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.

Jul 242015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 3-1 @ Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Jordan (3-4, 2.71) vs.
Gonzalez (1-5, 4.84)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-2 vs. Bowie,
7:00 p.m.
Pivetta (0-1, 9.00) vs.
Doyle (11-1, 2.08)
Potomac Lost, 3-1 vs. Frederick,
7:05 p.m.
Valdez (3-2, 4.53) vs.
Taylor (0-0, 3.47)
Hagerstown Lost, 10-9 vs. Savannah,
7:05 p.m.
Bach (3-1, 3.39) vs.
Gibbons (0-2, 3.75)
Auburn Won, 6-2 @ Lowell,
7:05 p.m.
Crownover (0-4, 8.53) vs.
Cosart (1-2, 6.86)

Buffalo 3 Syracuse 1
• Cole (L, 1-5) 5IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 3K
• Fornataro 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Martinson 2-2, BB
• Johnson 2-4, R

Buffalo scored single runs in three of the first four innings as they took the series finale from Syracuse, 3-1. Starter and loser A.J. Cole gave up all three runs on three hits and four walks over five innings. He struck out three. Eric Fornataro and Rafael Martin shut down the Bisons with three combined scoreless innings, but the offense could only convert one run from seven hits and four walks. Jason Martinson led the attack with two singles and a walk.

Bowie 6 Harrisburg 2
• Spann (L, 2-2) 4⅔ IP, 9H, 6R, 6ER, 4BB, 4K
• Bates 3⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 1-0 IR-S
• Skole 1-4, 2B, RBI
• Corona 1-3, R, 2B

Bowie knifed Harrisburg twice for three runs in the first five innings and cruised to a 6-2 win. Matt Spann took the loss, giving up all six runs on nine hits and four walks over four and 2/3rds innings. Colin Bates stranded a runner in the 5th and turned in three more scoreless innings. A pair of errors in the 6th led to both Senators runs. Reegie Corona and Matt Skole both doubled in the inning, accounting for two of the four Harrisburg hits.

Frederick 3 Potomac 1
• Giolito 6IP, 5H, R, ER, 2BB, 6K, HR, WP
• M. Rodriguez (L, 1-2) ⅓ IP, 1H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 1K, WP
• Keller 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Norfork 1-3

Frederick rallied for two in the top of the 9th to break a 1-1 tie and Potomac had no answer the inning’s bottom half to fall, 3-1. Lucas Giolito allowed his first HR of 2015 — a solo shot with two out in the 1st — and five hits total over six innings. He walked two and struck out six. Manny Rodriguez retired just one of five batters faced in the 9th and was charged with aforementioned two runs after a wild pitch plated the go-ahead run and a bases-loaded bunt squeezed in the insurance run. The P-Nats mustered just four hits, with Alec Keller (2-for-4) the sole batter to reach base twice.

Savannah 10 Hagerstown 9
• Bach (L, 3-2) 3IP, 4H, 5R, 3ER, 6BB, 0K
• Marmolejos-Diaz 3-5, R, RBI
• Carey 2-3, R, 2BB
• Gardner 2-4, 2B, BB, 5RBI

Jeff Gardner’s bases-loaded double brought the Suns within one of the Gnats, but his decision to try for three cost them the chance to tie in a 10-9 loss. Hagerstown rallied for five in the bottom of the 9th, almost erasing a horrific nine-walk outing by three Suns pitchers. Connor Bach issued six free passes in three innings and took the loss as he let in five runs on four hits. “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz led the hit column with a 3-for-5 night while Gardner totaled five RBI while going 2-for-4 with a walk.

Auburn 6 Vermont 2
• Fedde 3IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 1K
• Boghosian (W, 2-0) 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Robles 4-5, R, 3B, HR, 2RBI
• Lora 2-5, R, RBI

Auburn reversed the score from Wednesday night with a 6-2 win on Thursday night. Erick Fedde started but was ineffective as he was charged with two runs on four hits and three walks over three innings. Adam Boghosian, Tommy Peterson, and Ryan Brinley each turned in two scoreless with Boghosian earning a win and Peterson earning a save. Victor Robles went 4-for-5 with a triple and a homer to lead the Doubledays’ 12-hit, three-walk attack.
Roster move: OF Andrew Stevenson reassigned to the GCL Nationals.

Jul 232015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-3 @ Buffalo,
1:05 p.m.
Cole (1-4, 3.90) vs.
Copeland (6-3, 2.38)
Harrisburg Won, 13-0 vs. Bowie,
7:00 p.m.
Spann (2-1, 4.03) vs.
Gunkel (5-3, 3.29)
Potomac Lost, 5-1 vs. Frederick,
7:05 p.m.
Giolito (3-5, 2.83) vs.
Hess (5-4, 4.44)
Hagerstown Won, 4-3 vs. Savannah,
7:05 p.m.
Bach (3-1, 3.39) vs.
Gibbons (0-2, 3.75)
Auburn Lost, 6-2 @ Vermont,
7:05 p.m.
Fedde (2-1, 2.45) vs.
Massad (2-2, 3.62)

Syracuse 7 Buffalo 5
• Hill (L, 3-5) 6IP, 4H, 4R, 2ER, BB, 5K, HBP
• Treinen 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Martinson 3-4, R, HR, BB, 2RBI
• Gwynn 2-3, 2B, BB, RBI

Buffalo stampeded Syracuse for four in the 1st and held on for 4-3 win. Taylor Hill gutted out six innings total with all four Bisons runs charged to him on four hits and a walk. He struck out five and hit a batter. Blake Treinen followed with two scoreless innings of relief. Jason Martinson walked, singled twice, homered, and drove in two runs to lead the Syracuse attack, which racked up 13 hits and left on 13 baserunners.
Roster move: RHP Jose Valverde released.

Harrisburg 13 New Hampshire 0
• Bleier (W, 8-3) 7IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Harper 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Dykstra 5-5, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Pleffner 1-2, 3R, HR, 3BB, 2RBI
• Jeroloman 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB, 3RBI

Cutter Dykstra went 5-for-5 while three Sens combined on a six-hit shutout as Harrisburg shut out New Hampshire, 13-0 in the series finale. Dykstra was a triple shy of the cycle, scored twice and drove in two as the offense piled up 17 hits with everybody hitting. Richard Bleier spun seven scoreless and gave up four hits, no walks, and struck out two while winning his eighth AA game. Erik Davis and Bryan Harper both put up a zero on the scoreboard to complete the shutout bid, which ended a three-game losing streak.

Frederick 5 Potomac 1
• Williams (L, 1-2) 4⅔ IP, 5H, 4R, 2ER, 2BB, 1K
• Dickson 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 1K, 2-0 IR-S
• Rendon 3-3, RBI
• Mesa 3-4, R, 2B

Austen Williams no-hit the Keys for four innings before Frederick broke through for four in the 5th en route to a 5-1 win over Potomac.
The 22-y.o. Texan allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks over four and 2/3rds innings to lose his second game for the P-Nats. Anthony Rendon singled three times in three ABs and ran hard (how novel) while Narciso Mesa went 3-for-4 with a double to lead the Potomac offense. The P-Nats went just 1-for-8 with RISP and stranded 10 baserunners.
Roster moves: OF Rafael Bautista activated from the 7-Day DL; 1B Jimmy Yezzo released.

Hagerstown 4 Savannah 3
• M. Sanchez (W, 5-4) 5IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K
• Orlan (H, 5) 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Abreu 2-4, 2B
• Marmolejos-Diaz 3-3, 2R, 2B, HR, BB, RBI

Hagerstown scored four times in the first four innings and held on for a 4-3 win over Savannah. Mario Sanchez let in all three Gnats runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. R.C. Orlan (3IP) and Koda Glover (1IP) shut down Savannah the rest of the way to earn the hold (5th) and the save (1st) respectively. “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz walked, singled, doubled, and homered to lead the Suns offense, which collected 11 hits and four walks total.

Vermont 6 Auburn 2
• Guilbeau (L, 0-1) 4⅓ IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 0BB, 3K
• Feliz 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 1-1 IR-S
• Robles 2-4, R, RBI
• Schrock 1-3, BB

Vermont struck for three in the 5th to break a 2-2 tie and added another in the 8th for a 6-2 win over Auburn. Taylor Guilbeau took the loss, allowing the first five runs on nine hits and no walks while setting down three on strikes over four and a 1/3rd innings. Victor Robles continues to rake, as he went 2-for-4 with run scored and an RBI to push his batting average to .400 (6-for-15) since his callup from the GCL. As a team, the Doubledays managed just six hits and four walks on the night.

Jul 222015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 7-5 @ Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
T. Hill (3-4, 5.07) vs.
Norris (2-10, 4.15)
Harrisburg Lost, 7-1 vs. New Hampshire,
12:00 p.m.
Bleier (7-3, 2.63) vs.
T. Cole (4-7, 4.03)
Potomac Won, 7-0 vs. Frederick,
7:05 p.m.
Williams (1-1, 1.64) vs.
Lee (2-5, 3.63)
Hagerstown OFF DAY vs. Savannah,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. S. Reyes (9-4, 3.29)
Auburn Won, 2-0 @ Vermont,
7:05 p.m.
Guilbeau (0-0, 2.08) vs.
Friedrichs (0-1, 3.00)

Syracuse 7 Buffalo 5
• Billings (W, 6-4) 5IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 1K
• Grace (SV, 1) 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Turner 3-3, 3R, 2-2B, BB, RBI, 2SB, E(5)
• Werth 2-4, R, BB, RBI, SB
• Keyes 2-4, R, RBI

Trea Turner reached base four times and scored three times as the Chiefs outslugged the Bisons for a 7-5 win. Bruce Billings pitched five innings on two day’s rest from his relief appearance on Saturday to earn the win, his sixth. He gave up three runs on six hits and three walks with one strikeout. Matt Grace got the Chad Cordero save with two hits in the 9th, no walks, and no whiffs. Jayson Werth’s wrist was healed enough for him to steal a base and go 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
Roster moves: RHP Joe Ross recalled to Washington; RHP Scott McGregor activated from the 3-Day TIL.

New Hampshire 7 Harrisburg 1
• Bacus (L, 5-3) 4IP, 6H, 6R, 4ER, 4BB, 3K
• N. Lee 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Severino 1-3, 2B
• D. Robinson 1-3, RBI

New Hampshire scored six times between the 2nd and 4th and cruised to a 7-1 win over Harrisburg, sending the Sens to their third straight loss. Dakota Bacus took the brunt of the beating as he was charged with the aforementioned six runs on six hits and four walks over four innings. He struck out just three. Wander Suero and Nick Lee combined for five innings of one-run relief, but the offense was limited to just four hits. Derrick Robinson’s two-out RBI single broke up the shutout in the 8th.
Roster moves: IF Wilmer Difo optioned from Washington.

Potomac 7 Frederick 0
• Simms (W, 6-6) 8IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 10K
• Self 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Wooten 4-5, T, 2-2B, HR, 2RBI
• Kieboom 2-5, 2R, HR, 3RBI
• Keller 2-5, 2R, SB

John Simms rebounded from bad outing to spin a career-high eight shutout innings as the P-Nat shut out the Keys, 7-0 and stopped a six-game losing streak. The 23-y.o. Texan struck out ten and walked two while giving up just two hits for his sixth win. John Wooten was his analog on offense, racking up nine total bases while going 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI. Spencer Kieboom also homered and drove in three as the Potomac lineup totaled 14 hits and drew three walks on the afternoon.
Roster move: RHP Tyler Mapes reassigned from Harrisburg.

Hagerstown — OFF DAY
Hagerstown returns home from a 3-4 road trip to take on the 1st-half champ in the Southern Division (Savannah) and the Northern Division leader (West Virginia) for three games apiece.
Roster move: 1B Ryan Ripken assigned to GCL Nationals for MiLB rehab.

Auburn 2 Vermont 0
• J. Rodriguez 6IP, 5H, 0R, 0BB, 6K
• A. Lee (W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Peterson (SV, 3) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• VanMeetren 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI
• Robles 1-3, 2B, BB, CS

Eric VanMeetren’s two-run homer in the 8th broke up the Star Trek convention on the Centennial Field scoreboard as the Doubledays shut out the Lake Monsters, 2-0. Jefry Rodriguez turned in his best outing of the season with six scoreless innings with five hits allowed, no walks, and six strikeouts. Andrew Lee got the win as he struck out five of seven batters faced over two innings. Tommy Peterson set down the side in order in the 9th for his third save. Auburn was held to just four hits total, with Victor Robles the sole batter to reach base twice (double, walk).

Jul 212015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 7-0 @ Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
Billings (5-4, 4.39) vs.
Pineiro (1-1, 4.85)
Harrisburg Lost, 3-2 (10 inn.) vs. New Hampshire,
7:00 p.m.
Bacus (5-2, 3.77) vs.
Lawrence (9-8, 4.66)
Potomac Lost, 6-5 @ Frederick,
12:00 p.m.
Simms (5-6, 3.01) vs.
Horacek (6-9, 4.30)
Hagerstown Lost, 3-2 OFF DAY N/A
Auburn Lost, 4-3 @ Vermont,
7:05 p.m.
J. Rodriguez (1-3, 5.19) vs.
Derby (1-0, 1.04)

Buffalo 7 Syracuse 0
• Walters (L, 4-3) 4IP, 8H, 7R, 5ER, BB, K, HR
• Fornataro 2IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 1K
• Mastroianni 2-4
• Keyes 2-4

A five-run 3rd put this one away early as Buffalo shut out Syracuse, 7-0. P.J. Walters gave up all seven Bisons runs on eight hits and a walk to suffer his third loss for the Chiefs. Paul Demny and Eric Fornataro both turned in two scoreless innings of relief. The offense was held to just six hits, with Darin Mastroianni and Kevin Keyes both going 2-for-4 while the rest of the lineup was 2-for-24.
Roster moves: OF Jayson Werth added to roster for MLB rehab; RHP Blake Treinen optioned from Washington; RHP Evan Meek released.

New Hampshire 3 Harrisburg 2 (10 inn.)
• Voth 7IP, 8H, R, ER, 2BB, 6K
• Mendez 2IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 1K
• Runion (L, 3-2) 1IP, 1H, R, ER, 0BB, HR
• Vettleson 2-4, R
• Pleffner 2-4, R, 3B, RBI

The Fisher Cats scored single runs in the 9th and 10th innings to rally from a 2-1 deficit and hand the Senators a 3-2 loss in extras. Austin Voth pitched seven strong innings and got a no-decision. In a related story, the Pope is still Catholic. The hard-luck northpaw scattered eight hits for one run with two walks and six K’s. The loss went to Sam Runion on a two-out, 10th-inning solo HR. Drew Vettleson, Shawn Pleffner, and Jose Lozada each went 2-for-4 as the Sens collected eight hits total.
Roster move: RHP Abel De Los Santos recalled to Washington; RHP Tyler Mapes reassigned from Potomac.

Frederick 6 Potomac 5
• Purke 5IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• M. Rodriguez (BS, 1; L, 1-1) ⅔ IP, 1H, R, ER, 2BB, 2K, 2WP, 1-1 IR-S
• Ward 1-2, 2R, HR, RBI
• S. Perez 2-4, R
• Wooten 2-4, 2RBI

Matt Purke needed just 45 pitches to set down Frederick five times, but the bullpen was unable to follow suit, giving up all six runs — including two in the 9th — to lose this one, 6-5. Purke set down the first 13 batters he faced before letting up a single. He walked none and struck out two. Losing pitcher Manny Rodriguez was a train wreck in the 9th as he wild-pitched an inherited runner from 1st to 3rd, issued two walks sandwiched around two strikeouts to load the bases before giving up the two-run, walkoff single. Drew Ward homered while Stephen Perez, John Wooten, and Estarlin Martinez each went 2-for-4 to lead the Potomac offense.

Kannapolis 3 Hagerstown 2
• Reyes (L, 4-6) 5IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB, 0K, 2WP
• Walsh 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Gardner 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI, OF assist at HP
• Page 0-2, R, 2BB

Jeff Gardner’s two-run HR in the 2nd gave Hagerstown a brief 2-0 lead but Kannapolis scored three unanswered to take the series finale, 3-2. Luis Reyes started and went the first five, giving up all three Intimidator runs on seven hits and three walks with no strikeouts.
Kevin Perez (1IP) and Jake Walsh (2IP) combined for three scoreless innings of relief, but the Suns bats were limited to just four hits total with Matthew Page the sole batter to reach base twice via walks.

West Virginia 4 Auburn 3
• Hearn (L, 0-1) 4⅓ IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 4K
• Gunter 2⅔ IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 2K, 1-0 IR-S
• Bautista 2-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Wiseman 2-4, R, 2B, BB, CS

The Doubledays rallied for two and got the tying run to second with two out in the 9th but couldn’t get the equalizer as they fell, 4-3 to the Black Bears in the series finale. Doubledays starter Taylor Hearn gave up the first two West Virginia runs on five hits and a walk over four and a 1/3rd innings to suffer the loss. Rafael Bautista and Rhett Wiseman both singled, doubled, and a scored a run to lead Auburn’s nine-hit, three-walk attack.

Jul 202015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-3 @ Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. Wolf (5-1, 2.93)
Harrisburg Lost, 7-2 vs. New Hampshire,
7:00 p.m.
Voth (4-5, 3.06) vs.
Bibens-Dirkx (3-4, 6.25)
Potomac Lost, 6-0 @ Frederick,
7:00 p.m.
Purke (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Gonzalez (5-7, 7.32)
Hagerstown Won, 9-4 @ Kannapolis,
12:05 p.m.
Reyes (4-5, 4.67) vs.
Lowry (9-5, 4.02)
Auburn Lost, 8-5 vs. West Virginia,
12:05 p.m.
Hearn (1-1, 3.00) vs.
Brubaker (1-3, 6.64)

Syracuse 5 Gwinnett 3
• Espino (W, 3-3) 6IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Martin (H, 5) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Nelson 2-2, 2R, 2B, HR, 3RBI, 2BB
• Keyes 2-3, 2R

Chris Nelson’s two-run HR in the bottom of the fifth turned 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 as the Chiefs took the game, 5-3 and the series, 3-1. Paolo Espino got the win with a quality start of three runs on five hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Rafael Martin turned in two scoreless for his fifth hold while Jose Valverde pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save, his tenth. Nelson also doubled and walked twice to lead the Syracuse offense, followed by Kevin Keyes’s 2-for-3 effort with two runs scored.

Bowie 7 Harrisburg 2
• Pivetta (L, 0-1) 4IP, 7H, 7R, 7ER, 2BB, 1K, 2HR
• Harper 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Corona 2-3, 2-2B, 2RBI
• Pleffner 1-2

The BaySox put the game away in the 4th with a six-run rally and prevented a four-game sweep with a 7-2 win over the Senators. Nick Pivetta took the loss, giving up all seven runs on seven hits, including two home runs. He walked two and struck out one. Bryan Harper and Sam Runion both turned in two scoreless innings of relief. Newcomer Reegie Corona cashed in a pair of one-out walks in the 5th with a two-run double to lead the Harrisburg offense, which was held to five hits total.
Roster move: 1B Ryan Zimmerman added to roster for MLB rehab.

Frederick 6 Potomac 0
• Lopez (L, 5-6) 4IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, 3BB, 0K
• Amlung 4IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• DeBruin 1-3
• S. Perez 0-3, BB, SB

Three Keys pitchers combined on a one-hit shutout of the P-Nats by a 6-0 score. Reynaldo Lopez was rocked yet again, letting in all six Frederick runs on seven hits and three walks with zero K’s. Justin Amlung followed with a bullpen-saving four innings of one-hit relief. Grant DeBruin broke up the no-hitter with a two-out single in the 7th. The loss was Potomac’s fifth straight and the sixth time they’ve been blanked this season.
Roster moves: OF Jayson Werth MLB rehab assignment ended.

Hagerstown 9 Kannapolis 4
• Rauh 4IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 2K, WP
• Napoli (W, 4-3) 2IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Abreu 3-4, 3R, 2B, BB, SB
• Reistetter 3-4, R, 2RBI
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-4, 2B, BB, 2RBI

The Suns scorched Intimidators pitchers for 14 hits in a 9-4 win to set up a possible series split this afternoon. Brian Rauh made his first appearance north of Florida in two months with four innings of one-run ball on one hit and one walk with two whiffs. David Napoli pitched the 5th and 6th without a score to earn the win, his fourth. Osvaldo Abreu and Matt Reistetter both had three hits to lead the Hagerstown attack.

West Virginia 8 Auburn 5
• Rivera (L, 0-1) 3IP, 9H, 7R, 7ER, 0BB, 2K
• Torres 3IP, 2H, R, ER, 2BB, 2K
• Robles 3-5, 3B, 2RBI
• Wiseman 2-4, R, BB, HR, RBI

West Virginia struck for four in the 1st and three in the 3rd en route to an 8-5 triumph over Auburn. Mariano Rivera III failed to go four innings for the third straight start, dinged for all seven runs on nine hits and no walks while striking out two over three innings.
Three relievers combined for six innings of one-run ball, led by Luis Torres (3IP), but the offense fell short. Victor Robles went 3-for-5 with a triple and two RBI in his NYPL debut while Rhett Wiseman homered for the third time to lead the Doubledays offense.
Roster move: OF Victor Robles reassigned from GCL Nationals.

Jul 192015

A five-run 6th turned a slim 3-2 lead into a 7-3 deficit that Potomac could not overcome, as they dropped their fourth straight to Myrtle Beach by a 7-4 score.

Starter Phillips Valdez struggled with his command in the first inning, giving up two runs before retiring his first batter as a walk, single, and a steal put two runners in scoring position for Jacob Rogers’ double to the right-centerfield gap. He would issue two more walks but escaped further damage.

Unfortunately, much like the old saw that the prizefighter who lands the first solid punch wins the fight, such is the case with the P-Nats in 2015. Potomac’s record when that happens: 16-32 (vs. 28-15).

Valdez would recover to put in four scoreless innings before getting lifted after five innings. His final line: 5IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 5BB, 5K.

Meanwhile, rehabbers Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth joined the team and combined for three hits and two RBI, but only exerted enough energy to not get hurt. Werth, for example, watched a would-be double to the gap before settling for a single while pinch-runner Narciso Mesa scored all the way from first base.

The wheels came off the bus in 6th when Tyler Mapes was knocked for five runs on on five hits, including a three-run homer to put the game out of reach. Derek Self and Brian Dupra combined for three scoreless innings afterwards.

Potomac would score one last time in the 9th as Alec Keller singled and took second on an error with one out, then scored on Narciso Mesa’s single. Spencer Kieboom would lead the regulars with a 2-for-4 night, though he also struck out twice.

Despite the loss, Potomac remains in 1st place in the C.L. North by a ½ game as they make the short trip to Frederick for three against the Keys. Reynaldo Lopez (5-5, 4.30) gets the ball, opposed by Frederick’s Ariel Miranda (0-1, 5.63).

Jul 192015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 11-8 vs. Gwinnett,
1:05 p.m.
Espino (2-3, 2.54) vs.
White (1-2, 3.71)
Harrisburg Won, 11-7 @ Bowie,
2:05 p.m.
Pivetta (0-0, 4.50) vs.
Doyle (10-1, 2.00)
Potomac Lost, 7-4 @ Frederick,
6:05 p.m.
Lopez (5-5, 4.30) vs.
Miranda (0-1, 5.63)
Hagerstown Lost, 1-0 @ Kannapolis,
5:05 p.m.
Rauh (1st A- Start of ’15) vs.
Adams (6-4, 3.43)
Auburn Won, 6-4;
Lost, 3-1
vs. West Virginia,
5:05 p.m.
Rivera (0-0, 5.73) vs.
McGarry (0-0, 0.00)

Syracuse 7 Gwinnett 6
• Cole 4⅔ IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 3K
• Billings (L, 5-4) 1⅔ IP, 4H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 2K
• Turner 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB
• Nelson 3-5, 2R, RBI
• Mastroianni 2-5, R, SB

A seven-run 7th broke a 3-3 tie as the Braves outslugged the Chiefs, 11-8. A.J. Cole got the start and was lifted after four and 2/3rds innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out three. The loss went to Bruce Billings as he was charged with six runs on four hits over an inning and 2/3rds. Chris Nelson led the Syracuse hit column with a 3-for-5 night.
Roster move: RHP Taylor Jordan recalled to Washington, optioned from Washington.

Harrisburg 11 Bowie 7
• Bates 4⅓ IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, K, HR
• Suero (W, 1-1) 2⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, K, HR, 3-0 IR-S
• Jeroloman 4-4, 3R, BB
• Dykstra 3-6, R, 2B, HR, 6RBI
• Goodwin 3-5, 2R, 2HR, 3RBI

Tablesetters Cutter Dykstra and Brian Goodwin combined for three HR and nine RBI as the Senators beat the BaySox, 11-7. Colin Bates started but was ineffective, giving up four runs on eight hits and three walks over four and 1/3rd innings. Wander Suero stranded three in the 5th and pitched two more innings to get the win, his first at AA. Brian Jeroloman reached base five times with four singles and a walk to lead the 15-hit attack.

Myrtle Beach 7 Potomac 4
• Valdez 5IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 5BB, 5K
• Mapes (L, 1-2) 1IP, 5H, 5R, 3ER, BB, K, HR
• Rendon 2-2, 2B
• Kieboom 2-4, 2B, RBI

The wheels came off the bus in the sixth inning Last Night In Woodbridge

Roster move: IF Anthony Rendon added to roster for MLB rehab.

Kannapolis 1 Hagerstown 0
• Van Orden (L, 5-3) 4+ IP, 6H, R, ER, 4BB, 2K
• Orlan 2IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 3K, 1-1 IR-S
• Read 1-4, 2B, K
• Page 1-4, 2B, 2K

Kannapolis pitchers outdueled Hagerstown’s for a 1-0 win. Drew Van Orden took the loss after giving up a leadoff triple in the 5th as R.C. Orlan gave up the game-winning sacrifice fly. Orlan and Sam Johns both spun two scoreless innings, but the Suns offense was held to two hits — leadoff doubles by Raudy Read and Matthew Page in the 3rd and 7th innings respectively.
Roster moves: RHP Brian Rauh reassigned from Hagerstown; RHP Jose Morales, 2B Austin Davidson placed on the 7-Day DL; SS Osvaldo Abreu activated from the 7-Day DL.

Auburn 6 West Virginia 4 — GAME ONE
• Fedde (W, 2-1) 5IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 7K, HBP
• Peterson (S, 2) 2IP, 1H, R, ER, 0BB, 1K
• Gutierrez 1-2, R, RBI, 2BB
• Encarnacion 1-1, R, 2BB
• Bautista 2-4, R, 2B

The Doubledays scored six times in the bottom of the 1st then held on for a 6-4 win in the opener. Erick Fedde got the win, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Tommy Peterson got the save, allowing one run on one hit over two innings with one whiff. Rafael Bautista went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored to pace the Auburn offense, which drew seven walks.

West Virginia 3 Auburn 1 — GAME TWO
• Crownover (L, 0-4) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 4K, WP
• Brinley 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Kerian 3-3, 3B, RBI
• Me. Rodriguez 2-3, 2-2B
• Bautista 2-4, R, 2B

The Black Bears took the nightcap by a 3-1 score. Matthew Crownover turned in his best outing of the season with five innings of two-run ball, letting up five hits and a walk while striking out four but lost his fourth game. Three batters accounted for all seven Auburn hits with David Kerian singling twice and driving in the lone Doubleday run with an RBI triple in the 6th.
Roster move: RHP Connor Overton added to roster from Washington.

GCL Update
The G-Nats won five of six games and now trail the GCL Mets by just one game in the GCL East, albeit with a 12-12 mark. Telmito Agustin leads the team with a .378 batting average and is now slugging a robust .622 in 14 games. Maximo Valerio, who turns 20 this week, has won three straight appearances, which earned him a mention in yesterday’s GBI.

DSL Update
Today is the DSL All-Star game, with the Nationals represented by two pitchers — Pedro Avila and Francys Peguero — and outfielder Juan Evangelista. A 2-3 week dropped the D-Nats to a 19-23 mark, which is 11 games off the pace of the Boca Chica North division-leading DSL Rangers1 at 30-12.

Jul 182015

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 37-57, 6th place I.L. North, 13½ games behind

Good Trea Turner, 12-game on-base streak
Bad Taylor Hill 0-2, 9.00 ERA, 1.86 WHIP in July (3GS)
Interesting A.J. Cole 16 shutout inning streak

HARRISBURG SENATORS 47-46, 5th place E.L. West, 4 games behind

Good Austin Voth 1-0, 0.45 ERA, 0.80 WHIP in July (3GS)
Bad 37 team HR — fewest in Eastern League
Interesting Pedro Severino .333/.368/.417in July (10G)

POTOMAC NATIONALS 11-9, 1st place C.L. North, ½ game ahead (44-46 overall)

Good Khayyan Norfork .357/.386/.452 in July (12G)
Bad Norfork’s .684 OPS highest on the current roster
Interesting 43 of 338 runs scored without an RBI

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 11-11, T4th place Sally North, 4 games behind (46-44 overall)

Good Connor Bach 2-0, 2.11 ERA, 0.98 WHIP since All-Star break (4G, 3GS)
Bad Diomedes Eusebio .119/.178/.143 since All-Star break (11G)
Interesting Bryan Mejia .943OPS since his callup

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 11-14, 4th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 8 games behind

Good Andrew Stevenson .361/.413/.431, 7SB, 11R, 9RBI in 18G
Bad McKenzie Mills 0-2, 11.74 ERA, 2.23 WHIP (11⅔ IP)
Interesting Dalton Dulin 10BB in 14G

GCL NATIONALS 12-11, 2nd place East Division, Gulf Coast League, 1 game behind

Good Maximo Valerio 3-0, 1.52 ERA, 0.97 WHIP in 5G, 3GS
Bad Andres Martinez 5E, .437OPS in 9G
Interesting Philip Diedrick 3HR in 5G

DSL NATIONALS 19-23, T3rd place Boca Chica North, 11 games behind

Good 17-y.o. Juan Evangelista .273/.323/.460, 28RBI in 40G
Bad 18-y.o. Angel Guillen 1-2, 5.87 ERA, 1.70 WHIP in 15⅓ IP
Interesting 19-y.o. Yordani Garcia 3-2, 2.93 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, 5HBP, 8BB in 15IP
Jul 182015

Myrtle Beach scored in six of nine innings while Potomac struggled to score at all, as the Woodbridge nine fell for the third straight gane, 7-2.

Lucas Giolito got the start on Friday night, but struggled with his command. As is often the case with high-profile prospects, it’s diffiuclt to separate the talent from the results. Giolito had moments where his changeup was a thing of beauty, as the Pelicans were light years ahead of the pitch. Yet Giolito “only” struck out four in five innings. And walked three — his second-highest total in 12 starts (oh, the horror).

Giolito would finish with a crooked line of 5IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K, WP — not great, but not horrid, either.

While it might not satisfy the fair-weather fans, it’s fair to say that the Nats’ #1 prospect, and the #1 overall prospect according to some midseason prospect rankings (or is that post-preseason rankings?) might not yet be ready for AA just yet. And that’s okay. We’re still talking about a player that turned 21 this week.

Ulitmately, as has been the case for the past three games, it’s about the Potomac offense and its inability to score consistently. In three games against the Pelicans, they’ve collected 14 hits and scored four runs. It should come as no surprise that that’s resulted in three losses.

Veteran Khayyan Norfork was 2-for-4 and scored both runs, but the rest of the lineup was an atrocious 3-for-29 with one walk. The P-Nats had just four chances with runners in scoring position, and the one hit was a bunt single that scored the first run.

The series concludes tonight with a matchup of Phillips Valdez (3-2, 4.66) versus Jeremy Null (0-1, 4.24).

Jul 182015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 7-6 vs. Gwinnett,
7:05 p.m.
Cole (1-4, 3.91) vs.
Foltynewicz (1-5, 3.15)
Harrisburg Won, 5-4 @ Bowie,
7:05 p.m.
Bates (3-0, 3.45) vs.
Gunkel (3-1, 2.23)
Potomac Lost, 7-2 vs. Myrtle Beach,
6:35 p.m.
Valdez (3-2, 4.66) vs.
Null (0-1, 4.24)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-2 @ Kannapolis,
6:05 p.m.
Van Orden (5-2, 2.92) vs.
Thompson (2-4, 4.44)
Auburn Won, 6-3 (7 inn.) vs. West Virginia,
5:05 p.m.
Fedde (1-1, 1.59) and
Crownover (0-3, 11.74) vs.
Paula (0-1, 27.00) and
Pimentel (0-0, 4.58)

Syracuse 7 Gwinnett 6
• Hill 5IP, 7H, 5R, 4ER, 0BB, 3K
• Demny (BS, 1) ⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K, WP
• Fornataro (W, 1-4) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 1-0 IR-S
• Martinson 2-5, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Gwynn 2-4, 2B, BB, RBI
• Johnson 1-1, RBI

Josh Johnson’s two-out, pinch-hit single gave the Chiefs a 7-6 walkoff win. Syracuse trailed 5-0 after just one half inning as Gwinnett climbed all over Taylor Hill for five of the seven hits he would give up. Hill would recover to put up four goose eggs and finish with five innings pitched, with no walks and three K’s. Meanwhile, the Chiefs bats did not stand still chipped away at the 5-0 lead until they took a 6-5 lead in the 7th. Gwinnett tied it back up in the 8th against Paul Demny. Dan Butler and Tony Gwynn Jr. drew back-to-back walks with two out to set up Johnson, who delivered the gamewinner and the win to Eric Fornataro.
Roster move: LHP Sammy Solis recalled to Washington.

Harrisburg 5 Bowie 4
• Spann 6IP, 5H, 1R, 0ER, 3BB, 2K
• Mendez (BS, 2) 1IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, K, HR, 2-1 IR-S
• Harper (W, 2-1) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 1-0 IR-S
• Bostick 2-5, R, HR, RBI
• Goodwin 2-5, RBI
• Lozada 2-4, R

Christopher Bostick’s solo shot in the 9th put Harrisburg over the top for 5-4 win vs. Bowie and above .500 for the first time since April. Bostick was one of three Senators to collect multiple hits as they built a 4-1 lead for starter Matt Spann, who went six innings with five hits and three walks allowed and two strikeouts. The bullpen blew the lead with two runs allowed in the 7th and one in the 8th. Bryan Harper got the benefit of Bostick’s big fly as he got the last four outs of the game for the win, his second.

Myrtle Beach 7 Potomac 2
• Giolito (L, 3-5) 5IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K
• Dickson 3IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, BB, K
• Norfork 2-4, 2R
• Mesa 1-4, RBI

The P-Nats bats were mostly AWOL Last Night In Woodbridge

Roster move: RHP Jake Johansen assigned to GCL Nationals for MiLB rehab.

Kannapolis 5 Hagerstown 2
• Morales (L, 0-2) 4IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 3K, HR
• Cooper 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Mejia 2-4
• Marmolejos-Diaz 1-2, 2B, BB, 2RBI

The Intimidators lapped the Suns four times in the 2nd en route to a 5-2 checkered flag. Jose Morales was charged with all five Kannapolis runs on six hits and two walks over four innings. Andrew Cooper and Deion Williams combined for four scoreless innings of relief, but the offense was limited to just five hits. Jose “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz broke up the shutout with a two-run double with one out in the 8th.

Auburn 6 Mahoning Valley 3 (7 inn., rain)
• Guilbeau 5IP, 7H, 3R, 1ER, 0BB, 4K
• Boghosian (W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Wiseman 2-3, 2R, HR, 3RBI, BB
• Bautista 2-4, R, 2SB

The Doubledays struck for three in the top of the 7th and then retired the side in the bottom of inning. A rain delay turned into a called game with Auburn the 6-3 winners. Taylor Guilbeau started and went the first five innings, letting in all three Scrappers runs on seven hits. He struck out four. Adam Boghosian got the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Rhett Wiseman led the Doubleday offense with 2-for-3 night, including a two-run HR in the 1st and finished with three RBI total.