Panda Comes Back to the Bay

By Chandler Guadagnin

After a 3 year detour in Boston, Pablo Sandoval is on his way back to the city by the bay. After being officially designated for assignment on Wednesday, Sandoval, affectionately known as the Panda, has reportedly inked a minor league deal with San Francisco. Pablo had an injury plagued tenure with the Red Sox. After signing a 5-year $95M deal in the winter of 2014 with Boston, Sandoval played just 161 games over the past two and a half years. The Sox still owe Sandoval the remainder of the contract which stands at about $50M.

Over 2 years and change with Boston, Pablo Sandoval hit .237 with 14 home runs and 101 strikeouts.

In 7 years with the Giants, Sandoval hit to the tune of a .294 batting average while collecting 106 hits and tallying 462 RBIs. However, Sandoval is best known for his postseason production. In 3 postseasons, all with San Francisco, Pablo has hit .344 with 6 home runs and 20 RBIs. The Panda’s accolades with San Francisco include three World Series rings,  the 2012 World Series MVP, and two All-Star appearances. The most impressive postseason performance of his career came in Detroit, when in Game 1, Sandoval homered three times.

The Giants made it official on Saturday; signing Sandoval to a minor league pact. He will report to Class-A San Jose.

Statistics courtesy of www.baseball-reference.com

Contract information courtesy of www.baseballprospectus.com

Bumgarner Begins Rehab Assignment in Sacramento

By Chandler Guadagnin

Giants left-handed pitcher Madison Bumgarner has officially begun his rehab assignment. On Friday night for Triple-A Sacramento, Bumgarner went 3 and 2/3 innings surrendering seven hits and allowing four runners to cross the plate. He through 62 pitches in his night of work; 41 of those for strikes.

Bumgarner sustained a Grade 1 or 2 AC strain after crashing his dirt bike during an off-day in Colorado. At the time that Bumgarner was placed on the disabled list, San Francisco was 6-11. In Bumgarner’s absence the Giants have tallied a record of 31-40.

In four starts prior to the injury, Bumgarner pitched to the tune of a 3.00 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 4 walks in 27 innings pitched.

Bumgarner is expected to return sometime after the All-Star Break.

Bumgarner Rehab Statistics courtesy of http://wtop.com/mlb/2017/07/giants-bumgarner-has-uneven-outing-during-rehab-start/

Bumgarner Season Statistics courtesy of baseball-reference.com

Wild Pitches set stage extra inning loss for Heat

It wasn’t the Zach Hoffman double in the 10th inning that beat the Heat last night in Lincoln. When you dig deeper and see what ultimately led to Chico’s second extra-inning loss in less than a week the culprit were those free 90’s the Heat gave up in the 1st and 7th innings.

In the first inning a wild pitch with a runner at first and two outs moved Lincoln’s Will Law into scoring position. Two pitches later a double would bring home Law. He most likely would not have scored if he wasn’t at second base.

In the 7th with the Heat leading 3-1 the Potters put runners at 1st and 2nd with no one out. A wild pitch would move the runners to 2nd and 3rd and the Potters would again take advantage getting a SAC fly and an infield single to plate the tying runs.

The post-mortem of the Heat’s loss clearly points to self-inflicted wounds in their second straight loss to this season’s bitterest of rivals.

Chico still could have won Friday night’s game after loading the bases with no one out in the 9th inning but a ground out, strike out and ground out ended the threat and set the stage for Lincoln’s walk-off win.

Tonight will mark the half-way point for the 2017 season and after Saturday’s series finale the Heat will only have two games left against Lincoln. A win tonight moves Chico 1/2 game behind Lincoln, a loss and the Heat fall three back in the loss column.

Many feel these two are on a collision course for a playoff match-up, if that’s the case a win tonight would go a long way in determining home-field advantage should they meet in early August.

First pitch tonight is at 7:35pm with pre game at 7:15pm on the KpaySports app and right here on KpaySports dot-com

Heat sitting in good spot as halfway point approaches….

For the first time in 12 days the Chico Heat got a day off and they certainly looked like they needed the break.

The offensive prowess they showed agains the first place Medford Rogues at Nettleton Stadium did not accompany them to Marysville as the Heat were swept in a mini two-game set by the Gold Sox on Sunday and Monday. The day off gives the Heat a chance to decompress and recharge as they get ready for a four-game showdown versus the Lincoln Potters on Wednesday night.

The Heat lost a gut-wrencher on Monday night, a 13-inning 1-0 loss where the Gold Sox managed only four hits and stranded 17 runners but cashed in a walk, hit batsman, an error and SAC fly for the win. Chico wasted numerous opportunities in losing both games and Manager Fred Ludwig could sense his team was in need of a day off before Monday’s loss.

The Heat and Potters will lock horns on Wednesday at Nettleton Stadium with the Potters hosting the games Thursday-thru-Saturday at McBean Park. Even though the Potters are the new kid on the block they do not carry themselves like newbies. The Heat and Potters have taken turns beating each other on their home fields and the games have been unpredictable and spirited. The two squads figure to be going back and forth the rest of the season, but after Saturday’s game the two teams will only play one another twice in the final 30 games of the year.

Going into Wednesday’s series opener Hawaii-Pacific product Tanner Tokunaga leads the Great West League in four offensive categories, batting average (.385) hits (42) runs (29) and stolen bases (17) he also sits third in the league in walks with 18, trailing teammates Justin Watari (24) and Marcus Wilhite (23.)

The Heat also lead the league in stolen bases with a staggering 61 steals in 26 games. Chico is the third best hitting team in the league batting .292 and they have the second best on-base percentage at .401

Chico’s pitching is improving and they now have the second best team ERA in the league with an ERA of 4.64. They have the best WHIP (walks + hits/innings pitched. Heat pitchers have surrendered the most hits in the league but they have issued the fewest walks.

GREAT WEST LEAGUE STANDINGS

Updated as of June 28

MEDFORD                    18-8             –

LINCOLN                        15-10       2.5

CHICO                             15-11          3

PORTLAND                  11-14       6.5

MARYSVILLE               9-16          8.5

YUBA CITY                    8-17          9.5

Wilhite’s blast gives Chico 7-6 win

The fourth lead change of the game was the charm for the Chico Heat on Tuesday night as the Heat’s Marcus Wilhite launched a two run 9th inning shot into the netting above the right field wall giving the Heat a come-from-behind 7-6 win over the Marysville Gold Sox.

Chico had coughed up an early 3-0 lead and had squandered a few opportunities before the Butte College and Oroville-native Wilhite turned the game around on one pitch. After falling behind 0-1 Wilhite launched the next pitch from Lamar University left-hander Noah Sills to deep right. It was the second home run of the year for Wilhite, who will be attending Cal State San Marcos next year to continue his college career.

Chico jumped on the Gold Sox early when Cole Lemmel hit a two-run home run in the 2nd. Chico starter Brian Coffey cruised for the first two innings but ran into command issues in the 3rd walking three straight hitters and then hitting a batter before being relieved. Zach Sherman came in to minimize the damage and two innings later Ryan Sanchez came in to retire all six batters he would face.

The Gold Sox grabbed the lead in the 7th after Tony Bolinger singled home two runs with two outs giving Marysville a 6-5 lead. Andrew Schantz would close the door in the 9th after a couple of walks picking up his second win of the a season. Schantz has yet to allow a run in 7.1 innings on the year.

The Heat go for the series sweep tonight in Marysville as they take on the Gold Sox at 7:05pm with our pre-game coming your way at 6:45

Durant Gets it Done with Dubs

By Chandler Guadagjnin

Monday night the Golden State Warriors exacted their revenge on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kevin Durant played a big part in this quest for the title.

Kevin Durant took a lot of flack for joining the team that knocked him out of the playoffs a year ago. Some said that it was flat unfair that he joined an already stacked team. I submit to you that if the Warriors were as great as had been said, then the Warriors would have taken home the trophy last year. No matter how dominant the core of Curry, Green, and Thompson are, the Dubs couldn’t have gotten it done without one Kevin Durant.

In his 10-year career, Durant has accomplished so much: an 8 time All-Star, a 4 time scoring champ and the 2014 NBA MVP. In joining the Warriors, Durant sought that one thing that had alluded him all these years- an NBA Championship.

The Warriors Small Forward did his part, dropping 39 points in Golden State’s 129-120 Game 5 victory; making him only the sixth player in NBA history to score 30+ points in every game of a five-game Finals.

I have watched his celebration and elation on his face several times and it never gets old. He showed that underneath all of the  competition and stress, it is still just a child’s game. The joy that the game produces is what it’s all about.

Congratulations to the 2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors but especially Kevin Durant.

Durant statistics courtesy of https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_career_achievements_by_Kevihttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_career_achievements_by_Kevin_Durantn_Durant

Pickles turn series opener sour for Heat

The Chico Heat were looking to stay perfect on the road but a late inning rally by the Portland Pickles resulted in the Heat’s first road loss of the year.

Matt Starcovic’s third hit of the night, a line single to right center plated two runs in the bottom of the 9th giving the Pickles a come-from-behind 8-7 win over Chico.

Chico had scored in six of the first seven innings but their inability to tack on runs proved to be their undoing. Justin Watari got the Heat on the board in the 1st with a solo home run. Jake Davison would hit a solo shot in the 3rd. Chico was scoring but also leaving a lot of runners on base as they left the bases juiced in both the 2nd and 5th innings. With that said, Chico led 7-3 going to the bottom of the 7th inning. That’s when the tables turned as the Pickles got to the Heat bullpen.

Portland would score three runs in the 7th. The rally was aided by a dusk-aided pop up double that was lost in the high sky by Heat fielders. Portland was also fortunate to see a popped up bunt land untouched on the wet turn between first and second that extended the inning.

The Heat still took a 7-6 lead to the bottom of the 9th but Tanner Clark walked the first two hitters in the 9th, after a SAC bunt moved the runners into scoring position, Clark would walk Bobby Kinne to load the bases setting the stage for Starcovic’s heroics.

Watari went 3-for-4 for the Heat with a double and a home run driving in two. Cole Lemmel went 3-for-5 and drove in a run.

Mikey Wright pitched great for Chico. The Chico State product twirled six innings scattering six hits giving up three runs while walking no one and striking out 7.

Chico and Portland will play game two of this three game series tonight at 7:05pm with our pre-game coming your way at 6:45pm on the KpaySports app and right here on KpaySports dot-com. Just hit the listen live tab to hear all the action

7-run lead slips away as Heat drop series opener to Potters

A 10-3 lead is usually a sure thing but on Monday night at Nettleton Stadium the Heat learned the hard way that baseball can be fickle.

The Lincoln Potters scored eight unanswered runs in a stirring comeback to capture game one of a big early-season series between to the pole sitters in the Great West League.

Zachary Hall’s infield broken bat pop-up single scored pinch-runner Jacob Allen from third base with the tie-breaking run in the top of the 8th for Lincoln. Chico had a chance to win it in the bottom of the 9th, loading the bases with no one out but Zach Hoffman came in and shut the door striking out two and sniffing out a suicide squeeze.

Chico was led by Hawaii-Pacific product Tanner Tokunaga who had his second straight five hit game going 5-for-5. Jack Rotteveel went 4-for-5 with 3 RBI’s. Chico banged out 17 hits but stranded 14 runners and also committed 5 costly errors that kept Potter rallies alive.

The two teams meet in game two the three-game set on Tuesday night at The Nett. First pitch is at 7:05pm with the pre-game at 6:45pm on the KPAYSPORTS app and right here on KpaySports.com

 

Chico Heat in first place showdown with Potters…..

The Chico Heat open a three game series versus the Lincoln Potters in what is an early season showdown for first place in the Great West League.

Chico is coming off of a three game sweep of the Medford Rogues over the weekend. The Heat captured the series finale on the strength of a 13-run 2nd inning on Sunday night. Chico would hammer the Rogues 16-7 as six Heat hitters had multi-hit games led by Hawaii-Pacific product Tanner Tokunaga’s five hit game. Jack Rotteveel and Zach Sherman each drove in five runs.

Chico and Lincoln both come into Monday night’s contest with 5-1 records. The first two games of the three game set will be played at Nettleton Stadium while Wednesday’s series finale will be at McBean Stadium in Lincoln. All games will start at 7:05pm and can be heard on 101.7 KVXX and the KpaySports app.

Chico Heat shut down Pickles to move to 2-0 on season

For the second straight night the Chico Heat got a stellar pitching performance as they shut down the Portland Pickles 4-1 on Wednesday night.

Feather River College product Justin Watland shut down the Pickles  tossing 6 innings of 4-hit shut-out baseball walking no one and striking out four. Tanner Tokunaga, Marcus Wilhite, Chris Smutny and Bailey Zimmer each had two hits accounting for all the knocks the Heat would get. Chico State product Andrew Schantz pitched a scoreless 9th striking out the side to pick up the save.

Chico won their season opener on Tuesday 6-4 behind 5 innings of one-hit shut-out relief from Chico product Samson Abernathy. The Heat were able to rally from an early 4-0 deficit to get the win.

Chico will now go for the series sweep on Thursday as they host Portland at 7:05pm at Nettleton Stadium. Rory Miller will have the play-by-play with the Heat pre-game at 6:45pm. You can listen on 101.7 FM or the KpaySports app, also right here on the KpaySports website.