Jun 052011
 
Who's Missing From The Suns Lineup?

Who's Missing From The Suns Lineup?

After driving through rain shower crossing into MD from VA, the sun gave way to blue skies in time for the game in Hagerstown. With baseball being a game of ritual and routine, to your right is what I saw when I went to look at the lineups for the night.

No Bryce Harper?!

With the news coming across Twitter that Craig Stammen had been recalled, the immediate thought was that Harper had been given the bump as part of a chain reaction. Nope. Just a night off.

So it was time to focus on what had been a bonus, but still a treat: seeing Sammy Solis in person.

Unfortunately, while folks may have questioned his placement at Hagerstown after pitching well in the Arizona Fall League, and particularly after the Potomac rotation was in such disarray (though lately, it’s been quite in array after back-to-back CGs). Two long home runs in the first inning were explanation enough. He needs to fine-tune his game before he returns to his level.

Solis would also run into trouble in the third inning, walking the bases loaded to three successive batters, then striking out two of three to get out of it. He even took an infield popup himself for an out. Solis would be done after five innings, the three first inning runs on the two home runs allowed on four hits total with the three walks and six strikeouts. His velocity seemed fine (couldn’t peek at any guns from my vantage point) and his curve, an 11-5 (1 to 7 from the batters viewpoint) had a sharp break to it that the Drive couldn’t touch.

Meanwhile, Greenville’s Kyle Stroup was having the kind of night that one might have otherwise expected from Solis, holding the Suns to just two hits over six innings before giving way to the bullpen. He would walk two and hit a batter but retired the leadoff batter in every inning, something the Drive managed 11 times out of 12 last night.

Despite their problems getting runners on, the Suns broke through in the bottom of the eighth. Adrian Sanchez got a bad-hop single past the vacuum cleaner Drive SS Jose Garcia, who had seven putouts and an assist for the night. Blake Kelso served up his second opposite-field single to right to set up a first and third for catcher Davd Freitas.

The Univ. of Hawaii product fouled off several pitches before he got one he could handle, which he deposited to left-center for a game-tying home run, and perhaps some Greenville Drive bloggers hitting the delete key on the gamer that they thought was safe to start writing.

Unheralded elsewhere, but given a mention here was the three scoreless innings of middle relief that made Freitas’s heroics even possible. Matt Swynenberg may not have been flashy, but he got the job done, enabling the three back-end-of-the-’pen relievers a chance to get the glory.

Remember that Bryce Harper kid? Well, turns out he may not have started but he got a chance to play. With one out in the ninth, he pinch hit for Kevin Keyes, a chance to be the hero. After working the count full, well, you can see for yourself.

I show you this so you can see for yourself how he handled himself, which was like any other minor-leaguer: a professional.

Ben Graham followed Swynenberg with two solid innings of work, escaping a two-on, one-out jam in the 10th with back-t0-back popups to Kelso and Jason Martinson.

Chris Manno took over in the 11th and got torched a long double to center by Miles Head, who hit the first HR in the first. Manager Brian Daubauch ordered an IBB to Brandon Jacobs, who hit the second HR in the first, and Manno struck out the next two batters and got a grounder to escape the jam.

The lone leadoff hit of the night for the Suns came when Brett Newsome doubled in the 11th. Jason Martinson couldn’t move him over (he swung away) to bring up Harper. Greenville wisely filled the open base at first to go after Mills Rogers instead, who struck out while Michael Taylor lined out to end the threat.

Greenville finally got to the Suns ‘pen in the 12th, as Manno struck out two and walked two before he was lifted for side-arming Neil Holland. With two outs and two strikes, Drive catcher Josue Peley singled sharply to center. Michael Taylor fielded it and gunned it in, but the throw hit the mound and took a bad hop, evening the lucky break Hagerstown got in the 8th for what proved to be the game-winning run.

With the loss, Hagerstown’s lead over second-place Greensboro was shaved to 1½ games, the two teams set to battle for first place over the next three days before the Suns hit the road on Thursday (Wednesday is an off day) for a seven-game swing through Delmarva and Lakewood.

Jun 042011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 3-1 @ Indianapolis, 7:05 p.m. Ross Detwiler (3-5, 5.80) vs.
Sean Gallagher (1-7, 6.99)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 6-5 (10 inn.) @ Erie, 7:05 p.m. Oliver Perez (2-0, 0.75) vs.
Luke Putkonen (0-7, 8.74)
Potomac Nationals Won, 5-1 @ Wilmington, 7:05 p.m. Danny Rosenbaum (2-3, 2.98) vs.
Elisaul Pimentel (3-3, 5.36)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 11-5 @ Greenville, 7:05 p.m. Sammy Solis (0-0, 5.79) vs.
Kyle Stroup (1-5, 6.79)
DSL Nationals Lost, 7-2 vs. DSL Mets1 vs. DSL Braves, 10:30 AM Gregory Baez (0-1, 2.25) vs.
TBD

Louisville 3 Syracuse 1
• Martin (L, 0-5) 6IP 4H 3R 3ER 0BB 3K 2HR
• Mattheus 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
• Antonelli 2-4
• Flores 2-4

For the second straight night, the longball was the undoing of the Chiefs as Syracuse lost its sixth straight, 3-1. Starter J.D. Martin allowed all three runs, all scoring via the home run, on four hits over six innings. He walked none and struck out three. Matt Antonelli and Jesus Flores both went 2-for-4 as the Chiefs mustered just six hits and left on four runners.

Erie 6 Harrisburg 5 (10 inn.)
• Davis 6⅓ IP 7H 4R 4ER 5BB 7K
• Martinez (L, 0-2) 2⅔ IP 3H 2R 2ER 2BB 2K HR
• Moore, 2-5, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Norris, 2-5, 2R, 2HR, 3RBI (1-2 CS-SB att.)

Derek Norris went deep twice and drove in three runs, helping the Sens to overcome a 4-0 deficit, but Erie prevailed in extras, 6-5. Tyler Moore also homered, accounting for the other two Harrisburg runs as both prospects went 2-for-5. Starter Erik Davis went the first six and a 1/3rd innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and five walks and struck out seven while veteran Carlos Martinez finished, allowing the walkoff HR that won the game in two and 2/3rds-plus innings.

Potomac 5 Wilmington 2
• Selik (W, 1-4) CG 9IP, 7H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 4K
• Hood 3-5, 2B, 3B, RBI
• Dykstra 3-4, 2B, 2RBI

Cameron Selik went the distance, throwing the team’s first nine-inning complete game of the year as the Potomac Nationals won their second game in as many nights to down the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 5-1. Sources say that if they do it again tonight, it’ll be a winning streak and that it has happened before. Selik allowed seven hits but no walks and struck out four. The lone run was unearned. Destin Hood singled, doubled, and tripled and drove in one in five at-bats while Cutter Dykstra went 3-for-4 with two RBI to pace the P-Nat offense.

Hagerstown 11 Greenville 5
• Grace (W, 6-4) 6⅓IP 7H 2R 2ER BB 3K
• McCatty 1IP 1H 0R 0BB K
• Moore 2-5, R, HR, 3RBI
• Sanchez 2-5, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Oduber 2-4, R, 3B, 2RBI, BB, SB

The Greenville Drive held Bryce Harper hitless, but those other eight guys weren’t helpless, collecting 11 hits in an 11-5 Suns win. Four Suns collected multiple hits, with Wade Moore and Adrian Sanchez both homering to lead the attack. Matt Grace got the win (No. 6) with six and a 1/3rd innings pitched, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Randolph Oduber was activated before the game, but (as usual) no word on who was moved to make room on the roster.

DSL Mets1 7 DSL Nationals 2
• Pineyro (ND) 5IP 3H 2R 1ER 2BB 6K
• Guzman 2⅓ IP 2H 0R BB 1K
• Mercedes 2-4, 2B, RBI, 1-4 SB-CS
• Rosario 1-3, 2B, BB

The DSL Mets1 broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the eighth and put the game away with three in the ninth for a 7-2 win. Ivan Pineyro rebounded from his three-runs-in-three innings last time out to go five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks while striking out six. Yermin Mercedes threw out three of four baserunners behind the plate and went 2-for-4 from the RH batter’s box to lead the D-Nat offense.

Jun 032011
 

For the newer Twitter followers, this is an homage to Demetri Martin’s segments of the same name

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

SYRACUSE 22-29, 5th place I.L. North, 10 games behind

Good Tom Milone 2-1, 2.55ERA, 0.74WHIP, 42K last 5 GS
Bad Gregor Blanco .560 OPS
Interesting Matt Antonelli .359/.432/.538 in 11G since callup

HARRISBURG 30-21, 1st place E.L. West Division, 3 games ahead

Good Tyler Moore .312, 11-2B, 3B, 6HR since May 1
Bad Matt Chico 23H, 7BB, in 12IP since demotion
Interesting Team FA .981, 3rd best in E.L.

POTOMAC 19-34, 4th place C.L. North Division, 12 games behind

Good Jeff Kobernus .351/.400/.432 in last 10G
Bad Paul Demny 6HR allowed in last 6GS
Interesting 41% CS by C’s, 2nd best in Carolina League

HAGERSTOWN 33-21, 1st place Sally League Northern Division, 2½ games ahead

Good Blake Kelso .348/.417/.446
Bad Matt Grace 1.60 WHIP
Interesting 82SBs, 1st in Sally League
Jun 032011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 5-1 @ Indianapolis, 7:15 p.m. J.D. Martin (0-3, 5.70) vs.
Brad Lincoln (4-5, 4.71)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 10-5 @ Erie, 7:05 p.m. Erik Davis (2-1, 3.29) vs.
Jacob Turner (1-1, 2.69)
Potomac Nationals Won, 8-5 @ Wilmington, 7:05 p.m. Cameron Selik (0-4, 6.43) vs.
Noel Arguelles (2-2, 2.84)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 9-8 (10 inn.) @ Greenville, 7:05 p.m. Matt Grace (5-4, 4.44) vs.
Brandon Workman (1-3, 3.63)
DSL Nationals Won, 6-1 vs. DSL Yankees1 vs. DSL Mets1, 10:30 AM TBD vs. TBD

Louisville 5 Syracuse 1
• Stammen (L, 5-3) 6⅔ IP 7H 4R 4ER 2BB 7K 2HR
• Wilkie 1⅓ IP 1H 1R 1ER 0BB 1K 1HR
• Valdez 3-4, SB
• McConnell 1-3, 2B

All five runs came via home runs, as Louisville slugged Syracuse, 5-1 to send the Chiefs to their fifth straight defeat. Craig Stammen pitched into the seventh, giving up seven hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. He left, down 2-1 with two runners on and two outs, and Josh Wilkie couldn’t strand them, instead allowing a three-run blast — his first HR of the 2011 season. Offensively, Jesus Valdez led the Chiefs with a 3-for-4 night but Syracuse managed just seven hits total, going 1-for-10 with RISP and leaving eight men on base.

New Hampshire 10 Harrisburg 5
• Tatusko (L, 1-4) 6+ IP 3H 5R 5ER 4BB 3K
• VanAllen (BS, 1) 1IP 2H 1R 1ER 1BB 1K 2-2 IR-S
• Lombardozzi 2-5, R, RBI
• Moore 2-5, 2B, RBI
• Valdez 2-4, 2R, 2B, 3B, BB

The Sens streak was stopped with a 10-5 loss to New Hampshire. In a classic case of why folks need to look for “Inherited runners-scored” (IR-S above) in the box score, starter Ryan Tatusko left with a 4-3 lead and two runners on and no outs in the seventh. Reliever Cory VanAllen allowed both runners to score, blowing the save and changing what might have been a quality-start win into another loss. The Sens had no problem getting runners on, with five batters collecting multiple hits and every batter reaching base, but left on 12 in the loss. LHP Patrick McCoy was removed from the 7-Day DL, bringing Harrisburg back to a full, 24-man roster.

Potomac 8 Winston-Salem 5
• Demny (W, 2-5) 5⅔ IP 6H 3R 2ER 2BB 5K 2HR
• Bloxom 3-5, 2-2B, 2RBI
• Kobernus 2-5, 2-2B, 2RBI, SB
• Cuevas 2-3, R 2B

A three-run sixth broke a 3-3 tie as the Potomac Nationals snapped an 11-game losing streak with an 8-5 win in Winston-Salem. While aided no doubt by the hitter-friendly confines of BB&T park, the P-Nats bat rapped out 15 hits including seven doubles and a triple, with Justin Bloxom leading the charge with a 3-for-5 night. Starter Paul Demny got the win despite giving up two home runs among his six hits over five and 2/3rds innings, while walking two and striking out five.

Hagerstown 9 Greenville 8 (10 inn.)
• Jordan (ND) 6IP 6H 3R 0ER 0BB 5K
• Harper 4-5, R, HR, BB, 2RBI, CS
• Keyes 3-5, 2R, 2-2B, 3RBI, 2E
• Leonida 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI

Bryce Harper was the hero with a two-run walkoff blast to dead center to give the Suns an 8-7 win in extra innings. Playing CF, the 18-year-old also went 4-for-5 on the night, raising his average to .346. The heroics however ought not to mask the shoddy defense and bullpen, with four errors and five runs given up respectively. The win lowered the Suns’ magic number to 15, as the 2nd-place and 3rd-place teams also won to keep pace.

DSL Nationals 2 DSL Yankees1 1
• Mendez (W, 1-0) 5IP 4H 1R 1ER 0BB 6K
• Vasquez (S, 1) 1IP 0H 0R 1BB 3K
• Gonzalez, E 1-2, R
• Eusebio 1-2, RBI
• Mercedes 1-2, RBI

The D-Nats struck for two runs in the bottom of the first with RBI singles by Diomedes Eusebio and Yermin Mercedes and the D-Yankees1 squad only managed one run against starter Gilberto Mendez for a 2-1 victory in six innings. Daury Vasquez got the save with with a walk issued and three strikeouts.

Jun 022011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 2-1 @ Louisville, 7:05 p.m. Craig Stammen (5-2, 3.65) vs.
Edison Volquez (0-0, 2.35)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 10-8 vs. New Hampshire, 7:00 p.m. Ryan Tatusko (1-3, 5.85) vs.
Joel Carreno (4-3, 3.44)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 2-1 (10 inn.) @ Winston-Salem, 7:00 p.m. Paul Demny (1-5, 4.66) vs.
Andre Rienzo (1-1, 2.68)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 14-12 vs. Greenville, 7:05 p.m. Taylor Jordan (6-1, 2.79) vs.
TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 2-1 @ DSL Marlins
(10 inn.)
vs. DSL Yankees1, 10:30 AM TBD vs. TBD

Louisville 2 Syracuse 1
• Milone (L, 3-4) 7IP 5H 2R 2ER 0BB 9K
• Balester 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 2K
• Antonelli 4-4, R, HR, RBI, SB
• Milone 2-2, SAC

Usually when a team gets double the number of its opponents hits, it’ll win. Not so with Syracuse, who got 12 hits to Louisville’s six, but fell 2-1 for their fourth straight loss. Matt Antonelli had four of those hits, driving in the long Chiefs run with a solo HR in the first and leading off the inning with a single in his next three ABs. Tom Milone took the hard-luck loss with both runs allowed on five hits, no walks, while striking out nine. He also went 2-for-2 at the plate with a sacrifice.

Harrisburg 10 New Hampshire 8
• Arnesen (W, 3-0) 5IP 5H 4R 4ER 2BB 4K 2HR
• Zinicola (S, 1) 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
• Lombardozzi 2-5, 2R, HR, RBI
• Rahl 2-5, 2R, 3B, RBI
• Rhinehart 2-4, R, 3B, 2RBI

It’s now 10 in a row for Harrisburg, who outslugged the New Hampshire, 10-8. Six Senators collected multiple hits, with Steve Lombardozzi homering while Chris Rahl and Bill Rhinehart both tripled to lead the 14-hit attack. Erik Arnesen got the win in his spot start with four runs allowed in five innings on five hits (two were HRs) and two walks while striking out four. Zech Zinicola got the save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Winston-Salem 2 Potomac 1 (10 inn.)
• Holder (ND) 6IP 4H 1R 1ER 0BB 3K
• Frias 2IP 1H 0R 0BB 2K
• Bloxom 2-4
• Leon 2-3, 2B, 3B, BB

A walk, misplayed bunt, and a wild pitch in the bottom of the tenth sent the P-Nats to their 11th straight loss by a 2-1 decision to the Winston-Salem Dash. Trevor Holder bounced back from the narc-at-a-biker-rally beating he suffered in his last outing to pitch six strong innings, with one run given up on four hits, no walks, and three strikeouts. Justin Bloxom and Sandy Leon led the P-Nats hitters with two singles by the former and a double and triple by the latter. Josh Smoker took the loss with the final run allowed on the one hit and one walk in the tenth.

Greenville 14 Hagerstown 12
• Hansen (ND) 6IP 5H 4R 4ER 0BB 11K 1HR
• McCatty ⅓ IP 4H 4R 4ER 0BB 0K
• Graham (BS, 2; L, 1-2) 1⅓ IP 5H 5R 5ER 2BB 1K
• Newsome 4-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Kelso 3-4, 2R, 2B, 2RBI, 2BB, SB
• Harper 2-5, 2R, HR, 3RBI, BB, SB

Bobby Hansen left the game after six with a 9-4 lead and what seemed like a decent chance for his sixth “W.” The lead vanished with a five-run seventh as the Greenville scored in each of the last six innings for a 14-12 victory. The Suns actually outhit the Drive 18-17, with four players collecting three or more hits, led by Brett Newsome’s 4-for-5 effort. Bryce Harper homered, singled, drove in three, drew a walk and stole a base in the loss.

DSL Nationals 2 DSL Marlins 1 (10 inn.)
• Marcelino 4⅓ IP 3H 1R 0ER 1BB 4K
• Suero 3⅔ IP 0H 0R 0BB 4K
• Heredia (W, 1-0) 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K
• Difo 2-3, 3B, BB
• Gonzalez, E 2-3, R, BB, CS

Aladin Reyes’s sacrifice fly after two walks and a hit batsman loaded the bases in the 10th was the difference as the DSL Nationals downed the DSL Marlins 2-1 in extra innings. Inocencio Heredia picked up the win by with the last two innings pitched in relief. Watchlist pitcher Anthony Marcelino went the first four and 1/3rd innings, allowing the lone D-Marlin run on three hits and walk to go with four strikeouts. Wilmer Difo and Edgar Gonzalez both went 2-for-3 to pace the offense.

Jun 012011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 5-1 @ Louisville, 7:05 p.m. Tom Milone (3-3, 3.78) vs.
Thompson (1st AAA start of ’11)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 4-2 vs. New Hampshire, 7:00 p.m. Erik Arnesen (2-0, 2.05) vs.
Chad Beck (5-0, 2.86)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 4-3 @ Winston-Salem, 7:00 p.m. Trevor Holder (2-6, 7.16) vs.
Terry Doyle (1-5, 3.54)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 3-0 @ Greenville, 7:05 p.m. Bobby Hansen (5-1, 3.86) vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 9-8 @ DSL Cubs2 @ DSL Marlins, 10:30 AM TBD vs. TBD

Louisville 5 Syracuse 1
• Meyers (L, 3-1) 5IP 8H 5R 5ER 1BB 2K 1HR
• Severino 2IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
• Brown 2-4, R
• Antonelli 2-4

It’s nice that Brad Meyers hasn’t issued many walks, with #2 of ’11 coming last night, but he also gave up his third HR in five AAA starts, as the Louisville Bats sent the Syracuse Chiefs to their third straight loss by a 5-1 tally last night. Meyers gave up all five runs on eight hits and struck out two and took the loss. Just three Chiefs got hits, all going 2-for-4, and only two other runners reached base.

Harrisburg 4 New Hampshire 2
• Peacock (ND) 7+ IP 2H 1R 1ER 3BB 7K
• Zinicola (BS, 1; W, 1-0) 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 1K 1-1 IR-S
• Gilbert 2-4, RBI
• Rhinehart 1-3, R, 2B, BB
• Norris 1-3, RBI

Brad Peacock and the Harrisburg Senators continue to roll, with the former tossing seven strong innings and the latter taking its ninth straight with a 4-2 win. Zech Zinicola couldn’t strand the leadoff walk Peacock issued, allowing a single and two sacrifices, but Peacock’s effort lowered his ERA to 2.03 and his WHIP to 0.79. Archie Gilbert led the Sens hitters with two of the six Harrisburg hits.

Winston-Salem 4 Potomac 3
• Mock (ND) 6IP 4H 0R 2BB 6K
• Martin (H, 2) 2IP 1H 1R 0ER 1BB 3K
• Perez 2-4
• Souza 2-4, RBI

The Potomac Nationals bullpen snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Winston-Salem, coughing up four runs in the last inning and 2/3rds for a 4-3 loss, their tenth straight. Garrett Mock allowed just four hits and two walks while striking six over six scoreless innings. Rafael Martin struck out three in the 7th and 8th innings, allowing an unearned run on Justin Bloxom’s 11th error in 21 games at third base and a wild pitch before Hector Nelo and Marcos Frias combined to give up three runs on three hits in the ninth. Eury Perez and Steve Souza both went 2-for-4 to lead the Potomac offense, which saw four baserunners caught stealing in six tries.

Hagerstown 3 Kannapolis 0
• Ray (W, 2-0) 5IP 1H 0R 4BB 3K
• Holland (H, 1) 2IP 2H 0R 0BB 2K
• Manno (S, 7) 2IP 0H 0R 3BB 5K
• Harper 2-3, 2R, 2B, BB, RBI, 3SB
• Kelso 2-3, R, 2B, HR, RBI

Three Suns pitchers combined on a three-hit, seven-walk, 10-K shutout of the Kannapolis Intimidators for a 3-0 win. Robbie Ray got his second win with five scoreless innings with one hit and four walks allowed. Neil Holland and Chris Manno followed with two innings each for the hold and save, respectively. Blake Kelso and Bryce Harper took their soap-opera first names and cleaned up together for four hits, all three Suns runs, two doubles and two RBI (one of each for both), a home run (Kelso) and three stolen bases (Harper).

DSL Cubs2 9 DSL Nationals 8
• Moscat (L, 0-1) 3⅔ 6H 7R 3ER 4BB 2K
• Rodriguez, K 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
• Difo 2-4, R, 3B, BB, RBI, SB
• Ortega 2-5, SB, CS, E
• Rosario 2-5, 2R, 2K

IFA Felix Moscat got chased in the fourth, (no) thanks in part to four errors by defense and four walks of his own as the DSL Nationals fell to the DSL Cubs2 by a 9-8 tally. Wilmer Difo, “Fred” Ortega and Dioncio Rosario each had two hits as the D-Nats collected 10 overall and stole three bases in the loss.