It feels as though there is significant news coming from Giants camp every day, and Tuesday continued that trend on numerous fronts.
Domenic Mazza Tosses First 9-inning South Atlantic League Perfect-O
Walnut Creek native Domenic Mazza was selected in the 22nd round of the 2015 draft out of UC Santa Barbara by the San Francisco Giants and is starting the 2017 season where he spent all of last season--in Augusta with the GreenJackets. After a rough first outing this season in which he went just 2 2/3 innings and gave up seven earned, the 22-year-old left-hander had allowed a one cumulative run in his subsequent two starts (9 innings) leading up to Tuesday's splash. That first start included a home run given up to Tim Tebow, so last night's outing was most certainly the universe apologizing.
Mazza needed just 85 pitches (60 strikes) to completely shut down the Lexington Legends on the road, helping him to earn his first win on the season. After holding a 23.63 ERA after his first start, Mazza will be ending the month with a respectable 3.48 mark after three pretty solid starts.
As with any no hitter or perfect game, there were some nice defensive plays made to secure the achievement. The two featured below are courtesy of Giants number 8 prospect Sandro Fabian in right.
Christian Arroyo Collects First Hit, Brandon Crawford Gets Pulled
Batting second in yet another new-look Giants lineup, Arroyo collected the first hit of his young career in the first inning on a grounder through the left side off the best pitcher on the planet, Clayton Kershaw. Through his first two games, Arroyo is 1-for-8 with three strikeouts, but some growing pains were definitely to be expected.
Lets get way ahead of ourselves for a minute, ok?
Because I want to make sure everyone knows that there will be a campaign for when Arroyo gets hot, the slogan for his Rookie of the Year campaign had better be: You can't spell Arroyo without ROY. So far the presumptive favorite for the award, Dansby Swanson, is off to a rough start having accumulated a -0.4 fWAR with a -6 wRC+. He is currently batting .139 with one homer and three RBI. Along with Manny Margot, these three players will likely be the top three offensive candidates for the award. Manny Pina of the Brewers has gotten off to the best start in the NL, but he likely doesn't have the name recognition needed to secure enough votes to beat Margot, Swanson or Arroyo. Rockies rookie Antonio Senzatela is making a strong early case on the mound with two solid performances against the Giants so far. There is obviously a lot of baseball to be played this season, and each early frontrunner is going to have to earn the award in the coming months.
In the 8th inning of the Giants 2-1 loss to the Dodgers, Brandon Crawford was pulled from the game with Jeff Samardzija coming in to pinch run for him at first. Crawford is said to have a groin injury (per Alex Pavlovic). Pavs is also saying that the Crawford was going to miss the final two games of the series to attend the funeral of his sister-in-law. Hopefully this means that he'll be able to return to the lineup when he returns from the bereavement list, but we'll have to wait until Wednesday's pre-game presser to get more info on the situation.
Sacramento (7-12) beat Las Vegas (Mets) 11-1 behind a solid start from Joan Gregorio (7 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K), lowering his ERA to 2.42 and earning the 25-year-old righty his first win of 2017. The River Cats collected 15 hits in the contest, with Orlando Calixte (4-for-4, run, RBI) making his case for a promotion. He is six for his last twelve in the last three games and can play all around the diamond.
Mac Williamson collected his first hits of the series, and of his official rehab assignment with Sacramento, going 3-for-4 with a 7th inning grand slam, 5 RBI and a run scored. Obviously Mac's health would be a big boost to the San Francisco club, but as is a common problem these days, finding him regular playing time is going to be rough, especially with Arroyo now in the big leagues. The 21-year-old is going to be in the starting lineup more often than not, which leaves Eduardo Nunez shifting all over the place once Williamson is ready. Nunez will likely be giving the regulars breaks throughout the week instead of finding a home for himself.
Richmond (7-10) scored twice in the bottom of the 9th to pull out a 2-1 walk-off win over visiting Bowie (Orioles). Matt Gage (#28 prospect) did a lot of bending, allowing ten hits in 4 1/3 innings, but only allowed one run in his time on the mound. He walked one and struck out three. After Carlos Alvarado finished up the 5th frame with a pair of strikeouts, Jordan Johnson came on and worked the final four frames, allowing just two hits and walking two while striking out five.
San Jose (9-10) fell to the Dodger-affiliated Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, 9-1. Bryan Reynolds (CF, 3-for-4) and Jose Vizcaino Jr. (1B, 2-for-4) provided the offensive punch for the Baby Giants, but didn't get much help from the rest of the team on this night. On the rubber it was a tough night all around as Mark Reyes (5 1/3 IP, 3 hits, 4 ER, 5 BB, 4 K), Yordy Cabrera (1 2/3 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER) and Caleb Smith (1/3 IP, 3 hits, 3 ER, 3 BB) all had rough nights. Dylan Rheault has been one of the best pitchers on the staff and he finished up the final 2/3 of bottom of the 8th with the bases loaded by inducing a double play ground out to end the threat. Rheault was signed by the Giants out of Indy ball right before the season began.
Reyes leads the club in innings pitched and walks, both at least partially due to him being a starter. His walk numbers however are far from sustainable. Through 19 innings this season he has issued 18 free passes, helping to inflate his WHIP to 1.95 through five games (four starts).