Luke Erickson

Luke Erickson is a season-ticket holder for the Potomac Nationals, but makes a point of seeing games in Hagerstown and Harrisburg at least once a summer. When the PNats are away on the weekend, Luke finds a minor-league game somewhere to watch, and generally attends 70-80 baseball games a year up across several states. A former sportswriter with newspapers in Massachusetts and Oregon, Luke lives in Western Fairfax County with his wife and two sons.

Aug 182011
 

If the Winston-Salem Dash miss the postseason by one game, they’re gonna point to this contest… and they’re gonna be pissed.

The Potomac Nationals will be listed as the 4-3 winners, but got the benefit of a controversial call. With one out in the 9th, the Dash’s Nick Ciolli doubled to left-center and took third on a Hector Nelo wild pitch that was errant enough to bounce into the stands behind home plate. The next batter struck out for the second out of the inning.

Winston-Salem sent up a left-handed pinch-hitter to face Nelo and he tapped a slow roller to shortstop that Francisco Soriano had to charge and curl towards third base to get a throw off. From my perch, it looked like the runner was safe. But the only opinion that mattered, the guy with the best view of play, disagreed and he called the runner out.

With the game over, it was the surreal scene of 20-something white jerseys celebrating the win and 20-something grey jerseys strolling out from the dugout in disgust and/or fascination as the Winston-Salem manager Julio Vinas escorted the umpires off the field with what one can only imagine was a string of expletives, quite possibly in multiple languages.

It was a fitting ending to a game that didn’t look like it was going to get played at all. Dark clouds and streaks of lightning were visible for much of the night as the thunderstorms passed just north and east of the Pfitz all night long.

Six Potomac pitchers were called to duty by manager Matt LeCroy. With the first two it appeared to be by design, as Sammy Solis was coming off the DL for his first appearance since July 27 with Cameron Selik, who had been lifted early on Sunday, called upon to put in a couple of innings in relief.

Solis worked around a leadoff double in fine fashion in the first inning, striking out two batters after Winston-Salem bunted the runner over to third, but gave two hits in each of the next two innings. Two double plays minimized the damage to just one run on five hits, but Solis looked vulnerable.

Unfortunately, so did Selik, who also got a groundball double play to minimize two hits given up in the 4th. In the bottom of the inning, Potomac strung together four hits to score three runs and put him in a position to perhaps get a win in relief.

But Selik was chased after just three batters in the 5th after Destin Hood misplayed a flyball into an RBI triple following a one-out single. Mitchell Clegg, who seems to have found a fit as a long reliever, stranded the runner at third with a lineout to second and a flyout to center to keep Potomac ahead by a 3-2 count.

A two-out double by Soriano in the 6th extended the Potomac lead to 4-2, driving in Sean Nicol from first base with a little help from a muff by the Winston-Salem catcher on the tag.

The Dash would cut the lead down to 4-3 in the next half-inning, a solo shot to left off Clegg, who ended up the winning pitcher with two and 2/3rds innings pitched with the one run allowed on two hits and no walks, finishing the frame with second of his two strikeouts.

Joe Testa and Marcos Frias would strike out the side in the 8th, handing the ball over to Nelo in the 9th despite Frias having faced just one batter in the 8th.

With the win, Potomac gets a game back on Frederick, which lost to third-place Lynchburg. The Keys lead the P-Nats by five games, which is the same margin the P-Nats have over the Hillcats.

Potomac and Winston-Salem continue their series on Friday with Paul Demny (8-10, 4.76) and Jake Petricka (3-6, 4.04) the expected starting pitchers.

Aug 182011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Lost, 3-1 vs. Gwinnett,
7:00 p.m.
Brad Peacock (3-1, 4.35) vs.
Todd Redmond (9-8, 2.84)
Harrisburg Won, 5-3 @ Akron,
7:05 p.m.
Danny Rosenbaum (1-0, 1.42)
vs. Austin Adams (9-9, 4.00)
Potomac Lost, 2-1 vs.
Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Sammy Solis (4-2, 3.38) vs.
Cameron Bayne (11-5, 3.30)
Hagerstown Won, 9-6 @ Kannapolis,
7:05 p.m.
Matt Grace (11-5, 4.32) vs.
Phil Negus (3-0, 2.62)
Auburn Won, 4-2 vs. Aberdeen,
7:05 p.m.
Wirkin Estevez (4-2, 3.86) vs.
Matt Hobgood (0-4, 12.23)
GCL Nationals Suspended,
Mid 4th vs.
GCL Cardinals
@ GCL Astros,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 12-5
@ DSL Mets1
@ DSL Phillies,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Gwinnett 3 Syracuse 1
• Stammen 6IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 3BB, 9K
• Martin 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Bernadina 2-3, SB
• Solano 1-3, R, 2B, BB

Gwinnett broke through with two runs in the 7th in this pitcher’s duel for a 3-1 win over the Syracuse Chiefs. After both teams scored early — the Braves in the 1st, the Chiefs in the 2nd — journeyman Craig Stammen matched goose eggs against (yet another Atlanta) stud pitching prospect Julio Teheran through the 6th. The Braves loaded the bases against Ryan Tatusko in the 7th on a double, walk, and an infield single. Jeff Mandel came in to put out the fire with two outs and was greeted with a two-run single to the 5/6 hole. The Braves bullpen allowed just one baserunner over the last three to nail this one down. Syracuse now stands 55-66, 14½ games back, and its elimination number is just four.

Harrisburg 5 Akron 3
• Roark (W, 8-8) 7⅔ IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 8K, HR
• Pena (S, 7) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Davis 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI, BB
• T Moore 1-3, R, HR, RBI, BB

Akron and Harrisburg playing swimming-pool tag, with the pitchers saying “Marco” and five hitters going “Solo.” But the Sens got a two-run shot from Leonard Davis and an unearned run on an errant pickoff for the difference in a 5-3 win. Tanner Roark evened his record at 8-8 with seven and 2/3rds innings, with six hits and three runs (all on home runs) given up. Pat McCoy stranded two runners to get the last out of the 8th for his 12th hold while Hassan Pena got his 7th save with a 1-2-3 ninth. The win took advantage of Bowie’s fourth straight loss to extend Harrisburg’s lead to two games, while Richmond kept pace at 2½ games back in the E.L. West.

Kinston 2 Potomac 1
• Bronson (L, 4-4) 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K
• Holland 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Kobernus 2-4, SB
• Lozada 1-3, R, 2B, BB, 2K

Kinston scored two runs in the bottom of the 1st. Thanks to Potomac’s twin troubles of an inability to hit in the clutch and make contact, that was enough to lose by a 2-1 count. Francisco Soriano’s two-out RBI single in the top of the 5th was the only one in 11 chances with RISP while Eury Perez was the sole batter not to strike out, as the P-Nats whiffed 11 times. Evan Bronson was the latest hard-luck loser, giving up the two Kinston runs on four hits and three walks over six innings. The loss dropped second-place Potomac to six games behind first-place Frederick and shaved its lead over third-place Lynchburg to five games in the Carolina League’s Northern Division.

Hagerstown 9 Lexington 6
• Strasburg 1⅔ IP, 4H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 3K
• Applebee (W, 7-2) 6IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 5K, HR
• Curran 3-4, 2R
• Taylor 2-5, R, 2B, 3B, 3RBI
• Nieto 2-4, R, 2B

Stephen Strasburg struggled in his second rehab outing in Hagerstown, unable to finish the second inning as he took 49 pitches to get five outs with the first four batters reaching against him in a three-run 1st. The Suns, however, remain red-hot, winning this one 9-6 for their 7th straight. Kevin Keyes erased that 3-0 deficit with a three-run shot in the bottom of the 1st, and Hagerstown put up another three-spot in the 2nd to take Strasburg off the hook with a 6-5 lead. The Suns got nine runs on 11 hits, including three doubles and two triples. Chris Curran led the hit parade with a 3-for-4 night. Paul Applebee finished the game with six strong innings, allowing a solo home run, a double and a single, no walks, and set down five on strikes for his 7th win. Hagerstown heads into Kannapolis for a four-game showdown against the Intimidators, needing three wins to take first place.

Auburn Doubledays 4 Aberdeen Ironbirds 2
• Meza 5IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 3K
• Garcia (W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Ortega 2-4, RBI
• Burns 1-2, R, BB, SB

Bryce Ortega’s one-out single, coupled with an error, broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 7th as Auburn, um, doubled up Aberdeen, 4-2. The Christians Meza and Garcia got the start and the win, with Meza going the first five and giving up both Ironbird runs on four his and a walk, while Garcia struck out six over two innings in the 6th and 7th innings for the win. Aaron Barrett walked three but struck out four over the last two innings for the save, his sixth. Ortega led the Doubleday offense with a 2-for-4 night. The win keeps Auburn one game up on Mahoning Valley and Williamsport in the Pinckney Divison of the NYPL.

GCL Nationals 1 GCL Cardinals 0 — SUSP, Mid 4th
Rain halted play in the middle of the 4th with the Nationals leading 1-0. It will presumably be made up when the two teams next meet on Saturday, August 27. My apologies to folks hoping for news on Jack McGeary’s next outing. The GCL and DSL are guessing games when it comes to probables, especially when there are lots of rainouts and doubleheaders. With less than 10 days left, it’ll be TBD vs. TBD the rest of the way.

DSL Mets 12 DSL Nationals 5
• Moscat (L, 3-7) 2⅔ IP, 7H, 8R, 7ER, BB, 2K
• Suero 3⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• Rosario 2-3, 2R
• Eusebio 1-4, R, HR, 3RBI, BB

A six-run 3rd put this one out of reach at 8-0, as the D-Mets blasted the D-Nats 12-5. Diomedes Eusebio’s two-run homer in the 4th, broke up the shutout, but the D-Nats were held to just six hits total, taking advantage of four D-Mets errors and seven walks drawn to score their five runs. Felix Moscat got the start and got knocked from the box with two outs in the 3rd, charged with eight runs on seven hits and two walks to take the loss. The D-Nats are now 32-34 and will need to win two of the next three to finish above .500.

Aug 172011
 

In a couple weeks, we should learn who the six or seven guys that will get named to the Arizona Fall League for Washington. Bryce Harper is the no-brainer, especially since Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has made it clear that that’s part of the plan. The one player allowed below AA should be Destin Hood, but his nagging injuries, his age (21) and Rizzo’s proclivity for following the letter of the rules first, the spirit second (don’t get me wrong, there’s value in that mindset, even if it drives me crazy).

It would not surprise me in the least if Rizzo were to send nobody from Potomac or Hagerstown. The single-A exception is just that: an exception, not a requirement. I think if he could get away with it, he’d send Paul Demny (Rule 5 eligible) or, but more likely is that Josh Smoker, along with Pat McCoy, gets sent in much the same way that Adam Carr and Cole Kimball went last fall, since lately the AFL has become a means for GMs to get a last look at Rule 5-eligible guys

After that it gets fuzzy real fast. Most of the Rule 5 candidates are either knocking at the door (e.g. Tom Milone, Brad Peacock, Steve Lombardozzi) or went last year (Derek Norris). The rest are on the margins (Chris Curran, Steve Souza, Stephen King, Jose Lozada, Paul Demny, J.R. Higley) or hurt (Jack McGeary).

No, I’m not forgetting about Tyler Moore. That’s one where I say this is why GMs get paid to make hard decisions. We don’t know where Tyler Moore fits in the long-term plans, and you can certainly make the case Moore is blocked by Marrero, who in turn, is blocked by Mike Morse currently and Adam LaRoche next year.

The question is whether sending Moore to the AFL makes him more of risk to get taken in the Rule 5 draft. Answer: probably not, but we certainly hope that Moore gets the honor/exposure that he’s earned with his performance this year and last.

Then there’s Danny Rosenbaum, who got the bump in late July and has had two strong starts thus far for Harrisburg. The timing would suggest that that was done to qualify for the AFL, but my gut says “no” because he’s not the prototype to get converted to relief. I also think that if Tom Milone wasn’t sent, neither would Rosenbaum — even if Danny throws harder.

Lastly, the recent draft picks. I’d have to say Alex Meyer and Anthony Rendon are the most likely to get sent. But I’m not convinced that either (or any) will go. The big X factor in all this is that the Nationals aren’t the only organization supplying the roster for this year’s team, the Scottsdale Scorpions. The only thing I’m certain of is that somebody, somewhere will be disappointed in the selections.

Aug 172011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Won, 13-4 vs. Gwinnett,
7:00 p.m.
Craig Stammen (9-6, 4.62) vs.
Julio Teheran (12-2, 2.18)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-3
(12 inn.)
@ Akron,
7:05 p.m.
Tanner Roark (7-8, 5.38) vs.
T.J. McFarland (9-6, 3.75)
Potomac Won, 6-3
(11 inn.)
@ Kinston,
6:30 p.m.
Evan Bronson (4-3, 3.47) vs.
Francisco Jimenez (3-2, 3.66)
Hagerstown Won, 10-2 vs. Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Stephen Strasburg (rehab) vs.
Luis Cruz (3-2, 4.18)
Auburn ALL STAR
BREAK
vs. Aberdeen,
7:05 p.m.
Christian Meza (1-1, 7.36) vs.
Phil Wilson (0-0, 2.00)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY vs. GCL Cards,
12:00 p.m.
Jack McGeary (0-0, 0.75) vs.
Chase Reid (0-1, 4.50)
DSL Nationals Cancelled
@ DSL Yankees1
@ DSL Mets1,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse 13 Gwinnett 4
• Maya (W, 2-8) 5⅓ IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 6K, 2HR
• Zinicola (H, 2) ⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Lombardozzi 3-5, 3R, 2B, BB
• Marrero 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI, BB

A seven-run 6th featuring a pinch-hit grand slam was more than enough to help Yunesky Maya win his second game for the Syracuse Chiefs in a 13-4 beatdown. Four Chiefs homered and six collected multiple hits, with Steve Lombardozzi leading the bunch with a 3-for-5 night. Maya gave up two solo shots, four runs total, on seven hits over five and a 1/3rd innings with no walks and six strikeouts. Zech Zinicola stranded two baserunners and finished the inning to earn the hold just before the big inning. The win was the third straight for Syracuse, which is now 55-65, 13½ games behind in the I.L. North.

Akron 4 Harrisburg 3 (12 inn.)
• Martis (ND) 6⅓ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 5BB, 6K
• McCoy (H, 11) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Davis 2-5, BB
• Pahuta 2-5

The “Martinísimos” will be dismayed to learn that Rafael was off last night in Akron, blowing the save in the bottom of the 9th as the Akron Aeros went on win in 12 innings, 4-3. Shairon Martis got the no-decision with two runs allowed on four hits, five bases-on-balls and six strikeouts over six and a 1/3rd innings pitched. Veterans Leonard Davis and Tim Pahuta both went 2-for-5 as the Sens were held to ten hits total. The Sens’ loss was a missed chance to gain some ground on the Baysox, which lost its third straight to stay one game behind while The Flying Squirrels got back to within 2½ games in the E.L. West.

Potomac 3 Kinston 1
• E Davis (ND) 7IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 4K
• Smoker (W, 5-2) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Souza 3-5
• Soriano 2-4, R, RBI, 2BB
• Perez 2-4, 2R, 3B, RBI, SB (35)

A Bad News Bears moment in the 11th gave the P-Nats an opening that they exploited for a 6-3 win. With two outs, Sandy Leon chugged in from second base on what appeared to be an inning-ending popup by Francisco Soriano that was headed just behind the pitcher’s mound. It fell to the ground foul, Leon scoring the go-ahead run while Soriano took second in the confusion. Jeff Kobernus followed with an RBI flare to second base, and Destin Hood got the killshot with a double. The three-run rally made a winner out of Josh Smoker, who pitched the 10th and 11th with just a hit and a walk allowed and four strikeouts. The wins also kept pace with Frederick and Lynchburg, as Potomac trails the Keys by five but leads the ‘Cats by six, and its elimination number is 15 while its magic number to clinch is 13.

Hagerstown 10 Lexington 2
• Ray 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 4K
• McCatty 2⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Keyes 2-3, 3R, 3B, HR, 4RBI, BB
• Martinson 2-3, R, HR, 3RBI

The Suns put this one away early, scoring eight runs over the first three innings to win their sixth straight over the Legends, 10-2. Kevin Keyes sunk the dagger in the first with a three-run bomb, then iced the cake with an RBI triple in the 8th. Jason Martinson also went 2-for-3 with a homer, driving in three. Robbie Ray was lifted after three (most likely an opportunity to taper, as neither the team release nor the beat guy referenced an injury) after allowing a hit and a walk while striking out four. The win was the Suns’ sixth straight as Kannapolis fell last night, cutting the Intimidators’ lead to two games in the Sally North.

Auburn Doubledays — ALL STAR BREAK
The National League defeated the American League in the 2011 New York-Penn League All-Star game, 7-3. Bryce Ortega (SS), Hendry Jimenez (2B) and Matt Skole (DH) all started for the National League, with Ortega going 0-for-2 with a walk, Jimenez 2-for-5 with an RBI, and Skole 1-for-3, with walk, a run scored, and an RBI.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
Just nine games remain on the schedule, so it’s a watch now for picks to show and perhaps a couple of guys to get a bump to Auburn for a longer look.

DSL Nationals — CNCLD
Rain has apparently struck once again, cancelling the final meeting between the D-Nats and the D-Yankees1 squad. Just four games remain on the slate before the season wraps up on Saturday.

Aug 162011
 


Looking over my Twitter feed, I’ve discovered that the site has been nominated for CBS Washington’s Most Valuable Blogger Awards 2011.

So either my 87-year-old Mom has suddenly gotten tech-savvy, or somebody likes what we’re doing here.
But competing against blogs for football, basketball, hockey, and the MMA, we have no chance of winning.

But that’s okay — vote anyway and check out some of the other blogs in the area. And thanks for getting us noticed.

Aug 162011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Cancelled
DH vs. SWB
vs. Gwinnett,
7:00 p.m.
Yunesky Maya (1-8, 5.30) vs.
Steven Shell (2-2, 2.74)
Harrisburg OFF DAY @ Akron,
7:05 p.m.
Shairon Martis (7-4, 3.05) vs.
Paolo Espino (6-0, 2.44)
Potomac Lost, 2-0 @ Kinston,
6:30 p.m.
Erik Davis (0-2. 6.57) vs.
Clayton Cook (8-8, 3.98)
Hagerstown Won, 3-2 vs.
Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Robbie Ray (2-2, 2.29) vs.
Mike Foltynewicz (4-9, 4.19)
Auburn ALL STAR
BREAK
N/A N/A
GCL Nationals Lost, 9-2;
Won, 10-4
@/vs. GCL Marlins
OFF DAY N/A
DSL Nationals Won, 5-0
@ DSL Marlins
@ DSL Yankees1,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre — CNCLD
Rain cancelled Monday’s doubleheader, which, as the final meeting between the two clubs this season, will not be made up.

Harrisburg Senators — OFF DAY
It’s the stretch run for the Sens, as they embark on their penultimate road trip with a three-spot in Akron, sporting the Eastern League’s best record at 68-53 and a one-game lead over the Baysox in the Western Division.

Kinston 2 Potomac 0
• Olbrychowski (L, 4-7) 6IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K
• Wort 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Souza 2-3, 2B, BB
• Lozada 2-4, 2B

Potomac batters struck out 18 times against Kinston in a 2-0 loss. Team leader Steve Souza (109) was the only batter not to whiff, and in fact, was one of two hitters to reach base three times (Jose Lozada was the other). The season-long inability to hit with RISP (236 in 1002 chances) was on display with an 0-for-11 night and nine runners stranded. Adam Olbrychowski put in a quality start with two runs allowed obver six innings but took the loss. Rob Wort pitched two scoreless frames to keep the game close. The loss drops the P-Nats to 26-24, five games behind Frederick, while a doubleheader loss by Lynchburg keeps the Hillcats six back of Potomac in the Carolina League Northern division.

Hagerstown 3 Lexington 2
• Slaten ⅔ IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 0K
• Swynenberg (W, 6-1) 7⅔ IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 3K, HR
• Freitas 3-4, R, RBI
• Keyes 2-3, R, HR, 2RBI

Handed a 1-0 deficit with two outs in the 1st by rehabbing Doug Slaten, Matt Swynenberg still managed to finish the game as the Suns won their fifth straight, 3-2 over the Legends. Swynenberg got his sixth win with seven and 2/3rds of one-run ball (a 4th-inning solo shot), giving up three hits and three walks, and striking out three. The 3-4-5 combo Adrian Sanchez, David Freitas, and Kevin Keyes accounted for all three runs in the 6th, as Sanchez doubled, Freitas singled, and Keyes homered in consecutive at-bats. The win keeps pace with Kannapolis, which still leads Hagerstown by three games as the two teams head towards a four-game showdown in N.C., starting on Thursday.

Auburn Doubledays — ALL STAR BREAK
Yesterday and today are the last scheduled off days this season in the New York-Penn League, which will fete its All-Stars tonight at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Massachusetts.

GCL Marlins 9 GCL Nationals 2
• King (L, 1-4) 4⅔ IP, 4H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, 1K
• Ferrer ⅔ IP, 4H, 5R, 4ER, 0BB, 0K 3-0 IR-S
• J.C. Valdez 2-3, 2RBI
• Difo 1-3, R, 2SB

A five-run 6th turned a 4-2 win into a 9-2 beatdown in the first game of the doubleheader. Brandon King took the loss with five runs given up over four and 2/3rds innings. Jean-Carlos Valdez drove in both runs and went 2-for-3, but the G-Nats were held to just five hits total.

GCL Nationals 10 GCL Marlins 4
• Mieses 2IP, 1H, 3R, 3R, 3BB, 1K, HR
• Santana (W, 2-2) 3IP, 1H, 0R, 3BB, 3K
• J.C. Valdez 3-4, R, 3B, 4RBI
• Mesa 2-3, R, BB, RBI

The shoe was on the other hand as the G-Nats put up a six-run 3rd to break open a 4-3 lead as the G-Nats took the second game by a 10-4 count. Jean-Carlos Valdez kept up his hot hitting with a 3-for-4 game, driving in four. Andy Santana got the win with three scoreless innings of relief of Adalaberto Mieses, who went the first two innings and allowed three runs on a home run in the 2nd. With the split, the fourth-place G-Nats move to 17-30, two games up on the fifth-place G-Astros.

DSL Nationals 5 DSL Marlins 0
• Silvestre (W, 3-1) 7IP, 4H, 0R, BB, 7K
• K Rodriguez 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Mercedes 2-4, R, 2B, 3RBI
• W Rodriguez 2-2, 2R, 2BB, 2SB, 2CS

Hector Silvestre and Kelvin Rodriguez combined to shut out the DSL Marlins, 5-0. Silvestre struck out seven and walked one, allowing four hits over seven innings, while Rodriguez tossed two scoreless and hitless frames, walking one and striking out one. Yermin Mercedes drove in three of five runs with a 2-for-4 effort to lead the offense. The win improves the D-Nats to 32-33, 10½ back in the B.C. South.

Aug 152011
 

Make that 11 weekly honors for the Nats farm system, as Erik Arnesen has become the latest with his efforts last week for the Harrisburg Senators.

The 2006 17th-round draft pick turned in a pair of seven-inning outings, winning them both, as he allowed just two earned runs (a 1.29 ERA for the 14 IP) on 11 hits and two walks while striking out 17 — including 10 yesterday in the Sens’ 4-2 win over the Trenton Thunder.

Arnesen has an 8-5 record while pitching for both Harrisburg and Syracuse this season, appearing 26 games and starting 16 games and has posted a 2.53 ERA between the two levels with a 1.12 WHIP.

Aug 152011
 


I’ve been honest about my distaste for the draft, but following an offline suggestion, I’m creating a post for folks to comment on what might happen tonight. For the first time since ’08, the pressure to sign the #1 pick overall is off, which is just as well because there are still hard feelings from that hot August night when the Nats didn’t sign Aaron Crow.

From what I can gather, the Nats should sign at least four of their top five picks, with Matt Purke being the wildcard. For the purposes of fodder, here’s a little link-o-rama of the beat guys’ thoughts (as I go to virtual press, Bill Ladson, et al):

Mark Zuckerman — Deadline day for draft picks to sign

Ben Goessling — For Nationals, annual dance with Boras ends tonight

Adam Kilgore — Nationals hoping to finish off a meaningful draft

Aug 152011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Postponed vs.
Scranton/WB,
5:00 p.m.
Yunesky Maya (1-8, 5.30),
Craig Stammen (9-6, 4.62) vs.
Adam Warren (6-5, 3.39),
D.J. Mitchell (9-9, 3.54)
Harrisburg Won, 4-2 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Lost, 5-2 @ Kinston,
6:30 p.m.
Adam Olbrychowski (4-6, 4.50)
vs. Mike Rayl (0-1, 4.24)
Hagerstown Won, 9-1 vs. Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Matt Swynenberg (5-1, 3.24) vs.
Tanner Bushue (6-4, 4.28)
Auburn Cancelled ALL STAR
BREAK
N/A
GCL Nationals Won, 12-10;
Lost, 7-1
@/vs. GCL Mets
@/vs. GCL Marlins,
11:00 a.m.
(doubleheader)
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Cancelled
vs. DSL Giants
@ DSL Marlins,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs — PPD
Rain postponed Sunday’s game to today, when it will be made up with a pair of seven-inning games.

Harrisburg 4 Trenton 2
• Arnesen (W, 8-3) 7IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 10K
• Komatsu 3-5, R, RBI, 2SB
• Harper 2-2, 2BB

A pair of two-run rallies in the first two frames combined with seven strong innings from veteran Erik Arnesen was the formula for a 4-2 Harrisburg triumph over Trenton. Arnesen struck out a season-high 10 batters while allowing just an unearned run on four hits and no walks. The other Erik, Komatsu, led the offense with a 3-for-5 night, scoring a run, driving in a run, and stealing two bases. Bryce Harper reached base four times with two hits and two walks. The win combined with a doubleheader loss by Bowie puts Harrisburg back into first place, plus a one-game lead. Archie Gilbert was returned from Potomac to replace Adam Fox on the Senators roster.

Myrtle Beach 5 Potomac 2
• Selik (L, 4-9) 3⅔ IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Holder 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Lozada 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Soriano 1-3, R, BB, SBThe 5-2 loss makes for a 3-4 homestand that ended Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 9 Lexington 1
• Demmin (W, 3-2) 5IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 2K
• Holt (H, 2) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Keyes 4-4, RBI
• Curran 3-4, 3R, 3B, HR, 4RBI

The trio of former Doubledays combined to limit the Lexington Legends to just one run on five hits as the Suns debunked the Legends, 9-1. Ryan Demmin got the win with the lone run allowed on two hits and two walks, while Greg Holt and Colin Bates both turned in two scoreless innings. Kevin Keyes led the 14-hit assault with a perfect 4-for-4 game and an RBI, followed closely by Chris Curran’s 3-for-4 effort that was a double shy of the cycle. The win was the fourth straight for Hagerstown, which finally gained a game on Kannapolis and slipped into second place, three games behind in the Sally North.

Auburn-Staten Island — CNCLD
It’s rain across the state of New York, as the Auburn-Staten Island game was canceled without a scheduled makeup.

GCL Nationals 12 GCL Mets 10 — GAME ONE
• Encarnacion 3⅓ IP, 3H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 2K, HR
• Lee 1⅔ IP, 1H 0R, 4BB, 3K
• Karlen 4-4, R, 3B, 3RBI, BB
• E Martinez 3-5, 2R, 3B, SB
• Mozingo 3-5, 2R, 2B, RBI, BB

Good pitching and defense took the afternoon off as the GCL Nationals and GCL Mets combined for 22 runs, 25 hits, and six errors, with the G-Nats scoring a pair in the “extra” 8th inning with the aid of a wild pitch. Frank Karlen led the G-Nat offense with a 4-for-4 game, with a walk, a run scored, and three RBI. Cody Davis got the blown-save-win in his 4th GCL game of the season.

GCL Nationals 7 GCL Mets 1 — GAME TWO
• Medina (L, 0-3) 4IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 3K
• Smith 2IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 1K
• Mozingo 1-1, 2B, RBI, SF
• Difo 1-1, R

Rain shortened the second game as the G-Mets piled on four in the 5th and three in the 6th for a 7-1 win over the G-Nats. Silvio Medina took the loss with the four-spot given up over the first four innings. Offensively, the G-Mets were limited to just two hits, as Wilmer Difo singled, took third on an errant pickoff throw, and scored on Chad Mozingo’s sac fly. The split leaves the G-Nats at 16-29, 1½ games ahead of the G-Astros in the “race” for fourth place in the GCL East.

DSL Nationals-DSL Giants — CNCLD
With the last week of the DSL upon us, a rainout cancelled this contest between two also-rans.

Aug 152011
 

It’s not quite the rookie wall, but Cameron Selik may be hitting it.

The 23-year-old flirted with perfection for one turn through the lineup plus two batters before giving up a walk. OK, no problem, right?

Wrong.

A double over the head of Eury Perez in center broke up both the no-hitter and the shutout, and tied the game at 1-1. A home run to right put the Pelicans up 3-1. A triple to left-center, then a double to right-center and Selik’s day was done.

Maybe it’s day games that don’t agree with Cameron, or perhaps the Pfitz itself — his ERA is nearly 1½ runs lower at night, 2½ lower on the road. But my gut says that as his first full (long) professional season as a starter, he’s hitting a rough patch that affects a lot of pitchers when they pitch deeper into the summer than they ever have before.

Of course, it doesn’t help that Selik was facing a team chock-full of lowball hitters and was following a pitcher with a similar repertoire. His pitches may have had a little less life on them, but they were down in the zone.

The starters-turned-relievers that followed Selik did an admirable job to keep the team within striking distance, as Mitchell Clegg stranded two runners for Selik, then retired five straight before Myrtle Beach’s 5-6-7 batters (all went 2-for-4) repeated their feats with three straight singles. Trevor Holder did likewise for Clegg, then retired three straight but was able to work around a leadoff double in the 8th. The two combined for four and 1/3rd innings, with one run allowed on four hits.

I call this out because that kind of effort only gets mentioned when the hitters can make the comeback, and lately, that seems to be too tall an order for the Potomac nine. Take away two errors by the newest Pelican, Andrew Clark, and it’s just one base runner over the middle third of the game, a two-out walk to Steve Souza.

Even after Jose Lozada’s leadoff HR in the 7th, the offense just couldn’t get it going — a hit batsmen and a single set up runners on first and second for Jeff Kobernus, who then flied out weakly to right and the ordinarily “money man” Destin Hood popped up to the catcher.

The way the game ended was almost emblematic of the struggle: a two-out single, then a pickoff at first.

The 5-2 loss was a missed chance to gain ground on Frederick, while Lynchburg was rained out of its finale with Wilmington, reducing the Potomac lead to 5½ games.

The P-Nats embark on a quick three-game roadtrip to Kinston before returning home for a six-games-in-seven days homestand against Winston-Salem and Wilmington.