Aug 072011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Lost, 5-4 @ Columbus,
5:05 p.m.
Brad Peacock (2-1, 4.43) vs.
Zach McAllister (8-3, 3.18)
Harrisburg Won, 10-6 @ Erie,
1:05 p.m.
Oliver Perez (2-2, 3.28) vs.
Brooks Brown (2-6, 6.25)
Potomac Lost, 3-0 @ Myrtle Beach,
6:05 p.m.
Evan Bronson (2-3, 3.68) vs.
Wilfredo Boscan (4-8, 4.18)
Hagerstown Postponed vs. Greensboro,
4:05 p.m.
Stephen Strasburg (rehab) and
Matt Grace (10-5, 4.44) vs.
Alex Caldera (NR) and TBD
Auburn Lost, 5-3 vs. Mahoning
Valley, 6:05 p.m.
Brian Dupra (2-2, 4.26) vs.
Harold Guerrero (2-1, 4.50)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY vs.
GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
Gregory Baez (1-1, 3.58) vs.
Brad Watson (2-1, 2.90)
DSL Nationals Lost, 4-1
@ DSL Marlins
OFF DAY N/A

Columbus 5 Syracuse 4
• Meyers (ND) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 6K
• Severino (L, 1-1) 1IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 3BB, 2K
• Brown 3-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• Antonelli 1-3, R, 2B, BB

A solo shot from Corey Brown in the top of the 9th tied the game at 4-4, but a walkoff walk by Atahualpa Severino lost it as the Chiefs lost their third straight, 5-4. A one-out walk followed by a fielding error set up runners on second and third. An intentional pass was issued to set up the double play and a lefty-on-lefty matchup, but backfired with the second base-on-balls. Brown led the offense with a 3-for-4 night. The loss sends the Chiefs to a 49-63 mark, 14½ games behind Lehigh Valley in the I.L. North.

Harrisburg 10 Erie 6
• Rosenbaum (W, 1-0) 5⅔ IP, 3H, 4R, 1ER, 3BB, 3K
• Pena (H, 2) 2⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Harper 3-5, R, 3B, HR, 3RBI, SB, GIDP, E
• Komatsu 2-5, 2R, 2B
• Davis 2-5, 2R, HR, 2RBI

Danny Rosenbaum won his AA debut while the Sens broke out of their offensive funk as Harrisburg defeated Erie, 10-6. Bryce Harper was a double shy of the cycle, going 3-for-5 with 3RBI. Leonard Davis and Derek Norris also homered as the Senators pounded out seven extra-base hits, 12 total and left on just four runners. Rosenbaum threw five scoreless innings before a walk, two errors and two doubles chased him in the 6th. He was charged with four runs, but just three were earned as the Ohio-born southpaw walked three and struck out three. Hassan Pena put out the fire with two and a third scoreless innings of relief for his second hold. The win keeps pace with second-place Bowie and Richmond, keeping the lead at just a ½ game in the E.L. West.

Myrtle Beach 3 Potomac 0
• Davis (L, 0-1) 8IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 5K
• Soriano 1-3, BB

Erik Davis tossed a complete game, but had the misfortune of going up against a 23-year-old on a career night as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans nearly no-hit the Potomac Nationals in a 3-0 shutout. Miguel De Los Santos tossed seven no-hit innings and struck out 10 with just two walks issued. Zach Osborne was two outs away from combining with him for the no-hitter when Francisco Soriano singled to right. Jose Lozada, the only other P-Nat to reach base, ended the game by lining into a 4-3 DP. Potomac falls to 22-19, four behind Frederick but six ahead of Lynchburg and Wilmington in the Carolina League Northern Division.

Hagerstown Suns — PPD
Rain made field conditions unplayable and set up a doubleheader this afternoon, which will feature a rehab outing by Stephen Strasburg.

Mahoning Valley 5 Auburn 3
• Karns (L, 1-2) 4⅓ IP, 5H, 5R, 5ER, 4BB, 2K
• Hawkins 3⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Ramsey 2-3, R, BB
• Moldenhauer 2-4, 2-2B

A pair of two-out walks in the 1st bit Nathan Karns in the [prosterior] as Mahoning Valley went on to win 5-3. Karns would walk four batters total in his four and 1/3rd innings of work, allowing all five Scrappers runs on five hits and striking out two. Ben Hawkins finished the game with three and 2/3rds scoreless innings, but the offense just couldn’t get in gear, scoring single runs in the 1st, 2nd, and 5th. Caleb Ramsey, Russell Moldenhauer, and Bowden’s Folly combined for six of the nine Auburn hits. The loss stopped a seven-game win streak and puts the Doubledays back into a first-place tie with Mahoning Valley, one game ahead of Williamsport.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
Three of the next four games are in Viera, as the G-Nats play out the string until August 27. The elimination number is just two.

DSL Marlins 4 DSL Nationals 1
• Pineyro (L, 3-5) 5IP, 5H, 4R, 0ER, 0BB, 2K
• Barrientos 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Rosario 1-3, R, 2B, BB
• Novas 2-4, SB, CS

The D-Nats couldn’t recover from a sloppy 1st inning on defense, losing to the D-Marlins by a 4-1 count. Ivan Pineyro went the first five innings, allowing all four runs (none earned) on five hits, no walks, while striking out two. Randy Novas led the offense with a 2-for-4 game but the clutch hit was also AWOL with just one with RISP, eight hits total. The loss drops the D-Nats to .500 with a 28-28 mark, 5½ games behind in the B.C. South Division.

Aug 062011
 

In addition to the assignment of catcher Brian Peacock to Harrisburg (corresponding move TBA), the Potomac Nationals announced three more moves today…

• LHP Sammy Solis placed on 7-Day DL

• RHP Trevor Holder received from GCL, activated from 7-Day DL

• C Andruth Ramirez received from GCL

We don’t have any news regarding the reason Solis’s stay on the DL. With a “TBA” for tomorrow, it’s quite likely that Mr. Holder will be the starter tomorrow night, having last thrown on Wednesday for an inning in the GCL. Ramirez is most likely on call until Peacock returns or if a longer-term solution is needed (bear in mind how close Myrtle Beach and Viera are in terms of geography, Hagerstown is leaving for a roadtrip tomorrow night, and Potomac is returning home on Monday).

UPDATE #1: Devin Ivany has indeed been placed on the DL, which means Peacock’s stay will be longer than day-to-day. Evan Bronson has been listed as tomorrow night’s starter for Potomac.

Aug 062011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Lost, 7-5 @ Columbus,
7:05 p.m.
Brad Meyers (4-4, 4.10) vs.
Jeanmar Gomez (10-4, 2.40)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-1 @ Erie,
7:05 p.m.
Danny Rosenbaum (AA debut)
vs. L.J. Gagnier (3-4, 4.81)
Potomac Won, 6-1 @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Erik Davis (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Miguel De Los Santos (2-3, 3.64)
Hagerstown Won, 2-1 vs. Greensboro,
7:05 p.m.
Matt Grace (10-5, 4.44) vs.
Alex Caldera (0-0, 0.00)
Auburn Won, 10-1 @ Mahoning
Valley, 7:05 p.m.
Nathan Karns (1-1, 3.55) vs.
Rob Nixon (4-3, 4.22)
GCL Nationals Won, 6-1
@ GCL Marlins
OFF DAY N/A
DSL Nationals Postponed
@ DSL Cubs2
@ DSL Marlins,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Columbus 7 Syrause 5
• Stammen (L, 8-6) 3IP, 8H, 7R, 7ER, 2BB, 1K, 3HR
• Mock 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Lombardozzi 2-4, R, 3B, BB, CS
• Marrero 2-4, R, HR, 3RBI

For the second game in a row, the Syracuse starter gave up three home runs as the Clippers built a 7-0 lead and held on for a 7-5 win. Craig Stammen allowed all seven runs on eight hits and two walks, but all three homers were of the solo variety. J.D. Martin (2IP), Garrett Mock (2IP), and Josh Wilkie (1IP) clamped down on Columbus for five innings. The Chiefs got two in the 5th and three in 8th, as Corey Brown and Chris Marrero both went deep, but with just nine hits total, it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback. The loss puts the Chiefs at 49-62, 14½ games off the pace in the I.L. North.

Erie 6 Harrisburg 1
• Roark (L, 6-8) 4⅓ IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 3BB, 3K
• C Martinez 3⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K
• McConnell 2-3, BB
• Rahl 1-3, BB

For the fourth straight game, the Senators failed to score three runs, losing to the Seawolves 6-1. Harrisburg also struck out 11 times and was a dismal 1-for-11 with RISP, with just one batter collecting multiple hits. It’s more noticeable when the starting pitching falters, as it did with Tanner Roark, who gave up five runs on nine hits and three hits over four and a 1/3rd innings. Carlos Martinez did an admirable job out of the ‘pen, shutting down Erie the rest of the way. The loss keeps pace with Bowie but allows Richmond to gain a game as the Harrisburg lead over the BaySox and Flying Squirrels is just a ½ game in the E.L. West.

Potomac 6 Myrtle Beach 1
• Olbrychowski (W, 4-6) 8IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 6K
• Clegg 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Soriano 2-4, R, BB, SB
• Walters 2-4, R, 2B

Unlike the Sens, the P-Nats broke out of their offensive funk with a 6-1 win in Myrtle Beach. But Adam Olbrychowski only needed a couple of runs as the veteran tossed eight innings (a career best), with just one run allowed on three hits and three walks. The offense was paced by newly acquired Zach Walters went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored, while Franciso Soriano singled twice and stole a base, also scoring a run. The win helped second-place Potomac gain a game on first-place Frederick, slicing the Keys lead to three, while keeping a six-game cushion over third-place Lynchburg. Brian Peacock was assigned to Harrisburg following the game. With Derek Norris coming off the bench last night in Erie to replace Devin Ivany, it would appear that Ivany is going to be unavailable for at least a couple of games.

Hagerstown 2 Greensboro 1
• Swynenberg (W, 5-1) 7IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Holt (S, 1) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Newsome 2-3, R
• Taylor 1-3, RBI, SF

Matt Swynenburg had the second-best outing of the night on the farm, with just one run allowed (albeit a HR) over seven innings as Hagerstown edged Greensboro, 2-1. The 22-year-old lowered his ERA to 3.26 while earning his fifth win, scattering seven hits, walking none and setting down three on strikes. The Suns got both runs in the bottom of the fifth as Brett Newsome and Adrian each singled and moved up 90′ on botched pickoff and came in on Wade Moore RBI groundout and a Michael Taylor sac fly. Greg Holt spun two scoreless innings of relief to earn his first save for Hagerstown. The win puts the Suns at 21-19 for the second half, 2½ games behind first-place Hickory in the Sally North.

Auburn 10 Mahoning Valley 1
• M Rodriguez (W, 2-2) 5IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 4K
• K Lopez (H, 1) 3IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Norfork 3-3, 2R
• Rowe 2-4, 3R
• Ortega 2-5, R, 2RBI

With a 10-1 victory over Mahoning Valley, Auburn took sole possession of first place in the Pinckney Division and extended its win streak to seven games. Manny Rodriguez got the win with one unearned run allowed on just three hits over five innings. Kelvin Lopez and Alex Kreis combined for four scoreless and hitless innings out of the ‘pen. The trio of Khayyan Norfork, Connor Rowe, and Bryce Ortega combined for seven of the 10 Doubledays hits and five of the 10 Auburn runs.

GCL Nationals 6 GCL Marlins 1
• King ⅔ IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 1K
• S Williams 2⅓, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Mozingo 2-3, R, 2B, RBI
• Hughes 0-0, R, 5BB

With a 6-1 win over the division-leading G-Marlins, the G-Nats broke an eight-game losing streak. Five batters collected multiple hits (Narciso Mesa, Chad Mozingo, Estarlin Martinez, Andruth Ramirez and Jean Carlos Valdez) while eight of 10 in the lineup reached base, with Rick Hughes drawing five walks. Scott Williams and John Peters both bounced back from beatdowns suffered last Saturday to combine for four scoreless innings, with Peters getting the win. The victory kept the elimination number at three, tied with the G-Astros for 4th place with a 13-26 mark in the GCL East.

DSL Nationals — PPD
Presumably rain washed away another game, forcing a third doubleheader next week for the D-Nats.

Aug 052011
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 49-61, 4th place I.L. North, 13½ games behind

Good Chris Marrero .325/.398/.494 since All-Star Break
Bad Yunesky Maya 0-2, 11.30 ERA, 5HR in last 3 starts
Interesting Just three current Chiefs have played more than 50% of the games at their primary defensive position: Marrero, Jesus Valdez, and Corey Brown

HARRISBURG SENATORS 62-50, 1st place E.L. West, ½ game ahead

Good Jimmy Barthmaier 3-0, 1.59 ERA last 10 appearances
Bad Team OBP .326, third-worst in E.L.
Interesting 77 opponents’ SB second fewest in the E.L.

POTOMAC NATIONALS 21-18, 2nd place C.L. North Division, 4 games behind (50-58 overall)

Good Destin Hood .340/.400/.520 in July
Bad Paul Demny 8.70 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 8HR in last 6G
Interesting 147 SB leads Carolina League, on pace for 191 (affiliation record 186 in ’09)

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 20-19, 4th place Sally League North Divison, 3½ games behind (60-49 overall)

Good Paul Applebee as a reliever: 5-1, 3.29 ERA, 1.06 WHIP
Bad 2.19 WHIP by Ps promoted from Auburn/GCL
Interesting 7PB by “hitters at catcher” fewest in Sally League

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 28-19, T1st place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 2 games ahead

Good Bryce Ortega .370/.473/.457, 13SB in 30G
Bad Alex Kreis 8.35 ERA, 2.13 WHIP
Interesting Billy Burns .406/.513/.563 in 10G

GCL NATIONALS 12-26, 5th place GCL East, 16½ games behind

Good Jason Smith 1.14 WHIP in 21IP
Bad Johan Rodriguez .496 OPS in 27G
Interesting Brandon King 1.02 WHIP, 5.93 ERA, 11 HBP

DSL NATIONALS 28-27, 4th place, Boca Chica South Division, 5½ games behind

Good Junior Geraldo (18 y.o.) 1.000 OPS in first 6G
Bad Wander Suero (19 y.o.) 9.95 ERA, 2.13 WHIP in last 7 appearances
Interesting J.J. Hernandez 1.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP in 14G
Aug 052011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Lost, 5-2 @ Columbus,
7:05 p.m.
Craig Stammen (8-5, 4.40) vs.
Corey Kluber (5-7, 5.90)
Harrisburg Lost, 2-1
(10 inn.);
Won, 2-1
@ Erie,
7:05 p.m.
Tanner Roark (6-7, 5.47) vs.
Drew Smyly (1-0, 0.00)
Potomac Lost, 4-3 @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Adam Olbrychowski (3-6, 5.03)
vs. TBD
Hagerstown Lost, 8-1 vs. Greensboro,
7:05 p.m.
Matt Swynenberg (4-1, 3.48) vs.
Kyle Winters (7-3, 4.62
Auburn Won, 6-5;
Won, 6-3
@
Mahoning
Valley, 7:05 p.m.
TBD vs.
Dan Jimenez (1-2, 2.79)
GCL Nationals Lost, 2-1
@ GCL Mets
(11 inn.)
@ GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
Brandon King (1-3, 5.93) vs.
TBD
DSL Nationals Postponed
vs. DSL Giants
@ DSL Cubs2,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Columbus 5 Syracuse 2
• Maya (L, 1-8) 6⅓ IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 4K, 3HR
• Zinicola 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Lombardozzi 2-4, R
• Hulett 2-4

Yunesky Maya coughed up three home runs to account for all five runs scored by the Clippers in a 5-2 loss to Columbus. He gave up eight hits total and walked one while striking out four in his eighth loss for Syracuse. Offensively, the Chiefs were held to just six hits, with Steve Lombardozzi and Tug Hulett (both 2-for-4) accounting for four of them as just three baserunners got into scoring position. The two Syracuse runs came via a double by Roger Bernadina in the top of the 5th. The loss drops the Chiefs to 49-61, 13½ games behind Lehigh Valley in the I.L. North.

Reading 2 Harrisburg 1 (10 inn.)(Comp.)
• Arnesen 7IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 6K
• Lehman (L, 0-1) 1⅓ IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K
• Rahl 3-4, 2B
• Jo. Johnson 1-4, R, 2B, SB

In the completion of Wednesday night’s game, Reading needed just two tries to get the gamewinner for the 2-1 win in 10 innings. Harrisburg was held to just four hits, three coming from Chris Rahl, who also drove in the lone Senators run. Erik Arnesen got the no-decision with seven strong innings of one-run ball, allowing just three hits and two hits while striking out six. Pat Lehman took the loss in relief, his first for Harrisburg.

Harrisburg 2 Reading 1 (Reg. Gm.)
• Martis 6IP, 1H, 0R, 3BB, 5K
• McCoy 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• T Moore 2-3, R, 2B, BB
• Harper 2-4, R, 2B

Tyler Moore led off the 9th with a walk and Bryce Harper’s double was muffed and followed by an error to plate both Harrisburg runs as the Senators edged the Reading Phillies 2-1 in the regularly scheduled game. Jimmy Barthmaier got the win in relief of starter Shairon Martis, who went the first six innings and allowed just one hit and three walks with five set down on strikes. Moore and Harper combined for four hits and two doubles as the Sens had just six hits total. The doubleheader split leaves Harrisburg a ½ game ahead of Bowie with a 62-50 mark in the E.L. West.

Salem 4 Potomac 3
• Selik (ND) 5⅓ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, K
• Frias 2IP, H, 0R, 2BB, K
• Leon 3-4, R, 2B, HR, BB, 2RBI
• Perez 2-4, R, 2B
• Kobernus SB #40

A walkoff walk in the bottom of the 10th gave Salem a 4-3 win and a series sweep of the Potomac Nationals. Josh Smoker started the 10th giving up a single, a wild pitch, an intentional walk (to set up the DP and face a lefty) and another single before issuing the free pass to former Nat farmhand Alex Valdez to take the loss. Sandy Leon drove in two of the three P-Nats runs with a solo HR in the 2nd and an RBI double in the 6th to lead the offense, which struggled once again with RISP with an 1-for-10 mark. The loss, the third straight, puts Potomac at 21-18, four behind Frederick but six ahead of both Lynchburg and Wilmington. Prior to the game, Evan Bronson was returned to Potomac from Syracuse. To make room on the roster, J.R. Higley was shifted to the 7-Day D.L.

Hickory 8 Hagerstown 1
• Ray (L, 2-2) 4IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 2K
• McCatty 3IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K
• Taylor 1-3, 2B, RBI
• Curran 1-3, BB

Hickory paid back Wednesday night’s beatdown with an 8-1 win on Thursday. The Suns were limited to just five hits and four walks with just one batter achieving both (Curran). Robbie Ray was touched for four runs on seven hits and three walks over the first four innings. Shane McCatty was no better, giving up three runs over three innings. The loss drops Hagerstown back to 3½ games behind Hickory in fourth place in the Sally North with a 20-19 mark. The Suns return home tonight for four games against Greensboro, featuring a rehab appearance by Stephen Strasburg on Sunday.

Auburn 6 Connecticut 5 — GAME ONE
• Estevez 5IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 3K
• C Garcia 2IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 4K
• M Rivera 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Montilla 2-3, R, BB, RBI
• Burns 2-4, R, 3B, 3RBI

A three-run rally in the bottom of the 7th sent Game One of the doubleheader into “extra” innings, tied at 5-5. Bryce Ortega doubled with two outs in the 9th and Matt Skole sent him home with a single to right to complete the comeback win. Christian Garcia made his Doubledays debut with a run allowed on two hits over two innings, while Ben Hawkins got the win as the last man on the mound for Auburn.

Auburn 6 Connecticut 3 — GAME TWO
• Meza 4IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 4K 0 7.71
• Henke (W, 3-1) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Ramsey 2-3, R, 3B, 2RBI
• Burns 1-3

Auburn scored three in the 1st, two in the 2nd, and one in 3rd and cruised to a 6-3 victory in the nightcap. Christian Meza went the first four innings and was roughed up for all three Tigers runs in the 3rd, allowing five hits and two walks but striking out four. Travis Henke got the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Caleb Ramsey led the offense with 2-for-3 game, including an RBI triple. The wins keep pace with Mahoning Valley, their opponents for the next four games in a home-and-home series, and extend their winning streak to six games. Khayyan Norfork has been recently activated from the 7-Day D.L.

GCL Mets 2 GCL Nationals 1 (11 inn.)
• McGeary 3IP, 1H, 0R, 4BB, 3K
• Medina 5IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 3K
• Hughes 2-2, BB, CS
• P Severino 2-3, R, BB

Jack McGeary’s second outing was a little bit better: no runs on one hit over three innings, but did give up four walks. Silvio Medina turned in five solid innings, with one run allowed on three hits. Both pitchers struck out three. The defense turned in its second error-free game in a row, but the offense remained equally feeble with one scored on eight hits and nine men left on. The loss, the eighth straight, drops the elimination number to three with a 12-26 mark that’s 16½ games worse than the G-Marlins.

DSL Nationals — PPD
Rain washed away the entire DSL yesterday, setting up doubleheaders for the D-Nats next Thursday and Friday.

Aug 042011
 

Some of you may have noticed how we’ve keeping tabs on where the affiliates are in the standings with each recap. This, of course, has led to some snarkiness in certain lower levels (OK, the GCL) but the more holistic view is that for the second straight summer, we’re looking at the possibility of multiple teams making the playoffs.

Obviously, player development is the first and foremost goal of the farm, but there is something to be said about playing in the postseason, no matter what the level. Harrisburg, for example, has several players from the 2010 Carolina League championship team and we’d like to think that they’ve learned what it takes to grind out a pennant race. Potomac and Hagerstown have younger, more age-appropriate squads and making the playoffs can only help to instill a winning attitude that many accuse the organization of lacking.

In any case, here’s a look at each affiliates chances down the stretch…

SYRACUSE
On paper, this team should have done better via its pitching, with the likes of Yunesky Maya, Craig Stammen, J.D. Martin, and Ross Detwiler — all touted as possible #5 starters coming out of spring training. The lack of offensive prowess is not as surprising, as this system is indeed lacking with position player prospects at the upper levels. Last year’s roster-filling 4As (e.g. Jason Botts, Chase Lambin, Pete Orr) were simply a little better than this year’s. Maybe we’d be singing a different tune if there were a half system and we thought that Brad Peacock and Tom Milone would be sticking around, but neither seems to be the case.

HARRISBURG
Yes, they’re currently tied for first place, and have been there for all but one day since May 24. But the question is whether or not they can withstand the loss of their leadoff man (Steve Lombardozzi) their ace pitcher (Brad Peacock) and their cleanup hitter (Bill Rhinehart). They’ve gotten some decent replacements by way of buying Leonard Davis from the Can-Am League and taking Tim Pahuta off the taxi squad disabled list, along with two new prospects (Erik Komatsu, Danny Rosenbaum). Tanner Roark has been pitching better of late, and Shairon Martis may very well be pitching below his true level, but Senators fans have to be holding their breath because further losses seem not only possible, but maybe even inevitable. I’ve heard their current left fielder’s pretty good.

POTOMAC
It may be a bold statement in the midst of all this team’s problems, but this team will make the playoffs. That’s more because of the format than anything else. As long as they hold onto second place in the second half, they’re in. With a six-game lead and only three games left against the third-place team (Wilmington, at home 8/23-25), and a seven-game lead over the fourth-place team with four games left (in Lynchburg, 8/30-9/2), that seems like a decent chance. Whether or not they’ll do anything in the playoffs is another story entirely. Frederick would be their first-round opponent, and the two teams meet once more on August 26-28. They’ve split the six games played in the second half, both teams taking two-of-three on the road.

HAGERSTOWN
Something to consider is that a lot of these guys were on the 2010 Vermont squad that nosedived. Will they learn from that experience or repeat it? Another problem is that it’s questionable that Robbie Ray and A.J. Cole are going to be allowed to pitch for very much longer. If that’s the case, then this team is going to have to make like the 2002 Angels and mash their way to a title. It’s also a very tight race in the Sally League North, with four teams within three games of first place. Fortunately, the Suns still have five games apiece left against Hickory (tonight in NC, 8/22-25 in MD) and Lakewood (9/1-5 in MD) and four against Kannapolis (in NC, 8/18-21) and, thus, some control over their own destiny.

AUBURN
Like the Sally North, the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League is tightly bunched with four teams within two games of first. Unlike the Sally, there’s a wild card option, but five teams are within three games in that race. The good news is that they have 12 games against last or next-to-last place teams. The bad news is that they have no more games against Williamsport but seven against Mahoning Valley and four against Jamestown, which means the Crosscutters could ease past the Doubledays and let the other divisional foes beat up on each other. The Williamsport schedule is also quite favorable, with 19 games against sub-.500 foes still left to play.

GCL Nationals
Could be eliminated by the end of the weekend. Even with 28-year-olds pitching in middle relief. Just sayin’…

DSL Nationals
Like last year, they’ve been hovering near .500 for most of the season. They’re 5½ games behind with 17 games left, so mathematically they’re alive, but they’re 7½ games back in the wild-card race so unless they rip off a long winning streak against the teams in their own division, it’s over.

Aug 042011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse OFF DAY @ Columbus,
7:05 p.m.
Yunesky Maya (1-7, 5.32) vs.
Joe Martinez (6-5, 4.17)
Harrisburg Suspended,
1-1 Top 9th
@ Reading,
7:05 p.m.
Shairon Martis (7-4, 3.36) vs.
J.C. Ramirez (8-10, 4.25)
Potomac Lost, 10-1 @ Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Cameron Selik (4-7, 4.12) vs.
Stolmy Pimentel (0-3, 7.15)
Hagerstown Won, 12-0 @ Hickory,
7:05 p.m.
Robbie Ray (2-1, 1.91) vs.
Cody Buckel (4-3, 2.84)
Auburn Postponed vs. Connecticut,
5:00 p.m.
Christian Meza (1-1, 7.89) and
Wirkin Estevez (3-2, 3.79) vs.
Brennan Smith (1-3, 2.11) and
Matt Crouse (1-1, 4.14)
GCL Nationals Lost, 3-2
vs. GCL Astros
(10 inn.)
@ GCL Mets,
12:00 p.m.
Silvio Medina (0-2, 5.79) vs.
Gabriel Ynoa (2-2, 2.83)
DSL Nationals Suspended
@ DSL Rangers
in Bot. 3rd
vs. DSL Giants,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs — OFF DAY
After an off day in Ohio, it’s another four games against Columbus before a 10-of-12 stretch at home against Buffalo, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Gwinnett, then a trip to Fenway to oppose the Pawtucket Red Sox in Boston’s annual “Futures at Fenway” promotion.

Harrisburg 1 Reading 1 — SUSP
Harrisburg’s game with Reading was suspended after eight innings last night with the score 1-1. Harrisburg tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the 6th on a Chris Rahl RBI single to extend the contest. Bryce Harper, Tim Pahuta and Devin Ivany are the first three batters set for the 9th when play resumes tonight at 6:05 p.m. The regularly scheduled game will be played afterwards.

Salem 10 Potomac 1
• Demny (L, 7-10) 4&8532; IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 3BB, 3K, HR
• Wort ⅓ IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, K 2-2 IR-S
• Walters 1-3, R
• Lozada 2BB, SH

An eight-run fifth spelled doom for the P-Nats as the Salem Red Sox ran roughshod over them for a 10-1 victory. Six of the 16 base hits Salem collected went for extra bases, including a two-run homer off starter Paul Demny. The big fly was the 18th that Demny has allowed, which leads the Carolina League. The Potomac offense, however, continues to be more suited to a picture on a milk carton as it’s been missing for the past two games, with just three singles and an 0-for-8 mark with RISP. The loss drops Potomac to 21-17, four games behind first-place Frederick but six games ahead of third-place Wilmington.

Hagerstown 12 Hickory 0
• Demmin (W, 2-1) 6IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Bates (S, 1) 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Keyes 4-4, 3R, 2-2B, 2RBI, BB
• Martinson 2-3, 2R, 2B, 2R HR, 3RBI, 2BB
• Nieto 1-5, R, 2R HR

Hagerstown whipped first place Hickory 12-0 last night in an all-around offensive effort. Hickory walked eleven batters and the Suns had eleven hits, six for extra bases. Adrian Nieto and Jason Martinson both had two-run blasts. Most importantly, the Suns benefited from clutch hitting. Eight of their twelve runs were scored on two-out RBI. Ryan Demmin and Colin Bates mystified the Crawdads and combined for a five-hit shutout. With the win, Hagerstown closes Hickory’s lead to 2½ games and improves to 20-18 in the Sally North.

Auburn-Connecticut — PPD
Rain postponed Wednesday night’s game between the Auburn Doubledays and Connecticut Tigers. It will be made up tonight with a pair of seven-inning games beginning at 5 p.m.

GCL Astros 3 GCL Nationals 2
• Encarnacion 5IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 7K
• Lee 2IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Mesa 2-5, R, 2B
• D Williams 2-4, RBI, SB

The G-Nats’ losing streak reached seven with a 3-2 loss in extras, tumbling them into a tie for last place. On a non-negative note, the team played an error-free game for the first time in four days. On a non-positive note, the G-Nats had 16 chances to hit safely with a runner on second or third and came through once, stranding 10 baserunners. Pedro Encarnacion lowered his ERA to 5.00 with five innings pitched and one run allowed on one hit and three walks while striking out seven. Narciso Mesa and Deion Williams each had two hits but the G-Nats were limited to just seven. The loss drops the elimination number to five with a 12-25 mark, 15½ games behind the G-Marlins in the GCL East.

DSL Rangers 5 DSL Nationals 2 — SUSP

Play was suspended with two outs in the bottom of the 3rd with the DSL Rangers leading 5-2. The two teams next meet on August 11, which is presumably when this will be completed.

Aug 032011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Won, 17-2 OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Lost, 8-4 @ Reading,
7:05 p.m.
Erik Arnesen (6-3, 2.63) vs.
Austin Hyatt (10-5, 3.88)
Potomac Lost, 3-0 @ Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Paul Demny (7-9, 4.86) vs.
Ryan Pressly (6-9, 4.28)
Hagerstown Won, 3-2 @ Hickory,
7:05 p.m.
Ryan Demmin (1-1, 2.87) vs.
Joe Van Meter (5-3, 2.98)
Auburn Won, 13-3 vs. Connecticut,
7:05 p.m.
Wirkin Estevez (3-2, 3.79) vs.
Brennan Smith (1-3, 2.11)
GCL Nationals Lost, 5-3
@ GCL Cardinals
vs. GCL Astros,
12:00 p.m.
Pedro Encarnacion (0-2, 6.23)
vs. Francis Ramirez (0-2, 7.11)
DSL Nationals Lost, 8-0
@ DSL Phillies
@ DSL Rangers,
10:30 a.m.
Ivan Pineyro (3-4, 2.01) vs.
Pedro Tirado (4-2, 3.56)

Syracuse 17 Toledo 2
• Peacock 4IP, 1H, 0R, 5BB, 4K
• Tatusko (W, 3-1) 3⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Brown 4-5, 2R, 2B, 2HR, 4RBI
• Antonelli 3-5, 2R, 2B, HR, BB, 4RBI
• Marrero 3-5, 2R, 2B, HR, BB, 2RBI

The circle clout accounted for six of the 20 Syracuse hits in a 17-2 roast of the Toledo Mud Hens. Just three batters failed to collect two hits, and only four failed to hit for extra bases, with Corey Brown leading the charge with a 4-for-5 game including a double and two HRs. Brad Peacock struggled with his control, allowing just one hit but five walks and was lifted after four innings and 91 pitches. Ryan Tatusko and long relief have become a good match as the 26-year-old went three and 2/3rds scoreless innings for the the win, the second three-plus inning, no-run outing in his last five appearances. The win improves the Chiefs to 49-60, 12½ behind first-place Lehigh Valley in the I.L. North.

Reading 8 Harrisburg 4
• O Perez (ND) 5IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 5K, HR
• C Martinez(BS, 1; L, 2-4) ⅔ IP, 5H, 6R, 6ER, BB, K, HR (GS)
• T Moore 3-4, R, HR, RBI
• Komatsu 2-4, SB
• O Perez 1-2, SB

Carlos Martinez got hammered on a Tuesday night. To make matters worse, it was before a crowd of 8,217 as the 27-year-old reliever surrendered six runs in the 6th as the Reading Phillies went on to beat the Senators 8-4. The big inning, which featured a grand slam, spoiled a decent outing by starter Oliver Perez, who gave up a run (also on a homer) over five innings and singled and stole a base in two at-bats. Erik Komatsu had a strong debut going 2-for-4 while stalwart Tyler Moore smacked his league-leading 25th home run. The loss dropped the Senators into second place, a ½ game behind Bowie in the E.L. West.

Salem 3 Potomac 0
• Solis (L, 4-2) 7IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 5K, 2HR
• Frias 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Walters 1-3, K
• Perez 1-4, OF Assist

Chris Hernandez became the Carolina League’s fourth 10-game winner with seven scoreless innings, as the Salem Red Sox shut out the Potomac Nationals, 3-0. Hernandez and relievers Mitch Herold and Will Latimer combined on a two-hit shutout while Sammy Solis dropped his second straight decision, giving up all three Sox runs on eight hits (two solo HRs) and a walk over seven innings. Zach Walters singled in the 2nd inning of his Potomac debut, while Eury Perez singled in the 9th for the two P-Nats hits. The loss drops Potomac to 21-16, four games behind Frederick in the Carolina League North. J.P. Ramirez and Brian Peacock were both activated off the 7-Day DL, with Sean Nicol returning to Hagerstown, joining Adrian Nieto, which we hope concludes this flurry of transactions.

Hagerstown 3 Hickory 2
• Cole (W, 3-6) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 2K
• Applebee (S, 1) 4IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Nicol 3-4, R, 2B, 3B, 2RBI
• Curran 0-2, SH, SF, RBI

In a battle of the bullpens, Paul Applebee’s four scoreless innings sealed the deal as Hagerstown edged Hickory, 3-2. Neither team scored after the 4th, with Sean Nicol’s RBI triple and Chris Curran’s sac fly giving the Suns their second and third runs respectively. A.J. Cole got the win with five innings pitched, two runs allowed on five hits and three walks and two strikeouts. Applebee got the save with just one hit allowed and one strikeout. Nicol went 3-for-4 to lead the offense, which was held to seven hits. The win puts the Suns back over .500 at 19-18, cutting the Crawdads’ leave to 3½ games in the Sally North.

Auburn 13 Connecticut 3
• Hill 4IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Jenkins (W, 2-0) 4IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 6K
• Mayo 4-4, 3R, 2B, 2HR, 4RBI
• Skole 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI
• Montilla 1-3, R, HR, 3RBI

The Auburn Doubledays went deep four times in a 13-3 rout of the Connecticut Tigers. Jeremy Mayo was a perfect 4-for-4 with 4RBI, singling, doubling, and homering twice to lead the 15-hit attack. Matt Skole (2-for-5) and Angel Montilla (1-for-3) accounted for the other two home runs and combined for five RBI. David Hill allowed a run over the first four innings in his first start, while Chad Jenkins went the next four, giving up two runs, to get the win. The victory puts Auburn into a tie with Mahoning Valley at 26-19, one game ahead of both Jamestown and Williamsport in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League.

GCL Cardinals 5 GCL Nationals 3
• Baez (ND) 5IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 2K
• Hatcher 2-3, CS
• Difo 2-4, R, 2B, SB
• Schill 2-5, RBI

With a three-run homer in the bottom of the 6th, the G-Cards overcame a 2-1 deficit to send the G-Nats a sixth straight loss by a 5-3 count. Gregory Baez left with the lead after giving up a run on three walks and six hits over the first five innings. Ken Ferrer served up the tater into get the blown save and the loss. Rashad Hatcher, Wilmer Difo and Wes Schill each had two hits, as the offense colleted nine hits and stranded eight baserunners. With a 12-24 mark, the G-Nats’ elimination number is down to six, 15 games behind the division-leading G-Marlins and just a game out of the cellar, currently inhabited by today’s opponent, the G-Astros.

DSL Phillies 8 DSL Nationals 0
• Moscat (L, 3-5) 7IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 6K, 2HR
• Mercedes 1-4

Yermin Mercedes singled with two outs in the top of the 9th to break up a combined no-hit bid by the D-Phillies, who shut out the D-Nats by an 8-0 count. Felix Moscat fell victim to the longball, accounting for four of the five runs he surrendered over seven innings pitched. He gave up eight hits and walked one while striking out six. The loss drops the D-Nats to 28-27, five games off the pace in the B.C. South.

Aug 022011
 

The Nationals have signed free-agent RHP Christian Garcia and assigned him to Auburn. Garcia appeared in one game for AA Trenton in 2010, five games in 2009. A third-round pick for the Yankees in 2004, Garcia has had Tommy John surgery twice and missed the entire 2007 season, but prior to his injuries he was considered to have three plus pitches (FB, CV, CU) and was placed on the 40-man roster in 2008. He turns 26 in three weeks, so this is clearly another case of the Nats trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

Aug 022011
 

As alluded in the comments and writeups yesterday, today LHP Danny Rosenbaum has been officially moved from the Potomac roster to the Harrisburg roster. Taking his place on the Potomac roster — and presumably his slot in the rotation — is RHP Erik Davis.

Both pitchers last pitched on Sunday and will likely start again on Saturday.

Rosenbaum had been 6-5 with a 2.59 ERA, a 3.05 FIP, a 1.17 WHIP and 108 K’s in 132 IP with Potomac. His ERA and FIP were both third-best in the Carolina League, his strikeout tally second, and he led the league in innings pitched.

Davis had been 5-7 with a 4.79 ERA, a 3.87 FIP, a 1.61 WHIP and 93K in 94 IP with Harrisburg. After a strong April (2R allowed in 15⅔ IP), Davis has struggled, particularly in the month of July where he’s lost five of six decisions and allowed a .329 OBA.

The Senators also formally announced that recently acquired OF Erik Komatsu, profiled over the weekend, has been assigned to Harrisburg. He is likely to make his debut tonight in Reading.