Jul 032011
 

A 14-1 beatdown isn’t very common for the P-Nats. Being on the winning side of it is almost unusual. Throw in a decent rehab start, a few home runs, and you’ve got one of the more memorable evenings in a long time.

In front of an estimated reported crowd of 6,911, the Potomac Nationals gave the crowd a rousing victory and fireworks show before they even lit a match. Destin Hood, Francisco Soriano, and Brian Peacock all went deep, with Hood connecting for a two-run shot to right-center and three-run bomb to left as part of an 18-hit onslaught.

Every batter reached base, and every batter got a hit, with the homer-run hitters each going 3-for-5 and five batters getting multiple hits. Potomac did the bulk of its damage in the eighth, scoring seven runs on seven hits, with Peacock driving in all three of his runs on a home run (pictured above) and a two-out, two-run triple.

I suppose I’ve buried it as deep as I can, but Chien-Ming Wang pitched fairly well, albeit against a substandard lineup (the best hitter having a .259 GPA, league average is .236) going four scoreless innings and allowing one hit and two walks while striking out two.

Unlike most rehabbing pitchers, Wang used more than just his fastball and sinker, mixing in changeups and sliders. Early in the contest, he was hitting in the low-to-mid-80s but by the end of his outing he was in the upper 80s and low-90s. Wang allowed just one flyball to the outfield and got six of the twelve outs on groundballs, which is going to be key since it’s doubtful that he’ll ever return to throwing mid-90s heat*.

*As good a time as any to remind folks that I’m not a scout, I just play one on the web.

Mitchell Clegg and Neil Holland followed Wang on the mound, with Clegg getting knocked for four hits and a run in two innings and Holland working out of a bases-loaded-jam unscathed for two scoreless innings and properly getting credit for the win as the most effective reliever. Rob Wort Josjh Smoker pitched the ninth and got three outs with one walk.

The win brings Potomac back to .500 at 5-5 for the second half, but still one game back of first-half champ Frederick. Staff ace Danny Rosenbaum (4-3, 2.57) toes the slab for the P-Nats, opposed by the #14 Kansas City prospect (according to Basball America), 21-year-old Tim Melville (7-6, 4.23).

  10 Responses to “Last Night In Woodbridge”

  1. *You must have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night…

    Do I detect a “hint” of anti-Wangness?

    If Wang Chung is able to make 5-7 starts this year at even 80%+ of his prior form (once Zimmermann is shut down) AND we resign him, don’t you think the relatively small investment the Nats made in him will be worth it? And, if not, how much of a risk is $1.5 million a year (avg) in a league with no salary cap on an injured guy who has won 18 games twice if there’s even the slightest possibility he returns to form? Can’t see it as anything other than a well-calculated risk no matter how it turns out.

    Is it possible the Nats are moving his rehab along in order to let other clubs take a look at him prior to 7/31?

    Just thinking about the possibilities gets me giddy:

    Straburg
    Zimmermann
    Lannan
    Marquis
    Wang
    Detwiler
    Peacock
    Millone
    Gorzelanny
    Hernandez
    Maya

    I think, in anybody’s objective estimation, an above-average (perhaps well above) 5-man rotation can be pieced together from those names.

    • Yes, you do, but it’s not Wang per se, but the experience of previous outings that have established the rule that REHAB STARTS ARE OVERRATED. Last night was clearly an exception, and don’t get me wrong (or is that Wang?): I live-tweeted his innings because I also know that folks are interested and if gets me enough pageviews for Google to finally cut me a check, so be it (this is a hobby, not a moneymaker). Plus, it was cool to see the Taiwanese nationals out in support of him; I’d estimate there were as many as 150 in the crowd.

      Of course the risk is worth the reward, but you’ve not sat through pitchers treating it like a “B” game in spring training, throwing nothing but fastballs, and getting lit like a cheap cigar. And I totally understand why that is, but it doesn’t mean (as a fan) that I have to like it. And for the record, [plug] when I make my baseball road trips, it’s Super 8 for me. [/plug]

      • Sounds like it was a good night for baseball all around…I used to live right around the corner from Pfitzner Park, but it was the Yank’s A team at the time. Bummed that I haven’t had the chance to see the P-Nats play there.

        I’ve been pulling for Wang (hmmm) since they signed him, so I like to keep tabs on his progress – and it’s nice to finally see some manifested outside cryptic reports of inter-squad extended spring training games. And I’m glad to hear he mixed it up a bit and put on a show for all the fans, including the Taiwanese contingent!

        Keep up the good works, “Sue”!

    • Do you actually believe that Wang should be allowed to get evaluated as a major league starter over Tom Milone? Over Bradley Meyers? Over Brad Peacock?

      Surely you are joking dude! That’s just plain nuts.

      Wang is indeed working very hard on his very long, and probably tortuous rehab. And he ought to be commended. But if he isn’t going to throw average velocity sinkers at 93+ mph he isn’t going to be effective in the majors. Perhaps he works his way up to that but he just isn’t going to do it for 5+ innings. There is NO WAY. Its like forcing him to be a major league starter when he just doesn’t have the arm for it. And its pretty ridiculous to believe that is going to happen. Better to believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny and that you could buy the Brooklyn Bridge for $5.

      He is Chad Cordero trying to come back and if its me I’d prefer trying to get “the Chief” back into the mix. But he failed to make it in the end and retired.

      The same will happen with Wang in spite of all of his hard work unless he learns the multi-speed curves and Cuban guile from Livo and Maya.

  2. The Taiwanese contingent was definitely out in force to see (and record) C-M Wang last night. He’s still very deliberate on the mound, but appeared to throw effectively with less than maximum effort. I was paying attention to his pre-game bullpen, and the sinker still has a lot of movement, breaking away from & down on a RH-hitter. It might boil down to the separation he’s able to get between pitches that determines whether or not he can still be of value with the big club.

    As a final note, the final seven runs of the beatdown came against a former Nationals prospect, one Glenn Gibson.

  3. Sammy Solis has been called up to Potomac, or at least he was in uniform at the game last night.

    Also wasnt it Smoker who pitched the 9th, not that it matters.

    I will say I like the way Hood is developing, and Higley seems to have figured something out becuase he has been much better recently

    • Jeff: Good eye if you spotted Solis; Those ‘old-time’ jerseys had me all messed up last night. That would probably send Olbrychowski back to the b’pen and maybe push Testa up to HAR.

    • Addendum: Higley still has a longish swing, & is a sucker for a breaking pitch on the outside corner imo, but he’s a treat to watch in the OF, and has a pretty solid arm as well.

  4. Solis is 6’5″ 230, which helps make him a little easier to spot. It’s not unusual for the guys to show up in uniform before the transaction is announced, or stay in uniform once they’re on the DL.

  5. Well, there were 50 Taiwanese fans at Hagerstown to watch and now 150 at Potomac, does that mean there will be 250 at Harrisburg? Just checking. He now has 23 more days to rehab before the HAVE to bring him up, I’m anxious to see what he does moving upwards.

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