good for the Win.
Patrick Ruotolo worked a perfect 9th for the save. Ruotolo hasn’t allowed a run over his last 6.2 innings. He’s K’d 11 in that time while allowing just 5 baserunners.
Another important member of the bullpen is “new” Giant Sam Wolff. You can get to know Sam better in this interview with Jay Burnham. Nice shout out to your wife, Sam!
San Jose lost to Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers), 10-0
losing their series, 1-2
San Jose has matched up with Dodgers’ affiliate Rancho Cucamonga 11 times this month, and it has gone all the Quakes way. Not only did the Giants lost 9 of those 11 games, they were outscored 82-42 over the course of three series. To make matters even worse, 8 of those games (and 7 of the losses) came at home. As we recall, a stirring 9th inning comeback on Wednesday night was the only thing that kept San Jose from losing all 8 home contests to the Quakes this month. Getting kicked around by Dodgers is no way to learn to be a Good Giant, fellows!
Joey Marciano took the brunt of the attack in this one. The left-hander has yet to find any success since his call up to the Cal League, as he’s now featuring an ugly 11.94 ERA. In four games with San Jose, Marciano has given up no fewer than 5 runs in any start, while only completing 5 innings once. Or to put it a different way: he’s been scored on in 10 of the 20 innings in which he’s taken the mound as a San Jose Giant. It’s a tough league!
Marciano gave up two of the three home runs for Rancho Cucamonga, but it was Conner Overton who allowed Cody Thomas to go deep for the 15th time this year. Thomas has homered in four consecutive games now. In all, the Quakes are by far the most powerful team in the league. Their 135 home runs for the years is 25 more than even Lancaster, who plays their game in a wind tunnel. San Jose is third in the league in team home runs and they trail Rancho Cucamonga by 46 homers. Wow!
Heath Quinn had his second consecutive two-hit game. The OF/DH has seen his numbers dip a little bit this month, batting .259/.351/.457, following a June in which he posted a 1.027 OPS. But the power’s still showing up as the Iso has consistently been hovering around the .200 mark for most of the last month.
More Catcher moves in a system that’s really struggled to keep the position stocked this year:
#SJGiants roster moves: C Chris Corbett added from Salem-Keizer. C Tanner Murphy placed on disabled list.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 26, 2018
Augusta lost at Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees), 4-2
losing their series, 1-3
Another quiet night for the Augusta offense, whose only runs last night came from two Heliot Ramos ground outs (giving him 33 RBIs for the year). Half of the team’s six hits were doubles, but they went just 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position, and that 1 failed to score anybody.
That made a tough luck loser out of Aaron Phillips, who had yet another solid night. The 21 year old St. Bonaventure grad picked up 9 Ks for the third time in his last five starts. Still looking for that double digit game Aaron! In all the RHP has 79 Ks and just 7 walks in his 68 innings of work this year. Interestingly, he has nearly as many HB (6) as walks. A nice hook will get you places in the Sally!
And, of course, what Pitcher doesn’t need a little help from his best friend.
Joey Bart was out of the lineup for a second consecutive day for the first time as a Volcano. Unclear whether there’s a day to day nick up or the Giants are just starting to wind down his play a bit after the long college season.
Regardless, without Bart the bats have been quiet the last two nights, scoring just three runs in losing the final two games of the series. The Volcanoes went nearly 7 innings last night without a hit, and ended the game with only four.
There was only one real crack of the bat last night, as 3b David Villar continued his strong pro debut with his 6th HR of the year. The 11th rounder has an eye-popping .270 Iso with Salem-Keizer and is 3rd in the league in SLG and tied for fourth in the league in HRs. Do NOT try to get in this man’s kitchen!
18 year old Gregory Santos took the mound and showed his usual assortment of promise. Santos was up to a top of 98 mph on the stadium gun while also mixing in three different off speed pitches. The fastball command is, of course, a work in progress for the teen, and there’s still a lot of physical maturing to do there, but this is a tantalizing package of potential.
The youngster showed some pitching smarts as well as the electric arm. After the Cubs #10 prospect Nelson Velazquez jumped on a first pitch fastball to drive in a run in their first matchup of the day, Santos came back at him with a steady diet of breaking balls later on, to great effect:
You can see there’s still a lot of strength and fitness work in front of the teenager, and of course, development of the overall command of his repertoire, but it’s pretty hard to beat Santos in the system in terms of pitching upside. He’s excelling in two areas that are pretty good signs for young pitchers — strikeout stuff and ground outs. Eleven of the 13 outs he picked up last night came on one of those two results.
If you happen to be a subscriber to The Atlantic you can read more about Santos in this piece:
Seth Corry’s strong campaign has hit a bit of a speed bump, as the lefty allowed 4 runs last night on 8 hits and 2 walks. Corry’s now given up 13 runs (9 earned) in his last three starts over just 10.3 innings. His 5 IP last night matched his season high, however, and he does have 36 Ks in his 33 IP this year. The walks remain an issue, as he’s issued 15 of those (as well as two hit batters).
Ian Gardeck’s second rehab outing was a perfect 3 up/3 down affair with 2 Ks. That has to feel good! Hopefully, we’ll see Gardeck back up in full season ball before the year is out.
Beicker Mendoza blasted his 4th HR of the year and picked up 3 RBI. Mendoza leads the AZL in RBI with 29, and complex-mate Frankie Tostado is second in the league (27). He’s also second in the league in SLG (.598) and fifth in OPS (.987). Though, again, this is his third year in the complex league. That’s generally a negative sign, though Beicker is exactly the type of player who should benefit from the Giants having a second AZL team. He’s getting steady play for the first time since his DSL season and he’s producing.
The Black team was shaky defensively making five errors in the game. That included the first two errors of the season from Alexander Canario. At the plate, Canario doubled once in four at bats.
DSL Giants lost to DSL Tigers2, 5-3
With All Star Luis Toribio out of the lineup, and Jean Peña still struggling to get back in the swing of things after his DL stint, the Giants lineup struggled to produce much action. Despite 9 walks to go with their 7 hits, the Giants scored just three times as they went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position as the Tigers didn’t make quite enough timely errors or hit batsmen to help the Giants out.
Richgelon Juliana broke an 0 for 10 slump with his 6th triple of the season, and he also walked twice. Juliana is tied for third in the league in triples, just two off the league lead.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Tyler Herb vs. Casey Coleman
Richmond: TBD vs. Franklyn Kilome
San Jose: Carlos Sanos vs. Erik Manoah
Augusta: Caleb Baragar vs. TBD
Salem-Keizer: Blake Rivera vs. Carlos Hernandez
AZL: Conner Nurse, Francis Pena vs. TBD, TBD
DSL: Willian Suarez, Juan Sanchez vs. TBD, TBD
Tyler Herb tries to get comfortable back in the PCL after a rough return last time out. Below him Blake Rivera is the most interesting starter of the bunch, though he’ll likely go just 2 innings.
We don’t know who will be taking the mound in Richmond, but we know which Favorite Son they’ll be promoting. As we head into Hall of Fame weekend, the Squirrels give a call back to their days as the Richmond Braves when they were the AAA affiliate of the South’s favorite team.