Jul 012011
 

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

SYRACUSE 33-45, 5th place I.L. North, 12 games behind

Good Ross Detwiler 3-1, 2.45 ERA, 1.06WHIP in June
Bad Jeff Frazier .182/.248/.311 in 68G
Interesting Jesus Valdez .286/.333/.441 in 43G

HARRISBURG 45-32, 1st place E.L. West Division, 4 games ahead

Good Bill Rhinehart .294 GPA, .894OPS
Bad Erik Davis 30BB in 62⅔ IP
Interesting Shairon Martis 5-3, 2.37ERA in last 10 starts

POTOMAC 4-4, T1st place C.L. North Division, 1 game ahead (33-44, overall)

Good Danny Rosenbaum 2-0, 1.63 ERA, 1.08WHIP in June
Bad Eury Perez .243/.254/.288 in June; .333/.337/.409 in May
Interesting Sandy Leon .307/.350/.387 in June; .165/.214/.203 in May

HAGERSTOWN 5-3, T1st place Sally League Northern Division, 1 game ahead (45-33 overall)

Good Kevin Keyes .306, 7HR, 16RBI in June
Bad Ben Graham 2-2, 5.54ERA, 1.69WHIP in June
Interesting Cole Leonida .385OBP in 27G as backup C

AUBURN 8-6, T2nd place, Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 2 games behind

Good Ryan Demmin 3-0, 1.69ERA, 0.94WHIP in three starts
Bad Rick Hughes .154/.195/.231 in 9G
Interesting Hendry Jimenez, Russell Moldenhauer, Matt Skole – each with an 11G hit streak

GCL NATIONALS 5-4, T2nd place, GCL East, ½ game back

Good Nathan Karns 3G – 9┼ IP, 2H, 0R, 3BB, 14K
Bad Pedro Severino .087/.125/.130 in 23AB
Interesting Wander Ramos .314/.415/.714 in 35AB

DSL NATIONALS 12-16, 6th place, Boca Chica South Division of Dominican Summer League, 6½ games behind

Good Gilberto Mendez (Age 18) 2-0, 1.88ERA, 1.25WHIP, 24K in 24IP
Bad Wilman Rodriguez (Age 19) .132/.277/.170 in 53AB
Interesting Ivan Pineyro (Age 19) 38K in 27⅔ IP
Jul 012011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Probables
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 3-0 @ Buffalo, 7:05 p.m. J.D. Martin (1-5, 4.47) vs.
TBD
Harrisburg Senators Won, 6-0 @ New Britain, 7:05 p.m. Shairon Martis (5-3, 2.95) vs.
Brett Jacobson (3-1, 2.78)
Potomac Nationals Won, 4-2 vs. Winston-Salem 7:05 p.m. Cameron Selik (2-5, 3.64) vs.
Joe Serafin (0-6, 5.80)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 8-4 vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m. Robbie Ray (2-1, 2.01) vs.
Alex Sogard (1-3, 4.37)
Auburn Doubledays Lost, 13-12 @ Williamsport, 7:05 p.m. Colin Bates (1-1, 1.29 ERA) vs.
Austin Wright (1-0, 1.00)
GCL Nationals Won, 6-1
vs. GCL Mets
vs. GCL Marlins, 12:00 p.m. Gregory Baez (1-0, 3.48) vs.
Ramon Del Orbe (0-1, 9.95)
DSL Nationals Lost, 6-2
@ DSL Rangers
vs. DSL Giants, 10:30 a.m. TBD vs. TBD

Indianapolis 3 Syracuse 0
• Detwiler 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Meyers (L, 3-3) 6IP, 10H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 3K
• Lombardozzi 1-4
• Bynum 1-2, 2B, BB

Garrett Olson of Indianopolis thoroughly intimidated the Syracuse lineup in a dominant seven shutout innings. Seth Bynum’s double and Steve Lombardozzi’s hit streak (ten games) extending single were the only hits for the Chiefs. Ross Detwiler pitched two shutout innings to open the game for the Chiefs. No word yet as to why Detwiler was taken out, but Brad Meyers came on to take the loss in six innings of relief [Ed. Note: The Chiefs game notes listed both starters, so this appears to have been a planned maneuver and not an injury]. Meyers gave up a run in the sixth on two singles and a groundout. In the eighth, Meyers gave up a walk, a wild pitch, an RBI double, and a two out RBI single to give Indianapolis a 3-0 lead. Atahualupa “‘Huapa Time” Severino, pitched a scoreless ninth. With the 3-0 loss, Syracuse falls to 33-45, twelve games back of Philadelphia affiliate Lehigh Valley.

Harrisburg 6 New Britain 0
• Arnesen (W, 5-1) 6IP, 4H, 0ER, BB, 5K
• Martinez 2IP, 0H, 0ER, BB, K
• Rahl 3-4, R, 3B, 2RBI
• Rhinehart 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI

Harrisburg quickly took control over New Britain in a 6-0 victory last night. The Senators loaded the bases in the first when Josh Johnson was plunked, Derek Norris walked, and Bill Rhinehart singled. Chris Rahl singled to plate Johnson and Norris. Rhinehart later scored an unearned run on a failed pickoff attempt. Bill “The Godfather” Rhinehart wasn’t done; he launched a bomb to right field to extend the Harrisburg lead to 4-0 in the second. That would more than enough for starter and E.L. All-Star Erik Arnesen, who pitched six shutout innings and only allowed three runners in scoring position. The Sens would extend their lead by adding single runs in the 8th and 9th. Carlos Martinez added two innings of scoreless relief, and Hassan Pena pitched a low leverage shutout ninth. With the win, Harrisburg improves to 45-32 and holds a four-game lead over the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

Potomac 4 Winston-Salem 2
• Demny (W, 5-7) 7IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 8K
• Nelo (S, 6) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Souza 2-3, 2R, 2B, BB
• Ramirez 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

Back-to-back wins has Sue in good mood about what’s been happening Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 8 Lakewood 4
• Solis (W, 2-1) 6IP, 11H, 3ER, 0BB, 6K
• Manno 2IP 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 4K
• Martinson 3-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB
• Leonida 1-3, 2R, 2R HR, 2RBI, BB

Harrisburg defeated the Lakewood Blue Claws in a back-and-forth 9-4 affair. Kevin Keyes (1-3, 2B, 2BB) continued to hit well, launching a key double in a two-run first-inning rally. Lakewood answered back with runs in the second and fourth off starter Sammy Solis to tie the contest. In the bottom of the sixth, backup catcher Cole Leonida launched a two-run homer to put the Suns up 5-3 before Lakewood scored a run in the seventh off reliever Wilson Eusebio to make the score 5-4. Lakewood finally gave up the fight when they allowed three runs in the seventh during a three run Suns rally that included four walks and three wild pitches. Horrified by the pitching carnage, Chris Manno ended things quickly with two perfect innings of four-strikeout relief. Hagerstown improves to 5-3, good for a three-way tie for first place in the early second half of the Sally League.

Williamsport 13 Auburn 12
• M Rodriguez (L, 0-1) ⅓ 3H, 6R, 5ER, 1BB, 0K, HBP
• K Lopez 3⅔ IP, 5H, 5R, 4ER, 2BB, 4K, 2-2 IR-S
• Grisz 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Jimenez 3-6, R, 2B, 3RBI
• R Perez 3-6, R, 2RBI
• Ortega 3-4, 2R, 2B, 2RBI

The Doubedays fell behind eight runs after five and scored seven runs in the last four innings, but fell short 13-12. Six of the seven batters that Manny Rodriguez faced came in to score in the seven-run first, as Kelvin Rodriguez and Aaron Barrett were also treated like guests on a “Cheatin’ Spouses” episode of Jerry Springer, the two pitchers unable to strand the five runners they inherited and giving up six hits and six walks. Meanwhile, the Doubledays were laying the lumber on the Crosscutters, as every batter getting a hit, two had two, and four had three for 19 hits total. The loss dropped Auburn to 8-6, two games off the pace set by Mahoning Valley.

GCL Nationals 6 GCL Mets 1
• Karns 4IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 7K
• McKenzie (W, 1-0) 3IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 2K
• HWBNM 2-4, RBI
• Williams 2-3, BB, RBI

DSL Rangers 6 DSL Nationals 2
• Santana (L, 0-1) 4IP, 1H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 5K, HR
• J Hernandez 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Novas 2-4, R, 3B, HR, 2RBI
• Mercedes 1-3, 2B, BB

Jul 012011
 

Don’t look now, but Potomac is starting to play some pretty good baseball.

Of course, now, I may have just guaranteed a beatdown for tonight, and maybe it’s just two games against a lesser team, but things seem better.

Start with Paul Demny, who went seven full innings for the second time this season, didn’t walk a batter (also second time) and struck out a season-high eight batters. The first two innings were a high-wire act — an error, a hit batsman in the first, a two-out double by Austin Yount (son of Larry, not Robin) in the second. That’s nine batters faced, and a conservative estimate of at least 40 pitches.

But reading over the scorebook — no secret: that’s my Calgon — Demny both settled down and settled in. He retired the leadoff batter in four of the next five innings. Yes, he gave up two more doubles, but followed each with strikeout, and then retired the last nine in a row.

Much like Cameron Selik has been having success with an inside slider underneath the right-handed batter’s hands, Demny has begun to master the backdoor breaking ball to lefties. These are the little adjustments that make following the minors so much fun.

Flipping over the book, we’re seeing the offense hit double digits in the hit column for the fourth straight game. They’ve won three of those games. For this team, scoring first is a good sign. A better sign: putting up a goose egg in the top half of the next inning. Wednesday night, they failed twice to do that. Last night, they failed just once.

Two-out scoring is also nice, and two of the four runs came with two outs: Justin Bloxom’s RBI single in the first. Francisco Soriano’s RBI single in the 6th. But there’s still room for improvement, with a 3-for-13 night with RISP and nine runners left on.

Steve Souza led the attack with a 2-for-3 night, including a long double in the 6th that might have been out of some parks (but not Yellowstone), while J.P. Ramirez was close behind with a 2-for-4 effort, driving in Souza with an opposite-field double, as was Soriano (2-for-4, RBI).

Josh Smoker was greeted with a home run to start the eighth, but struck out the next two batters before issuing a walk that ended his night. Hector Nelo got out of the eighth with a groundout and nailed down the win with three outs in the ninth for his sixth save.

Selik is on the bump tonight as the P-Nats go for their second sweep of the season, opposed by the Dash lefty Joe Serafin. Tomorrow night, Chien-Mien Wang makes his second rehab start, with Danny Rosenbaum the first man out of the ‘pen.