It was a beautiful day in the bay, and a beautiful day across the country.
Sure is a pretty day for baseball pic.twitter.com/GpuJ5aHpeA— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) April 22, 2019
Maybe this winter is finally really coming to an end.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Highlights: Blake Rivera strikes out nine; Heliot Ramos hit a double and his fifth home run; Frankie Tostado also hit a double and a home run.
A nice start by Shaun Anderson ended up wasted by the bullpen.
Anderson had his longest start at 5.2 innings, still with one run allowed and one walk allowed. Each of his four starts has had just one walk, and he now has those four walks against 20 strikeouts in 18.2 innings. The top pitching prospect still has a rough ERA at 3.86, but all his peripherals are trending in the right direction.
RHP Shaun Anderson (24.5Y) with a strong start this afternoon for Sacramento: 5.2IP 5H 1ER 1BB 5K. Season: 18.2IP 9H 8ER 4BB 20K.— GPT (@giantsprospects) April 22, 2019
Video of three strikeouts from today: pic.twitter.com/y69NnnTuFb
The bullpen, however, struggled. Tyler Rogers gave up three runs in one inning of work, followed by two runs given up by each Williams Jerez and Cory Taylor in about an inning of work.
Meanwhile, two hitters highlighted the Sacramento offense. Austin Slater was 2-for-4 with his fourth double and a walk, with a strikeout. Slater has picked up hits in five straight games, and has ten walks and nine strikeouts over his last ten games. Meanwhile, Donovan Solano had a 3-hit game, and is 9-for-16 (.563) over his last four games. He hit his third double on Monday.
And Breyvic Valera may only have picked up two walks in an 0-for-2 day, but he also had quite the defensive play.
That stole a hit from Jose Rojas of Salt Lake, but don’t feel bad for him. Rojas was 4-for-5 with two home runs, including a 7th inning grand slam.
One bit of injury news for Sacramento, Andrew Suarez has been put on the IL, after leaving Saturday’s game with what appeared to be a leg injury.
Suarez started on Saturday for Sacramento, and pitched five innings.— GPT (@giantsprospects) April 23, 2019
Now Andy Suarez is leaving the game in the 6th. Didn't look bad. Was motioning to the back of his upper leg as he came off the firld.— Doug (@moonwalkmcfly) April 21, 2019
At first, a 4-hit game with just one run seems like just another weak-hitting game for Richmond, who managed one hit on each side of a doubleheader on Saturday. But the Squirrels were in position for the win until the very end.
Jacob Heyward had the only score thanks to his first home run of the season, giving the Squirrels a 1-0 lead. It’s been a solid season for the 23-year old Heyward in his first go at Double-A. He’s batting .313 with a .488 OBP and a .469 SLG, impressively with 11 walks against 12 strikeouts in 15 games this season.
The pitching held up with a nice combined effort. Alfred Gutierrez had a short start, going to 3.2 IP with four hits and two walks and a hit batter, the latter loading the bases with two out in the fourth. That let Connor Overton come in, and strike out the first batter he faced to get Richmond out of the jam. Overton continued a solid season in relief, with a 1.08 ERA over five appearances this season, although he’s giving up a fair number of hits. Tyler Cyr added in another good inning of work, just his second appearances of the year. But Kieran Lovegrove gave up his first runs of the season in the 8th, falling behind.
Outside of the things that led to the win, Jonah Arenado had another two hits, including his first triple of the season. Arenado is batting .364 on the season now, although he did add his second error of the season in the game.
#DidHeliotWalk? #DidHeliotHomer? #DidHeliotStrikeOut? Yes, to all of them. But the good definitely outweighed the bad.
Ramos hit his fourth double and fifth home run, driving in the final of San Jose’s four runs in a shutout win. Ramos is now tied for second in the league’s home runs, even being one of the youngest men in the league.
And of the eight players with four or more home runs, Ramos’ .427 OBP leads the pack, despite being fifth of the eight in batting average at .263. That’s because he has collected 14 walks to 18 strikeouts so far, in 17 games.
Heliot Ramos locked in at the plate tonight. Doubled to deep center in his first at-bat before a 424-foot home run in his second AB. Ramos’ five homers this season are second in the Cal League.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) April 23, 2019
Honorable offensive mentions go to Chris Corbett, getting into just his third game. His only hit was a 2-run single, and he’s now batting 4-for-8 so far this season. Logan Baldwin also collected a pair of hits, getting above the Mendoza line after a 5-game hitting streak.
The pitching threw a shutout, though none of the individual performances were standouts. Caleb Baragar didn’t get as many strikeouts in this outing, but for the third time in four outings kept the opponents off the board. He has 20 strikeouts to six walks in 13.2 innings. Trevor Horn gave up his first walks in four appearances, but still has a 9:7 K:BB ratio over eight innings. John Russell matched his season-high in innings and strikeouts. Camilo Doval finished things off with a scoreless inning, whittling down that ERA slowly.
Blake Rivera got off to a rough start this season, but this start is moving well in the right direction.
With 17 strikeouts, he’s outdone his 2018 total of 14, even though he’s thrown seven less innings. That puts Rivera with a 17:7 K:BB ratio, and a nice .171 batting average against. Rivera’s curveball may end up being too much for the South Atlantic League, but he’ll get more time to prove that, and it should be very fun to watch him do so in his time there.
The offense was led by Frankie Tostado, who hit his third home run of the season in a 2-for-4 day, to improve his team-best batting average to .340, and also had his fourth double. Two innings later, he was matched by Shane Matheny, who also hit his third home run. That puts the two of them in a tie for the team lead in home runs.
Aaron Bond added two doubles to give him five on the season, catapulting him to the team lead in doubles. And Jacob Gonzalez was 1-for-2 with his third double, and adding a walk. Gonzalez has at least one hit and at least one walk in each of his last five games, raising his batting average to .250 and his on-base percentage to .404 for the season.
Jesus Tona ended up without a save opportunity, but remains unscored upon after nine innings, and has an amazing .034 batting average against, having given up just one hit.
Today’s Scheduled Starters
Sacramento (TBD) at Tacoma (TBD), 6:05 PM PDT
Richmond (Logan Webb) vs. Reading (David Parkinson), 6:35 PM EDT
San Jose (Garrett Cave) vs Modesto (TBD), 6:30 PM PDT
Augusta (Matt Frisbee) at Hickory (Yerry Rodriguez), 6:30 PM EDT
Logan Webb will be the highlight of the Giants pitchers on this day, although Matt Frisbee will interesting, making his second start since being promoted from the bullpen after the Santos injury.