Jun 192011
 

It’s not looking great for a dry, sunny day at the ballpark today, but I’ll be going anyway because baseball is what always bonded me to my father. This is the second Father’s Day since he passed away early last year, not too long after I started writing for this website.

My father never taught me how to play the game, in his mid-50s by the time I was in Little League, to which he drove me to many games and practices despite his three hours of driving each day for work. He often couldn’t stay because I was one of several children and my older brothers had games, too.

If you think that that bothered me, that there was some resentment, well, you’re wrong. My father was the master of calm, serenity, and subtlety. Every once in a while, he would talk about seeing some kid “really get a hold of a low, outside pitch and drive it the other way” when he showed up to get me, not ask about how many hits I got. Instead he’d ask about how many runners I threw out.

Back then, I was a catcher. Five feet tall, 130 lbs. The big kid with a strong arm, but too slow for the outfield. Granted, much of my success came from kids that would run because the rest of the catchers couldn’t reach second base with a throw, much less get it there accurately. That’s what I could do.
And my Dad knew to praise me for that versus my hitting.

When I got older, Dad would talk about baseball while we watched games together. Maybe I might have missed out on becoming more of a player in part because the coaches couldn’t size up my Dad (I’m adopted) but I might have missed out on learning about the game, too.

So I’m not going to get all “Cat’s In The Cradle” on you. I miss my Dad and think about him while I’m watching baseball. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you might have a father or grandfather like him in some way. Call him today, take him out to a ballgame (or whatever his passion is) and tell him you love him. Do it while you still can.

Jun 192011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 7-6 (11 inn.) @ Charlotte, 2:15 p.m. Yunesky Maya (1-4, 3.79) vs.
Matt Zaleski (1-3, 6.75)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 6-3; Won, 4-3 @ Altoona, 6:05 p.m. Garrett Mock (0-1, 13.50) vs.
Bryan Morris (1-3, 5.05)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 5-2; Won, 2-0 vs. Salem, 1:05 p.m. Cameron Selik (2-4, 3.64) vs.
Chris Hernandez (5-4, 2.95)

CANCELED
Hagerstown Suns Won, 7-3 vs. Delmarva, 1:05 p.m. Sammy Solis (1-0, 3.47) vs.
Scott Copeland (4-4, 4.78)
Auburn Doubledays Lost, 9-6 vs. Batavia, 1:05 p.m. Pedro Encarnacion (0-0, -.–) vs.
Andrew Benes (0-0, -.–)
DSL Nationals Won, 4-1
vs. DSL Yankees1
OFF DAY N/A

Charlotte 7 Syracuse 6 (11 inn.)
• Stammen 3IP 6H, 5ER, BB, 2K, 2HR
• Wilkie 2IP 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• J Flores 3-5, 2R, 2B, RBI
• Frazier 2-4, R, 2R HR, 4RBI

Why? Why? Why did they pitch to Damon Viciedo, the 21-year-old phenom (.912 OPS) for the White Sox, after coming back from five runs down to take a 6-5 lead in the top of the 11th inning? With two outs, a man on second, and an 0-2 count, Viciedo rapped a game tying single that was part of the two-run Charlotte walkoff eleventh. Outstanding bullpen work by JD Martin, Jeff Mandel, Atahulapa Severino, and even eventual loser Hassan Pena held down the knights for 7 scoreless innings to give Syracuse a chance for what might have been. In the fifth, Jeff Frazier started the comeback with a two run homer. In the sixth inning Jesus Flores had an RBI double (his 11th two-bagger), and Jeff Frazier stepped up with a 2RBI single to plate Flores and Tug Hulett. All in all, this is the kind of loss that Syracuse will look back upon if they manage to run off a miraculous win streak to get back into the IL playoff picture from their current 27-39 record.

Harrisburg 6 Altoona 3 — GAME ONE
• Brad Peacock (W, 8-2) 7IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 7K, HR, CG
• Moore 2-4, 2 2B, 2RBI
• Rahl 2-4, 2R, 2B, RBI

Brad Peacock proved to the Altoona Curve that he is one of the better pitching prospects in the Nationals system. Last night, he gave up a first-inning home run. He gave up a double and a triple in the 6th as part of a two-run rally for the Curve, but in-between he must have been filthy, striking out seven and walking only one in a seven-inning complete game. Harrisburg did most of its damage in the third inning, keyed by doubles from Chris Rahl and Tyler Moore and helped by a Curve fielding error. Archie Gilbert had a strong game as well. He helped engineer a run in the second with some get ‘em on (walk), get ‘em over (stolen base), get ‘em over once more (balk), and get ‘em in on a Jonathan Tucker groundout. He later led off the sixth inning with a home run.

Harrisburg 4 Altoona 3 — GAME TWO
• C. Martinez 4IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Martin 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Zinicola (S, 4) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• A. Valdez 1-2, R, HR, BB
• Tucker 2-3 2R, 3B, RBI
This game got off to an inauspicious start when Carlos Martinez gave up a first-inning, three-run shot to Jordy Mercer. The back end of the bullpen and the back end of the lineup sealed the deal on the doubleheader sweep for Harrisburg against former Harrisburg pitcher Aaron Thompson. Batters six through eight scored all four runs. In the second, Alex Valdez homered and Jonathan Tucker scored on a two out wild pitch from Thompson. In the fourth, an RBI Tucker triple was the big blow in a two-run frame. Rafael Martin pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win. Protecting a one-run lead, Zech Zinicola struck out the side in the 9th.

Salem 5 Potomac 2 — GAME ONE
• Holder (L, 3-8) 6⅓ IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 3K, HR (three-run)
• Nelo ⅔ IP, 2H, 2R, 1ER, 0BB, 2K
• Bloxom 2-4, R
• Ramirez 0-1, 3BB

Sue may have picked the wrong game to skip, but here’s what “she” saw in the first game Last Night In Woodbridge.

Potomac 2 Salem 0 — GAME TWO
• Demny (W, 4-6) 5IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 5K
• Testa (S, 1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 2-0 IR-S
• Perez 2-3, 2RBI
• Kobernus 2-3

Paul Demny carried a no-hitter into the fifth, giving up a one-out double with a runner on but getting two key outs to escape the jam. Josh Smoker would pitch to two batters in the sixth, hitting one and walking the other before Joe Testa was brought on to kill the rally. Testa got the last six outs to earn his first save of 2011. Eury Perez’s two-run single in the second against the #39 pick in the 2010 Draft, Tony Ranaudo, stood up as the game-winner. Perez and Jeff Kobernus both went 2-for-3 to pace the Potomac offense. Sue skipped this one in part because of fatigute, but also to make time to write a Father’s Day essay.

Hagerstown 7 Delmarva 3
• Jordan (W, 7-3) 6IP, 8H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 2K
• Eusebio (S, 3) 3IP, 2H, 0ER, 3BB, 3K
• Keyes 3-4, 2R, 2B, 2HR, 4RBI
• Martinson 1-2, 2R, HR, RBI, 2BB
Hagerstown battled back from a 3-0 fourth inning deficit. Taylor Jordan was hit hard in the second and gave up a double and two singles as part of an early two-run rally. In the fourth inning, two singles and a Michael Mooney error led to an eventual Tyler Kelly sacrifice fly. Kevin Keyes answered back with a three-run homer that scored David Freitas, who had doubled, and Jason Martinson. Hagerstown went on score in three consecutive innings with back-to-back homers by Martinson and Keyes to put the game out of reach. Wilson Eusebio pitched three shutout innings to close the door and earn his third save.

Batavia 9 Auburn 6
• Esteves (L, 0-1) 3⅔ IP, 9H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 6K
• Jenkins 1⅔ IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 2K
• Ortega 2-2, 2R
• Norfork 3-5, 2B, 4RBI

A five-run fourth chased DSL grad Wirkin Estevez, who gave up six runs on nine hits and a walk, as the Auburn Doubledays lost their home opener, 9-6 to Batavia. Middle infielders Bryce Ortega and Khayyan Norfork combined to go 5-for-7 with two runs and four RBIs to lead the Doubleday offense, which scored five of their six runs in the last three innings.

DSL Nationals 4 DSL Yankees1
• Martinez, A 4IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 3K
• Vasquez (W, 1-0) 2⅔ IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 3K
• Difo 2-2, 2R, 2BB
• Tllero 1-3

Their fourth error of the day prevented the shutout, but not before the D-Nats snapped their three-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the DSL Yankees1 squad. Venezuelan Anderson Martinez made his first start, going four scoreless innings and allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out three. Daury Vasquez was awarded the win as the most effective reliever to follow, pitching two and 2/3rds innings and charged with the lone run on one it and a walk. Wilmer Difo reached base four times with two hits and two walks to lead the D-Nat offense.

Jun 192011
 

If ever there was a game that might sum up a team’s half-season in seven innings, the first game of this doubleheader just might be it.

A pool-cue single opened the game, as the ball spun just over Trevor Holder’s reach and spun into the infield grass to give the runner that split second he needed to beat it out. A single to right followed, then a three-run homer that cleared the centerfield wall to put Potomac in an early 3-0 hole — and there was still nobody out.

Holder escaped further damage with back-to-back K’s and a flyout

The P-Nats got two runners on with one out in the bottom of the first. And left them on.

Holder gave up what was later changed to leadoff single in the second, then retired five straight before issuing a two-out walk in the third.

The P-Nats got a two-out double in the second, then left ‘em loaded in third, only scoring when a wild pitch sent Eury Perez home from third. A one-out walk was stranded at second in the fourth.

Holder put up goose eggs in the fourth and fifth, allowing two baserunners via an error and a single, both with two outs.

Justin Bloxom ripped a single to right-center with one out in the fifth, took second on a wild pitch, and went to third went the Salem rightfielder dropped a Souza flyball. J.P. Ramirez, who has suddenly become a walk machine (11BB in 14G in June; he had six in May, two in April), drew a walk to load the bases.

After grounding out the last time he saw the sacks full, Sandy Leon delivered the clutch hit to shallow center to drive in Bloxom. Souza ran through the stop sign and was gunned down, though the play was close and the CF had shown a weak arm previously. That hit would be the only one in 13 opportunities with runners in scoring position.

Holder issued his second walk to lead off the sixth inning to Salem’s David Mailman. The next batter singled to center, but Perez made him a dead letter with a special delivery to Bloxom, who deftly applied the tag at the very last moment.

There’s a reason why coaches call that baserunning blunder the cardinal sin, because another single followed to put runners on first and second, one that might have scored Mailman. Given a chance to work out of the jam, Holder got the double-play ball he needed, leading it himself for a 1-6-3 DP to end the inning.

Two more runners were left on in the bottom of the sixth. Holder would leave with one out in the top of the seventh, but Hector Nelo’s wildness and another error led to the last two Salem runs.

Potomac would get the tying run to the plate twice in the bottom of the seventh, but a strikeout and a popup ended it, the two runners left were nos. 12 and 13 for the game.

Jun 182011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 5-2 @ Charlotte, 7:15 p.m. Craig Stammen (5-3, 3.84) vs.
TBD
Harrisburg Senators Won, 8-4 @ Altoona, 5:05
(doubleheader)
Brad Peacock (7-2, 2.33) and
Erik Arnesen (3-0, 2.78) vs.
Jeff Locke (5-5, 4.46) and TBD
Potomac Nationals Postponed vs. Salem, 5:35 p.m.
(doubleheader)
Trevor Holder (3-7, 6.31) and
Paul Demny (3-6, 4.38) vs.
Anthony Ranaudo (1-2, 2.55) and
Ryan Pressly (4-6, 4.58)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 2-1 (10 inn.) vs. Delmarva, 7:05 p.m. Taylor Jordan (6-3, 2.84) vs.
Luis Noel (4-6, 5.76)
Auburn Doubledays Won, 6-1 vs. Batavia, 7:05 p.m. Wirkin Estevez (0-0, -.–) vs.
Patrick Daugherty (0-0, -.–)
DSL Nationals Lost, 5-4
@ DSL Braves
vs. DSL Yankees1, 10:30 a.m. Anthony Marcelino (1-0, 0.57) vs.
Cesar Vargas (0-2, 6.30)

Charlotte 5 Syracuse 2
• Milone (L, 4-5) 5⅓ IP, 7H, 5R, 4ER, BB, 6K
• Tatusko 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Aubrey 2-3, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB
• Hulett 2-2, 2B, BB

The Charlotte Knights’ Lastings Milledge picked last night to show one of those flashes of offensive brilliance that has tantalized and tormented Nats fans. He had a two-run double after Tug Hulett allowed Eduardo Escobar to reach on a fielding error. Milledge also had a two-out RBI single to almost singlehandedly beat the Chiefs. Tom Milone showed control (six K’s and just one walk for the IL strikeout leader entering the game), but didn’t miss enough bats within the strike zone to earn the win. Offensively, the Chiefs struggled to score early when they got their leadoff man aboard, wasting a leadoff single in the first, a Tug Hulett walk in the second, and an Adam Fox double in the third. Overall, the Chiefs went 2-for-10 with RISP and left nine runners on base.

Harrisburg 8 Altoona 4
• Davis (W, 3-2) 6IP, 10H, 4ER, 0BB, 8K
• VanAllen 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Rahl 3-4, 2R, 3B, RBI
• Moore 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Norris 2-3, 2RBI, 2BB

The Altoona Curve pitching was a bit flat as the Harrisburg offense exploded for eight runs in Altoona. Six Senators had multihit games. Eight Senators tallied in the box score with either runs or hits. Harrisburg did half of its damage in a four-run third inning. Tyler Moore’s two-run double was a key blow, followed by a Derek Norris RBI single, and an RBI single from Alex Valdez that scored Bill Rhinehart, who had doubled earlier in the inning. If it wasn’t for a caught stealing of Alex Valdez, Harrisburg might still be batting. Erik Davis was didn’t walk anyone but caught too much of the plate, yielding 10 hits and four runs in his six innings. Pat Lehman, Corey VanAllen and Zech Zinicola combined for three innings of perfect relief to shut the door on the Curve.

Potomac Nationals — PPD
Heavy thunderstorms in the six-o’clock hour dumped enough rain on the Pfitz field to force a rainout and a Saturday night
doubleheader between the High-A affiliates of the Boston and Washington franchises of the same names.

Hagerstown 2 Delmarva 1
• Ray (ND) 5IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 4K
• Swynenberg 4IP, 0H, 0R, 1BB, 7K
• Harper 2-3, 2RBI, 2BB, SB
• Freitas 2-3, BB

Hagerstown snapped its six-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds, but it may be too little, too late as both Greensboro and Hickory won on Friday night to reduce the Suns’ elimination number to one. Randolph Oduber drove in the gamewinner in the bottom of the tenth after back-to-back walks issued to Bryce Harper (intentional) and Mills Rogers (unintentional) after Blake Kelso’s leadoff single. Ben Graham got the win in relief, following four scoreless and hitless innings from Matt Swynenberg. Robbie Ray started and allowed the lone Delmarva run on seven hits and one walk over the first five innings.

Auburn 6 Batavia 1
• Demmin (W, 1-0) 5IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 4K
• Bates (S, 1) 4IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Nieto 3-3, 2R, HR, 2RBI
• Moldenhauer 2-4, R, 2B

Hendry Jimenez’s two-run triple highlighted a three-run sixth, as the Auburn Doubledays broke open a 2-1 lead for a 6-1 victory on the Opening Day of the New York-Penn League. Ryan Demmin returned to action as a starter after struggling in relief for Potomac with the lone Muckdog run allowed on three hits and three walks over five innings. Adrian Nieto returned from his PED suspension with a 3-for-3 night, including a solo HR and two RBIs. Colin Bates finished the game with four scoreless innings to earn the save.

DSL Braves 5 DSL Nationals 4
• Moscat (ND) 5⅔ IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, BB, 4K
• Guzman 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 1K
• Difo 2-5, CS
• Rosario 0-1, R, 2BB, SB

The D-Nats dry spell was extended to three straight with a 5-4 loss to the DSL Braves. Starter Felix Moscat couldn’t hold an early 3-0 lead, coughing up four runs over five and 2/3rds innings. A run in the top of the eighth gave him the no-decision, but the ‘pen gave it back in the bottom of the inning for the loss. Wilmer Difo went 2-for-5 to lead the offense, which managed seven hits for the game.

Jun 172011
 

Absent an official press release, we’re presuming the roster now posted on the Auburn Doubledays site is live and accurate…

PITCHERS
Ryan Demmin
Chad Jenkins
Blake Monar
Aaron Barrett
Colin Bates
Brian Dupra
Pedro Encarnacion
Wirkin Estevez
Travis Henke
Alex Kreis
Kelvin Lopez
Silvio Medina
Richard Mirowski
Manuel Rivera
Manny Rodriguez

CATCHERS
Adrian Nieto
Wilfri Pena

INFIELDERS
Seth Bynum (rehab)
Hendry Jimenez
Justin Miller
Russell Moldenhauer
Khayyan Norfork
Bryce Ortega
Roberto Perez
Matthew Skole

OUTFIELDERS

Rick Hughes
Angelberth Montilla
Caleb Ramsey
Connor Rowe

italics = 2011 draft
green = 2010 Vermont Lake Monster
blue = 2010 GCL guy
red = 2010 DSL guy

By my count, that’s 10 of this year’s picks, nine guys repeating from Vermont, five GCL “grads,” thee DSL guys leapfrogging up the ladder and two OGs. Feel free to discuss in the comments…

Jun 172011
 

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

SYRACUSE 27-37, 4th place I.L. North, 13 games behind

Good Ross Detwiler 2-1, 2.79ERA, .219 OBA in June
Bad Chris McConnell, .166/.240/.245
Interesting Tom Milone IL Leader, 76Ks (9.7/9IP)

HARRISBURG 36-28, 1st place E.L. West Division, 3 games ahead

Good Steve Lombardozzi .403/.464/.548 in June
Bad Pat McCoy 6HR in 25⅔ IP
Interesting Garrett Mock 24⅔ IP, 25H, 23R, 23ER, 22BB — still on 40-man roster

POTOMAC 28-39, 4th place C.L. North Division, 13 games behind

Good Cameron Selik, 2-0, 0.86ERA, 0.91WHIP in June
Bad Cutter Dykstra 48K in 51G, .253OBP
Interesting Mitchell Clegg 17 unearned runs in 11 appearances

HAGERSTOWN 37-30, 3rd place Sally League Northern Division, 2 games behind

Good David Freitas .411/.492/.679 in June
Bad 2-8 in last 10 games, six straight losses (current)
Interesting Paul Applebee 5-1, 3.86, 1.13WHIP in relief

DSL NATIONALS 7-8, 5th place, Boca Chica South Division of Dominican Summer League, 3 games behind

Good Anthony Marcelino (Age 18) 1-0, 0.57 in 1st three starts
Bad Raudy Read (Age 17) .143/.167/.171 in 10G
Interesting Inocencio Heredia (Age 19) 2-1, 2SV in 5 appearances
Jun 172011
 

I know, I know: Folks are anxious to see who’s been signed and assigned, but apparently it’s a state secret this year. If/when I hear otherwise, I’ll pass along…

The Harrisburg Senators announced a few moves this morning…

PLACED ON DL
• LHP Oliver Perez
• 1B/3B Tim Pahuta

ASSIGNED FROM SYRACUSE
• RHP Erik Arnesen

ACTIVATED FROM IL
• RHP Erik Davis

Yesterday, Baseball America released its weekly transaction summary. Here’s the list of players that signed from last Wednesday to Tuesday of this week:
• 3B Matt Skole (5)
• OF Caleb Ramsey (11)
• RHP Travis Henke (22)
• 2B Khayyan Norfork (23)
• LHP Bobby Lucas (27)
• C Sean Cotten (29)
• 2B Trey Karlen (33)
• LHP Ben Hawkins (36)
• OF Tony Nix (50)

UPDATE: Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post is reporting that Destin Hood has been placed on the DL with knee problems that will require an MRI, though they are not considered serious. No word on his replacement, but a (not all that) wild guess is Chris Curran, who was assigned to the Potomac roster on May 31 and has yet to appear in a game since.

Jun 172011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 3-2 @ Charlotte, 7:15 p.m. Tom Milone (4-4, 3.58) vs.
TBD
Harrisburg Senators Won, 3-2 @ Altoona, 7:05 p.m. Erik Davis (2-2, 3.55) vs.
Aaron Pribanic (5-3, 2.86)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 10-3 vs. Salem, 7:05 p.m. Trevor Holder (3-7, 6.31) vs.
Ryan Pressly (4-6, 4.58)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 6-5; Lost, 4-0 vs. Delmarva, 7:05 p.m. Robbie Ray (2-0, 1.03) vs.
Tim Berry (1-4, 5.65)
Auburn Doubledays N/A @ Batavia, 7:05 p.m. Ryan Demmin (0-0, -.–) vs.
Hector Hernandez (0-0, -.–)
DSL Nationals Postponed @ DSL Braves, 10:30 a.m.

Syracuse 3 Charlotte 2
• Meyers (W, 4-3) 7IP, 7H, 2ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Severino (H, 2) 1IP, 1H, 2K
• Flores 1-3, R, 2R HR, 2RBI
• Blanco 2-3, R, 2B, BB

The Syracuse Chiefs got a dose of a rehabbing Jake Peavy and found him not to their liking. Peavy locked down the Chiefs with 9 strikeouts in six shutout innings. Damon Viciedo was the offensive star for Charlotte. He doubled in Alejandro De Aza in the first inning and homered in the second inning. Syracuse responded with a much-needed three run 8th inning rally. Tug Hulett pulled a fly ball to right for a leadoff double in front of a Jesus Flores two-run homer. Gregor Blanco resumed the rally with a single. Manager Randy Knorr opted for some late-inning small ball with a Chris McConnell sacrifice bunt. Corey Brown (2-4, RBI) doubled down the line for an RBI that gave Syracuse their 3-2 lead. Syracuse’s pitching depth was stronger than Jake Peavy’s dominant start. Following Brad Meyers two runs in seven innings, Atahualpa “Hualpa Time” Severino pitched a scoreless 8th and Hassan Pena pitched a scoreless 9th. Our old friend Lastings Milledge had a harmless 2-4 evening, in part because Meyers picked him off in the 6th.

Harrisburg 3 Trenton 2
• Roark (W, 4-2) 6IP, 7H, 2ER, 0BB, 3K
• Barthmaier (H, 2) 1⅓ IP, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 1-0 IR-S
• Lombardozzi 2-4, 2R, BB
• Moore 1-5, 3B, RBI

Steve Lombardozzi offered another strong leadoff performance with a first-inning single, scoring on Tyler Moore triple for the first run of the game. Trenton answered with two runs with a leadoff single from Raymond Kruml and a run scoring double from Bradley “Not So” Suttle. Derek Norris gave up a passed ball to help Suttle advance to third, and Suttle scored an earned run on a Cody Johnson single. Harrisburg battled back with two runs in the top of the 7th and yet again Lombardozzi was at the center of the rally. Jonathan Tucker singled, advanced on a balk, and Lombardozzi singled on a grounder. Josh Johnson than landed the decisive punch with a one out double to score both Tucker and Lombardozzi. Following a strong seven innings of two run ball, Jimmy Barthmaier stranded a leadoff single against Roark as part of a strong four-out appearance. Pat McCoy and Rafael Martin combined to silence the Thunder for the last five outs to earn hold no. 5 and save no. 1, respectively.

Salem 10 Potomac 3
• Bronson (L, 1-3) 5⅓ IP, 11H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 5K, HR
• Clegg 2⅓ IP, 3H, 4R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K
• Kobernus 3-4, R, HR, RBI, SB (26)
• Higley 0-3, 3K
• Bloxom 2E (19, 20)

The P-Nats dodged the raindrops but not the loss, Last Night In Woodbridge.

Delmarva 6 Hagerstown 5 — COMP. SUSP. GM
• Cole (ND) 5⅔ IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 9K, HR
• Manno (L, 1-3) 3BF, 0IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1IBB, 0K
• Newsome 3-4, 2-2B
• Oduber 3-4, R, 2RBI

Thanks to the suspension, A.J. Cole was able to relieve himself pick up where he left off and finish what he started, pitching five and 2/3rds innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out nine. Unfortunately, the Suns ‘pen faltered (again) as Neil Holland blew the save and Chris Manno gave up two doubles sandwiched between an intentional walk to take the loss. Brett Newsome and Randolph Oduber each had three hits in four at-bats to lead the Hagerstown offense.

Delmarva 4 Hagerstown 0
• McCatty (L, 0-2) 4IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, 4BB, 2K
• Brown 3IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K
• Freitas 2-3, 2B

The Hagerstown lumber was still in a slumber for Game Two of the completion doubleheader, going 0-for-6 in scoring chances and getting shut out 4-0. Shane McCatty got the spot start and went four, allowing three runs on five hits and four walks, with the defense turning two double plays for him to limit the damage of nine baserunners. Sam Brown followed and threw three innings, allowing one run on four hits, no walks, and one strikeout.The two losses have put the Suns into a win-out-and-hope situation, as both Hickory and Greensboro both won to remain tied for first place, the Crawdads ahead on percentage points. It’s not clear whether Hickory would win on percentage points or Greensboro would win based on head-to-head record.

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS — SEASON OPENER
The newly affiliated Auburn Doubledays start play tonight in the New York-Penn League with a still-undisclosed roster. Ryan Demmin is the Opening Day starter, according to MiLB.com.

DSL Nationals — PPD
Rain appears to have washed away the entire DSL slate on Thursday.

Jun 172011
 

The Potomac and Salem played for fourth time in seven days with the Red Sox finally getting a win at 10-3.

The game’s beginning was delayed for 39 minutes, but got finished in a welcome two hours and 30 minutes. Evan Bronson got the start and cruised through the first two innings, retiring six of seven batters with four flyouts and two strikeouts.

Despite showing some nice movement on his breaking pitches, the lack of groundballs early was an indicator that the evening would not go well for 24-year-old lefty. The third inning began with Salem rapping a single, a double, then a blast to dead center to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead.

He would escape that jam by getting two popups and a groundout, and a bases-loaded-one-out situation in the fourth inning before having a more “normal” fifth with two grounders, a single, and strikeout.

Bronson would pitch into the sixth, but was let down to start the frame when J.R. Higley badly misplayed a line drive off the bat of Salem’s Wilfredo Pichardo for triple-by-rule (i.e. he never touched the ball). His fifth and final strikeout gave brief hope for stranding a fifth runner since the three-run homer, but a single to left chased him. His line would finish at four runs allowed on 11 hits and a walk over five and a 1/3rd innings.

As has been the case for most of this homestand, the Potomac offense has been uneven, which is easy to miss when the pitching is stellar, but hard to ignore when it’s not. Three runs on seven hits simply isn’t going to be good enough on very many nights.

Jeff Kobernus was the leading hitter for the game, homering in the first inning to give Potomac a first-inning lead, and going 3-for-4 with a stolen base (no. 26). He’s batted .342 over his last 10 games (all at home) to raise his season batting average to .266 and make a case for a GBI mention.

As the 10-3 final score suggests, the bullpen had a rough go of it for this one. Dean Weaver and Mitchell Clegg gave up the last six runs on five hits and a walk, though two throwing errors by out-of-position-at-third Justin Bloxom made four of the six runs unearned.

With the loss, Potomac falls to 28-39 for the first half, which ends on Sunday. Trevor Holder (3-7, 6.31) is expected to make the start tonight against Salem’s Ryan Pressly (4-6, 4.58).

Jun 162011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs OFF DAY @ Charlotte, 7:15 p.m. Brad Meyers (3-3, 4.95) vs.
Deunte Heath (1-2, 3.96)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 6-1 @ Trenton, 7:05 p.m. Tanner Roark (3-2, 6.67) vs.
Craig Heyer (6-3, 2.97)
Potomac Nationals Won, 5-4 vs. Salem, 7:05 p.m. Evan Bronson (1-2, 2.70) vs.
Junichi Tazawa (0-1, 6.61)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 3-2; Lost, 9-5 vs Delmarva, 5:05 p.m.
(Comp., 7-inn. game)
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 9-5
vs. DSL Giants
@ DSL Cubs2, 10:30 a.m. Miguel Navarro (0-1, 10.80) vs.
Jose Arias (0-1, 1.93)

Syracuse Chiefs — OFF DAY
The Chiefs fly down to North Carolina (and boy, will their arms be tired) this morning for four games in Charlotte, followed by four in Gwinnett, Ga. before returning to New York next Friday. The Syracuse-DC pitcher carousel has recently spun again, with Yunesky Maya and Craig Stammen optioned back this week and Collin Balester recalled, as Tom Gorzelanny is slated to return to the rotation on Sunday.

Harrisburg 6 Trenton 1
• Martis (W, 4-2) 6IP, 2H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K
• Lehman (H, 1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K
• McCoy (H, 4) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Lombardozzi 2-5, R, 3B
• Rahl, 2-4, 2R, 2RBI, BB

In the first, Josh Johnson homered off starter Delin Betances. Chris Rahl scored when he was walked, Tyler Moore was hit by a pitch, and Bill Rhinehart reached on a fielding error. In the 6th, Harrisburg was glad to greet Brad Halsey with a two-out rally, as Stephen King walked, Lombardozzi singled, Johnson walked, and Rahl delivered with a clutch two-out single to score both King and Lombardozzi. Harrisburg put things out of reach in the 9th when the Godfather of the Bill Rhinehart Mafia landed a bomb in the right-centerfield seats. Sharion Martis delievered a strong six innings, allowing only one unearned run, to lower his ERA to 3.30. The Pats (Lehman and McCoy) and Zech Zinicola offered three innings of scoreless relief, yielding only one hit and one walk. Outside of errors by Gilbert, Johnson, King, and Norris (catcher interference), Harrisburg delivered a dominating win to silence the Trenton faithful and stop a four-game slide.

Potomac 5 Myrtle Beach 4 (10 inn.)
• Gaudin 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Rosenbaum 5⅔ IP, 9H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 5K
• Hood 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI, BB
• Bloxom 3-5, R, 2B, HR, RBI

The big fly sufficed when the clutch hit went missing as the Potomac Nationals edged the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in extras for a 5-4 victory. Destin Hood’s 5th home run was the sole P-Nat hit in 11 chances with RISP, capping off a four-run fifth. Danny Rosenbaum, who followed Chad Gaudin’s scoreless inning of rehab work, ran into trouble in the 7th and left with the game tied at 4-4. Rob Wort, Marcos Frias and Joe Testa combined for three and a 1/3rd scoreless innings, with Testa getting the win. Justin Bloxom’s walkoff HR to lead off the bottom of tenth gave Potomac the walkoff win. In the last seven games, the bullpen has posted a line of 21IP, 13H, 4R, 3ER, 9BB, 16K, 1HR, earning two wins, four holds, and three saves.

Lakewood 3 Hagerstown 2 (12 inn.) — COMPLETION
• Solis 7IP, 4H, 2R, ER, 2BB, 6K
• Manno 2IP, H, BB, 3K
• Freitas 2-3, R, 2R HR, BB
• Kelso, R, BB, K

Sean Nicol singled to “lead off” the suspended game in the 11th, and Randolph Oduber doubled with one out in the 12th, but Hagerstown fell in the bottom of the 12th on a throwing error, 3-2.

Lakewood 9 Hagerstown 5
• Grace (L, 7-5), 3IP, 9H, 8R, 8ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Applebee 4IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 5K
• Kelso 2-4, R, BB
• Sanchez 2-5, R, RBI
• Harper 1-4, R, 3B, 2RBI

The Blue Claws completed the four-game sweep with a 9-5 victory over the Suns. Starter Matt Grace was less than amazing, torched for eight runs on nine hits and a walk, including a three-run shot in the bottom of the first. Bryce Harper returned to the lineup after sitting out the past two games with a sore thumb and went 1-for-4 with a two-run triple, the second and third runs in a four-run fifth that got the Suns as close as 8-5. With the two losses, Hagerstown drops to third place as Hickory won its fourth straight to overtake both the Suns and the Grasshoppers. The Suns finish with five games at home against Delmarva, starting with a completion doubleheader tonight. Starters have not been officially announced, but A.J. Cole could potentially pick up where he left off in Game 1, and Bobby Hansen, if healthy, is a likely candidate for Game 2

DSL Giants 9 DSL Nationals 5
• Pineyro (ND) 5IP, 2H, 0R, 1BB, 7K
• Vasquez (H, 1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 0K
• Read 3-4, 2B, RBI, SB
• Reyes 2-4, RBI
• Mercedes 2-5, 2B, 2RBI

The D-Nats bullpen collapsed, giving up seven of the nine D-Giant runs in the 8th and 9th innings to turn a 4-0 mid-game lead into a 9-5 defeat. Starter Ivan Pineyro went five scoreless innings with two hits and one walk allowed and seven strikeouts. Raudy Read led the 11-hit attack with a three hits, including a double and a stolen base, followed by Yermin Mercedes’ and Aladin Reyes, who collected two hits apiece.