Championship Series (Best-of-Five)
Game 1 (at Inland Empire): Thursday, September 12, 7:05 PM
Game 2 (at Inland Empire): Friday, September 13, 7:05 PM
Game 3 (at San Jose): Saturday, September 14, 7:05 PM
Game 4 (at San Jose): Sunday, September 15, 6:00 PM *if necessary
Game 5 (at San Jose): Monday, September 16, 7:05 PM *if necessary
Probable Starting Pitching Matchups
San Jose - Ty Blach (12-4, 2.90)
Inland Empire - Orangel Arenas (8-8, 5.14)
San Jose - Kyle Crick (3-1, 1.57)
Inland Empire - TBA
San Jose - Adalberto Mejia (7-4, 3.31)
Inland Empire - Drew Rucinski (2-2, 1.86)
San Jose - Clayton Blackburn (7-5, 3.65)
Inland Empire - Alex Keudell (5-1, 3.77)
San Jose - TBA
Inland Empire - TBA
Games Three, Four and Five will be televised live on Comcast Hometown Network, Channel 104 with Joe Ritzo and Zack Bayrouty handling the play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively. The entire series can also be heard live on sjgiants.com and through the San Jose Giants Mobile App. Joe Ritzo calls the action in Games One and Two from San Bernardino with Rocky Koplik providing the radio play-by-play for Games Three, Four and Five. Radio broadcasts begin 30 minutes prior to first pitch with The Giants Pregame Show. Additionally, every home game in the series will be streamed live and available on demand through MiLB.TV.
Giants And 66ers Clash In California League Championship Series
The North Division champion San Jose Giants begin the best-of-five California League Championship Series against the South Division champion Inland Empire 66ers this evening at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino. Ty Blach (12-4, 2.90) is slated to make the start for the Giants in tonight's game. Inland Empire will host Game Two tomorrow evening before the series shifts to San Jose for Game Three on Saturday. Games Four and Five (if necessary) will also be played at Municipal Stadium on Sunday and Monday respectively. The Giants have reached the Championship Series for the first time since 2010.
San Jose Outlasts Visalia To Win North Division
San Jose defeated the Visalia Rawhide three-games-to-two in the best-of-five North Division Series that concluded last night. The Giants scored in the first six innings yesterday and never trailed en route to a 9-5 Game Five victory. Ricky Oropesa (4) and Devin Harris (3) combined for seven home runs during the series to lead San Jose offensively. Trevor Brown posted the top individual batting average on the club with nine hits in 19 at-bats (.474) over the five games.
Regular Season Review
San Jose concluded the regular season with a league-best 83-57 overall record. The Giants won their eighth first half North Division title in the last nine years (2005-2011, 2013) to secure a spot in the postseason. San Jose finished the first half at 43-27 before posting a 40-30 record during the second half of the season. It marks the 10th consecutive year (2004-2013) that the Giants have reached the playoffs - a new California League record. The Stockton Ports held the previous record, when they reached the postseason in nine straight years from 1985-1993.
The Giants have won four California League championships over the last eight seasons claiming titles in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010. 2009 and 2010 marked San Jose's first back-to-back titles in franchise history. Over their 25-year history (1988-2012), the Giants have won six championships - all in the last 15 seasons (1998, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010). The San Jose franchise has won 11 championships - tied with the Stockton Ports for the most of any team in California League history.
League-Leading Pitching Staff
The Giants pitching staff compiled a stellar 3.66 ERA this season to lead the California League (Modesto next-closest at 3.88). San Jose has now led the California League in ERA eight times over the last ten seasons. Individually, Ty Blach was first in the league in ERA (2.90) and tied for second in wins (12) while Clayton Blackburn was fourth in ERA (3.65) and fourth in strikeouts (138). As a staff, the Giants were first in the league in strikeouts (1282) and fewest home runs allowed (103), second in shutouts (8) and third in fewest walks (425).
Outfielders Mac Williamson and Devin Harris both produced impressive power numbers over the course of the season. Williamson finished tied for third in the league in home runs (25) to go with 89 RBI's and a .292 batting average. He hit .328 with 19 homers and 69 RBI's after May 31 (June .320, July .321, August .356). Over his last 16 games of the regular season, Williamson owned a .431 batting average (25-for-58) with five home runs and 21 RBI's. Harris led the league in doubles (40), was fifth in home runs (23), had 84 RBI's and finished with a .258 batting average. Williamson is tied for third on San Jose's single-season home run list while Harris is tied for fifth. Adam Duvall (2012) holds the team single-season record with 30 home runs.
Pitcher Ty Blach was San Jose's lone representative on the postseason California League All-Star team. A league-high eight Giants were named to the midseason California League All-Star team earlier in the year: pitchers Edwin Escobar, Josh Osich, Hunter Strickland and Blach, infielders Ryan Cavan and Angel Villalona, outfielder Devin Harris and catcher Jeff Arnold.
Season Series Success
San Jose finished the regular season with a .500 or above record against every other team in the California League this year.
Law Perfect In Save Opportunities
Reliever Derek Law was a perfect 11-for-11 in save opportunities with the Giants this season. The right-hander joined San Jose on July 6 from Augusta (A). In 22 appearances with the Giants, Law compiled a 4-0 record and a 2.10 ERA. He amassed a whopping 45 strikeouts compared to just one walk in 25 2/3 innings pitched while holding the opposition to a .208 batting average. In 12 games at home, Law fashioned a 0.61 ERA with 28 strikeouts and no walks over 14 2/3 innings (one run allowed). Law, a ninth round draft pick in 2011, had recorded just nine saves in the first 2 1/2 years of his professional career before joining San Jose.
Ty Blach and Mac Williamson were recognized as San Jose's co-MVP's during the final weekend of the regular season. Blach also took home the club's Pitcher of the Year and Good Guy Award while Williamson was honored the Offensive Player of the Year. Other award recipients included catcher Jeff Arnold as Defensive Player of the Year and Bryce Bandilla as Relief Pitcher of the Year.
Oropesa's Return Boosts Offense
First baseman Ricky Oropesa returned to the Giants from Double-A Richmond on July 1 and hit .295 with 16 doubles, eight home runs and 38 RBI's in 57 games with San Jose this season. Oropesa was one of the top sluggers in the California League last year when he batted .263 with 30 doubles, 16 home runs and 98 RBI's over 134 games. The 2011 third round draft pick hit just .207 with Richmond earlier this season before returning to San Jose. As a team, the Giants hit .275 in July and .272 in August after batting only .233 in May and .237 in June.
Winning The Close Ones
The Giants won a league-high 23 one-run games during the regular season. San Jose's 23-12 record (.657) trailed only Visalia (20-7, .741) for the top winning percentage in one-run games in the league.
The Giants made a flurry of roster moves during the first week of September. On the final day of the regular season, pitcher Austin Fleet (6-2, 3.92) rejoined the club after his third stint with Triple-A Fresno. In advance of the playoff opener, third baseman Mitch Delfino and outfielder Jesus Galindo were added to the San Jose roster from Class-A Augusta. Delfino hit .270 with team-leading totals of 25 doubles, 13 home runs and 76 RBI's this season. Galindo, who played in the Futures Game this year, batted .273 with one home run, 25 RBI's and a team-best 48 stolen bases in 89 games. Pitchers Tyler Rogers and Pat Young also joined the club from Short-Season Salem-Keizer. Rogers was 1-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 14 relief appearances for the Volcanoes while Young made eight starts and fashioned a 3-1 record with a 0.92 ERA.
Fifth Straight Year Of 200,000 Attendance
2013 marked San Jose's fifth consecutive year with a total home attendance figure of at least 200,000 (after never having reached the milestone prior to 2009). The Giants ranked second in the California League in both total attendance (201,011) and average fans per home game (2,872) this season. The franchise record for total attendance was set in 2011 (222,547).
Opponent Notes: Inland Empire 66ers
The Inland Empire 66ers, an affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, finished the regular season with a 69-71 record and qualified for the playoffs as a wild card team in the South Division. Inland Empire defeated Rancho Cucamonga (2-1) and Lancaster (3-2) to advance to the Championship Series. The 66ers ranked third in the league in batting average (.270) and fifth in ERA (4.64). Inland Empire was just 3-11 against the Giants during the regular season (2-5 in San Bernardino, 1-6 in San Jose).