Dec 172014
 

Sorry, no “pair of Padres” pun this time.

Another December trade has the Nats taking part in an 11-player, three-team trade that will be known elsewhere as “Myers To Friars” and perhaps to us (Nationals fans) as the Souza for Turner trade.

Late-bloomer Steven Souza (2007, 3rd Rd.) and teenage southpaw Travis Ott (2013, 25th Rd.) are the two players reported to be on the move. In return immediately will be RHP Joe Ross (2011, 1st Rd.) while 2014 1st Rd. pick SS Trea Turner will be eligible to join the Washington organization in June, thanks to MLB’s rules that prohibit draft picks from being traded within a year of signing.

Obviously, most folks are interpreting this as a move to acquire a possible successor to Ian Desmond by using a bench/role player, albeit one coming off a career year as the International League’s MVP while giving up a young southpaw in exchange for AA pitcher. Having just traded for 2B Chris Bostick, one has to wonder if another trade is coming or if there’s another PTBNL in this deal, which, as of this writing, is not official yet.

Tacitly, it would also seem that GM Mike Rizzo is agreeing with the scouts who say that Difo is a 2B and not a SS. If you’re the type that likes to bring the tartar sauce when you go after a white whale, then you counter with the notion that when Turner comes in Difo moves up and whoever’s playing SS in Harrisburg steps aside.

A little more on the new guys…

Turner split time between SS-A Eugene and Low-A Fort Worth, posting a combined line of .323/.406/.448 with 23 steals in 69 games. He’s considered an 80-grade speedster but there are questions about his ability to hit for average at the upper levels. Defensively, he’s the unusual 3B-to-SS convert despite his size (6’1″, 170).

Ross made 19 starts for High-A Lake Elsinore and three starts for AA San Antonio with a combined ERA of 3.92 and a WHIP of 1.258. In his 2014 book, John Sickels noted the gap between the effusive praise for his “stuff” (93-97 FB, hard-breaking SL) and the pedestrian H/IP and K/9IP ratios (9.0 and 7.2 for his career) and wondered aloud at what point will the numbers improve or the scouts dial down?

As always, feel free to discuss in the comments.

Dec 162014
 


Thus far it’s been quiet on the free-agent front for the minors, but with the latest dispatch from Baseball America, we’re finally starting to see some movement.

• RHPs Paul Demny, Mitch Lively
• 1B-DH Clint Robinson
• 3B Mario Lisson
• OF Delta Cleary

Demny and Lively are re-signs, with Demny apparently finding no interest elsewhere in his first free-agent stint while Lively looks to be returns after making seven starts and two appaearances for Syracuse after getting released by the Giants organization.

Robinson is a former Royals farmhand who’s spent the past four seasons at AAA, bouncing to the Blue Jays in 2013, and the Dodgers in 2014, where he posted a line of .312/.401/.534 in the hitter-friendly PCL. He turns 30 in February and would appear ticketed for Syracuse.

Lisson is also a former KC minor-leaguer who returned to the U.S. after spending 2013 in the Mexican League to play with the AA Richmond squad as a 30-year-old (he turns 31 in May). The Venezuelan native hit .266 with 18 HR and 76 RBI and mostly played 3B.

Cleary is former 37th Rd. draft pick for Colorado (2008) and lands with Washington as six-year free agent, having peaked last summer in AAA for Colorado Springs. He turns 26 in August and for the tea-leave-reading folks, it would appear he’s the plan B for the Senators if the powers that be deem Isaac Ballou not ready for AA, as Clearly has spent the majority of his career as a centerfielder.

It’s also worth noting that virtually all of these signees played in the same leagues as the Nationals affiliates at one point or another.

Dec 112014
 

PairofRangers
Guess it wouldn’t be December without a trade by the Nationals.

Multiple online sources are reporting that the Washington Nationals have traded LHP Ross Detwiler to the Texas Rangers for a pair of minor-leaguers, 2B Chris Bostick and RHP Abel de los Santos.

Bostick is a (*spoiler alert*) former Oakland A’s farmhand who has now been traded twice in two offseasons, going to Texas last year as part of the Choice-for-Gentry swap. He spent 2014 in the Carolina League with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans where he posted a line of .251/.322/.412 with 11HR and 62RBI, but alas, 116 whiffs in 130 games.

Defensively, he’s considered a project despite being a former shortstop, committing 55 errors 305 games at 2B, though scouts believe his range is decent and his arm strength adequate. As Sickels pointed out in his most recent prospect book, this is hardly unusual for someone his age (turns 22 in March). Between Wilmer Difo and Tony Renda, the most logical deductions are that Bostick may be forced to repeat High-A or change positions for 2015.

De Los Santos is a 22-y.o. Dominican just finishing up his fifth professional season. The 6’2″, 180-lb “northpaw” converted to relief in 2013, and has averaged 10.4K/9IP the past two seasons with 113K in 97⅔ IP. Scouting reports are scarce as he was not profiled by either Sickels or Baseball American in their 2014 editions (it also doesn’t help that Texas has a Miguel de Los Santos and Cincinnati has a RHP by the same name, too).

De Los Santos went 5-2 with eight saves in 33 appearances with High-A Myrtle Beach and one would think that the Nationals would like to pair him with Gilberto Mendez in the back end of the Harrisubrg bullpen in 2015.

Nov 082014
 

Hanging It Up for NPP
As noted earlier this week, Baseball America has released its list of the minor-leaguers who have become free agents. Without further ado, ze list…

(* = spent entire season on DL)
CATCHERS
AA — Mitch Canham, Brian Jeroloman
SS-A — Alex Marquez

INFIELDERS
AAA — Brandon Laird, Will Rhymes
AA — Melvin Dorta*, Oscar Tejeda

OUTFIELDERS
AAA — Destin Hood,
AA — Quincy Latimore

LHPs
AAA — Aaron Laffey, Tyler Robertson
AA — Zach Kroenke

RHPs
AAA — Mitch Lively, Omar Poveda, Daniel Stange
AA — Paul Demny, Tyler Herron

Two of the names are notable if for no other reason than they were 2008 Nationals draft picks: Destin Hood (2nd Rd.) and Paul Demny (6th). After a career year in Syracuse (.294/.344/.482), Hood will undoubtedly sign with another organization. Let’s face it: He’s third in line behind the likes of Steve Souza and Michael Taylor when it comes to the last couple of outfielder slots on the Nats 40-man roster.

Demny, who has languished at AA for three seasons, is far less of a surprise. Even with a shift to the bullpen, his velocity has dropped, and he spent significant time on the DL this year as well. At 25, he seems more likely to either retire or go to the indy route if he is to continue pitching professionally.

Believe it or not, this list of 17 is actually the smallest in the five seasons this site has been in existence. Whether that’s a good thing or not is something to debate. We’ve certainly noticed that in the Rizzo era, he has no qualms in peppering the AA and AAA rosters with free agents and much like his predecessor (sorry, but it’s true) he favors the guys he’s drafted or scouted. However, he has also released a fair amount of guys already from his first two drafts (2009, 2010) so there may not be very many (or any) eligible to re-sign this time next year (if you’re wondering, just three not on the 40-man already from 2009 — Danny Rosenbaum, Pat Lehman, and Matt Swynenberg).

Sep 062014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 7-6 END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac OFF DAY @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Bacus (7-6, 4.41)
Dickson (5-9, 4.37) vs.
Bell (6-3, 3.52)
Hagerstown Won, 6-2 OFF DAY N/A


Pawtucket 7 Syracuse 6
• Lively 3⅔ IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 3K
• Grace (BS 1; L, 0-1) 1IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K
• Burriss 4-5, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Skole 0-1, 4BB
• Rhymes 2-3, 2R, 2B, 2BB, 2RBI, 2E

The Chiefs led 4-0 early but the bullpen couldn’t stop the PawSox, who rallied for three in the 7th for a 7-6 win and a 3-0 series sweep.
Matt Skole got things started for Syracuse in the 2nd with the first of his four walks drawn, followed by a single by Eury Perez. Will Rhymes busted a double down the right field line for the first two runs, then trotted in ahead of Emmanuel Burriss’s home run for the aforementioned 4-0 advantage. The joy was short-lived as starter Mitch Lively issued four walks in the 3rd to give two runs back, then gave up a leadoff single then a two-out double in the 4th to end his night. Sam Runion got the last out to preserve the 4-3 lead. The Chiefs answered with a run in the bottom of the 4th to take a 5-3 lead and responded again in the 6th when the PawSox got a run in the top of the 6th to go up 6-4. Matt Grace got one quick out by way of the K to start the 7th but then was peppered with a single-double-single sequence, then the second Rhymes error. After a second whiff by former Chief Corey Brown, Grace gave up the gamewinner on an infield single to deep short. Syracuse threatened in the 7th and 8th with two baserunners in each inning but couldn’t get the equalizer. Roster moves: UT Jeff Kobernus recalled to Washington, OF Quincy Latimore reassigned from Harrisburg.

Potomac — OFF DAY
Folks hoping for a rematch of the 2013 Mills Cup matchup will get 2008 instead, as Myrtle Beach shut out Salem, 5-0 to advance to the Carolina League Championship series against Potomac. The Pelicans and the P-Nats, both double-half winners, were the only two teams to finish above .500 in the eight-team circuit. Myrtle Beach won 11 of the 19 meetings, including a three-game sweep in late July at the Pfitz. However, six of Potomac’s eight wins were at BB&T, which was hardly unusual as the team had a better road record (39-26) than at home (39-32), including a 22-9 mark in the second half. The P-Nats have not officially announced a starter, but they have yet to deviate from the previous turn through rotation, hence Dakota Bacus as the probable listed above.

Hagerstown 6 Greensboro 2
• R. Lopez 6IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 10K
• Johns (BS, 2; W, 1-0) 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-2 IR-S
• Napoli (SV, 1) 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 1-0 IR-S
• Difo 3-4, 2R, 2B, RBI
• Masters 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

The Hagerstown ‘pen couldn’t match its brilliance of Game One, blowing a 2-0 lead, but were bailed out when the bats broke out for four runs over the final two innings in a 6-2 win that puts the Suns back in the Sally League Finals for the second straight season. Starter Reynaldo Lopez played entomologist, putting the pin in the Grasshoppers for six shutout innings, with just two hits and a walk allowed while striking a career-best 10 batters. The Suns, however, were only able to get two runs for him, taking advantage of Greensboro error for a run in the 1st, then converted a Wilmer Difo leadoff double into the second score with a pair of flyouts. Nick Lee had more wild pitches (2) than outs (1) when manager Patrick Anderson pulled the plug on him after giving up a single and a walk in the space of three batters. Lee’s replacement, Samuel Johns, couldn’t keep the tying run from scoring with the third wild pitch and a two-out double to tie things at 2-2. The Grasshoppers unwisely hit Difo to start the 8th and Anderson played small ball with a sacrifice, which Spencer Kieboom plated with an RBI single to take a 3-2 lead. Johns gave up a double to begin the last of the 8th when Greensboro made another critical mistake: running into the first out of the inning at third on a grounder to short. Anderson called on southpaw David Napoli to face the left-handed Carlos Lopez, who grounded out to the right-handed Carlos Lopez at first base, then got the next batter on a tapper back to the mound. The Suns broke it open with three in the 9th to put the game away, while Napoli shook off a single to start the bottom of the 9th with a 6-4-3 DP and got the final out on the flyball to center. Hagerstown will head south over the weekend, but won’t know if it’s to Georgia or North Carolina, as the Tourists-Sand Gnats game was suspended in the bottom of the 8th with Asheville, who won Game One, leading 2-1.

Sep 042014
 

Two out of three

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 2-1 (10 inn.) @ Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
McGregor (1-2, 3.91) vs.
Barnes (8-9, 3.95)
Potomac Won, 4-2 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
Hagerstown Won, 3-2 OFF DAY N/A


Pawtucket 2 Syracuse 1
• Hill 6IP, 7H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K, HBP
• Delcarmen (L, 0-1) 1+ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, K, WP
• Mattheus 0IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K, 2-1 IR-S
• Solano 3-3, 2B
• Laird 1-4, R, HR, RBI

Gerald Laird tied the game with two out in the top of the 9th, but the sixth Syracuse hit was its final as the PawSox got to the Chiefs ‘pen in the 10th for a 2-1 walkoff win. Taylor Hill got the start and gave up the first Pawtucket run on seven hits and two walks over six innings. Matt Grace followed with two scoreless in the 7th and 8th innings. After failing to convert a leadoff single off Manny Delcarmen in the 9th, the PawSox went one better with a leadoff double in the 10th. Delcarmen spared them the trouble of another sacrifice with a wild pitch, then walked the next batter to set up 1st and 3rd with no outs. Ryan Mattheus was brought in and got neither the K nor a popup as he walked the first batter load the bases, then gave up the game-winning single to center field. Jhonatan Solano singled twice and doubled once while the rest of the Syracuse lineup went 3-for-31 with no walks (despite Matt Skole starting at 1B) and eight whiffs.

Potomac 4 Lynchburg 2
• Silvestre (W, 1-0) 7IP, 5H, R, ER, 3BB, 5K
• M. Rodriguez (H, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Mendez (SV, 1) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, K
• Ballou 1-1, 2R, 2BB, SB, CS, HBP
• Wooten 2-4, 2B, RBI

Hector Silvestre tossed seven strong innings, the offense made hay with the Hillcat bullpen, and the P-Nats relievers weathered a late comeback bid in a 4-2 win. Silvestre gave up one run on five hits and three walks while striking out five. More importantly, he kept the ball in the yard to improve his 2014 record in homerless starts (13) to 5-1 with a 1.37 ERA (vs. 3-8, 6.61 in 12GS). After a hit batsman, a stolen base, and an error plated Isaac Ballou in the 1st for a 1-0 lead, Lynchburg tied with a run in the 6th on a two-out double and a single. Silvestre let up a third straight hit but Brandon Miller and Pedro Severino prevented a second Hillcat run with a 9-2 putout to the end the inning. Randolph Oduber broke the 1-1 tie with a solo shot golfed over the LF fence in the bottom of the 6th. The P-Nats pushed the lead to 4-1 with a Severino double, singles by Ballou and Tony Renda, and an RBI groundout by John Wooten. Manny Rodriguez set ‘em down in order in the 8th while Gilberto Mendez wobbled a bit in the 9th, allowing a single and a double for the second Hillcat run before getting pinch-hitter Levi Hyams to tap out to first to end it and earn the save.
Roster moves: 1B Shawn Pleffner activated from 7-Day DL, UT Cody Dent reassigned to Hagerstown.

Hagerstown 3 Greensboro 2
• Suero 4IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 3K, 2WP
• Thomas 3IP, 3H, 0R, IBB, 2K
• Napoli (W, 1-0) 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• W. Rodriguez 2-4, R, 2-2B, RBI, SB
• Bautista 2-5, RBI

The Suns were three outs away from getting a 2-0 Columbia necktie, but rallied for three in the bottom of the 9th to pull one of out their ascot and shock the Grasshoppers, 3-2. A three-base error got things going as Carlos Lopez’s would-be flyout was turned into a Little League triple. Lopez scored on a groundout to second by Jimmy Yezzo. David Masters, who had struck out three times in three previous at-bats, drew a walk to restart the offense. Wilman Rodriguez sent him home on his second double of the night to tie it while Rafael Bautista’s second single plated Rodriguez to win it. The comeback made a winner out of David Napoli, who tossed the fifth of five scoreless innings by the Hagerstown bullpen in the top of the 9th. Wander Suero started but was dinged for two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks over four uneven innings. Justin Thomas followed with three goose eggs while Jake Johansen posted his fifth relief appearance without a run scoring in the 8th. Bautista’s single was the lone hit in 14 chances with RISP, including an 0-for-7 mark following doubles by Drew Ward, Rodriguez, Spencer Kieboom, and Lopez.
Roster moves: UT Cody Dent reassigned from Potomac, IF Austin Davidson placed on the reserve list.

Sep 032014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY @ Pawtucket,
6:35 p.m.
Hill (11-7, 2.81) vs.
Escobar (0-2, 4.28)
Potomac OFF DAY vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
Hagerstown OFF DAY vs. Greensboro,
7:05 p.m.
Suero (4-1, 2.13) vs.
German (9-3, 2.48)


Syracuse vs. Pawtucket — I.L. Division Series
While there has been angst about the Syracuse players “lost” due to callups or being shut down, the Nationals reinforced the Chiefs roster with 1B-3B Matt Skole, LHP Felipe Rivero, RHP Tyler Herron from the 2003 Tigers Harrisburg Senators, and added MLB rehab Ross Ohlendorf. It should also be noted that Tyler Moore hasn’t exactly been a key cog in the Chiefs offense for quite some time (.682OPS since the All-Star break, .621 in August) while Blake Treinen made but three starts in August (1-1, 4.32), in which Syracuse went 19-12 with much of the rag-tag rotation they’re bringing into the playoffs (Hill-McGregor-Lively-Laffey-Espino). The PawSox and Chiefs split their 16 games, including a four-game sweep in late May. Over the past two months, Pawtucket has taken six of nine, though the games have been close: six were decided by two runs or less. The series begins in Rhode Island with the first two and concludes in New York in the best-of-five matchup.

Potomac vs. Lynchburg — C.L. Division Series
It’s a rematch of the 2013 first round series, which the P-Nats won 2-0 but both games were tight, one-run games won in walkoff fashion — 2-1 in 14 innings, 3-2 in regulation. Potomac took 12 of 19 games this season, including the last three on the road in Lynchburg. Pitching matchups have not yet been announced, but if the most recent rotation is used, it’ll be Hector Silvestre, Ian Dickson, and Brian Rauh for the series. Dickson and Matthew Spann have been both red-hot lately (3-1, 1.44 and 2-0, 1.08 respectively over their last five starts) but the hope is that only one will be needed (in theory, Spann could be used on three days’ rest on Friday, though we’re more likely to get an update on Brian Goodwin’s injury) to advance to the Mills Cup where the defending champions (Salem) or the other double-half winner (Myrtle Beach) await.

Hagerstown vs. Greensboro — S.A.L. Division Series
This is third straight playoff appearance for the Suns and the second time they’ve drawn the Grasshoppers as their first-round opponent. Thanks to the Sally League’s travel-influenced schedule, the two teams have played just 11 times despite being in the same division (contrasted to the 204 times they played Lakewood and Delmarva, give or take 150). Hagerstown took six of those eleven, but only one of four games played in the first half, which led to Greensboro’s first-half title and vice-versa as the two teams tied both halves with records of 44-26 and 43-27. Wander Suero gets the ball tonight at the Muni, followed by Reynaldo Lopez in Game 2 on Friday, and Nick Pivetta in Game 3 on Saturday in North Carolina. Should the Suns advance, they could potentially rematch against the defending Sally Lg. champs, Savannah, which plays Asheville in the Southern division series.

Sep 022014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-2 END OF SEASON N/A
Harrisburg Won, 3-0 END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac Won, 6-1 END OF SEASON N/A
Hagerstown Lost, 9-8 END OF SEASON N/A
Auburn Won, 4-3 END OF SEASON N/A


Buffalo 8 Syracuse 2
• Laffey (L, 12-6) 4IP, 13H, 6R, 6ER, 0BB, 3K, WP
• Runion 3IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K
• Dobbs 2-4, 2B
• Hood 1-4, 2B, RBI

The Syracuse pitching staff presented few challenges to Buffalo in an 8-2 regular -season finale loss. With one out in the 1st, the Bisons loaded the bases on three singles before Matt Hague singled in Darin Mastroianni. After recording the first two outs in the 2nd, starter and loser Aaron Laffey allowed five hits, including two doubles. Among the thirteen hits Laffey allowed on the night and the twenty hits the Chiefs staff allowed, the biggest blow was a Brett Wallace double to left that scored Mastroianni and Cole Gilespie and put Syracuse down, 4-0. The Chiefs responded with an RBI double by Alabaman Destin Hood that scored Greg Dobbs. Laffey would give up two more runs on four hits and a sacrifice fly in the 4th before departing down 6-1. Sam Runion came on to start the 5th and was rudely greeted by a single, a double, and two more singles that put Syracuse down 8-1 before they put some lipstick on the pig with a Greg Dobbs ground-rule double and Will Rhymes RBI single off Brandon Morrow in the 9th.
Roster moves: Activated C Jeff Howell from 7-Day DL, CF Eury Perez from 3-Day TIL; Washington recalled C Sandy Leon, 1B-OF Tyler Moore, RHPs Blake Treinen, Aaron Barrett, LHP Xavier Cedeno; OF Steven Souza removed from roster, MLB rehab assignment ended (activated from MLB 15-Day DL).

Harrisburg 3 Portland 0
• Demny 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Simmons (W, 3-4) 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K, HBP
• Bates (SV, 3) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Tejeda 2-3, 2R, BB, CS
• Latimore 2-5, R, SB

Harrisburg avoided a tie for its worst record ever with a 3-0 whitewash of Portland in the season finale. Five Senators relievers combined on the shutout the Sea Dogs, beginning with Paul Demny, who threw three innings with two hits and two whiffs. Harrisburg scored an unearned run in the 2nd when Oscar Tejeda walked, took second on an error as Portland 2B Sean Coyle dropped the throw from the catcher, and scored on an RBI single by Adrian Sanchez. Tejeda and Sanchez teamed up again in the 4th as Oscar singled with one out to start the rally and Adrian beat out a double-play ball for his second RBI. James Simmons went the next three innings and earned the win by working around a one-out double in the 4th, an error in the 5th, and two-out double in the 6th. The Sens got their final tally of the 2014 campaign with a Drew Vettleson RBI single to score Quincy “The Dude” Latimore in the 7th. Robert Benincasa put up a zero the 8th to earn his first hold while Colin Bates closed it out in the 9th for his third save.

Potomac 6 Frederick 1
• Spann 3IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Henke (W, 5-2) 4IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, BB, K
• Martinez 3-4, R
• Oduber 2-4, R, RBI, SB
• Norfork 2-5, RBI

The Frederick fans that waited out the 104-minute rain delay might have left soon afterwards as the Keys relievers were unlocked for six runs over their first three full innings of work in a 6-1 loss to Potomac. P-Nats starter Matthew Spann threw three no-hit innings, needing just 23 pitches to go through the Frederick lineup once, as the one baserunner he allowed (walk) was erased on a double play. Travis Henke took over after the rain stopped play with one out in the top of the 4th and went the next four frames, giving up a run on five hits and a walk to earn his fifth win. Estarlin Martinez went 3-for-4 to lead the hit column while Pedro Severino went deep with a two-run blast to break the 0-0 deadlock in the 5th.
Roster move: RHP Ross Ohlendorf removed from roster, assignment with Potomac completed.

Lakewood 9 Hagerstown 8
• Cooper 3IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, 2HR
• Johns (BS, 3; L, 3-2) 1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, HR
• Kieboom 2-3, 2R, 2HR, 2RBI
• Yezzo 3-4, 2R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Mesa 3-5, 2R, 2B, RBI

In an apparent effort to keep the starters rested, the Suns used all relievers and blew a 7-3 lead to lose the final game of the regular season, 9-8. Andrew Cooper was barreled up for three runs on a pair of 2nd-inning homers and four hits total over three innings. Spencer Kieboom got two runs back via solo HRs as Hagerstown piled up five runs over 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings to take the aforementioned 7-3 lead. Ryan Ullmann gave up three in the 7th and 8th innings while Samuel Johns was pinched for the final three Lakewood runs for his second loss and third blown save. James Yezzo and Narciso Mesa combined for six hits, four runs, two doubles, a homer (Yezzo) and four RBI to lead the Hagerstown offense.

Auburn 4 Batavia 3
• Bourque (W, 3-5) 5IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 4K, HBP, WP
• Bach (H, 5) 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Gardner 3-4, 2B, CS
• Abreu 2-3, 2R, SB(10)

The Doubledays rallied from an early 3-1 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the 3rd and neutered the Muckdogs over the final six innings for a 4-3 win to close out the season. Starter James Bourque gave up all three Batavia runs on five hits and a walk while striking out four to earn his third win. Connor Bach followed with three scoreless innings for his fifth hold while Tyler Mapes worked around a hit in the ninth to notch his fifth save. Jeff Gardner singled twice and doubled once to lead Auburn’s 11-hit parade.

Sep 012014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-3 vs. Buffalo,
2:00 p.m.
TBD vs. Copeland (2-1, 2.00)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-2 @ Portland,
2:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
Potomac Won, 6-5;
Won, 5-4
@ Frederick,
2:00 p.m.
Spann (9-5, 3.92)
vs. Brault (2-0, 0.69)
Hagerstown Won, 5-2 vs. Lakewood,
1:05 p.m.
Cooper (7-4, 5.78) vs.
Prosinski (5-5, 3.50)
Auburn Lost, 7-6 vs. Batavia,
2:05 p.m.
Bourque (2-5, 4.03) vs.
Smigelski (2-1, 4.66)


Syracuse 4 Buffalo 3
• Espino 6⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 4K
• Mattheus (H, 7) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 2K, 2-0 IR-S
• Delcarmen (BS, 3)(W, 4-4) 1IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 0K
• Hood 2-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Moore 2-4, R, 2-2B
• Solano 2-3, R 2B, 2RBI

The Chiefs followed up their division-clinching road victory Saturday with a thrilling 4-3 walkoff win Sunday over the Bisons. Syracuse jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 2nd with a Tyler Moore double followed by two-out doubles from Greg Dobbs and Jhonatan Solano. The Chiefs then loaded the bases with one out in the 4th on a Brandon Laird single, Destin Hood double and Greg Dobbs walk. Solano kept the line moving with a single that scored Moore, but Jose Lozada grounded into an inning-ending double play. Buffalo tied the game up with an RBI double by Brett Wallace in the 7th off starter Paolo Espino, an RBI double by Dalton Pompey off reliever Ryan Mattheus in the 8th, and an RBI single off Manny Delcarmen in the 9th. Order was restored when Destin Hood led off the 9th against Chris Hynes with his tenth homer to end the proceedings.
Roster moves: RHP Paolo Espino reassigned from Harrisburg; RHP A.J. Cole transferred to GCL Nationals roster.

Portland 6 Harrisburg 2
• Kroenke (L, 3-9) 5IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Benincasa 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Canham 2-3, RBI
• Vettleson 2-4, R

The Harrisburg Senators suffered through a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Portland Sea Dogs yesterday. Mike Miller hit a homer to put Portland up 1-0 with one out in the 1st. After Jason Martinson and Drew Vettleson singled, Mitch Canham tied the score at 1-1 with a sacrifice fly that drove home Martinson. Miller continued his devastation against Harrisburg with a bases-clearing double in the 5th that scored Ryan Dent, Heiker Meneses and Shannon Wilkerson against starter and loser Zach Kroenke. Neil Holland gave up two more runs on an RBI double to Jonathan Roof and a sacrifice fly double play where Caleb Ramsey gunned down Roof trying to advance to third. Portland’s Mike McCarthy made things interesting in the 9th when Harrisburg loaded up the bases and scored a run on a one-out RBI single by Ramsey. Portland closer Noe Ramirez was then summoned to record his eighteenth save, which came on a Quincy Latimore double play.

Potomac 6 Frederick 5 — GAME ONE
• Ohlendorf 3IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Harper (W, 2-0) 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K, 1-0 IR-S
• Mendez (SV, 15) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Ballou 2-4, R, 2B, BB
• Renda 2-3, R, 2BB, SB
• McQuillan 2-2, R, 2BB

After a 92-minute rain delay, the P-Nats racked up four in the 1st and held on for a 6-5 win in the opener. Ross Ohlendorf came out of witness protection to pitch three shutout innings, with two hits and a walk given up and two set down on strikes. Pedro Encarnacion blew a 5-0 lead with five runs allowed over an inning and 2/3rds in relief. The game-winning run came on a double-play ball in the 6th after Khayyan Norfork walked and took third on Mike McQuillan’s second single of the game. Bryan Harper, who stranded the go-ahead run in the 5th, got the win while Gilberto Mendez racked up his 15th save with four-out save. Tony Renda singled twice and walked twice to pace the Potomac offense.

Potomac 5 Frederick 4 — GAME TWO
• Bacus (W, 7-6) 5IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, K, HR
• M. Rodriguez (SV, 1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Wooten 2-2, R, 3B, BB, 2RBI
• Martinez 1-3, R, 3B, 2RBI

In the nightcap, the two teams traded punches in the 2nd and 3rd innings with the P-Nats outpointing the Keys, 5-4 to sweep the doubleheader and eliminate Frederick from the playoffs. Estarlin Martinez smacked a two-run triple and scored on a wild pitch to open the barrage in the 2nd, while John Wooten’s one-out triple drove in the fourth and fifth Potomac runs in the 3rd. Dakota Bacus weathered one run in the 2nd (HR), and three in the 3rd, but made it through five innings to earn his seventh win. Manny Rodriguez spun two scoreless innings in his Carolina League debut to earn the save.
Roster moves: RHP Ross Ohlendorf assigned from Washington for MLB rehab.

Hagerstown 5 Lakewood 2
• Pivetta 5IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K, HBP, WP
• Lee (W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• C. Lopez 2-3, 2B, BB
• Chubb 1-2, R, 2BB
• Masters 1-3, 2R, 2B, RBI

The Suns rallied for three in the bottom of the 8th for a 5-2 sportswriter’s win that secured the Sally North second half title (and not much else, thanks to the Sally League’s playoff procedures). Nick Pivetta got the start and let in two over five innings on six hits, no walks and three whiffs. Jake Johansen turned in his first scoreless outing in three weeks with doughnuts in the 6th and 7th innings while Nick Lee got the win with a pair of zeroes in the 8th and 9th. Carlos Lopez reached base three times with a walk, a single, and a double while Wilmer Difo hit home run no. 14 to lead the Hagerstown attack.

Batavia 7 Auburn 6
• Reyes 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K
• McDowell (L, 1-3) ⅔ IP, 6H, 6R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Read 2-5, 2-2B, 3RBI, PB(10)
• Abreu 2-5, R, E(20)
• Gardner 2-5, R, 2B, E(4)

For the second straight night, the Auburn bullpen melted down for a six-run 8th inning. This time, however, the offense had only built a 6-1 lead and thus fell 7-6 to Batavia. Two critical errors aided in the train wreck, rendering five of the six runs charged to Chase McDowell as unearned, though the 23-y.o. did give up six hits in the space of nine batters. The implosion erased five innings of one-run ball by starter Luis Reyes, who allowed three hits, no walks, and struck out three.

Aug 312014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 6-2 vs. Buffalo,
6:30 p.m.
Espino (1st AAA start of ’14)
vs. Valdes (5-5, 3.82)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-1 @ Portland,
2:00 p.m.
Kroenke (3-8, 6.69) vs.
Rodriguez (5-8, 3.71)
Potomac Lost, 4-3 @ Frederick,
4:00 p.m.
TBD and TBD vs.
TAylor (6-2, 3.13) and TBD
Hagerstown Lost, 7-4 vs. Lakewood,
5:05 p.m.
Pivetta (13-8, 4.24) vs.
Imhof (0-2, 4.10)
Auburn Won, 12-7 @ Batavia,
5:05 p.m.
Reyes (0-1, 2.84) vs.
Farnworth (1-1, 3.71)


Syracuse 6 Pawtucket 2
• Lively (W, 5-2) 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 11K, BK
• Grace (H, 8) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Taylor 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI, SB
• Souza 2-4, 2B, 3RBI, SB

The Syracuse Chiefs are now your International League North Division Champions following a professional 6-2 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox. After Michael “BATMAN” Taylor’s first home run for Syracuse in the 1st, Pawtucket scored its only two runs against starter Mitch Lively when Bryce Brentz doubled in Justin Henry and Alex Hassan. The Chiefs tied it up in the 4th at 2-2 when Taylor singled, stole second, and scored on Steven Souza’s RBI single. Souza would steal second and advance to third on a wild pitch, but PawSox starter and loser Matt Barnes, who recorded ten strikeouts without a walk, struck out the next three to keep the game tied. Syracuse put this away in the top of the 5th when two Chiefs snuck grounders into right and Jeff Kobernus loaded the bases on a bunt single. With two outs, Barnes threw a wild pitch to score Leon and Steven Souza doubled in Will Rhymes and Kobernus to give the Chiefs a 5-2 lead. Greg Dobbs homered to start the ninth for Syracuse, and Rafael Martin pitched the scoreless ninth that clinched the division for Syracuse.

Portland 5 Harrisburg 1
• Rivero (L, 2-7) 4⅔ IP, 3H, 5R, 1ER, 2BB, 8K, HR
• Self 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K, 2-0 IR-S
• Sanchez 2-3
• Skole 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI

History, bad defense, and the Portland Sea Dogs defeated the Harrisburg Senators, 5-1. Sean Coyle hit a solo shot off tough-luck starter and loser Felipe Rivero to give Portland a 1-0 lead in the 4th. Following a leadoff walk in the 5th, Rivero’s teammates declined to support him defensively in the 5th. First, third baseman Mitch Canham allowed a runner to reach on his fielding error. After a sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position, Jason Martinson’s error at shortstop allowed the Sea Dogs to take a 2-0 lead, and put runners on first and third. Drew Vettleson’s two-base error in right field allowed two more runs to score. Portland finally scored a run without an error when Sean Coyle doubled in Ryan Dent to conclude the scoring. The final tally: three errors, four unearned runs, and a 5-0 deficit. The Senators avoided a shutout when Matt Skole doubled in Quincy Latimore with two outs in the 8th.

Frederick 4 Potomac 3
• Rauh (L, 2-4) 6IP, 5H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, 1K
• Walsh 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Norfork 2-4, RBI
• Wooten 1-4, R, HR, RBI

Potomac’s playoff-clinching hangover continued with a third straight loss, this one by a 4-3 score to Frederick. The Keys hung a three-spot on starter Brian Rauh, who finished with all four Frederick runs allowed on five hits and three walks with one strikeout. The P-Nats scored had the tying run gunned down at the plate when John Wooten was unable to follow Isaac Ballou home on Khayyan Norfork’s two-out, one-run single in the 8th. Norfork led the hit column with two singles while Wooten homered in the 6th. With a Hillcats loss, the Keys are tied for second place and can make the playoffs if they win out. The Blue Rocks dropped a doubleheader to the Red Sox, who clinched a berth in the Southern Division, and will be eliminated with either their next loss or a win by Lynchburg or Frederick.
Roster moves: RHP Manny Rodriguez reassigned from Hagerstown.

Lakewood 7 Hagerstown 4
• Lopez 5IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 5K
• Thomas (L, 3-5) 3IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Bautista 3-4, 2R, 2B, 2SB, CS
• Yezzo 2-4, R, CS

The longball was the Suns’ downfall Last Night In Hagerstown.
Roster moves: RHP Andrew Cooper activated from the 7-Day DL.

Auburn 12 Mahoning Valley 7
• A. Williams (W, 4-3) 5IP, 4H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K, HBP
• Webb 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Eusebio 3-5, 2R, 2HR, 6RBI
• Read 3-5, 3R, 3-2B, RBI
• Mejia 2-5, 2R, HR, 3RBI

Diomedes Eusebio homered twice and drove in six as the Doubledays dumped the Scrappers, 12-7. Auburn pounded out 12 hits total with seven extra-base hits, including three doubles by Raudy Read and homers by Bryan Mejia and Jeff Gardner. Austen Williams got the win with five innings of one-run ball, giving up four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Joseph Webb and Mario Sanchez both spun two scoreless innings of relief while David “Mi Hermano es Wilson” Ramos was smoked for the remaining six runs as he failed to retire the six batters he faced in the 8th, serving up a pair of home runs.