I was dual-screening Wednesday evening catching strikeout-filled outings from left-handers Andrew Suarez and Matt Krook. Each was effective in their own unique way. And though one is typically average-to-below average with his control, the other was uncharacteristically so.
Firstly, Suarez was on the mound for the third time as a member of the Sacramento River Cats, and was making his first start at high altitude. Thankfully Suarez doesn't rely on a sinking-type pitch and his command is usually some of the best in the system. He kept the ball in the park and only surrendered five hits, the majority of which were ground balls that got through.
Where Suarez seemed off was with his control. He walked three batters for just the fourth time in 14 starts this year, and for just the sixth time in his last 30 starts, dating back to last season. He didn't appear to be getting squeezed, but was just slightly off with what is commonly excellent command of the corners.
Otherwise, Suarez struck out six batters and did so with his usual mix of fastballs and breaking balls – the slider being the go-to pitch.
In San Jose, Krook has been especially good in his last five starts. With eight strikeouts on Wednesday, his strikeout rate has climbed to 31.0% in the stretch and is now 23.9% on the season.
Krook walked two in the first inning, but only walked one more in his next five frames. At one point, he had retired nine in a row with six coming via the punch out. The recipe for success, as it was when I filmed him a few weeks ago, was a heavy dose of sinkers and sliders. He kept the ball down and forced many groundballs (eight) when he wasn't getting strikeouts.
Unlike his June 14 start in Modesto, Krook seemed to use his curveball more often in this most recent outing. It wasn't an out pitch, but more of a show pitch.
— Hitting his fourth home run in the last three games was San Jose catcher Aramis Garcia. The power surge has increased his already high ISO from .202 to .247. I can't see Garcia in San Jose for much longer. He's approaching 500 plate appearances at the current level and promotion season is upon us. And it would certainly benefit Richmond starters Jordan Johnson and Sam Coonrod to link up with their former battery mate. Though currently Jeff Arnold, a highly respected backstop among many Giants' arms, is behind the dish for Richmond.
— In El Paso, Chris Shaw fell a triple short of the cycle. He ripped a double off the right field wall and in his next plate appearance cleared the same wall. Even his single was smoked. Maybe this will push him into a nice streak. He entered the game with a .650 OPS in June.
— Cody Hall is back in the Giants organization and was assigned to Richmond. He made his debut with a 14-pitch, 12 strike domination where he struck out two batters among four outs.
— Major shout out to GreenJackets shortstop Brandon Van Horn, who has raised his batting average 52 points in just over a week. In nine games (35 plate appearances), Van Horn has recorded 17 singles and two doubles to move from .220 to .272. He also has five stolen bases in the stretch.
- Sacramento: Michael Roth (4.11 ERA, 1.57 WHIP)
- Richmond: Jordan Johnson (3.86 ERA, 1.36 WHIP)
- San Jose: Jake McCasland (5.23 ERA, 1.67 WHIP)
- Augusta: Garrett Williams (2.93 ERA, 1.60 WHIP)
- Salem-Keizer: TBD
TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP
- Tyler Beede: DNP
- Christian Arroyo: DNP
- Bryan Reynolds: 1-for-4, R, 2B, 3 SO
- Steven Duggar: 0-for-3, 3 SO
- Chris Shaw: 3-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 SO
- Sandro Fabian: 0-for-4, SO
- Heath Quinn: DNP
- Joan Gregorio: DNP
- Jordan Johnson: DNP
- Andrew Suarez: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K
- Sam Coonrod: DNP
- Matt Krook: 6 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K
- Aramis Garcia: 2-for-4, R, HR, SO
- C.J. Hinojosa: 1-for-4, R, BB
- Reyes Moronta: DNP
- Rodolfo Martinez: DNP
- Austin Slater: 1-for-1
- Kelvin Beltre: 1-for-3, BB
- Dan Slania: DNP
- Cory Taylor: DNP
- Chris Stratton: DNP
- Chase Johnson: DNP
- Jalen Miller: 1-for-4, SO, CS
- Melvin Adon: DNP
- Garrett Williams: DNP
- Dylan Davis: DNP
- Ryder Jones: 0-for-3, SO
- Hunter Cole: DNP
- Miguel Gomez: 0-for-4, SO
- Ryan Howard: 0-for-3, BB