Happy National Dog Day everybody! Celestially speaking, the Dog Days are officially over, but on the ball field they’re hitting their peak.
What better way to celebrate #NationalDogDay than by bringing your four-legged friend out to @SRPPark today for our final Bark in the Park of the season?— Augusta GreenJackets (@GreenJackets) August 26, 2018
: https://t.co/zO8d4isQbz pic.twitter.com/IxFQauyF45
HIGHLIGHTS: Manuel Geraldo had three hits including double; Aaron Bond doubled and homered;
Sacramento did some bullpenning on Sunday, and the strategy worked out well. Josh Osich struck out 5 over 2.2 effective innings, before giving way to Jose Valdez, Roberto Gomez, and finally Tyler Rogers. The group work produced 12 Ks and allowed just one run to the 51s.
Over three seasons in the PCL now, Rogers has produced a 2.98 ERA over 172 IP — an ERA that has lowered in each of his three seasons in Sacramento. His peripherals, however, have never been particularly strong there with a K9 of just 6.4 in AAA paired with a BB9 of 3.5. It will be interesting to see if the side-winder gets a callup in September. I’m personally rather skeptical of the beat folks opinion that he would be lost in Rule 5 draft this winter — possible of course, but the 27 year old doesn’t exactly fit the prototype of the pitchers who get tagged in Rule 5.
Still up on the 51s hitting the ninth, let's close the pic.twitter.com/g6dZ7yFMKU— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) August 26, 2018
The offense provided all the support necessary in a big four-run first inning. At one point in the 1st, six consecutive batters reached safely. The inning included was a classic “keep the line moving” attack as Sacramento hitters knocked out five singles, plus a walk and a HB, to do their damage.
The RiverCats finish up their series with the 51s tonight before hosting Albuquerque in their final home series of 2018. Last chances to get out and see them folks!
Richmond lost at Altoona Curve (Pirates), 3-0
losing their series, 1-3
For the second straight game, Richmond collected just two hits, losing both those games by identical 3-0 scores. Only one member of the Squirrels’ starting lineup managed a hit, Matt Lipka’s game-opening single. Dylan Davis’ PH double completed their collection of hits for the day. Caleb Gindl provided all the rest of the production with a three-walk day.
The lineup’s 4-7 hitters all had batting averages at or below the Mendoza line, with Jonah Arenado’s .204 being the high water mark of the group. Not so good.
Chase Johnson completed six innings of work — his longest outing since returning from TJ. He managed just one strikeout, and this has been a consistent aspect of Johnson’s year — low strikeout totals (35 in 55.2 IP) suggest a lack of a putaway pitch at this stage in his rehab. Thanks to the lack of support, Johnson was undone with a single pitch, a two-run homer that he surrendered in the 2nd inning.
The game ended in a celebration for the home team, as Altoona’s three straight wins over the Squirrels pushed them into the Eastern League playoffs. Good for old friend Bryan Reynolds, who is hitting .300 with an .821 OPS for the year as the Curve’s #3 hitter.
Curve clinch playoff berth; Final homestand starts Monday! pic.twitter.com/7NYGzKbsRF— Squirrels Baseball (@GoSquirrels) August 27, 2018
That was Richmond’s final road of the season. They return home to the Diamond tonight to finish the year with an 8-game homestand.
The Giants jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, but missed chances through the game to add on, and in the closing innings Sandro Cabrera let the game slip away. Cabrera lost control of a 5-3 lead, surrendering three runs in the 7th inning with Evan White’s two-run triple being the big blow. Cabrera then failed to retire any of the three batters he faced in the 8th, though Dylan Rheault bailed him out of the jam with only one final run scored.
Wander Franco hit his league leading 38th double of the year to start the scoring in the 1st. Gio Brusa followed with his 19th HR of the year. With just one more over the last week Brusa could become only the second player in the organization to reach the 20 mark in 2018.
Speedsters Johneshwy Fargas and Bryce Johnson both picked up SB in the game. For Fargas it was his 43rd of the year, while Johnson climbed near a milestone with his 29th.
The loss marked a sad milestone for the Giants, once the dynasty of the Cal League:
#SJGiants unable to hold a four-run lead in a 7-5 loss tonight. SJ has been officially eliminated from playoff contention - first time missing the postseason in back-to-back years since 2002-03.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 27, 2018
San Jose and Modesto conclude their series tonight, which will be San Jose’s final road game of the year. Modesto is in a pitched battle for the final playoff spot in the Cal League — Modesto, Visalia, and Stockton are all within 1 game at the top of the Northern Division with 8 games left to play. Stockton and Modesto both get to play the cellar dweller of the division in the final week, coming to the Muni for the last two series of the year.
Augusta lost to Kannapolis Intimidators (White Sox), 3-2
winning their series 3-2
Manuel Geraldo’s pursuit of .300 picked up steam with a three-hit day Sunday, boosting him up to .298 heading into the final week. The secondary average is admittedly a little on the light side, with a .341 OBP and .391 SLG, but the 21 year old SS is taking his game in the right direction this season.
The three hit day was Geraldo’s fourth consecutive multi-hit day, extending a hit streak that has now reached 12 games. He is 22 for 51 over that 12 game stretch, though yesterday’s double was just his fourth extra base hit of the month — and just his ninth since the 1st of June.
Aaron Phillips had another strong start, with 8 more strikeouts. He has 23 Ks in his past three starts, covering 17 innings, and 109 for the year. Fangraphs’ lead prospect writer Eric Longenhagen had this to say recently about Phillips:
Longenhagen has a note on Augusta's RHP Aaron Phillips: "He’s a pretty interesting blend of athleticism and stuff, even more so when his background provides context for why that stuff isn’t fully baked yet." https://t.co/kmvQcGmhhq— GPT (@giantsprospects) August 22, 2018
Camilo Doval seems to have gotten over his little burst of wildness earlier in the month. Over his last six appearances (8.2 IP), he’s walked just two batters while striking out 15 and has allowed just 1 earned run.
Augusta heads out to the 1st place Lexington Legends for their final four games of the season starting tonight.
OMG just win a danged game will you! The Volcanoes now have lost 4 straight and are 2-8 over their last 10 games — a stretch that could have seen them easily clinch a playoff spot with even a .500 record. Really like to see some spark of competitiveness out of this group before the year is done.
Greg Jacknewitz has been an unfortunate model of consistency lately as he’s now allowed 5 earned runs in each of his past three starts — despite throwing just 10 innings combined in the three games.
Once again the Volcanoes offense struggled to keep pace with what the pitchers were dishing out, though they did get another strong effort from OF Aaron Bond who doubled and hit his 10th homer of the year. Bond is SLG .566 in the NWL after hitting just one extra base hit in 94 PA with Augusta — next year you’ll get the Sally League good, Aaron!
SK needs a win tonight to avoid a dreaded five game sweep in Spokane before getting their final off day of the season tomorrow.
Team Black took the final intra-complex battle, as Conner Nurse finished up an excellent 2018 campaign with 5 innings of one-run ball and Alexander Canario took the Scottsdale lead in homers, hitting his 6th.
Nurse’s counterpart, Marco Gonzalez, also had a nice effort, striking out 8 in 5 innings, but he did allow 5 runs (3 earned) plus the homer to Canario. Gonzalez also gave up a two-run double to Abdiel Layer, as well as Franklin Labour’s 14th double of the year in just 126 At Bats.
Yorlis Rodriguez pushed his batting average up to .316 with two more hits, including his 8th double. Rodriguez has 12 extra base hits for the year, and is SLG .434 for an excellent .835 OPS.
Victor Concepcion, who missed all of 2017 with arm injury was removed from yesterday’s game after pitching to just one batter. Given the circumstances, that would seem to have been a medical move — a very unfortunate twist to the end of year for a pitcher who has now thrown just 8 innings the past two seasons.
The two AZL teams finish their season tonight. They are separated by just a half game with nearly identical records for the year.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Jordan Johnson vs. Scott Copeland
Richmond: Taylor Hill vs. Tyler Viza
San Jose: John Gavin vs. Nick Wells
Augusta: TBD vs. TBD
Salem-Keizer: Sean Hjelle vs. Seth Nordlin
AZL: Israel Cruz (Black); Jacob Lopez (Orange);
Yep, getting to be about that time: