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SF Giants Minor Lines 7/28/18: Games were played

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Maybe not the end times, but we sure seem to be in the “end of season isn’t coming fast enough” blues for some of these teams.

HIGHLIGHTS: Caleb Gindl had four hits; Johneshwy Fargas went 4 for 4; Luis Toribio doubled twice among three hits.


Sacramento lost to Iowa Cubs, 2-0

Local boy Jordan Johnson was strong the first time through the order, but suddenly ran into control problems in the 4th — walking three in that frame including a bases loaded walk to bring in the game’s first run. The struggle with control led to an early exit for Johnson, as his pitch count passed the 90 mark in the 5th. Still he allowed just two hits on the day in his best PCL start to date.

One run was all it was going to take to lose on this day, however. The RiverCats were shut out for the 6th time this year en route to their 7th consecutive loss. They sprinkled six hits and four walks throughout the evening, but rarely moved those runners very far past 1b. Their best chance at a run ended like this:

Joe Panik played the full 9 innings, picking up a single hit for the third consecutive rehab game. He’ll likely be rejoining the big club soon.


Richmond beat Reading Fightin’ Phils, 7-5

The Squirrels launched a small ball attack at the Fightin’ Phils, with 10 singles among their 11 hits. Four of those came from lead off man Caleb Gindl who’s had a fantastic series with 7 hits and a HR. Gindl’s a former Brewer, so maybe he’s just feeling a little extra hitterish this weekend.

When Malique Ziegler re-taking his spot in Augusta, Nick Hill was moved up to Richmond to fill a new OF spot, joining his former Greenjacket teammate John Riley in Richmond’s (decidedly org filler tending) lineup. The 26th rounder out of Eckerd College got a big thrill as he broke a 5-5 tie with his first AA hit, providing the winning margin for the night.

Dustin Knight, recently returned from a rehab assignment in Scottsdale, shut things down for the final 1.2 to secure the win.

In addition to going 1 for 3, Aramis Garcia had a fine game behind the plate. He gunned two runners down on the base paths, including this play that helped bail starter Jake McCasland out of a huge jam.

It was a good night for Squirrels’ players to show off, as there was a special guest in town as part of Military Appreciation Night


San Jose lost in Inland Empire 66ers (Angels), 12-5

There probably aren’t too many worse ways to start a game than to surrender a Grand Slam to the fourth batter of the game. That’s what Mac Marshall managed yesterday. As usual for Marshall, poor command played a role as he walked the first two batters he faced, setting up the big inning.

Amazingly, San Jose immediately came back to even up the game with four runs of their own in the bottom of the 1st—a rally that included doubles from Jalen Miller, Wander Franco, and Dillon Dobson.

However, that burst seemed to be all the Giants had in them, and when Marshall immediately put the team behind again in the 2nd, the beginning of a rout was on. San Jose pitchers allowed runs in six different innings in the game as nobody seemed capable of slowing down the 66ers attack. Of course, running out multiple pitchers with ERAs of 6.00 and above would seem likely to produce such a result.

The Giants have now lost 9 of their last 12 games and their pitching has surrendered 7 or more runs seven times in that stretch. Oy!

Johneshwy Fargas continued his hot hitting with a 4 for 4 game. Surprisingly, he didn’t manage to steal a base in any of those trips, instead getting Caught Stealing for this 10th time this year.

Well, here’s a Jalen Miller double to cheer myself up.

I will leave it to Kevin to judge the “Christmas in July” uniforms. (But boy do they look awful!)


Augusta lost Columbia Fireflies (Mets), 5-1

Another big deficit early with another swing of the bat—a three-run inside the park home run keyed a 5-run 2nd inning against Jose Marte.

Marte has been mixing up outstanding starts with outings in which he’s been hammered — very much a victim of his rawness and lack of consistency. After a two-hitter with 7 Ks in his previous start, he couldn’t get out of the 2nd in this one, as 6 of the 11 batters he faced reached base against him.

The Greenjackets’ offense, which has been struggling mightily of late, had no answer for the outburst. Malique Ziegler is picking up where he left off back in early May. He reached base three times including an RBI single which brought in the team’s only run.

Heliot Ramos lined a double in his first at bat, but that was his only hit of the night.

The Greenjackets have now scored two runs or fewer in seven consecutive games — hard way to win!


Salem-Keizer lost to Everett AquaSox (Mariners), 12-5

Another game, another early deficit. Sean Hjelle suurendered three runs in the top of the 2nd to put the Volcanoes in an early hole. They climbed out of it with a 3-run rally of their own, started by a Joey Bart double.

But the Volcanoes bullpen would bury this game under an avalanche of runs (to mix my geological metaphors) and once again the bats couldn’t keep up with what the arms were doing. With the league’s best offense matched with the league’s worst pitching, this is definitely the place for you if you enjoy watching runs score.

After the long college season, pitchers pro debuts aren’t particularly indicative of anything, and many pitchers barely appear in their debut season at all. Still, with so many of the Giants top picks invested in college arms, it would be nice to see a few more 0s out of the 2-5 round picks. Sean Hjelle, Jake Wong, and Blake Rivera have now allowed 17 runs in their collective 26.1 IP, while Keaton Winn has gotten teed off on to the tune of 17 runs in 16 IP. “Only” 12 of those have been earned, but still...eye-popping debuts these have not been. Fits in with the “Meh of July” theme that the entire organization seems to be sliding into.

We’re just a week away from the NWL-PL All Star Game, which could potentially offer up a pretty indelible image for the Giants’ fans though:


AZL Giants Black beat AZL Cubs1, 6-2

AZL Giants Orange beat AZL Angels, 6-4

It’s been a very long time since Francisco Medina hit six HRs in his first six weeks of pro ball back in the DSL in 2015. His progress hit a wall after that, but he’s had a nice week down in the complex league going 9 for 22 with a double, triple, and homer the last seven days.

Franklin Labour also capped off a nice week with two more hits, boosting his batting average over the .300 mark. He hasn’t shown much power this year, SLG just .492 and nearly all of his power has come in doubles. But he’s enjoyed a solid July, slashing .356/.442/.556 albeit in sporadic playing time.

One guy who always seems to be hot is George Bell who has had just four hitless games this year and already enjoyed a 19 game hitting streak. Though he’s shown virtually no power, Bell has smacked his way to a 33 for 97 start to his career. He’s also struck out 23 times leading to a somewhat ludicrous .434 BABIP. Sustainable!


DSL Giants beat DSL Mariners, 19-4

In addition to the incredible 14 walks the Giants received, they also bashed out 12 hits! You’d think the constant parade of balls would lull them into sleep and prevent them from responding to the occasional pitch wandering across the strike zone. Not so!

Among all of the offense we can highlight Luis Toribio and Richgelon Juliana, who each doubled twice in the game. The All Star Toribio has been sliding a bit lately, going just 1 for his previous 13 ABs prior to yesterday’s game. Perhaps this can be the start of a late season flourish.


Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Casey Kelly vs. TBD
Richmond: Chase Johnson vs. Tyler Viza
San Jose: Logan Webb vs. Patrick Sandoval
Augusta: Garrett Cave vs. Chris Viall
Salem-Keizer: Norwith Gudino vs. TBD
AZL: OFF
DSL: SUNDAY OFF

Strong-armed right-handers lead the charge on Sunday. Logan Webb looks to build on his first 5 inning start of the year, and hopefully bring an end to the onslaught of runs San Jose has been giving up lately. While Chase Johnson, back from his third stint on the DL this year, once again tries to get his TJ rehab going in the right direction. And Garrett Cave attempts to throw strikes.

And of course, before we go: congratulations to three great Minor Lines alumni who were honored yesterday afternoon! I remember seeing Matt Cain for the first time way back in 2003 in Hagerstown and being completely smitten by him, with the hopping fastball and at that time a wicked 12-6 curve and little else. And just a year later on that same field I caught at early return from TJ surgery for Brian Wilson — and appearance that was almost painful to watch as he struggled to get anybody out. It’s still incredible to me that barely two years after that appearance he was a major leaguer. Forever Giants all, and the best examples of Minor Lines dreams coming true.