Jun 152012
 

So long, Spike 2003-2012

Sorry, no writeups today. Click on the picture to go to our Facebook page, which will explain what happened to Spike. Good, Bad, and Interesting will still publish today around noon.

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 10-0 “@” Scranton/WB,
7:00 p.m.
Atkins (5-5, 4.32) vs.
Betances (3-5, 5.92)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-4 vs. Trenton,
7:00 p.m.
Gilliam (1-6, 5.40) vs.
Hall (5-6, 4.14)
Potomac Won, 5-4 @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Karns (0-2, 8.53) vs.
TBD
Hagerstown Won, 8-6 @ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Hansen (1st A- start in ’12) vs.
Benedict (4-4, 3.66)
DSL Nationals Won, 10-9
(12 inn.)
@ DSL Phillies,
10:30 a.m.
Suero (2-0, 1.64) vs.
Dominguez (1-1, 3.27)

Syracuse 10 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 0
• Duke (W, 7-3) 5⅔ IP, 6H, 0R, BB, 5K
• Pena 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Carroll 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI
• Bynum 2-4, 2R, 3B, 2RBI
• Paul 2-5, R, 2B, 2RBI

Erie 5 Harrisburg 4
• Pucetas (L, 4-2) 6⅔ IP, 5H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 6K, HR
• Nelo 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Lozada 3-4, R, 2B
• Kobernus 0-3, 3K, 2SF, 2RBI

As expected, Eury Perez was placed on the DL, retroactive to June 11.

Potomac 5 Myrtle Beach 4
• Grace (W, 4-6) 6IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 4K
• Holland (H, 2) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Wort (SV, 4) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Hague 2-3, R, HR, SF, 3RBI
• Kelso 2-3, 2R, BB, SB

Hagerstown 8 West Virginia 6
• Hill 5IP, 4H, 6R, 5ER, 2BB, 2K, 3HR
• Hawkins (W, 2-0) 2⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 3BB, 2K
• Barrett (SV, 8) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Ramsey 4-5, 2R, 2B, 3B, 3RBI, SB
• Newsome 2-5, R, 2B
• Burns 2-4, R, RBI

DSL Nationals 10 DSL Phillies 9 (12 inn.)
• Silvestre 6IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 3BB, 5K, HR
• K. Rodriguez (W, 2-0) 2IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Read 2-6, R, HR, BB, 4RBI
• Ramirez 2-4, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI

Jun 142012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF Day “@” Scranton/WB,
7:00 p.m.
Duke (6-3, 4.08) vs.
Warren (4-3, 3.89)
Harrisburg Won, 8-7;
Lost, 8-2
vs. Erie,
7:00 p.m.
Pucetas (4-1, 1.26) vs.
De La Cruz (3-6, 3.67)
Potomac Lost, 6-5;
Lost, 5-3
@ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Grace (3-6, 5.16) vs.
Tepesch (5-3, 2.89)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-3
(10 inn.)
@ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Hill (6-4, 4.03) vs.
Rowland (2-1, 2.86)
DSL Nationals Won, 7-5 vs. DSL Phillies,
10:30 a.m.
Silvestre (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Santos (0-0, 2.25)

Syracuse — OFF DAY
No significant roster moves were made, nor have I been able to locate any updates on Yunesky Maya’s injury. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Mark Teahen can opt out of his minor-league deal if not called up by tomorrow.

Harrisburg 8 Erie 7 — GAME ONE
• Rosenbaum 4+IP, 8H, 3R, 1ER, BB, 3K
• Frias (W, 3-3) 2IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 2K
• Rahl 3-4, 2R, BB, RBI, 2SB
• Valdez 3-5, R, 2B, 2RBI, OF assist at HP
• Marrero 2-3, R, 2B

Chris Rahl’s RBI single in the 8th was a walkoff for an 8-7 Senators win in “extras” for the first game of the doubleheader. It made a winner out of Marcos Frias, who was the third reliever after starter Danny Rosenbaum was knocked out with no outs in the 5th. Rahl went 3-for-4 with a walk and two stolen bases to lead the offense, while rehabbing Chris Marrero went 2-for-3 with a double.

Erie 8 Harrisburg 2 — GAME TWO
• Ballard (L, 1-5) 1+IP, 6H, 8R, 8ER, 2BB, K, HR
• Tatusko 4IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 2K, 1-1 IR-S
• Kobernus 2-3, R, HR, RBI, CS
• Van Ostrand 2-3, R, HR, RBI

A pair of four-run innings in the first two innings put this one away early as the Senators lost the nightcap, 8-2. Mike Ballard was torched for eight runs on six hits and two walks to take the loss. Jeff Kobernus and Jimmy Van Ostrand both went 2-for-3 with a HR, accounting for both runs and four of the six Senator hits. Geoff Morrow of the Patriot-News is reporting Eury Perez is likely headed to the DL with an oblique injury.

Winston-Salem 6 Potomac 5 (Comp.)
• Olbrychowski 3IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Applebee 3IP, 4H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, K, HR
• McCatty (L, 1-1) 2IP, H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Walters 2-4, R, 3B, RBI
• Freitas 1-3, R, RBI

Winston Salem scored in every inning but one after play resumed in the 4th, the last being the killshot off losing pitcher Shane McCatty to break a 5-5 tie for a 6-5 win in the completion of Tuesday night’s game. Zach Walters singled and tripled to lead the hit column as the P-Nats managed to score five runs on just eight hits.

Winston-Salem 5 Potomac 3 — GAME TWO
• Ray (L, 3-3) 5IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 6K
• Barthmaier 1IP, H, R, ER, 2BB, 0K, HR
• Bloxom 1-3, R, HR, RBI
• Ramirez 2-3

One bad inning out of five was enough to hand Robbie Ray the “L,” as the Winston-Salem Dash eliminated the Potomac Nationals from the first-half title race with a 5-3 win in seven innings. Ray gave up four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out six. Justin Bloxom connected for his league-leading 12th HR while J.P. Ramirez singled twice to lead the hit column.

Hickory 5 Hagerstown 3 (10 inn.)
• Turnbull 6⅓ IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 4K
• Barrett ⅔ IP, 2H, 2R, ER, BB, K
• Dykstra 2-5, 2B
• Martinson 1-4, R, HR, RBI

After rallying for two runs to tie it a 3-3 in the last of the 9th, the Suns couldn’t stand their good fortune and returned the favor, coughing up two in the 10th to lose, 5-3. Kylin Turnbull pitched into the 7th for the first time, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks while striking out four. Hagerstown was held to just five hits, with Cutter Dykstra and Jason Martinson combining for three of them. The loss dropped the Suns back to 2½ games behind Greensboro with four to play. In what should be presumed to be a procedural move, LHP Matt Purke has been placed on the 7-Day DL.

DSL Nationals 7 DSL Pirates2 5
• Moscat 3IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 4K
• K. Rodriguez (SV, 2) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Novas 2-5, R, HR, 4RBI
• T. Alvarez 2-3, 2R, HR, BB, RBI
• Read 2-5, 2B, RBI

Thomas Alvarez’s HR in the bottom of the 6th broke a 5-5 tie as the D-Nats would go on to win this one, 7-5. Felix Moscat made his first start of the campaign, giving up two runs on two hits and four walks over three innings. Jonathan Aquino picked up the win in relief with one and 1/3rd scoreless innings while Kelvin Rodriguez posted goose eggs in the 8th and 9th innings for the save. Randy Novas went 2-for-5 with four RBI, including a three-run HR, to lead the D-Nats’ 10-hit attack.

Jun 132012
 

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Postponed OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Postponed vs. Erie,
6:00 p.m.
Rosenbaum (7-2, 1.93) and
Ballard (1-4, 3.25) vs.
Wesson (4-3, 5.85) and
Cooper (0-0, 6.23)
Potomac Suspended,
1-1 (Top 4th)
@ Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Ray (3-2, 4.58) vs.
Heidenreich (5-2, 4.29)
Hagerstown Won, 4-0 vs. Hickory,
7:05 p.m.
Turnbull (2-3, 4.68) vs.
Payano (4-3, 3.54)
DSL Nationals Lost, 4-0 vs. Pirates2,
10:30 a.m.
A. Martinez (0-1, 7.50) vs.
Rico (0-0, 3.52)

Syracuse Chiefs — PPD
Rain postponed the series finale, which will be made up on July 29 as part of a doubleheader. Next up: a grueling four-game “road trip” vs. the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, beginning tomorrow at Alliance Bank Park.

Harrisburg — PPD
Rain postponed game one of the three-game series vs Erie, forcing a doubleheader tonight. Roster moves: 2B Jeff Kobernus was activated from the DL while MLB rehabs Chris Marrero and Ryan Mattheus were transferred from Potomac.

Potomac 1 Winston-Salem 1 — SUSP.

After a 31-minute delay to start the game, Potomac and Winston-Salem played to a 1-1 tie before the game was halted in the top of the 4th. The two teams will resume today at 5:30 p.m., then play a seven-inning contest afterwards. Prior to the game, OF Kevin Keyes and RHP Shane McCatty were activated from the DL, while IF Brent Greer was placed on the 7-Day DL and LHP Bobby Hansen Jr. was assigned to Hagerstown.

Hagerstown 4 Hickory 0 (6 inn.)
• Meyer (W, 6-3) 6IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 5K
• Goodwin 2-3
• Martinson 0-1, 2BB, SB

Hagerstown scored three times in the 4th, once in the 5th, and were about to bat when… wait for it… the rains came and the game was eventually called for a 4-0 win. Alex Meyer tossed six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits for the shutout that improved his home record to 5-0 and overall mark to 6-3. Brian Goodwin singled twice and Jason Martinson drew two walks to lead the offense. Corresponding moves for the additions of Jeremy Mayo and Hansen Jr. have not yet been announced.

DSL Pirates2 4 DSL Nationals 0
• Valerio (L, 0-2) 5IP, 5H, 1R, 0ER, BB, K
• Dilone 2⅔ IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 3-2 IR-S
• Aguero 1-3, OF assist at HP
• Bautista 1-3, OF assist at 3B

The D-Nats were held to just three hits in a 4-0 shutout by the DSL Pirates2. Sixteen-year-old Maximo Valerio took the loss, giving up an unearned run over five innings. Younifred Aguero and Rafael Bautista both went 1-for-3 and threw out a baserunner from the outfield.

Jun 122012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-1 vs. Lehigh Valley,
10:30 a.m.
Atkins (5-5, 4.32) vs.
Elarton (5-2, 3.36)
Harrisburg OFF DAY vs. Erie,
7:00 p.m.
Ballard (1-4, 3.25) vs.
TBA
Potomac Lost, 15-4 @ Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Olbrychowski (2-5, 5.83) vs.
Petricka (4-4, 5.29)
Hagerstown Won, 9-0 vs. Hickory,
7:05 p.m.
Meyer (5-3, 3.64) vs.
Jackson (5-4, 4.73)
DSL Nationals Won, 9-5 @ Pirates2,
10:30 a.m.
Valerio (0-1, 81.00) vs.
De Aza (0-0, 0.00)

Lehigh Valley 4 Syracuse 1
• Maya 5+IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K; 1-2
• Mandel (BS, 1;L, 0-1) 2IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, K
• Brown 1-3, R, BB
• Skelton 1-1 (would you believe left w/ an injury?)

Yuneksy Maya (fielding a bunt) and James Skelton (collision at home plate) were both injured while Lehigh Valley piled on reliever Jeff Mandel in a four-run 6th as the Iron Pigs defeated the Chiefs, 4-1. Maya had allowed just two hits and gotten 11 of his 15 outs on the ground before the injury. Corey Brown reached base twice to lead the Syracuse offense.

HARRISBURG — OFF DAY
After dropping two of three in Reading, the Senators return home for six at Metro Bank Park, where Harrisburg has actually struggled (12-17). The Erie Seawolves visit for three starting tonight with the Trenton Thunder coming in over the weekend. Chris Marrero is expected to join the team for the next, um, leg of his rehab tour through the minors. Roster move: C Jeremy Mayo was assigned to Hagerstown, a sign that Devin Ivany is indeed okay.

Winston-Salem 15 Potomac 4
• Sywnenberg (L, 4-4) 1⅔ IP, 7H, 8R, 8ER, 2BB, K, 0HR
• Testa 2IP, H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Sanchez 3-5, R, 2B
• Oduber 2-3, RBI, SB
• Freitas 1-2, 2R, 2B, 3BB

Potomac’s road woes continues as an eight-run 2nd put little doubt into outcome as Winston-Salem prevailed, 15-4. Matt Swynenberg took the brunt of the beating, allowing eight runs on seven hits over an inning and 2/3rds while walking two and striking out just one. Adrian Sanchez led the hit column with a 3-for-5 night, All-Star representative David Freitas doubled and scored twice while drawing three walks, and Zach Walters hit a three-run HR for the bulk of the Potomac offense. The loss drops the elimination to three with six to play, as Lynchburg was rained out.


• Meza (W, 4-1) 5IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 6K
• Encarnacion 2IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Miller 3-5, 2R, 2B, 2RBI, SB
• Leonida 3-4, 2R, 2-2B, 3B, 2RBI
• Skole 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI, BB

Christian Meza and two relievers combined on a five-hit shutout as the Suns boiled the Crawdads, 9-0. Meza gave up just two hits over five innings while striking out six to improve to 4-1 on the season. Cole Leonida doubled twice and tripled once to lead the 14-hit onslaught. Hagerstown also swiped five bases, with Cutter Dykstra and Brian Goodwin each pilfering two. Making room for Mayo (see above in Harrisburg), C Sam Palace was removed from the Hagerstown roster and placed on the Auburn roster.

DSL Nationals 9 DSL Arizona/Cincinnati 5
• J. Rodriguez 5IP, 6H, 5R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K
• Gomez (W, 1-0) 3IP, H, 0R, 3BB, 4K
• Aguero 2-2, R, HR, BB, 2RBI, SB
• De Los Santos 2-2, 2R, 2B, 2BB, RBI
• A. Martinez 2-5, 2-2B, RBI

The DSL Nationals scored six unanswered runs in their last three “ups” to beat the DSL “Redbacks” 9-5. Elisaul Gomez got the win with three scoreless innings in relief of Jefry Rodriguez, who went the first five and gave up five runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks. Both pitchers struck out four. Younifred Aguero homered, drove in two, walked, and stole a base to lead the offense. OF Dionicio Rosario and RHPs Emmanuel De La Cruz, Melvi Salazar were activated from the DL while RHP Phillips Valdez and SS Thomas Alvarez were added to the roster.

Jun 112012
 

For the second straight year, the Washington Nationals pulled off a big shock at the MLB draft, grabbing players once thought to be sure-fire (or close to it) #1 overall picks who fell due to injury concerns. In 2011, the Nationals were picking 6th overall, where they got a great college hitter with injury concerns in Anthony Rendon. They were able to pay him big money and give him a major-league contract.Last week, the Nats grabbed flamethrowing righthander Lucas Giolito out of Harvard-Westlake HS in California with the #16 overall pick.

Giolito had injury concerns going in (elbow) and supposedly high demands, but unlike last year with Rendon, Washington can’t give the SoCal kid a big-league contract or sign him to a $5 million dollar deal to secure his services — thanks to the new CBA that eliminated the former practice and has severely curtailed big spending that the Nationals and other organizations (e.g. Pittsburgh) have done the past three years.

The strategy of the draft changed immensely over the past year with the new slotting system. The Nationals were only allotted $4.436M in their bonus pool (and can spend up to $4.658, 5% above the slot amount, without losing a draft pick). I won’t go too far into the dollar details (read Brian Oliver’s “Gioloto Savings Plan” for a fantastic rundown), but the Nationals will likely have somewhere in the $2.8-$3 million range to spend in Gioloto due to their conservative drafting in rounds 2-10.

By my count, the Nationals drafted 32 signable players: 15 college seniors, 11 college juniors, three junior college players and three high schoolers in the top 20 rounds. I don’t expect any HS picks from Freddy Avis (25th round) or later to end up with the Nationals (and 15th rounder Brandon Smith is a stretch as well). [Ed. Note: This may spare you numerous puns with 26th rounder Skye Bolt, who is indeed a speedster]

Last year, the Nationals signed all of their seniors (though the contracts of Sean Cotten and Tony Nix were voided according to Baseball America, likely due to failed physicals) and only missed out on two junior college (JuCo) players and three college juniors in the top 30 rounds.

Two JuCos (14th round RHP Jordan Poole and 16th round RHP Roland Pena),fall into the “maybe they won’t sign category” while 30th, 32nd, 35th and 38th round college juniors RC Orlan, Mike Mudron, Cory Bafidis and Jared Messer could spur the Nats to head back for their senior seasons as well, but any given guy listed above is likely seen by the Nats as a 50/50 or better to sign (remember, they called players before drafting them to make sure they were interested in signing).

My academic background as a history major prompted me to look at the 2011 draft and see where players were assigned after being drafted. While the signing deadline moved up to mid-July rather than mid-August, the signed majority of players who signed with the team did so very quickly; it was only the higher-round guys who held out until the last minute.

Twenty players were drafted, signed and appeared with the Nationals in at least one level of affiliated ball in 2011 (those who signed but did not play affiliated ball in 2011: Rendon, Meyer, Goodwin, Purke, Turnbull, Anderson and Pleffner). Eleven of the 20 (all college juniors or seniors) started in Auburn, and 36th rounder Ben Hawkins moved up to Auburn after spending two weeks in the GCL. We’ll just call it 12.

The eight that started and stayed in the GCL ranged from Deion Williams (the lone high schooler signed last year), Nick Lee (JuCo sophomore) and six college players: Todd Simko (junior), Erick Fernandez (senior), Bobby Lucas, Jr. (senior), Ken Ferrer (senior), Bryan Harper (junior) and Trey Karlen (senior). The elder Harper signed around the same time the top guys did, so his GCL start is no surprise. The other five were a slew of senior signs and projects; teaching Simko how to use his good stuff, Lucas how to improve his control and getting Erick Fernandez likely factored into the decisions to send them to the GCL.

In 2012, the Nationals will likely see the HS and JuCo players who sign head to the GCL as well as some late-round projects/injury-plagued guys (Austin Dicharry, LJ Hollins and Cory Bafidis come to mind if they sign) and will send most other draftees to Auburn. I wouldn’t be surprised to see three or four of the arms drafted in the 22-32 range end up in the GCL due to a numbers game, but if we use last year as a rule of thumb, it looks like most college bats that sign will end up in Auburn.

Jun 112012
 

The annual baseball roadtrip is coming a little early this year (July in 2011, August in 2010), as I head west this year (north in 2011, south in 2010) to Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia for the next seven days.

The goal, as always, is to keep the site running as best as I can from the free WiFi of budget motels in the evenings after games and/or the mornings over the “continental breakfasts,” but the News & Notes are likely to be a little thinner and the responses to site comments a bit more sporadic.

For those wondering, the itinerary is the Columbus Clippers, Cincinnati Reds, Louisville Bats, Lexington Legends, and the West Virginia Power (vs. the Suns) with visits to the requisite Americana along the way.

Jun 112012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-2 vs. Lehigh Valley,
7:00 p.m.
Maya (4-5, 3.48) vs.
Cloyd (5-1, 2.26)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-4 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Lost, 3-2 @ Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Sywnenberg (4-3, 4.83) vs.
Bachanov (4-1, 3.68)
Hagerstown Lost, 6-2 vs. Hickory,
7:05 p.m.
Meza (3-1, 3.41) vs.
Perez (2-4, 6.54)
DSL Nationals OFF DAY vs. DSL Ariz./Cincy,
10:30 a.m.
J. Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Lara (0-0, 0.00)

Syracuse 3 Lehigh Valley 2
• Lannan (L, 5-6) 5IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 0BB, 3K, HR(GS)
• Bibens-Dirkx 2IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Teahen 2-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Michaels 1-3, BB

This was one was over early as John Lannan coughed up his tenth HR, this one a first-inning grand slam, as the Iron Pigs smelted the Chiefs, 5-2. Lannan gave up all five runs on nine hits, walked none, and struck out three over five innings. Mark Teahen led the Syracuse offense with a 2-for-5 game, driving in the first Chiefs run with a double.

Reading 5 Harrisburg 4
• Demny 4IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 3K, HR; 1-2, 2RBI
• McCoy (L, 3-1) 1+ IP, H, R, ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Pahuta 3-4, R, RBI
• Rahl 2-4, R

After dodging bullets all game long, Reading’s Tim Kennelly ended the game with his second HR for a 5-4 R-Phils walkoff win over the Harrisburg Senators. Reading had been 0-for-10 with RISP and stranded eight baserunners, but used the longball to overcome deficits of 3-1 and 4-3. Pat McCoy took the loss after pitching a scoreless 8th. Starter Paul Demny lasted just four innings, but contributed to his own cause with his first career hit, a two-out, two-run single that capped off a three-run rally. Tim Pahuta led the regulars with a 3-for-4 game.

Salem 3 Potomac 2
• Holder (ND) 5IP, 4H, R, ER, 5BB, 3K
• Mattheus 1IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K, 2HR
• Marrero 2-4, RBI
• Bloxom 2-4

Rehabbing MLBers got two hits and gave up two hits on a Sunday Afternoon in Woodbridge.

Kannapolis 6 Hagerstown 2
• Purke (L, 0-2) 5⅔ IP, 3H, 4R, 3ER, 4BB, 5K, 2WP
• Bates 2⅓ IP, 5H, 2R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• Goodwin 1-4, 2B, RBI
• Dykstra 0-2, 2BB, SB

Hagerstown’s seven-game win streak ended with a 6-2 loss to Kannapolis. Matt Purke was perfect for three innings before unraveling in the fourth, when the Intimidators scored three times with two outs. The final line: four runs (three earned) on three hits and four walks over five and 2/3rds innings with two costly wild pitches. The Suns were held to just three hits and five walks. With a win by Greensboro, the Suns’ deficit is back to 2½ games with seven to play: three at the Muni and four in West Virginia.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
The D-Nats are now 4-3 after their first full week of DSL play. This week they host the “Redbacks,” play home-and-homes against the Pirates and Phillies2 squads, and finish the week with a visit to the Cubs2.

Jun 102012
 

Sometimes rehabs giveth and sometimes they taketh — and sometimes it’s both.

Rehabbing Chris Marrero singled twice (one flare, one line drive) and drove in one but two grooved fastballs (read: no-doubt-about-it HRs) by rehabbing Ryan Mattheus tied and lost the game in the 8th as the Potomac Nationals fell 3-2 in the final home game of the first half.

Potomac opened the game with a leadoff single by Blake Kelso, who stole second (#19) an third (#20) to set up Marrero’s RBI grounder to 3B, which was momentarily bobbled to prevent a play at the plate.

Salem would tie the game at 1-1 as reserve catcher Carson Blair doubled in 19-year-old Xander Bogaerts off starter Trevor Holder, who gave up five walks in five inning.

Holder was in a position to win, thanks J.P. Ramirez’s leading off the 5th with a single to center, taking second on an error, third on Erick Fernandez’s sacrifice bunt, and sliding in under a poor throw as Kelso tapped a high grounder to short.

Jimmy Barthmaier followed Holder with two shaky innings, rescued by a diving stop and tag of third and toss across to first DP by Kelso to end the 6th and Salem’s Jackie Bradley Jr. baserunning miscue that doubled him off to end the 7th.

Despite Mattheus’s poor showing, the P-Nats still had a chance to win as Marrero and Bloxom, who both went 2-for-4, reached base with one out but neither Zach Walters (strikeout) nor Michael Taylor (flyout) could push either runner across.

After another 1-2-3 outing by Rob Wort, Potomac’s 7-8-9 batters followed suit.

Combined with another win by Lynchburg, the elimination number for the P-Nats is now just four with seven games to play — the next four on the road against the Winston-Salem Dash, which leads the Carolina league with 37 wins, 20 at their home venue of BB&T park, where the P-Nats were swept in late April.

Jun 102012
 

Shut out 3-0 in the opener, but a 6-1 bounce back in the nightcap, the Potomac Nationals split the doubleheader with the Salem Red Sox, snapping a five-game home win streak.

Nathan Karns took the hill in Game One, having been hammered in his High-A debut on Tuesday, and gave folks an immediate jot of hope by striking out the side — the last two looking. But the second inning, Salem drew a one-out walk then a single and double plated the game’s first two runs. After another walk, Karns got the break he needed with a soft line drive that the baserunner badly misread for a 4-6 double play.

Karns would right himself in the third with another 1-2-3 inning in the third, and got the first two in the fourth before loading the bases (two singles and a walk). He struck out the #9 batter to escape that jam, then walked the leadoff batter in the 5th before getting another double play that would end his second start.

Paul Applebee came in with the bases empty and lived up his billing on the latest GBI, surrendering a solo shot (#7 in 33 IP), then back-to-back singles before finally getting an out.

Offensively, Potomac was anemic, more like the road version of this team and managed just five hits off Salem’s Matt Barnes, who threw a complete-game shutout.

Chris Marrero provided the lone extra-base hit — an opposite-field smash to right field that he lumbered in to second for a double. Suffice it to say, it looks like his leg injury suffered in the winter leagues this past offseason is still bothering him, a negative sign for a guy that could easily lose a footrace to catcher (or a coach) before he got hurt. Defensively, it did not appear to affect him.

Marrero may not be able to run very well, but he can still hit. His second safety of the doubleheader required just a trot, a line-drive shot over the left-field fence that gave Potomac a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first in Game Two of the twinbill.

Potomac put the game away in the second in what Twitter followers know as “This is A ball.”

A walk by Michael Taylor, followed by a sacrifice bunt and an error by the pitcher, then a bunt for a base hit by recently activated Brent Greer that the pitcher misplayed, then a wild pitch. Two batters later a drag bunt up the first-base line by Francisco Soriano, which the Salem first baseman gloved than shotputted over the head of the catcher, enabling two runs to score for a 5-1 lead.

Justin Bloxom launched his 11th home run in the fifth to cap off the scoring.

The tines were in the spine of Salem because Grace was on last night. After giving up moonshot in the first inning, he allowed just one baserunner (a walk in the third) over the next four and a third innings, helping his own cause with three assists, two of which required some catlike quickness to make the play.

Despite taking a line drive off the leg with one out in the sixth, he finished with a three-hit complete game, just the third thrown by Potomac this season.

With the split, and a Lynchburg sweep of Frederick, the elimination number for Potomac dropped to six with nine games to play (the magic number for the P-Nats to overtake the Hillcats is 12).

Trevor Holder (3-1, 4.42) gets the ball today, the final home game of the first half for Potomac.

Jun 102012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 3-2 vs. Lehigh Valley,
5:00 p.m.
Lannan (5-5, 4.98) vs.
Cochran (3-1, 4.04)
Harrisburg Lost, 7-2 @ Reading,
1:35 p.m.
Demny (4-3, 4.70) vs.
Rodriguez (3-1, 2.67)
Potomac Lost, 3-0;
Won, 6-1
vs. Salem,
1:05 p.m.
Holder (3-1, 4.42) vs.
Workman (3-3, 3.55)
Hagerstown Won, 11-6 @ Kannapolis,
5:05 p.m.
Purke (0-1, 6.52) vs.
Snodgress (1-2, 4.80)
DSL Nationals Won, 8-0 OFF DAY N/A

Syracuse 3 Lehigh Valley 2
• Duke 5⅔ IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 3K
• Arnesen 1⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Lehman (W, 1-0) 2IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Brown 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Skelton 2-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI

James Skelton’s RBI single in the last of the 9th gave Syracuse a 3-2 walkoff win over Lehigh Valley. Corey Brown drove in the other two runs while doubling and homering. Pat Lehman got his first AAA win with two scoreless innings of relief. The Iron Pigs outhit the Chiefs 10-6, but had a runner thrown out at the plate (Xavier Paul) and hit into two double plays.

Reading 7 Harrisburg 2
• Gilliam (L, 1-6) 4IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 4K
• Tatusko 2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 2K
• Lozada 1-3, BB, RBI
• Van Ostrand 1-4, RBI

Reading scored seven unanswered runs in a 7-2 win over Harrisburg. Robert Gilliam, making his first start since May 24, took the loss with five runs allowed on six hits and a walk over four innings. Jose Lozada and Jimmy Van Ostrand drove in the two runs, but the Sens were limited to just five hits total.
Devin Ivany was hurt (ankle) but is not expected to miss significant time, as Kris Watts became the seventh catcher to play for Harrisburg this season.

Salem 3 Potomac 0 — GAME ONE
• Karns (L, 0-2) 4⅔ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 6K
• Applebee 2⅓ IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K, HR
• Ramirez 2-3
• Marrero 1-3, 2B

Prior to the game, IF Brent Greer was activated while J.R. Higley was placed on the 7-Day DL

Potomac 6 Salem 1 — GAME TWO
• Grace (W, 3-6) 7IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Soriano 3-3, R, BB, RBI
• Marrero 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI
• Bloxom 1-3, R, HR, RBI

Chris Marrero went 2-for-6 with two extra bases Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 11 Kannapolis 6
• Hill (W, 6-4) 5IP, 9H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 2K
• Lucas 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Goodwin 3-5, 3R, RBI, BB, SB
• Burns 3-5, 3R, 2SB, OF assist at HP
• Skole 2-3, R, HR, 2RBI, BB

The Suns continued their surge, taking their seventh straight handily, 11-6 over Kannapolis. Combined with a Greensboro loss, Hagerstown trails by just 1½ games with nine to go. Taylor Hill got the win with four runs allowed on nine hits and a walk over five innings. Brian Goodwin and Billy Burns both were 3-for-5 with three runs scored, combining for three stolen bases.

DSL Nationals 8 DSL Arizona/Cincinnati 0
• Suero (W, 2-0) 6IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Valerio 2IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Diaz 4-5, 2R, 4-2B, RBI
• Abreu 2-3, 2R, 2B, BB, SB

The D-Nats snapped a three-game skid with an 8-0 shutout of the DSL “Redbacks.” Three pitchers combined on the two-hit shutout, with Wander Suero getting the win with six innings pitched. “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz doubled four times to lead the 14-hit parade.