Posts Tagged ‘Fresno Grizzlies’

Now Batting For The San Francisco Giants…

Actually, “Now Batting For” might not be the best description for Buster Posey’s next few weeks with the Giants.  “Now Coming In As A Defensive Replacement And Occasionally Starting If Bengie Molina Can’t Play” is probably a more apt, though much wordier, option.

Posey was called up on Wednesday, capping off a remarkable season that started in the Class A Advanced California League and saw a promotion to Triple-A Fresno.  The 22-year-old catcher out of Florida State hit .325 with 18 homeruns and 80 RBI in 115 games between those two stops.

Chances are that Posey won’t get a lot of starts – the team didn’t even want to bring him up this season; Bengie Molina is still the top dog behind the plate, although he’s fighting an injury right now – but this will give him a chance to see the game from a major league dugout, which is important, I think.  Kinda like a young quarterback watching from the sidelines until he gets his bearings.

Giants fans are happy about the fact that Buster is coming to town.  And they’re doing a great job of keeping their expectations reasonable:

So welcome, Buster (nickname: Bustery Poseyey). No pressure. Just rescue the Giants’ offense while you’re up. Oh, and teach the rest of the team how to work the count. Also, dispel the myth that rookie catchers cause entire pitching staffs to implode. Also, I’d like a glass of iced tea.

That really doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

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A Zephyr Can Beat A Grizzly, But The Grizzly Will Put Up One Hell Of A Fight

This would have been a much bigger story if the home team had won, but I still find it fascinating that Fresno entered the bottom of the ninth inning on Saturday trailing New Orleans 14-1 before putting eight on the scoreboard and almost making a game of it.

The Zephyrs dominated early, building a 13-0 lead by the middle of the fifth.  Five players had two or more hits, led by rightfielder Brett Carroll (4-5, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3B, 3 RS – not often that somebody misses the cycle by a double), starting pitcher Willie Collazo and reliever Brett Sinkbeil combined for eight innings of one-run, three-hit ball, and it looked like one of those nights that, if you’re associated with the Grizzlies, you write off as a loss and focus on the next one.

Then Carlos Vazquez replaced Sinkbeil to start the ninth.  He walked the first two batters he faced, the third reached on an error to load the bases, and the fourth, Jesus Guzman, hit a grand slam to centerfield to make it 14-5.  Vazquez walked the next batter before finally recording an out via strikeout, then gave up another homerun, to Matt Downs, to make it a 14-7 ball game.

That’s where it was decided that perhaps this just wasn’t Carlos Vazquez’s day.  He was pulled in favor of Chris Mobley, who promptly allowed a single and a double to put two men in scoring position with still just one out.  A visit to the mound settled him down, however, as he got Clay Timpner to ground out for the second out (as the inning’s seventh run scored).  A single made the score 14-9, but with a runner on first and two down, the rally was just about dead even before Nate Schierholtz lined out to short to end the game.

One good inning doesn’t erase eight bad ones for the Grizzlies, but at least they ended the day with something positive to fall back on.

Yeah, I’ve Been In The Show. I Was In The Show For 21 Days Once

Scott McClain is 36 years old.  He has six hits in 45 major league at-bats, including one double, for a .133 career average.  His only RBI in The Show came with the Chicago Cubs on August 9, 2005, when he pinch hit and reached on a throwing error by the third baseman.  His career OPS+ in thirty games is, somehow, -0.

In the minors, though, McClain fits the classic definition of a Quad A player – good enough to post superior numbers at the AAA level, but not quite good enough to stick in the majors.  On Monday, he reached an impressive milestone, scoring four times to become the only active player with 1,000 career runs batted in and 1,000 career runs scored in the minor leagues.

McClain, who has played for seven organizations in the United States and spent all or part of four seasons in Japan,  did it in style, tying the game with a ninth inning homerun and winning it with another blast in the eleventh.  He is hitting .308 with 17 homeruns and 68 RBI for the season and, according to thebaseballcube.com, has 350 career homers (counting the 71 he hit on the other side of the Pacific.

Congratulations, Scott.