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.

Jul 022011
 

A five-run sixth, bookended by solo shots in the first and ninth, was the undoing of the Potomac Nationals in a 7-2 loss on Friday night.

This was the beatdown I was fearing in yesterday’s gamer, but for five innings the pessimism was unfounded as middle infielders Francisco Soriano and Jeff Kobernus were sensational on defense, combining for one double play and Soriano turning a cross-the-bag 6-B-3 beauty to keep the P-Nats in the game.

The wheels came off in the sixth for Potomac, the reversion that was mean as Winston-Salem sent 10 men up and had the first six reach base — the first four against starter Cameron Selik, who was charged with five runs in five-plus innings. Marcos Frias let in both runs he inherited with a long triple to rightcenter, misplayed momentarily by rightfielder J.R. Higley, a matter that only affected whether it would be a double or a triple as both runners easily crossed the plate.

Unfortunately, the Dash’s Joe Serafin had the P-Nats offbalance for most of the night with his bender and just-accurate-enough heater. The southpaw had seven K’s in earning his first win of the year, going seven-plus innings with the bullpen coughing up both runs.

To recap the scoring in the bottom of the eighth: Cutter Dykstra drew a leadoff walk, Brian Peacock, who had inexplicably replaced Eury Perez (Higley went to CF, Peacock to RF) in the top of the seventh, got a Texas-league bloop to short right field to put runners on first and second. Soriano chopped a single that bounded over the third baseman into short left to send in Dykstra. After a strikeout and flyout, Justin Bloxom capped the inning with an RBI single, the throw home getting past the catcher to set up Steve Souza with runners on second and third, but after battling for several pitches, he, too struck out to end the inning.

Winston-Salem’s Andy Wilkins completed the game’s scoring with a LONG home run to right field, easily clearing the multiple levels of signage and probably landing deep into the parking lot.

The loss dropped Potomac to 4-5 for the second half, a game off the pace currently set by Frederick. Chien-Mien Wang takes the hill tonight in a rehab start, with Mitchell Clegg (not Danny Rosenbaum) the first man out of the ‘pen, an indication perhaps that Wang will have a higher pitch count than the 50 he was allotted in Hagerstown.

Jul 012011
 

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

SYRACUSE 33-45, 5th place I.L. North, 12 games behind

Good Ross Detwiler 3-1, 2.45 ERA, 1.06WHIP in June
Bad Jeff Frazier .182/.248/.311 in 68G
Interesting Jesus Valdez .286/.333/.441 in 43G

HARRISBURG 45-32, 1st place E.L. West Division, 4 games ahead

Good Bill Rhinehart .294 GPA, .894OPS
Bad Erik Davis 30BB in 62⅔ IP
Interesting Shairon Martis 5-3, 2.37ERA in last 10 starts

POTOMAC 4-4, T1st place C.L. North Division, 1 game ahead (33-44, overall)

Good Danny Rosenbaum 2-0, 1.63 ERA, 1.08WHIP in June
Bad Eury Perez .243/.254/.288 in June; .333/.337/.409 in May
Interesting Sandy Leon .307/.350/.387 in June; .165/.214/.203 in May

HAGERSTOWN 5-3, T1st place Sally League Northern Division, 1 game ahead (45-33 overall)

Good Kevin Keyes .306, 7HR, 16RBI in June
Bad Ben Graham 2-2, 5.54ERA, 1.69WHIP in June
Interesting Cole Leonida .385OBP in 27G as backup C

AUBURN 8-6, T2nd place, Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 2 games behind

Good Ryan Demmin 3-0, 1.69ERA, 0.94WHIP in three starts
Bad Rick Hughes .154/.195/.231 in 9G
Interesting Hendry Jimenez, Russell Moldenhauer, Matt Skole – each with an 11G hit streak

GCL NATIONALS 5-4, T2nd place, GCL East, ½ game back

Good Nathan Karns 3G – 9┼ IP, 2H, 0R, 3BB, 14K
Bad Pedro Severino .087/.125/.130 in 23AB
Interesting Wander Ramos .314/.415/.714 in 35AB

DSL NATIONALS 12-16, 6th place, Boca Chica South Division of Dominican Summer League, 6½ games behind

Good Gilberto Mendez (Age 18) 2-0, 1.88ERA, 1.25WHIP, 24K in 24IP
Bad Wilman Rodriguez (Age 19) .132/.277/.170 in 53AB
Interesting Ivan Pineyro (Age 19) 38K in 27⅔ IP
Jul 012011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Probables
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 3-0 @ Buffalo, 7:05 p.m. J.D. Martin (1-5, 4.47) vs.
TBD
Harrisburg Senators Won, 6-0 @ New Britain, 7:05 p.m. Shairon Martis (5-3, 2.95) vs.
Brett Jacobson (3-1, 2.78)
Potomac Nationals Won, 4-2 vs. Winston-Salem 7:05 p.m. Cameron Selik (2-5, 3.64) vs.
Joe Serafin (0-6, 5.80)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 8-4 vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m. Robbie Ray (2-1, 2.01) vs.
Alex Sogard (1-3, 4.37)
Auburn Doubledays Lost, 13-12 @ Williamsport, 7:05 p.m. Colin Bates (1-1, 1.29 ERA) vs.
Austin Wright (1-0, 1.00)
GCL Nationals Won, 6-1
vs. GCL Mets
vs. GCL Marlins, 12:00 p.m. Gregory Baez (1-0, 3.48) vs.
Ramon Del Orbe (0-1, 9.95)
DSL Nationals Lost, 6-2
@ DSL Rangers
vs. DSL Giants, 10:30 a.m. TBD vs. TBD

Indianapolis 3 Syracuse 0
• Detwiler 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Meyers (L, 3-3) 6IP, 10H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 3K
• Lombardozzi 1-4
• Bynum 1-2, 2B, BB

Garrett Olson of Indianopolis thoroughly intimidated the Syracuse lineup in a dominant seven shutout innings. Seth Bynum’s double and Steve Lombardozzi’s hit streak (ten games) extending single were the only hits for the Chiefs. Ross Detwiler pitched two shutout innings to open the game for the Chiefs. No word yet as to why Detwiler was taken out, but Brad Meyers came on to take the loss in six innings of relief [Ed. Note: The Chiefs game notes listed both starters, so this appears to have been a planned maneuver and not an injury]. Meyers gave up a run in the sixth on two singles and a groundout. In the eighth, Meyers gave up a walk, a wild pitch, an RBI double, and a two out RBI single to give Indianapolis a 3-0 lead. Atahualupa “‘Huapa Time” Severino, pitched a scoreless ninth. With the 3-0 loss, Syracuse falls to 33-45, twelve games back of Philadelphia affiliate Lehigh Valley.

Harrisburg 6 New Britain 0
• Arnesen (W, 5-1) 6IP, 4H, 0ER, BB, 5K
• Martinez 2IP, 0H, 0ER, BB, K
• Rahl 3-4, R, 3B, 2RBI
• Rhinehart 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI

Harrisburg quickly took control over New Britain in a 6-0 victory last night. The Senators loaded the bases in the first when Josh Johnson was plunked, Derek Norris walked, and Bill Rhinehart singled. Chris Rahl singled to plate Johnson and Norris. Rhinehart later scored an unearned run on a failed pickoff attempt. Bill “The Godfather” Rhinehart wasn’t done; he launched a bomb to right field to extend the Harrisburg lead to 4-0 in the second. That would more than enough for starter and E.L. All-Star Erik Arnesen, who pitched six shutout innings and only allowed three runners in scoring position. The Sens would extend their lead by adding single runs in the 8th and 9th. Carlos Martinez added two innings of scoreless relief, and Hassan Pena pitched a low leverage shutout ninth. With the win, Harrisburg improves to 45-32 and holds a four-game lead over the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

Potomac 4 Winston-Salem 2
• Demny (W, 5-7) 7IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 8K
• Nelo (S, 6) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Souza 2-3, 2R, 2B, BB
• Ramirez 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

Back-to-back wins has Sue in good mood about what’s been happening Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 8 Lakewood 4
• Solis (W, 2-1) 6IP, 11H, 3ER, 0BB, 6K
• Manno 2IP 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 4K
• Martinson 3-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB
• Leonida 1-3, 2R, 2R HR, 2RBI, BB

Harrisburg defeated the Lakewood Blue Claws in a back-and-forth 9-4 affair. Kevin Keyes (1-3, 2B, 2BB) continued to hit well, launching a key double in a two-run first-inning rally. Lakewood answered back with runs in the second and fourth off starter Sammy Solis to tie the contest. In the bottom of the sixth, backup catcher Cole Leonida launched a two-run homer to put the Suns up 5-3 before Lakewood scored a run in the seventh off reliever Wilson Eusebio to make the score 5-4. Lakewood finally gave up the fight when they allowed three runs in the seventh during a three run Suns rally that included four walks and three wild pitches. Horrified by the pitching carnage, Chris Manno ended things quickly with two perfect innings of four-strikeout relief. Hagerstown improves to 5-3, good for a three-way tie for first place in the early second half of the Sally League.

Williamsport 13 Auburn 12
• M Rodriguez (L, 0-1) ⅓ 3H, 6R, 5ER, 1BB, 0K, HBP
• K Lopez 3⅔ IP, 5H, 5R, 4ER, 2BB, 4K, 2-2 IR-S
• Grisz 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Jimenez 3-6, R, 2B, 3RBI
• R Perez 3-6, R, 2RBI
• Ortega 3-4, 2R, 2B, 2RBI

The Doubedays fell behind eight runs after five and scored seven runs in the last four innings, but fell short 13-12. Six of the seven batters that Manny Rodriguez faced came in to score in the seven-run first, as Kelvin Rodriguez and Aaron Barrett were also treated like guests on a “Cheatin’ Spouses” episode of Jerry Springer, the two pitchers unable to strand the five runners they inherited and giving up six hits and six walks. Meanwhile, the Doubledays were laying the lumber on the Crosscutters, as every batter getting a hit, two had two, and four had three for 19 hits total. The loss dropped Auburn to 8-6, two games off the pace set by Mahoning Valley.

GCL Nationals 6 GCL Mets 1
• Karns 4IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 7K
• McKenzie (W, 1-0) 3IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 2K
• HWBNM 2-4, RBI
• Williams 2-3, BB, RBI

DSL Rangers 6 DSL Nationals 2
• Santana (L, 0-1) 4IP, 1H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 5K, HR
• J Hernandez 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Novas 2-4, R, 3B, HR, 2RBI
• Mercedes 1-3, 2B, BB

Jul 012011
 

Don’t look now, but Potomac is starting to play some pretty good baseball.

Of course, now, I may have just guaranteed a beatdown for tonight, and maybe it’s just two games against a lesser team, but things seem better.

Start with Paul Demny, who went seven full innings for the second time this season, didn’t walk a batter (also second time) and struck out a season-high eight batters. The first two innings were a high-wire act — an error, a hit batsman in the first, a two-out double by Austin Yount (son of Larry, not Robin) in the second. That’s nine batters faced, and a conservative estimate of at least 40 pitches.

But reading over the scorebook — no secret: that’s my Calgon — Demny both settled down and settled in. He retired the leadoff batter in four of the next five innings. Yes, he gave up two more doubles, but followed each with strikeout, and then retired the last nine in a row.

Much like Cameron Selik has been having success with an inside slider underneath the right-handed batter’s hands, Demny has begun to master the backdoor breaking ball to lefties. These are the little adjustments that make following the minors so much fun.

Flipping over the book, we’re seeing the offense hit double digits in the hit column for the fourth straight game. They’ve won three of those games. For this team, scoring first is a good sign. A better sign: putting up a goose egg in the top half of the next inning. Wednesday night, they failed twice to do that. Last night, they failed just once.

Two-out scoring is also nice, and two of the four runs came with two outs: Justin Bloxom’s RBI single in the first. Francisco Soriano’s RBI single in the 6th. But there’s still room for improvement, with a 3-for-13 night with RISP and nine runners left on.

Steve Souza led the attack with a 2-for-3 night, including a long double in the 6th that might have been out of some parks (but not Yellowstone), while J.P. Ramirez was close behind with a 2-for-4 effort, driving in Souza with an opposite-field double, as was Soriano (2-for-4, RBI).

Josh Smoker was greeted with a home run to start the eighth, but struck out the next two batters before issuing a walk that ended his night. Hector Nelo got out of the eighth with a groundout and nailed down the win with three outs in the ninth for his sixth save.

Selik is on the bump tonight as the P-Nats go for their second sweep of the season, opposed by the Dash lefty Joe Serafin. Tomorrow night, Chien-Mien Wang makes his second rehab start, with Danny Rosenbaum the first man out of the ‘pen.

Jun 302011
 

Perhaps now Tom Milone is starting to get the attention he deserves, as one of our favorites here will be representing Syracuse in the 2011 International League All-Star Game in Salt Lake City on July 13.

The 24-year-old southpaw currently sports a 6-5, 3.41 ERA in 14 starts and leads the league in strikeouts. For folks more interested in new-school numbers, Milone leads the league in FIP (2.15, ahead of Julio Teheran), second to Teheran in WHIP, the lowest walk rate (0.50/9IP), and sports a 19:1 K/BB ratio.

Milone was the 2010 pitcher of the year for the Washington Nationals farm system and came into the season as the #16 prospect in the 2011 Baseball America Top 30 rankings. He’s been recently featured by John Sickels as the Prospect of the Day.

Last, but not least, Milone was the first prospect that I scouted for this site when it was founded by Jordan Tuwiner of Orioles-Nation.com. He’s a favorite of mine because he’s not the blow-it-by-you thrower, but a pitcher who just gets guys out and has sensational control (that 2.14BB/9 is the worst year of his career; his career average is 1.43). And FWIW, not too shabby a hitter, either (.333BA this season, .233 career).

Jun 302011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Probables
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 7-3 vs. Indianapolis, 7:00 p.m. Brad Meyers (4-3, 4.42) vs.
Garrett Olson (1-0, 2.56)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 3-2 @ Richmond, 7:05 p.m. Erik Arnesen (4-1, 2.22)
vs. Brett Jacobson (3-1, 2.78)
Potomac Nationals Won, 4-3 (10 inn.) vs. Winston-Salem 7:05 p.m. Paul Demny (4-7, 3.98) vs.
Jacob Petricka (A+ Debut)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 7-2 vs. Lakewood, 7:05 p.m. Sammy Solis (1-1, 3.93) vs.
Garett Claypool (3-3, 3.01)
Auburn Doubledays Lost, 7-3 @ Williamsport, 7:05 p.m. Manny Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Colin Kleven (0-0, 4.15)
GCL Nationals Won, 2-1
@ GCL Astros
vs. GCL Mets, 12:00 p.m./td>

Nathan Karns (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Rafael Montero (0-1, 2.70)
DSL Nationals Lost, 5-3
@ DSL Phillies
@ DSL Rangers, 10:30 a.m.

Indianapolis 7 Syracuse 3
• Maya (L, 1-5) 6IP, 7H, 4ER, BB, 6K, HR, HBP
• Tatusko 2IP, 4H, 2ER, 2BB, K
• Solano 3-4, 2 2B
• Antonelli 2-4, 2RBI, SF

Yunesky Maya was hit hard during a four-run sixth inning rally in a 7-3 loss to the Indianapolis Indians. He was tagged for a leadoff homer by Brian Friday, a single, a walk, a two run triple by Miles Durham, and an RBI double by Gorkys Hernandez. Syracuse had built a 2-0 lead. In the third, a rehabbing Rick Ankiel (2B, 2R) hit a leadoff double and later scored on a sac fly. In the fifth, Ankiel reached on a two-base error by Miles Durham on a dropped line drive, was sacrificed over by Steve Lombardozzi (1-3, nine-game IL debut hit streak), and was driven in by a Matt Antonelli single. Indianapolis extended its lead to 7-3 with two runs off Ryan Tatusko in the seventh and Friday’s second homer of the game and the season. With the loss, Syracuse falls to 33-44, good for a fourth-place tie in the North Division of the International League, twelve games back.

Harrisburg 3 Richmond 2
• Peacock (W, 9-2) 5⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 3BB, 6K, WP
• Lehman (S, 2) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Jo Johnson 2-4, 2B
• McConnell 2-4 2B, 2RBI
• Pahuta 1-2, 2R, HR, RBI, BB

In the resumption of yesterday’s suspended game, Harrisburg jumped out to a 3-0 lead behind five and 2/3rds shutout innings from staff ace Brad Peacock. Peacock gave up only one hit, striking out six and walking three before Rafael Martin came into strand Peacock’s runner at third as part of his one and 1/3rd innings of relief. Harrisburg scored its first run on a Tim Pahuta homer in the fifth. In the seventh, Chris McConnell landed the key blow for Harrisburg, a two-run double that scored Archie Gilbert and Pahuta. Pat McCoy yielded two runs before Pat Lehman came in for the four-out save, his second, to give Harrisburg a 3-2 win. Harrisburg improved its record to 44-32, good for a four-game lead in the Eastern League’s Western Division over Richmond.

Potomac 4 Winston-Salem 3 (10 inn.)
• Bronson 7IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 4K, HR
• Holland 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Hood 1-5, RBI, GWRBI
• Soriano 1-3, R, 2B, 2BB, RBI
• Bloxom 2-4, 2B, RBI

After 11 days off, LNIW is back!

Lakewood 7 Hagerstown 2
• Jordan (L, 8-4) 5⅔ IP, 4H, 3R, 0ER, 3BB, 8K
• McCatty 2⅓ IP 4H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K, HBP
• Keyes 1-1, 2B, 3BB
• Newsome 1-3, RBI, BB

Hagerstown scored two painful first inning runs against Lakewood. Wade Moore and Adrian Sanchez were hit by pitches before Bryce Harper reached on a fielding error to load the bases in front of a Jason Martinson one-out sac fly. With two outs and the bases loaded, Brett Newsome walked to plate Sanchez. Hagerstown’s four errors did its pitching staff no favors. In the third a fielding error by shortstop Jason Martinson led to an unearned run against starter Taylor Jordan. In the fourth, a throwing error on a pickoff attempt and a missed catch by Michael Taylor led to two more unearned runs. The good news for Shane McCatty was that he stranded the bases loaded to keep the score 3-2 for Taylor Jordan. The bad news is that he gave up three runs of his own in an eventful 8th inning that featured an ejection of Hagerstown pitching coach Chris Michalak. Recently demoted Dean Weaver gave up a run in the 9th to close the scoring at 7-2 in a Hagerstown loss. With the loss, Hagerston falls to 4-3, good for a three-way tie for second place, one game back in the early second half of the Sally League 2011 campaign.

Williamsport 7 Auburn 3
• Encarnacion (L, 0-2) 4IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K
• Moldenhauer 2-3
• J Miller 2-4

Auburn couldn’t capitalize on the seven walks and three errors given to them by Williamsport, falling 7-3. The Doubledays stranded 13 runners and were a woeful 2-for-14 with RISP. Russell Moldenhauer went 2-for-3 to lead the nine-hit attack, as both he, Jimenez and Skole extended their hit streaks to 10 games apiece. “Vote For” Pedro Encarnacion started and went the first four innings, but gave up three runs on five hits and two walks. Neither reliever (Alex Kreis and Chris Jenkins) was effective, as both men gave up two runs in two innings. The loss drops Auburn to 8-5, good for second place in the Pinckney Divison, and one game behind the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

GCL Nationals 6 GCL Astros 2 (8 inn.)
• B King (W, 1-0) 5IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Hanks 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Curran 2-5, 2R, 2K
• Schill 2-4, R, 3B, RBI, SB
• Ramos 1-3, R, 2B, 3RBI

Brandon King rebounded from a beatdown last time out to throw five perfect innings, striking out four, as the GCL Nationals tripled up the GCL Astros 6-2 in a rain-shortened contest. Chris Curran and Wes Shill each had two hits, while Wander Ramos drove in three to pace the offense, which somehow managed to score six times on eight hits while going 1-for-12 with RISP. The GCL Nats are now 4-4 in the GCL East, one game behind the GCL Mets.

DSL Phillies 5 DSL Nationals 3
• Moscat (L, 1-2) 3IP, 4H, 5R, 3ER, 3BB, 2K
• Vasquez 3IP, 3H, 0R, BB, K
• Difo 3-4, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI
• B Valdez 2-4, RBI

The DSL Phillies only scored once in eight innings, but the five-spot they put up on the board held up for a 5-3 win over the DSL Nationals. Felix Moscat gave up all five runs over his three innings pitched, giving up four hits and three walks while setting down two on strikes. Wilmer Difo led the offense with a 3-for-4 game, doubling and homering while scoring two runs. The loss snapped a modest three-game win streak and drops the D-Nats to 12-15 in the Boca Chica South, 5½ games behind the DSL Rangers and DSL Yankees1.