North Mini-Series (Best-of-Three)
Game 1 (at San Jose): Wednesday, September 5, 7:00 PM
Game 2 (at Modesto): Thursday, September 6, 7:05 PM
Game 3 (at Modesto): Friday, September 7, 7:05 PM *if necessary
Probable Starting Pitching Matchups
Game 1 - Modesto: Christian Bergman (16-5, 3.65) vs. San Jose: Clayton Blackburn (0-0, ---)
Game 2 - Modesto: Josh Mueller (5-1, 3.18) vs. San Jose: TBA
Game 3 - Modesto: Tyler Matzek (6-8, 4.62) vs. San Jose: TBA
Giants Host Modesto In Game One Of North Mini-Series Tonight... The San Jose Giants begin the postseason this evening with Game One of the best-of-three North Mini-Series against the Modesto Nuts at Municipal Stadium. San Jose will host Game One tonight before the series shifts to Modesto for Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) on Thursday and Friday. The Giants finished the regular season with a North Division-best 75-65 record. San Jose is in the playoffs for the ninth consecutive year (2004-2012) having secured a berth as the wild card in the North Division. The winner of the Giants-Nuts Mini-Series will advance to play the Bakersfield Blaze in the best-of-five North Division Series beginning on Saturday.
Media Coverage... Wednesday's postseason opener can be heard live on sjgiants.com and inside Municipal Stadium at 92.9 FM with Joe Ritzo and Rocky Koplik calling all of the action. The Yahoo! Giants Pregame Show will begin at 6:30 PM. Additionally, the game will be streamed live and available on demand through MiLB.TV. Games 2 and 3 in Modesto can also be heard live on sjgiants.com with Ritzo handling the play-by-play.
Championship Notes... The Giants have won four California League championships over the last seven 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 24-year history (1988-2011), the Giants have won six championships - all in the last 14 seasons (1998, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010). The San Jose franchise has won 11 championships - tied with the Stockton Ports for the most of any team in California League history. This season marks the first time since 2004 that the Giants have participated in the Mini-Series. San Jose saw their league-record streak of seven consecutive First Half North Division titles (2005-2011) end this year. First half winners earn a first round bye through to the Division Series.
Duvall Earns Postseason All-Star Honor... Third baseman Adam Duvall was the only San Jose player named to the postseason California League All-Star team. Duvall hit .258 during the regular season with 30 home runs and 100 RBI's in 134 games this year. He established a new San Jose Giants single-season home run record with his 27th of the year on August 17 in Stockton. Tim Flaherty held the previous mark of 26 home runs during the 2001 season. Duvall's 30 home runs overall lead the entire San Francisco Giants organization.
Team Awards... Adam Duvall and Joe Panik were recognized as San Jose's co-MVP's prior to the regular season finale last Monday. Other award winners this season include: Jack Snodgrass and Jose Valdez (co-Pitchers of the Year), Duvall (Offensive Player of the Year), Panik (Defensive Player of the Year), Valdez (Relief Pitcher of the Year) and Alex Burg (Good Guy Award).
Versus The Nuts... San Jose posted a 16-10 record against the Modesto Nuts during the regular season. The 16 wins were the most for the Giants against an opponent this year. San Jose was 8-5 versus the Nuts at both Municipal Stadium and John Thurman Field in Modesto. The clubs met during the final series of the regular season (August 31-September 3) with the Giants taking three out of four games. San Jose was 8-0 against Modesto in one-run games this year.
Giants In The Cal League Rankings... Adam Duvall finished the regular season ranked first in the California League in home runs (30), tied for second in runs scored (101) and third in RBI's (100). Ricky Oropesa also ranked tied for fourth in RBI's (98) while Joe Panik was third in hits (159). Pitcher Taylor Rogers (12) was second in wins while Ryan Bradley and Jack Snodgrass were tied for fourth with 10 victories apiece. As a team, the Giants were fourth in the league in runs scored (5.4 per game), tied for seventh in batting average (.267) and third in ERA (4.47). San Jose was also first in shutouts (10) while the pitching staff allowed the fewest home runs (94) in the league.
Panik Surges In Second Half... Shortstop Joe Panik batted .337 with five home runs and 46 RBI's in the second half (64 games) after hitting at a .257 clip with two homers and 30 RBI's during the first half (66 games). The former first round draft pick also hit .387 (67-for-173) over his last 42 games of the regular season. Panik led the Giants in hits (159), was tied for second in doubles (27), third in RBI's (76) while he was also the toughest player to strikeout in the California League (one every 11.20 at-bats). He ended the year with a .297 batting average.
Fun Facts... The Giants were 62-2 this season when leading after seven innings - the fewest number of losses in the league ... San Jose's 23-15 record in one-run games was second-best in the California League (Rancho Cucamonga 26-14) ... The Giants batted .286 as a team and hit 30 home runs during August (17-12 record) - their highest totals for any full month this year ... Since the beginning of August, San Jose lost consecutive games just once (three straight defeats from August 25-27).
Clayton Blackburn To Make Game One Start... Clayton Blackburn is expected to get the ball for the Giants in this evening's contest. Blackburn will be making his California League debut after he was promoted from Augusta (A) last Sunday. In 22 starts with the GreenJackets this season, Blackburn fashioned an 8-4 record with a 2.54 ERA. The 19-year old right-hander was first in the South Atlantic League in strikeouts (143) and second in ERA. Blackburn was a 16th round selection by the San Francisco Giants in the 2011 draft out of Edmond Santa Fe High School in Oklahoma.
Opponent Notes: Modesto Nuts... The Modesto Nuts, an affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, won the second half title in the North Division with a 39-31 record - two games ahead of San Jose (37-33). Modesto finished the regular season with an overall mark of 73-67. Former Giants skipper Lenn Sakata is in his first year as the Nuts' manager. Sakata is the winningest manager in San Jose franchise history recording 466 victories over six seasons (1999, 2001, 2004-07). He won California League championships with the Giants in 2001, 2005 and 2007. Modesto was third in the league in runs scored (5.6 per game), tied for fourth in batting average (.270) and second in ERA (4.39). The Nuts were a league-best 12-4 in extra-inning games this season, but also a league-worst 17-27 in one-run games. California League Pitcher of the Year Christian Bergman (16-5, 3.65 ERA) is slated to make the Game One start on the mound tonight.