Giants, Grizzlies Meet In North Division Series
GIANTS, GRIZZLIES MEET IN DIVISION SERIES: The defending league champion San Jose Giants play the Fresno Grizzlies (Rockies affiliate) this week in the best-of-three North Division Series. The Giants host Game 1 on Tuesday night at Excite Ballpark before the series shifts to Chukchansi Park in Fresno for Games 2 and 3 on Thursday and Friday respectively. The winner advances to the best-of-three California League Championship Series beginning on Sunday.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: The Giants went 13-17 against Fresno during the regular season. San Jose posted a 10-8 mark versus the Grizzlies at Excite Ballpark, but went just 3-9 in Fresno. In five of their nine losses at Chukchansi Park, the Giants had a lead in the seventh inning or later. The Grizzlies won 13 of the final 17 meetings between the teams, including four of six games in a series last week in the South Bay that closed out the regular season.
PLAYOFF HISTORY: The Giants are in the playoffs for a third straight season. In 2019, San Jose qualified as a Wild Card team, but was swept by the Visalia Rawhide in the North Division Series. After the 2020 season was cancelled, the Giants won the league title last year sweeping Fresno three-games-to-none in the Championship Series (only the top two teams in the league, regardless of division, reached the playoffs in 2021). San Jose is attempting to win back-to-back championships for the first time since 2009-10, which is the last instance any team in the league won consecutive titles. The Giants have reached the playoffs 15 times in their last 18 seasons overall.
REGULAR SEASON REVIEW: The Giants finished the regular season with a 74-58 overall record. San Jose went 40-26 in the first half and was one game behind Fresno for the top spot in the North Division. The Giants were 34-32 in the second half with the Grizzlies again claiming the division crown. San Jose earned a trip to the postseason by virtue of finishing with the second-best overall record in the North Division (eight games ahead of Modesto). The Giants went 10-5 in their final 15 regular season games dating back to August 26. San Jose had only two losing streaks of longer than three games the entire season (four-game skid June 10-13, six-game skid July 6-12). Fresno finished the regular season with a league-best 83-49 record.
LEAGUE-LEADING PITCHING STAFF: The Giants pitching staff had an outstanding season and led the California League in several categories, including ERA (4.11), lowest opponents batting average (.230), WHIP (1.36) and fewest home runs allowed (92). San Jose was also second in the league in strikeouts (10.9 per game) and second in shutouts (6). The Giants achieved a new team single-season record with 1,443 strikeouts. San Jose broke the record during the final game of the regular season surpassing the previous mark of 1,439 strikeouts set by the 2021 team. The Giants led the league in earned run average for a second straight season although the staff wasn't as effective late in the year with a 4.85 ERA since the beginning of August (18-18 record).
HOMER HAPPY: San Jose had a big year hitting the long ball once again. The Giants finished the regular season with 149 home runs in their 132 games - second in the California League (Fresno led with 162 HR). Individually, seven San Jose players reached double-digit home run totals: Grant McCray (21 - promoted to Eugene on August 25), Yorlis Rodriguez (16), Aeverson Arteaga (14), Vaun Brown (14 - promoted to Eugene on June 24), Victor Bericoto (12), Alexander Suarez (12) and Jared Dupere (10 - promoted to Eugene on August 25). San Jose was one home run shy of matching their team single-season record, which was set by last year's championship club (150 HR).
ARTEAGA SURGING: Shortstop Aeverson Arteaga has enjoyed a late-season surge at the plate for the Giants. Arteaga finished the regular season on a 15-game hitting streak. He hit .365 with six doubles, three home runs and 21 RBI's during the hit streak. Arteaga led the California League in hits (136) and doubles (35) this season while ranking fifth in RBI's (84).
WELCOME TO SAN JOSE: The Giants saw significant changes to their roster late in the year with the addition of 13 players from the Arizona Complex League (Rookie-level) over the final two weeks of the regular season. Eight of the new additions are players from the San Francisco Giants 2022 draft class: LHP Carson Whisenhunt (2nd round), RHP Will Kempner (3rd round), RHP Spencer Miles (4th round), RHP Liam Simon (5th round), RHP Hayden Birdsong (6th round), C Zach Morgan (7th round), OF Wade Meckler (8th round) and LHP John Michael Bertrand (10th round - currently on IL). OF P.J. Hilson, 1B Logan Wyatt, INF Diego Velasquez, INF Andrew Kachel (currently on IL) and RHP Mikell Manzano also joined the Giants over the last two weeks from the Complex League. The Giants Black team won the Complex League Championship last month (defeated Rockies affiliate).
SINACOLA GETS GAME 1 NOD: Nick Sinacola is the Giants' scheduled starting pitcher for Game 1 of the Division Series on Tuesday night. Sinacola spent the entire season in San Jose and went 6-6 with a 3.86 ERA over 25 appearances (18 starts). He led the Giants staff with 102 2/3 innings pitched. The former seventh round pick finished seventh in the California League in strikeouts (116) and allowed two earned runs or fewer in 10 out of his last 13 starts (has pitched exclusively in the rotation since the beginning of the second half). Sinacola made four starts and one relief appearance against Fresno in the regular season and was 1-1 with a 3.91 ERA versus the Grizzlies.
RYAN MURPHY RETURNS: Pitcher Ryan Murphy returned to the San Jose Giants during the final week of the regular season. Murphy was one of San Jose's top hurlers in 2021 when he fashioned a 2.96 ERA over 15 starts. He struck out 116 and walked only 18 in 76 innings for the Giants last year. Murphy was added to the roster as part of a minor league rehab assignment as he's currently on the Double-A Richmond injured list. He's been limited to only nine starts this season between High-A Eugene and Richmond (combined 4.31 ERA, 22 BB/54 SO in 39 2/3 IP). Murphy is rated the sixth-best pitching prospect in the organization by MLB.com. Murphy is slated to start Game 2 of the Division Series on Thursday night in Fresno.
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California League Stories from September 13, 2022
- Grizzlies Set to Face San Jose Giants in Divisional Series, Return Home Thursday - Fresno Grizzlies
- Giants, Grizzlies Meet In North Division Series - San Jose Giants
- Fresno Grizzlies Game Notes Game 1 Northern Divisional Series at San Jose - Fresno Grizzlies
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