May 132013
 

The Potomac Nationals picked up where they left off on Saturday night and rolled to a 7-1 victory in the completion from Saturday night. Then they did it again in the 7-inning game that followed with a 7-2 win to extend their streak to five games and hold onto a share of first place in the Carolina League north.

Tyler Herron took the mound and tossed three scoreless to get the win in the completion, walking one and striking out four. Between Herron and Taylor Hill’s effort the night before, the game was well in hand but Kevin Keyes removed all doubt with a three-run HR off the LF foul pole. It was also the third time in the game Potomac had hit safely back-to-back-to-back with two outs.

In the second game, Blake Schwartz walked the first two batters he faced then threw away the ball on a pickoff attempt. He rolled a grounder to send in one run but got the next two outs to escape the jam with minimal damage, just one run.

His counterpart, Jason Van Skike, was just as wild (or squeezed, depending on your bias 😉 as he walked three of the first four batters he faced. Then the P-Nats started their station-to-station offense, connecting for three straight singles to cash in the three base on balls and give Schwartz a lead to work with.

The 23-y.o. Minnesotan walked the first batter of the 2nd, and for a brief moment, it looked like this could be a long afternoon — even with the shortened contest.

Then Schwartz, who is most definitely a flyball pitcher thus far for Potomac, found his groove. Changing speeds, he kept the Winston-Salem lineup off balance and retired 11 straight without the ball touching the ground — including three strikeouts and five flyouts to CF Michael Taylor.

The Dash’s no. 9 batter, .220-batting David Herbek, ended the no-hit bid with a line-drive single to left-center. He would also be the final Winston-Salem baserunner.

That’s because Schwartz strung together another streak of outs, beginning with a groundout to second to end the 5th and a strikeout to finish the 7th and earn the complete-game one-hitter. He walked three and struck out five for his third Potomac win.

As aforementioned, the win keeps pace with first-place Lynchburg, which leads Potomac in percentage points .559 to .556. The two teams have two remaining series against each other — May 24-26 in Lynchburg and May 31-June 2 in Woodbridge.

Tonight, the P-Nats shoot for the four-game sweep with LHP Robbie Ray (3-1, 2.08) taking the hill versus RHP Bryan Blough (1-4, 6.94).

May 132013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 14-1 vs. Norfolk,
12:00 p.m.
Rosenbaum (3-2, 2.27) vs.
Jurrjens (4-1, 2.62)
Harrisburg Won, 3-1;
Lost, 9-3
vs. Richmond,
7:00 p.m.
Treinen (3-3, 4.89) vs.
Teller (1st start @ AA)
Potomac Won, 7-2;
Won, 7-1
vs. Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Ray (3-1, 2.08) vs.
Blough (1-4, 6.94)
Hagerstown Lost, 12-7;
Won, 4-3
@ Greensboro,
7:00 p.m.
Encarnacion (2-2, 1.59) vs.
Oliver (0-0, 1.80)

Norfolk 14 Syracuse 1
• Perry (L, 1-3) 3⅓ IP, 10H, 7R, 7ER, BB, K, 2HR
• Mandel 1IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, 0BB, 1K, HR
• Marrero 1-3, BB
• Rahl 1-4, RBI

Norfolk put up three crooked numbers and connected for three home runs (remarkably, all solo shots) as the Tide pummeled the Syracuse Chiefs, 14-1. Ryan Perry gave up more runs than innings pitched for the third time in seven starts, allowing seven runs on 10 hits, including HR nos. five and six. Three Tides pitchers went three innings apiece and limited the Chiefs to just five hits, with Chris Marrero (1-for-3, BB) the only Chief to reach base twice.

Harrisburg 3 Binghamton 1 — GAME ONE
• Jordan (ND) 4IP, 4H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Barrett (SV, 6) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Rendon 2-2, R, HR, 2RBI, 2BB
• Goodwin 1-3, R, RBI, BB, SB

Anthony Rendon’s two-run HR in the three-run Harrisburg 5th proved to be the difference as the Senators took the opening game, 3-1. Taylor Jordan needed 75 pitches to get through four scoreless innings in his AA debut. He allowed four hits and one walk and struck out three. Pat McCoy got the win in relief as the pitcher of record when Harrisburg scored. Aaron Barrett closed out the 7th with a scoreless frame for save no. 6.

Binghamton 9 Harrisburg 3 — GAME TWO
• Karns (L, 3-2) ⅓ IP, 4H, 6R, 5ER, 3BB, 0K, 0HR
• Holland 3IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 5K; 1-1, R
• Bloxom 2-3
• Johnson 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI

Nathan Karns couldn’t make it out of the 1st, torched for six runs on four hits and three walks with no strikeouts and just one batter retired as the B-Mets pounded the Sens, 9-3 in the nightcap. Pat Lehman stranded two to get out of the 1st but got the similar smackdown in the 2nd as Binghamton hung a three-spot on the board. Josh Johnson’s two-run HR in the 6th prevented the shutout while Justin Bloxom (2-for-3) was the sole Harrisburg batter with multiple hits.

Potomac 7 Winston-Salem 2 (Comp.)
• Hill 4IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 4K
• Herron (W, 1-1) 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Holt 2IP, 0H, R, ER, 4BB, 5K
• Nieto 2-4, 2R, 2B
• Keyes 1-3, R, HR, 3RBI

Potomac 7 Winston-Salem 1 (7 inn.)
• Schwartz (W, 3-1) 7IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 5K
• Miller 3-4, R, 2RBI
• Sanchez 2-3, R, 3RBI
• Burns 1-2, 2R, 2BB, 2SB (19, 20)

The P-Nats rolled seven twice on a Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge.

Delmarva 12 Hagerstown 7 — GAME ONE
• Turnbull (L, 2-1) 3IP, 9H, 9R, 6ER, BB, 0K, 2HR
• Pena 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Renda 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• B. Miller 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Ramos 1-3, 2R, HR, BB, 2RBI

Kylin Turnbull’s struggles with the longball continue as the southpaw gave up nos. five and six in a 12-7 loss to Delmarva. The 23-y.o. was charged with nine runs total, six earned, on nine hits and one walk over three innings. Tony Renda (2-for-4) and “Help Me” Wander Ramos (1-for-3) both homered and drove in a pair in the loss.

Hagerstown 4 Delmarva 3 — GAME TWO (9 inn.)
• Pineyro 5IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K
• Fischer 2IP, 3H, 0R, BB, K
• Harper (W, 2-0) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Pleffner 1-3, R, BB, RBI
• B. Miller 1-3, 2R, BB, 2RBI

A walk, sacrifice, and a wild pitch set up the game-winning two-out single by backup backstop Erick Fernandez in the 9th for a 4-3 win and a doubleheader split. The walkoff made Bryan Harper a winner, having pitched two scoreless as the second man out of the ‘pen. Ivan Pineyro got the start and gave up all three Shorebird runs on three hits and two walks while striking out four. Shawn Pleffner and Brandon Miller both went 1-for-3 with a walk to pace the Suns attack, which was limited to six hits and three walks while fanning 12 times.

May 122013
 

The rain that stayed away on Friday came back on Saturday, just three outs before becoming an official game.

It was just moments after the Potomac turned a Winston-Salem no-hitter into a 4-1 lead by sending nine men to the plate and stringing together four straight two-out hits. Adrian Nieto got the rally started with a one-out double and took third when Kevin Keyes grounded to first.

Down 1-0, the hope then was to tie the game before rains came. After a two-run homer by Justin Miller, an infield single by Randolph Oduber and an RBI double by Billy Burns, it became a matter of “OK, let’s get back out there and get three outs to make this game official.”

Michael Taylor, however, would not “cooperate” by drawing a two-out walk. The team’s two fastest baserunners then showed as much with a double steal to give Cutter Dykstra a chance to push the lead to 6-1 with the inning’s sixth hit.

Alas, it did not come; instead, a deep line drive right to the Dash centerfielder that ended the frame. The Woodbridge nine had barely gotten on to field in the top of the 5th when the downpour started, going from lawn sprinkler to car wash in less than a couple minutes.

After 92 minutes, officials called it a night. The game will be continued at noon followed by a seven-inning game.

May 122013
 

Baseball Rain For NPP 3

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 3-2 vs. Norfolk,
2:00 p.m.
Arrieta (2-1, 2.75) vs.
Perry (1-2, 5.87)
Harrisburg Postponed @ Binghamton,
1:05 p.m.
Jordan (AA debut) and
Karns (3-1, 3.03) vs.
Cohoon (3-0, 2.93) and
Mazzoni (0-1, 2.25)
Potomac Winning, 4-1
(suspended,
Top of 5th)
vs. Winston-Salem,
12:00 p.m. (completion,
7 inn. game)
TBD and Schwartz (2-1, 0.60) vs.
TBD and Van Skike (2-0, 0.60)
Hagerstown Postponed vs. Delmarva,
1:05 p.m.
Turnbull (2-0, 4.09) and
Pena (2-2, 4.24) vs.
Kline (1-2, 5.68) and
Hader (1-1, 1.40)

Norfolk 3 Syracuse 2
• Maya (L, 1-4) 6IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 2K
• Roark 2⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Rhymes 2-4, RBI
• Watts 2-4, 2B

The lone game to get played to its completion was basically done after three as Norfolk got to Yunesky Maya early and held off Syracuse for six innings for a 3-2 win. Maya allowed all three Tides runs on seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts but took the loss. Will Rhymes and Kris Watts both went 2-for-4 to pace the Chiefs nine-hit attack.

Harrisburg vs. Binghamton — PPD
Rain stopped this one from starting, delaying the AA debut of Taylor Jordan to today as the two teams are set to make it up with a pair of seven-inning games this afternoon.

Potomac 4 Winston-Salem 1 — SUSP.
• Hill 4IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 4K
Rain halted this one before the top of the 5th Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown vs. Delmarva — PPD
Wet grounds forced the postponement of the doubleheader to today at 1:05 p.m.

May 112013
 

No, I Said The White PhoneWith OF Jayson Werth being placed on the 15-Day DL (retroactive to May 3) with a hamstring injury, the Washington Nationals have indeed made the move to recall Syracuse OF Eury Perez, as noted in this morning’s news & notes.

Like Corey Brown last May, Perez is on a hot streak, batting safely in the last nine games with a batting average and a on-base percentage of .381 (walks and Perez go together like News and Fox) with three doubles, a home run, and three steals. For the season, Perez is hanging a .346/.352/.439 line with six RBI and seven steals over 23 games this season.

Perez batted .200 (1-for-5) in 13 games last September, as the majority of his time spent in DC was on defense or pinch-running. Perez was originally signed by Washington as an International Free Agent in 2007 and was placed on the 40-man roster in November 2011.

While Perez is likely to be sent back down as soon as Werth is eligible, corresponding moves to the affiliates’ rosters have not yet been announced. Most likely: Jimmy Van Ostrand or Jerad Head up from Harrisburg, Randolph Oduber moved to Potomac, J.R. Higley or Will Piwinica-Worms up from Hagerstown and either Matt Foat or Higley activated from XST or the DL respectively.

UPDATE
The Potomac Nationals have announced that UT Francisco Soriano has been assigned to Syracuse with SS Wilmer Difo (click to read player summary from 2013 Watchlist) assigned from the GCL Nationals.

May 112013
 

For the third straight game, Potomac won in its final at-bat. This time, however, it was the reclamation of a lead lost and a swift finish as Jason Martinson led off the bottom of the 9th with a solo HR for a 5-4 win over the Winston-Salem Dash.

The blast, which was the Texan’s seventh, took Richie Mirowski off the hook and “earned” the reliever the dreaded blown-save-win as he gave up the lead with two-out, two-run shot to dead center off the bat of Chris Curley. It was the fourth home run Mirowski has surrendered in just 14⅓ innings.

Early on, this was an exercise in frustration for the opposing offenses. It’s tempting to call a 1-1 game a pitcher’s duel, but the combined 15 baserunners left on through the first five innings beg to differ.

Both A.J. Cole and the Dash’s Chris Bassitt got themselves into and out of jams. Cole walked three, hit a batter, and balked a baserunner but got the final batter out with the strikeout four innings out of five. The lone run he allowed was by no means “cheap,” as Kevan “Don’t Call Me Silent Bob” Smith led off the 4th with triple to the right-center gap and scored on a sacrifice fly.

Twice Bassitt let up back-to-back singles with two outs, but twice the P-Nats were unable to hound him for a third hit as Adrian Nieto tapped out to short in the 1st and Cutter Dykstra popped out with the bases loaded in the 4th.

Potomac needed a couple of miscues to score against Bassitt as Kevin Keyes stole third as part of a double steal with two out and chugged home with the run when toss to first on the dropped third strike was botched for an error.

Both starters were done after five, with Cole finishing his night with one run on five hits and striking out seven. Bassitt gave up seven hits, but just one unearned run with five K’s.

After leaving on nine runners through five, Michael Taylor ended that streak with a two-run home run off the left field foul pole to give Potomac a 3-1 lead. Colin Bates, who set ’em down in order in the 6th, was touched for a run in the 7th as he was unable to strand a one-out triple, giving up a two-out double to plate the second Winston-Salem run.

Potomac got it back in the 8th as Francisco Soriano led off with a triple and came around to score after Billy Burns walked and stole second (no, I don’t have that on autofill, but I maybe I ought to). The double play taken away, Michael Taylor got the RBI on a fielder’s choice as Soriano sacmpered home with the fourth Potomac run.

Christian Meza, who had pitched a scoreless 8th following Bates to earn the hold, gave way to Mirowski in the 9th. The 24-year-old got the first two on a whiff and a grounder to first but issued a two-out walk that set up Curley for the game-tying blast.

With the win, Potomac improves to 18-16 but remains a game behind Frederick and percentage points behind Lynchburg in the Carolina League North. Weather permitting, game two of the four-game series will feature a matchup RHP Taylor Hill (3-1, 2.21) for the P-Nats and RHP Chris Beck (2-4, 1.50) for the Dash.

May 112013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 7-3 vs. Norfolk,
2:00 p.m.
Maya (1-3, 5.89) vs.
Pettit (AAA debut)
Harrisburg Lost, 8-4 @ Binghamton,
1:05 p.m.
Jordan (AA debut) vs.
Mazzoni (0-1, 2.25)
Potomac Won, 5-4 vs. Winston-Salem,
6:35 p.m.
Hill (3-1, 2.21) vs.
Beck (2-4, 1.50)
Hagerstown Postponed vs. Delmarva,
5:05 p.m.
Turnbull (2-0, 4.09) and
Pena (2-2, 4.24) vs.
Kline (1-2, 5.68) and
Hader (1-1, 1.40)

Syracuse 7 Norfolk 3 (7 inn.)
• Young (W, 1-1) 6IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K, 2HR
• Tatusko 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Walters 2-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Marrero 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• Rahl 2-3, 2R, BB

Rain shortened this one to seven innings, as the Chiefs rolled the Tide for seven runs in the first three innings en route to a 7-3 win. Chris Young gave up three runs — all on two home runs — on six hits and no walks and three strikeouts to earn the win. Zach Walters and Chris Marrero both went 2-for-4 with a home run as Syracuse pounded out 13 hits total. By all accounts, OF Eury Perez will be called up to Washington to take the place of Jayson Werth, which will likely set a chain reaction of transactions. Stay tuned for a post later on today.

Binghamton 8 Harrisburg 4 (6½ inn.)
• Clay (L, 3-2) 1⅔ IP, 6H, 7R, 7ER, BB, K, HR
• Swynenberg 4IP, 2H, R, ER, 3BB, 2K, HR, 1-1 IR-S; 1-1, 2B, 2RBI
• Rendon 3-4, 2-2B, RBI
• Hague 1-3, R, 2B, RBI

Some 76 miles down I-81 in Binghamton, rain also cut this one short as the Mets doubled up the Senators, 8-4. Caleb Clay was knocked from the box in the second inning, charged with seven runs on six hits and a walk with just one strikeout. Matt Swynenberg was greeted with a two-run shot to the first batter he faced but got them back with his bat with a two-run double in the 4th. Anthony Rendon continues to blister the ball, singling once and doubling twice for his fourth straight multihit game.
Roster moves: C Kris Watts was activated from the 7-Day DL and assigned to Syracuse while Sam Palace went back on the 7-Day DL with strained chance of getting into a ballgame.

Potomac 5 Winston-Salem 4
• Cole 5IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 7K
• Mirowski (BS, 3; W, 3-2) 1IP, 1H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 1K, 1HR
• Martinson 2-5, R, HR, RBI
• Keyes 2-3, R, BB, 2SB
• Miller 2-3, R, BB, SB

Another wild finish Last Night In Woodbridge.
Roster move: RHP Rob Gilliam activated from the 7-Day DL, returning the P-Nats contingent to the full 25.

Hagerstown vs. Delmarva — PPD
The rain that shortened the games in New York wiped out this one in Western Maryland. It will be made up tonight, weather permitting.

May 102013
 


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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 13-20, 6th place I.L. North, 7½ games behind

Good Eury Perez .381/.381/.524 during 9G hit streak
Bad 214 pitching strikeouts, 14th in I.L.
Interesting Home: 3-12, Road: 10-8

HARRISBURG SENATORS 16-18, 4th place E.L. West, 5 games behind

Good Anthony Rendon .364/.500/.682 since return from DC
Bad Marcos Frias 7.50ERA, 1.58WHIP, 38.1% LOB
Interesting Three of four Harrisburg Senator no-hitters have happened in the past four seasons (2010, James/Kimball/Zinicola; 2011, Martis 7inn.; 2013, Demny/Krol)

POTOMAC NATIONALS 17-16, T2nd place C.L. North, 1½ games behind

Good Robbie Ray 3-1, 2.08ERA, 2.94FIP, 1.08WHIP
Bad Kevin Keyes .162/.197/.270, 37K in 28G
Interesting Adrian Nieto .228BA, 9 of 21 hits for extra bases

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 19-12, 1st place Sally North, ½ game ahead

Good Team pitching 3.16 R/G #1 in Sally League
Bad 12HR tied for 10th in 14-team Sally League
Interesting Travis Henke 93.8% LOB rate
May 102013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-2 vs. Norfolk,
7:00 p.m.
Young (0-1, 7.04) vs.
Stinson (1-0, 2.59)
Harrisburg Won, 6-1 @ Binghamton,
7:05 p.m.
Clay (3-1, 2.75) vs.
Goeddel (2-2, 5.16)
Potomac Won, 3-2 vs. Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Cole (1-1, 3.94) vs.
Bassitt (4-0, 1.95)
Hagerstown Won, 3-1 vs. Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Turnbull (2-0, 4.09) vs.
Kline (1-2, 5.68)

Durham 4 Syracuse 2
• Ohlendorf (L, 3-4) 8IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 4BB, 4K
• Perez 3-4, SB
• Owings 1-3, R, HR, RBI
• Walters 1-3, R, 3B

The Chiefs could not complete the four-game sweep, losing the finale to the Bulls, 4-2. Starter Ross Ohlendorf went the distance, giving up all four runs on seven hits and four walks while striking out four. Eury Perez led the the hit column with three singles, but was thrown out trying for a double with one out in the 9th. The mistake proved costly as Jeff Kobernus followed with a triple but was stranded there for the lone runner left on base for Syracuse, which had just four at-bats with runners in scoring position. Roster move: C Jhonatan Solano placed on the 7-Day DL, C Sam Palace activated from the 7-Day DL

Harrisburg 6 Binghamton 1
• Demny (W, 2-4) 8IP, 0H, 1R, 0ER, 3BB, 5K
• Krol 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Hague 2-4, 2R, 2-2B, 2RBI
• Rendon 2-4, R, 2B, BB, RBI

Paul Demny and Ian Krol combined for a no-hitter as Harrisburg pummeled Binghamton, 6-1. Demny walked three and gave up an unearned run in the 7th on his own error, a comebacker to the mound that he misfired to first following a leadoff walk, pushing the man on first to third. The run would score on a double play ball to the next batter. Ricky Hague and Anthony Rendon combined to go 4-for-8 with three runs scored, three doubles, and three RBI to pace the Senators offense.

Potomac 3 Wilmington 2 (10 inn.)
• Dupra 6IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 1K
• Grace 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Self (W, 2-1) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Miller 1-3, 2B
• Martinson 1-4, R, HR, RBI

For the second night in a row Potomac was outhit (9-4), but prevailed by a 3-2 score. Instead of a rain-shortened affair, this one went into extras. Caleb Ramsey doubled with two outs in top of the 10th, went to third on a wild pitch, then scored on another wild pitch. Derek Self gave up a leadoff walk in bottom of the inning, then set down the next three by a pair of K’s and a popup to earn the win. Jason Martinson homered for the first P-Nat run in the 2nd, while Cole Leonida singled, took third on a Justin Miller double, and scored on a Billy Burns groundout in the 3rd.

Hagerstown 3 Delmarva 1
• Anderson (W, 3-1) 6IP, 7H, R, ER, 0BB, 5K, 3HBP
• McKenzie (H, 2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Norfork 2-3, R, SH
• Severino 2-3, 2RBI, SF

Dixon Anderson is making his case to be the next Sun to “move on up,” tossing six innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 Hagerstown win over Delmarva. The 23-y.o. scattered seven hits and plunked three Shorebirds, but walked none and struck out five. Four relievers combined for three scoreless innings of relief, with Robert Benincasa earning his seventh save (fourth in seven days). Khayyan Norfork went 2-for-3 with a run scored and a sacrifice in his return from Potomac while Pedro Severino drove in two while going 2-for-3 to lead the Hagerstown attack.

May 092013
 

Moving On Up for NPPThe Potomac Nationals have announced that RHP Taylor Jordan has been promoted to Harrisburg.

Jordan was 2-1 with a line of 1.24/2.46/1.02 (ERA/FIP/WHIP – It’s not a thing… yet) in six starts, including eight scoreless innings last Friday night. In 36⅓ innings, he allowed nine runs (five earned) on 31 hits with 29 strikeouts and six (6) walks.

As mentioned in “First Impressions,” Jordan has picked up where he left off in 2011, when he was 9-4, 2.48/2.92/1.20 in 17 starts for Hagerstown before undergoing Tommy John surgery (making him one of the M*A*S*H players on the 2013 Watchlist). He features a FB/SL/CH arsenal, but appears to have shelved (as predicted) the curveball spotted when I first saw him in 2010.

A corresponding move to backfill his spot on the Potomac roster has not yet been announced. Brian Dupra, promoted last week from Hagerstown, will take his scheduled start tonight in Wilmington, as the official release terms the move as a “spot start.”

As of this writing, Taylor is not scheduled to start tonight, however, as beat writer Geoff Morrow noted earlier today, tonight’s scheduled pitcher for the Senators — Paul Demny — has been struggling mightily and is a candidate to get moved to the ‘pen or demoted.

UPDATE: The Harrisburg Senators have sent RHP Brian Broderick to the DL to make room for Jordan, who will take Broderick’s spot in the rotation and make his AA debut on Saturday