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 082015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-0 @ Pawtucket,
6:05 p.m.
Billings (6-4, 4.31) vs.
Todd (3-5, 5.07)
Harrisburg Won, 5-4 @ Erie,
7:05 p.m.
Giolito (0-1, 9.00) vs.
Turley (9-7, 3.87)
Potomac Lost, 9-4 @ Carolina,
6:00 p.m.
A. Williams (2-3, 2.70) vs.
Thurman (5-3, 3.33)
Hagerstown Won, 8-5 vs. Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Howell (A- debut) vs.
B. Gonzalez (4-7, 5.38)
Auburn Lost, 7-3 vs. Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
Guilbeau (1-2, 5.32) vs.
Leftwich (1-1, 2.49)

Syracuse 5 Pawtucket 0
• Bleier (W, 3-1) 9IP, 6H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 106-71 P-K
• Burriss 2-4, R, BB, RBI
• Turner 2-5, R
• Skole 1-3, R, HR, 2BB, 2RBI

Richard Bleier continued Syracuse’s domination of Pawtucket with a six-hit, complete-game shutout and a 5-0 win. Bleier walked none and struck out two as he needed just 106 pitches to dispatch the PawSox for his third AAA win. Matt Skole homered for the fourth time since his callup to give the Chiefs an early 1-0 lead in the 2nd. Syracuse got three runs in the 3rd with just one ball leaving the infield (Trea Turner’s single) as three walks and a groundout to first with Turner beating the play at the plate to take a 4-0 lead and give Skole a second RBI. Emmanuel Burriss and Skole both reached base three times to pace the Syracuse offense, which offset 10 walks drawn with three double plays.

Harrisburg 5 Erie 4
• Simms 6⅓ IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 3K
• Mendez (BS, 4; W, 6-3) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, BB, K
• Demny (SV, 2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• A. Sanchez 2-3, BB
• Difo 2-5, R, 2-2B, RBI, SB(20)
• Bostick 2-5, R, 3K

Harrisburg came back twice in this one, rallying for three in the 6th to take a 4-3 lead and one in the 9th to win it, 5-4. John Simms turned in a quality start of three runs allowed on seven hits on seven hits and two walks over six and a 1/3rd. He was in line for the “W” until Gilberto Mendez let in the tying run in the 8th on a leadoff walk followed by a double. Pedro Severino walked to lead off the 9th, advanced to second on Adrian Sanchez’s one-out walk, and scored on Wilmer Difo’s RBI double. Paul Demny worked around a two-out error to close out the 9th for his second save, with Mendez earning the blown-save-win.

Carolina 9 Potomac 4
• Dickson (L, 1-2) 4IP, 5H, 7R, 5ER, 5BB, 5K, WP, HBP
• Mapes 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Keller 3-4, R, RBI
• Wooten 2-3, R, 2B, BB,

The Mudcats scored seven times in the first four innings and held off the P-Nats for a 9-4 win in Zebulon. Ian Dickson took the loss, giving up those seven runs over those four innings on five hits and five walks. He struck out five and hit a batter. Alec Keller went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI to lead the Potomac offense, which actually outhit Carolina 9-8 but grounded into two double plays (vs. none) and drew just three walks.
Roster moves: IF David Masters reassigned from Hagerstown; 3B Drew Ward placed on 7-Day DL retroactive to August 5.

Hagerstown 8 Delmarva 5
• Amlung 5IP, 7H, 4R, 3ER, 0BB, 4K, HR
• Williams 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Brinley (W, 1-0) 2IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Stevenson 3-5, 2R, 2RBI, 2SB
• Davidson 2-3, 2R, BB, RBI, SB
• Page 2-4, 2B, BB, RBI

Delmarva took a 5-4 lead in the top of the 8th but Hagerstown answered with four for an 8-5 sportswriter’s win. Ryan Brinley wobbled through the 8th and 9th innings but got the win. Justin Amlung started and was knocked for four runs on seven hits over five innings. He walked none and struck out four. Lineup bookends Andrew Stevenson and Austin Davidson combined to go 5-for-8 with a home run (Davidson) two stolen bases, three RBI, and four runs scored as the Suns registered 13 hits total.
Roster moves: 2B Austin Davidson activated from the 7-Day DL.

Williamsport 7 Auburn 3
• J. Rodriguez (L, 2-5) 5⅓ IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, BB, K, PO, E
• Pirro 2BF, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 0K, 3-2 IR-S
• Boghosian 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K, 3-0 IR-S
• Encarnacion 2-3, R, BB, RBI
• Eusebio 2-5

It was a tale of two relievers in the 6th inning for Auburn as Williamsport scored twice on bases-loaded walks to take a 4-2 lead and cruise to a 7-3 win. Matt Pirro walked both batters he faced in relief of Jefry Rodriguez, who left with a 2-2 tie and the bases loaded and one out. Adam Boghosian got the last two outs and stranded three but the offense didn’t respond as they mustered just one more run and stranded 12 baserunners. Randy Encarnacion was the leading hitter with two singles, a walk, a run scored, and an RBI.

Aug 072015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-0 @ Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
Bleier (2-1, 3.71) vs.
Couch (4-9, 6.27)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-2 @ Erie,
7:05 p.m.
Simms (1-1, 5.25) vs.
Green (3-14, 4.58)
Potomac Lost, 3-2 (12 inn.) @ Carolina,
7:00 p.m.
Dickson (1-1, 2.79) vs.
Barker (6-3, 2.91)
Hagerstown Won, 6-5 vs. Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Amlung (2-1, 3.42) vs.
Walker (7-2, 3.17)
Auburn Lost, 5-3 vs. Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
J. Rodriguez (2-4, 5.40) vs.
Gilbert (1-2, 1.64)

Syracuse 4 Pawtucket 0
• Espino (W, 4-5) 8IP, 7H, 0R, 0BB, 6K
• Runion 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Ramsey 3-4, RBI
• Johnson 0-2, 2BB

A change in scenery didn’t change the result as the Chiefs blanked the PawSox, 4-0 for their fourth straight win. Paolo Espino tossed eight scoreless innings, with seven hits allowed, no walks and six K’s for his fourth win. Sam Runion pitched around a hit and a walk in the 9th to preserve the shutout. Caleb Ramsey went 3-for-4 with an RBI while Matt den Dekker and Kevin Keyes both homered to lead the Syracuse offense.
Roster moves: RHP Aaron Barrett optioned from Washington; RHP Blake Treinen recalled to Washington.

Akron 4 Harrisburg 2
• Purke (L, 1-2) 4IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 4K, HR
• Suero 3IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 1K
• Bostick 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI
• Pleffner 2-4

Akron ducked up Matt Purke for three runs in the 1st and cruised to a 4-2 victory and took the series from the Sens, 2-1. Purke recovered to pitch three more scoreless innings, but finished with three runs allowed on six hits, including a two-run HR. He walked none and struck out four. Christopher Bostick went 2-for-4 with a HR, an RBI, and two runs scored to pace the Harrisburg offense, which went 0-for-9 with RISP and left on seven baserunners while striking out 11 times.

Lynchburg 3 Potomac 2 (12 inn.)
• Lopez 6IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 5K
• Self (L, 3-4) 2⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, K
• Norfork 4-5, 2RBI
• Martinez 2-5

Lynchburg scored twice in the 1st, Potomac twice in the 9th, but the Hillcats scored in the last of 12th to take the game, 3-2, and the series, 2-1. Reynaldo Lopez gave up the first two runs and five hits total over six innings, with a walk and five strikeouts for a no-decision. The loss went to Derek Self, who retired seven straight before Lynchburg converted a one-out walk into the gamewinner on back-to-back two-out singles. Khayyan Norfork drove in the tying runs and went 4-for-5 overall to pace Potomac’s 10-hit parade.
Roster moves: LHP R.C. Orland reassigned from Hagerstown.

Hagerstown 6 Delmarva 5
• Reyes 5IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 4K, WP
• Lee (W, 2-0) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Mejia 3-4, 2-2B, 4RBI, SB
• Page 2-3, 3R, 2-2B, BB, RBI

The Suns rallied for three in the 6th then two in the 8th to overcome deficits of 3-1 and 4-3 for a 5-4 win over the Shorebirds. Luis Reyes went the first five innings and gave up the first three Delmarva runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four. Andrew Lee got the “W” for two scoreless innings of relief, with one hit and two whiffs. Harrisburg scored six times on eight hits, but six of them were doubles, with Bryan Mejia driving in four with a pair of two-base knocks and going 3-for-4 overall.
Roster moves: RHP Jeff Howell (yes, the former catcher) reassigned from GCL Nationals.

Williamsport 5 Auburn 3
• Hearn (L, 1-3) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K
• Gunter 2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 2K
• Tillero 2-4, R, 2B, SB
• Robles 2-5, 2RBI

Auburn rallied for two in the 7th and one in the 8th but went in order in the 9th for a 5-3 loss to Williamsport. Taylor Hearn took the loss with the first two Crosscutter runs let in on five hits, no walks, and three whiffs. Jorge Tillero singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored a run while Victor Robles drove in two to pace the Doubledays attack.
LHP David Ramos reassigned to Auburn for MiLB rehab. Yesterday afternoon, the Doubledays announced RHP Erick Fedde had been promoted to Hagerstown but retracted the report without further details.

Aug 062015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 7-4 @ Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
Espino (3-5, 3.42) vs.
Cuevas (AAA debut)
Harrisburg Won, 3-2 vs. Akron,
7:00 p.m.
Purke (1-1, 8.64) vs.
Morimando (8-10, 2.99)
Potomac Lost, 7-6 @ Lynchburg,
6:30 p.m.
Lopez (5-7, 4.77) vs.
Kaminsky (6-5, 2.09 @ FSL in ’15)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-2 vs. Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Reyes (5-7, 5.17) vs.
Delgado (4-3, 3.39)
Auburn Won, 8-5 (10 inn.) vs. Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. Gueller (5-1, 2.21)

Syracuse 7 Pawtucket 4
• Jordan (W, 4-4) 7IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K
• Solis (SV, 1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 3-1 IR-S
• Lerud 2-2, R, BB, 2RBI
• Ramsey 2-3, 2R, BB, RBI, SB
• Lisson 2-3, 2R, BB,

Syracuse completed its sweep of Pawtucket with a 7-4 win to take sole possession of 5th place in the I.L. East. Taylor Jordan spun seven innings of one-run ball on three hits and two walks while fanning five to win his fourth AAA game. Sammy Solis stranded two of three runners inherited from Matt Grace, who faced five batters in the 8th and put each one of them on base, to earn the save. The bottom third of the lineup (Caleb Ramsey, Mario Lisson, Steven Lerud) combined to go 6-for-8 with three walks drawn and five runs scored.

Harrisburg 3 Akron 2
• Voth 8IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 6K, 2HR
• Davis (W, 1-0) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Ballou 2-4, 3B, 2RBI
• Severino 2-4, R

Isaac Ballou’s walkoff RBI single capped a two-run rally in the bottom of the 9th for a 3-2 Sens win over the RubberDucks. Erik Davis got the win for pitching a scoreless 9th. Austin Voth got yet another no-decision with two runs allowed, albeit both on solo HR, over eight innings and five hits total. He walked none and struck out six. Ballou and Pedro Severino both went 2-for-4 as Harrisburg registered 10 hits and one walk total for the night.

Lynchburg 7 Potomac 6
• Rauh 6IP, 11H, 6R, 6ER, 4BB, 7K, 2WP
• Walsh (L, 0-1) 2IP, 1H, R, ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Manuel 2-3, R, BB, 2RBI
• Corona 2-5, R, 2RBI

Potomac couldn’t hold an early 6-1 lead and managed just two hits over the final six innings while losing to Lynchburg, 7-6. Brian Rauh was pounded for six runs on 11 hits and four walks in his six-inning no-decision. He struck out seven. Jake Walsh pitched the final two innings and took the loss on a leadoff HR in the bottom of the 8th. Craig Manuel reached base three times with one of four walks and two nine singles that Potomac registered. He and Reegie Corona both drove in two runs and scored a run.

Charleston 7 Hagerstown 4
• Van Orden 5IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, BB, K, HR
• Glover (BS, 1; L, 0-1) 2IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K, 2HR, 1-1 IR-S
• Abreu 2-4, R, BB, RBI,
• Page 1-3, BB

Charleston struck for one in the 8th and three in the 9th to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 7-4 win over Hagerstown. Koda Glover got the blown save and the loss, giving up three runs of his own and one inherited over those two innings on a single and two homers. Drew Van Orden started and went the first five, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk. He struck out one while the no-decision snapped a four-start losing streak. Osvaldo Abreu singled twice and walked once to lead the Suns offense.

Auburn 8 West Virginia 5 (10 inn.)
• Crownover 4⅔ IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K
• Johns (BS, 1; W, 1-0) 2IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 1K, HR
• Gutierrez 2-4, BB
• Eusebio 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Robles 2-5, R, 2B

The Doubledays put up two big innings late to take the series finale from the Black Bears, 8-5 in 10 innings. Auburn erased a 3-0 deficit with a five-run 8th only to see the lead slip away with single runs in the 8th and 9th innings off Sam Johns. Randy Encarnacion drove in the decisive three runs with a two-out double in the top of the 10th. Adam Boghosian worked around a walk in the bottom of the 10th for the save. Matthew Crownover started and gave up two runs on five hits and two walks over four and 2/3rds innings. Kelvin Gutierrez reached base three times with a walk and two singles to lead Auburn’s nine-hit parade.

Aug 052015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 3-1 vs. Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
Jordan (3-4, 2.57) vs.
Barnes (1-0, 3.77)
Harrisburg Lost, 9-5 vs. Akron,
7:00 p.m.
Voth (4-5, 2.94) vs.
Plutko (6-4, 2.81)
Potomac Won, 3-1 @ Lynchburg,
6:30 p.m.
Rauh (2-0, 0.76) vs.
Kime (2-5, 4.34)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-2 vs. Charleston,
1:05 p.m.
Van Orden (5-5, 3.43) vs.
Kamplain (3-12, 4.91)
Auburn Lost, 6-3 @ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Crownover (0-4, 5.24) vs.
Brubaker (4-3, 3.72)

Syracuse 3 Pawtucket 1
• Cole (W, 2-5) 5⅔ IP, 4H, R, ER, 2BB, 6K
• Treinen (H, 1) 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 2WP, 2-0 IR-S
• den Dekker 2-4, 2R, 3B, HR, RBI
• Skole 1-2, R, 2BB, HR, RBI

The Chiefs dragged the PawSox into the I.L. East cellar with 3-1 win. A.J. Cole won his second game with five and 2/3rds innings of one-run ball on four hits and two walks while striking out six. Blake Treinen stranded the tying runs in the 6th and kept the PawSox in check for the 7th and 8th innings for the hold while Rafael Martin Cordero’d his way through the 9th with two hits allowed, no walks, and no K’s for the save. The Matts (den Dekker and Skole) both homered and scored all three Syracuse runs.
Roster move: IF Mario Lisson activated from the 7-Day DL.

Akron 9 Harrisburg 5
• Bates (L, 4-2) 2⅓ IP, 6H, 6R, 6ER, 0BB, 2K
• Bacus 2⅔ IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 1-1 IR-S
• Difo 4-5, R
• Pleffner 3-4, R, 2B, 2RBI
• D. Robinson 2-4

Akron erased an early 4-0 deficit with a six-run 3rd then put the game away with three unearned runs in the 7th for a 9-5 win over Harrisburg, snapping a modest three-game streak for the Senators. Colin Bates took the loss, charged with the aforementioned six runs on six hits over two and a 1/3rd innings. Wilmer Difo led Harrisburg’s 12-hit parade with a 4-for-5 night, followed by Shawn Pleffner’s 3-for-4 effort.
Roster move: IF Adrian Sanchez activated from the 7-Day DL.

Potomac 3 Lynchburg 1
• Spann (W, 1-6) 5IP, 4H, R, ER, 4BB, 6K
• Johansen (H, 3) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 0K
• Corona 4-4, R, 2B, 3B, 2RBI, SB
• Keller 3-4, 2B

Potomac won back-to-back games for the first time in more than a week with a 3-1 decision over Lynchburg. Matt Spann won his first game for Potomac to end a nine-appearance drought, giving up the Hillcats run on four hits and four walks over five innings with six strikeouts. Jake Johansen, Derek Self, and Phillips Valdez combined for four scoreless innings to close out the game. Potomac wasted numerous chances on offense, scoring just three times on 13 hits and a walk. Reegie Corona led the way with two singles, a double, and a triple in his first game for the P-Nats.
Roster moves: IF Reegie Corona reassigned from Harrisburg; RHP Manny Rodriguez placed on the 7-Day DL; UT Cody Dent placed on the 3-Day TIL.

Charleston 7 Hagerstown 2
• Bach (L, 4-3) 5+ IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 5K
• Brinley (BS, 1) 1IP, 2H, 2R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K, 2-2 IR-S
• Marmolejos-Diaz 3-4, 2B
• Masters 2-3, R, BB, CS
• Read 1-4, R, HR, RBI

Charleston rallied for four in the 6th and tacked on three more in the 7th to hand Hagerstown a 7-2 loss. Connor Bach pitched into the 6th but was lifted after the first two batters reached. Ryan Brinley let ’em both in and two more to give Bach the loss and “earn” the blown save. Raudy Read homered in the 2nd to give the Suns an early 1-0 lead while David Masters reach base three times with two singles and a walk to pace the Hagerstown offense.

Auburn 8 West Virginia 3
• Fedde (W, 4-1) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 3K
• Borne (H, 2) 3IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• Encarnacion 2-3, R, 2-2B, 2RBI, SB
• Me. Rodriguez 1-3, R, 2RBI
• Sagdal 1-2, 3R, HR, BB, RBI

Auburn made the most out of its offensive chances, scoring eight times on six hits and five walks in an 8-3 win over West Virginia. Erick Fedde won his fourth game with five innings pitched, two runs allowed on five hits and a walk, and three strikeouts. Grant Borne followed with one unearned run over three innings while Mariano Rivera III mopped up in the 9th. Randy Encarnacion doubled twice and drove in two while Ian Sagdal homered to lead the Doubleday attack.

Aug 042015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 9-3 vs. Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
Cole (1-5, 4.32) vs.
Spruill (4-7, 4.54)
Harrisburg OFF DAY vs. Akron,
7:00 p.m.
Bates (4-1, 3.70) vs.
Merritt (8-7, 3.61)
Potomac OFF DAY @ Lynchburg,
6:30 p.m.
Spann (0-6, 4.87) vs.
Brown (7-9, 5.32)
Hagerstown Won, 5-4 vs. Charleston,
7:05 p.m.
Bach (4-2, 3.39) vs.
Maher (2-4, 2.46)
Auburn Lost, 6-3 @ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Fedde (3-1, 2.70) vs.
McGarry (1-1, 4.86)

Syracuse 9 Pawtucket 3
• Strasburg (W, 1-1) 5⅔ IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 11K
• Grace (H, 8) 1⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Turner 3-4, 3R, 2B, BB, SB
• den Dekker 3-4
• Keyes 2-5, R, 2B, 2RBI

Jason Martinson’s grand slam in the 6th broke open a 5-3 ballgame as Syracuse tripled up Pawtucket, 9-3 and moved one game closer to 5th place. Stephen Strasburg gave up two runs on five hits and struck out 11 over and walked none over five and 2/3rds innings to earn the win. He threw just 85 pitches, 55 for strikes. Trea Turner singled twice, doubled once, and scored three times. Matt den Dekker also went 3-for-4 as the Chiefs racked up 13 hits total.
Roster moves: SS Jason Martinson activated from 3-Day TIL; OF Tony Gwynn Jr., RHP Taylor Hill placed on the 7-Day DL.

Harrisburg — OFF DAY
Harrisburg returns from 3-4 trip to Northern New England for a three-game set against Akron before heading back out on the road for six games against Erie and Reading.

Potomac — OFF DAY
After three months of insanity, the P-Nats schedule returns to the more normal week-on, week-off for most of August as they head to Lynchburg for three, then Carolina for three before coming back to Woodbridge next Tuesday for three apiece against Winston-Salem and Wilmington.

Hagerstown 5 Charleston 4
• Orlan 5IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 5K, HR
• Lee (BS, 1; W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• Marmolejos-Diaz 3-4, 2B
• Mejia 2-4, 2R, 2B, 3B, RBI
• Gardner 2-4, 2R, RBI

Jeff Gardner led off the bottom of the 9th with a single and scored on Osvaldo Abreu’s single up the middle to give the Suns a 5-4 walkoff win over the RiverDogs. Andrew Lee got the dreaded blown-save-win for Andrew Lee, whose fielding error came around to score to tie the game in the top of the 9th. R.C. Orlan made the start and turned in five innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks while fanning five. Jose “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz led the hit column with a 3-for-4 night, followed by Bryan Mejia and Gardner, who both went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

West Virginia 6 Auburn 3
• Guilbeau (L, 1-2) 4+ IP, 11H, 6R, 5ER, 2BB, 1K
• Gunter 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K, 1-0 IR-S
• Kerian 3-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Eusebio 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI

The Black Bears mauled the Doubledays for five unanswered runs to take this one by a 6-3 score. Taylor Guilbeau took the brunt of the beating, charged with all six runs (five earned) on 11 hits and two walks over four-plus innings. He struck out one (1). David Kerian went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI while Diomedes Eusebio cracked a two-run HR to cap off Auburn’s three-run 2nd, which gave the Doubledays a 3-1 lead that disappeared when West Virginia scored two in the bottom of the 3rd (then two more in the 4th, and one more in the 5th).
Roster move: OF Darryl Florentino promoted from the GCL Nationals.

Aug 032015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-0 vs. Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
Strasburg (MLB Rehab) vs.
Escobar (0-1, 8.10)
Harrisburg Won, 16-12 (11 inn.) OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Won, 5-0 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Won, 7-3 vs. Charleston,
7:05 p.m.
Orlan (3-1, 3.20) vs.
Marsh (1-3, 1.99)
Auburn Won, 8-5 @ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Guilbeau (1-1, 4.00) vs. TBD

Rochester 6 Syracuse 0
• Hill (L, 3-7) 5⅔ IP, 7H, 6R, 1ER, 2BB, 6K, HR(GS)
• McGregor 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 2-1 IR-S
• Ramsey 1-3
• Butler 1-3

Rochester’s Pat Dean struck out 10 and shut out Syracuse on four hits to take the game, 6-0, and the series, 2-1. Taylor Hill gave up all six runs (one earned) on seven hits, including a grand slam in the Red Wings’ five-run 3rd. He walked two and struck out six while suffering his seventh AAA loss. Caleb Ramsey, Dan Butler, Josh Johnson, and Trea Turner each connected for a single but no Chief reached base twice.
Roster move: OF Darin Mastroianni placed on 7-Day DL.

Harrisburg 16 Portland 12 (11 inn.)
• Giolito (L, 0-2) 5IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, 3BB, 4K
• Mendez (W, 5-3) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Difo 5-7, 3R, 2B, BB, 2RBI, 4SB
• Vettleson 3-5, 3R, 2BB, 2HR, 3RBI
• Pleffner 3-6, 2R, 2B, HR, BB, 3RBI

Harrisburg fell behind 5-1 after one, blew a 12-9 lead in the 8th, and rallied for four in the 11th to take the series finale, 16-12. Buried in the box score: Lucas Giolito started and labored through five innings, charged with six runs on seven hits and three walks over five innings. He struck out four and threw 98 pitches, 58 for strikes. Wilmer Difo ran wild with four stolen bases and went 5-for-7 with a walk and three runs scored to lead the Senators’ 22-hit parade, which included two doubles, a triple, and five homers.

Potomac 5 Salem 0
• A. Williams (W, 2-3) 6IP, 5H, 0R, BB, 6K, HBP
• Dupra 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Ward 1-3, R, HR, 3RBI
• Mesa 3-4, R, 2B, CS
• DeBruin 2-4, R, RBI

Four P-Nats pitchers combined on five-hit shutout while Drew Ward launched a three-run HR to power Potomac past Salem for 5-0 win that ended a five-game losing streak. Austen Williams allowed all five hits, walked one, hit one, but struck six over six innings to earn his second win at High-A. Ward’s HR came in Potomac’s four-run 4th, which also saw five straight hits. Jake Johansen, Phillips Valdez, and Brian Dupra combined for three no-hit innings of relief to close out the game.

Hagerstown 7 Hickory 3
• Amlung 5IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 4K, HR
• Napoli (BS, 1; W, 5-3) 3IP, 2H, R, ER, 2BB, 2K, WP
• Page 3-5, R, 2B, RBI
• W. Rodriguez 2-3, R, 2B, BB, HR, 2RBI
• Keniry 2-3, R, BB

The Suns rallied for three in the 7th to break a 3-3 tie and added on a run in the 9th to take the game, 7-3 and split the four-game series. Justin Amlung started and went the first five, letting in two on a 2nd-inning HR and seven hits total over five innings. He left with a 3-2 lead, which David Napoli blew in the 6th but got the benefit of the Suns rally for the win. Matthew Page led the Hagerstown hit column with two singles and a double while Wilman Rodriguez doubled and homered and drove in two.

Auburn 8 Hudson Valley 5
• J. Rodriguez (W, 2-4) 5IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 4BB, 5K
• Mooney (H, 1) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Lora 2-4, R, 2B, 3RBI
• Robles 2-4, 2B, 2RBI
• Dulin 2-5, 3B, RBI

Auburn put up big innings in the 2nd and 8th innings and outslugged Hudson Valley to take the game, 8-5, and the series, 2-1. Jefry Rodriguez wobbled through five innings with four runs allowed on seven hits and four walks to earn the win, his second for the Doubledays. Four Auburn batters had multiple hits, with Edwin Lora driving in three and Victor Robles plating two in the 12-hit parade.

Aug 022015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 10-4 @ Rochester,
1:35 p.m.
Hill (3-6, 5.22) vs.
Dean (7-9, 3.13)
Harrisburg Won, 3-2 @ Portland,
1:00 p.m.
Giolito (0-1, 7.20) vs.
Diaz (1-9, 5.21)
Potomac Lost, 11-3 vs. Salem,
6:05 p.m.
A. Williams (1-3, 3.48) vs.
Buttrey (7-4, 3.39)
Hagerstown Lost, 10-7 @ Hickory,
5:00 p.m.
TBD vs. Pettibone (2-3, 4.66)
Auburn Won, 1-0 vs. Hudson Valley,
2:05 p.m.
J. Rodriguez (1-4, 5.15) vs.
Varga (1-2, 3.33)

Syracuse 10 Rochester 4
• Bleier (W, 2-1) 5⅔ IP, 9H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 2K
• Solis (H, 1) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 2-0 IR-S
• Burriss 4-5, 2R, BB, SB
• Turner 4-5, 3R, HR, BB, 2RBI, SB
• Mastrioanni 2-5, R, 2RBI, SB(20)

Trea Turner and Emmanuel Burriss reached base 10 times in Syracuse’s 10-4 rout of Rochester. Richard Bleier got the Jack Morris win with all four RedWing runs allowed on nine hits and a walk over five and 2/3rds innings. Sammy Solis stranded two in the 6th and pitched a scoreless 7th to earn the hold. Turner homered, scored three times, and drove in two while stealing his 8th AAA base while going 4-for-5 with a walk – the same line for Burriss, who scored twice and stole his 11th base.

Harrisburg 3 Portland 2
• Simms (W, 1-1) 6IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 3K
• Demny (H, 3) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• D. Robinson 1-3, 2B, RBI
• Corona 0-1, R, 3BB

The Sens took advantage of seven walks — six by former Nats farmhand Danny Rosenbaum — to edge the Sea Dogs, 3-2. John Simms evened up his won-loss record with a quality start of two runs allowed on six hits and three walks over six innings. Paul Demny (2IP) and Erik Davis (1IP) closed out the game with three scoreless to earn the hold and save, respectively. Derrick Robinson collected both the lone extra-base hit and RBI with a 2nd-inning double that was the third and decisive run for Harrisburg.

Salem 11 Potomac 3
• Dickson (L, 1-1) 1⅓ IP, 5H, 4R, 1ER, BB, K
• Mapes 5⅔ IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 5K, WP
• Mesa 2-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Norfork 2-4

The P-Nats dropped their ninth straight home game and fifth overall in an 11-3 Red Sox smackdown. Ian Dickson couldn’t make it out of the 2nd after Roger Dorn Drew Ward and Stephen Perez committed back-to-back to errors to lead to three unearned runs. Dickson gave up four runs total on five hits over an inning and a 1/3rd. Narciso Mesa and Khayyan Norfork both had two hits while John Wooten homered to lead the P-Nats offense.

Hickory 10 Hagerstown 7
• Reyes (L, 5-7) 3IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 1K, 2HR
• Brinley 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 1-1 IR-S
• Stevenson 3-4, 4R, 3B, BB
• Abreu 4-5, R, 2B
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-4, 2B, BB, 4RBI

A four-run 6th broke open a 6-5 game as the Crawdads eclipsed the Suns, 10-7 to take a 2-1 series lead. Starter and loser Luis Reyes was ripped for six runs on seven hits, including two homers and two walks over three innings. Tablesetters Andrew Stevenson (3-4, BB) and Osvaldo Abreu (4-5) both reached base four times and combined for five runs scored and ten total bases as Hagerstown tallied 14 hits for the game.
Roster move: RHP Luis Reyes activated from 3-day TIL.

Auburn 1 Hudson Valley 0
• Hearn 5IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Overton (W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Lora 2-3, R
• Gutierrez 2-4, 2B, RBI

Four Doubledays combined on a three-hit shutout of the Renegades by a 1-0 score. Taylor Hearn started and turned in five scoreless, giving up one hit and one walk while striking out three. Connor Overton got the win with a hit and a walk let up over two innings. Kelvin Gutierrez’s two-out RBI single in the 6th, his second hit of the night. That scored Edwin Lora, who singled twice and committed two errors.
Roster move: RHP Luis Torres demoted from Hagerstown.

GCL Update
Rain limited the G-Nats to five completed games last week, with a 2-3 record. The elimination number is now 21 with less than a month to go and a six-game deficit to overcome. In terms of usage (arguably the only reliable indicator in the short-season leagues), 18-y.o. Blake Perkins (2nd Rd. HS pick) has appeared in 30 of 34 games thus far while 20-y.o. Maximo Valerio has logged the most innings at 29.

DSL Update
A 4-2 week has improved the D-Nats to 26-28 and third place in the Boca Chica North division. Usage update: Nineteen-year-old Venezuelan Aldrem Corredor has appeared in 50 of 54 games while 18-y.o. Yonathan Ramirez has made 11 starts and logged the most innings pitched (54⅔).

Aug 012015

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 42-66, 6th place I.L. North, 18 games behind

Good Tony Gwynn Jr. .444/.545/.600 since All-Star break (15G)
Bad P.J. Walters 6.10 ERA, 1.65 WHIP in July (7 app., 2GS)
Interesting Just one game out of 5th place (well, maybe not that interesting, but…)

HARRISBURG SENATORS 51-56, 5th place E.L. West, 10 games behind

Good Abel De Los Santos 3-0, 3SV, 0.52 ERA, 0.62 WHIP in last 10 appearances
Bad Brian Goodwin .202/.242/.342 in July (28G)
Interesting Sens have team ERA of 4.33 on the road (53G) vs. 2.98 mark at home (54G), per Harrisburg PR team

POTOMAC NATIONALS 15-19, 3rd place C.L. North, 3 games behind (48-56 overall)

Good Rafael Bautista .341/.356/.386, 4SB since return from rehab (10G)
Bad Manny Rodriguez 0-3, 7.71 ERA, 1.82 WHIP in last 10 appearances
Interesting 25 Team saves fewest in the Carolina League

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 15-19, 6ty place Sally North, 9 games behind (50-52 overall)

Good Koda Glover 2SV, 0.90ERA, 0.90WHIP in seven appearances
Bad 86 GIDP — most in the 14-team Sally Lg.
Interesting .975% FA 2nd in Sally Lg., 39% CS rate 1st in Sally Lg.

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 18-21, 5th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 7½ games behind

Good Victor Robles .367/.418/.633 since promotion from GCL (12G, on base in each)
Bad Mariano Rivera III 7.20ERA, 1.89 WHIP in seven appearances (3GS)
Interesting Relievers’ ERA 2.66, Starters: 5.46 (H/T Auburn PR staff)

GCL NATIONALS 14-20, 4th place East Division, Gulf Coast League, 6 games behind

Good Wilber Pena 8.88K/9IP in 25⅓IP
Bad Thomas Alvarez .330OPS in 12G
Interesting .364 Team SLG% 2nd in 16-team GCL

DSL NATIONALS 25-28, 5th place Boca Chica South, 13 games behind

Good 19-y.o. Aldrem Corredor .791OPS, 34BB in 50G
Bad 18-y.o. Jose Jimenez 6.00 ERA, 1.95 WHIP in 21IP
Interesting 92 team 2B fifth-best in 38-team DSL
Aug 012015

The Potomac Nationals Booster Club is holding its annual Silent Auction tonight at Pfitzner Stadium. This is the primary fundraiser for this group, which provides food, housing, and general assistance to the players, their friends, and their families. They also sponsor monthly awards and recognize players with in-season birthdays. In short, the club helps make life just a little easier for the young men striving to make the journey from Potomac to Washington.

Without further ado, here’s a list of the items that will be up for auction:

  •   2015 Team Signed Bat
  •   2014 Isaac Ballou Autographed 2014 P-Nat Playoff Jersey
  •   6 July Original Line-Up Card – Barrett; Giolito pitchers
  •   7 July Original Line up Card – Lopez pitcher
  •   2015 P-Nat Difo Home Opener Game Used Jersey
  •   2015 P-Nat Difo Blue Home Game Used Jersey
  •   Wilmer Difo Signed Cracked Bat
  •   Lucas Giolito Autographed Debut Card
  •   Michael Taylor Pillow
  •   Lucas Giolito Autographed Carolina League Baseball
  •   Jason Werth Autographed Carolina League Baseball
  •   Wilmer Difo Autographed Carolina League Baseball
  •   Wilson Ramos Autographed Major League Baseball
  •   Rick Ankiel Autographed Major League Baseball
  •   Jeff Kobernus Autographed Major League Baseball
  •   Bryce Harper Autographed Major League Baseball
  •   Lucas Giolito Autographed Major League Baseball
  •   Michael Taylor Autographed Major League Baseball
  •   Gio Gonzalez Autographed Major League Baseball
  •   Anthony Rendon Autographed Major League Baseball
  •   Doug Fister Autographed Major League Baseball
  •   Aaron Barrett Autographed Major League Baseball
  •   Eric Davis Autographed P-Nat Baseball Cap
  •   Uncle Slam Bobblehead
  •   Randy Knorr Bobblehead
  •   Ian Desmond Bobblehead
  •   Bryce Harper Bobblehead
  •   Jason (The Wolf) Werth
  •   Jason Werth Autographed Cracked bat
Aug 012015

Potomac fell behind early, the offense couldn’t get it going, and the bullpen was uneven in a 5-1 loss to Salem.

It seems like a broken record for the P-Nats, who continue to lose games in bunches. Their current losing streak is four games, and they’ve lost three or more eight times thus far.

Reynaldo Lopez got the start last night and was both wild and uneven. Much has been made about his velocity, but it bears repeating because it is still misunderstood: it doesn’t matter how hard you throw if you’re not throwing strikes.

Lopez threw an inordinate amount of breaking pitches compared to previous starts. The good news is that he broke off some really nice ones, helping him to fan five. The bad news is that he had tremendous difficulty locating his fastball and was seemingly behind nearly every batter last night.

The result? Salem was able to sit on that mid-90s fastball and tee off for seven hits, including two doubles and moonshot HR over the left field wall. He would give up four runs and walk two over five innings and suffer his seventh loss.

Offensively, Potomac wasn’t up to snuff as they were able to get runners on early, but hit into three double plays in the first four innings. Were it not for Salem’s defensive struggles (two passed balls, a throwing error) and errant pitching (wild pitch, hit batsman), Potomac would have likely been shut out as they managed just five hits total.

The two teams continue the series tonight with a matchup of Ian Dickson (1-0, 2.50) versus Salem’s Daniel McGrath (1-4, 3.86)