Jul 082011
 

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

SYRACUSE 38-47, 4th place I.L. North, 11 games behind

Good Steve Lombardozzi .367/.383/.443 since callup (17G)
Bad Yunesky Maya 5.67 ERA, 1.45 WHIP since return (4G)
Interesting Matt Antonelli .850 OPS (on-roster team leader)

HARRISBURG 51-34, 1st place E.L. West Division, 5½ games ahead

Good Erik Arnesen 6-1, 2.05 ERA, 1.04 WHIP
Bad Stephen King .579 OPS
Interesting Derek Norris 13PB, 19CS (38%)

POTOMAC 9-6, 1st place C.L. North Division, 1½ games ahead (38-46 overall)

Good J.P. Ramirez .344/.355/.508 since All-Star Break
Bad Cameron Selik 0-2, 6.60 ERA, 1.73 WHIP since All-Star Break
Interesting Joe Testa 5-0, 1.25 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

HAGERSTOWN 9-6, T1st place Sally League Northern Division, 1 game ahead (49-36 overall)

Good Taylor Jordan 8-4, 2.68 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
Bad Mills Rogers .513 OPS
Interesting Manno still here with 0.82 WHIP, 14.5K/9IP

AUBURN 12-9, 2nd place, Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 1 game behind

Good Bryce Ortega .432/.532/.541 in 15G
Bad Travis Henke 7.20 ERA, 1.80 WHIP
Interesting Ben Grisz (NDFA) 0.58 WHIP in 6 appearances (8⅔ IP)

GCL NATIONALS 7-7, 4th place, GCL East, 2 games back

Good Erick Fernandez .346/.379/.500 in 26AB
Bad Anthony Marcelino 10.45 ERA, 1.94 WHIP
Interesting Gregory Baez 0.98 WHIP

DSL NATIONALS 14-17, 5th place, Boca Chica South Division of Dominican Summer League, 7 games behind

Good Adderling Ruiz .344/.447/.438 in 12G
Bad Miguel Navarro 11.17 ERA, 1.97 WHIP
Interesting Daury Vasquez 6 HBP in 16⅔ IP
Jul 082011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Won, 8-2 vs. Pawucket,
7:00 p.m.
Craig Stammen (8-3, 4.19) vs.
Kevin Millwood (4-0, 4.15)
Harrisburg Won, 5-0 @ Richmond,
7:05 p.m.
Oliver Perez (2-1, 2.48) vs.
Henry Sosa (4-1, 2.57)
Potomac Won, 6-4
(10 inn.)
@ Frederick,
7:00 p.m.
Danny Rosenbaum (4-3, 2.81) vs.
Oliver Drake (7-3, 2.24)
Hagerstown Won, 4-2 vs. W. Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Matt Grace (9-5, 4.50) vs.
Colton Cain (5-6, 3.14)
Auburn Lost, 7-6 @ Jamestown,
7:05 p.m.
Brian Dupra (1-0, 7.56) vs.
Jose Urena (1-1, 3.71)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY vs. GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 11-4
vs. DSL Phillies
vs. DSL Rangers,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse 8 Pawtucket 2
• Milone (W, 7-5) 7IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 6K
• Wilkie 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Aubrey 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 4RBI
• Marrero 2-4, 2B, 2RBI

Tom Milone threw seven shutout innings while Michael Aubrey homered, doubled and drove in four runs as Syracuse routed Pawtucket, 8-2. The recent IL Pitcher of the Week walked a season-high two (2) batters but only allowed two hits while striking out six. Chris Marrero went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI as the Cheifs pounded out 10 hits. Syracuse is now 11 games behind Lehigh Valley in the IL North at 38-47.

Harrisburg 5 Erie 0
• Wang (W, 1-0) 5IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Barthmaier 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Moore 2-4, 2R, HR, BB, 2RBI
• Rahl 2-3, R, 2B, 2RBI

While things went wrong quickly in DC last night, Chien-Ming was all right in Harrisburg as Wang tossed five shutout innings to lead the Senators to 5-0 win, and complete the three-game sweep of Erie. All-Stars Tyler Moore and Bill “The Godfather” Rhinehart both hit home run #17, which is good for 2nd place on the E.L. leaderboard. Jimmy Barthmaier, Cory VanAllen and Pat Lehman combined for four shutout innings in relief, helping to move the game along in just 2:01. The win keeps pace with Richmond, but the Sens still hold a 5½ game lead as the two teams clash this weekend for five games, sans Harper, who’ll be in Arizona for the Futures Game.

Potomac 6 Frederick 4 (10 inn.)
• Selik 5IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 2K
• Clegg 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Kobernus 3-5, CS
• Ramirez 3-5, 2R, 2-2B

Justin Bloxom’s solo HR in the 10th broke a 4-4 tie as the Potomac Nationals took their second straight against Frederick, 6-4. J.P. Ramirez remains red-hot, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and scoring two runs. Cameron Selik started and got tagged for three runs early, but went five and allowed all four Keys runs on six hits (but no HRs). The bullpen is buried here in sentence four, but their five innings of scoreless work made all this possible, with Mitchell Clegg leading the charge with two perfect innings in the sixth and seventh. The win extends the P-Nat lead over the Keys to 1½ games with a 9-6 mark in the second half.

Hagerstown 4 West Virginia 2
• Cole 6IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 7K
• Weaver (W, 1-1) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Taylor 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 4RBI
• Rogers 2-4, R, 2B

The game started 48 minutes late, but those who stayed ’til the end got to see Michael Taylor smash a three-run walkoff homer as the Suns shorted the Power, 4-2. Taylor drove in all four runs while going 2-for-4. A.J. Cole tossed six shutout innings, striking out seven, walking none, and giving up just three hits. Dean Weaver got the win in relief, his first for Hagerstown. The win puts the Suns back in first place in the Sally North, tied with Lakewood with a 9-6 mark.

Jamestown 7 Auburn 6
• Demmin 5⅓ IP, 5H, 4H, 4ER, 0BB, 2K, 2HR
• Henke (BS, 2) 1⅔ IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 2K, 2-2 IR-S
• Skole 2-3, 2R, BB, HR, RBI
• Perez 2-4, R, RBI
• Jimenez 0-5, K (hit streak over)

Auburn built leads of 4-1 and 5-2, but the bullpen imploded for a 7-6 loss to Jamestown. Ryan Demmin was lifted with one out in the 5th but saw both runners he left on go in as the Jamestown Jammers tied the game at 5-5 with a three-run sixth and came back again in the bottom of the 8th with two runs for the final tally. Hendry Jimenez saw his hit streak snapped while Matt Skole hit his first professional HR while going 2-for-3 to pace the Doubledays 10-hit attack. The Doubledays dropped to second place with the loss, one game back of the Jammers, as the two teams meet again tonight (with yours truly in attendance).

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
The G-Nats are at 7-7 as they start a five-games-in-four-days stretch against the rest of the GCL East, with a doubleheader tomorrow.

DSL National 11 DSL Phillies 4
• J Guzman 5IP, 0H, 1R, 0ER, 3BB, 3K
• Suero (BS, 1; W, 3-0) 3IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 2K, 2WP
• D Eusebio 4-5, RBI
• Novas 3-5, 2R, 2B, RBI
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-3, R, BB, 2RBI

With three runs in the 7th and five in the 8th, the D-Nats turned a 3-3 tie into a blowout win over the DSL Phillies, with 11-4 as the final tally. Diomedes Eusebio led the 14-hit onslaught with a 4-for-5 game, which saw the D-Nats go 7-for-15 with RISP. Wander Suero got the u-g-l-y BS-W while Jesus Guzman lowered his ERA to 1.13 with one unearned run allowed on three walks over five hitless innings. The win improves the D-Nats to 14-17, seven games behind the DSL Rangers in the Boca Chica South Division of the DSL.

Jul 072011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Lost, 2-0 vs. Pawucket,
7:00 p.m.
Tom Milone (6-5, 3.38) vs.
B. Duckworth (4-5, 4.18)
Harrisburg Won, 4-3 vs. Erie,
7:00 p.m.
Chien-Ming Wang (rehab) vs.
Casey Crosby (5-2, 3.42)
Potomac Won, 9-5 @ Frederick,
7:00 p.m.
Cameron Selik (2-6, 4.15) vs.
Bobby Bundy (8-5, 2.95)
Hagerstown Lost. 1-0 vs. W. Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
A.J. Cole (2-4, 3.29) vs.
Zach Fuesser (2-2, 2.09)
Auburn Won, 6-2 @ Jamestown,
7:05 p.m.
Ryan Demmin (3-0, 3.48) vs.
Josh Hodges (2-0, 5.59)
GCL Nationals Lost, 4-2;
Won. 6-1 vs.
GCL Marlins
OFF DAY N/A
DSL Nationals Lost, 2-1
vs. DSL Mets1
vs. DSL Phillies,
10:30 a.m.
Jesus Guzman (0-0, 1.42) vs.
Francibel Alejo (1-3, 3.99)

Pawtucket 2 Syracuse 0
• JD Martin (L, 1-6) 6IP, 2H, 2ER, 0BB, 5K, 2HR
• JC Romero 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Aubrey 2-4
• Solano 2-3

Syracuse was shut out by the Pawtucket Red Sox’s combination of Felix Doubrount and Tony Pena. After JD Martin yielded solo home runs by Lars Anderson and Luis Exposito in the second and fifth innings, JC Romero and Lee Hyde combined for three innings of scoreless relief. The Chiefs managed just five hits on the evening. With the loss, Syracuse falls to 37-47, 7½ games behind Scranton Wilkes-Barre for third place and twelve games behind Lehigh Valley for the division lead.

Harrisburg 4 Erie 3
• Martis (W, 6-3) 7IP, 4H, ER, 2B, 6K
• R Martin (S, 3) 1IP, 0H, 0ER, BB, 2K
• Harper 3-3, RBI, S, SB
• Rahl, 1-3 2R, 2B, BB
Harrisburg jumped out to a 4-0 lead over Erie on a one-out Archie Gilbert doubled that scored Chris Rahl and Archie Gilbert. Following six strong innings of one-run ball from Shairon Martis, Pat McCoy gave up two runs in the eighth inning to bring the score to 4-3. Rafael Martin (0.75 ERA/.150 BAA/12IP) pitched a scoreless ninth for the save. Harrisburg improves to 50-34, good for a six-game lead over Richmond for first place in the Western Divison of the Eastern League.

Potomac 9 Frederick 5
• Demny (W, 6-7) 7IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Nelo 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Bloxom 2-4, 2B, BB, 3RBI
• Hood 2-4, R, 2RBI

What’s that clicking noise? That’s the sound of the Potomac offense running on all cylinders, pumping out another big inning for a 9-5 comeback win over Frederick. A six-run eighth turned a 4-3 deficit into a 9-4 lead, making a winner of Paul Demny who sent seven innings for the second straight start to win his team-leading sixth game. Nos. 3-4 hitters Destin Hood and Justin Bloxom combined for four hits and five RBI. Potomac is now in first place by a ½ game over the Keys.

Lakewood 1 Hagerstown 0
• Ray 6IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 7K
• Graham 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Brown (L, 2-2) 1⅓ IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 0K
• Nicol 1-3, BB
• Keyes 1-4, SB

It was a pitcher’s duel in Lakewood, as the Blue Claws drew blood in the first extra frame to win 1-0. Robbie Ray was great, tossing six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and walking two while striking out seven. But Lakewood’s Lisalberto Bonilla was sensational, throwing nine shutout innings and striking out 12 with no walks and yielded just five singles. A single, sacrifice and another single made Sam Brown the losing pitcher. With the loss, Hagerstown drops to 8-6 but remains in first place, tied with Lakewood, Hickory, and Kannapolis for the Sally North lead.

Auburn 6 Jamestown 2
• Bates (W, 2-1) 5IP, 8H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, K
• Grisz (S, 2) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Jimenez 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI, E
• Nieto 2-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB, K, PB

NYPL pitchers would like to know how to hold Hendry Jimenez hitless, failing again for the 17th time as the Doubledays spread the Jammers, 6-2. Colin Bates got the win by scattering eight hits and two walks over five innings, giving up just an unearned run. Jimenez was one of five Doubledays to get multiple hits, joined by Adrian Nieto, Justin Miller, Angel Montilla, and Roberto Perez. Missing from the H column for the first time in 16 games was Matt Skole, who went 0-for-5 with an RBI. The win puts Auburn back in first place, tied with Jamestown with a 12-8 mark.

GCL Marlins 4 GCL Nationals 2 — COMP.
• Baez 4IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Heredia 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Jo. Rodriguez 2-2
• Curran 2-3
• W Ramos 2-4

The Nationals came into this suspended game losing 4-2 in the 7th and that’s how it finished as the G-Marlins Luis Gomez tossed three scoreless innings to earn the save. Gregory Baez started and went the first four innings, allowing no runs on two hits and a walk while striking out three. Wander Ramos, (reassigned in the interim) Chris Curran and Johan Rodriguez paced the offense with two hits apiece.

GCL Nationals 6 GCL Marlins 1 — Reg. Gm
• Karns 4IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Simko (W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Severino 2-4, RBI
• HWNBM 2-5, 2R

In the regularly scheduled contest, Nathan Karns tossed four no-hit innings, walking one and striking out six, to extend his season total to 13⅔ scoreless innings for a perfect 0.00 ERA. Todd Simko got the win in relief, giving up just a hit and striking out three over two innings. Pedro Severino led the age-appropriate hitters with a 2-for-4 effort. The “doubleheader” split keeps the G-Nats at .500 with a 7-7 mark.

DSL Nationals 2-1 over DSL Mets1
• Pineyro (L, 1-3) 5IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 4K
• Mendez 4IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 3K
• Difo 1-3, BB, CS
• Ortega 1-3, R, 2B

In another pitcher’s duel, the DSL Nationals were outgunned 8-2 in the hit column but couldn’t muster a second run in the 9th to lose 2-1. “Fred” Ortega doubled and scored on a wild-pitch-error sequence for the lone run while Wilmer Difo was the other D-Nat to hit safely. Ivan Pineyro took the loss with a run given up over the first five innings while Gilberto Mendez was nearly as good with one run over four innings; both pitchers allowed four hits and one walk. The loss drops the D-Nats to 13-17, seven games off the pace.

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.