|Player||Pos.||Age||2011 Team(s)||2010 Invite||Notes|
|David Freitas||C-1B||22||HAG||Y||Spent most of ’11 at C (86 of 123G) and posted another strong triple-slash of .288/.409/.450|
|Sandy Leon||C||22||POT||Y||Defensively, he’s MLB-ready. Offensively, he’s still a work in progress but getting better.|
|Cole Leonida||C||22||HAG||Y||Improved his offense, but has been a backup to both Leon and Freitas. POT in ’12?|
|Adrian Nieto||C||21||AUB, HAG, POT||Y||PED suspension will dog him, but put up career offensive numbers across the board|
|Raudy Read||C||17||DSL||N||Poor offensive and defensive numbers but age and status as six-figure IFA signee will buy him time and attention|
|Pedro Severino||C||18||DSL||N||Another IFA with poor offensive numbers, but serviceable defensive numbers in the DSL|
|Justin Bloxom||3B-1B||23||POT||N||One of Potomac’s best hitters that the org seems hell-bent into making a 3B despite 39E in 77G there|
|Diomedes Eusebio||3B||19||DSL||N||Turned 19 yesterday. Especially good power numbers for a DSL teen: .451 SLG, 6HR, 30RBI in 59G|
|Blake Kelso||3B-SS||22||HAG||Y||Undersized IF that can hit for average but not much power and serviceable on defense = utility guy|
|Jeff Kobernus||2B||23||POT||N||Has shaken the fragile label, and has great baserunning skills but doesn’t take many walks and has only gap power|
|Estarlin Martinez||1B-OF||19||GCL||N||A hitter in search of a position, with exceptional power/on-base numbers for a teen in the GCL|
|Jason Martinson||SS||22||HAG||Y||An intriguing combination of power and speed but has the hallmarks of an athlete trying to translate athleticism into skill. Could be the 2012 edition of Destin Hood.|
|Bryce Ortega||SS||22||AUB||N||41st-Rd Col Sr. that put up strong numbers in Auburn and plays a position where the Nats are very thin (SS)|
|Arialdi Peguero||1B||18||DSL||N||Another young IFA that struggled in the DSL on both offense and defense.|
|Anthony Rendon||3B||21||N/A||N||The Nationals #1 2011 Draft Pick that fell to the Nats due to injury concerns, but many scouts believe was the best player available|
|Adrian Sanchez||2B/SS||21||HAG||Y||If Kobernus feels someone breathing down his neck, that would be Adrian Sanchez, who put up an even stronger second half than his first, which is precisely what you want out of a turning-21 DSL grad in his first full season stateside.|
|Matt Skole||3B||22||AUB||N||5th Rd ’11 pick that’s a suspect on defense but a prospect on offense|
|Steven Souza||1B||22||POT||Y||Converted from 3B to 1B last offseason, and tripled his walk total but had long homerless streak that’s intolerable for a CI|
|Zach Walters||SS||22||POT||N||Acquired in deadline deal with AZ for Marquis, Walters has a slick glove and finished the season batting .366 in last 10G|
|Deion Williams||SS||18||GCL||N||16th Rd. HS Pick in ’11 Draft. Tall, lean, toolsy SS who struggled in the GCL. Grandson of George Scott.|
|Billy Burns||OF||22||AUB||N||Gets on base, runs well, solid glove and he plays CF. Excuse Mr. Rizzo while he takes a cold shower.|
|Brian Goodwin||OF||20||N/A||N||Supplemental Rd. Pick that might have been a 1st rounder before his transfer from UNC to Miami-Dade CC. Scouts aren’t high on his defense and some question if the power will ever be there, but most believe the upside is worth the risk.|
|Kevin Keyes||OF||22||HAG||Y||Arguably the biggest surprise of the entire Nats organization in ’11, going from an abysmal .278 SLG to a robust .510 SLG|
|Narciso Mesa||OF||19||GCL||N||Made the jump from DSL to GCL successfully, and was said to be “plus-plus” for his arm and speed, though neither attribute showed up much in the numbers.|
|Randolph Oduber||OF||22||GCL, HAG||Y||Injuries limited the “Groovin’ Aruban” to just 60G but his ’11 numbers were fairly similar to ’10 despite playing a level higher.|
|Eury Perez||OF||21||POT||Y||Defensively, he’s fairly close to MLB-ready, but his on-base skills are woeful — especially when you take away the small-ball chances|
|Caleb Ramsey||OF||22||AUB||N||11th Rd Pick in ’11 Draft that stole 15 bases in 64G despite the “not very fast” knock. Good glove, good on-base skills.|
|Michael Taylor||OF||20||HAG||Y||Last year, we wondered why he got the invite. This year, we got the answer with 23SB and a .253/.310/.432 line from a 20-y.o.|
|Player||Pos.||Age||2011 Team(s)||2010 Invite||Notes|
|Gregory Baez||LHSP||19||DSL, GCL||Y||Repeated GCL with much better success, lowering ERA from 5.92 to 3.30|
|A.J. Cole||RHSP||19||HAG||Y||First full season as a pro, thus his second-half fade is understandable|
|Paul Demny||RHSP||22||POT||Y||Prone to longball, but throws hard. Predicted move to ‘pen for ’11 last Sept, but his age and stamina say he’s a candidate for the HBG rotation in ’12|
|Brian Dupra||RHSP||22||HAG||N||7th Rd. Pick in ’11 draft with a low-to-mid-90s FB and improving secondary pitches that scouts like.|
|Pedro Encarnacion||RHSP||20||AUB, GCL||Y||Challenged with SS-A but dropped back to GCL where like Baez, he put up better numbers|
|Wirkin Estevez||RHSP||19||AUB||Y||Accepted the challenge to skip GCL and put up decent numbers for a 19-y.o.|
|Christian Garcia||RHRP||26||AUB, SYR||N||Former Yankee farmhand that’s undergone TJ surgery twice. A project, a la Ryan Mattheus.|
|Matt Grace||LHSP||22||HAG||Y||Threw a lot of innings, gave up more hits. Decent peripheral numbers and respectable FIP. And then there’s that lefthanded thing.|
|Taylor Hill||RHSP||22||AUB||N||6th-rd pick in ’11 Draft with SI/SL/CU arsenal that scouts feel might be refined with a pro coach|
|Greg Holt||RHRP||22||AUB, HAG||N||8th Rd Pick in ’11 Draft. Average FB, but good CV — projects as a middle reliever|
|Taylor Jordan||RHSP||22||HAG||Y||Didn’t pitch after July 9, so the presumption is he was shut down due to injury.|
|Nathan Karns||RHSP||23||GCL, AUB||N||’09 Draft Pick that finally surfaced in pro ball in ’11|
|Jack McGeary||LHSP||22||GCL||N||Recovering from mid-2010 TJ surgery, put up decent numbers in five late-season GCL appearances|
|Chris McKenzie||RHSP||21||HAG, POT||N||13th Rd. Juco Pick in ’10 Draft. Spent two-plus mos. on DL with much better results upon return|
|Alex Meyer||RHSP||21||N/A||N||Deadline-sign 1st Rd. ’11 Draft pick. Live arm, poor control likely due to 6’9″ frame that’s reportedly not finished filling out.|
|Blake Monar||LHRP||22||GCL, AUB||N||12th Rd Pick in ’11 Draft. Had just five appearances, but likely limited due to his injury history|
|Ivan Pineyro||RHSP||19||DSL||N||Led DSL club in games started, innings pitched, and strikeouts.|
|Matt Purke||LHSP||21||N/A||N||Another 1st Rd ’11 Draft deadline sign. Fell to the 3rd round due injury concerns, sophomore leverage but considered a great
|Elvin Ramirez||RHRP||23||N/A||N||Dec. ’10 Rule 5 Draft Pick that was alleged to have amped up his fastball in winter ball then never pitched in ’11|
|Robbie Ray||LHSP||19||HAG||Y||Stronger results than Cole, but similar late-season fade|
|Manny Rodriguez||RHRP||22||AUB||N||10th Rd. Pick in ’11 Draft. Small-college convert from 3B that throws 90-95 and is still learning to pitch.|
|Cameron Selik||RHSP||24||HAG, POT||N||Started with a bang at HAG, but faded in second half in POT of first full season as a pro.|
|Matt Swynenberg||RHSP||21||HAG||N||Lean, long-limbed and a slow riser in the Nats system, having been drafted in ’09 and repeating SS-A in ’11|
|Kylin Turnbull||LHRP||21||N/A||N||4th Rd Pick in ’11 and another deadline sign. A hard-throwing lefty with a projectable frame that the Nats talked out of going to UOregon|
[Ed. Note: The fourth guest column from frequent commenter BinM]
A 2011 regular-season wrapup from another voice…
Syracuse Chiefs, 66-74; 4th in Northern Division, International League
The Chiefs and their fans suffered on many levels this year. Between a spotty offense, and an ever-changing pitching staff (31 total pitchers for the year), the team never really mounted a challenge for the playoffs, despite plenty of MLB experience (25 players appearing with prior MLB time over the course of the year). The 10-game drop in the standings from 2010 with what looked like a better team was disapointing, to say the least.
Hitter of the year
Chris Marrero, 1B — With a slash of .300/.375/.449, 114 runs produced and a .281GPA, he squeaks past Steve Lombardozzi, who compiled a .310/.354/.408 slash, with 71 runs produced, 16SB and a .261GPA over 69GP.
Pitcher of the year
Tom Milone, LHSP — More silly numbers from a guy most people overlook: 3.22ERA, 1.03WHIP, 9.1:1K-BB over 148⅓ IP over 24GS. Hands down, the best pitcher on the staff.
Yunesky Maya, RHSP — 5.00ERA, 1.24WHIP, 2.96:1K-BB, and 14HR allowed over 129⅔ IP ove 22GS.
Harrisburg Senators, 80-62; 1st in Western Division, Eastern League
Despite losing two of their top hitters (Lombardozzi and Bill Rhinehart), and their #1SP (Brad Peacock) near midseason, this team managed to stay together & won their division. The additions of the OF’s Bryce Harper (promotion) & Erik Komatsu (trade), and LHSP Danny Rosenbaum (promotion) to the starting staff certainly didn’t hurt the team. Simply by making the playoffs, I have to call this a good year.
Hitter of the year
Tyler Moore, 1B — Despite how well Steve Lombardozzi played earlier this year, I’m giving the nod to Moore for the Senators. His overall compilation of a .270/.314/.532 slash, with 70 XBH, 129 runs produced, and a .274GPA over 137GP was enough to sway me.
Pitcher of the year
Brad Peacock, RSHP — With numbers like a 2.01ERA, 1.29WHIP, 5.2:1K-BB, and a 10-2 W-L prior to his promotion to Syracuse, he gets the nod over Erik Arnesen, and Shairon Martis for the season, who each had good seasons as well.
Oliver Perez, LHSP — From a former MLB pitcher: a 3.09ERA, 1.39WHIP, 1.9:1K-BB, and 10HRA over only 75⅔ IP and 16GP at AA fails to impress on a lot of levels.
Potomac Nationals, 29-40, 1st half; 39-31 2nd half, 68-71 overall;
2nd Half Champ, North Division Carolina League
An up and down year, with ongoing field/venue problems and a poor 1st half record, the team managed a surprisingly steady 2nd half to make the Carolina League playoffs once again. The team suffered some key losses to the pitching staff, with callups for RHRP Pat Lehman and Rosenbaum, and an injury to RHSP Trevor Holder. The callups of LHSP Sammy Solis and RHRP Neil Holland helped cover those losses. A decent year overall, salvaged by another playoff appearance, but slightly off last years’ pace.
Hitter of the year
Destin Hood, OF — Could be considered the core of the team this season, contributing across the board offensively. Posted a .276/.364/.445 slash, 131 runs produced and 21SB with a .278GPA.
Pitcher of the year
Daniel Rosenbaum — Promoted to AA in late July, he managed a 2.59ERA, 1.17WHIP, and a 2.3:1K-BB over 20GP and 132.0IP for the P-Nats.
J.P. Ramirez, LF-DH — This one is hard for me because I wanted him to succeed, but I can’t ignore the numbers: .223/.275/.342 slash, no speed and limited range defensively, all of which appear to be signs that he’s topped out at High-A.
Hagerstown Suns — 75-64, 35-34 2nd half; 4th place, Northern Division, South Atlantic League
With a fading finish in the 1st half, and some indifferent play in the 2nd half, the Suns missed out on both chances at a playoff spot this year. This was a huge disappointment, given the hitting (Harper, Blake Kelso, and David Freitas) and pitching (Cameron Selik, Solis, Taylor Jordan, Holland and Chris Manno) the team received in the 1st half of the season. The 2nd half was more a “grind-it-out and hope for the best” kind of year. All in all, a better record than 2010, but it still must be a bittersweet finish to the Hagerstown faithful.
Hitter of the year
David Freitas, C-DH — He gets my hat-tip over Harper the younger here. With a slash of .288/.409/.450, 127 runs produced, a .297GPA, and the fact that he catches earns him the honors.
Pitcher of the year
Christopher Manno, LHRP — With a 1.04ERA, a 0.81WHIP, a 4.0:1K-BB and 12Sv / 25GF in 34GP prior
to his trade, he beats out LHP Paul Applebee who compiled a nice 3.35ERA, 1.01WHIP, and a 6.5:1K-BB over 96.2IP and 31GP.
The trade of Christoper Manno to the Reds for Jonny Gomes. Seriously.
Auburn Doubledays – 45-30; 1st place, Pinckney Division, NY-Penn.
With a steady season, the Doubledays reach the playoffs in 2011, only to face last years’ Nats affiliate (now the Oakland A’s), the Vermont Lake Monsters in the 1st round. The team received timely hitting from a number of players (Bryce Ortega, Matt Skole, Hendry Jimenez, Caleb Ramsey, Russell Moldenhauer, Justin Miller; even ‘Bowden’s folly’), and pitching to match (Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez, Taylor Hill, Brian Dupra, Nathan Karns, Richie Mirowski, Tyler Hanks, Manny Rivera and Ben Grisz). A good year, with a 9½ game improvement over the 2010 record.
Hitter of the year
Bryce Ortega, SS-3B — With a .314/.410/.392 slash and a .283 GPA over 56GP at SS, he beats out Matt Skole (.290/.382/.438 slash and a .281GPA at 3B) by the slightest of margins.
Pitcher of the year
Benjamin Grisz, RHRP — I’m going against the grain with this one, but regardless of his alleged off-field behavior, this kid was a solid reliever for the Doubledays coming out of college, posting a 1.35ERA, an 0.85WHIP and 4SV / 8GF in just 11GP.
Benjamin Grisz (see above). If the allegations are true — that he made no further appearances after July 27, despite being named to the NYPL All-Star Team is telling — the lack of personal restraint could ruin a budding career.
Gulf Coast Nationals – 20-33, 4th place Eastern Division
An overall lack of offense couldn’t support spotty pitching, and the G-Nats post their worst record in three years as a result. The team’s most interesting hitters were all out of the DSL — OFs Wander Ramos, Narciso Mesa, Estarlin Martinez; IFs Jean-Carlos Valdez and Wilmer Difo. The pitching carried a few possibles as well, with LHSPs Jack McGeary (recovering from TJ surgery) and Gregory Baez showing promise, and RHRP Scott Williams and LHRP Bobby Lucas out of the bullpen. Not a lot in terms of the record, but some players to keep an eye on going forward.
Hitter of the year
Wander Ramos, RF-LF — A 21-y.o. corner OF up from the DSL, he compiled a .313/.401/.653 slash, with a .344GPA this year.
Pitcher of the year
Gregory Baez — Only 19-y.o., Baez moved up from the DSL to compile a 3.72ERA, a 1.59WHIP and a 1.28K-BB over 48⅓ IP.
Hector Taveras, C — Released without a single 2011 appearance, another career possibly wasted by a lack of restraint.
Dominican League Nationals – 33-36, 5th place, BCS division
Another up-and-down season with little consistency and some questionable starting choices led to a bad overall record. There are some youngsters on this team whose numbers look promising, with Adderling Ruiz (20-y.o. C), Yermin Mercedes (18-y.o. C-DH), Diomedes Eusebio (18-y.o. 3B) all showing promise at the plate, and Ivan Pineyro (19-y.o. RHSP), Gilberto Mendez (18yo RHSP), and Joel Barrientos (18-y.o. LHRP) from the pitching staff. With a regression of 3½ games from 2010, not the best overall result.
Hitter of the year
Adderling Ruiz — Still a little sketchy defensively (5E), he produced at the plate with a .343/.417/.476 slash, and a
Pitcher of the year
Ivan Pineyro — Overall solid numbers for a SP (65.7IP, 1.64ERA, 1.08WHIP, 3.14K-BB).
Brian Escolastico, LHRP — Great last name but horrid results, with a 17.72ERA, 3.84WHIP, and a 0.78:1K-BB over 11GP.
|Sammy Solis (6-2, 2.72) vs.
Richard Zagone (4-2, 2.97)
|Taylor Hill (0-2, 3.16) vs.
Brent Powers (4-2, 3.84)
Rain forced a postponement in Auburn and complete series shift in Richmond yesterday, while the Potomac Nationals might have wished for more with a 5-1 loss to Frederick in six innings.
Both Auburn and Frederick have more rain forecast for today. The Doubledays and P-Nats both trail their series 1-0, with Auburn facing elimination tonight and Potomac staring at a possible 2-0 deficit.
Meanwhile, the tenor of the E.L. West Divisional series has changed dramatically with the two-day postponement and series shift to Richmond for Games One and Two. Simply put: The Squirrels have owned the Sens at the Diamond, winning 10 of 15 games played there this season. Ironically, Richmond was one of the few that Harrisburg couldn’t handle on the road, with a 38-19 record against the rest of the Eastern League.
Thus, instead of the chance to go up 2-0 and hit the road needing to win just one, it’s the opposite: They have to take at least one on the road and hope to come home with the series tied. Statistically, the chances are the same; psychologically, the game has changed.
Back to Frederick… Paul Demny’s season-long bugaboo — the big fly, he led the Carolina League with 18 surrendered — came back to bite him in the [prosterior] with two given up in the four-run 4th that overcame an early 1-0 deficit, courtesy of a Steve Souza home run in the top of the 2nd.
Much like Auburn in its Game One, the woulda-coulda-shoulda game that fans like to play doesn’t apply. The P-Nats were stifled by Jacob Petit (again, he beat them twice in two regular-season starts) with just three hits and two walks given up over six innings and only two reaching second base — Souza and Sandy Leon on a double two batters later. That kind of offensive production might win a game in soccer, but in baseball, it’s too much to ask for a 1-0 win in the playoffs. Particularly against a lineup with nearly 300 games of AA experience.
Wait, haven’t I done this before?
For the second straight year, it’s Potomac vs. Frederick in the Divisional Series, and the “Battle of The Beltways” misnomer is back. As of 3 p.m., “The Game Is Still On” according to the Keys website.
Similar to 2008 for Potomac, the Frederick Keys have basically led wire-to-wire, winning 41 games in the first half and 39 in the second. [Insert snarky comparison about overaged team and only a couple of true prospects here]. Yes, Potomac did manage to catch them (*ahem*) to win the paper title of second-half champion, but because Potomac did not win the Northern Division outright (the two teams tied with 39 wins), Frederick gets the advantage of hosting a Game Five if one is necessary.
With a season series that went 10-10, that’s kind of a big deal. Or is it?
Frederick actually had a losing record vs. Potomac at home, going 5-8, the uneven split made possible by the series shift in April. Potomac actually won the last two series played there (July 6-8, August 26-28) two games to one.
What should have P-Nats fans worried is the lack of one Mr. Rosenbaum, who beat the Keys three times out four starts, including his final start for Potomac. What should have Keys fans worried is how they staggered to the finish line, winning just twice over the last 10 games, and three in a row to the last-place Wilmington Blue Rocks.
On paper, this shouldn’t even be close. Looking at the team stats in the aggregate, Frederick has the league’s best pitching, Potomac has the worst. The problem with that approach is that it ignores what everybody knows: It’s how the current roster is playing right now that matters most, not how the collective team has done over the past five months.
Unlike last year, I would not be surprised by a couple of 1-0, 2-1, or 3-2 scores in this series — even in the hittng-friendly confines of Harry Grove Stadium.
Without further ado, here’s the schedule, starting with the schedule…
Game 1 at Frederick, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.
Game 2 at Frederick, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.
Game 3 at Potomac, Sept. 9 at 7:05 p.m.
Game 4 at Potomac (if necessary), Sept. 10 at 6:35 p.m.
Game 5 at Frederick (if necessary), Sept. 11 at 2 p.m.
And here are the announced matchups, per MiLB.com…
Game 1 Paul Demny (10-10, 4.32) vs. Jacob Petit (7-0, 1.62)
Game 2 Sammy Solis (6-2, 2.72) vs. Richard Zagone (4-2, 2.97)
Game 3 Evan Bronson (5-5, 3.64) vs. Scott Copeland (3-2, 2.14)
Game 4 Adam Olbrychowski (5-7, 4.16) vs. TBD
Game 5 Mitchell Clegg vs. Nicholas Haughian (8-7, 3.67)
Projected Starting Lineups
LF Francisco Soriano
2B Jeff Kobernus
DH Justin Bloxom
RF Destin Hood
1B Steve Souza
SS Zach Walters
C Sandy Leon
3B Jose Lozada
CF Eury Perez
3B Dale Mollenhauer
2B Jonathan Schoop
SS Manny Machado
1B Aaron Baker
DH Michael Flacco
RF Jacob Julius
CF Miguel Abreu
C Brian Ward
LF Bobby Stevens
Head: Frederick in Four
Heart: Potomac in Five
As you might have guessed by the image, rain is going to be an underlying theme during the playoffs.
Last night, Harrisburg beat writer Geoff Morrow reported a story about how the the forecast of heavy rain, coupled with the the proximity of the Susquehannah River and the location of Metrobank Park (i.e. on an island in said river) could force the rearrangement* of the Eastern League Divisional Series.
*Could be worse. The Pittsfield Colonials, Hagerstown manager Brian Daubach’s previous ballclub, will be playing ALL its games on the road.
UPDATE: As predicted/feared, the Harrisburg Senators and Richmond Squirrels have postponed their series until Friday, shifting Games One & Two to Friday and Saturday, with Games Three, Four and Five (if necessary). H/T to Max Power to bringing this to our attention, and I strong encourage folks to read his Senators vs. Flying Squirrels Series Preview.
The forecast for Frederick isn’t any better: 1-2″ of heavy rain today with a chance of rain in the hourly forecast that won’t fall below 50% until 11. On Friday night. Rearranging the series simply isn’t an option given the forecast for Woodbridge is nearly identical. It’s also my understanding that the Potomac field there doesn’t drain very well.
Finally, the Auburn Doubledays took on the Vermont Lake Monsters in Burlington, VT last night — located on higher ground than the folks in the Winooski River Valley to the east — but were stifled by 32nd-round pick Drew Garnier, who allowed just one run on two hits and three walks while fanning nine over five innings to lead the Lake Monsters to a 7-1 win.
Auburn starter Nathan Karns was hit hard early, giving up four runs in the bottom of the first, lowlighted when Angel Montilla lost the ball in the, well, low lights at Centennial Field to let in three runs. He would give up six runs total over four innings on seven hits and two walks to take the loss.
Of course, the defensive gaffes aside, the Vermont ‘pen struck out seven and gave up just one hit and one walk after Garnier’s exit. That’s just three hits, four walks on offense for the Doubledays while striking out 16 times. They left on eight and went just 1-for-13 with RISP.
The series shifts to Auburn for today and tomorrow. But wouldn’t you know? There’s also a forecast for heavy rain over the next two days, and a strong chance of rain on Friday. Stay tuned and stay dry.
It’s a baker’s dozen of weekly honors for the Nats farm system, with Auburn’s Justin Miller picking up the hardware for hitting .500 last week (12-for-24).
Miller also homered and drove in six last week. Since the All-Star game in mid-August, he has batted .371/.444/.613, a stretch of 18 games.
The 22-year-old was drafted in the 18th round of the 2010 First Year Player Draft from Middle Tennessee State University.
|END OF SEASON||N/A|
|Harrisburg||Won, 5-2||END OF SEASON||N/A|
|Potomac||Won, 8-4||END OF SEASON||N/A|
|Hagerstown||Won, 9-1||END OF SEASON||N/A|
|Auburn||N/A||Game 1, NYPL
@ Vermont, 7:05 p.m.
|Nathan Karns (3-2, 3.44) vs.
Drew Granier (1-1, 1.91)
Lehigh Valley 4 Syracuse 1 — 5½ inn.
• Meyers (L, 6-5) 4⅔ IP, 9H, 3R, 2ER, BB, K
• Mock ⅔ IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 0K
• Curran 1-3, RBI
• Brown 1-2, R, 2B
• Nicol 1-2
Syracuse finished the season on a down note with a rain-shortened 4-1 loss to Lehigh Valley. Brad Meyers took the loss with three runs given up over four and 2/3rds innings on nine hits and a walk. The Chiefs were held to just five hits, with Chris Curran’s RBI single scoring Corey Brown for the lone Syracuse run. Garrett Mock continued his reversion to the mean with three walks given up over 2/3rds of an inning. Syracuse finished the season in 4th place with a 66-74 mark, 14 games behind Pawtucket in the I.L. North.
Harrisburg 5 Akron 2
• O Perez 4IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 3K
• C Martinez (W, 3-4) 3IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K
• Norris 3-4, 2R, HR (20), RBI
• Pahuta 2-3, R, 2B, RBI
The Sens got off the schneid with a 5-2 win over Akron, stopping a three-game losing streak. Derek Norris started the scoring with a solo shot in the bottom of the 1st, his 20th of the year while Chris McConnell’s RBI double and Erik Komatsu’s two-run single in the 2nd extended the lead to 4-0. Oliver Perez got the start and went four scoreless innings on 49 pitches before giving way to Carlos Martinez, who earned the win with one run given up over three innings. Harrisburg finished the season at 80-62, best in the Eastern League and will host Richmond in the first round of the playoffs, which begin tomorrow.
Potomac 8 Kinston 4
• Olbrychowski 5⅔ IP, 10H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 3K
• Holder 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Peacock 2-4, R, 2B, 3RBI
• Kobernus 2-3, 2R, SB
Brian Peacock’s two-out, two-run double started a six-run scoring binge in the eighth that secured a 2nd-half title on a Monday Afternoon In Woodbridge
Hagerstown 9 Lakewood 1
• Swynenberg 2⅓ IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Applebee (S, 2) 4IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Cuevas 2-4, R, 2RBI
• Kelso 2-4, 2R, 3B, RBI
A five-run 4th combined with a solid “bullpen outing” sent Hagerstown on its way to a 9-1 win over Lakewood. Matt Swynenberg, Sam Brown, and Paul Applebee divvied up the pitching duties, with Brown getting the win and Applebee getting a four-inning save. Kevin Keyes was the sole Sun to go hitless, but did his part with a sac fly while Blake Kelso, Justino Cuevas and Brett Newsom each went 2-for-4 as part of the 11-hit attack. The win gave the Suns a tie for fourth place with Lakewood at 35-34 in the second half and 75 wins overall, the best season total since the Nats affiliation began in 2007.
The New York-Penn League Playoffs begin today with the Auburn Doubledays visiting the Vermont Lake Monsters in Game One of the best-of-three divisional series. Nathan Karns faces off against Drew Garnier in what will be just the fourth meeting between the two teams this year, but the first in Burlington. Click here to read the official MiLB.com preview on the NYPL playoffs.
|Brad Meyers (6-4, 3.46) vs.
Nate Bump (4-9, 5.09)
|Harrisburg||Lost, 6-4||vs. Akron,
|Oliver Perez (3-5, 3.27) vs.
Steven Wright (2-3, 5.66)
|TBD vs. TBD|
|Hagerstown||Won, 4-2||vs. Lakewood,
|Matt Swynenberg (6-3, 3.77) vs.
Austin Wright (1-1, 1.50)
|Auburn||Lost, 4-2||END OF SEASON||N/A|
Lehigh Valley 7 Syracuse 4
• Tatusko 4IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 2K
• C Garcia 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Valdez 2-3, R, HR, 3RBI, 2BB
• Hulett 2-2, R, RBI, 3BB
Six unanswered runs in the late innings sent Syracuse to a 7-4 defeat. Jesus Valdez’s 10th home run, a three-run shot in the 5th, highlighted a four-run rally as the Chiefs rallied from an early 1-0 deficit. Ryan Tatusko got the spot start and scattered seven hits over four innings to allow just one run. Recently promoted Christian Garcia threw two scoreless innings to follow but things went south in a hurry after as four relievers gave up six runs over the last three innings, with Jeff Mandel taking the loss and Josh Wilkie blowing his fourth save of the season.
Akron 6 Harrisburg 4
• Rosenbaum (ND) 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K
• Komatsu 2-4, 2B, BB
• Moore 1-3, R, HR, RBI
• King 1-2, 2BB
Tyler Moore smacked his 31st home run for the second straight season, but the Sens ‘pen fell apart late to lose this one, 6-4. Danny Rosenbaum got his 10th no-decision in 25 starts, tossing six solid innings with two runs allowed on four hits and no walks for his 15th quality start of the year. Erik Komatsu led the eight-hit offensive effort with a single, double, and a walk. Meanwhile, Richmond and Bowie tied in the loss column with a Baysox win and a Squirrels loss on Sunday. Richmond is in automatically with a win today, but Bowie needs both a win and Squirrels loss to make the postseason.
Kinston 5 Potomac 3 — GAME ONE
• Bronson (L, 5-5) 5⅓ IP, 9H, 5R, 4ER, 4BB, 3K, HR
• Holland 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Lozada 2-3, R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
Evan Bronson wasn’t sharp on a Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge
Kinston 2 Potomac 1 — GAME TWO
• Clegg (L, 4-7) 5IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 0K
• Selik 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Peacock 2-3, 2B
• Bloxom 1-3, RBI
Mitchell Clegg flirted with a no-hitter for four innings in his first starting assignment in nearly three months. He gave up an unearned run on two hits in the fifth to take the hard-luck loss. Potomac was held to just five hits total, with Brian Peacock the sole P-Nat to collect multiple hits with a 2-for-3 game.
Frederick lost again, leaving Potomac mathematically alive for the division title, as the two teams are now separated by a single game.
Hagerstown 4 Lakewood 2
• Cole 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 5K
• Eusebio (W, 1-7) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Keyes 2-4, R, HR, RBI, SB
• Cuevas 2-4, 2B, 3B
Back-to-back jacks by Kevin Keyes and Jason Martinson in the bottom of the 6th helped turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead that the Hagerstown bullpen held. A.J. Cole gave up two runs on five hits and a walk to lower his ERA to 4.04 but got the no-decision for the seventh time in 18 starts. Blake Kelso, Justino Cuevas and Keyes had two hits apiece as the Suns collected 10 total for the game. The win puts Hagerstown at .500 for the second half and a win today would put them at 75 wins total, which would be a 10-game improvement over 2010.
Batavia 4 Auburn 2
• Estevez (L, 6-3) 5IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 0K
• Moldenhauer 3-4, 2B, RBI
• Ramsey 2-4
In the season finale, Auburn was, um, doubled up by Batavia, 4-2. Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez took the loss with all four runs given up over five innings on seven hits and a walk. Russell Moldenhauer and Caleb Ramsey combined to go 5-for-8, but just two other Doubledays collected hit in the loss. Richie Mirowski, Alex Kreis, and Manny Rivera each threw a scoreless inning of relief. With Connecticut falling 6-5 to Lowell in the 16th inning, Vermont’s 11-7 win over Tri-City gave the Lake Monsters the Stedler Division title. Vermont will host Auburn in Game One of the best-of-three first round on Tuesday night, with Games Two and Three (if necessary) set to be held at Auburn’s Falcon Field on Wednesday and Thursday.
Kinston’s three-run rally with two outs in the second inning proved to be too much for Potomac to overcome, as they dropped the first game of the doubleheader by a 5-3 tally.
Evan Bronson got the start but was not sharp this afternoon, allowing a long leadoff double to start the game and then misplaying a sacrifice bunt to set up runners on the corners with nobody out. After a popup to the three-hole batter, Adam Abraham, it appeared for just a moment that he would clean up his own mess, like the good pitchers do and like he’s done before.
Instead, he would walk the next two batters to give Kinston a 1-0 lead.
Bronson would get a liner to second and a strikeout to end the first, then the same sequence again to the first two batters of the second inning. And again, it looked like the worst had passed.
But the one thing that Bronson can’t control is the insistence by the Nationals of playing Justin Bloxom at third, and it was Bloxom’s 37th error in his 76th game at the position that started the Kinston rally in the second. Yes, you can put the blame on Bronson for failing to buckle down to the next two batters, who singled and homered, but it’s human nature to lose focus when things go awry and hard to ignore when a preventable problem keeps recurring.
Potomac would respond in its half of the 3rd as Cutter Dykstra singled and Eury Perez was safe on a sacrifice attempt to set up runners on first and second. Francisco Soriano’s subsequent bunt attempt was popped up and for a brief moment it appeared that Kinston’s Toru Murata had pulled a fast one by intentionally allowing the ball to drop and firing to second to attempt the 1-4-3 DP.
To his credit, Soriano ran out the play and it saved the P-Nats from an embarrassing moment, if not the umpires. Dykstra strayed from second but retreated to second *after* the throw to second came and went. With the force removed from Dykstra and Soriano beating the relay to first, the only out was the force on Perez. Had Murata thrown to third, he might have gotten away with the gambit and gotten the double play.
Instead, Jose Lozada ripped a first-pitch fastball (when will the Carolina League ever learn?) down the left field line for a two-run double and cut the Kinston lead in half, 4-2.
Bronson worked around threats in the 3rd and 4th innings before working a 1-2-3 fifth. He would throw away a pickoff move that sent Kinston outfielder Delvi Cid all the way around from first to put the Indians up, 5-2. He was lifted after his fourth and final walk for Neil Holland, who stranded the runner with the help of nifty 7-3 double play by Soriano, who has been pressed into OF duty with the shortage of OFs since J.P. Ramirez and J.R. Higley were placed on the DL.
Unfortunately, Kinston’s Murata also settled down to retire seven of the next eight batters, including a double play to end the fifth, before giving up another big hit to Lozada, a solo shot to right field in the 6th. Steven Souza would single two batters later, but he would be the final baserunner as the Kinston closer Preston Guilmet came on in the 7th and final inning to set down the P-Nats in order for his league-leading 35th save
Prior commitments made for a short afternoon, but in the nightcap, Potomac fell again 2-1, giving the Kinston Indians the second-half division title.
For the second straight day, Wilmington beat Frederick
to keep Potomac mathematically alive, but it will require another Frederick loss and a win to break the streak. This wouldn’t be the 2011 season if the weather weren’t a part of the narrative, and yes, there is rain in the forecast for tomorrow.