Aug 222011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Won, 3-1 @ Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
Craig Stammen (9-6, 4.41) vs.
Tony Pena (8-5, 3.60)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-1
(8½ inn.)
@ Portland Tanner Roark (8-8, 5.23) vs.
Chris Balcom-Miller (3-6, 5.26)
Potomac Lost, 15-3 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Lost, 2-1 @ Kannapolis,
5:05 p.m.
Stephen Strasburg (rehab) vs.
Will Lamb (0-0, 0.00)
Auburn Won, 5-0 vs. State
College, 7:05 p.m.
Manny Rodriguez (2-2, 4.34) vs.
Nick Kingham (3-2, 2.57)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY @/vs. GCL
Cardinals
(completion,
reg. sched. gm)
TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse 7 Pawtucket 4
• Maya (W, 3-8) 6IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 5K
• Martin 1⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Frazier 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Bynum 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI

A six-run 2nd inning gave Yunesky Maya the cushion and confidence to win his second straight start as Syracuse beat Pawtucket, 7-4. Maya gave up two runs on five hits over six innings with no walks and five strikeouts. Jeff Frazier and Seth Bynum both homered, combining for five of the 10 Chiefs hits. The win improves Syracuse to 58-67, but the elimination number is down to one in the I.L. North.

Erie 5 Harrisburg 1
• Martis (L, 7-5) 5⅓ IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 8K
• Pena 1⅓ IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 1K
• Gilbert 2-4, 2B, SB
• Fox 1-3, R, 2B

Erie completed its sweep of Harrisburg with a rain-shortened 5-1 win. The Senators were held to just five hits, with Archie Gilbert leading the offense with a 2-for-4 afternoon. The loss coupled with a Bowie win cuts the Sens lead to just a ½ game, with Richmond close behind at 1½ games back in the E.L. West.

Winston-Salem 15 Potomac 3
• Davis 2⅔ IP, 7H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 3K, 2HR
• Wort 1⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 1-1 IR-S
• Soriano 2-3, R, 3B, RBI, BB, SB
• Hood 2-3, BB

Potomac pitchers threw two scoreless innings against Winston-Salem, but the Dash got 15 runs in the other seven, pounding out 23 hits against five pitchers in a 15-3 smackdown. The loss drops second-place Potomac to 4½ games behind Frederick, but they still have a 5½ game lead over third-place Lynchburg in the C.L. North.

Kannapolis 2 Hagerstown 1
• Ray 4IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 7K
• McKenzie (L, 4-5) 3⅔ IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 5K
• Sanchez 3-4, R, 2B, 3B
• Keyes 2-3, RBI, SF

Hagerstown rallied for one in the top of the 9th but left the tying run on first as Kannapolis took the game, 2-1, and the series 3-1. Adrian Sanchez and Kevin Keyes accounted for five of the Suns’ six hits while Chris McKenzie took the loss with both runs allowed on five hits over three and 2/3rds innings of relief. The loss drops Hagerstown to third place, three games behind Kannapolis in the Sally North.

Auburn 5 State College 0
• Dupra (W, 4-3) 5IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Rivera (H, 1) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Rowe 2-3, R, 2B, SB
• Miller 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI

Four Doubledays pitchers combined to shut out the Spikes on six hits in a 5-0 Auburn win. Brian Dupra got the win, pitching the first five innings while Manny Rivera and Travis Henke both earned holds. The win, the fourth straight for Auburn, opens up a 1½ game lead over Williamsport in the NYPL’s Pinckney Divison.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
After a day off on Sunday, it’s six games in four days as the G-Nats have two makeup/completion doubleheaders today and on Thursday.

Aug 212011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Won, 3-1 @ Pawtucket,
1:05 p.m.
Yunesky Maya (2-8, 5.37) vs.
Felix Doubront (1-4, 3.68)
Harrisburg Lost, 7-0 vs. Erie,
2:00 p.m.
Shairon Martis (7-4, 3.03) vs.
Jay Voss (8-6, 3.51)
Potomac Won, 7-3; vs.
Winston-Salem,
1:05 p.m.
Erik Davis (0-2, 4.66) vs.
Ryan Buch (3-4, 5.15)
Hagerstown Lost, 6-2 @ Kannapolis,
5:05 p.m.
Robbie Ray (2-2, 2.20) vs.
Jon Bachanov (1-2, 3.08)
Auburn Lost, 2-1 vs. State
College, 7:05 p.m.
Brian Dupra (3-3, 3.46) vs.
Mike Jefferson (2-1, 4.71)
GCL Nationals Postponed
vs. GCL Marlins
OFF DAY N/A
DSL Nationals Lost, 3-1
vs. DSL Giants
END OF SEASON N/A

Syracuse 3 Pawtucket 1
• Meyers (W, 5-4) 6IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Mandel (S, 3) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Bynum 3-4, 2RBI, SB
• Antonelli 2-4, 2R, 2B

Boston-area native Matt Antonelli went 2-for-4 with two runs scored as the Chiefs beat the PawSox, 3-1 in the nightcap of the sixth annual Futures at Fenway. Brad Meyers got win #5 with one run allowed over six innings, while Jeff Mandel pitched a scoreless 8th and 9th for his third save.

Akron 7 Harrisburg 0
• Arnesen (L, 8-4) 6IP, 10H, 5R, 4ER, 2BB, 6K, HR
• Lehman 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Pahuta 1-3
• Gilbert 1-3

Akron shut out Harrisburg on four hits to hand the Senators a 7-0 loss. Erik Arnesen took the loss with 10 hits giving up five runs on 10 hits and two walks in six-plus innings pitched. The loss cuts the Senators lead over Bowie to 1 game in the E.L. West.

Potomac 7 Winston-Salem 3 — GAME ONE
• Demny (W, 9-10) 5IP, 5H, 3R, 0ER, 2BB, 5K
• Nelo 1IP, 0H ,0R, BB, 0K
• Leon 2-2, 2R, 2-2B, 3RBI
• Hood 2-4, R, 2B, RBI, SB

A pair of three-run rallies powered Potomac past the Dash for a 7-3 win in the first game. Sandy Leon doubled twice, scored two runs, and drove in three to pace the offense. Paul Demny gave up three unearned runs over five-plus innings to earn his team-leading ninth win.

Potomac 4 Winston-Salem 1 — GAME TWO
• Olbrychowski 3⅔ IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 4BB, 5K, HR
• Frias
• Hood 1-2, 2R, HR, RBI, BB, SB (20)
• Kobernus 1-3, R, 3B

Potomac swept the doubleheader with a 4-1 win over Winston-Salem in the nightcap. Destin Hood homered and stole a base as the P-Nats got four runs on just four hits, taking advantage of six walks and an error by the Dash pitching and defense. Potomac now trails Frederick by four games, which beat Lynchburg to drop the Hillcats to six behind the P-Nats in the C.L. North.

Kannapolis 6 Hagerstown 2
• Swynenberg (L, 6-2) 6IP, 9H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 4K, 2HR
• Weaver 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Nieto 2-3, RBI
• Freitas 1-3, R, 2B, BB

Trayce Thompson took Matt Swynenberg deep twice, including a three-run shot in the bottom of the 1st as Kannapolis took game three of the four-game series, 6-2. Adrian Nieto led the Suns with a 2-for-3 night, but Hagerstown was held to six hits total. The loss drops Hagerstown back to two games behind in the Sally North and will need to win today to split the series.

Auburn 2 State College 1
• Hill 5IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• Garcia (W, 2-0) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Barrett (S, 7) 1⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Ortega 1-3, R, BB
• Skole 1-3, BB

Bryce Ortega walked, took third on a Matt Skole single, and scored on a groundout to break a 1-1 tie as Auburn edged State College, 2-1. Christian Garcia got the win in relief with two scoreless innings while Aaron Barrett got the last five outs for the save. The win was the Doubledays’ fourth straight, keeping pace with Williamsport for a one-game lead over the Crosscutters in the Pinckney Divison of the NYPL.

GCL Nationals — PPD
Rain gave the boys in Viera an extra day off. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Thursday.

DSL Giants 3 DSL Nationals 1
• Silvestre 6IP, 6H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 7K
• Guzman (L, 0-4) 3IP, 2H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 6K
• Geraldo 2-3, 2B, CS
• Eusebio 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB

A two-out, two-run rally in the top of the 9th broke a 1-1 tie and sent the D-Nats to a 3-1 defeat. The D-Nats managed just five hits in the loss, while the pitchers combined to strike out 13. The season ends with a 33-36 mark, good for 6th place in the B.C. South Division.

Aug 202011
 

Reporting from the road office in lovely Mahwah, New Jersey… A few transactions not noted previously.

SYRACUSE
• IF Tug Hulett activated
• IF Adam Fox returned to Harrisburg

HARRISBURG
• OF Bryce Harper placed on 7-Day DL
• C Miguel Perez placed on 7-Day DL
• C Devin Ivany activated from 7-Day DL

GCL NATIONALS
• Bryan Harper assigned from Washington
• Randolph Oduber assigned from Hagerstown

Aug 202011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Won, 5-2 @ Pawtucket,
4:30 p.m.
Brad Meyers (4-4, 3.79) vs.
Kyle Weiland (8-8, 3.40)
Harrisburg Lost, 2-1 vs. Erie,
7:00 p.m.
Erik Arnesen (8-3, 2.36) vs.
Luis Marte (1-0, 2.23)
Potomac Postponed vs.
Winston-Salem,
6:35 p.m.
Olbrychowski (4-7, 4.39) and
Demny (8-10, 4.76) vs.
Rienzo (5-4, 3.32) and
Petricka (3-6, 4.04)
Hagerstown Won, 6-1 @ Kannapolis,
7:05 p.m.
Matt Swynenberg (6-1, 3.05)
vs. Spencer Arroyo (8-8, 3.60)
Auburn Won, 4-1;
Won, 8-3
vs. State
College, 7:05 p.m.
Taylor Hill (0-2, 4.58) vs.
Ryan Hafner (2-4, 2.83)
GCL Nationals Lost, 9-7
vs. GCL Mets
vs. GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 3-0
@ DSL Rangers
vs. DSL Giants,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse 5 Gwinnett 2
• Milone (W, 10-6) 6⅔ IP, 8H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 10K
• Zinicola (H, 3) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Lombardozzi 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Bynum 3-4, R

Tom Milone struck out 10 while notching his 10th win for third straight season as Syracuse beat Gwinnett, 5-2. Syracuse turned three double plays to erase the eight hits as both teams had trouble scoring runs (25 hits combined). The win improved Syracuse to 56-67, 14½ games behind in the I.L. North.

Akron 2 Harrisburg 1
• Slaten 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Perez, O (L, 3-4) 5⅔ IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 4K
• Johnson 2-3, 2B
• Gilbert 2-4, 2B
• T Moore 1-4, R, HR, RBI

The trouble with RISP problem isn’t limited to Potomac as Harrisburg went just 1-for-10 last night, only scoring on a Tyler Moore longball in a 2-1 loss to Erie. The loss shaved the Sens lead over Bowie to 1½ games while Richmond also fell to remain 3½ back in the E.L. West.

Potomac Nationals — PPD
Oh, look. Potomac got rained out. How novel. The game is scheduled to be made up today with a pair of seven-inning games today at 5:30 p.m. Lynchburg beat Frederick to reduce the gaps between the three teams to 4½ games in the C.L. North.

Hagerstown 6 Kannapolis 1
• Cole 5IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 7K
• Demmin (W, 4-2) 4IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 7K
• Kelso 2-4, 2R, RBI
• Sanchez 2-4, R, 2RBI
• Keyes 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI

A five-run eighth broke a 1-1 tie as the Suns lapped the Intimidators, 6-1. Ryan Demmin got the win with four scoreless innings of relief, striking out seven. Kannapolis still leads the Sally North by one game as the two teams play twice more this weekend.

Auburn 4 Aberdeen 1 — GAME ONE
• Estevez (W, 5-2) 5IP, 2H, 0R, 4BB, 4K
• Bates (S, 2) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, 3-1 IR-S
• Ortega 1-3, R, BB, SB
• Skole 1-2, R, RBI, BB

The two teams combined for 16 walks over 6½ innings, but the Doubledays got the clutch hits to cash them in, winning the first game 4-2. Wirkin Estevez flirted with a no-hitter for three and 2/3rds and got his team-leading win #5 with five shutout innings of work.

Auburn 8 Aberdeen 3 — GAME TWO
• Karns (W, 2-2) 5IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 4K
• Miller 3-4, 3RBI
• Burns 3-4, 2R, RBI, SB, CS
• Mayo 1-1, R, 2B, 2RBI, 2BB

Nathan Karns bounced back from two bad outings to throw five strong innings and get the win as the Doubledays completed the series sweep, downing the Ironbirds 8-3. Justin Miller and Billy Burns both went 3-for-4 to lead the 11-hit attack. The double dip gained a ½ game on Williamsport and opened up a three-game lead on Mahoning Valley in the NYPL’s Pinckney Division.

GCL Mets 9 GCL Nationals 7
• Encarnacion 4⅓ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 3K
• Medina, S (BS, 2; L, 0-4) ⅓ IP, 4H, 5R, 4ER, 0BB, 0K
• Ramos 3-5, 2R, HR, RBI, SB
• Schill 2-4, R, RBI, BB, SB

The G-Nats couldn’t stand the prosperity of a 6-0 lead after three innings, giving it back with three in the 5th and five in the 7th for an eventual 9-7 loss. Four errors also helped along the process. The loss drops the G-Nats to 18-31 with a week left to play.

DSL Nationals 3 DSL Phillies 0
• Mendez (W, 7-0) 6IP, 7H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• K Rodriguez (S, 3) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• W Rodriguez 2-4, R, SB
• N Ortega 2-4, R

The “other” Phillies-Nats matchup on Friday ended with a win but much less panache, as the D-Nats won the rain-shortened affair 3-0. Gilbert Mendez won his seventh game against no losses with six scoreless innings. Wilman Rodriguez and “Fred” Ortega both went 2-for-4 to pace the offense. Today is the season finale (weather permitting).

Aug 192011
 


It’s another trip to New England to visit family, which means the posts are going to slow and shorten since I’ll be working from wherever I can find free WiFi for the next week or so. Next week’s “GBI” will probably be a day late. But my goal is to keep the News & Notes going as best as possible, even it’s mostly links & bullets.

Please keep the comments coming and the conversation going.

Aug 192011
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 55-67, 4th place I.L. North, 14½ games behind

Good Steve Lombardozzi .322/.365/.441
Bad Atahualpa Severino 20BB in 26⅔ IP
Interesting J.D. Martin 2.90 ERA, 1HR in 31 IP as reliever; 4.71, 15 in 63 IP as a starter

HARRISBURG SENATORS 70-54, 1st place E.L. West, 2 games ahead

Good Danny Rosenbaum 2-0, 1.40 ERA in first three AA starts
Bad Stephen King .167 BA in August
Interesting Tim Pahuta .302/.318/.442 in August

POTOMAC NATIONALS 28-25, 2nd place C.L. North Division, 5 games behind (57-65 overall)

Good Marcos Frias 1.73 ERA, 0.92 WHIP since All-Star Break (18 appearances)
Bad Zach Walters .196/.233/.232, 2E in 15G
Interesting Adam Olbrychowski 5.63 ERA as a reliever, 3.88 as a starter

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 29-23, 2nd place Sally League North Divison, 2 games behind (69-53 overall)

Good Matt Swynenberg 2-0, 1.74 ERA, 0.97 WHIP in August
Bad Justino Cuevas .179/.265/.321 since return from GCL
Interesting Ryan Demmin 2.20 ERA, 1.07 WHIP since callup from Auburn

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 34-23, 1st place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, ½ game ahead

Good Hendry Jimenez .487 SLG, 7th best in NYPL
Bad Nathan Karns 1.94 WHIP
Interesting Christian Garcia 17K in 9⅓ IP

GCL NATIONALS 18-30, 4th place GCL East, 18 games behind (Eliminated)

Good Bobby Lucas 1.69 ERA in 21⅓ IP over 11G
Bad Deion Williams .163/.210/.163 in 98AB
Interesting Silvio Medina 36K to 9BB in 32⅓ IP

DSL NATIONALS 32-35, 6th place, Boca Chica South Division, 12½ games behind (Eliminated)

Good Adderling Ruiz (20 y.o.) .350/.427/.485
Bad Felix Moscat (20 y.o.) 0-3, 12.79 ERA in August
Interesting Diomedes Eusebio (18 y.o.) 6HR, 21E in 57G
Aug 192011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Lost, 1-0 vs. Gwinnett,
7:00 p.m.
Tom Milone (9-6, 3.47) vs.
Yohan Flande (7-7, 3.99)
Harrisburg Won, 4-2 vs. Erie,
7:00 p.m.
Oliver Perez (3-3, 3.28) vs.
Casey Crosby (7-5, 3.83)
Potomac Won, 4-3 vs.
Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Paul Demny (8-10, 4.76) vs.
Jake Petricka (3-6, 4.04)
Hagerstown Lost, 12-4 @ Kannapolis,
7:05 p.m.
A.J. Cole (4-6, 3.55) vs.
Matt Heidenreich (10-8, 4.52)
Auburn Postponed vs. Aberdeen,
5:05 p.m.
(doubleheader)
Wirkin Estevez (4-2, 3.86)
and Nate Karns (1-2, 5.23) vs.
Matt Hobgood (0-4, 12.23) and
Trent Howard (3-1, 2.89)
GCL Nationals Won, 10-8
(11 inn.)
@ GCL Astros
vs. GCL Mets,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 7-5
@ DSL Phillies
@ DSL Rangers,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Gwinnett 1 Syracuse 0
• Peacock 7IP, 1H, 0R, 5BB, 6K
• Severino (L, 1-2) 1IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 2K
• Wilkie 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Bernadina 2-4, SB, CS

It was a pitcher’s duel in Syracuse but the Chiefs fells to the Braves, 1-0 despite outhitting them 4-2. Brad Peacock got the start and put runners on via the walk five times, but the lone hit he gave up was a leadoff single in the 2nd. Peacock went the first seven innings and struck out six. Gwinnett capitalized on Atahualpa Severino’s wildness with two outs, as the diminutive lefty hit a batter, issued a walk, and gave up a single to account for the lone run of the game. Roger Bernadina went 2-for-4 with a stolen base to lead the Chiefs offense. The loss drops Syracuse to 55-67, cutting its elimination number to two.

Harrisburg 4 Akron 2
• Rosenbaum (W, 2-0) 6⅔ IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 1K
• Barthmaier 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Norris 2-5, R, HR, 3RBI, SB
• Gilbert 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

Derek Norris’s three-run blast in the top of the 7th was the difference as the Harrisburg Senators grounded the Akron Aeros, 4-2. The big fly made a winner out of Danny Rosenbaum, who’s made the jump from High A to AA without skipping a beat, giving up six hits and three walks, but just one run over six and 2/3rds innings for his second win in three starts. Norris, Erik Komatsu, Archie Gilbert, and Tim Pahuta all had multiple hits as the Sens pounded out 11 hits in the win. Harrisburg still sits atop the E.L. West by two games over Bowie, 3½ games over Richmond. The good mood was tempered in the top of the 8th when Bryce Harper pulled up lame with a strained hamstring going from first to third on Gilbert double. It’s a sure bet he’ll be put on the 7-Day DL, and a possibility that he’ll be shelved for the rest of the regular season.

Potomac 4 Winston-Salem 3
• Solis 3IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 2K
• Nelo (S, 16) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 2K
• Lozada 3-4, R, 2B, 3B, RBI
• Leon 2-4, R

Potomac got a gift Last Night In Woodbridge

Kannapolis 12 Hagerstown 4
• Grace (L, 11-6) 2⅔ IP, 8H, 7R, 3ER, BB, 3K, WP
• Mills Rogers ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 2-0 IR-S
• Sanchez 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Curran 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Nieto 2-4, R, 2B

A six-run 3rd erased a 3-1 lead as Kannapolis stopped Hagerstown’s seven-game win streak with a 12-4 win. Matt Grace took the loss with seven runs allowed on eight hits over two and 2/3rds innings. Four Suns collected multiple hits, with Adrian Sanchez homering and doubling to lead the offense. Mills Rogers turned out to be the most effective reliever, coming on with two outs in the 8th to get the last batter and stranding two runners. The loss knocked Hagerstown back to two games behind, tied with first-half winner Hickory in the Sally North.

Auburn Doubledays — PPD
Rain and a wet infield postponed last night’s game in Auburn, setting up Friday night doubleheader at 5:05 p.m.

GCL Nationals 10 GCL Astros 8 (10 inn.)
• McGeary 4IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 3K
• Monar 3IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 4K
• Mesa 4-5, R, 2B, 4RBI
• Difo 2-5, R, 3B, BB, 2RBI
• Ramos 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI

A single-triple-double sequence in the top of the 11th broke an 8-8 tie as the G-Nats outlasted the G-Astros for a 10-8 win. Narciso Mesa went 4-for-5 with four RBI to lead the 14-hit onslaught. Jack McGeary suffered his first rough outing, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks over four innings. The win improves the G-Nats to 18-30 and opens up a 2½ game lead over the last-place G-Astros in a race to avoid last place that nobody but us gives a rat’s cares this much about.

DSL Phillies 7 DSL Nationals 5
• Pineyro (L, 4-6) 4IP, 10H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 4K
• Barrientos 4IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 1K
• Geraldo 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Mercedes 2-4, R, 2-2B, RBI

The DSL Phillies scored in four straight innings from the 2nd to the 5th, turning a 2-0 deficit into a 7-2 lead as they went on to a 7-5 win over the DSL Nationals. Ivan Pineyro took the loss, giving up five runs on 10 hits and two walks to finish his season on a sour note. Four D-Nats had multiple hits, with Junior Geraldo and Yermin Mercedes both collecting extra-base hits on a 2-for-4 game. The loss dropped the D-Nats to 32-35, assuring a losing season with just two games left on the schedule.

Aug 182011
 

If the Winston-Salem Dash miss the postseason by one game, they’re gonna point to this contest… and they’re gonna be pissed.

The Potomac Nationals will be listed as the 4-3 winners, but got the benefit of a controversial call. With one out in the 9th, the Dash’s Nick Ciolli doubled to left-center and took third on a Hector Nelo wild pitch that was errant enough to bounce into the stands behind home plate. The next batter struck out for the second out of the inning.

Winston-Salem sent up a left-handed pinch-hitter to face Nelo and he tapped a slow roller to shortstop that Francisco Soriano had to charge and curl towards third base to get a throw off. From my perch, it looked like the runner was safe. But the only opinion that mattered, the guy with the best view of play, disagreed and he called the runner out.

With the game over, it was the surreal scene of 20-something white jerseys celebrating the win and 20-something grey jerseys strolling out from the dugout in disgust and/or fascination as the Winston-Salem manager Julio Vinas escorted the umpires off the field with what one can only imagine was a string of expletives, quite possibly in multiple languages.

It was a fitting ending to a game that didn’t look like it was going to get played at all. Dark clouds and streaks of lightning were visible for much of the night as the thunderstorms passed just north and east of the Pfitz all night long.

Six Potomac pitchers were called to duty by manager Matt LeCroy. With the first two it appeared to be by design, as Sammy Solis was coming off the DL for his first appearance since July 27 with Cameron Selik, who had been lifted early on Sunday, called upon to put in a couple of innings in relief.

Solis worked around a leadoff double in fine fashion in the first inning, striking out two batters after Winston-Salem bunted the runner over to third, but gave two hits in each of the next two innings. Two double plays minimized the damage to just one run on five hits, but Solis looked vulnerable.

Unfortunately, so did Selik, who also got a groundball double play to minimize two hits given up in the 4th. In the bottom of the inning, Potomac strung together four hits to score three runs and put him in a position to perhaps get a win in relief.

But Selik was chased after just three batters in the 5th after Destin Hood misplayed a flyball into an RBI triple following a one-out single. Mitchell Clegg, who seems to have found a fit as a long reliever, stranded the runner at third with a lineout to second and a flyout to center to keep Potomac ahead by a 3-2 count.

A two-out double by Soriano in the 6th extended the Potomac lead to 4-2, driving in Sean Nicol from first base with a little help from a muff by the Winston-Salem catcher on the tag.

The Dash would cut the lead down to 4-3 in the next half-inning, a solo shot to left off Clegg, who ended up the winning pitcher with two and 2/3rds innings pitched with the one run allowed on two hits and no walks, finishing the frame with second of his two strikeouts.

Joe Testa and Marcos Frias would strike out the side in the 8th, handing the ball over to Nelo in the 9th despite Frias having faced just one batter in the 8th.

With the win, Potomac gets a game back on Frederick, which lost to third-place Lynchburg. The Keys lead the P-Nats by five games, which is the same margin the P-Nats have over the Hillcats.

Potomac and Winston-Salem continue their series on Friday with Paul Demny (8-10, 4.76) and Jake Petricka (3-6, 4.04) the expected starting pitchers.

Aug 182011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Lost, 3-1 vs. Gwinnett,
7:00 p.m.
Brad Peacock (3-1, 4.35) vs.
Todd Redmond (9-8, 2.84)
Harrisburg Won, 5-3 @ Akron,
7:05 p.m.
Danny Rosenbaum (1-0, 1.42)
vs. Austin Adams (9-9, 4.00)
Potomac Lost, 2-1 vs.
Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Sammy Solis (4-2, 3.38) vs.
Cameron Bayne (11-5, 3.30)
Hagerstown Won, 9-6 @ Kannapolis,
7:05 p.m.
Matt Grace (11-5, 4.32) vs.
Phil Negus (3-0, 2.62)
Auburn Won, 4-2 vs. Aberdeen,
7:05 p.m.
Wirkin Estevez (4-2, 3.86) vs.
Matt Hobgood (0-4, 12.23)
GCL Nationals Suspended,
Mid 4th vs.
GCL Cardinals
@ GCL Astros,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 12-5
@ DSL Mets1
@ DSL Phillies,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Gwinnett 3 Syracuse 1
• Stammen 6IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 3BB, 9K
• Martin 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Bernadina 2-3, SB
• Solano 1-3, R, 2B, BB

Gwinnett broke through with two runs in the 7th in this pitcher’s duel for a 3-1 win over the Syracuse Chiefs. After both teams scored early — the Braves in the 1st, the Chiefs in the 2nd — journeyman Craig Stammen matched goose eggs against (yet another Atlanta) stud pitching prospect Julio Teheran through the 6th. The Braves loaded the bases against Ryan Tatusko in the 7th on a double, walk, and an infield single. Jeff Mandel came in to put out the fire with two outs and was greeted with a two-run single to the 5/6 hole. The Braves bullpen allowed just one baserunner over the last three to nail this one down. Syracuse now stands 55-66, 14½ games back, and its elimination number is just four.

Harrisburg 5 Akron 3
• Roark (W, 8-8) 7⅔ IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 8K, HR
• Pena (S, 7) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Davis 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI, BB
• T Moore 1-3, R, HR, RBI, BB

Akron and Harrisburg playing swimming-pool tag, with the pitchers saying “Marco” and five hitters going “Solo.” But the Sens got a two-run shot from Leonard Davis and an unearned run on an errant pickoff for the difference in a 5-3 win. Tanner Roark evened his record at 8-8 with seven and 2/3rds innings, with six hits and three runs (all on home runs) given up. Pat McCoy stranded two runners to get the last out of the 8th for his 12th hold while Hassan Pena got his 7th save with a 1-2-3 ninth. The win took advantage of Bowie’s fourth straight loss to extend Harrisburg’s lead to two games, while Richmond kept pace at 2½ games back in the E.L. West.

Kinston 2 Potomac 1
• Bronson (L, 4-4) 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K
• Holland 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Kobernus 2-4, SB
• Lozada 1-3, R, 2B, BB, 2K

Kinston scored two runs in the bottom of the 1st. Thanks to Potomac’s twin troubles of an inability to hit in the clutch and make contact, that was enough to lose by a 2-1 count. Francisco Soriano’s two-out RBI single in the top of the 5th was the only one in 11 chances with RISP while Eury Perez was the sole batter not to strike out, as the P-Nats whiffed 11 times. Evan Bronson was the latest hard-luck loser, giving up the two Kinston runs on four hits and three walks over six innings. The loss dropped second-place Potomac to six games behind first-place Frederick and shaved its lead over third-place Lynchburg to five games in the Carolina League’s Northern Division.

Hagerstown 9 Lexington 6
• Strasburg 1⅔ IP, 4H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 3K
• Applebee (W, 7-2) 6IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 5K, HR
• Curran 3-4, 2R
• Taylor 2-5, R, 2B, 3B, 3RBI
• Nieto 2-4, R, 2B

Stephen Strasburg struggled in his second rehab outing in Hagerstown, unable to finish the second inning as he took 49 pitches to get five outs with the first four batters reaching against him in a three-run 1st. The Suns, however, remain red-hot, winning this one 9-6 for their 7th straight. Kevin Keyes erased that 3-0 deficit with a three-run shot in the bottom of the 1st, and Hagerstown put up another three-spot in the 2nd to take Strasburg off the hook with a 6-5 lead. The Suns got nine runs on 11 hits, including three doubles and two triples. Chris Curran led the hit parade with a 3-for-4 night. Paul Applebee finished the game with six strong innings, allowing a solo home run, a double and a single, no walks, and set down five on strikes for his 7th win. Hagerstown heads into Kannapolis for a four-game showdown against the Intimidators, needing three wins to take first place.

Auburn Doubledays 4 Aberdeen Ironbirds 2
• Meza 5IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 3K
• Garcia (W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Ortega 2-4, RBI
• Burns 1-2, R, BB, SB

Bryce Ortega’s one-out single, coupled with an error, broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 7th as Auburn, um, doubled up Aberdeen, 4-2. The Christians Meza and Garcia got the start and the win, with Meza going the first five and giving up both Ironbird runs on four his and a walk, while Garcia struck out six over two innings in the 6th and 7th innings for the win. Aaron Barrett walked three but struck out four over the last two innings for the save, his sixth. Ortega led the Doubleday offense with a 2-for-4 night. The win keeps Auburn one game up on Mahoning Valley and Williamsport in the Pinckney Divison of the NYPL.

GCL Nationals 1 GCL Cardinals 0 — SUSP, Mid 4th
Rain halted play in the middle of the 4th with the Nationals leading 1-0. It will presumably be made up when the two teams next meet on Saturday, August 27. My apologies to folks hoping for news on Jack McGeary’s next outing. The GCL and DSL are guessing games when it comes to probables, especially when there are lots of rainouts and doubleheaders. With less than 10 days left, it’ll be TBD vs. TBD the rest of the way.

DSL Mets 12 DSL Nationals 5
• Moscat (L, 3-7) 2⅔ IP, 7H, 8R, 7ER, BB, 2K
• Suero 3⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• Rosario 2-3, 2R
• Eusebio 1-4, R, HR, 3RBI, BB

A six-run 3rd put this one out of reach at 8-0, as the D-Mets blasted the D-Nats 12-5. Diomedes Eusebio’s two-run homer in the 4th, broke up the shutout, but the D-Nats were held to just six hits total, taking advantage of four D-Mets errors and seven walks drawn to score their five runs. Felix Moscat got the start and got knocked from the box with two outs in the 3rd, charged with eight runs on seven hits and two walks to take the loss. The D-Nats are now 32-34 and will need to win two of the next three to finish above .500.

Aug 172011
 

In a couple weeks, we should learn who the six or seven guys that will get named to the Arizona Fall League for Washington. Bryce Harper is the no-brainer, especially since Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has made it clear that that’s part of the plan. The one player allowed below AA should be Destin Hood, but his nagging injuries, his age (21) and Rizzo’s proclivity for following the letter of the rules first, the spirit second (don’t get me wrong, there’s value in that mindset, even if it drives me crazy).

It would not surprise me in the least if Rizzo were to send nobody from Potomac or Hagerstown. The single-A exception is just that: an exception, not a requirement. I think if he could get away with it, he’d send Paul Demny (Rule 5 eligible) or, but more likely is that Josh Smoker, along with Pat McCoy, gets sent in much the same way that Adam Carr and Cole Kimball went last fall, since lately the AFL has become a means for GMs to get a last look at Rule 5-eligible guys

After that it gets fuzzy real fast. Most of the Rule 5 candidates are either knocking at the door (e.g. Tom Milone, Brad Peacock, Steve Lombardozzi) or went last year (Derek Norris). The rest are on the margins (Chris Curran, Steve Souza, Stephen King, Jose Lozada, Paul Demny, J.R. Higley) or hurt (Jack McGeary).

No, I’m not forgetting about Tyler Moore. That’s one where I say this is why GMs get paid to make hard decisions. We don’t know where Tyler Moore fits in the long-term plans, and you can certainly make the case Moore is blocked by Marrero, who in turn, is blocked by Mike Morse currently and Adam LaRoche next year.

The question is whether sending Moore to the AFL makes him more of risk to get taken in the Rule 5 draft. Answer: probably not, but we certainly hope that Moore gets the honor/exposure that he’s earned with his performance this year and last.

Then there’s Danny Rosenbaum, who got the bump in late July and has had two strong starts thus far for Harrisburg. The timing would suggest that that was done to qualify for the AFL, but my gut says “no” because he’s not the prototype to get converted to relief. I also think that if Tom Milone wasn’t sent, neither would Rosenbaum — even if Danny throws harder.

Lastly, the recent draft picks. I’d have to say Alex Meyer and Anthony Rendon are the most likely to get sent. But I’m not convinced that either (or any) will go. The big X factor in all this is that the Nationals aren’t the only organization supplying the roster for this year’s team, the Scottsdale Scorpions. The only thing I’m certain of is that somebody, somewhere will be disappointed in the selections.