What happens when a stoppable force meets a moveable object?
In a game that neither team played particularly well, the Potomac Nationals scored single runs in the last three innings to not lose, 3-2 against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The two teams combined to leave 19 men on base, collecting just nine hits between them as the pitchers issued 11 walks and the fielders committed five errors.
Myrtle Beach’s Barret Loux, who had beaten Potomac in his previous outing last Wednesday, was the most dominant pitcher of the night. He allowed just an infield hit to Jeff Kobernus in the first inning and struck out 10 over five and 2/3rds innings, mixing in a decent fastball (~88-92) a good change (~80-82) and slow curve (~73-77) that kept the P-Nats bats off-kilter.
Potomac’s Danny Rosenbaum started slow but finished strong, walking three batters in the first three innings, but retiring the last 10 in a row. He is still having difficulty commanding his pitches but got the pot of gold with a rainbow curve to Jeff DiFazio for a called third strike to escape a bases-loaded jam in the third.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the seventh, when Sandy Leon drew a leadoff walk and Myrtle Beach threw away the ensuing sacrifice attempt and handed Potomac the lead with a wild pitch and send the would-be sacrificer, Jose Lozada, to third. There he would stay after a groundout and two strikeouts (with a walk and steal by Jeff Kobernus sandwiched in-between) ended the inning.
The second Potomac run was much more earned, rulebook or otherwise, as Steven Souza doubled to right to lead off the eighth, and newly activated Justin Bloxom sacrificed him to third. J.P. Ramirez slapped a burner to the drawn-in shortstop for the infield hit and RBI.
With Pat Lehman unavailable after a two-inning stint on Sunday, manager Matt LeCroy sent Adam Olbrychowski out for the ninth to secure the win. Three batters later — a flyout, a walk, and a two-run homer — the two teams were tied at 2-2. Olbrychowski would leave three batters later after what was ruled a two-base error and a walk followed a tapper back to the mound. Joe Testa retired the only batter he faced with a caught-looking strikeout.
Down 2-2, the P-Nats were staring at extras when Chris Curran singled with one out, took second when pinch-hitter Francisco Soriano drew a walk, and went to third when Jeff Kobernus beat out a would-be double play ball. Destin Hood sent him home with the gamewinner, an infield hit to deep shortstop that he beat, securing the 3-2 win.
The two teams resume play today with a Tuesday matinee, as Mitchell Clegg is scheduled to pitch against Robbie Ross.