Jul 302011

Photo Credit: Futurebacks.com

There’s a whole lot less (right now) about SS Zach Walters, acquired in the trade for Jason Marquis, but in the interest of serving our readers…

A 9th-round pick last year out of the Univ. of San Diego, Walters is your prototypical “athletic shortstop” — raw power, runs well, has range and arm… and makes a ton of errors (40 in 160 games). Injuries dogged him in college but he’s stayed off the DL this year and last.

Sickels graded him a “C” in his 2011 Prospect Book and cautioned that his plate discipline needs improvement. So far so good, as he’s improved his OBP from .338 to .377 while still batting .302 and improving his slugging percentage from .440 to .485.

Baseball America describes the switch-hitter as having “all the hallmarks of a future utility player,” and say the scouts have doubts that his arm and range will improve enough to stick at shortstop.

If he is indeed assigned to Potomac, I’ll obviously have more to say after the next homestand on August 8-14. In the meantime, I’m off to Woodbridge…

UPDATE: Bill Ladson is reporting that Walters will be placed on the Potomac roster. With Walters leaving from Michigan, his debut is most likely going to happen on the road in Salem, Virginia, where the P-Nats begin a three-game series on Tuesday.

Jul 302011

For an organization that’s sorely lacking upper-level position prospects, flipping a journeyman 35-year-old utility player for 23-year-old AA outfielder ain’t so bad.

Maybe that’s too sunny for the rest of the Natmosphere, but I’m here to give you the cheese, not the whine.

Erik Komatsu is a short, stocky (college 5’10″, 190 lbs) outfielder that most scouting services project as a fourth outfielder. He’s a high-contact batter (more walks than strikeouts this season and last) with gap power but isn’t expected to develop into a power hitter. He can steal a base (28 last year, 13 so far this year) and has slightly above average speed. Defensively, he’s capable of playing all three positions (career .985 Fld%, most starts in CF), and his arm is described as strong and accurate.

Komatsu was drafted in the 8th round out of Cal State Fullerton in 2008, and had a strong first season in Helena (11HR, 47RBI in 68G) but injuries (hamstring, wrist, concussion) limited him to just 26 games in 2009. He recovered in 2010 to put up a .323/.413/.442 line in 130 games and earn Player of The Year honors from the Milwaukee organization. Thus far in 2011, he’s hit for a .294 average, gotten on base at a .393 clip, and clubbed 19 doubles, a triple, and six HRs for a .416 slugging percentage. As mentioned previously, he’s walked 53 times and struck out just 44 times in 379 ABs.

As of this writing, it would appear that he’ll be ticketed to fill out the roster in Harrisburg.

Jul 302011
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Won, 3-0 @ Toledo,
7:00 p.m.
Yunesky Maya (1-7, 5.32) vs.
Adam Wilk (5-5, 3.47)
Harrisburg Lost, 8-7 vs. Binghamton,
7:00 p.m.
Tanner Roark (5-7, 5.58) vs.
Rob Carson (3-8, 4.40)
Potomac Lost, 4-0 vs. Frederick,
6:35 p.m.
Cameron Selik (4-6, 3.95) vs.
Jake Pettit (3-0, 0.51)
Hagerstown Lost, 8-7 @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Robbie Ray (2-1, 2.00) vs.
Scott Copeland (5-9, 6.71)
Auburn Lost, 9-1 @ Tri-City,
7:00 p.m.
Manny Rodriguez (1-2, 4.62)
vs. Nick Tropeano (1-2, 3.45)
GCL Nationals Lost, 5-2
@ GCL Astros
vs. GCL Mets,
12:00 p.m.
Brandon King (1-2, 7.11) vs.
Craig Missigman (0-0, 4.82)
DSL Nationals Won, 13-3;
Lost, 6-4
vs. DSL Marlins
@ DSL Yankees1,
10:30 a.m.

Syarcuse 3 Columbus 0
• JD Martin (W, 3-6) 7IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• Hyde (S, 1) 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Marrero 2-4, R
• Valdez 2-4, RBI

Three Syracuse pitchers combined for a 3-0 shutout of the Columbus Clippers. Starter J.D. Martin pitched seven innings before being relieved by Jeff Mandel and Lee Hyde. Sparks flew early when umpire Kelvin Bultron ejected Shelley Duncan and Clippers mangers Mike Sarbaugh following a dustup after a third strike call at the end of the top of the first [Ed. Note: Same umpire that awarded Duncan a HR on a disputed fair/foul call on Thu. night that precipitated the ejection of both Randy Knorr and Tom Milone]. The Chiefs answered back with a run in the bottom of the 1st on singles by Steve Lombardozzi and Brian Bixler followed by a Michael Aubrey sac fly. The Chiefs would go on to score their final two runs in a fourth-inning rally consisting of a leadoff double by Michael Aubrey, singles by Chris Marrero and Jesus Valdez, a Jeff Frazier single, and a two-out wild pitch by Columbus starter Joe Martinez. The Chiefs had thirteen hits; Bixler, Marrero, Valdez, Seth Bynum, and Frazier had two hits apiece. With their third straight win, the Chiefs improve to 47-58, ten games behind third-place Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and fourteen games back of Lehigh Valley in the I.L. North.

Binghamton 8 Harrisburg 7
• Martis 5⅔ IP, 8H, 5R, 4ER, BB, 8K
• McCoy 1⅓ IP, 3H, 0ER, BB, 3K
• L Davis 3-5, 2B, RBI
• McConnell 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

Harrisburg squandered a 5-0 lead in an 8-7 loss to Binghamton. The Senators ran up their lead with a run in the third and two runs in each of the 4th and 5th innings. Binghamton immediately answered back with a five-run 6th off of starter Shairon Martis. Martis gave up four runs on five hits before Hassan Pena came in to blow the save by allowing a fifth unearned run to be charged to Martis on Pena’s own fielding error that allowed an inherited runner to score from third. Pena would go on to allow three more runs in the top of the 8th to take the loss. The Senators had eleven hits, but batted only 4-15 with RISP. Leonard Davis, Chris Rahl, Devin Ivany, and Chris McConnell all had at least two hits. With the loss, Harrisburg falls to 60-47 and its lead over Richmond in the E.L. Western Division shrinks to just a half game.

Frederick 4 Potomac 0
• Selik (L, 4-7) 6IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Bronson 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Hood 2-4
• Higley 1-3, 2B

One bad inning, but it was enough to send Potomac to defeat Last Night In Woodbridge

Delmarva 8 Hagerstown 7
• Demmin 4⅔ IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, 4BB, 3K, 2R HR
• Holt 2⅓ IP, 3H, ER, BB, 2K
• Freitas 2-3, 2R, 3R HR, 4RBI, BB
• Keyes 1-4, R, 3R HR, 3RBI

Hagerstown blew a 7-4 eighth-inning lead in an 8-7 loss to Delmarva. The Suns had just five hits, but two of those were three-run blasts by Kevin Keyes in the 1st and Davis Freitas in the 8th. Both teams committed three errors and Hagerstown’s errors led to two unearned runs. Wilson Eusebio was tagged with both a blown save (#2) the loss (#6) when he gave up four runs, three earned in the bottom of the 8th. With the 8-7 loss, Hagerstown falls below .500 to 16-17, and sinks into fifth place in the Sally North, 4½ games behind first-place Hickory.

Hudson Valley 9 Auburn 1
• Meza, C (L, 1-1) 3⅓ IP, 5H, 7R, 5ER, 2BB, 3K, HR
• Jenkins 3IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• Ramsey 1-2, 2BB
• Jimenez 1-2, 2BB

Six errors committed on defense, three hits on offense. You need to read more? Fine. The Hudson Valley Renegades put up crooked numbers in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings and then got tired, scoring just one in the 5th en route to a 9-1 demolition of the Auburn Doubledays. Christian Meza took the loss with seven runs allowed on five hits and two walks, including a three-run blast in third. Auburn got its lone run on a hit batsman, a walk, and two wild pitches. The loss drops the Doubledays into second place, a game behind Jamestown and Mahoning Valley in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League.

GCL Astros 5 GCL Nationals 2
• Medina (L, 0-2) 5IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 4K, HR
• Lee 2IP, H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Difo 3-5, 2-2B
• E Martinez 2-5, R

Once again, the G-Nats outhit their opponent and lost, falling to the G-Astros by a 5-2 score. Silvio Medina started and went the first five, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks, but took the loss. Wilmer Difo doubled twice and singled to the lead offense as the D-Nats got 10 hits total, but were an abysmal 2-for-14 with RISP, leaving 11 men on base. Estarlin Martinez was next with a 2-for-5 effort that raised his batting average to .350, third-best in the GCL. The loss cuts the G-Nats’ elimination number to 13 with a 12-21 mark, 11½ games off the pace in the GCL East.

DSL Nationals 13 DSL Marlins 3 — GAME ONE
• Pineyro (W, 3-4) 5IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 6K
• Eusebio 3-4, 4R
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Read 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, 4RBI

Raudy Read’s grand slam highlighted a seven-run 5th as the DSL Nationals filleted the DSL Marlins, 13-3 in game one of the doubleheader. Ivan Pineyro got the win with five solid innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits and a walk while striking out six. Diomedes Eusebio led the 13-hit onslaught with a 3-for-4 effort, scoring four runs, followed by Read and Jose Marmolejos-Diaz, who both went 2-for-4.

DSL Marlins 6 DSL Nationals 4 — GAME TWO
• Suero, W (L, 3-1) 2IP, 5H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 3K, HR
• Barrientos 3IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K
• W Rodriguez 1-3, R, HR, RBI, BB
• Reyes 1-2, R, HR, 2RBI

Things were looking good in the second game as Aladin Reyes went deep in the top of the 2nd to give the D-Nats an early 2-0 lead. A five-run rally in the bottom of the 2nd put the D-Marlins up 5-2 en route to a 6-4 victory. Wander Suero took the brunt of the beating with five runs allowed in the first two innings on five hits and two walks, including a three-run shot. Joel Barrientos relieved Suero with three scoreless innings, but the D-Nats bats couldn’t mount the comeback. Wilman Rodriguez also went deep with a solo HR, but the D-Nats were held to just five hits and seven men left on base. With the doubleheader split, the D-Nats are still even-steven at 26-26, 5½ behind the DSL Rangers in the B.C. South.

Jul 302011

The first inning is not the friend of Cameron Selik. Four runs by Frederick in the frame, plus another lull from the P-Nats bats, put another “L” in the books for both Potomac and Selik on Friday night.

It was the fifth time in 13 starts that Selik had been scored on in the first inning, the second in as many starts against the Frederick Keys. There wasn’t much doubt about it, either: a leadoff home run, single, single, ground-rule double to the first four batters (with a wild pitch just before the double) before the first batter was retired.

The problem is a fairly common one. Selik simply doesn’t have the stuff to live up in the zone, and that’s where the pitches were early on. To his credit, he made the adjustment and settled down. He would retire 10 in a row after the ground-rule double before giving up his sixth and final hit in the fourth (another double), and then the last 11 batters he faced.

Of course, none of this would be dissected in that kind of detail had the Potomac batters done more than just five hits and a walk on offense. Just two batters reached second: J.R. Higley via a double (the only extra-base hit) and Jeff Kobernus on a fielder’s choice. This was the second time in three starts against the P-Nats that Frederick’s Bobby Bundy had stifled them, and the smart money says that he’ll be skipped this time next month if the two teams are still in line to meet in the first round of the playoffs.

The loss drops Potomac three games behind Frederick in the Carolina League North division. Lynchburg and Wilmington both won to narrow the gap between second and third place to eight games.

The series continues tonight with Adam Oblrychowski (no word as to why he was bumped back one night) toeing the slab for Potomac against Frederick’s Jake Pettit.

Jul 292011

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

SYRACUSE 46-58, 4th Place I.L. North, 15 games behind

Good Josh Wilkie 2-0, 3SV, 0ER in last 14⅔ IP (11 appearances)
Bad Craig Stammen 0-2, 6.48 since I.L. All-Star Break
Interesting Tom Milone, Randy Knorr ejected in same game last night

HARRISBURG 60-46, 1st place E.L. West Division, 1½ games ahead

Good Derek Norris .283/.431/.478 since E.L. All Star Break
Bad Erik Davis 1-4, 7.52 ERA, 1.41 WHIP in July
Interesting Six different Ps have 4 or more saves, team is T2nd for league lead with 33

POTOMAC 20-13, 2nd place C.L. North Division, 2 games behind (49-53 overall)

Good Marcos Frias 1-0, 2.12 ERA, 1.06 WHIP since C.L. All-Star Break
Bad Rob Wort 1.60 WHIP, 5.81 FIP
Interesting Steve Souza .427 OBP since C.L. All-Star Break

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 16-16, 4th place Sally North Division, 4½ games behind (56-46 overall)

Good David Freitas 59BB, 58K
Bad Shane McCatty 8.10ERA in July
Interesting Jason Martinson 12HR, 44RBI, 46BB, 106K, 24E

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 22-18, T1st place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 1 game ahead

Good Brian Dupra 1.93 ERA, 0.99 WHIP in July
Bad Connor Rowe .578 OPS, 38K in 29G
Interesting Team SB success rate of 78.33% (47/60), best in NYPL

GCL NATIONALS 12-20, 4th place GCL East, 11 games behind

Good Wander Ramos 1.092 OPS in 24G
Bad Andy Santana 2.65 WHIP, 12.71 ERA
Interesting Silvio Medina 26K in 18⅓ IP (12.76/9IP)

DSL NATIONALS 25-25, 5th place, Boca Chica South Division, 5 games behind

Good Ivan Pineyro 2.22 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 54K in 48⅔ IP
Bad Raudy Read .147/.200/.255, 7E in 30G
Interesting Yermin Mercedes .318/.361/.409, 1E in 32G
Jul 292011
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Won, 6-5 vs. Columbus,
7:00 p.m.
J.D. Martin (2-6, 4.78) vs.
Joe Martinez (6-4, 4.10)
Harrisburg Won, 2-1
(14 inn.)
vs. Binghamton,
7:00 p.m.
Shairon Martis (7-4, 3.18) vs.
Brandon Moore (8-7, 3.73)
Potomac Won, 7-5 vs. Frederick,
7:05 p.m.
Adam Olbrychowski (3-5, 4.68)
vs. Bobby Bundy (10-5, 2.92)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-4 @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Robbie Ray (2-1, 2.00) vs.
Tim Berry (3-6, 5.81)
Auburn Lost, 3-1 vs. Hudson Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Christian Meza (1-0, 6.87) vs.
Andrew Bellatti (0-4, 3.25)
GCL Nationals Lost, 6-4
(11 inn.) vs.
GCL Cards
@ GCL Astros,
12:00 p.m.
Silvio Medina (0-1, 5.89) vs.
Enderson Franco (0-1, 5.14)
DSL Nationals Lost, 13-2 vs.
DSL Cubs2
vs. DSL Marlins,
10:30 a.m.
Ivan Pineyro (2-4, 2.22) vs.
Miguel Del Pozo (3-3, 5.16)

Syracuse 6 Columbus 5
• Milone 2⅓ IP, 6H, 5H, 5R, 5ER, 0BB, 2K, 2R HR, 3R HR
• Zinicola 2IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 1K
• Hyde (W, 2-0) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Bixler 3-5, 3R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Aubrey 3-5, R, 2B, 2RBI
• J Valdez 4-5

Syracuse mounted a spirited comeback from a 5-2 7th-inning deficit to bail out starter Tom Milone in a 6-5 victory over Columbus. Milone was victimized by the long ball, giving up a two-run homer to former Nat Nick Johnson in the 2nd, and a three-run shot to former major leaguer Shelley Duncan. Credit goes to the Chiefs bullpen of Ryan Tatusko, Zech Zinicola, Lee Hyde, Jeff Mandel, and Atahualpa Severino that pitched six and 2/3rd scoreless innings. The Chiefs had 15 hits in all. In the 7th, the Chiefs began their comeback with a Chris Marrero RBI single. In the 8th, the Chiefs scored three runs on three singles and a double to take the decisive 6-5 lead. With the win, the Chiefs improve to 46-58, four games ahead of fifth-place Buffalo and fifteen games in back of first-place Lehigh Valley in the I.L. North.

Harrisburg 2 Binghamton 1 14 Innings
• Arnesen 8IP, 3H, 1ER, 0BB, 9K, HR
• VanAllen 2IP, 1H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K
• Lehman 2IP, 1H, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• C Martinez (W, 2-3) 2IP, 1H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K
• Rahl 3-6, R, 3B, RBI

Harrisburg outlasted Binghamton 2-1 in a 14-inning game (plus a one-hour, fifty-four minute rain delay) that ended well after midnight. Starter Erik Arnesen was excellent, yielding only a 7th-inning solo homer to Juan Lagares. Derek Norris helped engineer Harrisburg’s response with a leadoff walk and a stolen base in front of a Chris Rahl RBI single. From there, two stingy bullpens took over. Corey VanAllen, Pat Lehman, and Carlos Martinez combined for six shutout innings before Harrisburg mustered a merciful two-out rally in the 14th that began with a Rahl triple. Finally, Tim Pahuta hit a walkoff single to give Harrisburg the 2-1 win. With the victory, Harrisburg improves to 60-46 and remains in first place, 1½ games ahead of both Bowie and Richmond in the E.L. West.

Potomac 7 Wilmington 5
• Demny (W, 7-9) 7IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 10K, 0HR
• Wort (S, 3) ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Dykstra 3-4, R, HR, RBI, SB, CS
• Hood 2-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI, 2SB
• Souza 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Soriano 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI

With two runs in and three hits allowed in the 1st, Paul Demny’s afternoon looked to be short. But Potomac rallied for three in the second and Demny settled down and in as the P-Nats went on to a 7-5 win. Demny allowed just two more hits and struck out eight of his season-high 10 batters over the next six innings to earn his team-leading seventh win. Cutter Dykstra and Francisco Soriano both homered while Steve Souza and Destin Hood both singled and doubled as the foursome collected eight of the 11 Potomac hits. Neil Holland relieved Demny and pitched a scoreless 8th but got knocked for three runs in the 9th before Rob Wort came on to get the last out for his third save. The win puts Potomac at 20-13, two games behind Frederick, which comes to town this weekend for three games — a chance for the Keys to get some breathing room or the P-Nats to reclaim first place.

Delmarva 5 Hagerstown 4
• Cole (L, 2-6) 3IP, 5H, 5ER, 3BB, 3K
• Applebee 5IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 6K
• W Moore 1-2, 2R, 2B, RBI, 2BB
• Cuevas 1-2, 2RBI, BB

Hagerstown starter AJ Cole was roughed up for five runs in just three innings in a 5-4 Hagerstown loss to Delmarva. Blake Kelso, Adrian Sanchez, Wade Moore, Mills Rogers, and Justino Cuevas all had hits for the Suns. Hagerstown scored two runs in the 1st on a Wade Moore RBI double and Justino Cuevas RBI single. DelMarva came back with two runs in the bottom of the 2nd and three runs in the 3rd on two walks and two doubles against starter AJ Cole. Paul Applebee pitched five innings of shutout relief to keep the Suns in the game. Aided by two Shorebird errors, the Suns managed a two-run rally in the 8th that just fell short. With the loss, Hagerstown falls to 16-16, 4 1/2 games behind first-place Hickory in the Sally North. As predicted by one of our commenters, Colin Bates has joined the Suns from the Doubledays, along with Justino Cuevas coming up from the GCL while Chris McKenzie has been placed on the 7-Day DL.

Hudson Valley 3 Auburn 1
• Estevez 5IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 6K
• Hill (L, 0-1) 3IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 5K
• Montilla 2-4, 2B
• Moldenhauer 2-4

For the second straight night it was a pitcher’s duel in Auburn, but this time the Doubledays came out on the short end of the 3-1 tally. Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez pitched five scoreless innings with just four hits allowed, no walks, and six strikeouts, but left with the score tied at 0-0. The jig was up (and the news was out) as the Renegades had it made against Auburn reliever David Hill, scoring three times in the 7th on a double, walk, and two singles. Just three Doubledays collected base hits, with Russell Moldenhauer and Angel Montilla going 2-for-4 and Billy Burns going 1-for-3. The loss denied Auburn a shot at sole possession of first place, as they remain tied with Jamestown and Mahoning Valley with a 22-18 record.

GCL Cardinals 6 GCL Nationals 4
• Encarnacion 4⅓ IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 2K
• Heredia 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Jo. Rodriguez 3-6, 2RBI
• Schill 2-6

The clutch hit eluded the G-Nats all game long, as 15 men were left on in a 6-4 extra-innings loss to the G-Cards. Johan Rodriguez led the 11-hit attack with a 3-for-5 effort, followed by Wes Schill’s 2-for-6 effort. Pedro Encarnacion got the start and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk. Andy Santana took the loss with two unearned runs allowed in the top of the 11th, as the G-Nats committed three errors for the game. The loss cuts the elimination number to 14 and puts the G-Nats at a 12-20 mark, 11 games behind the G-Marlins in the GCL East.

DSL Cubs2 13 DSL Nationals 2
• Guzman 5⅔ IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K
• Vasquez (L, 1-1) 2IP, 7H, 7R, 6ER, BB, 0K
• Geraldo 1-3, R, HR, RBI
• Ramirez 0-2, R, SB

Surprisingly, no position players pitched in this 13-2 demolition of the D-Nats by the D-Cubs2. Eleven runs were scored in the final three innings, breaking a 2-2 tie. The D-Nats managed just four (4) hits and drew just three walks while the bullfighters defense committed five errors. Jesus Guzman got the start and gave up two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out four. Enigmatic Junior Geraldo (no DOB listed) homered in what appears to be his professional debut. The loss evens the D-Nats record at 25-25, five games behind the D-Rangers in the B.C. South.

Jul 282011

While there appears to be a waiting game on this front, the weekly BA report has been issued, and the following, previously unreported moves are now noted:

• RHP Cody Davis (NDFA—Tampa)
• RHP Christian Garcia
• RHP John Peters (NDFA—Augustana)

• RHP Patrick Arnold
• C Hector Taveras

• RHP Dixon Anderson

Jul 282011
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Won, 2-0 vs. Columbus,
7:00 p.m.
Tom Milone (8-6, 3.30) vs.
Zach McAllister (8-3, 3.11)
Harrisburg Won, 6-3 vs. Binghamton,
7:00 p.m.
Erik Arnesen (6-3, 2.78) vs.
Matt Harvey (0-3, 7.15)
Potomac Won, 5-1 @ Wilmington,
12:05 p.m.
Paul Demny (6-9, 5.02) vs.
Justin Marks (5-7, 4.70)
Hagerstown OFF DAY @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
A.J. Cole (2-5, 2.83) vs.
Jarret Martin (4-6, 4.84)
Auburn Won, 3-1 vs. Hudson Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Wirkin Estevez (3-2, 4.36) vs.
Jacob Partridge (0-4, 5.40)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY vs.
GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
Pedro Encarnacion (0-2, 7.27)
vs. Ramon Ulacio (1-2, 2.83)
DSL Nationals Lost, 8-2
@ DSL Giants
vs. DSL Cubs2,
10:30 a.m.
Jesus Guzman (0-1, 2.53) vs.
Alex Santana (3-0, 2.13)

Syracuse 2 Columbus 0
• Peacock (W, 2-1) 7IP, 1H, 0R, 4BB, 7K
• Wilkie (S, 9) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Aubrey 2-4, R, 2B
• C Brown 2-3, 2B
Brad Peacock took a no-no into the 8th inning in Syracuse’s 2-0 victory over Columbus. Peacock walked four batters through four and ran up a very high pitch count early. After that, he settled down and was dominant until he gave up a leadoff double to Beau Mills. Collin Balester came on in relief and walked two and struck out two to load the bases before Josh Wilkie came in and induced a ground out. Wilkie went on to pitch a scoreless 9th to earn the save. Syracuse scored two runs in the fourth on a Chris Marrero single, Michael Aubrey double, an RBI groundout from Jesus Valdez, and an RBI triple from Tug Hulett. Syracuse improves to 45-58, fourth place in the I.L. North and 16 games behind Lehigh Valley.

Harrisburg 6 Bowie 3
• O Perez 5⅔ IP, 6H, ER, 5BB, 3K, HR
• VanAllen [H, 8] 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Harper 3-4, 2R, HR, RBI, SB
• Pahuta 3-4, 3R, HR, RBI
• Ivany 2-4, R, HR, 3RBI

Bryce Harper continued to bounce back from his early Eastern League slump with a dominating performance in a 6-3 Harrisburg win over Bowie. Harper whipped out the full offensive arsenal with a single the other way and stolen base in his first at-bat, a homer in his third AB, and a rope of a single in his fourth at-bat. He had plenty of help as Tim Pahuta and Devin Ivany would each go long for the Senators for a total of four RBI. Ollie Perez pitched five and 2/3rds innings of excruciating five-walk ball in the heat before Jimmy Barthmaier added a sixth walk then stranded Perez’s runner at first, which earned him the win. Corey VanAllen pitched a scoreless 7th and Rafael Martin Rafael Martin pitched a scoreless eighth, but struggled to hold a 6-1 lead in the 9th, which required Pat McCoy to record the final out for the save. With the victory, Harrisburg improves to 59-46, good for a 1½ game lead over Richmond and Bowie in the E.L. West.

Potomac 5 Wilmington 1
• Solis (W, 4-1) 7⅓ IP, 6H, E, ER, 2BB, 4K
• Frias 1⅔ IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Higley 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Bloxom 2-4, 2B, RBI

Sammy Solis carried a shutout into the 8th, but a one-out RBI double chased him from the mound but got him his fourth win in five starts as Potomac crushed the Blue Rocks, 5-1. The 2nd-round southpaw retired 13 straight beginning with a double play to end the 3rd and ending with a leadoff walk in the 8th. The P-Nats bats pounded out nine hits, with J.R. Higley and Justin Bloxom both going 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead the way, while the defense played error-free and turned two double plays. Frederick still lead the P-Nats by two games, but Potomac’s 19-13 mark is eight games better than both Lynchburg and Wilmington, making a rematch of last year’s divisional round of the C.L. playoffs even more likely.

Hagerstown Suns — OFF DAY
Yesterday was an off day for the Hagerstown Suns, as they embark on an eight-game road trip with four against Delmarva over the weekend, then four against Hickory from Monday to Thursday before returning to Municipal Stadium next Friday [Insert joke about whether it's a day game or night game here].

Auburn 3 Hudson Valley 1
• Meyers 4IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K
• Dupra (W, 2-2) 4IP, H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Rowe 1-2, R, BB
• Montilla 1-3, SB

A rehabbing Brad Meyers and 7th-round pick Brian Dupra each tossed four strong innings as the Auburn Doubledays pitchers outdueled the Hudson Valley Renegades, 3-1. Both teams had just four hits, but the Doubledays had the fortune to get three of them in the same inning. In the 6th, a Connor Rowe single, Jeremy Mayo walk, and a Hendry Jimenez single loaded the bases, while Bryce Ortega’s single, Matt Skole’s sac fly and an RBI grounder by Justin Miller unloaded the bases. Ben Grisz was the last man on the mound for the Doubledays, pitching a scoreless 9th for his fourth save. With the win, Auburn keeps pace with Jamestown and Mahoning Valley atop the Pinckney Division at 22-17, two games ahead of Batavia and Williamsport.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
It’s four days on, one day off the rest of the way for the G-Nats, who are 10 games out with a 12-19 mark and have an elimination number of just 16 with 25 games left to play.

DSL Giants 8 DSL Nationals 2
• Moscat (L, 3-4) 6IP, 8H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 6K, HR
• Eusebio 2-4, R, HR, RBI 4 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 .274
• Mejia 2B 1-4, 3B, RBI

A modest three-game winning streak was broken with an 8-2 loss by the D-Nats to the D-Giants. Felix Moscat started and went the first six, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk with six strikeouts. The duo of Jesus De Los Santos and Brian Escolastico lived up to their four-digit ERAs, surrendering one run in the 7th and four more in the 8th to erase any doubt. Both D-Nats runs came in the 9th, with Diomedes Esuebio the lone batter to hit safely twice by leading off the 9th with a solo shot to break up the shutout. The loss drops the D-Nats to 25-24, five games off the pace.

Jul 272011

As everyone surmised, Matt Stairs has been designated for assignment to make room for Gomes. Of course, that’s the MLB front; not our turf.

So far, only one move has just a couple of moves have been officially announced in the minors…

• P Gregory Holt assigned from Auburn
(Unofficially, one of our commenters has informed us that RHP Colin Bates is on the way, too)
• P Colin Bates assigned from Auburn
• SS Justino Cuevas activated from Potomac DL and assigned from GCL

• 1B-DH Russell Moldenhauer assigned from Hagerstown Suns.
• P Ben Hawkins assigned to Auburn Doubledays from GCL Nationals

With Harrisburg short one man at 23, it’s pretty clear that another move will be made soon. But it’s not obvious who because both Potomac and Syracuse have four or less OFs on the active roster. My apologies for these kind of “placeholder” posts, but I feel like it’s the best way to handle this until the dust settles… or another trade is made.

UPDATE: A few moves shuffling the deck between Auburn and Hagerstown, indicated in bold.

Jul 272011
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Lost, 3-0 vs. Columbus,
7:00 p.m.
Brad Peacock (1-1, 7.71) vs.
Jeanmar Gomez (10-3, 2.32)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-2 @ Bowie,
11:05 a.m.
Oliver Perez (2-2, 3.75) vs.
Michael Ballard (6-0, 2.90)
Potomac Won, 4-3;
Lost, 4-3
@ Wilmington,
7:05 p.m.
Sammy Solis (3-1, 3.91) vs.
Tyler Sample (6-7, 5.42)
Hagerstown Lost, 11-4 OFF DAY N/A
Auburn OFF DAY vs. Hudson
Valley, 7:05 p.m.
Brian Dupra (1-2, 4.56) vs.
Jason McEachern (3-0, 2.38)
GCL Nationals Lost, 3-1
@ GCL Marlins
DSL Nationals Won, 6-5
(11 inn.)
vs. DSL Rangers
@ DSL Giants,
10:30 a.m.
Felix Moscat (3-3, 4.64) vs.
Jose Reyes (3-1, 1.82)

Columbus 3 Syracuse 0 [Perfect Game]
• Stammen (L, 8-5) 6⅓ IP, 11H, 3ER, 2BB, 3K
• Severino 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0ER, BB, K, 2 IR stranded

All credit goes to 28-year-old Columbus Clippers pitcher Justin Germano, who threw a 3-0 perfect game against the Syracuse Chiefs last night. Germano pitched the first perfect game in Columbus history, sixth no-hitter in Clippers history, and the first perfect game in the International League since 2003. Craig Stammen was tagged for three runs early, the first on two doubles in the 1st and two more on a Tim Fedroff triple in the 2nd. Stammen put runners on second and third with one out in the 7th before Atahualpa Severino came in to stifle the rally with a short flyout and former Nat Nick Johnson’s inning-ending popup. With the 3-0 defeat, Syracuse falls to 44-58, two games ahead of fifth-place Buffalo and sixteen games behind irst-place Lehigh Valley in the I.L. North.

Bowie 6 Harrisburg 2
• E Davis (L, 5-6) 6IP, 8H, 4ER, BB, 5K, 2 HR
• Pena 2IP, 2H, 2ER, 0BB, 2K
• Norris 1-3, R, 2R HR, 2RBI
• T Moore 1-4, 2B
Harrisburg fell 6-2 in Bowie last night. Starter Erik Davis gave up a first-inning solo shot to L.J. Hoes. Derek Norris answered back with a two-run shot of his own in the 3rd inning to put Harrisburg up 2-1. The lead would not stand when Hoes hit his second homer of the game in the 6th and Bowie plated two more on a Caleb Joseph double. Hassan Pena gave up two runs in the 7th to make the final score 6-2. Harrisburg managed just four hits in defeat. With the loss, Harrisburg falls to 58-46, just a ½ game up over Bowie in the E.L. West.

Potomac 4 Wilmington 3 — COMP.
• Olbrychowski 4IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 5BB, 3K
• Clegg (W, 3-5) 4IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Hood 2-4, 2RBI, SB
• Leon, 2-4, 2-2B, RBI
• E Perez 2-4, 2R, 2SB (30,31)

In the continuation, Mitchell Clegg spun one of his best outings of the season with four scoreless innings of relief while the Potomac ‘pen held off a late charge for a 4-3 win in Wilmington. Destin Hood broke the 1-1 tie with a two-run single when play resumed and Steven Souza drove in what would prove to be the gamewinner with an RBI single that sent in Eury Perez. Rob Wort came on to protect a 4-1 lead in the 9th and got two quick outs, but was chased after a double and a single narrowed the gap to 4-2. Josh Smoker wasn’t much more effective, giving up the third run on an RBI double and walking the next batter before getting a flyout to end it for the ugly, last-blonde-at-the-bar save.

Wilmington 4 Potomac 3 – F/8
• Rosenbaum 6IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 6K
• Holland (BS, 1; L, 1-1) ⅔ IP, 2H, 2R, 0ER, 0BB, 2K
• Hood 1-3, R, 3B, RBI
• Bloxom 1-3, RBI

In the regularly scheduled game, Wilmington went up 1-0 in the first and the stars seemed in to be in line for Noel Arguelles to get the seven-inning no-no. But a walk, a sacrifice, and a lost-in-the-twilight triple by Destin Hood ended both the no-hitter and the shutout. Justin Bloxom followed Hood with an RBI single to give the P-Nats a 2-1 lead. Danny Rosenbaum, who started and allowed just the one run on six hits over six innings, was assured of his seventh no-decision when Hector Nelo snatched a tie from the jaws of victory by surrendering a one-out double and RBI single. After J.R. Higley and Eury Perez doubled and singled in the top of the 8th to take a 3-2 lead, the bullpen implosion continued in the bottom of the frame as two relievers were victimized by two errors and gave up two singles to allow the Blue Rocks to score twice for a 4-3 Wilmington win. Potomac is now 18-13, three games behind Frederick in the Sally League North.

Greenville 11 Hagerstown 4
• Swynenberg (L, 3-1) 4IP, 7H, 8R, 7ER, BB, 3K, HR, WP, BK
• Weaver 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Curran 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Leonida 2-4, R, HR, RBI

Hagerstown was never really in the game in an 11-4 loss to the Greenville Drive. Starter Matt Swynenberg gave up eight runs in the first three innings. Hagerstown did manage a run on a solo shot by Chris Curran in the bottom of the 1st. Blake Kelso (1-4, 2RBI) had two of Hagerstown’s 4 RBI on a sac fly and an RBI ground out. Cole Leonida went 2-4 with a seventh-inning solo shot, and David Freitas and Russell Moldenhauer had a double apiece in the loss. Hagerstown falls to 16-15, in fourth place in the Sally North and 3½ games behind first-half champ Hickory in the Sally League North.

Auburn Doubledays
Yesterday was the second of just four scheduled days off in the New York-Penn League 2011 campaign. Auburn is in a three-way tie for first place in the Pinckney Division, a ½ game behind in the wild-card standings. Tomorrow, they begin a stretch of 11-of-17 games at home, where they’ve played .625 ball (10-6) versus .500 ball (11-11) on the road.

GCL Marlins 3 GCL Nationals 1
• Baez 2IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, K
• S Williams 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Difo 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI, CS
• E Martinez 0-2, 2BB

A three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the 6th was difference in this one, as the G-Marlins beat the G-Nats for (only?) the fifth time in nine meetings this season by a score of 3-1. A 78-minute rain delay limited Gregory Baez to just two innings, with one hit given up and two walks issued. Two NDFAs followed him in relief: Scott Williams from Wisconsin-Stevens Point and John Peters from Augustana College. Williams pitched two perfect innings, Williams was victimized by a two-out error but surrendered the home run to take the loss. Wilmer Difo walked, doubled and drove in the lone G-Nat run, which was also the only hit in 14 chances with RISP. The loss drops the G-Nats to 12-19 and reduces their elimination number to 17 with 25 games left on the schedule.

DSL Nationals 6 DSL Rangers (11 inn.)
• Silvestre 4IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 4BB, K
• Hernandez, Jr (W, 2-1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Novas 2-4, 2R, BB, RBI, SB
• Eusebio 2-5, 2B, BB, 2RBI, SB

The bullpen couldn’t hold a 4-0 lead but the D-Nats got the tying run they needed in the bottom of the 9th, and the gamewinner in the last of the 11th for a 6-5 win over the D-Rangers. Hector Silvestre got the start and allowed one run over four innings on two hits and four walks but struck out just one batter. Both D-Nat errors came in the 8th, as the D-Rangers got two unearned runs on two-out errors. Randy Novas (2-for-4) scored the tying run in the 9th when the D-Rangers catcher threw a pickoff to second into centerfield, while Diomedes Eusebio drew a bases-loaded walk (2-for-5) in the 11th to seal the deal. The win improves the D-Nats to 25-23, four games behind the D-Rangers in the B.C. South Division.