Blach hurls shutout, Bickford allows one hit

BOX SCORES: SAC / RIC / SJ / AUG / SK / AZL / DSL

For left-hander Ty Blach, the 2016 season, his second in a Sacramento River Cats uniform, has been one of mediocrity. His 4.23 ERA, alongside a 4.43 FIP, suggest that the amount of hits, home runs, and walks allowed make his higher ERA basically justified. But on Monday night, in a difficult place for many to pitch well, Blach threw one of the best games of his career — a six-hit shutout of the Las Vegas 51s, featuring zero walks and six strikeouts.

The venue of his dominant outing is relevant, in that aside from Pacific Coast League parks like Sacramento, Fresno, and Tacoma, almost all other away destinations include high elevation, and sometimes windy locations, such as Las Vegas at 2,001 feet above sea level. It was Blach's fourth career start in Sin City, where he has actually proven to be a pitching threat, where other, more sinker-oriented pitchers find trouble. Including Monday night's gem, Blach owns a 3.11 ERA and 1.000 WHIP with 22 strikeouts and three walks in 26 innings at Las Vegas. Compare that to sinkerballer Clayton Blackburn, who in two starts has a 7.43 ERA and 2.175 WHIP in Vegas.

Phil Bickford made his second career start for the San Jose Giants, and while this outing was not nearly as jaw-dropping as the June 19 thirteen-strikeout performance, he proved to still be on quite a roll as of late. In his last five starts, including his final three in Augusta before promotion, he has totaled 39 strikeouts in 28 innings while allowing just eight walks and 18 hits. On Monday night against Bakersfield, Bickford only lasted five innings (89 pitches) but surrendered just one hit while striking out seven. His high pitch count was likely due to three walks, and a number of high-ball counts, but he lowered his ERA to 2.51 and his FIP to 2.26.

OTHER NOTES

— Entering MLB Pipeline's Top-30 prospect list on Monday, and deservedly so, was San Jose Giants outfielder Steven Duggar, who debuts at No. 24. He's having another solid month, slashing .291/.385/.405 up until this point. One difference is that Duggar is striking out at a higher rate in June, 26.4% of his plate appearances to be exact, compared to 18.5% in April and May combined.

Hunter Cole's offensive tear through June continued Monday as the outfielder picked up his 16th and 17th double of the season, making it eight this month and five in the last eight games. His slash line of .414/.433/.897 in the past eight games has pushed his already impressive June stats even higher, to .330/.385/.625.

Caleb Smith struck out the side for Augusta, which is the fourth time he has done so in 24 appearances in 2016. Following up a 2015 where he averaged 14.3 strikeouts per nine innings with the AZL Giants and Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, Smith has that number right up there again with the GreenJackets, sitting at a 14.1 mark through 23.2 innings pitched. His 1.88 FIP is lowest in the Giants' organization, and is fifth lowest in the South Atlantic League among pitchers throwing more than 20 innings.

TOMORROW'S STARTERS


TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP

  1. Christian Arroyo: 0-for-4
  2. Tyler Beede: DNP
  3. Phil Bickford: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K
  4. Lucius Fox: 1-for-4, RBI, CS
  5. Chris Shaw: 1-for-4, R, RBI, 2 SO
  6. Sam Coonrod: DNP
  7. Mac Williamson: DNP
  8. Aramis Garcia: DNP
  9. Andrew Suarez: DNP
  10. Adalberto Mejia: DNP
  11. Clayton Blackburn: DNP
  12. Jalen Miller: DNP
  13. Ray Black: DNP
  14. Chase Johnson: DNP
  15. Jordan Johnson: DNP
  16. Steven Okert: DNP
  17. Kyle Crick: DNP
  18. Hunter Cole: 2-for-4, R, 2 2B, RBI, SO
  19. Austin Slater: DNP
  20. Joan Gregorio: DNP
  21. Michael Santos: DNP
  22. Ty Blach: 9 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
  23. Rodolfo Martinez: DNP
  24. Steven Duggar: 3-for-4, R, 2B, RBI, CS
  25. Mac Marshall: DNP
  26. Ronnie Jebavy: 0-for-3, R, BB, SB
  27. Chris Stratton: DNP
  28. Ian Gardeck: DNP
  29. Jake Smith: DNP
  30. Dylan Davis: DNP

LATEST NEWS