Minor Lines, coming at you like:
Ismael Munguia doing what Ismael Munguia does best: making plays and providing energy! pic.twitter.com/XB1WdYwFSw— Roger Munter (@rog61) July 26, 2019
HIGHLIGHTS: Dereck Rodriguez threw 6 shutout innings; Joey Bart homered for second straight game; Marco Luciano reached base 4x; Juan Sanchez struck out 9.
Sacramento lost at Fresno Grizzlies (Nationals), 3-1
winning their series, 2-1
Dereck Rodriguez did everything he could to try to pitch Sacramento to the sweep — and maybe prepare for another start at the big league level soon — allowing just two hits and striking out 7 over his 6 shutout innings.
But D-Rod didn’t have his hair dried out in the locker room before Dillon MacNamara had squandered the slim 1-0 lead, allowing two solo HRs in the 7th. Fernando Abad would allow the final run of the night the next inning. Abad has hit a little bit of a rough stretch lately — he’s allowed six runs and 14 hits in his last 5 games (5.2 IP) while striking out just 3.
The RiverCats normally strong offense fell flat in this game. Chris Shaw helped them get on the board with their lone run when he led off the 6th with his first triple for Sacramento (he also had two triples with Richmond). Shaw has a ten game hitting streak going and is hitting .338/.370/.636 in the month of July. His BB/K has taken a little backslip this month however, as he’s drawn just 3 BBs against 17 Ks. For the season in Sacramento Shaw is posting a 26.5% K rate and a 6% BB rate.
Sacramento finally heads home, coming off a terrific 8-3 road trip — their longest trip of the year — and holding a 3 game lead in the Pacific Northern Division.
Not too many things have gone right for the Flying Squirrels this year, but one combination that is becoming a path to success is getting a lead to the Tyler Cyr-Melvin Adon combo late in games. Between the two, they have yet to allow an earned run in the month of July. Cyr has been nearly perfect this month, allowing just 1 hit over 11 innings while striking out 11. He continued that run last night with a perfect six up/six down performance to hand the lead on to Adon.
Adon suffered through a miserable May, but once Memorial Day was in his rearview mirror he really turned his season around. The big right-hander has allowed just 2 ER since the beginning of June, striking out 25 batters and walking 10 (two IBB) over 19.1 IP.
By the way, one thing that I haven’t talked about at all this year is how awful the entire Eastern League is when it comes to offense — which has probably been lost in the fog of the Squirrel’s particular struggles. But Richmond is actually in good company when it comes to swinging the ol’ limp noodle. Trey Wilson, Richmond’s play by play man dug into the numbers and the results are really eye-opening:
Since the Eastern League became a Double-A league in 1963, here are all years in which the league-wide batting average was below .250 and all years in which the league-wide ERA was below 3.75. pic.twitter.com/fdmV9ZfDr2— Trey Wilson (@treywilson757) July 23, 2019
I haven’t seen much of any theories on what’s behind this league wide blackout — just random generational tides ebbing and flowing I imagine, but this is a really extreme random variation.
San Jose lost at Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks), 4-3
winning their series, 2-1
#SJGiants bid for a sweep falls short with a 4-3 loss tonight. Visalia hit a walk-off home run leading off the bottom of the ninth.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 26, 2019
Bart 2-for-4 including his 11th HR of the year. Geraldo also homered. Quinn & Villar 2 hits apiece. Phillips 5 IP, 2 R, 4 SO. At Modesto tomorrow.
Joey Bart homered for the second consecutive game to end a fine series in Visalia, going 4 for 12 — the numbers don’t actually reflect how much hard contact he made in the series.
Joey Bart is locked in. Homers on a line drive to left in his first at-bat tonight. Has homered in back-to-back games now. .370 AVG, 5 HR last 12 games overall.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 26, 2019
Heliot better watch out or Joey’s gonna pass him for team lead!
But after jumping out to a 3-0 lead with solo runs in each of the first three innings, San Jose couldn’t quite grasp the momentum to sweep the Rawhide. Anfernee Grier, the Diamondbacks 2016 1st round pick won the game with the walk off HR off of piggy-back starter Casey Meisner.
Heath Quinn — who has struggled to stay on the field in his career — returned from his second IL stint of the season for this series, also going 4 for 12 over the three games with a double.
So, a series victory in Visalia is, in itself, cause for celebration after the club went five years without celebrating such a thing. And the Giants have started to play solid ball and put Ws up on the board. They head now to Modesto for an important division series against the Nuts. Currently the four teams in the Northern Division are separated by just two games in the standings.
Augusta won at Columbia Fireflies (Mets), 4-3
winning their series, 2-1
For the second straight night, Augusta jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning thanks to the long ball. And for the second straight night strong pitching helped them ride that early lead to the win. Last night it was Jose Layer who provided most of the night’s offense with a single swing of the bat.
Layer, the 22 year old 13th round pick in 2016, came into July hitting just .189/.237/.253 in his first full season, but he’s turned things around this month, adding .066 points to his OPS in 67 ABs in July. Last night’s laser beam to left was his 4th HR of the year and 2nd in his last three games.
Augusta, too, is locked in a tight battle for post-season contention. After falling just barely short in the 1st half, the Greenjackets are holding on tight to a slim 1 game lead, with a muddle of teams at the top of the division. They head to first half winners Lexington Legends as their road trip continues.
Salem-Keizer won at Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks) 2-0
losing their series, 1-2
Another sweep avoided, but this time in the good direction! Salem-Keizer held off Hillsboro’s attempts to start the second half with a home sweep, getting a shutout performance from Travis Perry, Cooper Casad, and Israel Cruz. Perry, the 28th rounder in 2018 from Indian River JC in Florida, is giving the Volcanoes a nice boost from the back-end of their rotation, with a 2.65 over eight appearances and just 4 earned runs allowed in his three starts. His 5 Ks yesterday was a career high.
The usual offensive output was more tempered in yesterday’s win. This year’s 2nd round pick Logan Wyatt scored all the teams runs. Wyatt showed off his on base skills, reaching base three times on a single, double and a walk. In fact, the top of the draft showed up well in the win, with Hunter Bishop, Wyatt, and Tyler Fitzgerald producing half the team’s hits, including their only two extra base hits.
Eighteen year old LHP Juan Sanchez showed no mercy on his camp-mates, punching out 9 Team Black hitters over 6 strong innings of work. Sanchez had a strong season anchoring the DSL team’s rotation in 2018, but he got off to slightly stilted beginning to his domestic career. He’s hit a solid patch lately though, surrendering just 5 earned runs in his last 4 starts (20.1 IP) with 22 Ks against just 6 BBs.
The one Team Black member to get a good swing off of Sanchez was Jairo Pomares, who did some left on left damage, picking up his 3rd triple of the year to drive in the team’s only run.
Team Orange got HRs from Luis Toribio and Very Large Human Conner Cannon, who moved into a tie atop the AZL HR leaderboard. Three of the top four HR hitters in the league are current or former members of the Giants Orange Team.
Marco Luciano showed off his on base skills, reaching base four times with two hits and two walks, while stealing his 6th base of the year. Luciano’s OBP is up to .439, and his 1.100 OPS is 5th in the league (just behind San Diego’s 1st round pick this year, 18 year old CJ Abrams who is hitting .410 in his debut season). Pomares is 8th in the league at 1.040.
Oh man, Luis! How can you make a run at .400 when you go 0 for 5? First I wreck Pomares’ streak and now Luis’? The cursing is unavoidable, man, just a completely inescapable vocational hazard.
Seventeen year old C/1b Ronaldo Flores picked up two hits — his fourth multi-hit game in his last six starts — to boost his average up to .331 and his OPS up to .762. Flores fellow Catcher Rayner Santana has disappeared from the DSL box scores lately, not appearing in a game since July 18.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Conner Menez) vs. Tacoma (Nabil Crismatt)
Richmond (Caleb Bargara) @ Altoona (Sean Brady)
San Jose (Matt Frisbee) @ Modesto (Penn Murfee)
Augusta (Keaton Winn) @ Lexington (TBD)
If you can’t make it to fireworks on the Fourth it’s okay because we will be doing Friday Night Fireworks too! Two nights, two amazing firework shows so make sure to come out, bring the family, and enjoy! pic.twitter.com/3BoomVCKeZ— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) July 1, 2019
Salem-Keizer (Kervin Castro) vs. Eugene (Chris Clarke)
DSL Giants (Jorge Garcia) @ DSL Mariners (TBD)
It’s Friday everybody! Let’s enjoy some weekend baseball. Winning is more fun than losing, isn’t it?