Jun 152011
 

After a preventable, unscheduled day off on Monday, the Potomac Nationals took to the field on Tuesday to take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for pair of seven-inning games, and as the pic suggests, it was split.

Potomac won the first game 5-1 to extend its winning streak to five games, the longest of season — home or away — as Cameron Selik tossed a complete game for the victory, his second win of the season (third complete game) for the P-Nats.

Selik went all seven innings, allowing the one run on four hits, one walk, and four strikeouts. He threw 54 of his 78 pitches for strikes, and retired the side four times, though he labored through the seventh by loading the bases and giving up a warning-track flyball to right.

Since getting tattooed for 10 runs in four and a 1/3rd innings on May 13, Selik has given up just 11 runs (seven earned) over his past five starts. Though he’s won two and lost two, he’s posted a WHIP of 0.95, an ERA of 1.99 and an FIP of 3.42 — all great numbers when you compare them to the league averages of 1.27, 3.76, and 3.29.

But more importantly, Selik has shown significant improvement from that first home outing. The pitches are down in he zone, he’s getting that slider underneath the forearms of the right-handed batters (slipping in the backdoor to the lefties) and mixing in his breaking pitches with some flair (no, that flair; more like this flair) to fluster batters.

Offensively, the first game was a showcase for Jeff Kobernus, who went 3-for-3 with a walk, a double, a run scored, two RBI, and a stolen base — his league-leading 24th (No. 25 would come in the nightcap). Destin Hood and Eury Perez would drive in the other three runs as the 1-2-3 batters combined to go 5-for-11 with two doubles.

The second game was what the stat folks might call a reversion to the mean, with Potomac losing 2-0 on just two hits on offense.

Adam Olbrychowski got the spot start in the second game of the double-dip, but took the loss. The middle reliever went four innings and gave up both Pelican runs on six hits but also struck out five while walking just one, aided by two double plays but hindered by two errors, too. Josh Smoker and Joe Testa followed him out of the ‘pen, combining for three scoreless innings on two hits, a walk, and four K’s.

As the summary suggests, the pitching wasn’t the problem in the second game; the lack of offense was. Potomac loaded the bases in the first on three walks but couldn’t get the two-out hit when it needed it. Kobernus got his fourth hit of the night in the third with a infield single to short but 11 of the next 12 batters would be retired before J.P. Ramirez drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the seventh.

Brian Peacock ripped a double to left, hard enough for Ramirez to make it to third, to put two runners in scoring position for J.R. Higley, who struck out for the third time. Destin Hood pinch-hit for Justino Cuevas but the Carolina League All-Star grounded to second to end the game.

The split puts Potomac at 27-38 for the first half, two games behind third-place Lynchburg and 14 games behind first-place (and playoff-bound) Frederick. With no team release written since Sunday, and the MiLB.com listing “TBD,” today’s starter is unknown. Sources do report, however, that last night’s expected starter (Danny Rosenbaum) is not injured.

  12 Responses to “Last Night In Woodbridge”

  1. Terrific stuff, as usual, Sue. thanks for the scout’s take on Selik, it seems after that one bad flare-up, he’s back to his usual dominating self. Bodes well for the second half as you have to figure he spends the rest of the year in Potomac.

    • I’d like to see more folks take that attitude because I expect just as little movement from A- to A+ as there was last year, especially for position players.

  2. It seemed to me that the game 2 starter for Myrtle Beach (Loux) was ‘effectively wild’ last night. Not the kind of pitcher that guys are willing to dig in and take good swings against.

  3. What did you think of the atmosphere at the game? I was at the game and their appeared to be a select few individuals trying to get the energy going through the entire stadium

    • There was a rowdy-but-clean group behind home plate that did their part to make things more lively. Ordinarily, that kind of midweek enthusiasm is saved for Thursdays, if you know what I mean.

  4. @BinM
    “effectively wild” Good observation, and I may steal that for recaps I write with similar box scores.
    @SD #1
    Does the higher than league average FIP mean that there’s some luck in those ground balls? What’s your scouting report on Kobernus? Yes, he’s fast. I’m concerned about what those stolen bases could mean for his injury future. How do you think that he’ll fare in the Eastern League based on your observations.

    • No, that’s idea behind FIP, which stands for Fielding Independent Pitching, which is a bit of a misnomer because, ultimately, a team does have to get non-strikeout outs to create one of the components (IP). As with all stats, the larger the sample size, the more accurate it is. Take away the three hit batsmen in that sequence, for example, Selik’s FIP drops to 3.14

      Kobernus is a terrific defender, maybe even better than Lombardozzi because he has a stronger arm. He played shortstop in the second game and was more than adequate, for example. Offensively, he’s still rough and streaky. Like a LOT of the P-Nats his walk rate is too low and his K rate too high. Until he improves on those two facets of his game, he’s not close to ready for the next level.

  5. I’m experiencing no-news-re-draftees-signings anxiety. The Auburn NY season looms and get no Nats PR announcing signings. Dang. Any news in that regard?

  6. If by some miracle Rendon signed early one could almost assume that he could end up in Potomac first? It would have been nice if Rick Hague wasn’t injured and on the DL. Be interesting to see the two play together with Kobernus. Athletic MI was the keynote in last year’s draft. This year not as much mostly it was pitching.

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