August 2019

Chris Shaw

August 1, 2019

It is the last month of the Minor League regular season, the day after the trade deadline, and we start the morning with Dereck Rodriguez announced as the starter for the game in Philadelphia against Jake Arrieta, but even more exciting is that Sam Selman has officially been called up and added to the roster.

Conner Menez will get the start for the River Cats today. I was expecting him to get a start with the Giants this week. The Missions are playing as the Flying Chanclas tonight as part of Divertido. They also have one of the Brewers top prospects Corey Ray making his Triple-A debut tonight as Trent Grisham was called up to the Big team.

Cats go down 1-2-3 in the first against Burch Smith and Menez will come out for the bottom half of the inning with Corey Ray to lead it off.

Ray goes down easily for Menez for out number one.

Orf with a double, and David Freites takes a Menez deep on the very next pitch to make it 2-0 here in the bottom of the first.

Missions’ pitcher Burch Smith has shut down the River Cats throwing a perfect game thru three.

Menez now has six strikeouts through three and has struck out at least two batters each inning. He has settled down since giving up the home run to Freitas in the first.

Menez has also walked two this inning putting runners on the corners but gets Hernan Perez to ground out to end the inning.

The Cats have gone down 12 straight, and Burch has thrown only 37 pitches through four complete innings of work.

Something is on fire behind the outfield wall here in the bottom of the fourth, and no one seems to know exactly what it is. The players are starting to look around as it appears to be affecting them and it is making it hazy on the broadcast.

The River Cats finally break up the perfect game in the sixth as Avelino gets a one out single to right. 

That brings out the Missions pitching coach as Adames comes to the plate. 

Avelino steals second.

Burch walks Adames and that will be the end of his night.

Miguel Sanchez replaces Burch.

Sanchez hits Rickard and the bases are loaded for Dubon.

Dubon grounds to third baseman Jake Hager, who throws to home for the force out on Avelino, and the bases are still loaded with two outs for Shaw.

Shaw with a chopper to second to end the inning and the River Cats cannot get a run across.

Five innings will be all for Menez as the River Cats go to Steven Okert in the sixth. 

Gerber starts the seventh with a ground rule double to left center.

Pena singles up the middle to knock in Gerber for the Cats first run, and Pena stays hot after hitting two home runs last night, and the Cats have cut the lead in half, 2-1 Missions.

Aramis goes down swinging, and Maris flies to center, two outs.

Avelino gets a base hit, and Pena goes to second.

Henry Ramos is pinch hitting for Okert.

Ramos grounds out to first and first baseman Hernan Perez drops the ball but the umpire rules that it was dropped during a transfer and Ramos is out. Cats still down 2-1.

Jerez comes in now to pitch in the bottom of the seventh and it’s an easy 1-2-3 inning for him.

Jimmy Nelson comes in to pitch for San Antonio in the eighth.

Nelson walks Rickard on four straight. 

Dubon gets his first River Cats hit with an infield single to short.

Rickard advances to second.

Shaw up and no outs.

Make that one out as he goes down swinging.

Gerber beats the shift and scores Rickard to tie the game.

Wild pitch by Jimmy Nelson and Dubon scores the go ahead run and the score is now 3-2 River Cats.

Nelson walks Pena, and that is it for him. Devin Williams comes in for the Missions.

Williams quickly strikes out Garcia and Maris to end the inning, but the River Cats have taken the lead. 

The Missions broadcaster just shared an interesting story. Apparently, Francisco Pena played on the 2001 Little League World Series Bronx team in which Danny Almonte pitched his perfect game, and Pena was the catcher. If you do not know the story, Almonte was a Little League rockstar who led the Bronx team to a third-place finish until it came out that he was actually 14 and not 11.

Abad comes in now to pitch the bottom of the eighth for the River Cats.

Avelino makes another great play at third, and he looks better there to me than he does at short stop. He has a cannon of an arm and athleticism, and range are top notch.

Avelino gets two balls hit to him and that is two quick outs.

Abad with an easy inning by striking out Cory Spangenberg.

Cats go down 1-2-3 in the ninth and the Missions are down to their last three outs.  Freitas, Perez, and Tyrone Taylor coming to bat.

Bottom of the ninth and the Cats are up by one.

David Freitas leading off and he was responsible for all the scoring for San Antonio in the first.

Wow, strike three was just called ball four and Freitas walks.

Base hit Hernan Perez.

Tyrone Taylor at the plate.

Abad needs to come out if there is anyone in that bullpen. Abad has not been the same lately, and this second inning is always a scare.

Double play ball hit to Avelino who tags third and fires to first.

Tying runner on second in Hernan Perez with two down.

Tyrone Stokes grounds out to Dubon at short who throws to first for the out and that is the game

After being no hit through five, the River Cats pull off a win over first place San Antonio 3-2.

Update to Selman’s debut in Philadelphia, he came in for one inning of work, gave up a home run to Roman Quinn, and struck out Miakel Franco for his first Major League strikeout.

August 2, 2019

Today’s moves. Steven Duggar is being recalled, Jamie Callahan has been assigned to Sacramento, and Melvin Adon is being promoted to Sacramento. Dereck Rodriguez is being sent back to Sacramento and had a few choice words to say about that. Scooter Gennett is making his Giants debut tonight, and Panik is safe for now because of the injury.

Newly acquired Jaylin Davis will be making his River Cats debut tonight and Enderson Franco gets the start tonight against Round Rock who are in second place behind the Missions in their division, and the Cats come in seven games over Fresno tonight. 

Ryan Martin on the mound today for Round Rock and gets Joey Rickard to first for out number one.

Dubon and Gerber single to left and right respectively before Pena hits a grounder back to Martin who easily throws him out at first.

Jaylin Davis with a two-run double scoring Gerber and Dubon and that is a good way to say hello to your new team, 2-0.

These two broadcasters for Round Rock sound seriously Texas; the accents are HEAVY.

Aramis goes down swinging to end the inning. 

Hartman started off the second with two quick outs but has given up a walk, single and another walk to load the bases for Gerber.

Hartman strikes Gerber out looking on the outside corner to end the bases loaded threat.

Franco gets an out but has given up three hits here in the bottom of the second including a double to Nick Tanielu to give Round Rock their first run; it could have been a tie game, but Dubon throws out Kyle Tucker on the relay at the plate.

Wild pitch now puts Tanielu at third with one out. That ball hit the dirt and got away from Pena behind the plate.

Franco gets out of the inning by striking out Quintana.

Francisco Pena starts off the bottom of the third for the River Cats, and these broadcasters are talking about the first time they met Tony Pena, Francisco’s dad, and how his accent was so heavy they could not understand him. They apparently have not heard themselves compared to most other people, including other Texans. 

Pena grounds out to second for the first out.

Jaylin Davis with his second single of the night, and Aramis follows suit, runners on first and second.

Adames up to bat and a wild pitch by Hartman allows Davis to get to third.

This home plate umpire sucks. He has already made some horrible calls on the strike zone, and this last one even should have gone against the Cats and I’m pointing it out. Thanks for the ball though bro.

Adames strikes out looking on the next pitch.

Avelino flies out for the third out.

Dubon starts the bottom half of the inning with a nice play at short by diving to his right, and from his knees guns down Chas McCormick at first for the out.

A quick 1-2-3 inning here for the Cats, and after three they lead 2-1 as Franco strikes out Merrifield.

To the top of the fifth where Mike Gerber leads it off with a double to right, and Pena flies out to center for the first out.

Jaylin Davis is now 3-3 on the night with two doubles and three RBI as Gerber scores from first and the score is now 3-1. Davis is making a great first impression to not only the River Cats but all of San Francisco’s fans. Thank you, Farhan.

That’s it for the Cats as Garcia flies out and Adames goes down swinging.

Enderson is starting to look tired as he gives up a double to Lorenzo Quintana to open the bottom of the fifth. I know that with all the moves lately the team is low on arms but I’m starting to get a little worried about this lead.

I hate jinxing the team.

Two run blast by Jack Mayfield ties it up, 3-3.

Abraham Toro ends the inning with a ground ball to Avelino at short. 

Game tied in the top of the sixth with two quick outs when Joey Rickard says hold my beer! Solo shot to left centerfield and the Cats regain the lead 4-3.

That will be all the scoring on the night, as Tyler Rogers comes in and works two innings for the save, and the Cats have extended their division lead to eight games over the Grizzlies.

August 3, 2019

I missed most of this game today, but the River Cats saw the debut of Joe McCarthy who went 0-3 with two walks in this back-and-forth match that saw the Cats blow a 9-7 lead in the eighth and lose 10-9. The River Cats had three home runs off the bats of Shaw, Rickard, and Davis but Melvin Adon handed out two walks and a three-run home run in two-thirds of an inning; welcome to Triple-A. The guy throws 100mph but as tonight shows, and his reputation precedes, he cannot find the strike zone.

August 4, 2019

Game 3 of the 4-game series and the Cats will start Quiala against Rogelio Armenteros, a fellow Cuban, and former teammate of Quiala’s.

Armenteros makes easy work of the Cats setting them down 1-2-3.

Quiala starts the first with a base hit to Myles Straw, followed by a wild pitch that advances him to second.

A walk to Toro, and although he gets Mayfield to strikeout, the always dangerous Kyle Tucker, who is really a River Cats killer, gets an infield hit. That play should be an error as Dubon threw the ball into the dirt and past the first baseman that allows Straw to score, 1-0.

Taylor Jones hits a sac fly to score Toro, and that will be all in the inning, as Kyle Tucker gets picked off between first and second for the out. The Cats are now down 2-0.

On the first pitch of the second inning, Jaylin Davis with a solo shot that got caught in the wind and bounces off the top of the wall for a home run. That looked like a pop fly, but the wind just kept carrying it enough to go out, 2-1.

Chris Shaw hits a shot up the middle and a crazy diving play by Jack Mayfield to his right and gets up to throw out Shaw at first. Shaw looks amazed.

Joe McCarthy who is the DH tonight, gets a double in his first at bat.

The Cats cannot get McCarthy in as Pena strikes out and Avelino flies out to end the inning.

Chas McCormick gets that run back in the bottom of the second with a solo home run to left, and its 3-1 Round Rock after two.

Peter Maris grounds out to start the third, but Rickard, Dubon, and Gerber all single and Rickard comes around to score, 3-2.

Davis grounds out to Straw but that scores Dubon and its tied 3-3.

Is Jaylin Davis really this good? He is hitting .700 since joining the Cats and I know it has only been a couple of game but my goodness this guy is getting hotter by the day.

I can’t even complain that Shaw just popped one up to end the inning because I’m still fascinated by Davis. The buzz on twitter about him is crazy.

Can the Astros just call Tucker up? I mean, get his bat out of here so we don’t have to deal with him. After a walk and a single, Tucker doubles in Toro to get the Express back on top 4-3.

Both pitchers are just mowing down the batters here for the next couple of innings, and Jaylin Davis doubles in the top of the sixth but the Cats are unable to jump on that to tie the game after loading the bases with no outs. The funny part is that the Round Rock announcers are getting bored and complaining about how slow these two pitchers are. Maybe it’s a Cuban thing.

The announcers, one being Nolan Ryan’s grandson Jackson who also has cerebral palsy, are really getting bored and telling the most random stories.

That will be it here in the bottom of the sixth for Quiala as Jaime Callahan comes in to replace him. Callahan is former #2 pick by the Red Sox in 2012, and he also saw some Major League action with the Mets in 2017.

Callahan gets two outs on three pitches in his first River Cats appearance but has now given up four straight hits including a double by Myles Straw and the score is now 7-3 Round Rock. Callahan strikes out Toro to end the inning, but the damage is done.

Top of the seventh and Humbert Castellanos comes in to pitch for Round Rock. I have never heard of this guy, but the announcers can’t stop talking about him. Let us see how he does.

Okay, Castellanos does look that good, as he and Felipe Paulino shut down the River Cats bats over the last three innings and the Express win this by a score of 7-3.

Zach Green was optioned back to Sacramento today which was expected since he has not played a lot and has not been doing much when he has had the opportunity to play since his first game with the Giants.

August 5, 2019

First news I hear today is that Ryan Dull who was DFA’d by Oakland a couple of days ago has been picked up by the Giants and is being assigned to Sacramento. This team is starting to look a lot different than when they were last in town, but they seem to be getting better. The team needs some fresh arms in the bullpen.

Pavs reported that Conner Menez has a locker in the Giants’ clubhouse and will be making the start for them tomorrow against the Nationals.

Down here on the farm, the Cats are going into the fourth and final game of the series with Round Rock. They will be facing Framber Valdez, and the Cats will be using Casey Meisner.

UGH. The audio is not working on MiLB. Part of me is glad because those two announcers are driving me crazy, but I guess I have got nothing to report on this game.

Cats lose three in a row as they drop this one 6-3 but are still able to maintain a seven-game lead over Fresno who lost to San Antonio 9-8 tonight.

August 6, 2019

Sacramento has the day off today.

The Giants have just announced that Joe Panik was DFA’d today. I have always liked Joe so hopefully he can get picked up some place.

August 7, 2019

The Cats are back in town tonight and will start a three-game series with Memphis. From what I can tell, Yadier Molina is still with the Redbirds at least through today, so thank you baseball gods for answering my prayers. Ok, that may be a little early, but I mean it sincerely. I am just really hoping we see Molina in the game tonight.

Dereck Rodriguez gets the ball tonight for the first time since he commented on being sent back down after his last start for the Giants. Dereck was not interested in discussing the matter when I interviewed him and said that he has said what he had to say about the issue.

Today marks the first day that Mauricio Dubon makes his first River Cats appearance here at Raley Field, so I am expecting a bunch of his friends, family, and fans out and excited to see him in the Sacramento uniform.

Dubon’s story intrigues me, but is it a heartwarming story or one of exploitation? He will never admit to the latter, I am sure. He may have dreamt of coming to the U.S. to play ball, and in the promises of a better life but his feels weird to me.

Dereck looks like he is coming out with a new kind of fire in his belly.

Today’s game was slow but after being down 2-0 through four, the River Cats pulled this one off by a score of 4-2 with good old fashioned small ball. Chris Shaw had two RBI on the night in the sixth with a line drive to right that scored Dubon and Davis. The story of the night was really Rodriguez.

Dereck pitched seven complete, allowing two runs, and striking out six. This was a great outing for him after the drama this past week.

August 8, 2019

I want to take a moment away from baseball for a second to say Happy Birthday to mom Mary Lucy Espinoza who would have been 80 years old today and would be so proud and supportive of me and this project. Love you mom. 

In today’s transactions, Joey Rickard and Sam Selman are called up to the Giants as Duggar goes down with an injury to the shoulder that he had surgery on last year, and Anderson is going down with a blister. Per Bochy, both are expected to return from the IL after the 10 days are over.

Enderson Franco gets the ball today, and he will be going up against Genesis Cabrera who is ST Louis’ #11 overall, and #4 pitching prospect. It will be fun to watch him pitch, and tomorrow Daniel PonceDeLeon is scheduled to throw for the Redbirds.

This radio announcer for the birds is really rubbing me the wrong way and comes off like a rude jerk. I noticed it yesterday but did not think much about it because we all have bad or stressful days, but he is still cranky.  Today he complained about the music in the press room, so he had someone change it. I get that it is not a major issue, but he just does not seem like a pleasant person to be around.

Enderson goes four complete today and it is his best performance of the year. He did not allow a run, on two hits and four strikeouts. The River Cats lead this one 4-0 which came from a solo home run from Francisco Pena in the second, and a pair of doubles by Joe McCarthy and Levi Michael.

Okert comes in for a shutout inning and the River Cats go to Ryan Dull who makes his River Cats debut tonight here in the top of the sixth.

Randy Arozarena leading off, grounds to Dubon for the first out.

Harrison Bader gets a tater to make the score 4-1.

Dull shakes it off and gets two quick outs off the bats of Ravelo and Sosa who both ground out to Dubon.

Abad comes in here in the seventh, strikes out Justin Williams, gives up a single to Ramon Urias, and induces a double play off the bat of Max Schrock. River Cats still lead 4-1.

The Cats have something going here in the bottom of the seventh with one out and two on the corners.

That will bring an end to Cabrera’s night for the Redbirds.

Seth Elledge is the new pitcher for Memphis, and he will be facing Jaylin Davis.

Elledge has walked Davis to load the bases for Green.

Green can bust this game wide open, and there is only one out.

Green hits a fly ball to center that will be deep enough to score Avelino on the tag. That is Green’s 61st RBI and the score is 5-1.

Pena with another deep shot to center but not far enough. His former teammate Harrison Bader on the run makes the catch over his head.

Bader started to run in and throws the ball over his should to the kids on the centerfield berm, except it is not high enough and hits the fence.

Poor kids.

Luckily one of the Cats relief pitchers went out to pick it up and throw it to the kids.

Abad is working his second inning here in the eighth.

Jose Godoy strikes out for the first out.

Dubon makes a nice stop on a ball hit by Jose Martinez with a dive up the middle, but he just lays there knowing he doesn’t have a play at first.

Base hit Randy Arozoarena and here comes Brundage for Abad.

Rogers comes in and Bader gets a hit to knock in a run, 5-2.

The run is charged to Abad.

Rogers gets Ravelo to hit into a 6-4-3 double play and we are going to the bottom of the eighth.

Six quick outs and the River Cats win this one 5-2.

Newly signed pitcher Justin Haley who had been playing in Korea, will get the start for the Cats on Saturday.

August 9, 2019

It has been announced that Logan Webb has been called up to Sacramento. Twitter is all a flutter, but I could really care less. I tweeted about the Webb of lies behind his PED bust and released statement. Webb becomes the third Sacramento area player to be on the team this year, fourth if you count Stassi who is on the IL, and really grew up in Yuba City.

Kyle Barraclough has also been signed by the Giants. A pitcher who is a bay area native has been assigned to the River Cats as well. Selman has also been sent down, and same with Tyler Austin who elected free agency instead. The big news of the day for long time River Cats and Giants fans is that Joe Panik has been signed by the Mets. It worked out well as he only lives about an hour from there.

Today’s pitching matchup will have Yoanys Quiala for the River Cats facing Daniel Poncedeleon for the Redbirds.

This game was all Redbirds from the start, and except for an Adolis Garcia solo home run in the top of the seventh, the Redbirds scored 15 runs on small ball and walks. Quiala even got himself ejected after allowing six runs in four and two-third innings.

The highlight of the night was Redbirds starting pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon who would throw seven complete innings of shutout baseball, allowing two hits, one in the second and one in the fourth, while striking out 11 and not issuing any walks. The River Cats would drop this by a score of 15-0.

August 10, 2019

Happy National Baseball Card Day!!

Today the Cats start a four-game series against the Nashville Sounds. I am a little disappointed because this was the team the Chase d’Arnaud started the season with and I was looking forward to seeing him play but he is no longer on the team.

I found out that Yoanys Quiala was released by the team today, and granted he was not the team’s best pitcher, and his last outing was disastrous, but I have a lot of respect for the guy, and I hope that he gets picked up somewhere. He is a horse. Maybe he will not be a major leaguer, but he will eat your innings for you, and he is not horrible. I am glad I had the opportunity to get to know him and learn about his journey from Cuba. Quila was one of six Cubans on the Corpus Christi roster a couple of years ago, and the group also included Yordan Alvarez. The Astros intentionally did this to help the young countrymen assimilate. Prior to being signed by the Giants, Quiala had also been suspended for 80-games in 2018 for PED use which led to his release by the Astros. I had the opportunity to meet Yoanys a few days ago.

Yoanys started learning baseball at the age of five from his father but wouldn’t start playing organized ball until he was nine when a local coach looking for players to fill a roster spot saw him and had him play in the outfield.

I didn’t know what I was doing out there, but that day that I was playing in the outfield I got a ball and threw it home, and I threw it out of the playing field. Afterwards the coach said, let’s try you as a pitcher and started giving me basic lessons because I could throw hard.

Quiala explained how playing baseball in Cuba was difficult because just to play you had to pass certain qualifications by each age group starting at age ten, if you passed, you kept moving forward, but if you could not complete those requirements you were done. The officials would then pick the best players from those who qualified to continue playing.

Baseball fans are well aware of players like Livian and Orlando Hernandez, Aroldis Chapman, and Yoenis Cespedes and their stories of escaping Cuba just for a chance to play professionally around the world. Running away while the National team was abroad in another county, escaping the island in the middle of night in shark infested waters in hopes to find asylum and become eligible to be signed after a year of residency in their new homeland. As the political climate between the United States and Cuba has warmed a little over the past couple of years, I was curious what Quiala’s journey was like.

Nothing has really changed to be honest; we were at sea for three days until we reached the Dominican Republic. You still need to meet someone who will take you from there. Maybe some things are a little easier, I was finally able to visit my family for the first time this past January.

Quila also talked about how some of the greatest players he’s seen such as pitcher Pedro Lazo, and slugger Friedrich Cespeda would have been superstars if the had a chance to play in the Major Leagues during their prime.

Last week Quiala pitched against former teammate Rogelio Armenteros.

We didn’t have a chance to talk when I got into town, but the next day we did catch up a little bit at the ballpark. The last time I faced him was back in Cuba as teenagers and it was a pitcher’s duel where he pitched six shutout innings, and I pitched seven shutout innings. Unfortunately, his team would come back to win after I left the game.

Newly acquired Justin Case Haley will start for the River Cats tonight. Haley is a Fair Oaks native who had been playing in Korea this past season. This will also be the first time that three Sacramento natives will be in the River Cats starting lineup. Fun fact, he was released by his team in Korea when they signed Mac Williamson.

The River Cats were blown out again tonight as Justin Haley gave up seven runs in two and two-third innings, and three of the four relief pitchers each gave up two additional runs.

The River Cats would hit three solo home runs to account for all their runs from Green, Dubon, and Gerber, but the Redbirds would pile on 13 runs backed by seven home runs including two by Patrick Wisdom.

Dubon rubs me the wrong way, and I think the Redbirds felt the same way tonight. After hitting a solo home run in the third, he arrogantly watched it leave the park and showboated around the bases; now do not get me wrong, I’m all for this kind of stuff, but not when you’re down six runs and hit a solo home run. Jaylin Davis who was next to bat was hit on the first pitch he saw, an obvious retaliation because of Dubon.

Later in the game Patrick Wisdom slid hard into second base to break up a double play and put Dubon on the ground, and the umpire did not issue any kind of warnings, so I’m guessing the kid isn’t making many friends out there.

August 11, 2019

Logan Webb is here and in uniform, but he is not on the roster yet. He caught the ceremonial first pitch, but he was not announced.

Carlos Torres is making his debut for the River Cats today. Torres faced the River Cats a couple of times earlier this year when he was with the Chihuahuas early in the season and did well in his outing so I am optimistic about what he can do for the River Cats down the stretch.

Torres pitched great! He went three perfect innings before the River Cats went to Casey Meisner. 

First pitch swinging, Zach Granite flies to left for the first out which will bring up Ibanez.

Base hit for Andy Ibanez.

Ronald Guzman coming to the plate and this man is a monster. He has to be the second largest player, after Franmil Reyes, who I’ve seen play here at Raley Field, and I’ve also been right next to Frank Thomas.

Towering two-run home run for Guzman, and the Sounds are on the board, 2-0.

Joe McCarthy with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth cuts the Sounds lead in half, 2-1.

This game has been a battle between the pitchers tonight who have held both teams in check, most notably Tim Dillard who went five and a third innings and holding the River Cats to one run. Casey Meisner has also been brilliant with his only mistake being the pitch to Guzman in the fourth. He too has just completed his fifth inning of work as we go into the bottom of the eighth.

New pitcher for Nashville is Phillips Valdez.

Levi Michael up to bat for the River Cats and he goes down swinging for the first out.

Mike Gerber takes the first pitch and lines it to center for a double.

The Sounds’ pitching coach comes out to talk to Valdez with Jaylin Davis coming to bat.

Jaylin Davis down the line to left for a double, and the River Cats tie this up scoring Mike Gerber, 2-2.

Valdez strikes out the side, but the damage was done going into the ninth.

Ferando Abad comes in for the River Cats to start the ninth and gets four quick outs.

Yes, he got four outs. The inning started with both Andy Ibanez and Ronald Guzman both hitting easy fly balls to the outfield for the first two outs; Abad then struck out Matt Davidson swinging on a wild pitch, and Davidson taking first on the drop third strike. Scott Heineman then grounded out to shortstop to end the innings. Four up, four down.

Still tied 2-2 going into the bottom of the ninth with Adames, Garcia, and McCarthy due up for the River Cats.

Valdez comes out for another inning of work for the Sounds.

Cristhian Adames starts things off with a walk and that will bring out the Sounds’ pitching coach again, and the River Cats also have Mauricio Dubon come in to pinch run for Adames.

Valdez gets McCarthy to line out to shortstop Eli White for out number one.

Avelino base hit to right walks it off as Dubon scores from first! Cats win 3-2. 

Tomorrow’s game should be a good one. Dereck Rodriguez takes on Seth Maness.

August 12, 2019

Menez gets optioned by the Giants, so he will be back to Sacramento soon, and Ryan Dull was DFA’d because the Giants acquired Burch Smith, and Dillon McNamara was sent to the IL, but I am sure this was just a roster move. Dereck Rodriguez was bump from his start tonight for the River Cats because it was just announced that Logan Webb is making his Triple-A debut tonight. I know I rail against him for his PED excuse, but you always hope the guy succeeds if he truly is clean and as good as they say he is.

Reno has moved into second place trailing by seven games, and they have been on a hot streak. Fresno has slipped to ten games behind. This will make this upcoming series against Reno a big one.

Logan Webb’s first pitch is at 7:08pm, and it is called ball one on Granite.

Two quick outs for Webb here in the first before Ronald Guzman gets a base hit to center.

Webb then gets Matt Davidson to ground into a force out play at second, and Logan Webb gets out of the first on eight pitches. 

Seth Maness on the mound for the Nashville Sounds tonight.

Mauricio Dubon doubles to start the bottom of the first.

Gerber goes down on a foul tip strikeout. One down.

Jaylin Davis reaches on a fielder’s choice on a ball hit to shortstop Eli White. Dubon had committed to third on the hit and White with the throw to Patrick Wisdom who easily tags Dubon for out number two, and Davis is safe at first. Two down.

Zach Green with a two-run shot to left center, his 25th of the year, and the River Cats have a quick 2-0 lead.

Whew!!! I saw my life flash before my eyes!

I was adjusting the settings on my camera when I saw the ball coming in hot off the bat of Aramis Garcia out of the corner of my eye and with a very loud “Oh shit” I jumped out of the way. I was also lucky that the ball hit a dugout rail about five feet away from me and bounced off.

I must admit that Logan Webb looks really good. He gets into a little trouble here in the seventh, but he is able to work out of it with two more strikeouts for seven on the night. Nashville started to figure him out in fifth and then scored a run in the sixth, as Matt Davidson knocks in his 79th RBI of the season for the Sounds. Of the seven hits that Webb allowed tonight, five have come since the fifth inning when it started looking like he was pressing to get his pitches over. It looks like that will be all for Webb tonight as Selman begins to warm up in the bullpen.

Maness also did well for the Sounds going five innings and only giving up the home run to Green in the first. The score is now 2-1 River Cats after seven complete. 

Dubon gets the cats going with a base hit in the bottom of the seventh with two outs.

A wild pitch to Gerber by Barlow and Dubon makes it to third, but Gerber strikes out to end the inning.

Selman in here in the eighth for the River Cats.

Zach Granite gets a hit up the middle for the Sounds.

Eli White singles, Granite on his way to third, and as the throw from McCarthy comes in skips off Green’s foot into the camera well. Granite scores, White to second, and McCarthy is charged with an error. The game is tied.

Selman does not get out of this inning. Dan Winkler comes in to replace him. Runners on first and second.

5-4-3 double play on the first pitch from Winkler who then strikes out Davidson to get out of the inning.

Jaylin Davis, Chris Shaw, and Zach Green due up here in the bottom of the eighth and the score is tied at 2-2.

Reed Garrett replaces Joe Barlow for the Sounds, and he strikes out the side.

Patrick Wisdom grounds out to start the ninth.

Winkler gives up a solo home run to Nick Solack giving Nashville the 3-2 lead.

Reno has lost already so if the River Cats don’t pull out a win, they will at least not lose any ground on their division lead.

Federowicz flies to right, and Christian Lopes goes down swinging and the River Cats are down to their last three outs.

Jake Petricka replaces Garrett and another 1-2-3 inning puts an end to this game, and the River Cats lose 3-2.

There was talk online today that Dereck Rodriguez wasn’t pushed back or skipped, but that he would piggyback Webb but that was obviously not the case, and when I saw him he was wearing a warmup shirt.

Tomorrow Enderson Franco gets the ball for the River Cats, and the team is off on Wednesday. The team has a magic number of 14, but the way Reno has been playing and compared to how the Cats have been, this is a bad time to get cold as the Cats have a tough schedule coming up to end the season. 

August 13, 2019

Alex Dickerson is making a rehab appearance in Sacramento, and Bridget and I are so immature as we have been all over twitter with the Dick jokes, but everyone loves it. We are expecting the “Dick, Dick, Dick” chants that all the Giants fans love tonight as well. In other moves, since Menez was sent down, Aramis Garcia was called up. Jeff Young of Round the Foghorn tweeted that he wondered if this was a short-term strategy as Garcia has a 1.205 OPS against lefties here in Sacramento and the Giants are facing Oakland’s lefty Brett Anderson; fun fact Anderson was a former River Cat as well. Garcia will get the start at first tonight for the Giants.

Abiatal Avelino is with the Giants now as well and he has come a long way since the beginning of the year. His hitting, his glove, it will be exciting to watch him play with the big team, and hopefully he gets in regularly. His presence will be missed though here in Sacramento as he is such a great character that lightens up the dugout with his personality.

Justin Haley was placed on the 7-Day IL because he was rushed to the ER after his appearance on Saturday, but I do not know what is going on.

Tonight’s game will feature Enderson Franco versus Brock Burke.

Nasville and Sacramento both have 1-2-3 first innings.

Patrick Wisdom opens the top of the second for Nashville with a double to left and that brings up Scott Heineman.

Franco strikes out Heineman on three pitches for the first out.

The Sounds are on the board first on a double by Eli White that easily scores Wisdom, 1-0.

Jett Bandy strikes out for the second out of the inning.

Franco nearly picked off White at second with a very quick move to the base; he was called safe but that was close.

Tim Federowicz with a base hit to left and White scores from second, 2-0 Sounds.

Christian Lopes grounds out to third, and the Cats will be coming to bat.

Zach Green goes down looking against Burke for out number one.

Francisco Pena cuts the lead in half with a solo home run, 2-1.

Adames with the easy ground ball to first for out number two.

A base hit to left by McCarthy and walk to Freeman put two on for Levi Michael.

Michael hits one to right center that Heineman deflects off his glove and the ball gets away to right fielder Nick Solak, and McCarthy and Freeman score, two run double by Michael puts the Cats up 3-2.

The chanting of “Dick, Dick, Dick” starts in the crowd as Alex Dickerson is announced and comes to bat.

Dickerson with the flyball to right ends the inning.

The two teams have a very similar third inning.

The Sounds pick up a run and tie the game in the top of the third after Nick Solak walks to open the inning and Ronald Guzman and Patrick Wisdom knock him in with back-to-back singles.

The River Cats get their lead back in the bottom half of the inning when Francisco Pena pops one up between second and the outfield which deflects off the glove of second baseman Christian Lopes that easily scores Dubon from first after he walked to start the inning and the Cats now lead 4-3 after three.

After starting the off the fourth by hitting Jett Bandy, Franco sets the Sounds down quietly.

Joe McCarthy starts off the River Cats half of the inning with a walk, followed by a double by Freeman and a single by Michael puts two runs on the board for the Cats, 6-3.

The Sounds go to the bullpen and Wei-Chieh Huang replaces Burke.

Huang strikes out Dubon and Davis and then gets Green to fly out to left and that will be all for the Cats.

Franco ended the top of the fifth with a double play ball by Scott Heineman. Levi Michael gives a look to the runner, Patrick Wisdom, for coming in hard, but after seeing the replay, Michael was way down the baseline as he threw to first. The slide was good. Other than that it was a quick inning for both teams who go down quietly. 

Eli White opens the sixth with a strike out, and that will bring up Jeff Bandy.

Bandy walks.

Tim Federowicz flies to left and a nice running leap by Gerber to make the catch, two down.

Base hit by Christian Lopes puts runners on the corners for Nick Solak.

Two-run double for Solak with two down, and its now 6-5.

Kline comes out to talk to Franco.

Franco gets ready to pitch to Andy Ibanez.

Base hit Ibanez to right scores Solak, and the game is now tied off the bat of Andy Ibanez. Here comes Brundage, and it looks like Okert will be coming in for Franco with one on and two outs.

Okert comes in with two outs to replace Franco and quickly strikes out Ronald Guzman to end the inning.

Shane Carle comes in for the Sounds replacing Wei-Chieh Huang here in the bottom of the sixth.

Levi Michael gets a base hit off the glove of second baseman Christian Lopes, but the Cats go down in order after that.

Kyle Barraclough is making his River Cats debut tonight replacing Okert here in the seventh.

He gives up a double to Patrick Wisdom and then a passed ball charged to Freeman moves Wisdom to third.

Base hit by Scott Heineman up the middle scores Wisdom and the Sounds take the lead 7-6.

Barraclough walks Eli White, and a base hit to Jett Bandy loads the bases for Federowicz, and there are still no out.

Barraclough walks Federowicz, and that score Heineman to extend the lead to 8-6.0

That is all for Barraclough.

Tyler Rogers is coming in to try to stop the bleeding. Still no outs.

Rogers strikes out the first batter he faces, Christian Lopes for the first out.

Solak with another hit, and the bases are still full, 9-6.

Grand slam Andy Ibanez!

The ball was a line drive that just barely gets over the fence in left and its now 13-6 Nashville leading.

Well…. finally. A ground out by Ronald Guzman, and a Patrick Wisdom pop up put this inning to a close.

The River Cats go down in order in the bottom of the seventh.

Melvin Adon and his 23.45 ERA comes in for the River Cats in the eighth.

Wow! A drunk fan just shouted, “Strike three” and got the River Cats PA announcer to say, “And that’s another strike out”, but the problem was that it was only the second strike.

Adon gets out of the inning on 19 pitches, getting two strike outs; it was not pretty but it got the job done. The guy throws hard, but I do not think he is going to be able to harness this to throw strikes consistently.

Cats go down in order in the eighth, and Jamie Callahan comes in to replace Adon in the ninth with the River Cats trailing 13-6.

The River Cats are down to their final three outs to make something happen. 

Alex Dickerson is due up to start the inning, but he is being pinch hit for by Chris Shaw who draws a walk.

Mauricio Dubon pops up to first in foul territory, one down.

Jaylin Davis is out number two as he flies to right.

Zach Green walks putting runners on first and second for Francisco Pena.

Double by Pena! Shaw scores and its 13-7!

Cristhian Adames goes oppo-taco! Three run home run and the River Cats are coming back, 13-10

The game ends on a line drive to Ronald Guzman who makes a diving grab to snag the ball off the bat of McCarthy.

August 14, 2019

River Cats are off today before starting a huge four game series in Reno tomorrow. Dereck Rodriguez is rumored to start tomorrow for the Giants, which I guess would explain and make up for his skipped start for Logan Webb on Monday. Bochy responding to everything that happened last week with Rodriguez’ demotion and comment only said, “I’ll tell you more after the game”.

Dickerson was activated after the one game in Sacramento and Pablo goes to the IL. With the day off today and then on the road tomorrow, it was not worth it for the Giants to keep him in Sacramento, and they want him ready to go for this weekend in Arizona.

The Giants have not named their starter for Saturday, and many are speculating that it is going to be Logan Webb. He did well the other night, but I do not think he is ready for the show. Is he that good? I do not know. I was speaking to a scout yesterday who said that he could be a back-end starter, but if he does not figure out the change, then he will be a reliever.

August 15, 2019

Well after his horrible debut in which he could not get anyone out on Tuesday Kyle Barraclough has been DFA’d, Francisco Abad has been added to the Giants’ roster, Williams Jerez and Aramis Garcia are optioned back to Sacramento, and Dereck Rodriguez gets the start for San Francisco today.

The River Cats will start a very big four game series and they will be starting another new pitcher in Burch Smith to face the Aces. He will be facing Jon Duplantier who the Cats lit up the last time they faced him here at Raley Field.

There is a last-minute pitching update as Duplantier has been recalled to Arizona, and the River Cats will now face Connor Grey.

After Gerber and Dubon flyout and ground out respectively Jaylin Davis puts the cats on the board with a home rim to right field. Shaw grounds out to end the inning and the Aces are coming up to allow us our first look at Burch Smith. 1-0 River Cats.

Coming into this game Burch has given up 44 hits while striking out 85 in 77 innings this year for San Antonio. The River Cats faced Burch when they played Sacramento at the end of July and he had a perfect game through five until Avelino got a hit off of him in the sixth.

Burch shuts down the Aces 1-2-3 in the first including a striking out Kevin Cron to end the inning.

Green singles to start the inning and is thrown out at second trying to advance on a ball in the dirt, but the carom goes just in front of catcher Alberto Rios who easily throws him out at second.

Pena grounds out and McCarthy flies out to end the inning.

After getting Blake Swihart to ground out, Smith has walked the next two batters causing a mound visit by Steve Kline.

Alberto Rios singles to left to load the bases as the runners hold at second and third.

Burch strikes out Grey for the first out.

Ben DeLuzio hits a perfect double play ball to Abiatal Avelino, and it goes through his legs into the outfield and Westbrook and Young score to make it 2-1 with only one out.

Smith throws the ball away on a pickoff attempt and another run scores to make it 3-1. He threw that into the dirt, and it went by Shaw.

Ildemaro Vargas with a single to left to score DeLuzio and its 4-1.

This inning should have ended with no runs, but a very rare error by Avelino is the difference in the score.

These next few games are must win games for the River Cats. The Aces are really the only team that has a chance to overtake them and counting tonight they have eight games over the last two weeks of the season, and they trail the Cats by seven.

Flyout by Leyba ends the inning.

Avelino doubles to lead off the third to do what he can to make up for that error.

Burch follows with a strikeout as he fails to bunt over Avelino.

On the first pitch to Gerber, Avelino steals second, and Gerber ends up reaching on a walk.

Wild pitch by Gray and Gerber to second and Avelino holds at third.

This brings up Dubon, who singles to left scoring Avelino and Gerber.

Dubon tries to take second on the throw, but catcher Rios throws him down for the second out.

Jaylin Davis strikes out to end the inning.

The River Cats are taking more risks than usual on base tonight and have been thrown out twice.

Smith strikes out Cron and Swihart to start the third.

Andy Young is hit by pitch and that is the 28th time this season that it has happened to him.

Rosario grounds out to Dubon to end the inning.

Shaw singles to left here in the fourth.

Gray walks Green.

Pena comes up and flies out to right which allows Shaw to tag and go to third.

McCarthy singles to center scoring Shaw to tie up the game. The ball gets past the centerfielder and McCarthy starts to go to second and turns around to almost get thrown out at first.

Avelino strikes out and Burch with a ground out to Cron to end the inning.

It is a whole new game as we go to the bottom of the fourth tied 4-4.

Burch sets down the Aces 1-2-3 here in the bottom half of the inning.

Joey Krehbiel replaces Connor Grey in the fifth for the Aces.

Not much action for either team in the fifth.

Winkler comes in with two outs in the bottom half to replace Burch, and it is still tied 4-4 through five complete.

The Aces put two quick outs by retiring Pena and McCarthy here in the top of the sixth.

Avelino sends a drive to rightfield for his eleventh home run of the season and puts the River Cats up 5-4.

Pitcher Dan Winkler singles on a slow hit ball to short and they cannot make the play. That is Winkler’s first hit in Triple-A this season.

Gerber strikes out to end the inning, but the River Cats have taken the lead.

No damage besides a single in the bottom half of the inning.

I’m not sure what is going on but Aces manager Chris Cron has just gotten himself ejected.

Damien Magnifico comes in for the Aces here in the seventh and strikes out the side of Dubon, Davis, and Shaw on twelve pitches.

Selman comes in to replace Winkler here in the bottom of the seventh.

Vargas singles to start the inning and Leyba strikes out. Kline comes in to talk to Selman before Cron comes to bat.

Selman walks Cron, and Swihart comes to bat.

Selman gets Swihart to go down swinging for out number two.

Jaime Westbrook doubles to left field scoring both of Vargas and Cron putting the Aces up 6-5 here in the bottom of the seventh.

Pena tries to pickoff Westbrook at second and throws the ball over Avelino’s head, and Westbrook goes to third.

Selman strikes out Young to end the inning, but the damage is done and the River Cats now trail 6-5.

The River Cats go down in order in the eighth and Melvin Adon comes in to replace Selman.

Adon strikes out Rosario and pinch hitter Prince, before getting DeLuzio to ground out and we are going to the ninth with the River Cats still trailing 6-5.

Ben Taylor comes to close it out for Reno, and he puts down the River Cats in order and ends the game with a strikeout of Gerber.

The Cats now only lead by six games. Menez is scheduled to go for the River Cats tomorrow so hopefully they can right this ship.

August 16, 2019

Kyle Barraclough cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Sacramento. Ryan Dull on the other hand has been picked up by the Yankees. Ronnie Freeman also goes on the IL with his hamstring, and it looks like catcher Matt Melkin from AZL Giants is being added to the roster.

Kerry Cowley is reporting that per a source Logan Webb has flown to Arizona to be with the Giants and is in line to make his Major League debut tomorrow against the Diamondbacks.

Matt Koch gets the start for the Aces, and Tim LoCastro is back in the lineup for them as well. 

River Cats need to get a win here today.

Mike Gerber starts the game with an infield single with the first pitch of the ball game.

Dubon flies to right, one down.

 Jaylin Davis with his second home run of the series makes it 2-0 River Cats.

Shaw follows up with a long single and the Cats are coming out swinging tonight.

Adames and Garcia single and the bases are loaded for McCarthy.

McCarthy with the sac fly to Locastro and Shaw scores, Adames moves to third and its 3-0 River Cats with two outs.

Avelino up to bat and sends a chopper to short for the third out.

Cats lead 3-0 in the middle of the first, and Carlos Torres will take the mound for Sacramento. Not sure what happened to Conner Menez who was scheduled to throw today.

Torres allows one hit but goes puts down the Aces in the first.

Carlos Torres leads off the second and walks on five pitches bringing up the top of the order.

Gerber grounds to second, and the Aces get Torres on the force but cannot make the play on Gerber.

Dubon pops up. One down. 

Jaylin Davis with another two-run shot! That is the River Cats’ 200th home run of the season and the score is 5-0.

Koch ends the inning with striking out Shaw.

After allowing singles to Domingo Leyba and Caleb Joseph, Torres gives up a triple to Carlos Asuaje and the score is 5-2. No outs.

Pitcher Matt Koch with a high long fly ball for a sacrifice fly to right that scores Asuage, 5-3.

DeLuzio flies out to left for the second out, and that brings up Locastro.

Locastro grounds out to second to end the inning.

Adames starts the third with a single to right center.

Garcia with another single to right center in almost the same spot as Adames.

McCarthy pops one to left and Westbrook does not see it and it falls in for a hit and the bases loaded for Avelino.

Avelino gets the count full and hits a grounder to Vargas at third who throws to second, but the Aces cannot turn the double play and only get the lead runner at second. Adames scores to make it 6-3.

Torres is now up and squares to bunt but pulls back. Third base coach Jolbert Cabrera calls Torres over to have a word with him.

Avelino is picked off at first base for the second out.

Torres grounds out to second for the final out.

The Aces get a run in the bottom of the third off the bat of Kevin Cron who hits his 37th home run of the season to straightaway center field off Torres, and its 6-4 Sacramento.

Two down in the top of the fourth and Jaylin Davis with his third home run of the night. A solo shot to right to make it 7-4. The lasts River Cat to have three home runs at Greater Nevada Field was Chris Carter.

This is the second time a River Cat has hit three home runs in a game against the Aces as Mac Williamson accomplished the feat earlier this year. 

Shaw lines out to end the inning.

Aces go down 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the inning. 

Adames grounds out, and Garcia launches a ball to center over the head of the outfielder for a double. McCarthy with a deep fly to center for a sac fly that allows Garcia to move to third and with two outs, Avelino comes to bat and flies out to LoCastro to end the inning.

It’s the first time tonight that the Cats do not score.

Torres strikeouts out DeLuzio and gives up a single to Locastro to start the fifth and that will be it for him tonight.

Kyle Barraclough comes into the game.

Barraclough induces a double play as Vargas hits to Avelino for a 6-4-3 to end the inning.

The River Cats would go on to score five runs in both the eighth and ninth innings. Chris Shaw hit a solo shot to start the eighth, and Avelino hit a three-run home run in the ninth. The Cats win the game by a final score of 17-7. It is hard for me trust this bullpen right now because if it were not for those two big innings it could have been a different story. Magic Number for Sacramento is 11.

It has been confirmed that Webb will be getting the ball tomorrow for the Giants.

August 17, 2019

As Logan Webb makes his Major League debut tonight against the Diamondbacks, Conner Menez will be pitching against the Aces. Joey Rickard was optioned to Sacramento to make room for Logan Webb.

Cats lose 13-10. They need to win tomorrow for the split. This is really starting to look bad for the River Cats and I am starting to worry that it may all fall apart, and they may not make the playoffs. There is only so much that the offense can do if the pitching staff isn’t going to protect multiple run leads.

Justin Haley will come off the IL in time for tomorrow’s game. It has been just over a week since he pitched and went on the IL. He will be facing Braden Shipley and I’ll be making the trip to Reno in the morning to cover this game.

Webb was outstanding tonight. Had some first inning jitters and gave up two runs but ended up getting the win and working five innings with seven strikeouts.

Congratulation to my friend Ashlyn Clark, and the birth of her son Jayvion Lamont Jones. Born at 11:00am PST, weighing in at 5lbs 14oz, and measuring 18.5 inches.

Of course, I got the kid a soft mitt and ball with the River Cats logo.

August 18, 2019

Greater Nevada Ballpark is a beautiful stadium, and that is where this pleasant experience ends; but I’m guessing the fact that it’s in Reno has more to do with it than anything as there is a strip club just on the other side of the parking lot. 

Justin Haley has been activated from the IL to start today’s game, and Abiatal Avelino has been recalled by the Giants. Another key piece of this team that is being taken away at the whim of the big team. I get that is the reason that these players are here is for the parent club, and that they would rather be in the Majors than here, but as a fan watching this season unfold, its stressful. 

The Cats have started their stretching and for some reason they are passing around a catcher’s mask and are rotating using it during their stretches.

I have never spent any amount of time outdoors in Reno before and it feels like we are standing right next to the sun it’s as it beats down on us. It is really hot.

The Cats would win this one by a score of 8-1 as I baked, and all except for pitcher Carlos Torres sat roasting in the dugout shade with wet towels on their heads.

Justin Haley had another fine outing going six innings and allowing one run in the third.

Chris Shaw and Mauricio Dubon both hit solo home runs but the hit of the day no doubt goes to pitcher Williams Jerez who took a Joey Krehbiel fastball and lined it to right to leg out a triple and pick up two RBI that score Joe McCarthy and Levi Michael.

August 19, 2019

Chase Johnson has been added to the roster. He had a 9.00 ERA and 2.50 WHIP when he was sent down to Double-A earlier this year, and he has an ERA over 4.00, and 1.50 WHIP since.

Enderson Franco will be going for his seventh win tonight against the Isotopes who will be sending Chris Rusin. It is a good thing that we will not have to face Jeff Hoffman this series, and I am not sure who is lined up for the other two games.

I walked into the press box and overheard someone ask, “Do we know how many pitches Anderson is throwing tomorrow?” I am guessing Shaun Anderson is making a rehab appearance.

Apparently, Franco is not starting tonight after all. I do not know if he is piggybacking or what, but the starting lineup shows Chase Johnson as the starter.

I spoke with Enderson, it turns out he hurt his back while lifting on Friday.

Johnson started the game off with a quick 1-2-3 first but gives up a first pitch home run in the second to Roberto Ramos. 

A base hit by Fuentes gets taken care when Mundell grounds into a force but he safe at first.

Fly ball by Peter Mooney for out number two.

Johnson walks Chris Rabago on four straight and that will bring up the pitcher Rusin.

Wild pitch by Johnson and the runners advance.

Base hit Rusin which scores Mundell and Rabago giving the Isotopes and 3-0 lead.

The inning ends when Elliot Soto grounds out to third. 

Johnson settled down the rest of the game and got into the fifth before Brundy took him out for Barraclough, and here we are in the sixth, still 3-0.

I did confirm that Anderson gets the start tomorrow with Burch piggybacking on him.

Matt Malkin is pinch hitting for Barraclough. This is Malkin’s second pinch hitting appearance for the River Cats. Signed as an undrafted free agent this past June, he is basically a body on the roster for this team right now. Malkin goes down swinging on three pitches and Chris Rusin has now set down 14 in a row.

Dan Winkler is warming up in the bullpen and will be coming in for the seventh.

Winkler gives up a hit and walk but gets out of the inning unscathed.

Rusin has retired 15 straight River Cats until Mike Gerber comes up with one out in the bottom of the seventh and unloads his team leading 26th home run to put the Cats on the board, and it is now 3-1.

Rusin comes right back with a strikeout of Jaylin Davis.

Garcia singles but the inning ends when Pena pops out to Josh Fuentes.

Selman comes in to start the eighth.

Sam is having a fantastic year but has run into a little trouble his last few outings, luckily this outing shows what we have come to expect from him, and he gets out of the eighth quickly.

Adames strikes out here in the bottom of the eighth.

Levi Michael with a chopper down to third which looked foul but is called fair. Fuentes makes the throw that pulls Ramos off first, and they give Fuentes an error.

Shaw is pinch hitting for Selman now representing the tying run.

Shaw with a deep drive to right center, and Sam Hilliard with a long run to track the ball down. That was easily going to be at least two bases for Shaw. Hilliard grabbed it just in front of the 380-foot marker in the outfield and crashed into the wall with his momentum to make the catch.

Mauricio Dubon up to bat.

Base hit by Dubon and there are runners on first and second for Rickard who represents the go ahead run with two outs.

Glenallen Hill is coming to finally get Rusin after 92 pitches.

Sam Howard is coming in for Albuquerque.

One pitch and Rickard hits it to Fuentes who throws to second for the force out and that is the end of the inning.

Melvin Adon in to pitch the ninth, and let him prove me wrong, but I think we give up at least one run or walk two. Taking bets???

Mundell walks on four pitches.

Adon throws to first a lot.

I wonder if he is concerned about not throwing strikes.

Mooney strikes out swinging, but it takes eight pitches.

Rabago hits it to Adames who bobbles and throws it in the dirt for an error and Rabago is safe at first. Runners on first and third with one down.

Sam Howard is due up and he will be pinch hit for by Noel Cuevas.

Chopper to Adames who makes a bare-handed play and Cuevas beats the throw. It is now a 4-1 Albuquerque. 

Soto goes down swinging for out number two.

Sam Hilliard is up to bat and grounds out to second for the third out.

Adon needed 31 pitches this inning and I was right, Adon gives up a run, but he only walked one.

Last chance for the Cats and they are down by 3. News has it that Reno is leading Las Vegas by a score of 5-3 as well.

Coming to bat for the Cats in the bottom of the ninth are Gerber, Davis, and Garcia; they will be facing one of the Rockies top pitching prospects Ben Bowden.

Gerber walks on four straight pitches.

Davis grounds to Fuentes, but they can only get Gerber at second. One down and Aramis Garcia up to bat.

Garcia goes down swinging which brings Francisco Pena up and is the Cats last hope.

Wild pitch by Bowden allows Davis to advance to second. The trainer cones out to look at Bowden as soon as the play was over. Bowden will stay in the game.

Pena goes down swinging and that’s the ball game. It looks like Reno will win tonight, so hopefully Shaun Anderson can get a win tomorrow for the team.

August 20, 2019

Shaun Anderson will be making a rehab start tonight for the River Cats and will be facing Pat Dean for Albuquerque.

Anderson starts the inning by getting Elliot Soto to fly out and then gives up back-to-back singles to Sam Hilliard and Pat Valaika before getting Roberto Ramos to hit into a force out and Josh Fuentes to go down swinging to end the inning.

The River Cats come out swinging and Mauricio Dubon and Joey Rickard both single to start the bottom half of the inning.

Mike Gerber up to bat and flies out to center for out number one.

Base hit to right by Jaylin Davis that scores Dubon and the River Cats get the early lead, 1-0. Rickard is at third with one out and Chris Shaw up to bat.

Shaw with a fly ball to left, not deep enough to go out, but deep enough for Rickard to score on the tag, and the Cats lead 2-0.

Double to right by Francisco Pena scoring Jaylin Davis, 3-0, and Adames goes down swinging to end the inning.

Isotopes go down in order in the top of the second.

Levi Michael starts the River Cats half of the inning with a home run to left center and its 4-0.

Shaun Anderson flies out to right.

Dubon adds another run with a home run to left, 5-0 River Cats.

Dean gets out of the inning with no further damage.

Another quick inning of work for Anderson, on to the bottom of the third.

Jaylin Davis leads off the inning with solo home run to left center and the Cats lead this 6-0.

Dean gets the next three batters on seven pitches.

Going into the top of the fifth, Burch Smith comes into the game for the River Cats who is replacing Steven Okert who came in for Anderson in the fourth, and the score is still 6-0.

Drew Butera walks, and is sacrificed over by Pat Dean, one out.

Elliot Soto up to bat.

Wild pitch by Smith and Butera is at third.

Base hit by Soto, scores Butera and the ‘Topes are on the board, 6-1.

Hilliard goes down swinging for out number two.

Burch walks Valaika, runners on first and second for Roberto Ramos.

Line drive to center by Ramos and Soto scores, 6-2 as Albuquerque starts to eat away at the lead.

Kline comes out to talk to Burch.

As usual Kline knows exactly what to say and Burch strikes out Fuentes on three pitches for the third out.

Bottom of the fifth and Gerber grounds out to Valaika at second for the first out.

Davis is walked on four pitches.

Shaw with a double to right, and they are sending Davis home…

Out at the plate!

Pena ends the inning by grounding out to short.

The Isotopes go down 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth.

Harrison Musgrove in for Dean here in the bottom of the sixth.

Cristhian Adames starts off the bottom of the sixth with a long drive to left that clears the fence and the score is 7-2. That is Adames seventh home run of the year, and fifth with the River Cats. That ball was hit 396 feet.

Levi Michael with a ball sinking quick to right field, and Drew Weeks with the sliding catch to just get the out.

Burch Smith gets his first at bat for the River Cats, but he is 3-19 on the season including a double, home run and four RBI.

A deep drive to centerfield, and over the centerfielders head landing at about 400 feet of the 403-foot fence and bounces over for a ground rule double!

RBI double for Dubon to left center scores Smith and the score is 8-2!

Joey Rickard hits a grounder to Fuentes who tries to tag Dubon as he runs by him toward third but does not get the tag and throws to first in time to get Rickard, two out.

Passed ball on Butera and Dubon scores 9-2.

Gerber continues with the hit parade, to bring up Jaylin Davis. Davis hits a broken bat bouncer to second who throws it to first for the last out of the inning. The River Cats lead 9-2.

Burch walks one but another quick inning for the River Cats in the seventh.

Chris Shaw leads off the B7 with a deep drive to right center and Drew Weeks robs him of the home run. There was some confusion and Shaw kept running around the bases until he got to third. Weeks had made a motion that looked like he had missed the ball, but he did come up with it.

Joe Harvey strikes out Pena for out number two.

Adames comes up from the left side now to face Harvey and flies out to left, three down.

Josh Fuentes starts off the eighth with a ground rule double.

Weeks grounds back to Smith who quickly throws to third in time for Adames to get Fuentes.

Smith walks Mooney and there are runners at first and second for Drew Butera.

Butera flies to center, and Brain Mundell goes down swinging to end the inning.

James Pazos comes in to replace pitcher Joe Harvey for the Isotopes, and he’ll be facing Michael, Smith, and Dubon. Dubon is a triple shy of the cycle tonight.

Pazos strikes out the side.

Going to the top of the ninth, and the Cats are three outs away from a win and their Magic Number will be six!

Burch sets down the Isotopes in order, and that’s the ball game.

August 21, 2019

Zach Green goes on the IL today, and our old buddy Brandon Van Horn gets the call from San Jose and immediately finds himself in the lineup tonight at third. Van Horn had a very productive time when he was up here with the Cats for a few games earlier in the year, so it is cool to see him back here.

Carlos Torres and Rico Garcia will be taking the mound for the River Cats and Isotopes respectively.

The fans do not have a chance to sit down before the Isotopes score as Soto leads off the game with a home run with the first pitch.

On a 2-2 count Sam Hilliard with the home run to right center and back-to-back home runs make this 2-0 game for the Isotopes.

Valaika singles and Ramos walks which brings out Steve Kline to the mound to visit with Torres.

Drew Weeks with a swinging bunt that Van Horn can’t make a play on and the bases are loaded with no outs and Josh Fuentes coming to bat.

Fuentes pops it up, infield fly rule is called as Dubon makes the grab. One out.

Torres strikes out Mundell for out number two.

Drew Butera down the third base line, Valaika scores, Ramos scores, and Butera is into second with a stand up double. Isotopes lead 5-0.

Pitcher Rico Garcia flies out to center for the third out of the inning and will head out to face the River Cats in the bottom of the first.

The Cats go down in order in the first.

Hilliard reaches on a double in the second and then knocked in by Ramos making it 6-0.

Jaimie Callahan comes into pitch for Torres in the top of the fifth.

With one out, Drew Weeks hits a stand-up triple with Josh Fuentes coming to bat.

Fuentes bloops one to left center and Adames makes a nice over the shoulder running basket catch for the second out.

Weeks does not attempt to go home on the play.

Mundell singles up the middle scoring Weeks and its 7-0.

Rico Garcia pops up to end the inning.

Top of the order with Dubon leading off the bottom of the fifth.

Dubon pops it right up. He stands and stares as Drew Butera turns around and makes the catch right in front of him. Dubon slaps him on the shoulder with a laugh as he leaves.

This game is going ridiculously slow, or it feels like it.

Actually, it just feels like it.

No, it is slow.

Gerber grounds out to first baseman Roberto Ramos who flips it to Garcia at first, two down.

Jaylin Davis up to bat now.

Base hit to left for Davis which will bring up Shaw.

I think if the Cats can just get a couple of runs here to make it closer, they can pull this one out.

Shaw goes down swinging.

On to the sixth.

Callahan still on the mound.

Hilliard with his third hit of the game, his second double, and his 28th of the season to go with 33 home runs and 97 RBI.

Valaika singles on the first pitch to make it 8-0.

Ramos grounds into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning, and Barraclough is warming up in the pen for the River Cats.

Matt Pierpont comes in to relieve Rico Garcia for the Isotopes.

Pena leads off the bottom of the sixth with a single.

Adames with a high fly but right to Brian Mundell in left.

Joe McCarthy coming up and goes down swinging.

Van Horn grounds out to Fuentes at third. and its 8-0 as we head into the seventh.

There is a group of people out here tonight wearing bright yellow shirts on them that say, “The Real Isotopes”. I wonder what that’s all about. You may be thinking, well do some investigative reporting but, they are way over there, and I’m up here, and do we really care?

Barraclough on the mound now for the River Cats.

Hey, the Cats have a 1-2-3 inning!

Rickard pinch hits for Barraclough here in the bottom of the seventh to lead off the inning.

Rickard walks, bringing up Dubon.

Dubon pops it up and Fuentes makes the play next to the pitcher’s mound.

Gerbs up now with one out.

Gerber lines back off the pitcher’s leg and the ball ricochets to Valaika at second. Rickard avoids the tag, Valaika throws to first to get Gerber, and Ramos throws back to second, but they cannot get Rickard in time. 1-4-3.

Two down for Davis.

Davis with a chopper to third, Fuentes throws to first to get the out.

Oh no, Adon out here to pitch the eighth. I guess already being down eight means it does not even matter at this point. 

Butera singles on the first pitch he sees.

Adon goes on to strike out the side and his last pitch was 100.

Shaw leading off the bottom of the eighth and a quick 1-2-3 inning.

Okert coming to pitch the ninth.

Valiaka grounds out to third for the first out.

Freaking Ramos sends one into the darkness, 9-0 Isotopes.

The Isotopes with three consecutive hits by Weeks, Fuentes, and Mundell, leaving the bases loaded for Butera.

Phillip Diehl coming to bat and ends the inning watching strike three. 

The River Cats cannot come back here in the bottom of ninth and the Isotopes win this one by a score of 9-0.

August 22, 2019

Happy Birthday to River Cats pitching coach Steve Kline!

The Cats dressed in Hawaiian shirts today as they traveled to El Paso. Burch Smith was dressed up as a River Cats usher including the straw hat and Levi Michael looked like Juan Valdez from the coffee commercial.

Peter Maris was assigned to the River Cats, and Jamie Callahan was sent to Richmond.

Big series for the Cats in El Paso for their final road trip and both teams are fighting for division titles, and both can be spoilers for the other. The River Cats will have Conner Menez on the mound tonight and he will be facing Emmanuel Ramirez for the Chihuahuas.

Dubon leads it off for the River Cats and gets a single to right. Joey Rickard with a home run to start the early scoring making 2-0!

Jaylin Davis almost goes oppotaco, but Gettis leaps and crashes into the wall while catching the ball for out number one.

Shaw up to bat and goes down swinging.

Two out for Aramis Garcia.

Garcia strikes out to end the inning.

Menez sets them down in order in the first.

A lone double by Adames for the Cats in the second and everyone else goes down on strikes.

Austin Allen starts the bottom half of the second with a home run, 2-1.

Aderlin Rodriguez walks but is forced out at second on a ground ball by Jason Vosler.

Base hits by Matthew Batten.

Taylor Kohlwey hits a ground ball to Maris and who cannot handle the ball and the Chihuahuas tie it up here, 2-2 in the second and there is still only one out. Runners on first and second.

Sacrifice bunt by Ramirez puts both runners in scoring position for the top of the order.

Michael Gettys up to bat and he lines out to Shaw for the final out.

Top of the order is due up for the Cats in the third.

Dubon gets this going again with a single.

Dubon attempts a steal, and he is thrown out by a good five feet on a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play as Rickard goes down swinging.

Davis walks to bring Shaw back up. Shaw’s due….

Shaw reaches on a sharp bouncer to third that gets stuck in the webbing of Jason Vosler.

Aramis walks and the bases are loaded.

McCarthy is up and two down.

McCarthy battles but ultimately goes down swinging to end the inning.

Missed it the first time around but it looks like Boog Powell is the game for the Chihuahuas now. I first saw him a few years ago with the Mariners organization and I believe he was with Las Vegas early in the year.

1-2-3 for Menez including a strike out of Austin Allen to end the inning.

Adames and Maris strikeout to start the inning, but Menez singles.

Unfortunately, Dubon grounds into a force out.

Rodriguez with a swinging bunt that Menez throws away and Rodriguez is on second with no outs. Vosler doubles and the Chihuahuas get their lead back. 3-2 after four. 

Batten flies to center for the first out.

Vosler chops one to Dubon at third for the second out.

Menez strikes out Emmanuel Ramirez to end the inning, but the Chihuahuas have retaken the lead, 3-2.

Rickard ties it up with his second home run of the night, a solo shot to right center.

Rickard really is just too good for this league; is he a Major League superstar, no, but he needs to be up there.

Jaylin Davis with the double to center.

Shaw and Aramis both ground out, but each advance Davis with Garcia getting the RBI, and the River Cats get the lead for the first time tonight and its 4-3.

McCarthy ends the inning with a pop but to short.

The Chihuahuas go down quietly in the bottom of the fifth.

Tom Colletti comes in to pitch for the Chihuahuas here in the top of the sixth.

Adames gets it going with a double to center.

Peter Maris lines out on a laser hit to shortstop Seth Mejias-Brean for out number one.

Conner Menez is coming to bat and the Isotopes pitching coach comes out to talk to Colletti.

Menez goes down swinging.

Base hit by Dubon, Adames scores, and Dubon is thrown out at second trying to stretch it into a double to end the inning. The run counts and the River Cats now lead 5-3.

Menez has a quick inning shutting down the Chihuahuas in the bottom of the sixth.

Joey Rickard starts the seventh with a walk, and Jaylin Davis, Aramis Garcia, and Jaylin Davis each go deep in the seventh and the score is now 9-3 River Cats.

9-3 will be the final the Cats win this one. Reno is currently trailing in their game to Salt Lake.

August 23, 2019

Sam Wolff has been added to the River Cats roster today, Andrew Suarez optioned to Sacramento from San Francisco, and Levi Michael is put on IL retro to August 21.

Happy Birthday to Mike Yastrzemski, and yesterday was Grandpa Carl’s as well.

Today I started my day by putting in a request to cover the Giants in Boston so that I can see Yaz make his debut in Fenway Park. What a way to end the book with that experience. That is of course if the Cats do not make it to the Triple-A Championship which is also on Sept 17th. 

I woke up to see that Reno lost their game against Salt Lake last night! They are now nine games back and the Cats magic number is three!!

The Cats will be facing Jerry Keel tonight and will be sending Justin Haley to the mound. Justin had a great outing the last time he pitched in Reno so hopefully he can follow up with another gem.

The Chihuahuas are wearing themed jerseys tonight that look like a man purse is designed on it and a chihuahua is peeking its head out. It is an interesting design. 

Dubon starts the game with a single up the middle, which is fielded by the second baseman, but Dubon beats the throw.

Rickard walks, and Gerber lines to left for the first out.

Jaylin Davis reaches on a fielder’s choice as Mejias-Brean bobbles the ball and then throws to second to force out Rickard.

Two down with runners at first and third for Garcia.

Garcia lines to right that will score Dubon, 1-0.

Pena lines one to third for the final out.

Justin Haley on his way to the mound to face the Pups.

Travis Jankowski who was just sent down from San Deigo leads off with an infield single that he just barely beats.

Boog Powell doubles down the rightfield line and that puts runners at second and third with no outs.

Mejias-Brown and Allen both ground out but two runs score and its now 2-1.

Rodriguez and Vosler single to put runners on first and third for the Chihuahuas left fielder Michael Gettys.

Cats go down in order in the top half of the second while Haley strikes out the side in the bottom half.

Dubon walks, Rickard singles, no outs.

Gerber flies out to center but no one advances.

Jaylin Davis hits one to third and it is bobbled by Vosler allowing Davis to beat the throw.

Bases loaded.

Garcia hits into what should be a routine double play, but he just beats the throw, and Dubon scores to tie the game at 2-2.

Pena grounds out to shortstop to end the inning.

I had to stop watching the game, but the Cats win again!!

The final was 11-5. The Cats did it with small ball picking up seven combined runs in the seventh and eighth, while giving up a solo home run to Austin Allen in the bottom of the sixth and giving up a run in the bottom of the ninth on an error by Van Horn.

Reno is currently winning their game tonight as well.

August 24, 2019

Headed to Oakland this weekend to catch the Bay Bridge Series between the Giants and A’s. It’s also Player’s Weekend when the players get to wear their nicknames on their jerseys. This year’s uniforms look horrible though. Visitors wear all black and the home team wears all white. The lettering is subdued. The home team pitcher is allowed to wear a black hat so that the batters have a chance to see the ball. Madison Bumgarner and Logan Webb are scheduled to pitch this weekend for the Giants. Webb will be making his second start in the Majors. This will be my third or fourth time seeing Bumgarner, but it will be the first time that I see him pitch in the Majors. I’ve always seen him on rehab assignments at Raley Field. Bumgarner will face off against Chris Bassitt on Saturday, while Logan Webb is scheduled to face Brett Anderson on Sunday.

The River Cats Magic Number is one.

August 25, 2019

Happy Sunday!! The Cats have a chance to clinch the Division today if Reno loses or if the Cats win.

Reno wins. The Bees blew a couple of leads including a two-run lead in the bottom of the 10th. The Cat fall to the Chihuahuas, so the clinching is saved for another day. The good news is that it will be at Raley Field, and Johnny Cueto is pitching tomorrow.

August 26, 2019

Its Johnny Cueto day!! The Cats face their division rivals the Reno Aces who have refused to die. A win today, or the Cats next win period, gives them the Conference title. The Reno Aces will give the ball to Matt Koch.

I normally do not mention the food we have here at Raley Field in the press box, but today we had dinner from Ernesto’s. I have eaten at the restaurant before, and I have always enjoyed it. I do not know if I was hungrier than I thought or what, but wow, it was such a good dinner. Taquitos, rice, beans, chicken fajitas, and churros for dessert. They deserve a shout out.

The first inning goes by quickly for both teams, but Johnny Cueto gives up a solo home run to Andy Young to start the top of the second before the retiring the next three batters, 1-0 Aces.

The River Cats get a couple on in the second, but no runs come across to score.

Cueto grounds out Max Murphy to start the third on an amazing play by Dubon at short, who makes a diving stop, pops up and spins to get Murphy at first.

Cueto gives up another solo home run, this time to Abraham Almonte, the score is now 2-0 and Cueto is looking visibly upset.

Domingo Leyba pops out to Cueto in foul territory for out number two.

The league home run leader, Kevin Cron is coming up to bat for the Aces.

Cueto strikes him out to end the inning. On to the fourth.

Cueto leads it off for the River Cats and goes down easily on strikes after a failed bunt attempt.

Dubon with long drive to right field for the oppo-taco to cut the lead in half, 2-1.

Gerber coming to bat.

Gerber pops up, Young, Koch, and catcher Caleb Joseph charge the ball as it comes toward the River Cats dugout, and no one catches the ball as it falls between them. River Cats catcher Ronnie Freeman says something to Joseph which triggers the response of, “Its fucking hot, don’t tell me I’m stupid”! After which Ronnie had a good laugh.

Gerber grounds out, and so does Jaylin Davis to end the inning.

Jamie Westbrook opens the top half of the fourth with a single on a fly ball to center.

Andy Young up to bat.

Johnny Cueto has one of the best pick off moves I have ever seen in real life, it just was not on this attempt as he throws the ball away, and Westbrook moves over to second.

That error comes back to bite Cueto as he gives up a hit to Young which scores Westbrook and its now 3-1 Reno.

Caleb Joseph goes down swinging for the first out.

Cueto gives up a hit to Asuaje, who is sacrificed over by Koch, but he gets Murphy to ground out to end the inning.

Chris Shaw flies out on an 0-1 count, one down.

Koch walks Aramis Garcia, the strikes out Joe McCarthy, two down.

Two quick strikes on Adames.

Adames with a hard-hit ball down the first base line…

Triple for Adames scoring Aramis and the score is 4-3.

Peter Maris up to bat.

Adames breaks for home, the ball is in the dirt, and Adames is safe on the steal of home!!

Maris pops up to third baseman Andy Young to end the inning.

Neither team score in the fifth, and Carlos Torres replaces Cueto with one out.

The score remains 4-2 Reno going into the sixth, and Reno extends their lead with a two out, two-run home run by Matt Szczur to makes it 6-3.

The Aces bring in Ben Taylor to replace Matt Koch in the bottom half of the inning who gives up a one out double to Chris Shaw but he and Aramis Garcia who was walked are left stranded when McCarthy and Adames strike out.

The seventh has not been a good inning for Torres, who started it off by walking Almonte who then gives up a double, a sac fly, a walk, and three singles. Torres strikes out the next two batters to get out of the inning, but the Aces score three and its 9-3.

Peter Maris strikes out to open the bottom of the seventh.

Joey Rickard is coming in to pinch hit for Carlos Torres, and it looks like its Kyle Barraclough who is warming up in the bullpen.

Rickard singles on a line drive to left and that will bring up Dubon.

Dubon grounds it to Young at third, and he throws the ball away!

Rickard who was on the move easily reaches third, and Dubon is at second with Gerber coming to the plate.

Gerber goes down swinging, two outs.

Jaylin Davis with a ground ball to Young, who makes another throwing error, Rickard scores, Dubon scores, and the score is now 9-5!!

Shaw pops up to Young, who doesn’t make the error this time, and that is the end of the inning.

The Aces get a double in the eighth, but outside of that neither team gets another hit in the game and Reno wins this 9-5.

Well, I guess the Cats try to clinch again tomorrow.

August 27, 2019

Alex Pavlovic, the San Francisco Giants beat writer, blocked me today for calling him an “arrogant prick” because I thought he was rude in a reply to a tweet comment that I made. The River Cats were not too happy about that and gave me a warning. Fair enough, but Pavs really is an arrogant prick to people when it is not even justified. Maybe that is his schtick though, but he has always given me the cold shoulder whenever I have been around him, so this is just my opinion.

All the moves today. Gennett was released by the Giants and Avelino was optioned. Dubon was called up, Venditte was returned to the active roster, Michael, Franco, and Freeman return from the IL, Torres was released.

Carlos Torres is 36 years old, trying to keep it going for a little longer, and raising a tween daughter. The River Cats were his second team of the season, and this is part of the real life of a professional baseball player.

The biggest news is that Tyler Rogers was called up to make his Major League debut. Twin brother of Twins closer Taylor, this must be a big day for him. I was told that when he was informed this afternoon, tears of joys flowed and the first person he called was his brother Taylor.

Watching the Giants game tonight and they showed a close up of Mauricio Dubon sitting in the dugout before the game. You can see the awe in his eyes and excitement for being there. Is he nervous? He says no because he knows that he is good enough to be there, and he has two Major League games under his belt with the Brewers this year, but I am sure it is still a meaningful and exciting moment for him as he grew up a Giants fan.

Tyler Rogers was able to get into the Giants game tonight and it took him only three pitches to retire the side. It is being reported that his brother Taylor had just earned a save for the Twins moments before Tyler came into the game for his debut and was able to watch it from the Twins locker room.

Cats fall again to Reno tonight by a score of 5-4. Reno is now only six back with six to play with two more games against the River Cats. Justin Haley is scheduled for tomorrow and he has some delivered some solid outings his last two times out. It would be great if the Fair Oaks boy could seal the Division for the team for the first time in seven years.

The Cats looked dead tonight. It is a long season, and you are hoping it ends but the playoffs are in sight for this team. Other teams and players do not have much to play for and are counting down the days until the end of the season, maybe the end of their careers for some.

The fans tried, but their cheers sounded more like complaints than encouragement.

On to tomorrow.

August 28, 2019

Round three in this battle to clinch the Division. The River Cats are sending Justin Haley to the mound who has performed well in his last two outing which including a game against the Aces in Reno. The Aces will counter with Branden Shipley.

Chris Shaw knocks in Mike Gerber in the bottom of the third with a base hit to center and the River Cats get the 1-0 lead after three.

The Aces are really trying to shut this game down. Braden Shipley pitched six innings of one run ball, allowing only four hits baseball, only to be relieved by Jon Duplantier who continued to dominate.

Justin Haley has thrown seven strong innings of shutout baseball, and it looks like he is coming back out for the eighth, which seems like a scary move to me. I ask Bridget how many pitches he has so far; she looks it up and tells me he is currently at 84, she tells me the balls and strikes but by this point I am no longer fully listening. I say aloud that this has to be his last inning.

Josh Prince, who homered last night, has done so again to tie the game. What a blow.

Big Kevin Cron who leads the league with 38 home runs is up next and luckily grounds out to short.

Oh my god, Jamie Westbrook with a ball that is just fair and gone. The Aces have come back to take the lead and it looks like that will be all for Haley, and two pitches have ruined his night.

Sam Wolff comes in to replace him. This marks his fourth game for the Cats since being called up on August 23, and his first here at Raley Field. He did appear with the team in July as well but has spent most of the time at Richmond.

Well, I do not think that Haley would have done any worse. Wolff allows a double to Joseph, walks Young, and then gives up a three-run home run to Blake Swihart and the score is now 5-1 Reno.

The ninth goes by quickly, and that is the ballgame. The River Cats are having a hard time clinching this Division.

August 29, 2019

Dubon will get his first start with the Giants tonight, and he is still chasing his first Major League hit. He is 0-2 on his young career as of today.

Chase Johnson will be getting the start in game four against the Aces tonight and will be facing Riley Smith.

My prediction is that the River Cats finally win tonight. I think that we will give up a lot of runs, and then come back late, while someone else I was speaking with thinks the Cats will score a lot early, and the Aces will slowly eat into the lead, but they will still be held off. Everyone here just wants this done, and we want to do it against the Aces who are chomping at the bit to take a post season spot away from the Cats.

Johnson starts the first with back-to-back strikeouts of Almonte, and Leyba before giving up singles to Kevin Cron, and Matt Szcur. The Aces can’t take advantage as Caleb Joseph grounds out to Levi Michael who makes the routine play to first to end the inning.

Avelino starts off the bottom of the first with a single to left.

Gerber up and flies to center for out number one.

Base hit by Jaylin Davis brings up Chris Shaw with two on.

Chris takes a big hack and the first pitch for strike one.

Ball.

Ball.

Shaw hits one deep to centerfield, three-run home run and the Cats are on the board early!

Garcia, and Pena ground out to end the inning, but the Cats lead 3-0.

Both teams go down in order in the second.

Another 1-2-3 inning for Johnson.

Avelino leads off the bottom of the third and strikes out looking. One out.

Mike Gerber up and hits a double. That is his 40th on the season.

Jaylin Davis singles to right scoring Gerber and the score is now 4-0.

Chris Shaw up to bat, and he hit a three-run home run his last time up to bat.

First pitch swinging and Shaw hits another home run!

This was another shot to straightaway center field; Abraham Almonte did not see the ball and was looking for it out in center, but he did not have to worry because it was over the fence. The score is now 6-0 with Chris having five RBI on the night already.

Garcia and Pena both ground out to end the inning.

Johnson starts the fourth by hitting Kevin Cron, and then gets two quick outs bringing up Andy Young.

Johnson starts Young off 2-0.

Young takes the next pitch and parks it in center field for a home run. The score is 6-2.

Johnson walks Blake Swihart but gets out of the inning as pitcher Riley Smith strikes out to end the inning.

Cristhian Adames will be leading off the inning for the River Cats, followed by Levi Michael, and pitcher Chase Johnson. This might be it for Johnson as Peter Maris is stretching out and getting ready to pinch hit.

Adames grounds out, and Michael pops up to the catcher so Brundage is calling back Maris and sending Johnson up to hit for himself.

Johnson goes down looking on three pitches, but Maris is saved to hit later in the game if needed.

The last inning was indeed Johnson’s last as he is replaced by Andrew Suarez. This was hands down Johnson’s best outing of the season for the River Cats.

Quick inning for Suarez, and we are going to the bottom of the fifth with the River Cats still leading 6-2.

Avelino pops up to Cron at first, one down.

Coming to the plate Gerber sits at 40 doubles, one shy of tying Mike Edwards for most doubles in a season by a River Cats player. Gerber with a shot to left center and Blake Swihart misplays it, and ties Edwards!

Jaylin Davis coming up to bat.

Gerber steals third without a slide and does a weird little dance to miss the tag.

Jaylin Davis goes down on strikes, which brings up Chris Shaw with two out.

Shaw is 2-2 with two home runs and five RBI tonight.

Make that three home runs! A 442-foot blast to right field with an exit velocity of 112 mph! Shaw has a total of 1,295 feet of home runs tonight!

Aramis Garcia pops up to his counterpart to end the inning, and the River Cats now lead 8-2 after five innings.

The Aces get two hits over the next three innings, while the River Cats have not had a hit since Shaw’s home run as the game goes into the bottom of the eighth.

Michael Tonkin replaces Jimmie Sherfy here in the eighth for the Aces, and he will be facing, Davis, Shaw, and Garcia.

Davis goes down swinging, one out.

Chris Shaw coming and with three home runs is looking to tie the River Cats record of four in a single game.

Shaw is hit on a full count and takes his base.

Aramis first pitch swinging sends one down the right field line scoring Shaw from first and the River Cats extend the lead 9-2!

Pena takes the very next pitch to right and Aramis scores, 10-2!

Base hit Adames! Three straight hits for the River Cats with runners on first and second for Michael and only one out.

Michael grounds into a 6-3 double play to end the inning.

The Aces are down to their last three outs, and the River Cats lead this game 10-2.

Williams Jerez comes in to close this out for the Cats.

Andy Young is walked on four pitches.

Jerez strikes out the next three batters and the River Cats have clinched the Division!

The River Cats congratulate each other on the field and are handed their championship shirts. Brundage is shaking every player’s hand as they come off the field, and they all went to the locker room.

I followed but knew that Brundy wanted to talk to the team first, and they closed the curtains to the clubhouse as the celebration went on, when Dave finally came out of the locker room drenched. Kline was protecting himself in a garbage bag to try to stay somewhat dry during the champagne celebration that continued into the night.

August 30, 2019

Today is Dereck Rodriguez bobblehead day and the lines outside the park are ridiculously long. I do not get the fascination with bobbleheads; I think when I was a kid, they were cute, but adults are really into them too.

The 2019 Division Champs sign is already up out on the structure in center field after last night’s clinch.

Will Smith is making an unexpected appearance tonight here at Raley Field for a rehab outing.

Burch Smith was scheduled to start today, and he is being scratched in place of Steven Okert. This will be Okert’s 199th appearance for the River Cats.

Jaycob Nix is making a rehab start for El Paso. Nix if you recall was a part of the drama from the 2014 draft with Brady Aiken and the Astros.

Both pitchers are just dealing tonight. Okert comes in for the third, which seems surprising to me and gives up a home run to Rodrigo Orozco, and its 1-0 El Paso.

Enderson Franco comes in for Okert in the top of the fourth.

Aramis Garcia ties the game up with a home run to right field off the glove of Gettys in the bottom of the fourth. Thanks for the assist, Michael! Game tied, 1-1.

Enderson has really done a great job since converting to the bullpen. He goes three shutout innings, and the score is still tied at 1-1.

Now pitching in the top of the seventh for the Cats is Kyle Barraclough.

That is going to be it for Nix as they send a pinch hitter in Taylor Kohlwey to lead off the inning

Nix goes six complete, with six strikeouts, no walks, and allowed only the one run off the bat of Aramis Garcia. Ian Miller will take Nix’s spot on the mound for El Paso.

Peter Maris with his first Triple-A and there are runners at first and third. Peter has been hitting the ball hard, but it has been going foul or to a fielder, so it is nice to see him get that.

Mike Gerber is looking to break Mike Edwards doubles record which was set back in 2003, but he grounds out to shortstop for the third out and the River Cats fail to score in the seventh.

Sam Selman come in to pitch the eighth and gets a quick 1-2-3 inning.

Eric Yardley in to pitch for the Chihuahuas.

Bottom of the eighth and Avelino bunts to third for the base hit. The throw was a little offline, but Avelino had it beat anyway.

Jaylin Davis up to bat.

Davis strikes out and Avelino steals second to put himself in scoring position for Chris Shaw. Shaw gets walked, and but Aramis Garcia grounds to third baseman who takes the easy force out of Avelino for the second out.

Joe McCarthy lifts it to right but that’s the final out of the inning.

Selman starts the ninth and gives up a walk to the first batter Jason Vosler.

That brings out Brundy and to the pen for Melvin Adon. Which Adon are we getting?

Adon strikes out the side!

Going to the bottom of the ninth still tied at 1-1.

Freeman, Michael and Maris are due up.

Ronnie leads off with a walk.

Michael goes down looking, one out.

Maris walks on four pitches.

Cristhian Adames is pinch hitting for Adon.

Runners and first and second with one out. Steven Wilson goes to 3-2 on Adames and that pitch looked close from up here. The crowd is making some noise. Adames fouls one off his fists.

3-6-1 double play and we are going to extra innings.

Venditte comes in here to start the tenth and Gettys is the runner at second.

Cantu grounds to second baseman Avelino, Gettys moves to third, but Cantu is out at first.

Peter Van Gansen short pop to McCarty in right and the throw home keeps Gettys at third.

Two down and Orozco coming up to bat.

Venditte signals that he is now going to be throwing left-handed, so Orozco switches to the right side.

One hop to Avelino and the Cats are coming up in the bottom of the tenth.

Maris will be the runner at second for the Cats. Avelino, Davis and Shaw are due up.

Avelino with a perfect bunt on the first pitch, Wilson falls as he goes for the ball. First and third with nobody out. Jaylin Davis coming to bat.

Avelino takes second base without a throw.

Strike one on Davis.

Davis with the base hit to center, Peter Maris scores and the River Cats win this in extra innings by a score of 2-1!!!

August 31, 2019

I found out that Carlos Navas is coming back to Sacramento. Bridget found out through Instagram that Tyler Cyr is also on his way, and the PCL transactions list shows Sam Moll as well. The only one officially on the roster at game time is Cyr. Burch Smith is still here but it sounds like he is going up once the roster expands tomorrow. The Giants beat writers do not seem to know who is going and saying that the club is being tight lipped.

In all the moves Justin Haley has been released. This one hurt; aside from his first outing, he has been the most dominate pitcher the River Cats have had as of late. His last three outings, with his most recent two nights ago have been outstanding.

Johnny Cueto makes his second rehab start tonight, and he will be facing Dillon Overton.

Aramis was hardly suited up tonight, and he brought his gear, a Giants helmet, and about four bats to the dugout. Henry Schulman was speculating that he would get called up tomorrow and that Bart would join the River Cats for the playoffs. That would be exciting, so let us see what happens.

Cueto was outstanding tonight! He gave up no runs or walks in six complete innings. He allowed four hits and struck out six. As he was walked back to the locker room mid inning, he walked over and handed River Cats “Team Mom” Carol his game cap.

Sam Wolff and Williams Jerez comes in a gives up some runs in the seventh and ninth inning respectively and the River Cats drop this one by a score of 3-0. I am ok with this though because the Aviators lost tonight as well, and honestly, I’d much rather the Cats face the Chihuahuas in the first round than the Aviators. I really think that they can beat the pups, but Las Vegas has their number.