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Monday, December 5, 2022

AFL Recap: What a Day for Gonzales/Gonzalez in Saguaros Victory

The Surprise Saguaros played their final regular season game on Thursday. With an 18-10 record coming into the day, they already clinched the home field spot for Saturday’s championship game. They will find out who they will host tomorrow when the second and third place teams play for the second spot in the championship game. Yesterday’s game was canceled due to the weather. Here’s a recap of Thursday’s game (scheduled for seven innings), which had three Pittsburgh Pirates in the starting lineup. They used the same lineup that was posted early for yesterday’s game.

Nick Gonzales batted second and played second base. He doubled in the first inning, then singled in the third. He had an RBI infield single in the fourth. He singled on a line drive in the fifth. Gonzales moved to third base on defense in the sixth. He struck out in the seventh to finish 4-for-5 with his fourth double and two RBIs. In 77 plate appearances this fall, he finished with a .279 average and an .851 OPS

Blake Sabol caught and batted sixth. He doubled in the second inning, then singled, stole a base and scored in the fourth. He batted again in the fourth and grounded out with the bases loaded to end the inning. He popped out to third base in the sixth. He finished 2-for-4 with a run, his second double and a steal. In 55 plate appearances this fall, he had a .234 average and a .685 OPS

Jacob Gonzalez played first base and batted seventh. He walked in the second inning, then hit an RBI double (see video below) in the fourth and scored a run. He walked in the fifth and scored a run. He singled in a run in the sixth inning. He finished 2-for-2 with two runs, two RBIs, his second double and two walks. In 36 plate appearances this fall, he batted .212 and had a .614 OPS.

Tahnaj Thomas came out for the fifth. He got a six-pitch strikeout, then a first pitch ground out for two quick outs. The next batter walked on five pitches, then he finished the inning on a grounder. He threw 16 pitches, ten for strikes. He finished up the fall with a 9.64 ERA in 9.1 innings.

Here’s the boxscore

Saturday’s game is at 8 PM and will be broadcast on MLB Network

Here’s the double by Gonzalez

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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emjayinTN

Many of the Pirates contributed in this last regular season game. Looks like Priester will be available to throw in the Championship Game, as will Kumar Rocker.

ST1300b

Tanaj has got to be a disappointment over the past two years. Had upside that hasn’t shown up.

Rob Baran

Start of the season and then the AFL – sure thing, he generally sucked. Those months in between? Dude put himself in a good position to make the show.

roberto

So, a worthy candidate for the roster?

emjayinTN

He’s going to be on somebody’s 40 in 2023 – hope it is with the Pirates. Big RP/SP potential, along with Flowers, and a few others.

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