Augusta headed into Asheville for a wraparound series—which means all four full-season teams went up against Rockies’ affiliates last night. That didn’t necessarily result in lots of runs, but for one night, at least, it did result in lots of losses,
HIGHLIGHTS: Peter Bourjos had a three hit day; Carlos Sano K’d 9 in 6 IP; Heliot Ramos had three hits including HR; Seth Corry threw 5 shutout innings; Jesus Gomez K’d 7 in 5 shutout innings.
Tyler Herb threw pretty decent baseball for five of his six innings — but, of course, it’s those crooked numbers that will do you in. A four-run 2nd put the RiverCats down early and their rather hobbled offense had no answer for it the rest of the night. Herb allowed a single and triple to start the big rally. An Orlando Calixte error contributed to the mess and then Herb allowed a Home Run to Raimel Tapia to put a bow on things.
The RiverCats actually outhit the ‘Topes on the night, but the extra base battle went the other direction. Five of Albuquerque’s eight hits went for extra bases, just one of Sacramento’s 10 did. Man, the Giants need some power in this organization!
Peter Bourjos had a three hit night to lead the way, including the long XBH (a triple). Miguel Gomez had his fourth straight multi-hit night. Kelby Tomlinson went just 1 for 4 but that was enough to keep his roll going:
Tomlinson has gone 26 for 65 during his hit streak, and added in seven walks. He’s raised his season line from .191/.286/.191 the day he started it to .293/.375/.293 today! Nice job Specs! Tomlinson will be out of options in 2019 which means he’s definitely on the front line of the winter roster crunch, as is his MI partner, Gomez.
One night after a shutout victory, Richmond continued the strong pitching against Hartford. With scheduled starter Michael Connolly called up to Sacramento, Taylor Hill was pressed into duty and Hill performed admirably going 4 innings and allowing just two hits. The entire Richmond staff gave up just three hits on the night. But it wasn’t enough, as Richmond’s bats took the night off as well.
As it turned out, the game was sunk on the very first of those hits — with two outs in the 1st Hill surrendered a solo HR to Hartford’s Drew Weeks which turned out to be the only run of the game. As with their AAA brethren, Richmond outhit Hartford 6 to 3. But the Squirrels had precious little success pushing their runners into scoring position — they took just 3 at bats with RISP on the night.
Matt Winn led the way with another two hit night, including the team’s only extra base hit. The VMI grad has found immediate success in his most recent stint with his hometeam, going 9 for 27 with four doubles since his promotion. With his strong defense and occasional pop, Winn is a sneaky potential big leaguer at some point, which I suppose is true of almost anyone who can really Catch.
With Connolly headed West, Jay Burnham pulled out this nugget from the archives — I can’t recommend Jay as a follow enough. His interactions with the players are always unusual, always fun, and always give insight into the real lives that minor leaguers live.
RVA Acorns: Mike Connolly was scheduled to start today - got word last night he was heading back to AAA - Taylor Hill takes mound tonight. - Goodbye, Conz Cuts : https://t.co/ScKRn3p2nF— Jay Burnham (@Burnham_Jay) August 18, 2018
Hey, what do you call those things when your team ends the night with more runs than the other one? A “Wuh...” something? I better look that up in case it happens again.
In any case, San Jose managed the trick last night, picking up a tidy 6-2 win in which nearly everybody contributed. Eight of the nine members of the lineup had at least one hit and four (Jalen Miller, Gio Brusa, Bryce Johnson and the recently promoted Chris Corbett) had two.
The only batter with an 0-fer was Johneshwy Fargas and he still managed to add his 40th stolen base of the season to the box score. Fargas is going to lead the organization for the third time in the last four seasons in that category. He’s got a ways to go to match his career high of 59 though. Fargas does lead the Cal league in SBs despite playing just 77 games. He’s also got his average up to .281 this year. Nice little bounceback year for a kid with some real tools. Bryce Johnson also stole his 26th base which is fourth in the league.
The Giants were kick started once again by their dynamic duo of Heath Quinn and Jalen Miller who doubled on consecutive pitches in the 1st inning to get the scoring started.
Sadly, that no-out, runners at 2b and 3b, situation came to naught as the Giants strictly observed organizational protocol for 2018. But two innings later Gio Brusa would come up with a big hit that keyed a 3-run rally and gave the Giants the lead for good. The powerful switch-hitter from Lodi has struggled through a rough August, hitting just .204/.295/.370 this month.
That was enough for Carlo Sano and company. Sano gave the Giants one of their best starts of the last couple weeks, striking out 9 and allowing just 1 run over 6 IP. Sano has been San Jose’s best pitcher of the second half with Logan Webb gone. As a Giants’ starter he’s posted a 2.51 ERA with 46 Ks and 19 BBs in 46.2 IP.
And speaking of pitchers, San Jose is swapping out TJ rehab guys, with one old friend leaving and another coming to town:
Ian Gardeck has been promoted to AA-Richmond. Gardeck pitching this year for the first time since 2015 as he returns from two Tommy John surgeries. Made four appearances with the #SJGiants (4 IP, 1 ER, 2 SO).— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 18, 2018
Pitcher Sam Coonrod has joined the #SJGiants as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery. Coonrod was a California League All-Star w/SJ in 2016 (1.98 ERA in 11 starts). Dylan Rheault also returns to #SJGiants today from Richmond.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 18, 2018
McCormick Field is a Home Run hitters heaven. 297ft down the right field line, PLUS Asheville is 2,134 ft above sea level. Balls fly out of here. Only problem is that 42 ft wall in right-center, which is the tallest in Professional baseball. pic.twitter.com/zxSYXKDSG6— Joe Laurendi (@Joe_Laurendi) August 18, 2018
Asheville is, without a doubt, the Coors Field of the Sally League. And Augusta pitchers were gobsmacked by the hitters’ haven last night, giving up 17 hits including a breath-taking 11 extra base hits. Starter Norwith Gudino allowed four doubles in just 1.1 IP. John Timmins gave up three doubles. John Russell pitched for the cycle, allowing four hits including a double, triple, and homer. Most of those came in a six-run 2nd inning rally that four hits, two walks, a hit batsman and a passed ball for good measure. Ouch!
On the other hand, the environs were quite pleasant for Heliot Ramos who hit milestone with his 10th HR of the season, the first time he’s reached double digits as a pro. That was part of a three hit day for Ramos, boosting his OPS up nearly to the .700 mark (.697) and his Iso up to .147, not too shabby for an 18 year old.
Ryan Kirby also enjoyed that invited 297’ mark, going deep for his 13th of the year. But the game was long over by that point, as this one was all Tourists.
With the season approaching it’s final days the Volcanoes are displaying the frustrating habits of a losing team — when the hitters crush the pitchers find a way to get crushed more. When Seth Curry throws 5 brilliant innings of shutout ball, the bats go silent. Frustrating.
Salem-Keizer dropped their second straight to the Hops, and, as I feared are getting shoved back into the scrum in this series. They’re now 11-12 in the second half, in a two-way tie for second with Eugene, four games behind these Hops. The second half title is quickly swimming out of their reach, but because the Hops also won the first half, they are still at this point in line for the Wild Card spot, two games in front of Boise and six in front of Eugene. At 31-30 overall they’re in a one step forward, one step back pattern. It’s a frustrating inconsistency for a roster which right now contains an awful lot of top round talent that the organization has invested in.
Corry, last year’s 3rd round pick out of Utah High School ranks, continues to have an extremely strong second season. He continues to battle control problems and walks too many batters, but he’s shown himself to be extremely hard to hit and allowed just 12 ER (albeit 21 runs overall) in 52.2 IP while striking out 55. Corry goes on the list of Giants’ prospects who can unreservedly feel good about their 2018.
Venezuelan left-hander Jesus Gomez has had something of a slow burn this season. Thirteen of his 16 appearances came out of the bullpen and yesterday’s 5 inning performance was not only the longest of his career, it was just the third time he’s gone longer than 3 innings. But in his third start he really delivered on the promise that is in his big left arm, setting a new high in Ks with 7, while shutting the Tigers out over 5. Despite pitching mostly in relief, Gomez is second on the team in strikeouts with 52 in just 40.2 IP, while holding opposition batters to a .206 average. The projectible 6’2” 17 year old is clearly an arm to keep an eye on from this year’s group.
Catcher Rodolfo Bone hasn’t gotten a ton of playing time this year (just 58 ABs), but he’s shown a knack for getting the barrel to the ball when he’s been in there. The 18 year old Nicaraguan picked up his third double of the year, boosting his season line to .345/.444/.466.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Michael Connolly vs. Jeff Hoffman
Richmond: Conner Menez vs. Jesus Tinoco
San Jose: Mac Marshall vs. Ty Culbreth
Augusta: Jose Marte vs. Frederis Parra
Salem-Keizer: Jake Wong vs. TBD
AZL: Jordan Scott vs. Ben Madison
Have a great lazy Sunday everyone!