Let’s start it off with a Bart Smash! I know it’s a day late but, what the heck, it’s the first time we’ve gotten to see his trot!
HIGHLIGHTS: Ryan Howard came a homer shy of cycle; Jalen Miller had three hits, a homer, and two SB; Ismael Munguia had three hits and four RBIs
Sacramento had an off day
This was their penultimate off day of the season. Things are winding down.
No doubt realizing how embarrassing it would be to lose to such a ludicrously named bunch as the Rumble Ponies, the Flying Squirrels stomped all over the former B-Mets.
Ryan Howard had a big day: singling, doubling, and tripling on his way to a near cycle. The SS suffered through a miserable July — hitting just .210 for the month — but he’s got his Augusta heading in the right direction. He has 10 hits over the first week of this month, including four for extra bases. Another notable aspect of Howard’s season, is that since the 1st of June, he has more walks (22) than Ks (21). Pretty good adjustment to AA, Ryan!
Another guy who’s suddenly white hot is Jonah Arenado. Arenado was predominantly the starting 3b for most of the season, but he’s recently been seen anchoring 1b most often—he’s started six of the last eight games at 1b. Whether that has any connection to his offense is unknown, but over those same 8 games he’s hitting a smoking hot 12 for 27! Punctuating his recent tear, yesterday Arenado went deep for the first time since June 29 and just the second time since April 25.
Conner Menez allowed just one run over 5 IP, striking out 6 while walking 5. We’ve noted a few times this year the success Menez is having getting strikeouts, but I’m not sure how much we’ve discussed his high proclivity for walking people. With 51 walks in 116.2 IP this year, he’s issuing free passes at a pace of nearly 4 per 9 innings and that rate has gone up significantly in AA. Menez doesn’t really have the stuff to get away with that level of free base runners as he nibbles around the edges trying to stay away from barrels. That’s probably going to need to tighten up for him as he seeks to climb the last couple of rungs of the ladder.
As a side note, in Tuesday’s series opener the Squirrels found themselves facing a not so old friend — recently released Matt Gage was standing on the mound for Binghamton, facing guys who were just his teammates earlier in the year.
San Jose beat Rancho Cucagmonga Quakes (Dodgers), 8-4
winning their series, 2-1
What a homer happy series this has been! In a three game set 16 long balls flew out of the Muni, typically the most homer suppressing park in the Cal League. Sixteen! Unfortunately most of that has come from the powerful lineup of the Quakes. Rancho Cucamonga LF Carlos Rincon, promoted to the Cal League on July 29 came into this series with 1 Cal League HR and left it three days later with six, having gone deep in every game of the series including two multi-homer efforts.
But yesterday, the Giants got in on the best of the action, going deep three times. Heath Quinn’s been in a mild slide the last few weeks, seeing his average drop about 25 points and his OPS decline from .921 on July 20 to .840 prior to yesterday’s game. But he was a big part San Jose’s strong offense, picking up two hits including a big three-run homer that gave the team the lead for good.
Another guy who’s been going through a rough spell is Jalen Miller, but he had a day of perfect health yesterday. Coming into the game on a 3 for 27 tailspin, Miller rapped out three hits, walked, scored three runs, and even stole two bases. He joined in the long ball fun with a scorching liner, his 13th of the season.
Wander Franco (no, not that one) (stole your bit, Kevin!) followed up a big night Tuesday with another outstanding effort yesterday afternoon. He picked up two doubles giving him 35 for the season — which not surprisingly leads the Cal League.
Johneshwy Fargas crept closer to the 40 SB mark, with his 36th and 37th of the year. Now that he’s playing every day can the speedy Fargas make a late push for 50? Stay tuned!
After a brief stint on the DL, Joey Marciano has come back to work out of the bullpen but he’s still having a tough go getting Cal League hitters out. He’s allowed 3 runs in his 2 innings of relief work so far.
And one note on Tuesday night’s game, in the continuing comeback of Ian Gardeck:
More on tonight's 8-7 #SJGiants win:— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 8, 2018
- Franco hit streak at 10 games, tied game with 3-run HR in sixth, 58 RBI's tied for team lead
- Gardeck hit 94 on stadium gun in first game w/SJ in 35 months, Quakes had tying run at 2nd w/none out in 8th inning & he retired next 3 hitters
The Greenjackets were supposed to be getting in a makeup double-header following Tuesday night’s rain out, but they only managed to get in one game because, well, more rain.
Jose Marte had a rough go of it in the first game, allowing 5 runs in his 5 innings of work. But the Greenjackets offense kept coming back to bail him out. Orlando Garcia kept up his late season push for double-digit HRs, going deep for the 7th time this year (and second this week).
But it was really the two speedsters at the top of the lineup who did the damage. Malique Ziegler had a double, a walk and scored three runs, while Ismael Munguia was the guy knocking him in. Munguia had three hits that knocked in four runs, including the game winner.
The Greenjackets had a thrilling come from behind win leading to a dramatic walk off. Jacob Gonzalez knocked in the tying run in the bottom of the 6th (the third time Augusta had come back to tie the game). In the 7th and final frame (because it was supposed to be a double header remember), Logan Baldwin singled to open the inning. When Ziegler’s sac bunt was thrown away down the RF line, Baldwin attempted to come all the way around to score the game winner but was thrown out at the plate instead. Still, Ziegler made it all the way to 3b on the play, and he came in to score a moment later on Munguia’s third hit of the game, an infield single.
Heliot Ramos didn’t play in the game. That was the second consecutive game Augusta has played without Ramos in the lineup sandwiched around an off day. I believe he wasn’t in the posted lineups before Tuesday night’s postponement either, so he might be nursing something at this point in the very long season.
Before the game, the Augusta ownership group got a thrill when SRP Park was named the Top Ballpark in the country by Ballparks.Com. Did you know there was such a thing as Ballparks.com? Neither did I! But now we all know together.
Website names SRP Park baseball's top ballpark. https://t.co/EPZdck0tIa— David Lee (@David11Lee) August 8, 2018
Salem-Keizer is still on their All Star Break
AZL Giants were off
Apparently our theme for the day is big days for guy’s who’ve scuffled (perhaps that’s just an indication of a lot of scuffling going on!). Jean Pena hit just .150 in sporadic playing time in July (as well as a DL stint), striking out 12 times in 40 At Bats. After having homered 5 times in the first month of the season, he didn’t go deep at all in the second. But he returned to his homer hitting ways yesterday with his 6th HR of the season and first since June 29 — same as Arenado! That’s weird.
Let’s remember what his HR swing looked like from earlier in the year:
Video of SS Jean Pena (17.6Y) 5th HR of the season for the DSL Giants. Season: 88PA .286/.364/.571 34K%, 11BB%.— GPT (@giantsprospects) June 29, 2018
Hard to take anything out of DSL stats, but K% & ISO are likely the most important components for a hitter. Pena is on the opposite ends, scary K%, but excellent ISO. pic.twitter.com/1K92OjVUqf
That HR was a dramatic one, part of a three-run 11th inning rally that brought home the win. Extra innings were necessary because Jose Cruz had blown a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 9th, surrendering a home run of his own. But Cruz came back to hold the line there and kept the Mariners scoreless long enough to secure the win.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Jordan Johnson vs. Dillon Overton
Richmond: Jake McCasland vs. Mickey Jannis
San Jose: OFF DAY
Augusta: Aaron Phillips vs. Andrew Lee; Garrett Cave vs. Jackson Tetreault
Salem-Keizer: TBD (Sean Hjelle?) vs. TBD
AZL: TBD, TBD
DSL: Juan Sanchez
Getting into the dog days as head into the final stretch. San Jose has just two more off days after today — Sacramento has just one after yesterday. Next Monday will be Richmond’s last of the season as they head into a rugged final stretch of 23 games in 21 days without an off day. Woof! talk about dog days.
Dillon Overton is not Conner Overton’s brother, by the way.
And, of course, what can be more “end of season” than awards? Listen in as Joe Ritzo and Justin Allegri talk about San Jose Giants’ honorifics for 2018 in a new Inside the San Jose Giants podcast.