The Playoff Picture (as of September 17)

The Quakes were blown out 10-0 last night at San Jose, falling behind 1-0 in their best-of-five series for the California League pennant.

If you think precedent is a sign of things to come, then you should be happy.

The Quakes lost Game #1 of their last series, the best-of-five for the South Division title against Lake Elsinore. Rancho lost that one 5-0, committing seven errors. The Quakes went on to win the next three straight.

Game #2 is tonight at San Jose. Garrett Richards is the announced starting pitcher for the Quakes, with Kelvin Marte starting for the Giants.

Richards began 2010 with the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the Low-A Midwest League. In 19 starts, he was 8-4 with a 3.41 ERA. In 108 1/3 innings, he struck out 108 and walked 34. Promoted to High-A Rancho Cucamonga in late July, Richards was 4-1 with a 3.89 ERA for the Quakes. In seven starts (34 2/3 innings), he struck out 41 and walked nine.

Come November, Richards may be ranked the Angels’ top pitching prospect on the 2010 Top 10 Prospects report. I filmed his May 2 bullpen session at Cedar Rapids, so you get to see his pitch location and movement much closer than game action. Click here to watch the video. Windows Media Player and a broadband (cable modem, DSL) Internet connection required.

Marte pitched this year at three levels in the Giants’ system. I’m guessing he was rehabbing from an injury, because he pitched in relief for six games in July with the Giants’ Rookie-A team in the Arizona League. He moved up to Low-A Augusta in the South Atlantic League where he appeared in seven games, making four starts. In 26 1/3 innings, Marte had a 2.73 ERA, striking out 16 and walking seven. He made one start for San Jose on September 4, giving up six runs in 3 2/3 innings to Visalia. In Game #2 of their playoff series against Modesto, Marte gave up three runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings with no strikeouts and a walk.

Elsewhere …

I haven’t found out much more about the hot rumor that the Quakes will dump the Angels for the Dodgers. Lots more rumors, but not much in the way of facts. I suspect we’ll hear more once the playoff series is over.

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