For those who missed it, the always informative Eric Longenhagen had a decent amount of Giants-related prospect questions in his Fangraphs’ chat yesterday, so let’s check in on some expert content!
HIGHLIGHTS: Steven Duggar reached base in all 6 PA; Chris Shaw had 4 hits including HR, two doubles; Keaton Winn had career high 8 Ks;
It was a historic night in Sacramento, where all kinds of esoteric records fell as the RiverCats pummeled the woebegone Rainier staff.
Chris Shaw started things off with a bang, drilling his 20th HR of the year (13th with Sacramento) in the bottom of the 1st to give Sacramento a 3-0 lead.
That would be the first of four hits on the night for Shaw, who piled up 9 TB with the homer, two doubles and a single. He also ended the night with a career high 6 RBI. In fact, the 3-4 hitters finished with a remarkable 10 RBI on the night, as Mike Gerber also had a three-run HR and a three hit night.
All of those RBIs, of course, were the result of a lot of traffic on the bases and the biggest contributor to that traffic was Steven Duggar. While Shaw and Gerber were having big night’s bashing the ball, Duggar had a historic night, while barely swinging the bat at all.
Steven Duggar has walked five times tonight, breaking the franchise record AND tying the PCL record pic.twitter.com/BxNs9KLEDk— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) July 27, 2019
Duggar did get around to swinging once — lining a clean single to give him a perfect 6 up/6 on kind of night!
Amazingly, Duggar wasn’t the only guy making history last night. While franchise longevity marks aren’t typically the kind of things players want to set in the minor leagues, they are notable nonetheless. So let’s raise a glass of salute to Steven Okert, who has taken the mound more than any pitcher in Sacramento history as of last night.
With his appearance in the fifth inning tonight, Steven Okert now has the most appearances for a pitcher in River Cats history. He has passed fellow lefty Ron Flores (2003-2007), with 187. pic.twitter.com/TVNBNH5KN9— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) July 27, 2019
Congratulations, Steven! And speaking of lefties, next time you see Williams Jerez he will appear somewhat unrecognizable!
New look Williams Jerez lost about 10 years and 20# of facial hair. pic.twitter.com/3rYvNugEHI— River Cat Tales #ForeverRC (@R_CatTales) July 27, 2019
Richmond won a second consecutive road game with a come-from-behind win over the Curve in Altoona. The Squirrels scrapped together four hits in a three-run rally in the 6th that put them back on top. Switch hitters Bryce Johnson and Gio Brusa both came through from their weaker, right-hand side to provide the tying and go ahead runs. Perhaps they were anticipating Pablo! Brusa displayed some of the most perfect ball placement I’ve ever seen to bring in the ultimate winner:
Coming through in a pinch— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) July 27, 2019
Gio Brusa knocks a pinch-hit RBI single and we’re back in the lead pic.twitter.com/v4Rn3DPmTg
That’s clearly what the reaction of all three Altoona players is at the end of that clip — how did he get that in there?
The real hero of the game, however, was LHP Sam Moll who inherited Frank Rubio’s bases loaded, one-out situation in the bottom of the 6th. Moll got out of the mess, inducing an inning-ending double play and the Curve never threatened again.
By the way — the reason I often tend to muse on the chance of Johneshwy Fargas finding a path to the majors some day? He’s really REALLY fast:
Heliot Ramos and Joey Bart had a strong presence in the Giants victory over the Nuts as the pair of prospects combined for five hits and four of San Jose’s runs. That started right from the top of the game when Ramos singled and came around to score the first run of the night on Bart’s RBI double.
Over the last two weeks Bart’s bat has really awoken. He’s 20 for his last 53, a stretch that includes 5 doubles and 5 HRs. And last night, he showed that he’s more than just a masher with some nifty base running skills:
Nice sequence for Joey Bart showing some baserunning instincts. Steals third with one out and then moments later scores on a foul pop up caught by the shortstop down the LF line.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 27, 2019
Bart having an excellent all-around game. Has two more hits, including a double off the LF wall.
Joey Bart had a fine night at the plate and on the bases. Following a SB of 3b he scored on popup to SS pic.twitter.com/3y3YHBQTAE— Roger Munter (@rog61) July 27, 2019
That is one fast moving Big Boy!
San Jose built up a 5-0 lead in the game, but they ran into some unexpected drama in the bottom of the 9th. Olbis Parra had all kinds of trouble finishing things off — mostly due to a series of well placed doinks — and Modesto ultimately brought the tying run to the plate with two outs. When yet another well-placed fly threatened to make things really scary, Heath Quinn supermanned himself into position to save the day.
Drama in the 9th! Heath Quinn saves the game with a lunging catch pic.twitter.com/3trB6SaHfe— Roger Munter (@rog61) July 27, 2019
Quinn has really struggled in 2019 — he’s struggled to stay on the field with two different IL stints, and he’s struggled when on the field as he’s struck out about 30% of the time this year. But he’s still out there helping his club win!
For the third consecutive night, Augusta jumped out to a lead with a big top of the 1st and then rode those runs to a victory with strong pitching. It’s a formula that’s working for the 1st place GreenJackets. Five singles, a walk, and error and a PB contributed to the 4 run 1st, and Augusta would not score again the rest of the night.
But Keaton Winn and two relievers were able to make that lead stick. Winn has been on quite a roll lately — he has given up 2 or fewer runs in each of his last 9 starts, stretching back to June 11. And last night he added a career high 8 Ks along with his usual impeccable control. Winn has a 79 to 19 K/BB ratio this year in 98.2 IP.
The night ended with erstwhile power-hitting OF Dylan Davis picking up his first professional Save, working through a little traffic drama for a scoreless 9th. Davis was a two-way player going into the 2014 draft, with some teams reportedly liking him better off the mound after he flashed upper 90s velocity in the Cape Cod League. In fact, his history on the mound goes far back — he pitched and hit for Gold Medal USA Baseball teams as both a 14U and 16U player. So this conversion has been a long-time coming. Though having just turned 26 (last week! Happy Birthday Dylan!), he’ll need to move quickly.
We’re 12-2 against Lexington this year. Is that good?— Augusta GreenJackets (@GreenJackets) July 27, 2019
RECAP ⬇️ https://t.co/hB48aRs4HJ
Side note: Diego Rincones has been missing from the Augusta lineup the last three nights. We’ll have to track down what’s going on with him.
Kervin Castro continues to play the “Ace” role for the Volcanoes. He pitched them to the series opening win, going 6 strong innings with 5 Ks. He made one mistake in his final inning, giving up a two-run HR to tighten the game. But the relief corps of Trevor Horn, Deiyerbert Bolivar and Tyler Schimpf held the one-run lead over the final 3 innings.
Castro is now 5th in the NWL in ERA and third in strikeouts. He has 41 Ks to just 7 BBs in his 47 innings of work. Castro has been getting a little scouting buzz, both in XST this spring and in the NWL, for a solid fastball which he commands well.
The hitting hero for the Volcanoes was SS Tyler Fitzgerald, who led the team with two hits — both doubles. His first double of the night knocked in SK’s first two runs. He would then come around to score the ultimate game-winner on back to back Wild Pitches from Eugene hurler Maikal Aguiar.
AZL Giants Teams were OFF last night
What do you mean “No Luis Matos?!” I protest this thorough Breach of Trust! I need my two daily Matos’ hits to make it through a blog!
Fine. Let’s see what else of interest happened here. All Star RHP Yoniel Ramirez got hung with the loss in this one, surrendering 1 run on 4 hits. But he also struck out a career high 4 over 1.1 innings. Ramirez has struck out 12 over his last 9.2 innings, while walking just 2 as his season is starting to pick up some steam. For the year he has 25 Ks in 27 IP.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Ty Blach) vs. Tacoma (Mike Wright)
Richmond (Alfred Gutierrez) @ Altoona (Beau Sulser)
San Jose (Jake Wong) @ Modesto (Austin Hutchinson)
Augusta (Adam Oller) @ Lexington (TBD)
Salem-Keizer (Jacob Lopez) vs. Eugene (Michael McAvene)
AZL Giants Black (Freddery Paulino) vs. ALZ Angels (TBD)
AZL Giants Orange (Jesus Gomez) @ AZL Cubs2 (TBD)
DSL Giants (Luis Castillo) vs. DSL Mariners
For those of you who paid close attention — that was a domestic side sweep on the night! Five games, five victories! And for those who have paid even closer attention, that’s the second straight night the system has managed the feat! Over the last two days, the only affiliate outside of the Dominican camp who has lost a game was the AZL Black team which lost an intrasquad match against the AZL Orange team. Things are really rolling in the right direction!
By the way, Sacramento’s 18 run explosion wasn’t the big offensive story of the night in the PCL — not even close! What would you say to an 11 HR game?