Aug 012012
 

It took six innings for the P-Nats bats to show signs of life, but it was too little, too late as the Salem Red Sox withstood four runs late to win this one, 5-4.

Of course, credit for the offensive coma should go to Salem’s Keith Couch, who tossed six scoreless innings and allowed just three hits, no walks, and struck out seven to even his record at 8-8. In his previous start, he’d scattered ten hits over nine innings for a one-run complete game.

Conversely, Matt Grace was charged with the loss and ended a modest two-game win streak. The 23-year-old southpaw was charged with five runs on seven hits and two walks over five innings.

The bulk of the damage came in two big innings, as Grace’s propensity to give up long, loud hits returned — a home run and a double in the three-run 3rd, a double sandwiched between two sharp singles in the two-run 4th.

Potomac awoke in the 7th as the team’s two Steves (Souza and King) combined to break up the shutout bid. Souza had pulled up lame in Sunday’s contest, but the strain was not evident when the big fella (6’3″, 220) launched a shot to the warning track in center and cruised into third with an easy triple. Two batters later, King bounced one back up the middle to push Souza across the plate for a 5-1 tally.

The P-Nats added two more in the 8th when Michael Taylor singled to center and came around to score on an RBI double by Ricky Hague. Reliever Pete Ruiz gift-wrapped the second run by botching a tapper back to the mound that was incorrectly ruled a hit, then threw past the first baseman for an error that sent in Hague and took away an RBI chance for Souza, who singled for his third hit of the night (he had doubled in the 5th).

Following Grace from the ‘pen, and helping to make this drama possible, was a solid relief outing by Matt Swynenberg: Four scoreless innings, one hit, two walks, and one hit batsmen. It wasn’t pretty — just one 1-2-3 inning — but it got the job done.

Potomac rallied for the third straight time in the final frame, as Kevin Keyes lined a single to left and J.P. Ramirez hit a flyball that was ruled a single despite the shortstop standing flatfooted and missing the catch. Taylor struck out and Sanchez bounced one to second that erased pinch-runner Francisco Soriano. Hague drove in Keyes with another hit, an RBI single to left that cut the lead to one.

It was everything that a fan could hope for: a comeback from five runs down, two men on, two man out, and the cleanup hitter at the plate. Well, except for the strikeout by David Freitas that ended it .

With the loss, Potomac falls to 19-19 in the second half, but remains tied with Lynchburg for first place and a ½ game ahead of second-place Wilmington and 1½ games ahead of third-place Frederick in the Carolina League’s Northern Division

  7 Responses to “Last Night In Woodbridge”

  1. Potomac has quickly gone from the least interesting team in the farm system, in terms of talent, to the most interesting.

    I remember in early May, when David Freitas and a slumping Michael Taylor were basically the only players of note on the club.

    Now, with a rotation of Karns, Meyer and Ray, and some interesting arms in the bullpen like Wort and Holland, batters like Hague, Martinson, Souza, and a resurgent Taylor and (slumping) Freitas, this team is a lot of fun to follow. Next year looks like it could be even better, depending on how aggressive they are promoting the SPs, with Skole, Ramsey, Burns and (maybe) Purke joining the club.

    • I’m still holding my breath to see if anyone else gets promoted to make the AFL deadline, but if this team can figure out a way to win on the road, there’s no reason why they can’t do some damage in the playoffs.

      • Who do you see going to the AFL? If the team wants both Meyer and Rendon to go, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Karns get the promotion.

        • I guess that’s why they leap frogged Potomac with Brian Goodwin. His BA is anemic at .170 after 47 at bats BUT 1/2 his hits are for extra bases and he does have nine walks.

  2. Looking good with position players in the minors, but such a dearth of (in) starting pitching. Noone of significance at AAA or AA. Karns and Meyer at Potomac and that’s about it. Of course, there’s Solis, a potential number three starter at the major league level, Purke, who, I believe, will never make it because of injuries, and Giolto (sp?) who also has some serious arm issues.
    Am I far off with this summary? I’d be more than willing to be set straight on my rather woeful comments.

    • Don’t forget about the guys in Auburn. Left handed starters Monar (7 starts, 3.12 ERA, 32 Ks in 34.2 IP, .211 BAA), Lee (7 appearances – 5 starts, 3.38 ERA, 37:8 K:BB ratio, 1.09 WHIP), and Mooneyham (4 starts, 1.37 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, .206 BAA) have all been pitching well.

  3. I have my doubts that either Karns or Meyer will go to the AFL, due to “mileage” concerns (and if they do go, you can pencil them in as relieivers).

    Walters and Goodwin are good bets, Hague is another contender, too. After that it gets fuzzy fast. A lot depends on the other teams, too.

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