May 092011
 

For the second time this season a pair of Nationals farmhands garnered Player of The Week Honors, as Archie Gilbert won it for the Eastern League and Bryce Harper won it for the South Atlantic League.

Gilbert clubbed four of the five HRs he hit for the week against the Reading Phillies on Saturday and Sunday, and went 8-for-23 for the week (May 2-8) with 6 RBI overall. Gilbert is the current Eastern League leader in slugging percentage at .609.

Bryce Harper only hit one HR for the same timeframe but hit .500 (12-for-24) with four doubles and four RBI and is in the midst of a 12-game hitting streak that has pushed his batting average to .371. The 18-year-old was the #1 pick overall in the 2010 draft

May 092011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 4-0 @ Norfolk, 7:15 p.m. Brad Meyers (AAA debut) vs.
TBD
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 15-6 vs. Altoona, 7:00 p.m. Erik Arnesen (1-0, 3.00) vs.
Michael Colla (1-1, 4.00)
Potomac Nationals Won, 2-1 (11 inn.) @ Winston-Salem, 7:00 p.m. Mitchell Clegg (1-2, 6.98) vs.
Joe Serafin (0-2, 5.57)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 12-11 vs. Delmarva, 6:35 p.m. Robbie Ray (Low-A Debut) vs.
Tim Berry (0-1, 5.95)

Durham 4 Syracuse 0
• Detwiler 6IP 6H 4R 4ER 3BB 6K
• Mandel 2IP 1H 0R 1BB 3K
• Hulett 1-4
• Flores 1-3

The Chiefs mustered just two hits in the final game of the series against Durham as they went on to lose by a score of 4-0, completing the four-game sweep. Starting pitcher Ross Detwiler took the loss, pitching six complete innings, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks while striking out six. Mandel pitched in relief, pitching two innings, allowing only one hit and one walk. Both of Syracuse’s hits were singles, one by Tug Hulett, the other by Jesus Flores. With 10 strikeouts on Sunday, the Syracuse batters whiffed 41 times for the series.

Reading 15 Harrisburg 6
• Peacock (ND) 4⅓ IP 6H 5R 5ER 2BB 6K
• Chico (L, 0-1) 1⅔ 4H 6R 2ER 1BB 2K 1HR
• Martinez 2IP 5H 4R 4EFR 0BB 2K 1HR
• VanAllen 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
• Gilbert 3-4, 2R, 2HR, 2RBI
• King 2-4, 2B
• Moore 1-4, 2R, HR, RBI

The brooms were also out in the ‘Burg as Reading picked up where they left off on Saturday night and pummeled Harrisburg, 15-6. Senators’ ace Brad Peacock retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced before the wheels spun off in a five-run fifth that turned a 4-0 lead into a 5-4 deficit. Neither Matt Chico nor Carlos Martinez could stop the bleeding as the Phillies piled on six more in the sixth and four more in the eighth. Archie Gilbert also repeated his Saturday night with a single and another two HRs, while Steven King singled and doubled.

Potomac 2 Kinston 1 (11 inn.)
• Rosenbaum (ND) 7IP 6H 1R 1ER 1BB 7K
• Smoker 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 3K
• Lehman (S, 7) 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
• Hood 2-5, R, 2B, SB
• Bloxom 1-3, 2BB, RBI

A first-inning run broke a 16-inning scoreless streak for Potomac, but it took some stellar pitching to survive the next nine-inning drought as the P-Nats prevailed in extras, 2-1 to salvage one game of the four-game series. Starter Danny Rosenbaum lowered his ERA to 1.98 with one run allowed on six hits and a walk over seven innings, striking out seven along the way. Marcos Frias got the win in relief while Pat Lehman tied for the Carolina League lead with his 7th save. Destin Hood led the offense with a 2-for-5 game, with a double and a stolen base.

Hagerstown 12 Lexington 11
• McKenzie 2IP 7H 7R 7ER 2BB 3K
• Applenee (W, 2-1) 4IP 4H 2R 1ER 0BB 3K 1HR
• Manno 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
• Kelso 1-3, 3R, HR, 2BB, 4RBI
• Leonida 2-3, 2R
• Sanchez 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB, RBI
• Harper 2-5, 2B, RBI

This game was certainly not a pitcher’s duel as eighteen runs were collectively scored between the two teams during the first three innings. Starting pitcher Chris McKenzie lasted only two innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three. Paul Applebee took over in relief, earned his second win of the year, pitching four complete innings allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits while striking out three. Only one Suns’ player ended the game without a hit, Randolph Oduber, while Cole Leonida, Adrian Sanchez and Bryce Harper (hitting streak now 12 games) combined to go 6-for-12 with five runs, two doubles and two RBIs. Blake Kelso also went 1-for-3, with three runs scored and a grand slam.

May 082011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 6-5 (11 inn.) @ Durham, 5:05 p.m. Ross Detwiler (2-1, 4.33) vs.
Brian Baker (0-2, 6.35)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 13-6 vs. Reading, 2:00 p.m. Brad Peacock (4-1, 1.16) vs.
Chris Kissock (1-3, 5.34)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 3-0; Lost, 5-0 @ Kinston, 1:30 p.m. Danny Rosenbaum (1-1, 2.15) vs.
Giovanni Soto (1-3, 3.00)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 8-6 vs. Lexington, 1:05 p.m. Chris McKenzie (2-3, 8.10) vs.
Dydalewicz (0-3, 5.95)

Durham 6 Syracuse 5 (11 inn.)
• Maya (ND) 6⅔ IP 5H 2R 2ER 1BB 7K
• Wilkie 2IP 2H 0R 0BB 0K
Carr (BS, 3; L, 1-2) ⅔ IP 2H 2R 2ER 2BB 1K
• Whiting 2-6, R
• Hulett 2-5, R, 2B
• Brown 1-1, R, HR, 2RBI

After rallying for two to tie it in the 8th, and three to go ahead in the 11th, the Chiefs couldn’t stand the prosperity and gave up four runs in the of the 11th to lose 6-5. Adam Carr took the blown-save-loss, third and second respectively. Starter Yunesky Maya went the first six and 2/3rds, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk. Boomer Whiting and Tug Hulett each had two hits as the Chiefs had 10 for the night and left eight men on base.

Reading 13 Harrisburg 6
• Tatusko (L, 1-3) 3IP 9H 5R 4ER 1BB 3K 2HR
Barthmaier 1IP 5H 5R 5ER 1BB 1K
• Pena 1⅔ IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
• Gilbert 4-5, 2B, 2HR, 3RBI
• Valdez 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Rahl 2-5, R

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s what I wrote about Last Night In Harrisburg

Kinston 3 Potomac 0
• Selik (L, 0-1) 6IP 4H 3R 2ER 4BB 3K 2HR
• Perez 2-3, 2SB
• Souza 1-2, BB, SB

Cameron Selik went the distance, but the P-Nats bats were silenced by Drew Pomeranz as Kinston prevailed, 3-0.

Kinston 5 Potomac 0
• Bronson (L, 1-1) 4⅔ IP 5H 1R 1ER 2BB 0K
Weaver ⅔ IP 1H 4R 4ER 2BB 0K 0HR
• Testa ⅔ IP 1H 0R 1BB 0K 3-2 IR-S
• Kobernus 2-4
• Mayo 2-3, 2B

A four-run sixth by the Kinston Indians put any hope of tying up a 1-0 game to rest as the Potomac Nationals were shut out again, 5-0. Jeff Kobernus and Jeremy Mayo each had two hits to pace the offense, which left on nine and went 1-for-11 with RISP. Evan Bronson took the loss, allowing one run on five hits and two walks over four and 2/3rds innings.

Lexington 8 Hagerstown 6
• Cole (L, 0-1) 3⅔ IP 5H 2R 2ER 2BB 3K 1HR
McCatty 1IP 5H 5R 3BB 2K
• Swynenberg 2⅓ IP 2H 0R 0BB 1K
• Freitas 2-3, R, BB, SB
• Kelso 2-5, R
• Harper 2-5

A.J. Cole’s Low-A debut was a loss, stopping Hagerstown’s 10-game win streak with an 8-6 loss to Lexington. Cole went three and 2/3rds innings and allowed two runs on five hits and two walks. Shane McCatty took the brunt of the Lexington offense, allowing the Legends’ five-run fifth inning. Bryce Harper extended his hitting streak to 11 with a 2-for-5 night, while David Frietas and Randolph Oduber also collected two hits in the loss.

May 072011
 

With 19 hits and 13 runs allowed, the best that can be said is that the pitching was not there last night for Harrisburg Senators.

Every Reading position player had a hit, with five players collecting three or more, as the Phillies dominated the first three Senator pitchers until Hassan Pena finally silenced them for the last five outs of the game.

Starter Ryan Tatusko labored through three innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits with one walk and three strikeouts to take his third loss of the season. He threw 80 pitches, 51 for strikes. Though some of his pitches were left up in the zone, it was uncanny how they seemed to guess fastball and get it — even when he switched up and started throwing mostly offspeed in his second pass through the lineup.

Jimmy Barthmaier’s luck and results were much the same. A leadoff bunt that he appeared to field and tag the runner was ruled safe. A hit-and-run set up a 1st-and-3rd situation. The next batter tapped to Tyler Moore who both hesitated and dropped the ball, eliminating both a play at the plate and a double play opportunity.

A hit batsmen, a wild pitch, a double, a walk, an opposite-field single and suddenly the game went from 5-3 to 10-3 in the space of maybe ten minutes. Pat McCoy would follow Barthmaier and would get roughed up in his first and last innings of work, allowing two HRs and four runs total over three and a 1/3rd innings before yielding to Pena.

As the 5-3 score suggests, for a brief moment, the Senators were in this game. Archie Gilbert singled with one out in the bottom of the second, the first of his four hits on the night, took second on a groundout by Steve Lombardozzi and went to third on an infield single by Tyler Moore that both the pitcher and the shortstop got a glove on. Jesus Valdez scorched a single to left that was misplayed into a two-RBI double as the fielder tried to snare the sinking liner and failed to touch it. After one full inning, it was 2-0 Harrisburg.

Strange as it may sound, the Senators managed to get a baserunner in eight of the nine innings and did not hit into any double plays, as they managed a respectable 13 hits. On most nights, that would be more than good enough. Tonight, it was like getting 100 yards rushing when the opposing QB had toasted the backfield for five TDs.

The loss dropped Harrisburg to .500 at 14-14, good for second place in the E.L. West while Reading improved to 18-10 and took sole possession of first place in the E.L. East. Brad Peacock will take the hill tomorrow afternoon, going for his fifth win and a chance to prevent a Reading sweep.

May 072011
 

The news that even I didn’t believe at first should make the impatient hungry Nats fans happy: A.J. Cole and Robbie Ray are coming to Hagerstown, with Cole starting tonight and Ray starting on Monday, according to MASN’s Byron Kerr.

MiLB.com has not listed these transactions, nor the ones necessary to make room for them on the roster. Taylor Jordan will reportedly go to the 7-day DL for one of the pitchers, but there is no indication what the other move will be.

Adam Kilgore is reporting that Roger Bernadina will be back in D.C. to replace an ailing Rick Ankiel, but the move has not been made official yet, and thus, the corresponding moves to backfill him in Syracuse are not known.

UPDATE: Michael Aubrey has been activated from the DL, taking the place of Bernadina.

Today is a travel day but it’s a tight schedule to go back and forth from Harrisburg in time for Mother’s Day festivities tomorrow, so further updates might not be made until late this evening.

May 072011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 3-1 @ Durham, 5:05 p.m. Yunesky Maya (1-2, 3.73) vs.
Alexander Torres (2-2, 1.78)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 7-4 vs. Reading, 7:00 p.m. Ryan Tatusko (1-2, 5.68) vs.
Ryan Edell (2-1, 3.86)
Potomac Nationals Postponed @ Kinston, 4:30 p.m.
(doubleheader)
Danny Rosenbaum (1-1, 2.15) and
Cameron Selik (A+ Debut) vs.
Drew Pomeranz (0-0, 1.54) and
Clayton Cook (1-2, 5.09)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 5-2 vs. Lexington, 6:35 p.m. A.J. Cole (Low-A Debut) vs.
Tanner Bushue (4-0, 3.13)

Durham 3 Syracuse 1
• Stammen 6IP 9H 3R 3ER 1BB 3K 1HR
• Kimball 2IP 1H 0ER 3BB 2K, 2-2 IR-S
• Maldonado 3-3, BB, RBI, E, PB
• Brown 1-4, 3B, 3K

After tying the game at 1-1 in the seventh inning, the Chiefs relief pitchers couldn’t do their part, allowing Durham to score both inherited runners in the bottom of the seventh, which turned out to be the difference as Syracuse lost to Durham, 3-1. Starting pitcher Craig Stammen pitched a decent game, going six full innings, allowing three earned runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out three. Despite Maldonado going 3-for-3 on the night (with an RBI) the Chiefs mustered only six hits, losing their 18th game of the season against just nine wins.

Harrisburg 7 Reading 4
• Davis 5⅔ IP 4H 5R 2ER 3BB 3K
• Arnesen ⅓ IP 3H 2ER 0BB 0K
• Martinez 2IP 0H 0ER 0BB 1K
• Moore 2-4, R, 2B,
• Rhinehart 1-3, R, HR, 3RBI
• Tucker 2-4, R

Despite the fact that the Senators were able to grab an early 3-0 in the first inning, thanks to Bill Rhinehart’s 3-run blast, his fifth of the season, Reading fought back, scoring two runs in the fifth and five runs in the sixth, winning the game by a score of 7-4. Starting pitcher Erik Davis went five and 2/3rds innings, allowing five runs, two earned, on four hits and three walks while striking out three. Tyler Moore, Jonathan Tucker, and Jesus Valdez each collected two hits as the Sens got ten for the night, but stranded eight runners.


Potomac-Kinston — PPD

The team’s sixth rainout will result in its fifth doubleheader on Saturday afternoon and evening in Kinston.

Hagerstown 5 Lexington 2
• Grace (W, 3-3) 6⅓ IP 6H 2R 1ER 3BB 3K
• Eusebio (H, 3) 1⅔ IP 1H 0R 1BB 3K, 1-3 IR-S
• Harper 2-3, R, 2-2B, BB, two OF assists (1B, HP)
• Sanchez 2-5, R
• Freitas 2-4, R, 2RBI

Streaks are the story for the Suns. Bryce Harper’s two doubles now has his run at 10 games as Hagerstown won its eighth straight with a 5-2 decision over the Lexington Legends. Matt Grace spun his second quality start in as many starts with two runs allowed (one earned) on six hits and three walks over six and 1/3rd innings, while Wilson Eusebio notched his third hold with one and 2/3rds innings of relief for his third consecutive outing with no earned runs. Adrian Sanchez and David Freitas each got two hits as the Suns got ten for the night, though they also committed four errors. As mentioned in the comments, Neil Holland has been summoned from XST to replace Cameron Selik

May 062011
 

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE 9-17, 6th place I.L. North, 7 games behind

Good Yunesky Maya 2.57ERA last 3 starts
Bad Ross Detwiler 2.06WHIP last 3 starts
Interesting Roger Bernadina 7SB in last 10G

HARRISBURG 14-12, 1st place E.L. West Division, ½ game ahead

Good Cory VanAllen 1-1, 0.64 in 10G
Bad Shairon Martis, 23H in 13.1IP in 3 starts
Interesting Bill Rhinehart .310/.375/.655 in last 10G

POTOMAC 10-16, 4th place C.L. North Division, six games behind

Good Sandy Leon .303 last 10G, 4CS last 5SB attempts
Bad Ryan Demmin 6HR allowed in 11.2IP
Interesting Carolina League leaders with 44 steals

HAGERSTOWN 18-9, 2nd place Sally League Northern Division, ½ game behind

Good Cameron Selik 3-0, 0.31ERA (makes his High-A debut tonight)
Bad Jason Martinson 9E in 26G
Interesting Blake Kelso .361/.400/.454
May 062011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 4-3 @ Durham, 7:05 p.m. Craig Stammen (1-1, 3.20) vs.
Alex Cobb (3-0, 2.05)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 8-6 vs. Reading, 7:00 p.m. Erik Davis (1-0, 3.05) vs.
Austin Hyatt (3-1, 3.00)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 3-1 @ Kinston, 7:05 p.m. Cameron Selik (A+ Debut) vs.
Drew Pomeranz (0-0, 1.54)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 8-2 vs. Lexington, 6:35 p.m. Matt Grace (2-3, 5.04) vs.
Michael Foltynewicz (0-4, 5.86)

Durham 4 Syracuse 3
• Milone (ND) 7IP 4H 1R 1ER 1BB 11K
Carr (BS, 2) 1IP 2H 2R 2ER 1BB 0K 1HR
• Wilkie (L, 0-1) ⅓ IP 2H 1R 1ER 1BB 0K
• Solano 2-4, R, 2B
• McConnell 2-4, 2B, RBI

Tom Milone’s bounceback from his worst outing of the season was spoiled by a similar effort by the Chiefs bullpen as the Durham Bulls rallied from a 3-1 deficit for a 4-3 walkoff in. Milone struck out 11 over seven innings, allowing just a run on four hits and a walk. Adam Carr gave up the tying runs in the eighth with a double and a home run while Josh Wilie took the loss with a walk, a sacrifice, an infield single, and another single.

Harrisburg 8 Bowie 6
• Martis (ND) 5IP 7H 3R 2ER 3BB 5K 1HR
Barthmaier (BS, 1) 2IP 3H 3R 3ER 0BB 0K 1HR
• Mattheus (W, 1-0) 1⅓ IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
• Moore 3-4, 2R, 2B, 3B, 4RBI
• Gilbert 1-3, 2R, HR, RBI, OF assist at 1B

A one-out triple by Tyler Moore drove in Steve Lombardozzi to break a 6-6 tie, and a wild pitch gave the Sens some insurance as Harrisburg outlasted Bowie 8-6. The RBI was the fourth of the afternoon for Moore, who singled, and doubled previously as Harrisburg somehow scored eight runs on nine hits. Shairon Martis’s third start was better than his second, but still mediocre with three runs allowed on seven hits and three walks to go with five strikeouts. Ryan Mattheus struck out out two of the four straight batters he retired to get the win in relief.

Kinston 3 Potomac 1
• Demny (L, 0-2) 6IP 4H 2R 2ER 4BB 3K
• Lehman 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 0K
• Bloxom 1-4, R, 2B
• Dykstra 1-4, RBI

Potomac’s offensive woes continued with a 3-1 loss on Thursday night. The P-Nats managed just three hits and drew four walks but were able to score a run to break up the scoreless inning streak at 17 with a run in the seventh. Starter Paul Demny went six innings, giving up two runs on four hits and four walks. Marcos Frias gave up the third run in relief on a double, a sacrifice hit and a sacrifice fly, with two walks sprinkled in.

Hagerstown 8 Lexington 2
• Hansen (W, 3-1) 5IP 8H 2R 2ER 1BB 3K
• Brown (H, 3) 2IP 1H 0R 0BB 2K
• Kelso 3-5, 3R, 2B
• Freitas 3-4, 2R, HR, 5RBI
• Harper 1-3, 2R, HR, BB, 2RBI

David Freitas’s grand slam in the bottom of the seventh was the highlight of the night as the Hagerstown Suns gave the Lexington Legends a reality check (ok, that was a stretch) at 8-2. Bryce Harper also homered, a two-run shot in the third. Freitas and Blake Kelso paced the 11-hit onslaught with three hits apiece. Starter Bobby Hansen went the first five innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk for his third win of the year.

May 052011
 

Following yet another strong outing for Harrisburg, Brad Meyers has been finally promoted to AAA.

Meyers was 3-2 with a 2.48 ERA in six starts for Harrisburg, throwing 36⅓ innings and allowing 35 hits with 38 strikeouts. The 25-year-old has been ranked by Baseball America as the #27 prospect in the Washington organization, despite missing most of the 2010 season with a foot injury.

Replacing Myers on the Harrisburg roster is LHP Matt Chico, who has been 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in eight relief appearances for Syracuse. Chico is a former major-leaguer, posting a mediocre 7-9, 4.63 line as a 24-year-old in 2007, but has pitched just once for the parent club since his July 2008 TJ surgery.

May 052011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs OFF DAY @ Durham, 7:05 p.m. TBD vs. TBD
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 2-1 @ Bowie, 11:05 a.m. Shairon Martis (0-1, 5.40) vs.
Alfredo Simon (rehab)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 3-0 @ Kinston, 7:05 p.m. TBD vs.
Brett Brach (2-1, 1.17)
Hagerstown Suns OFF DAY vs. Lexington, 6:35 p.m. TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse — OFF DAY
The Syracuse Chiefs had an off day yesterday. They now begin an eight-game roadtrip, with four against Durham and four against Norfolk before returning to New York next Friday.

Bowie 2 Harrisburg 1
• Meyers 7IP 8H 2R 2ER 0BB 7K
• Pena 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
• Rhinehart 1-3, R, HR, RBI
• Lombardozzi 2-5, 2B, SB

Bowie scored a single run in the first to break up the string of 18 scoreless innings by the Harrisburg pitchers and a single run in the sixth to overcome Rhinehart’s fourth home run of the season as the Senators lost by a score of 2-1. Starting pitcher Brad Meyers had yet another quality start, pitching seven complete innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits while striking out seven. Bowie’s Jose Diaz pitched the ninth, allowing only one hit, to earn his Eastern League-leading tenth save of the season.

Myrtle Beach 3 Potomac 0
• Holder (L, 1-3) 5+ IP 5H 2R 2ER 0BB 3K
• Testa 1IP 0H 0R 1BB 1K
• Ramirez 1-4, 2B
• Perez 1-3, 2SB

See Sue’s take in Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown — OFF DAY
The second-place Suns return home for eight games, four against the Lexington Legends and four against the Delmarva Shorebirds.