Jul 062011
 

Just a quick catch-up on the recent transactions in the minors… many were tweeted yesterday:

SYRACUSE
P Brad Meyers placed on 7-Day DL retroactive to July 1
P Carlos Martinez assigned from Harrisburg
P Ross Detwiler called up to Washington

HARRISBURG
OF Bryce Harper assigned from Hagerstown

POTOMAC
P Sammy Solis assigned from Hagerstown
IF Justino Cuevas placed on 7-Day DL
IF Jose Lozada activated from 7-Day DL

HAGERSTOWN
P Matt Swynenberg activated from 7-Day DL
OF Chris Curran assigned from Potomac

AUBURN
C Jeremy Mayo assigned from GCL
P Christian Meza assigned from GCL

GCL
P Pedro Encarnacio assigned from Auburn
P Patrick Arnold assigned (on Hagerstown 7-Day DL)

Before folks get their panties in a bunch about Meyers, this is a less-opaque paper move related to the placing of Collin Balester on optional waivers. Likewise, I expect Carlos Martinez to return to Harrisburg once the merry-go-round stops later this week.

UPDATE: As predicted, Martinez’s stay was brief. The Harrisburg Senators have announced the following:
“RHP Carlos Martinez has been transferred from Syracuse to Harrisburg and RHP Tanner Roark has been placed on the temporary inactive list.”

Jul 062011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Lost, 11-6 vs. Pawucket,
7:00 p.m.
J.D. Martin (1-5, 4.50) vs.
Felix Doubront (0-3, 3.86)
Harrisburg Won, 7-3 vs. Erie,
7:00 p.m.
Shairon Martis (5-3, 2.82) vs.
Brooks Brown (1-2, 7.94)
Potomac Won, 12-3 @ Frederick,
7:00 p.m.
Paul Demny (5-7, 3.75) vs.
Nick Haughian (5-4, 3.99)
Hagerstown Won, 4-3 @ Lakewood,
11:05 a.m.
Robbie Ray (2-1, 1.95) vs.
Lisalberto Bonilla (0-2, 1.79)
Auburn Won, 4-2 @ Jamestown,
7:05 p.m.
Colin Bates (1-1, 2.33) vs.
Matt Neil (0-0, 4.66)
GCL Nationals Lost, 7-5
@ GCL Mets
vs. GCL Marlins,
11:00 a.m. (comp.
7/1 susp. gm.)
Gregory Baez (1-0, 2.51) vs.
Ramon Del Orbe (0-1, 7.84)
DSL Nationals POSTPONED vs. DSL Mets1,
10:30 a.m.
Miguel Navarro (0-1, 11.17) vs.
Audry German (0-0, 2.86)

Buffalo 11 Syracuse 6
• Gaudin (L, 0-1) 2⅔ IP, 2H, 3R, 0ER, 2BB, 2K
• Tatusko 2⅔ IP, 3H, ER, BB, 2K
• Marrero 2-4, R, 2R HR, 2RBI
• Solano 1-1, R, RBI, BB

Buffalo ran out to a 9-2 sixth inning lead against the Chiefs. Buffalo did most of its damage in a five-run, two-out, third-inning rally that started with a leadoff fielding error on Tug Hulett that led to three unearned runs against rehabbing Chad Gaudin. Syracuse’s biggest offensive highlight was Chris Marrero’s 9th homer in the fourth. Syracuse falls to 37-46, twelve games back of Lehigh Valley.

Harrisburg 7 Erie 3
• Arnesen (W, 6-1) 6⅔ IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K
• Pena (S, 6) 2.1IP 4H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 0K
• T Moore 3-4, R, 2-2B, 3RBI
• Rahl 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

Tyler Moore was the offensive star against Erie, with an RBI double as part of a four-run first and a two-RBI double as part of a three-run 7th. Erik Arnesen was only touched for single runs in the second and the seventh. Hassan Pena stranded an inherited runner and pitched two and 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to get the save. Harrisburg improves to 49-34, good for a five and a half game lead over Richmond.

Potomac 12 Wilmington 3
• Solis (W, 1-0) 6IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 5K
• Testa 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Kobernus 3-5, 2R, 2-2B, RBI, SB (34)
• Ramirez 2-5, 2R, GS HR, 4RBI
• Hood 1-5, R, 2B, 4RBI

Sammy Solis won his Carolina League debut Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 4 Lakewood 3
• Applebee 5IP, 4H, 1ER, 0BB, 5K
• Manno (S, 11) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Keyes 1-3, R, 2B, 2RBI, BB
• Nicol 2-4, 2B, RBI

Hagerstown rallied for three runs in the top of the eighth to come back for a 4-3 victory over Lakewood. Kevin Keyes’s two-out, two-run double was the critical blow in the rally that earned the win for Matt Swynenberg, who gave up two runs in relief of a strong spot start for Paul Applebee. Hopefully, Chris Manno’s two perfect innings of five strikeout ball will be a critical statement for his promotion so that Manno’s Minions
do not have to personally carry him to Potomac. Hagerstown improves to 8-5, good for a tie with first-half winner Hickory in the Northern division of the South Atlantic League.

Auburn 4 State College 2
• M Rodriguez 4IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 3K
• K Lopez (W, 1-1) 3IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Kreis (S, 1) 2IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Skole 2-3, R, BB
• Ramsey 2-4, R, 2RBI, 2SB

Caleb Ramsey was the driving force in a four-run fourth, with a 2RBI single as part of a 2-for-4 night that also him swipe two bags as the Auburn Doubledays swept the State College Spikes with a 4-2 win. Manny Rodriguez recovered from the beating he took in his last outing (6R, ⅔ IP) to go four innings and allow two runs on five hits and a walk. The bullpen took over from there and extended its scoreless streak to 12⅓ innings with five solid innings from Kelvin Lopez and Alex Kreis, who got the win and save respectively. Auburn is now 11-8 and one game off the pace.

GCL Mets 7 GCL Nationals 5
• King (L, 1-2) 2⅔ IP, 6H, 7R, 7ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Ja. Smith 3⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Mozingo 2-3, R
• HWMNBN 3-5, R, 3B, RBI
• P Severino 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI

Brandon King took another shellacking, giving up seven runs on six hits and two walks over two and 2/3rds innings as the GCL Nationals fell 7-5 to the GCL Mets. Jason Smith led a strong bullpen effort with 3⅓ of the 6⅓ scoreless innings pitched. Chad Mozingo and Pedro Severino paced the offense for the age-appropriate players, with Mozingo collecting two singles and Severino singling and connecting on a two-run homer. The loss drops the G-Nats to 6-6 for the season, two games behind the G-Mets and G-Marlins in the GCL East.

DSL Nationals — PPD
For the second straight day, rain washed out most of the DSL league, including the DSL Nationals.

Jul 062011
 

No Mercy! This is Wilmington!

The regulars know this is the battle cry from Steve Stevens, an otherwise mild-mannered grandfather, and last night the Potomac Nationals paid heed to the former Marine, blasting the Wilmington Blue Rocks by 12-3 score and taking the series three games to one.

The P-Nats scored often and early, though the bulk of the damage came in an eight-run second inning, one in which 12 men came to bat and highlighted by Sandy Leon’s first big fly of the season and a grand slam from J.P. Ramirez. Potomac “only” had 12 hits for the night, led by Jeff Kobernus’s 3-for-5 effort, with four other batters (Ramirez, Leon, J.R. Higley, and Eury Perez) collecting two.

Let’s Go Big Pitch!

It was also the Carolina League debut of 2010 Washington Nationals 2nd Round Draft pick Sammy Solis, who turned in a quality start of six innings pitched, three runs allowed on seven hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. Stevens wasn’t on hand to belt out another one of his familiar admonitions, but Solis wouldn’t need much encouragement with the huge lead.

Solis struggled early, with three-ball counts to nearly every batter in the first inning, and gave up a walk and two singles to fall behind early. He would settle down and settle in to retire 13 of the next 15 batters after giving up the first-inning run, allowing just a two-out single in the third and a swinging bunt single with one out in the 5th.

The velocity was there, as the “big pitch” (6’5″, 230) touched 96 on occasion, but what was more impressive was the huge separation in his pitches as his fastball was in the low 90s but his changeup dipped as low as the mid-70s. The 11-5 (1-7 from the batter’s eye) curve wasn’t as sharp as it was in Hagerstown last month, but it mostly kept the hitters off-balance as six of the seven hits Solis yielded were just singles.

The seventh, however, was another long home run off the bat of John Whittleman, his third HR of the series in as many uniform tops (last night it was #14) as Solis did leave on a somewhat sour note, giving up two runs in his final inning.

Rob Wort and Joe Testa followed Solis out of the ‘pen to combine for three scoreless innings, with Wort scattering three hits and both striking out one batter apiece.

The win improves Potomac to 7-6 in the second half, a ½ game behind first-place Frederick, the next team on the schedule. The Keys and P-Nats are slated for three games today through Friday. Potomac then visits Lynchburg over the weekend and into Monday for three games before returning to the Pfitz a week from today for an eight-game homestand.

Jul 052011
 


We’re back. As much fun as it might be to blame this on, say, a Bryce Harper fanboy or an aggrieved autograph whore, the problem was between the chair and the keyboard. In one of my past jobs, the design folks used to say that I knew “just enough HTML to be dangerous.” But clearly not enough to solve this problem quickly. I even had my IT guy take a look under the hood (right), but when it didn’t have any food scraps, he lost interest.

In layman’s terms, when I upgraded my WordPress software to the latest and greatest version, the theme wasn’t compatible. Hence the new look & feel.

For the immediate future, we’ll probably have fewer pictures, but once I figure out how things work, we’ll try to get back to the way things were. Unfortunately, that may have to wait because on Thursday, I’ll be hitting the road for a five-day trip through Pennsylvania & upstate New York for my annual baseball roadtrip (last summer it was the Appalachian League), which will include stops in Syracuse and Auburn. That means the news & notes are probably going to be a little more bare-bones while I’m on the road (SoulDrummer is also going to be away at roughly the same time).

My apologies to those who came here and saw gibberish. And I’m glad some folks reached out via Twitter (@nats_prospects) to express their dismay. Please bear with us while get used to the new digs. And please keep us part of your work avoidance daily routine.

Jul 042011
 

First off, let me say I’m not as disappointed as you might think. But some questions are going be begged, and I fully expect them not to be answered honestly.

The knee-jerk reaction is “The Field! They don’t want our precious Bryce Harper playing in that sinkhole in right field”

Which begs the question: Why is it okay for 21-year-old, Carolina League All-Star Destin Hood to play there?

I don’t expect anyone to officially state that the field was the reason because they don’t want to answer my question, which has some rather uncomfortable inferences.

The more nuanced interpretation:

Cynical side of me thinks Harper bypassed Potomac more to keep him away from local fans longer — MissChatter, a.k.a. Cathy Taylor

There’s a lot more evidence to support this conclusion. Specifically, the treatment of Stephen Strasburg last season. Care to guess how many starts he made in the states of Virginia or Maryland last April, May and June?

Zero.

That’s right. Strasburg was carefully handled to pitch away from greater DC, and it’s fair to infer that they want the same space for Harper. It would not surprise me in the least if he were placed on the 7-Day DL from July 21 to 27 to skip roadtrips to Bowie and Richmond, both of which are the final visits for Harrisburg in the regular season.

Hope I’m wrong about that, but if I’m right, you read it here first.

For my money, I’m the throngs of autograph whores and fanboys will pass us by in Potomac, just as the folks in Hagerstown have already expressed their relief that a return to normality is upon them. There’s a lot more satisfaction in seeing the likes of Tom Milone, Brad Peacock, Tyler Moore, and Hood start to “get it” as they make their way up the chain. Thanks to this move, that experience will continue without the pseudofan excitement.

Jul 042011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Probables
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 10-4 vs. Buffalo, 6:30 p.m. Yunesky Maya (1-5, 4.42) vs.
Pat Misch (3-4, 5.34)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 9-3 vs. Erie, 7:00 p.m. Brad Peacock (9-2, 2.14) vs.
Mark Sorensen (7-5, 5.85)
Potomac Nationals Losing, 4-2
(Suspended, Bot. 5)
vs. Wilmington, 5:00 p.m.
(continuation, 7 inn. game)
Adam Olbrychowski (2-3, 4.76) vs.
Noel Arguelles (2-3, 2.32)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 8-2 @ Lakewood, 7:05 p.m. Taylor Jordan (8-4, 2.63) vs.
Jesse Biddle (3-6, 3.55)
Auburn Doubledays Won, 10-4 vs. State College, 6:05 p.m. Matt Benedict (1-0, 0.73) vs.
Pedro Encarnacion (0-2, 9.00)
GCL Nationals Lost, 13-8
@ GCL Cardinals
vs. GCL Astros, 12:00 p.m. Adalberto Mieses (1-0, 2.00) vs.
Francis Ramirez (0-0, 6.75)
DSL Nationals OFF DAY @ DSL Marlins, 10:30 a.m. Ivan Pineyro (1-2, 3.25) vs.
German Liriano (0-0, 2.01)

Syracuse 10 Buffalo 4
• Stammen (W, 8-3) 6IP, 8H, 3ER, BB, 5K, HR
• Romero 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Lombardozzi 3-6, R, 2-2B, RBI
• J Valdez 2-5, R, 2B, RBI

Syracuse completely overpowered Buffalo in a 10-4 victory. The Chiefs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with RBI doubles from Jesus Valdez and Tug Hulett. Buffalo answered back with a run in the first. Bubba Bell helped give Buffalo a temporary 3-2 lead with a solo shot in the second and a single, stolen base, and run scored in the fourth. Steve Lombardozzi doubled in a run and later scored in the sixth to make the score 4-3. The Chiefs put the game out of reach with a six-run seventh inning. Seth Bynum doubled in Chris Marrero, and Corey Brown doubled to clear the bases. Jeff Frazier capped the rally with a two-run blast to left field. JC Ramero and Ryan Tatusko combined for three innings of scoreless relief. Syracuse is now 8-3 over its last eleven games and 36-45 overall, seven games in back of third-place Pawtucket and twelve games back of Lehigh Valley for first.

New Britain 9 Harrisburg 3
• Roark (L, 4-5) 7H, 4ER, 3BB, 6K, 2 HR, HBP
• McCoy 1⅔ IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, K
• Moore 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• King 1-3, R, 2B

Tanner Roark continued his season struggles in a 9-3 Senators loss to New Britain. After a two-out Tyler Moore double to make the score 1-0, Roark proceeded to give up four runs over the next three innings. A single, a walk, and a hit by pitch led to two runs in the second. A Chris Parmelee homer led to a run in the bottom of the third. After Moore led off the fourth with a majestic homer to left, Mike Hollimon homered for New Britain to make the score 4-2. Jimmy Barthmaier gave up four runs over the next two innings, two of which were unearned due to back-to-back passed balls by Devin Ivany in the 6th. Harrisburg scored on back to back doubles by Stephen King and Josh Johnson in the eighth inning before New Britain tagged on another run against Pat McCoy in the bottom of the frame to make the final score 9-3. Harrisburg falls to 47-34 with the loss.

Wilmington 4 Potomac 2 — SUSP.
It’ll be 4-2 in the bottom of the 5th when play resumes, but see how they got there Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 8 Lexington 2
• Grace 7IP, 5H, 2R, 0ER, 0BB, 5K
• Graham 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Martinson 2-3, 2RBI, 2BB
• Harper 2-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB, E
• Nicol 2-5, 2R, 2B, 2RBI

The Suns were shut out for four innings before busting out the bats in an 8-2 victory over the Legends. Lexington scored an unearned run in the fifth off starter Matt Grace after a Bryce Harper fielding error allowed Telvin Nash to advance to second on his single. Aided by three walks, Hagerstown scored two runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 lead. Hagerstown put the game out of reach with a four-run sixth inning rally to take a 6-1 lead. Doubles by Sean Nicol and Harper fueled the rally before an unearned run after David Freitas reached on a throwing error. Grace hurt his own cause with a throwing error that led to an unearned run in the 7th. Ben Graham and Shane McCatty pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, and Hagerstown extended the lead with a two-run eighth to close the scoring at 8-2. Hagerstown improves its record to 7-4 in the second half, good for a one-game lead over three teams in the Northern division of the South Atlantic League.

Auburn 10 State College 4
• Estevez 4IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 2K
• Dupra (W, 1-0) 4IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Skole 3-5, 2R, 2-2B
• Montilla 2-5, 2R, 2B, 3B, 3RBI
• Jimenez 2-5, BB, HR, 2RBI

Hendry Jimenez (2-for-5) and Matt Skole (3-for-5) extended their hit streaks to 14 games while the Auburn Doubledays snapped their losing mark of four games with a 10-4 win over State College. Brian Dupra pitched four innings of scoreless relief for his first professional win, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out two. Wirkin “For The Weekend” got the start but gave up all four Spikes runs on six hits and a walk over the first four innings. NDFA Ben Grisz pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close out the game. Angel Montilla (2-for-5, 2B and 3B, 3RBI) and Russell Moldenhauer (3-run HR) joined Skole and Jimenez as leaders in the 15-hit Doubleday attack. The win improves Auburn to 9-8, two games off the pace.

GCL Cardinals 13 GCL Nationals 8
• Marcelino (L, 0-2) 3⅓ IP, 7H, 9R, 6ER, 3BB, 2K
• Heredia 1IP, 2H, 0R, BB, K
• Curran 2-5, R, 3B, RBI
• E Fernandez 1-3, 2RBI, BB

Anthony Marcelino struggled for the third time in as many starts, allowing seven hits and three walks over three and a 1/3rd innings as the GCL Cardinals pounded the GCL Nationals, 13-8. The G-Cards sent 12 men to the plate in an eight-run fourth that put this game away early. Silvio Medina continues to spiral after being sent down from Auburn, letting in all three runs he inherited from Marcelino and then giving up three of his own in two and 2/3rds innings. The two DSL grads have four-digit ERAs of 10.45 (Marcelino) and 11.57 (Medina). Offensively, the G-Nats managed eight runs on eight hits, taking advantage of four G-Cards errors, with rehabbing (*cough, cough*) Chris Curran going 2-for-5 to lead the way. The loss drops the G-Nats to 5-5, 1½ games behind the G-Marlins.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
It’s back to work after two days off, thanks to a rainout on a Saturday and the regularly scheduled off day on Sunday.

Jul 042011
 

The dark clouds that foretold the evening’s eventual outcome matched the first inning, as the Potomac Nationals fell behind early 3-0 and were losing 4-2 in the middle of the 5th when the rains came.

Danny Rosenbaum was obviously not sharp in the first inning. The leadoff batter smacked a triple off the glove of J.R. Higley in centerfield (Eury Perez was not in the lineup for the second straight game since being lifted during the top of the 7th on Friday night). A single after an infield popup plated the first run, and a pro-shop-fitted (lifted?) John Whittleman (the uniform back said “Sample”) slammed a two-run shot for an early 3-0 Blue Rocks lead.

Rosenbaum retired the next five batters before an infield single opened the third. A one-out double to right field two batters later set up runners on second and third but Sandy Leon picked off the runner at third and Rosenbaum struck out “Sample” to end the threat.

Potomac managed to scratch out a run in the bottom of the third on hit batsmen, an error, a sacrifice and a tapper to shortstop that Cutter Dykstra misread and attempted to take third. He managed to stay alive just long enough for the run to score, but the baseunning gaffe killed the rally.

In another recurring theme of the 2011 season — not stopping the opposing team in the next half-inning — Wilmington answered the Potomac tally with a leadoff double, a move-up flyout to deep center and a grounder to second that Jeff Kobernus couldn’t field cleanly while drawn in for the play at the plate.

Justin Bloxom led off the fourth with a double down the rightfield line and J.P. Ramirez sent him home with two outs with a seeing-eye single up the middle to pull back within two at 4-2 after four full.

Rosenbaum worked around a Francisco Soriano error that led off the fifth, but the real drama was in the skies beyond the third-base side as streaks of lightning were visible in the distance. Play was halted at 7:47 and the official decision to suspend play until today came approximately 30 minutes later.

It’s a 5 p.m. resumption, followed by a seven-inning game tonight. Evan Bronson or Marcos Frias are the two most likely candidates to take the hill when play resumes. Adam Olbrychowski (2-3, 4.76) is still listed as the starter for the second, regularly scheduled game.

FWIW, Sammy Solis was indeed in “the house,” tracking pitches as is the custom for starters two days before they start. His regular turn is also tomorrow.

Jul 032011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Probables
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 6-5 (11 inn.) @ Buffalo, 6:05 p.m. Craig Stammen (7-3, 4.16) vs.
Jack Egbert (0-2, 5.79)
Harrisburg Senators Won 11-3; Won 9-3 @ New Britain, 1:35 p.m. Tanner Roark (4-4, 6.09) vs.
Liam Hendriks (7-2, 2.71)
Potomac Nationals Won, 14-1 vs. Wilmington, 6:35 p.m. Danny Rosenbaum (4-3, 2.57) vs.
Tim Melville (7-6, 4.23)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 11-10 vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m. Matt Grace (8-5, 4.91) vs.
Ruben Alaniz (5-5, 4.61)
Auburn Doubledays Lost, 8-6 @ State College, 6:05 p.m. Josh Poytress (0-1, 27.00) vs.
Wirkin Estevez (2-1, 4.61)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY @ GCL Cardinals, 12:00 p.m. TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Postponed
@ DSL Tigers
OFF DAY N/A

Syracuse 6 Buffalo 5 (11 inn.)
• Milone (ND) 6⅓ IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 6K
• Wilkie (W, 2-2) 2⅓ IP 2H, 0R, 2BB, K
• Solano 2-5, 2B, RBI
• Marrero 2-6, R, 2RBI

Syracuse eked out a tough 6-5 win in Buffalo last night. The Chiefs struck first, scoring an unearned run in the second and another run in the fourth off of
a Seth Bynum (2-5, R, 3B) triple and a Jhonotan Solano sac fly. Buffalo answered back with three runs in the seventh. Starter Tom Milone left after another solid six and 1/3rd innings of precision pitching with a man on second and one out. A rehabbing Chad Guadin came in and promptly blew the save, allowing a double (and an inherited runner to score), a single, a walk and a 2RBI single. Down 3-2 in the ninth, Syracuse scored three runs off Ryota Igarashi, aided by two New Britain errors and a passed ball to take a seemingly safe 5-3 lead. Zech Zinicola proceeded to blow the save in the bottom of the frame, allowing a leadoff homer and a two out RBI single before Josh Wilkie pitched out of the inning. Chris Marrero mercifully delivered a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 11th before Wilkie pitched a perfect 11th to deliver the 6-5 win. Syracuse improves to 35-45, seven games back of Pawtucket for third place and twelve games back of division-leading Lehigh Valley.

Harrisburg 11 New Britain 3 — GAME ONE
• E Davis (W, 5-2) 7IP, 10H, 3ER, 0BB, 4K, HR
• Johnson 3-4, 3R, 2 2B, 2RBI, BB
• Rahl 2-4, R, 2 2B, 2RBI

Harrisburg scored early and often in an 11-3 laugher over New Britain in Game One of the doubleheader. In the first, three singles and a Chris Rahl double led to three runs. In the second, Harrisburg scored five runs in the top of the second as the first seven batters reached base safely, including three walks from New Britain starter Steve Hirschfeld. Harrisburg Erik Davis used all the run support to pitch a seven-inning complete game. He was touched for a run in the third on two doubles and a pair in the sixth with the key blow a Chris Parmalee triple. Other Senators offensive stars besides Josh Johnson and Rahl were Bill “The Godfather” Rhinehart (2-3, R, 2RBI), Tyler Moore (1-3, R, 3RBI), Archie Gilbert (3-4, R, 2B, RBI) and Jonothan Tucker (2-3, 2R, 2B).

Harrisburg 9 New Britain 3 — GAME TWO
• O Perez 4⅔ IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K
• C Martinez (W, 1-2) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Rhinehart 2-3, 3R, 2B, 3R HR, 3RBI
• Gilbert 2-3, R, 2B, 2R HR, 3RBI

Harrisburg’s bats stayed hot as they completed a doubleheader sweep over New Britain with a 9-3 win. Harrisburg fell behind in the first in a two run New Britain rally against Ollie Perez that included one unearned run aided by a Chris Rahl throwing error. After scoring an unearned run in the second, Harrisburg found all the offense it needed from Bill Rhinehart’s three-run shot. A Tyler Moore solo homer and an RBI double from Archie Gilbert in the fifth extended the lead to 6-2. Harrisburg saw Perez Gone Wild in the fifth (hit by pitch, wild pitch, walk trifecta) before Carlos Martinez bailed him out with only one inherited run scored in one and 1/3rd innings to earn the win. Harrisburg would go on to score an additional run in the 6th and two more in the 7th to put the contest out of reach. Hassan Pena pitched a low leverage scoreless 7th. With the doubleheader sweep, Harrisburg improves to 47-33, 5½ games up in the E.L. Western Division over Richmond.

Potomac 14 Wilmington 1
• Wang 4IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Holland (W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 0K
• Hood 3-5, 3R, 2B, 2HR, 5RBI
• Peacock 3-5, R, 3B, HR, 4RBI
• Soriano 3-5, 2R, HR, RBI

Not much went Wang in a big win Last Night In Woodbridge.

Lexington 11 Hagerstown 10
• Cole 4IP, 5H, 3ER, BB, 4K
• Weaver, D (BS, 1; L, 0-1) 2IP, 4H, 4ER, 0BB, 3K, 3R HR
• Harper 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB, 2 SB
• Freitas 3-5, R, 2B, RBI

Hagerstown lost 11-10 to the Lexington Legends in a game that featured 28 hits. Every Hagerstown starter except Adrian Sanchez reached base at least once. Lexington scored three first inning runs off of starter A.J. Cole who gave up a double, three singles, and a walk in the inning. Hagerstown immediately answered with two runs of its own, highlighted by back to back doubles from Bryce Harper and David Freitas, and later scored a run in the fourth. Lexington scored a run in the fifth inning off of Paul Applebee to make the score 4-2. The Suns appeared to take command when they sent ten men to the plate in a five run fifth inning that made the score 8-4. Lexington, however, battled back with three runs in the 7th off of Wilson Eusebio and eventually took the lead when they scored four more in the 8th off of Dean Weaver, who has continued to get hit hard (seven runs in
four innings) since his demotion from Potomac. Hagerstown score a run in the 8th to make the score 11-9. The Suns comeback fell short in the 9th when they scored one run, but Sanchez popped out to strand the tying run at second to end the game. Hagerstown falls to 6-4, but still maintains a one-game lead over five teams in the early going of the second half of the Sally League.

State College 8 Auburn 6
• Demmin 4⅔ IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 4K, 2HR
• Kreis 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Jimenez 3-5, 2R, 2B, SB
• Skole 3-4, R, 2-2B, RBI

Hendry Jimenez and Matt Skole remain red-hot, both getting three hits while extending their hit streaks to 13 games, but Auburn still lost their fourth straight, 8-6 to State College. Starter Ryan Demmin’s penchant for serving up the big fly resurfaced as he gave up two more (eight so far this season) over four and 2/3rds innings. The defense faltered in the bottom of the seventh as the Spikes got three runs while the Doubledays committed two of their three errors, pinning the loss on Rich Mirowski. The loss drops Auburn to 8-8, two games behind both Mahoning Valley and Jamestown.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY

It’s a busy week for the G-Nats this week with a doubleheader next Saturday in Kissimmee and a completion/regular-game “doubleheader” on Wednesday in Jupiter.

DSL Nationals — PPD

A rainout gives the D-Nats the weekend off, a chance to recharge and get back to .500 (currently 13-16) with visits to the Marlins, Yankees1, and the Giants and hosting the Mets1, Phillies, and Rangers.

Jul 032011
 

A 14-1 beatdown isn’t very common for the P-Nats. Being on the winning side of it is almost unusual. Throw in a decent rehab start, a few home runs, and you’ve got one of the more memorable evenings in a long time.

In front of an estimated reported crowd of 6,911, the Potomac Nationals gave the crowd a rousing victory and fireworks show before they even lit a match. Destin Hood, Francisco Soriano, and Brian Peacock all went deep, with Hood connecting for a two-run shot to right-center and three-run bomb to left as part of an 18-hit onslaught.

Every batter reached base, and every batter got a hit, with the homer-run hitters each going 3-for-5 and five batters getting multiple hits. Potomac did the bulk of its damage in the eighth, scoring seven runs on seven hits, with Peacock driving in all three of his runs on a home run (pictured above) and a two-out, two-run triple.

I suppose I’ve buried it as deep as I can, but Chien-Ming Wang pitched fairly well, albeit against a substandard lineup (the best hitter having a .259 GPA, league average is .236) going four scoreless innings and allowing one hit and two walks while striking out two.

Unlike most rehabbing pitchers, Wang used more than just his fastball and sinker, mixing in changeups and sliders. Early in the contest, he was hitting in the low-to-mid-80s but by the end of his outing he was in the upper 80s and low-90s. Wang allowed just one flyball to the outfield and got six of the twelve outs on groundballs, which is going to be key since it’s doubtful that he’ll ever return to throwing mid-90s heat*.

*As good a time as any to remind folks that I’m not a scout, I just play one on the web.

Mitchell Clegg and Neil Holland followed Wang on the mound, with Clegg getting knocked for four hits and a run in two innings and Holland working out of a bases-loaded-jam unscathed for two scoreless innings and properly getting credit for the win as the most effective reliever. Rob Wort Josjh Smoker pitched the ninth and got three outs with one walk.

The win brings Potomac back to .500 at 5-5 for the second half, but still one game back of first-half champ Frederick. Staff ace Danny Rosenbaum (4-3, 2.57) toes the slab for the P-Nats, opposed by the #14 Kansas City prospect (according to Basball America), 21-year-old Tim Melville (7-6, 4.23).

Jul 022011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Probables
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 5-4 @ Buffalo, 7:05 p.m. Tom Milone (6-5, 3.51) vs.
Mark Cohoon (204, 7.63)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 4-3 @ New Britain, 5:05 p.m. Erik Davis (4-2, 3.59) and TBD vs.
Steve Hirschfield (5-4, 2.72) and TBD
Potomac Nationals Lost, 7-2 vs. Wilmington, 6:35 p.m. Chien-Ming Wang (rehab) vs.
Elisaul Pimentel (4-5, 3.72)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 6-5 (11 inn.) vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m. TBD vs. TBD
Auburn Doubledays Lost, 5-3 @ State College, 7:05 p.m. Ryan Demmin (3-0, 1.69) vs.
Nick Kingham (0-2, 4.15)
GCL Nationals Losing, 4-2
vs. GCL Marlins
(Susp. Top 7th)
OFF DAY N/A
DSL Nationals Won, 7-6
vs. DSL Giants
@ DSL Tigers, 10:30 a.m. Gilberto Mendez (2-0, 1.88) vs.
TBD

Syracuse 5 Indianapolis 4
• J Martin, 5⅔ IP, 10H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Wilkie (W, 1-2) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K
• J Valdez 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI, BB
• Lombardozzi 3-5, R, 2B

Syracuse scored a combined three runs in the eighth and ninth innings to come back from a 4-2 deficit and earn a 5-4 walkoff win against the Indianapolis Indians. Syracuse scored single runs in the second and fourth innings to earn a 2-0 lead. Starter JD Martin gave up the lead with two runs in the fifth on a two-out triple by Pedro Ciriaco and a run in the sixth on a leadoff homer by John Bowker. In the seventh, Indianapolis scored a run on a two-out Matt Hague double against J.C. Romero to make the score 4-2. Atahualpa Severino and Josh Wilkie pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to keep Syracuse in the game. Jesus Flores cut the lead to 4-3 on an RBI double in the eighth. That set up Syracuse’s game winning two-out rally. Steve Lombardozzi (11-game IL debut hit streak) and Matt Antonelli singled before Jesus Valdez bashed a game-winning two-RBI double. Syracuse improves to 34-45, 12 games back in the IL North.

New Britain 4 Harrisburg 3
• Martis 6IP, 7H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 6K, HR
• VanAllen 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Fox 2-4, 2B, 2RBI
• Rhinehart 2-2, 2R, 2B, 2BB

Harrisburg fell to New Britain 4-3 when the bullpen gave up two runs to squander the lead late. Harrisburg’s four errors hurt the cause. Starter Shairon
Martis offered another quality start, yielding only an unearned run aided by Derek Norris’ catcher interference in the first and a solo homer to Debinson Romero in the fifth. Harrisburg scored its first run in the second on a leadoff double from Bill “The Godfather” Rhinehart and a two-out RBI double from Adam Fox. Jimmy Barthmaier blew the save when he failed to retire four batters in the seventh before Corey VanAllen stranded the bases loaded, striking out two. Rafael Martin took the loss, allowing the crushing walkoff run on a two-out wild pitch. Harrisburg falls to 45-33, good for a four-game lead over Richmond in the Eastern League Western Division.

Winston-Salem 7 Potomac 2
• Selik (L, 2-6) 5+ IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Testa 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Soriano 2-4, RBI
• Dykstra 0-2, R, 2BB

Sue may have spoken too soon about the P-Nats playing good ball, as Last Night In Woodbridge, they reverted to form.

Hagerstown 6 Lexington 5 (11 inn.)
• Ray 6IP, 5H, 3R, ER, 2BB, 6K
• Graham (W, 4-3) 2IP, H, 0R, 2BB, 0K
• Martinson 2-5, R, HR, RBI
• Nicol 3-5, 3R, 2B

Hagerstown continued the walkoff theme with a 6-5 win in the bottom of the eleventh. Robbie Ray continued to impress with six strong innings and would have earned the win were it not for poor defensive support. In the third, a throwing error by catcher Cole Leonida on a Delino Deshields, Jr. stolen base led to an unearned run. In the fifth inning a Bryce Harper error on a double put Ben Orloff on third before Lexington scored its second unearned run. Ray finally gave up an earned run in the sixth on a leadoff double and RBI single before killing the rally with a strikeout and a pickoff. Hagerstown extended the game into extras on a clutch two out ninth inning double by Michael Taylor. After a strong two scoreless innings from Ben Graham, Hagerstown completed the walkoff with a leadoff Sean Nicol double and Cole Leonida’s one-out RBI single. With the win, the Suns take sole posession of first place in the Sally league Northern division and improve to 6-3.

Williamsport 5 Auburn 3
• Bates (ND) 5⅓ IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 0K
• Henke (BS, 1;L, 0-1) 2⅔ IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 2K, IR-S 3-1
• Jimenez 3-5, R, 2K
• Nieto 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI

A bullpen meltdown led to Auburn’s third straight loss, a 5-3 decision to Williamsport. Auburn held leads of 2-1 and 3-2 before giving up the tying run in the sixth and the deciding runs in the eighth. Colin Bates started and went five and 1/3rd innings, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks while Travis Henke took the loss, letting in one of three inherited runners in the sixth for the blown save and allowing the last two Cutters run for the loss. Hendry Jimenez (3-for-5) and Matt Skole (1-for-4) extended their hit streaks to 12 games, while Russell Moldenhauer’s oh-fer snapped his at 11. Auburn is now 8-7, two games off the pace. IF Khayyan Norfork and LHP Blake Monar were both placed on the 7-Day DL.

GCL Marlins 4 GCL Nationals 2 — SUSP.
The GCL Marlins scored twice in the top of the seventh to break a 2-2 tie before play was halted. The game will be completed on July 6th.

DSL Nationals 7 DSL Giants 6
• Navarro 1⅔ IP, 0H, 1R, 1ER, 5BB, 2K
• Silvestre 4⅓ IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 2K, HR, IR-s: 3-0
• Marmolejos-Diaz 5-5, R, 2B, 2RBI

The DSL Giants committed nine (9) errors, the DSL Nationals walked seven (7), but somebody had to win, and it was the D-Nats that took the 7-6 decision in a game almost too ugly to recap. Miguel Navarro walked five of those seven in just one and 2/3rds innings, and actually lowered his ERA to 11.17 in the process. Hector Silvestre followed him on the mound and put in a sold four and a 1/3rd innings of relief with one run given up on two hits, only to see teammates Emmanuel De La Cruz, Brian Escolastico and Jorge Hernandez Jr. cough up four runs in the 7th. Hernandez was the beneficiary of the final two runs scored, getting the ugly blown-save-win. Offensively, Jose Marmolejos-Diaz was a perfect 5-for-5 with a double and two RBI to pace the D-Nat offense.