Jun 082011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 9-2 vs. Louisville, 7:00 p.m. J.D. Martin (0-4, 5.50) vs.
Brandon Hynick (1-4, 7.55)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 6-5; Won, 7-6 @ Binghamton, 7:05 p.m. Erik Davis (2-1, 3.63) vs.
Tobi Stoner (0-2, 12.60)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 7-2 vs. Frederick, 7:05 p.m. Cameron Selik (1-4, 4.50) vs.
Ryohei Tanaka (3-0, 1.09)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 13-5 OFF DAY N/A
DSL Nationals Won, 7-6 @ DSL Giants vs. DSL Cubs2, 10:30 a.m. Gilberto Mendez (1-0, 1.80) vs.
Julio Sanchez (0-0, 0.00)

SYRACUSE
Louisville 9 Syracuse 2
• Arnesen (L, 0-2) 6IP, 7H, 3ER, 2BB, 7K, 1HR
Balester ⅓ IP 5H, 2ER, 3-3 IR-S
• Antonelli 2-3, 3B, BB
• Brown 1-3, R, HR, RBI, BB

Eirk Arnesen gave the Chiefs a solid outing in a spot start situation, but left the game with Chiefs down 3-1 to the Louisville Bats after six innings pitched. Arnesen was victimized by a three run HR by Daniel Dorn in the third inning. After a scoreless frame from Jeff Mandel, Atahualpa Severino retired one of five batters faced and Collin Balester was even worse, giving up a single, a triple, a single, a single, a fly out, and a two-out single by Jeremy Hermidia before he was mercifully removed in front of the home crowd. Syracuse’s only relevant offense was a solo shot by Corey Brown. They scored a less relevant run when Hulett tugged [Ed. note: Nice Tom Swifty!] a line drive to center to plate Chris Marrero who had doubled in the previous at-bat.

Harrisburg 6 Binghamton 5 — GAME ONE
• Peacock (ND) 5IP, 5H, 3ER, 2BB, *9K*, 1HR
• Tatusko (W, 2-4) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 2K
• Norris 1-2, 2R, RBI, 2BB
• Rhinehart 1-4, R, 2R HR, 3RBI

Brad Peacock continues to mystify Eastern league hitters; this time nine Binghamton Mets whiffed. Peacock didn’t emerge unscathed this time, though. In the first, Joshua Satin doubled to left and later scored on a single by Bubba Bell. In the second, two leadoff walks led to a run, although a one-out swinging strikeout of Jeurys Familia with Salomon Manriquez standing on third base helped limit the damage. The third run allowed was a solo shot by pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin in the fifth. The Senators were helped by a two run shot in the top of the fourth by Bill Rhinehart who plated Derek Norris after one of his trademark walks. Harrisburg later strolled to the win in the seventh, with a three run rally aided by SIX bases-on-balls. Apparently, Derek Norris has started preaching on the fine art of walking to his flock. [Ed. note: I'll admit that prose was purple, sheepishly.]

Harrisburg 7 Binghamton 6 — GAME TWO
• Mock 4IP, 3H, 4R, 4ER, BB, K, 3HR
• VanAllen (W, 2-1) 2IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 2K
• Lombardozzi 3-3, R, PO/CS
• Rahl 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Off The Bench Special #1 Rhinehart 1-1, R, 2R HR, SF, 3RBI
• Off The Bench Special #2 Norris 1-1, R, 2R HR, 2RBI

Yet another Nats affiliate found themselves behind after a Garrett Mock start, as the 40-man-by-reputation pitcher gave up four runs in four innings. Binghamton’s Joshua Satin and Bubba Bell smacked back-to-back jacks in the first inning, with Satin’s clout a two-run shot. Satin feasted on Mock again in the third with a solo shot. Bill Rhinehart revived the Harrisburg offense in the fifth with a two blast to make the score 4-2. Harrisburg found 7th heaven again, this time with a five-run seventh inning rally, keyed by consecutive homers by Derek Norris (two-run, PH) and Chris Rahl (solo). Carlos Martinez was pulled after giving up a run in the 9th to make it 7-6, but Pat McCoy struck out Salomon Manriquez to clinch a hard-earned doubleheader sweep for the Senators.

Frederick 7 Potomac 2
• Demny (L, 2-7) 6IP, 9H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 7K, HR
• Martin ⅓ IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
• Bloxom 1-3, R, RBI, 2E
• Peacock 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI

Make that nine losses at home in a row Last Night In Woodbridge

Greensboro 13 Hagerstown 5
• Jordan (L, 6-2) 4IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 2K
• Sanchez 3-4, R, 2-2B, BB, CS
• Martinson 2-4, 2B, 2RBI, SB
• Harper 1-3, BB, RBI

Leo Durocher is often attributed with the saying “If you ain’t got a bullpen, you ain’t got s!@#” and the Suns 13-5 loss is proof positive. Four Hagerstown relievers combined to give up 11 runs over the last five innings, with no pitcher going unscathed, (no) thanks to four Suns errors. All-Star Taylor Jordan took his second loss with two runs surrendered over four innings on six hits and two walks, while Adrian Sanchez paced the offense with three of its 11 hits. With the loss, the Suns lead is now just a half game over the Grasshoppers, who head home for an eight-game homestand while Hagerstown hits the road for seven.

DSL Nationals 7 DSL Giants 6
• Marcelino 4⅔ IP, 2H, 5R, 1ER, 4BB, 4K
• Heredia (S, 2) 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Rosario 4-4, R, 2B
• Read 2-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Ortega 1-1, 2R, RBI, 3BB, 4SB

The D-Nats blew an early 3-0 lead, but tied it at 5-5 in the sixth and got single runs in the 8th and 9th innings to prevail, 7-6. Anthony Marcelino started but was victimized by his defense for four unearned runs, as Wander Suero got the win in relief and Inocencio Heredia survived a two-hit ninth for his second save. Dionicio Rosario (4-for-4) and “Fred” Ortega (1-1, 3BB) both reached base four times and combined to score three runs to lead the D-Nat offense.

Jun 082011
 

It would be too easy to reduce this game to a close call that didn’t go their way — except for how the Potomac Nationals reacted to it.

To set the scene… the P-Nats had put two runners on for the first time in five innings in the bottom of the 7th, down 4-2. After a called third strike to J.R. Higley for the first out of the inning, Sandy Leon hit a long flyball down the right field line. It was called foul.

Potomac hitting coach Mark Harris stormed down the line from his spot in the first base coaching box to dispute the call made by the home plate umpire. With the base umpire in the field between second and third, an appeal was not going to happen. After a brief tirade, Harris was ejected.

But the P-Nats were clearly dejected. Only one more runner would reach base in that inning, the final seven batters would go down in order, four by a swinging strikeout.

Frederick would score three more runs in the final two innings, as Potomac fell 7-2 and was officially eliminated from the Carolina League North division first-half title.

It was also the ninth straight home loss.

Not coincidentally, for the sixth time in those nine games, the P-Nats fell behind early by letting the visitor score in the first inning. For a team that’s struggling on offense (pretty much 6th in every team offensive stat), it’s a psychological impediment to go up swinging (or bunting) to even the score right away.

Last night, though, they did even it at 1-1 by loading the bases with nobody out with bunt singles by Eury Perez and Jeff Kobernus, a walk to Destin Hood, and a sacrifice fly by Justin Bloxom. Manager Matt LeCroy tried to push the envelope, ordering Kobernus to steal third, but the team’s stolen-base leader was easily thrown out to effectively kill the inning.

Starter Paul Demny did settle down after the first and threw well enough to win for most other teams on most other nights, giving up three runs on nine hits (one a home run), no walks and seven strikeouts. But the bats were silent from the second inning to the sixth, with only Brian Peacock reaching base by a fourth-inning walk, charging Demny with his 7th loss of the season.

Cameron Selik gets the ball tonight and Ryan Zimmerman is scheduled to rehab again in the third game of four against Frederick, which is on a seven-game win streak and on pace to win the first half in back-to-back seasons, and the fourth time in the past six seasons.

Jun 072011
 

The South Atlantic League has officially announced its All-Star representatives, which will include Bryce Harper and four of his teammates. Manager Brian Daubach and pitching coach Chris Michalak will also be among the coaches for the All-Star Game on June 21 at Delmarva’s Perdue Stadium.

Catcher David Freitas and third baseman Blake Kelso will join right fielder Harper in the starting lineup while Taylor Jordan and Chris Manno will be among the pitchers.

Freitas, who homered on Saturday night, has caught fire in the month of June, batting .435 with 7RBI. Kelso has been chasing Harper in the Sally League batting race all season long, currently at .344, which is good for fifth-best and .002 ahead of Harper’s .342 mark.

Jordan has posted a line of 6-1, 2.48 — the second-most wins and third-lowest ERA (fifth best in the more advance FIP metric) in the Sally League. Chris Manno recently had his perfect ERA tarnished, but has been striking out batters at a rate 14.67 per 9IP (best in the Sally with 20+ IP) and and opponents have hit just .100 against him.

Harper, of course, continues to make the case for a callup that folks continue to campaign for in their haste hunger to see him in DC, with a .342/.435/.623 line, 14HR, 12SB, and 42RBI.

Jun 072011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 6-4 vs. Louisville, 7:00 p.m. Erik Arnesen (0-1, 5.40) vs.
Tom Cochran (5-1, 3.82)
Harrisburg Senators OFF DAY @ Binghamton, 5:05 p.m.
(doubleheader)
Brad Peacock (7-1, 2.03) and
Garrett Mock (1st AA start of ’11) vs.
Jeurys Familia (0-2, 2.89) and
TBD
Potomac Nationals Lost, 8-1 vs. Frederick, 7:05 p.m. Paul Demny (2-5, 4.50) vs.
Nathan Moreau (5-3, 3.76)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 3-2 vs. Greensboro, 7:05 p.m. Taylor Jordan (6-1, 2.48) vs.
Kyle Winters (5-3, 4.96)
DSL Nationals Suspended, 1-1 vs.
DSL Rangers
@ DSL Giants, 10:30 a.m. TBD vs. TBD

Indianapolis 6 Syracuse 4
• Milone (ND) 6⅓ IP, 8H 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 9K
• Pena (BS, 1) (L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 1K, 1-1 IR-S
• Antonelli 2-5, 2-2B, 2RBI (both with 2 outs)
• Marrero 1-3, R, 2R HR, BB
Things were looking good for a vintage 2010 Harrisburg Tommy Milone strikezone hammering exhibition. Zero walks, check. Nine strikeouts, check. Clutch two-out, two-RBI double two RBI following a Milone sacrifice bunt, check. Two-run home run by Marrero, check. Milone leaves the mound with a 4-3 lead, tips his cap to the dugout and hands the ball to the “relief” of Hassan “Pain-ya In My Heart” Pena, who immediately allows the inherited to score, blows
the save, and loses the game in such craptaculor fashion that a scoreless inning from Josh Wilkie can’t revive it.

Harrisburg Senators — OFF DAY
After an off day on Monday, the first-place Senators look to make some hay against E.L.-worst Binghamton Mets for four games, starting with a doubleheader tonight. Brad Peacock and Garrett Mock are the announced starters. Erik Arnesen hasn’t been officially reassigned, but according to the Louisville Bats’ website, he’ll be in Syracuse tonight as the starting pitcher.

Frederick 8 Potomac 1
• Holder (L, 2-7) 5+ IP, 7H, 8R, 7ER, 1BB, 2K, 1HR
• Bronson 4IP, 2H, 0R, 1BB, 2K
• Zimmerman 2-3, 2B
• Bloxom 3-4, 2B, HR, RBI
• Leon 2-4, 2B

No animals were harmed in the writing of Last Night In Woodbridge. There is however, a mark on Sue’s forehead.

Greensboro 3 Hagerstown 2
• Ray (ND) 6IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 9K
• McCatty (BS, 1) (L, 0-1) 4BF, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 0K, HR
• Holland 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Harper 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Freitas 3-3, R, BB
Perhaps the postgame meal following last night’s Harper/Cole/Zim festivities was a bit much? Four batters showed up: Harper, to relief of all in the Natmosphere; Freitas who continues to be scorching hot; the Groovin’ Aruban Randolph Oduber, who managed one knock; and Wade “Watch Your Mouth” Moore, who had a double. The rest of the batters managed to go 0-for-18 with 9Ks. Ray was, um, robbed of a win by a particularly poor outing by Shane McCatty, who failed to retire any of the four batters he faced in the top of the 7th. With the loss, the Suns magic number stays put at 12 and the lead goes back to 1½ games.

DSL Nationals 1 DSL Rangers 1 — SUSPENDED
• Moscat 3IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 1BB, 4K

The teams got in three before rain cut the day short. It will presumably be made up when they next play each other on Tuesday, June 14.

Jun 072011
 

Well, sometimes rehab starts do live up to their billing.

Of course, we would expect no less from the “Face of the Franchise” as Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-3 with a double and made two plays in the field, though he did do his best imitation of a high-A third baseman on the first ball hit to him, which skipped into left untouched on perhaps an in-between hop [insert bitching about Pfitzner field here].

In his first at-bat, Zimmerman blasted a double to the base of the left field wall. In his second, he waited on a fastball and served a line drive to the 3/4 hole between first and second. In his third at bat, he got under a fastball a flew out to center.

Did I not mention the score yet?

Well, that’s because it was a forgettable, yet quite familiar 8-1 loss to Frederick that snapped a four-game winning streak (all on the road, just like the previous and only other four-gamer) and extended the home losing streak to eight games. The tragic number is now one, for those of you who are wondering.

Trevor Holder took the loss for third time in four home starts, allowing five runs in the second inning and eight runs total over five-plus innings. If this sounds familiar, that’s because his home ERA is 10.19, WHIP is 1.81, FIP is 5.99 (on the road those rates are 5.74, 1.23, and 2.55). Unfortunately, the Pfitz’s park effects are historically neutral.

Yes, Holder pitched well once the hole was dug, but one has to wonder how much longer he can stick in the rotation before he’s sent to the ‘pen. Evan Bronson certainly made his case as a replacement, even if he let in both runners Holder left him. He finished the game with four innings pitched, two hits and one walk allowed, and two strikeouts.

Of course, complaining discussing the pitching (or lack thereof) is a Sysiphean exercise when the hitters aren’t hitting as a team. Individually, Justin Bloxom went 3-for-4 with a HR and the lone Potomac RBI and Sandy Leon went 2-for-3 with a double, but minus Zimmerman, that’s just six hits. Eury Perez’s infield single was only other hit.

As aforementioned, the loss dropped Potomac to 13 games behind Frederick and on the brink of mathematical elimination from the first-half race. Paul Demny (2-5, 4.50) takes the hill tonight, opposed by the Keys’ Nathan Moreau (5-3, 3.76).

Jun 062011
 

No, that’s not a misplaced slug. That’s the intended headline.

With the First-Year Player Draft tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday, I realize there’s high interest (and high intrigue for the first time since 2009), but it’s not on my part. But I want to give folks a place to discuss it, hence the post.

As I’ve stated before, I’m not a draft guru. It just doesn’t interest me to speculate on who “we” might get so much as I like to follow who “we’ve” got. As a buddy of mine put it, it’s hard for MLB to manufacture the excitement of the NFL or NBA drafts because you’re pretty much going on the opinions of perhaps a dozen people; there’s simply not the same level of coverage for the segment that folks covet the most: high-ceiling high school ballplayers.

I’ll do my best to cover the draft after the fact, but the timing his year couldn’t be worse: Right as the Potomac Nationals are about to embark on 14-day homestand. My apologies in advance to those I may have disappointed, but I think I’ve been fairly consistent in my stance.

Discuss away… but be civil!

Jun 062011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 4-2; Lost, 7-2 @ Indianapolis, 7:05 p.m. Tom Milone (3-4, 3.63) vs.
Brian Burres (2-6, 3.94)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 7-4 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Nationals Won, 5-4 vs. Frederick, 7:05 p.m. Evan Bronson (1-2, 3.18)*
vs. Robert Bundy (5-3, 2.91)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 6-5 vs. Greensboro, 7:05 p.m. Robbie Ray (2-0, 0.38) vs.
Zachary Neal (3-3, 4.18)
DSL Nationals OFF DAY vs. DSL Rangers, 10:30 a.m. Felix Moscat (0-1, 7.36) vs.
David Perez (0-0, 0.00)

*Officially, TBD, but this is an educated guess

Syracuse 6 Indianapolis 4 (comp. of susp. game)
• Detwiler (W, 4-5) 6IP, 5H 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 7K
• Balester (H, 3) 1⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 1BB, 3K
• Antonelli 2-4, R
• Marrero 2-4 R, GS HR, 5 RBI
Chris Marrero quickly announced that the suspended game was all but over with a 7th-inning grand slam off Indianpolis reliever Cesar Valdez. Hassan Pena gave up two doubles and was responsible for two runs that made the final score 6-4. Ross Detwiler earned a much-needed win with six strong innings, allowing two runs, only one of which was earned. Jhonatan Solano was placed on paternity leave while Carlos Maldonado was activated to take his place.

Indianapolis 7 Syracuse 2
• Meyers (L, 3-2) 6IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 6K, 1HR
• Marrero 2-4, R
• Blanco 1-3, R, 2BB, SB

Syracuse engineered a first inning run using small ball that would make Interim Jim proud. Blanco reached on a fielding error from Indianapolis first baseman Miles Durham. Blanco steals second. Blanco advances to third on an at ‘em ball by Matt Antonelli and former Harrisburg Senator great Jesus Valdez plates Blanco on a sac fly. Classic gift ‘em on, get ‘em over, get ‘em in that gets Blanco one of our hitting stars for the game. The rest of the game didn’t go so well and Syracuse didn’t see the lead again in a 7-2 loss. In the second, Miles Durham went from friendly gifting errors Miles to evil raking RBI triples off Brad Meyers. He later scored to give Indianapolis a 2-1 lead. Marrero singled on a sharp grounder in the fourth and later scored, but that would be all for the Chiefs.

Harrisburg 7 Erie 4
• Roark (W, 3-1) 7IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 3K
• Zinicola (S, 2) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Moore 1-5, R, 2R HR (#11), 2RBI
• Lombardozzi 2-4, R, RBI, BB
• Gilbert 3-4, R, 2RBI
• Derek Norris: 0-3, R, 3BB (Ed. Note: A SoulD fave)
If small ball is textbook AAA, AAAA offense for the Nats, the fifth inning of Sunday’s contest is typical AA offense of the future for the Nats we hope. An unknown quantity, Chris Rahl, gets a leadoff double. Tyler Moore escorts him home with a long ball. Three more runs score and the Sens find themselves up 5-1. In the 7th inning another rally was keyed by…another Derek Norris walk, as the Harrisburg backstop was walked to load the bases with two outs after a Tyler Moore strikeout. Archie Gilbert puts his name in the boxscore big time with a two-run single and that give the Sens all they would need in an eventual 7-4 win.

Potomac 5 Wilmington 4
• Clegg 4⅓ IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 1K
• Frias (H, 2) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Peacock 2-4, R, 2B, SB, CS
• Cuevas 3-4, R, RBI
• Perez 1-5, R, 3B, 4K

They needed five pitchers to do it, but the Potomac Nationals outlasted the Wilmington Blue Rocks for 5-4 decision for a series sweep and their fourth straight victory. Starter Mitchell Clegg faltered in the fifth, leaving with one out and two on but ahead 3-1. Josh Smoker let in both runners and one of his own to fall behind 4-3, but the offense, which had gotten three runs in the top of the fifth, got two more in the sixth to give Smoker the win. Adam Olbrychowski and Marcos Frias earned holds with three scoreless innings combined while Hector Nelo pitched the ninth for the save, his second of the season.

Hagerstown 6 Greensboro 5
• Cole (W, 1-4) 5IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 8K, 2HR
• Eusebio (S, 2) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Kelso 2-5, R
• Freitas 1-3, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
• Zimmerman 2-2, 2R, 2B, 3B, BB, RBI (All luck, this guy will never make it)

Even when the face of the franchise is in town, Bryce Harper can steal the headlines. Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-2 with a double and a triple, a walk, and an RBI to help lead Hagerstown past Greensboro, 6-5. A.J. Cole got his first professional win, though he did give up two solo HRs, pitching the requisite five innings and allowing four hits total, no walks, and striking out eight. The win extended the Suns lead over the Grasshoppers to 2½ games and reduced their magic number to 12.

Jun 052011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Suspended, 2-2, T7 @ Indianapolis, 1:05 p.m. Brad Meyers (3-1, 4.13) vs.
Rudy Owens (4-4, 4.95)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 3-1 @ Erie, 1:05 p.m. Tanner Roark (2-1, 5.19) vs.
Jay Voss (1-1, 2.92)
Potomac Nationals Won, 3-0 @ Wilmington, 1:35 p.m. Mitchell Clegg (2-3, 5.63) vs.
Tim Melville (5-5, 4.83)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 4-3 (12 inn.) vs. Greensboro, 4:05 p.m. A.J. Cole (0-4, 3.38) vs.
TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 9-2 vs. DSL Braves OFF DAY N/A

Syracuse 2 Indianapolis 2 — SUSP
• Detwiler 7IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 5K
• Marrero 1-3, RBI
• Brown 1-2, BB

Heavy winds and rain stopped play in the top of the 7th with Chris Marrero at bat, two outs, and the bases loaded. Ross Detwiler can still get the win if Marrero can reach base safely, tossing a rebound effort of two runs allowed on five hits and two walks to go with seven K’s over six innings.

Erie 3 Harrisburg 1
• Perez, O (L, 2-1) 7IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 5K
• Barthmaier 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Moore 2-4, 2B
• Tucker 2-3, R

The Force was with Luke Putkonen, as the Erie starter stifled the Senators for seven innings as the SeaWolves dealt Harrisburg its third straight loss by a 3-1 tally. Starter Oliver Perez allowed all three runs on eight hits over seven innings to take the loss. Tyler Moore and Jonathan both had two hits, but the shutout was lost on a balk, not a base hit as the Senators collected just seven for the game.

Potomac 3 Wilmington 0
• Rosenbaum (W, 3-3) 9IP, 3H, 0R, 1BB, 6K
• Bloxom 1-4, 2B, 3RBI
• Souza 1-3, BB, SB

Danny Rosenbaum was masterful, shutting out the Wilmington Blue Rocks 3-0 on just 90 pitches, and finishing the game with 13 straight batters retired. All three Potomac runs came in the top of the 9th, as his counterpart one-hit the P-Nats for eight innings. Justin Bloxom drove in all three runs with a double as Potomac battered the Wilmington reliever for five of its six hits in the final frame.

Greenville 4 Potomac 3 (12 inn.)
• Solis 5IP, 3ER, 3BB, 6K, 2HR
• Swynenberg 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Freitas 1-5, R, HR, 3RBI
• Kelso 2-5, R, BB

Solis gave up two home runs in the first inning and three earned runs, but ended up righting the ship for the next four innnings. David Freitas’s two-out, three-run HR in the bottom of the 8th tied the game at three, but after five scoreless innings of relief from Matt Swynenberg and Ben Graham, Chris Manno’s perfect ERA was cracked when he couldn’t finish the 12th. Neil Holland gave up a hit to the first batter he faced to score one of the two runners he inherited to hang the “L” on Manno. Sue was on hand last night, so she’ll fill you in on the rest.

DSL Nationals 9 DSL Brave 2
• Baez (ND) 5IP, 0R, 3BB, 2K
• Vasquez (BS, 1) 1IP 1H, 2R, 2ER, BB
• Rodriguez (W, 1-0) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Ruiz 3-4, R, 2RBI, SB
• Rosario 3-5, R, 2-2B, 2RBI
The DSL Nationals took the DSL Braves to the woodshed 9-2 and 15 hits on offense. First baseman Bienvenido Valdez was only batter to go hitless, while Daury Vasquez denied Gregory Baez the win with two runs allowed to blow the 1-0 lead. The D-Nats broke the game open and put it away with an eight-run eighth.

Jun 052011
 
Who's Missing From The Suns Lineup?

Who's Missing From The Suns Lineup?

After driving through rain shower crossing into MD from VA, the sun gave way to blue skies in time for the game in Hagerstown. With baseball being a game of ritual and routine, to your right is what I saw when I went to look at the lineups for the night.

No Bryce Harper?!

With the news coming across Twitter that Craig Stammen had been recalled, the immediate thought was that Harper had been given the bump as part of a chain reaction. Nope. Just a night off.

So it was time to focus on what had been a bonus, but still a treat: seeing Sammy Solis in person.

Unfortunately, while folks may have questioned his placement at Hagerstown after pitching well in the Arizona Fall League, and particularly after the Potomac rotation was in such disarray (though lately, it’s been quite in array after back-to-back CGs). Two long home runs in the first inning were explanation enough. He needs to fine-tune his game before he returns to his level.

Solis would also run into trouble in the third inning, walking the bases loaded to three successive batters, then striking out two of three to get out of it. He even took an infield popup himself for an out. Solis would be done after five innings, the three first inning runs on the two home runs allowed on four hits total with the three walks and six strikeouts. His velocity seemed fine (couldn’t peek at any guns from my vantage point) and his curve, an 11-5 (1 to 7 from the batters viewpoint) had a sharp break to it that the Drive couldn’t touch.

Meanwhile, Greenville’s Kyle Stroup was having the kind of night that one might have otherwise expected from Solis, holding the Suns to just two hits over six innings before giving way to the bullpen. He would walk two and hit a batter but retired the leadoff batter in every inning, something the Drive managed 11 times out of 12 last night.

Despite their problems getting runners on, the Suns broke through in the bottom of the eighth. Adrian Sanchez got a bad-hop single past the vacuum cleaner Drive SS Jose Garcia, who had seven putouts and an assist for the night. Blake Kelso served up his second opposite-field single to right to set up a first and third for catcher Davd Freitas.

The Univ. of Hawaii product fouled off several pitches before he got one he could handle, which he deposited to left-center for a game-tying home run, and perhaps some Greenville Drive bloggers hitting the delete key on the gamer that they thought was safe to start writing.

Unheralded elsewhere, but given a mention here was the three scoreless innings of middle relief that made Freitas’s heroics even possible. Matt Swynenberg may not have been flashy, but he got the job done, enabling the three back-end-of-the-’pen relievers a chance to get the glory.

Remember that Bryce Harper kid? Well, turns out he may not have started but he got a chance to play. With one out in the ninth, he pinch hit for Kevin Keyes, a chance to be the hero. After working the count full, well, you can see for yourself.

I show you this so you can see for yourself how he handled himself, which was like any other minor-leaguer: a professional.

Ben Graham followed Swynenberg with two solid innings of work, escaping a two-on, one-out jam in the 10th with back-t0-back popups to Kelso and Jason Martinson.

Chris Manno took over in the 11th and got torched a long double to center by Miles Head, who hit the first HR in the first. Manager Brian Daubauch ordered an IBB to Brandon Jacobs, who hit the second HR in the first, and Manno struck out the next two batters and got a grounder to escape the jam.

The lone leadoff hit of the night for the Suns came when Brett Newsome doubled in the 11th. Jason Martinson couldn’t move him over (he swung away) to bring up Harper. Greenville wisely filled the open base at first to go after Mills Rogers instead, who struck out while Michael Taylor lined out to end the threat.

Greenville finally got to the Suns ‘pen in the 12th, as Manno struck out two and walked two before he was lifted for side-arming Neil Holland. With two outs and two strikes, Drive catcher Josue Peley singled sharply to center. Michael Taylor fielded it and gunned it in, but the throw hit the mound and took a bad hop, evening the lucky break Hagerstown got in the 8th for what proved to be the game-winning run.

With the loss, Hagerstown’s lead over second-place Greensboro was shaved to 1½ games, the two teams set to battle for first place over the next three days before the Suns hit the road on Thursday (Wednesday is an off day) for a seven-game swing through Delmarva and Lakewood.

Jun 042011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 3-1 @ Indianapolis, 7:05 p.m. Ross Detwiler (3-5, 5.80) vs.
Sean Gallagher (1-7, 6.99)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 6-5 (10 inn.) @ Erie, 7:05 p.m. Oliver Perez (2-0, 0.75) vs.
Luke Putkonen (0-7, 8.74)
Potomac Nationals Won, 5-1 @ Wilmington, 7:05 p.m. Danny Rosenbaum (2-3, 2.98) vs.
Elisaul Pimentel (3-3, 5.36)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 11-5 @ Greenville, 7:05 p.m. Sammy Solis (0-0, 5.79) vs.
Kyle Stroup (1-5, 6.79)
DSL Nationals Lost, 7-2 vs. DSL Mets1 vs. DSL Braves, 10:30 AM Gregory Baez (0-1, 2.25) vs.
TBD

Louisville 3 Syracuse 1
• Martin (L, 0-5) 6IP 4H 3R 3ER 0BB 3K 2HR
• Mattheus 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
• Antonelli 2-4
• Flores 2-4

For the second straight night, the longball was the undoing of the Chiefs as Syracuse lost its sixth straight, 3-1. Starter J.D. Martin allowed all three runs, all scoring via the home run, on four hits over six innings. He walked none and struck out three. Matt Antonelli and Jesus Flores both went 2-for-4 as the Chiefs mustered just six hits and left on four runners.

Erie 6 Harrisburg 5 (10 inn.)
• Davis 6⅓ IP 7H 4R 4ER 5BB 7K
• Martinez (L, 0-2) 2⅔ IP 3H 2R 2ER 2BB 2K HR
• Moore, 2-5, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Norris, 2-5, 2R, 2HR, 3RBI (1-2 CS-SB att.)

Derek Norris went deep twice and drove in three runs, helping the Sens to overcome a 4-0 deficit, but Erie prevailed in extras, 6-5. Tyler Moore also homered, accounting for the other two Harrisburg runs as both prospects went 2-for-5. Starter Erik Davis went the first six and a 1/3rd innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and five walks and struck out seven while veteran Carlos Martinez finished, allowing the walkoff HR that won the game in two and 2/3rds-plus innings.

Potomac 5 Wilmington 2
• Selik (W, 1-4) CG 9IP, 7H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 4K
• Hood 3-5, 2B, 3B, RBI
• Dykstra 3-4, 2B, 2RBI

Cameron Selik went the distance, throwing the team’s first nine-inning complete game of the year as the Potomac Nationals won their second game in as many nights to down the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 5-1. Sources say that if they do it again tonight, it’ll be a winning streak and that it has happened before. Selik allowed seven hits but no walks and struck out four. The lone run was unearned. Destin Hood singled, doubled, and tripled and drove in one in five at-bats while Cutter Dykstra went 3-for-4 with two RBI to pace the P-Nat offense.

Hagerstown 11 Greenville 5
• Grace (W, 6-4) 6⅓IP 7H 2R 2ER BB 3K
• McCatty 1IP 1H 0R 0BB K
• Moore 2-5, R, HR, 3RBI
• Sanchez 2-5, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Oduber 2-4, R, 3B, 2RBI, BB, SB

The Greenville Drive held Bryce Harper hitless, but those other eight guys weren’t helpless, collecting 11 hits in an 11-5 Suns win. Four Suns collected multiple hits, with Wade Moore and Adrian Sanchez both homering to lead the attack. Matt Grace got the win (No. 6) with six and a 1/3rd innings pitched, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Randolph Oduber was activated before the game, but (as usual) no word on who was moved to make room on the roster.

DSL Mets1 7 DSL Nationals 2
• Pineyro (ND) 5IP 3H 2R 1ER 2BB 6K
• Guzman 2⅓ IP 2H 0R BB 1K
• Mercedes 2-4, 2B, RBI, 1-4 SB-CS
• Rosario 1-3, 2B, BB

The DSL Mets1 broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the eighth and put the game away with three in the ninth for a 7-2 win. Ivan Pineyro rebounded from his three-runs-in-three innings last time out to go five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks while striking out six. Yermin Mercedes threw out three of four baserunners behind the plate and went 2-for-4 from the RH batter’s box to lead the D-Nat offense.