Jun 272010
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 6-1 vs. Pawtucket, 5:00 p.m. Jason Jones (0-1, 1.23) vs.
Michael Bowden (2-3, 4.23)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 4-3 vs. Reading, 2:00 p.m. Aaron Thompson (3-9, 6.10) vs.
Drew Naylor (6-6, 4.15)
Potomac Nationals Won, 8-6 @ Kinston, 5:00 p.m. Adrian Alaniz (2-3, 3.40) vs.
Marty Popham (1-2, 5.16)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 10-4 vs. Hickory, 2:05 p.m. Josh Smoker (1-7, 6.57) vs.
Robert Erlin (2-1, 1.49)
Vermont Lake Monsters Lost, 7-1 @ Connecticut, 1:05 p.m. Shane McCatty (0-1, 9.00) vs.
Lance Baxter (0-1, 12.00)
GCL Nationals Lost, 2-1 vs. GCL Mets, 12:00 p.m. Marcos Frias (0-1, 5.40) vs.
Juan Urbina (1-0, 0.00)
DSL Nationals Won, 6-0 OFF DAY N/A

Syracuse Chiefs W, 6-1 vs. Pawtucket Red Sox
Starting Pitcher: Mandel (W, 3-3) 6⅓ IP 6H 1R 1ER 2BB 2K
Pitching Star: Bergmann (H, 12) 1⅓ IP 1H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Davis 2-3, R, BB, HR, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Burke 2-4, 2RBI
Hitting Star #3: Maxwell 3-5
Notes: A three-run fifth enabled the Chiefs to pull away from a 2-1 nailbiter en route to a 6-1 win. The Chiefs collected 13 hits with four players collecting two or more. Jeff Mandel evened his record at 3-3 with 6⅓ innings of one-run ball with two walks and six hits allowed.

Harrisburg Senators L, 4-3 vs. Reading
Starting Pitcher: Kown (L, 2-3) 6IP 6H 4R 4ER 2BB 1K 1HR
Pitching Star: Pena 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Valdez 2-4, R, 2-2B, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Marrero 2-4, 2RBI
Notes: The Phillies jumped out to a 3-0 lead with three in the first, which the Senators matched in the third. Reading added a solo home run in the fourth, which proved to be the difference as Harrisburg lost 4-3. Both bullpens were remarkable, each going three scoreless innings and allowing just one hit.

Potomac Nationals W, 8-6 vs. Myrtle Beach
Starting Pitcher: Holder (ND) 5IP 8H 5R 4ER 1BB 1K 2HR
Pitching Star: Leatherman (SV, 4) 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Peacock 2-4, R, 3B, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Rhinehart 1-3, 2R, 3B, BB, 2RBI
Notes: Learn how an IBB backfired again in Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns W, 10-4 vs. Hickory
Starter/Pitching Star #1: Hicks (W, 1-0) 6IP 6H 2R 2ER 0BB 6K
Pitching Star #2: Garcia (H, 2) 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Cuevas 1-3, R, BB, 4RBI
Hitting Star #2: Soriano 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI
Hitting Star #3: Bloxom 3-5, R, 2B
Notes: The Suns were late in rising, but shone brightly with crooked numbers in the fifth (2), sixth (2), and seventh innings (5) with a 10-4 beating of the Hickory Crawdads. Twenty-year-old Graham Hicks registered his first Low-A win with two runs on six hits and a walk over six innings. The lefty also struck out six.

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 7-1 @ Connecticut
Starting Pitcher: Hansen (L, 1-1) 4IP 10H 6R 4ER 0BB 7K
Pitching Star: Herrera 3IP 2H 1R 0ER 1BB 2K
Hitting Star: Martinson 1-2, R, 2BB
Notes: The Lake Monsters were limited to just four hits, and left eight men on while striking out 13 times. The Tigers tacked four runs in the third and two more in the fourth to chase Bobby Hansen, who was dinged for six runs on 10 hits.

GCL Nationals L, 2-1 @ GCL Cardinals
Starting Pitcher: A.J. Morris 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
Pitching Star: Manuel Rivera 3IP 0H 0R 0BB 4K
Hitting Star: Wander Ramos 2-4, R
Notes: Rehabbing A.J. Morris and Jesse English handed over the the GCL Nats bullpen who held onto a 1-0 lead going into the 9th. Three consecutive singles loaded the bases, but a 5-2-3 DP put the GCL Nats in position to still win until a Michael Taylor threw away a grounder for the 2-1 walkoff win by the GCL Cards.

DSL Nationals W, 6-0
Starter/Pitching Star: Juan Diaz (W, 2-2) 6IP 1H 0R 0BB 5K
Hitting Star #1: Bienvenido Valdez 2-3, 2B, BB, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Wilmer Difo 2-3, RBI
Notes: “Slim” Diaz and three pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout as the DSL Nationals defeated the DSL Marlins 6-0. The DSL Nats only collected seven hits, but the DSL Marlins aided them with five errors.

Jun 272010
 

Perhaps the only thing more reviled than the intentional walk is the throw over to first base. When it works, a few people notice and understand. But when it fails, everybody sees and wonders why didn’t he just to pitch to him?!

It was turning point in the game last night in Woodbridge.

With the score tied at 6-6, and two outs. Rocket Wheeler was faced with a decision: Pitch to the lefty Bill Rhinehart, who had smoked a triple in the second inning for the P-Nats first two runs. Or pitch the to the righthanded Brian Peacock, who hadn’t gotten the ball out of the infield.

For the second night in a row, Rocket Wheeler ordered the free pass, and just like the night before, the decision backfired. Peacock blistered an outside fastball between the Pelican first baseman and first base itself for a two-run triple.

In the press box, the home team pulling ahead in the eighth is sometimes called a sportswriter’s win because then they can start writing up the game early, or at least think up their ledes. Dan Leatherman also did his part by striking out two in a 1-2-3 ninth for his 4th save.

As the 8-6 score implies, this was not pitcher’s duel. Neither Potomac’s Trevor Holder nor Myrtle Beach’s Randall Delgado was sharp or effective. Both went five innings and gave up five runs.

Holder labored to keep the ball in the strike zone, but only issued one walk. When he was locating the ball, the Pelicans let him know with authority, smacking eight hits including two home runs and lifting five flyballs.

As was the case last Sunday, the separation between Holder’s pitches was only apparent when he threw his soft breaking pitch that’s not quite a curve and not quite a change (this is why scouts want to be directly behind home plate; it’s difficult to read pitches otherwise, especially when seated in an elevated grandstand like the POS Pfitz).

Following Holder was Carlos Martinez, who returned to the P-Nats from the GCL to make his first appearance of the season, and his 55th in parts of five seasons with Potomac. He pitched two innings and allowed one run on two hits.

Clayton Dill pitched a scoreless top of the 8th to earn his 4th win of the season, walking one and striking out one.

With the win, Potomac improves to 2-1 on the season and hits the road for a six-game swing through North Carolina, visiting Kinston Sunday through Tuesday, then Winston-Salem on Wednesday through Friday.

Jun 262010
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 6-1 vs. Pawtucket, 7:00 p.m. Jeff Mandel (2-3, 5.58) vs.
Kris Johnson (3-5, 4.68)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 5-2 vs. Reading, 7:00 p.m. Andrew Kown (2-2, 3.43) vs.
Yohan Flande (4-5, 4.48)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 7-4 vs. Myrtle Beach, 6:35 p.m. Trevor Holder (0-1, 2.61) vs.
Randall Delgado (2-5, 2.41)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 4-0 vs. Hickory, 7:05 p.m. Graham Hicks (0-0, 9.00) vs.
Robert Ross (8-5, 2.15)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 9-7 (10 inn.) @ Connecticut, 7:05 p.m. Bobby Hansen (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Josue Carreno (0-1, 8.10)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY @ GCL Cardinals, 12:00 p.m. Kelvin Lopez (0-0, 3.60) vs.
Javier Avendano (0-0, 0.00)
DSL Nationals Won, 5-1 vs.
DSL Cubs2
vs. DSL Marlins, 10:30 a.m. Juan Diaz (1-2, 4.24) vs.
TBD

Syracuse Chiefs W, 6-1 vs. Pawtucket
Starting Pitcher: Chico (W, 3-3) 5⅔ IP 5H 1R 1ER 3BB 4K
Pitching Star: MacDougal (H, 2) 1⅓ IP 0H 0ER 1BB 3K
Hitting Star # 1: Lambin 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI
Hitting Star # 2: Maxwell 1-3, 2B, 2RBI
Notes: Syracuse grabbed an early 3-0 lead in the second inning and never looked back, adding one more in the 6th and two more in the seventh to win the game by a score of 6-1 against Pawtucket. Matt Chico pitched 5⅔ innings, allowing only one run off five hits and 3 walks to earn the victory, while the bullpen combined for 3⅓ hitless and scoreless innings, allowing just one walk. Offensively, Chase Lambin was the player of the game, going 2-4, with 2 runs, highilighted by his 9th home run of the season in the 6th inning.

Harrisburg Senators W, 5-2 vs. Reading
Starting Pitcher: Lannan (W, 1-0) 7IP 4H 1R 1ER 1BB 5K
Pitching Star: Carr (SV, 1) 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star # 1: Coon 2-4, R, 2RBI
Hitting Star # 2: Valdez 3-4, R, 2B, 1RBI
Notes:John Lannan’s first start since his return to the minors was successful, as the tall southpaw pitched seven full innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk. He also struck out five. Brad Coon and Jesus Valdez were the hitters of the game, collectively going 5-8, scoring 2 runs and getting 3 of Harrisburg`s 5 runs.

Potomac Nationals L, 7-4
Starter/Pitching Star: Bronson 6+ IP 6H 3R 3ER 1BB 6K
Pyrotechnician: Phillabaum ⅓ IP 3H 3R 3ER 0BB 0K; 2-2 IR-S; 4 BF
Hitting Star #1: Rhinehart 2-4, 2-2B, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Moore 2-4, R, RBI
Notes: See Sue’s take in Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns L, 4-0 vs. Hickory
Starter/Pitching Star: Clegg (L, 8-1) 7IP 4H 3R 3ER 2BB 3K
Hitting Star: Leon 2-3
Honorable Mention: Perez, OF assist at HP
Not So Honorable Mention: Soriano, error #23
Notes: Hagerstown couldn’t couldn’t get anything going against Hickory’s Joseph Wieland, who pitched a five-hit shutout with one walk, five strikeouts, and two pickoffs at 1st base. Mitchell Clegg’s winning streak ended at eight, despite pitching well enough to win with three runs allowed on four hits and two walks over seven innings.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 9-7 (10 inn.) @ Tri-City
Starter/Pitching Star: Swynenberg 5IP 3H 1R 1ER 2BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: King 2-5, 2R, 2B, BB, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Jones 3-5, R, 2-2B
Hitting Star #3: Mozingo 2-4, 2R, 2BB, SB
Notes: Tri-City got off to an early start vs. Vermont but in the end the victor was the Lake Monsters. Vermont started their run in the top of the 5th scoring two and then they didn’t stop. In the 6th they added two more and single runs in both the 7th and 9th inning to tie things up at 7-7, which meant extra innings. In the top of the 10th Vermont got two more runs and held on for a 9-7 win. Starting Pitcher Matt Swynenberg pitched five innings, with one run allowed on three hits and two walks.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
Notes: The GCL Nationals resume play today against the GCL Cards in a rematch of Opening Day. They are 2-2 thus far.

DSL Nationals W, 5-1 vs. DSL Cubs2
Starter/Pitching Star: Wirkin Estevez 6IP 5H 0R 1BB 10K
Hitting Star #1: Nelalexfred Ortega 2-3, 2R, BB, 3SB
Hitting Star #2: Edgar Gonzalez 0-2, 2R, 2BB
Notes: Starter Estevez was “Wirkin” it to the tune of six shutout innings with just five hits and one walk allowed while ten opposing batters went down by way of the K. “Fred” Ortega was a terror on the basepaths, swiping second twice and third once. The win put the D-Nats back over .500 at 12-11, 2½ games off the pace.

Jun 262010
 

The seventh inning was unkind to the Potomac Nationals, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans swooped on a tiring Evan Bronson and two relievers for a six-run inning en route to a 7-4 win.

As annoying as Rob Dibble may be to some folks, his mantra of putting up a goose egg after the offense gets some runs is absolutely correct. Twice last night the P-Nats took the lead, and twice the Pelicans answered the first chance they got.

It’s especially important to do this when the offense is, to be kind, inconsistent. For the second time in as many nights, Potomac’s first six batters went down in order. On Thursday, they broke through with a bunt single in the third; On Friday, it was an opposite field chalk-eater off the bat of Chris Curran in the fourth that got things started.

Steve Lombardozzi sacrificed Curran to third and Derek Norris lofted a flyball to center to score him for Potomac’s early 1-0 lead.

Former P-Nat Dan Nelson led off the fifth with a double to left that Bill Rhinehart nearly misplayed into a leadoff triple. After Bronson struck out Samuel Sime for the first out, Nelson took third on a grounder to, well, third and then came in on a two-out double from Cole Miles, who was offensive player of the night with three hits and stolen base.

Potomac regained the lead with a three-run rally in the sixth. After a Curran groundout, Lombardozzi reached first on a dribbler to second that was ruled a single, then stole second. Norris was caught looking. Rocket Wheeler curiously ordered an intentional walk of Mike Burgess and Tyler Moore made him pay with a line-drive single to left that scored Lombardozzi and sent Burgess to third. Castro threw wild to send Burgess home, Moore to second, then surrendered a double to Rhinehart to complete the three-run rally.

Potomac manager Gary Cathcart matched Wheeler’s decision-making prowess by sending out Bronson in the seventh, despite having warmed up a reliever in the previous inning. A leadoff walk wasn’t sign enough that Bronson was on empty either. After a seeing-eye single brought the tying run to the plate, Cathcart finally brought the hook.

Justin Phillabaum inherited two runners. He would pitch to four batters. Five of those six batters would score, as he uncorked a wild pitch, gave up a single, induced a grounder that went home to nail one runner, then gave up another single. A bloop double to very shallow right field ended Phillabaum’s night, the game now tied at 4-4.

A two-run double greeted lefty Patrick McCoy to put Myrtle Beach on top 6-4, and after a grounder to short, a two-out single capped the six-run rally. McCoy would finish the night admirably with two scoreless innings, but the Potomac offense couldn’t answer despite a bases-loaded threat in the seventh.

With the loss, Potomac drops to .500 in the second half. Trevor Holder (0-1, 2.61) takes mound in tonight’s series finale, opposed by the Pelicans’ Randall Delgado (2-5, 2.41).

Jun 252010
 

Our apologies for the interruption. It’s still gonna be a little dusty around here while we sort through restoring old pages, pictures, settings, etc.

The inside scoop? It’s actually pretty mundane. Jordan from OriolesProspects.com founded this site in January and solicited help on Brian Oliver’s NatsFarm.com, where I am a frequent troublemaker commenter. The idea of putting my money where my mouth was appealed to me then, and it still appeals to me, which is why I chose to assume full ownership of this site when Jordan decided he needed to devote all his time, energy and resources to his primary website.  I appreciate the chance he took on me, and was glad to serve as the Senior Editor/Writer for him.

Speaking of which, I also want to give a shout-out to our Foreign Correspondent, April Whitzman, who has her own site, too: JaysProspects.com. She writes the lion’s share of the News & Notes, which gives me more time to write features like “Last Night In Woodbridge” and “Good, Bad, Interesting.” And of course, I can’t neglect my buddy Shawn, a.k.a. our guy in Hagerstown, who blogs about a wide variety of sports on his terrific blog Musings about Sports and other important items.

So bear with us while we try to get things back to normal. I’ll be making a trip to Vermont to catch a game on Monday night and hope to give you folks a glimpse at the future. And if anyone reading this happens be a regular there, or in Syracuse, or in Viera, or in Harrisburg, we’d love to hear from you; just drop a line to enfieldmass-natsprospects[at]yahoo[dot]com.