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 092011
 

Last night, the rosters for the 2011 New York-Penn League were announced and four Auburn Doubledays got the nod:

• Hendry Jimenez .292/.366/.479, 29RBI in 36G — starting at 2B

• Matt Skole .288/.368/.440, 32RBI in 49G — starting at DH

• Bryce Ortega .358/.454/.431, 15SB in 34G — backup SS

• Ben Grisz 1-0, 4SV, 1.35 ERA, 0.85 WHIP in 11G

The Lowell Spinners are the host of the 2011 New York-Penn League All-Star Game at LaLacheur Park in Lowell, MA a week from today.

Aug 092011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Won, 8-2 vs. Buffalo,
7:00 p.m.
Yunesky Maya (1-8, 5.44) vs.
Mark Cohoon (3-7, 6.71)
Harrisburg OFF DAY vs. Richmond,
7:00 p.m.
Erik Arnesen (6-3, 2.53) vs.
Chuck Lofgren (2-0, 0.92)
Potomac Lost, 2-1 vs. Salem,
12:05 p.m.
Cameron Selik (4-7, 4.18) vs.
Stolmy Pimentel (1-3, 4.96)
Hagerstown Lost, 9-3 OFF DAY N/A
Auburn Lost, 7-2 vs. Vermont,
7:05 p.m.
Christian Meza (1-1, 7.71) vs.
J.C. Menna (2-4, 5.09)
GCL Nationals Won, 9-2
@ GCL Astros
vs. GCL Mets,
12:00 p.m.
Gregory Baez (1-1, 3.68) vs.
Alejandro Sanabia (0-0, 0.00)
DSL Nationals Won, 15-10
vs. DSL Angels
vs. DSL Mets,
10:30 a.m.
Hector Silvestre (2-1, 2.25) vs.
TBD

Syracuse 8 Buffalo 2
• Milone (W, 9-6) 5⅔ IP, 6H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 5K
• Martin (S, 1) 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Antonelli 3-5, 2R, HR, 2RBI
• Marrero 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI, BB
• Brown 2-3, BB

The bats broke out to stop a four-game losing streak as the Chiefs tanned the Bisons, 8-2. Jhonatan Solano was the lone position player to go hitless as Syracuse collected 13 hits, with four batters getting two, and Matt Antonelli leading the way with a 3-for-5 night. Tom Milone got his ninth win with five and 2/3rds innings pitched and two runs allowed, though he walked a season-high three batters. The SoCal southpaw also went 1-for-3 at the plate, lowering his batting average to .409. The win improves Syracuse to 50-64, and extends the gap between fourth and fifth place in the I.L. north to 2½ games.

Harrisburg Senators — OFF DAY
Harrisburg starts a crucial three-game set against third-place Richmond tonight with veteran Erik Arnesen on the hill. The Flying Squirrels have been the Senators nemesis this season, taking 12 of the first 18 meetings and this is the final regular-season series between the two teams.

Salem 2 Potomac 1
• Demny 5+ IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 6BB, 1K, 3HBP, 1WP
• Holder 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Soriano 1-4, RBI
• Perez 1-3

Potomac pitchers simply gave the Red Sox too many chances Last Night In Woodbridge

Greensboro 9 Hagerstown 3
• Demmin (L, 2-2) 6IP, 5H, 5R, 2ER, 0BB, 4K
• Keyes 1-3, R, BB
• Martinson 1-3, R, 2B, BB

Greensboro opened up a 2-1 game with two in the 5th, one in the 6th, and two more in the 7th as they, um, hopped past the Suns 9-3. Ryan Demmin took the loss with five runs (two earned) given up on five hits and no walks over six innings but the bullpen was battered for four over the last three. Jason Martinson and Kevin Keyes both went 1-for-3 with a run scored and walk to lead the offense, which was held to just four hits and four walks total. The loss drops Hagerstown to 22-21, four games behind Hickory in the Sally North.

Mahoning Valley 7 Auburn 2
• Hill (L, 0-2) 5IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 5K
• Kreis 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 3BB, 1K
• Skole 2-5
• Alvarez 2-4, 2B, RBI
• J Miller 0-5, 5K

Mahoning Valley got the series split with a 7-2 win over Auburn. Dave Hill took the loss in his second start for the Doubledays, allowing three runs over five innings with five hits allowed, no walks and five strikeouts. Auburn was held to just eight hits, with Matt Skole and Bowden’s folly each getting two, as the team was a woeful 1-for-12 with RISP, stranding 11 baserunners. The loss puts Auburn and Mahoning Valley back into a first-place tie, 1½ games ahead of Williamsport and three games ahead of Jamestown.

GCL Nationals 9 GCL Astros 2
• McGeary 3IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 2K
• Encarnacion (W, 1-2) 5IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 3K
• JC Valdez 4-5, R, 2RBI
• W Ramos 2-4, 2R, RBI
• Mozingo 2-5, R, 2B, 2RBI

Jack McGeary continues to improve with each outing, tossing three innings with no walks today in a 9-2 win over the GCL Astros. McGeary allowed one unearned run on two hits while striking out two. Pedro Encarnacion followed him on the mound and pitched the next five for the win, allowing the second G-Astro run (also unearned) on four hits and a walk. Jean-Carlos Valdez led the 11-hit attack with four singles and two RBI. The win improves the G-Nats to 14-27, just their second win in the last 10 games.

DSL Nationals 15 DSL Angels 10
• Mendez 6IP, 8H, 4R, 1ER, 0BB, 3K
• W Rodriguez 3-5, 2R, 2B, 2SB
• Ruiz 3-3, 2R, 2B, 2RBI, BB
• Geraldo 1-4, R, 5RBI

A grand slam highlighted an eight-run 7th as the DSL Nationals piled on late for 15-10 win over the DSL Angels, despite getting outhit 18-11. Gilberto Mendez started and went the first six innings, allowing four runs (one earned) on eight hits and no walks. Kelvin Rodriguez got the win despite giving up three runs over an inning and a 1/3rd. The win puts the D-Nats at 29-28, six games off the pace in the B.C. South.

Aug 092011
 

You can only dodge the bullet so many times.

That’s the lesson that Potomac should have learned as the Salem Red Sox finally cashed in on the numerous chances the pitchers gave them for a 2-1 win.

Salem got its first run in the top of the 1st — another troubling trend that needs to stop if Potomac is to defend its Mills Cup title — but it could have been a lot worse. Two hit batsmen and a wild pitch then a walk loaded the bases. A swinging bunt drove in the run but starter Paul Demny escaped the jam with a flyout to right fielder Archie Gilbert (rehabbing from Harrisburg).

Demny would have baserunners in every inning he pitched. He walked two in the 2nd, giving up a single and double in the 3rd; got the trifecta in the 4th with another hit batsmen, a base hit, and a walk; and gave up walks in the 5th and 6th, the last chasing him in the 6th. To his credit, Demny kept the ball down and on the ground, getting two key double plays and allowing just four flyballs. For a pitcher that’s struggled with the longball, that’s bigger than Oprah.

Of course, what’s nearly always true is that good pitching gets scrutinized further when the offense is struggling, as the P-Nats have been over the past couple of weeks. It was sixth time in the past 10 games they’ve failed to score at least three runs.

It would be easy to chalk this up to the opposing pitcher, Chris Hernandez, who blanked them last week in Salem. But Hernandez was far from dominant, walking three and getting several long counts. During his five innings, it felt like he was one pitch away from getting smacked and having this game tied up.

Potomac would break through in the 7th as newly acquired Zach Walters drilled a grounder off the heel of Salem reliever Chris Martin to lead off the inning. A Steven Souza walk sandwiched between flyouts by Sandy Leon and Eury Perez (Walters taking third on the latter), brought up Francisco Soriano. The strong-armed infielder ripped a line drive into right to plate Walters and tie the game.

It would be the last Potomac baserunner.

Trevor Holder, Joe Testa and Rob Wort followed Demny on the mound. It was Holder’s first appearance in a Potomac uniform since June 24 and he tossed two solid innings of relief, allowing a hit and striking out three. Joe Testa pitched a scoreless 8th and appeared to be working around a leadoff bunt single but a two-out walk chased him from the game.

Wort gave up a single to right that Gilbert charged and threw a one-hop bullet to Leon, but on a night like this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the bounce was higher than usual and Leon couldn’t make the snap-tag that would have been a bang-bang play. A flyout ended the threat, but like I said at the beginning, you can only give a team so many chances before they cash one in.

The P-Nats went down in order and on strikes to end the game. The loss was a missed chance to gain ground on Frederick, which lost to Myrtle Beach. Lynchburg edged a game closer with a win over Kinston, trailing Potomac by five games while the Keys still lead the division by three.

Cameron Selik (4-7, 4.18) takes the hill this afternoon in the final midweek daygame (no gamer tomorrow), opposed by Salem’s Stolmy Pimentel (1-3, 4.96).

Aug 082011
 

For the tenth time this season a Nationals farmhand has been named the Player (or Pitcher) of the Week, as Corey Brown snagged the honor for the period of August 1st to the 7th.

Acquired in the offseason as part of a multiplayer trade for Josh Willingham, Brown hit .526 with four home runs, seven RBI and six runs scored last week, with slugging percentage of 1.211. He currently has a five-game hit streak.

It’s also the fourth time that a Syracuse Chief has won the weekly award, following Tom Milone, Michael Aubrey and Cole Kimball.

Aug 082011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Lost, 6-4 vs. Buffalo,
7:00 p.m.
Tom Milone (8-6, 3.62) vs.
Mark Cohoon (3-7, 6.71)
Harrisburg Won, 6-1 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Won, 7-2 vs. Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Paul Demny (7-10, 5.08) vs.
Chris Hernandez (10-5, 2.50)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-5;
Won, 6-5
vs. Greensboro,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
Auburn Won, 7-0 vs.
Mahoning Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Taylor Hill (0-1, 4.26) vs.
Joseph Colon (4-2, 3.38)
GCL Nationals Lost, 4-2
vs. GCL Cards
@ GCL Astros,
12:00 p.m.
Pedro Encarnacion (0-2, 5.00)
vs. Michael Feliz (0-2, 4.65)
DSL Nationals OFF DAY vs. DSL Angels,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Columbus 6 Syracuse 4
• Peacock 5IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 4K, 2HR
• Zinicola 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Marrero 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Antonelli 3-5, R, RBI, SB

The longball continues to plague Chiefs pitchers, as the Clipper connected twice against Brad Peacock en route to a 6-4 win and the four-game sweep. Peacock gave up four runs on seven hits and three walks over the first five innings. Offensively, Syracuse broke into double digits in the hit column, with Chris Marrero driving in three of the four Chiefs runs with a double and a two-run HR. The loss drops Syracuse to 49-64, 14½ games off the pace in the I.L. North.

Harrisburg 6 Erie 1
• Perez, O (W, 3-2) 6⅔ IP 4H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 0K, HR
• VanAllen (H, 9) 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Komatsu 2-4, 2R, HR, 3RBI
• Pahuta 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI

For the third straight start, Oliver Perez allowed just one run on a home run, but this time he got the win as Harrisburg defeated Erie, 6-1. The best-paid pitcher in AA allowed four hits and a walk and had no strikeouts to earn his third win. Erik Komatsu and Tim Pahuta both went 2-for-4 with a home run as the Senators got nine hits total and stranded just six batters. The win keeps Harrisburg in first place, a ½ game ahead of Bowie and 1½ games up on Richmond in the E.L. West.

Potomac 7 Myrtle Beach 2
• Bronson (W, 3-3) 5IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Frias (H, 5) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Leon 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• Hood 2-4, BB, RBI, SB, CS

A pair of two-run rallies late put this game away as Potomac ended its six-game roadtrip with a 7-2 win over Myrtle Beach. Evan Bronson got the start and the win, putting in five innings with two runs allowed on three hits, no walks, and three strikeouts. Marcos Frias and Josh Smoker both tossed two scoreless innings of relief. Sandy Leon and Destin Hood both went 2-for-4 to lead the offense as the P-Nats collected 11 hits total. With the win, Potomac inches up a game to three behind Frederick and maintains its six-game lead over third-place Lynchburg in the Carolina League’s Northern Division.

Greensboro 7 Hagerstown 5 — GAME ONE
• Strasburg 1⅔ IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 4K, HR
• Cole 4IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Kelso 2-3, R, 3B, BB, RBI
• Sanchez 2-4, 2B, 3RBI

The Greensboro Grasshoppers smacked three home runs off the Suns, including Stephen Strasburg, turning a 5-1 deficit into a 7-5 win in the first game of the doubleheader. Hagerstown scored all five of its runs in the bottom of the 2nd, highlighted by a two-out, three-RBI double by Adrian Sanchez. The Grasshoppers chipped away with single runs in the 3rd and 5th and got deuces in the 6th and 7th. Wilson Eusebio was charged with the loss, giving up a two-run homer in the 7th.

Hagerstown 6 Greensboro 5 — GAME TWO
• Grace 6⅓ IP, 10H, 5R, 5ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• McCatty (W, 2-3) ⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Taylor 2-4, 3B, 2RBI, OF assist at 3B
• Martinson 2-2, 2R, 2B, HR, BB, RBI
• Nicol 1-2, R, HR, BB, RBI

Michael Taylor’s RBI single in the bottom of the 7th gave the Suns a walkoff win and split the doubleheader. As the 6-5 score suggests, it was a see-saw affair, with the two teams answering each other’s rallies three times, including the last inning. Matt Grace went the first six and a 1/3rd innings but allowed all five Grasshopper runs on 10 hits including a solo shot by Jacob Realmuto, who took Strasburg deep in the first game. Shane McCatty got the win by finishing out the top of the 7th and stranding a runner. The split puts Hagerstown at 22-20, three games behind Hickory in the Sally North.

Auburn 7 Mahoning Valley 0
• Dupra (W, 3-2) 5IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, K
• Garcia 2IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Jenkins 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Ortega 2-3, BB, SB, RBI
• Rowe 2-3, 2B, RBI

Three Auburn pitchers combined for a 7-0 shutout of Mahoning Valley, reclaiming sole possession of first place. Brian Dupra, Christian Garcia, and Chris Jenkins scattered seven hits and three walks, with Dupra earning his third win. Bryce Ortega and Connor Rowe both went 2-for-3 with an RBI while Justin Miller and Russell Moldenahuer both homered as the Doubledays were an efficient seven runs on nine hits, capitalizing on the five walks issued. Auburn now stands at 30-20, a game up on Mahoning Valley, two on Williamsport, and three on Jamestown in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League.

GCL Cardinals 4 GCL Nationals 2
• Baez 4IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K
• Davis 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• E Martinez 2-4, R, BB, SB
• Ramos 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI

The GCL Nationals were formally eliminated yesterday with a 4-2 loss to the GCL Cardinals. Wander Ramos’s two-run homer in the bottom of the 3rd gave the G-Nats a brief 3-2 lead, but the G-Cards posted a picket fence in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings and another single run in the 9th to seal the win. Gregory Baez started and went the first four innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five while Blake Monar, who was assigned from Auburn just prior to the game, took the loss in his first GCL appearance with a single run allowed in his one inning of work. Today, the G-Nats face the G-Astros with a chance to climb out of the GCL East cellar.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
It’s a long week this week for the D-Nats thanks to three rainouts last week, presuming that they will all be made up this week. The D-Nats are at 28-28 with an elimination number of 12 with less than two weeks left in the DSL regular season schedule.

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.