Aug 152015

GBI for NPP 2Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 54-67, 4th place I.L. North, 15 games behind

Good Trea Turner .358/.397/.453, 12R, 6SB in August (12G)
Bad 10E in 44G for Turner
Interesting Chiefs 28-18 since Turner promoted to AAA

HARRISBURG SENATORS 57-62, 5th place E.L. West, 10½ games behind

Good Austin Voth – pitched 5IP or more 17 times in 23 appearances, 12 quality starts/td>
Bad RHB Christopher Bostick .176/.230/.294 vs LHPs
Interesting 58 players used, just four have played all season long (Voth, Mendez, Severino, Pleffner)

POTOMAC NATIONALS 22-25, 3rd place C.L. North, 5½ games behind (55-62 overall)

Good Narciso Mesa .333/.326/.400 in August (11G)
Bad Ian Dickson 23BB in 35⅓ IP (5.86/9IP)
Interesting Fewest batting strikeouts in the eight-team Car. Lg.

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 23-24, T4th place Sally North, 9 games behind (58-57 overall)

Good Connor Bach 87K in 89⅔ IP (8.73 K/9IP)
Bad Raudy Read .167/.167/.333 in August (10G)
Interesting 25-y.o. Justin Amlung, 32-y.o. Jeff Howell combined 6GS since July 27

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 24-27, 4th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 9½ games behind

Good Max Schrock .311/.370/.422 in 26G
Bad Luis Torres 11BB, 13K in 23⅔ IP (4.18, 4.94 per 9IP)
Interesting Nine pitchers have recorded at least one save (13 in 51G)

GCL NATIONALS 20-27, 4th place GCL East, 5½ games behind

Good .966 FA 4th best in 16-team GCL
Bad 106BB drawn by batters fewest in the the GCL
Interesting 5 passed balls tied for fewest in the GCL

DSL NATIONALS 29-36, 3rd place Boca Chica North, 18 games behind (eliminated)

Good 20-y.o. Jeyner Baez .314 (11-for-35) in last 10G
Bad 17-y.o. Yelmery Sisnero 1-0, 5.79 ERA, 1.79 WHIP
Interesting 17-y.o. Edwin Ventura .286/.366/.382, 11SB, 15BB in 55G

Editor’s note: GBI will skip next week and return on or around August 29

Aug 152015

On a warm August night, the sunlight fading like the hopes of playing past Labor Day, the Potomac Nationals put it all together in all three phases of the game for a 4-0 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

Three pitchers combined on the seven-hit shutout, led by starter Austen Williams. The 22-y.o. Texan was perfect through three and allowed three hits total through six innings. He walked one and struck out three to earn his fourth win for Potomac and 12th overall, which for what it’s worth, leads the Nationals minors.

He was followed by Derek Self, who was his usual self in turning in two scoreless but uneven innings with three hits allowed, no walks, and one whiff for the hold, his third for Potomac. Dupra closed out the ballgame in the 9th with one hit allowed and one strikeout.

Offensively, it wasn’t so much the bats as it was the legs of Rafael Bautista. The young Dominican drew a leadoff walk, then stole second and third rather easily, then scored on Grant DeBruin’s two-out single — the first of three RBI for the veteran minor-leaguer.

Two innings later, Bautista singled and stole second. In the 5th, he doubled, stole third (that’s four, if you’ve lost count) and stole home on a flyball to shallow center field, though technically it was sacrifice fly for Alex Keller.

In his final at-bat, he easily beat out a tapper to third but was picked off trying for his official fifth base. Final line: 3-for-3, 2R, 2B, BB, 4SB. In total, the P-Nats rapped out 11 hits, with DeBruin also getting three, and John Wooten going 2-for-4 with a double. They were 4-for-11 with RISP and left on just six.

With the win, Potomac improves to 22-25 in the second half but trails the Lynchburg Hillcats by five and a half games and just three games left between the two teams. Their elimination number stands at 18 with 23 games left to play.

The series continues tonight with a matchup of Brian Rauh (2-1, 2.21) for Potomac vs. Alec Mills (6-6, 2.73) for Wilmington.

Aug 152015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 8-2 vs. Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
Hill (3-7, 5.00) vs.
Jenkins (7-3, 2.48)
Harrisburg Won, 2-0 vs. Bowie,
6:00 p.m.
Bates (4-3, 4.07) vs.
Miranda (2-1, 1.66)
Potomac Won, 4-0 vs. Wilmington,
6:35 p.m.
Rauh (2-1, 2.21) vs.
Mills (6-6, 2.73)
Hagerstown Won, 7-2 @ Kannapolis,
7:05 p.m.
Bach (5-3, 3.21) vs.
Thompson (3-5, 4.59)
Auburn Canceled vs. Batavia,
5:05 p.m.
Guilbeau (1-2, 4.67) and
Borne (1-2, 2.51) vs.

Syracuse 8 Buffalo 2
• Cole (W, 4-5) 6IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Solis 2IP, 3H, 0R, BB, K
• Mastroianni 3-5, R, RBI
• Skole 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Johnson 2-3, 2B, RBI

Syracuse only scored in one inning, but eight runs was more than enough to stampede Buffalo, 8-2, for their 11th straight win. A.J. Cole got the win with both Bisons runs allowed on five hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out two but gave up his ninth HR at AAA. Matt Grace and Sammy Solis combined for three scoreless innings to close out the game. Darin Mastroianni came off the DL and went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored while Kevin Keyes smacked his sixth HR to drive in three.
Roster move: OF Darin Mastroianni activated from the 7-day DL; RHP Taylor Jordan place on the 7-Day DL, retroactive to August 12 (forearm tenderness).

Harrisburg 2 Bowie 0
• Giolito (W, 1-1) 7IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 11K, HBP, 99-63 P-K
• Harper (H, 7) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Demny (SV, 3) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Goodwin 2-4, RBI
• Severino 1-3, R, 2B

The force was strong with young Luke Giolito as the Nats’ top prospect turned in a career-best outing in a 2-0 win vs. Bowie. Giolito allowed just a second-inning single, walked a batter, and a hit batter over seven shutout innings. He tied his season-high of 11 strikeouts and threw 99 pitches, 63 for strikes while winning his first AA game. Bryan Harper and Paul Demny followed with an inning apiece, both striking out two for a combined one-hit shutout with 15Ks for the Sens. Brian Goodwin went 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Harrisburg offense.

Potomac 4 Wilmington 0
• Williams (W, 4-3) 6IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Self 2IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, K, WP
• Bautista 3-3, 2R, 2B, BB, 4SB
• DeBruin 3-4, 3RBI
• Wooten 2-4, 2R, 2B

Pitching and speed made the difference Last Night In Woodbridge.

Roster move: OF Brendan Webb assigned from Washington.

Hagerstown 7 Kannapolis 2
• Howell (W, 1-0) 6IP, 4H, R, ER, 4BB, 0K, WP
• Napoli 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-5, 2B
• Read 2-4, R, 2-2B, RBI, CS
• W. Rodriguez 2-4, RBI

The Suns lapped the Intimidators six times in the first six innings en route to a 7-2 checkered flag. Jeff Howell earned his first professional win, allowing one run on four hits and four walks but struck out none. Raudy Read doubled twice, scored a run, and drove in a run to lead the nine-hit Hagerstown attack.

Auburn vs. Tri-City — CNCLD
For the second time on this road trip, the Doubledays were washed away and the game won’t be made up. They return home tonight for two against Batavia tonight and one tomorrow before the two-day All-Star break on Monday and Tuesday.

Aug 142015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 11-2 vs. Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
Cole (3-5, 3.86) vs.
Copeland (9-3, 1.96)
Harrisburg Lost, 3-0 vs. Bowie,
7:00 p.m.
Giolito (0-1, 5.94) vs.
Additon (1-0, 0.00)
Potomac Won, 5-1 vs. Wilmington,
7:05 p.m.
A. Williams (3-3, 2.48) vs. TBD
Hagerstown Won, 12-0 @ Kannapolis,
7:05 p.m.
Howell (0-0, 0.00) vs.
L. Martinez (4-10, 5.71)
Auburn Won, 7-5 @ Tri-City,
7:00 p.m.
Guilbeau (1-2, 4.67) vs.
Armenteros (1-1, 4.03)

Syracuse 11 Lehigh Valley 2
• Bleier (W, 4-1) 7IP, 6H, R, ER, 2BB, 3K; 1-3, R, BB, RBI
• J. Gutierrez 1IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 0K
• Turner 3-4, 2R, 2B, BB, RBI
• Burriss 3-5, 2R, 2B, 2RBI
• Keyes 2-5, 2R, 2B, 2RBI

The only thing hotter than the Chiefs are their wives and girlfriends (*rimshot!*) as they smelted the IronPigs, 11-2, for their 10th straight win. Richard Bleier spun seven innings of one-run ball on six hits, two walks, and three whiffs. He also contributed to his own case with a walk and a single and started two double plays. The offense racked up a baker’s dozen of hits with Trea Turner and Emmanuel Burriss both collecting two singles and a double and scoring two runs.

Reading 3 Harrisburg 0
• Simms (L, 1-2) 6IP, 5H, R, ER, 2BB, 3K
• Dykstra 1-4, OF assist at 2B
• Pleffner 1-4, 2B

Former Nationals farmhand Nick Pivetta led a quartet of pitchers that shut out Harrisburg on three hits, 3-0. Pivetta struck out eight over five and 2/3rds with just one walk for the win. John Simms was the tough-luck loser with one run allowed on five hits and two walks over six innings. Cutter Dykstra and Pedro Severino both singled while Shawn Pleffner doubled to account for the three hits, all against Pivetta. Reegie Corona and Isaac Ballou drew the two walks for the Sens to account for the five baserunners left on base.

Potomac 5 Winston-Salem 1
• Dickson (W, 2-2) 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 5BB, 2K, HBP
• Thomas (H, 1) 2⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 5K, HBP
• Martinez 3-3, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
• Wright 2-3, R, 2B, RBI
• Norfork 2-3, 2R, BB

A pair of two-run rallies in the 2nd and 8th innings by the P-Nats was the difference as they took the third of four games from the Dash for a 5-1 win. Ian Dickson walked five but made it through five innings with the lone Winston-Salem run let in on three hits. He struck out two and hit a batter. The bottom third of the order combined to go 7-for-9 with four runs scored, two walks, two doubles, and three RBI.
Roster move: OF Reed Johnson assigned from Washington for MLB rehab.

Hagerstown 12 Augusta 0
• Amlung (W, 3-1) 6⅔ IP, 5H, 0R, 0BB, 7K
• Cooper 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Page 3-4, 3R, 2B, BB, RBI, SB
• Mejia 2-5, R, 2B, 3RBI
• W. Rodriguez 2-5, R, RBI

Hagerstown missed two extra points, but punched the ball in twice in the second half for a 12-0 shutout vs. Augusta. The Suns scored in every inning from the 4th to 9th with a total of 13 hits and four walks. Matt Page led the way with a walk, two singles, and a double while going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI. Justin Amlung won his third Low-A game with six and 2/3rds shutout innings pitched, allowing five hits, no walks and fanning seven.
Roster moves: OF D.K. Carey placed on the 7-Day DL; C Jake Mayers activated from the 7-Day DL.

Auburn 7 Tri-City 5
• J. Rodriguez 5⅔ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 7BB, 7K, HR
• Torres (W, 5-0) ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 2-0 IR-S
• Schrock 4-5, 3R, 2-2B
• K. Gutierrez 3-5, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Tillero 2-4, R

The Doubledays broke open a 2-2 tie with two-run outbursts in the 7th and 8th innings and survived a bullpen meltdown for a 7-5 win vs. the ValleyCats. Jefry Rodriguez did his best imitation of Nuke LaLoosh with seven walks and seven strikeouts over five and 2/3rds, giving up two runs on three hits, including a solo shot. Luis Torres vultured the win by getting the last out of the 6th before Auburn took the lead in the top of the 7th. Max Schrock led the Auburn attack with two singles and two doubles while going 4-for-5 with three runs scored.
Roster move: RHP Erick Fedde demoted from Hagerstown.

Aug 132015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 9-5 vs. Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Bleier (3-1, 2.78) vs.
Biddle (2-2, 4.88)
Harrisburg Lost, 8-4 @ Reading,
7:05 p.m.
Simms (1-1, 4.91) vs.
Pivetta (0-3, 7.56)
Potomac Won, 8-2 vs. Winston-Salem,
12:05 p.m.
Dickson (1-2, 4.24) vs.
Heidenreich (12-2, 2.67)
Hagerstown Lost, 3-2 @ Augusta,
7:05 p.m.
Amlung (2-1, 3.73) vs.
M. Reyes (7-4, 2.28)
Auburn Lost, 2-0 @ Tri-City,
7:00 p.m.
J. Rodriguez (2-5, 5.36) vs.
Thornton (4-0, 3.32)

Syracuse 9 Lehigh Valley 5
• Espino (W, 5-5) 5IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Walters (H, 2) 3IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Burriss 2-5, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Martinson 1-3, 2B, 2BB, 2RBI
• Butler 2-4, 2R, 2B, 2RBI

Syracuse continues to roll as a five-run 4th powered them past Lehigh Valley, 9-5. Paolo Espino started and got the Jack Morris win with five runs allowed over five innings on nine hits and a walk. P.J. Walters settled things down with three scoreless for his second hold. Every starter had at least one hit in the 12-hit night, with Emmanuel Burriss, Jason Martinson, and Dan Butler each having two hits and two RBI.

Reading 8 Harrisburg 4
• Purke 5IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K
• Harper (L, 2-2) ⅓ IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K, HR
• Davis 1⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K, 2-1 IR-S
• Difo 2-3, R, 3B, BB, HR, 3RBI

The Fightins once again threw haymakers at the Sens ‘pen, connecting for three in the 6th as Reading knocked out Harrisburg, 9-5. Matt Purke got the no-decision with five innings of three-run ball, giving up six hits, no walks, and striking out two. Bryan Harper took the loss with three runs charged on three hits, including a home run. Wilmer Difo was one-man wrecking crew as he walked, tripled, homered, and drove in three runs. The rest of the lineup went 3-for-27.
Roster moves: 2B Reegie Corona reassigned from Potomac; OF Derrick Robinson placed on the 7-Day DL.

Potomac 8 Winston-Salem 2
• Lopez (W, 6-7) 7IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 11K
• Johansen 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Keller 2-3, R, BB, RBI, SB
• Mesa 2-4, R, 2RBI
• Norfork 1-3, R, BB, RBI

Reynaldo Lopez struck out a career-high 11 batters while tossing seven shutout innings in an 8-2 Potomac win over Winston-Salem. Lopez allowed just two hits and walked none while earning his sixth win. Every batter in the lineup hit safely with Alec Keller leading the pack with two singles, a walk, a run, an RBI, a stolen base, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Augusta 3 Hagerstown 2
• Reyes 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 6K, HR
• Brinley (L, 1-1) ⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 0K
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-4, 2B
• Read 1-4, R, 2B

Hagerstown and Augusta locked up in in a pitcher’s duel that Augusta won with a walkoff single in the 9th, 3-2. Luis Reyes made one mistake, a two-run HR in the 4th, over six innings for a no-decision. He gave up four hits and a walk and struck out six. Ryan Brinley took the loss as he let in the gamewinner on a walk and two singles in the 9th. “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz matched his line from Tuesday, going 2-for-4 with a double to lead the Suns’ four-hit effort, with both runs scoring on sacrifice flies.

Tri-City 2 Auburn 0
• Hearn (L, 1-4) 3⅔ IP, 4H, R, ER, 4BB, 2K, HBP, WP
• Ramos 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 3-0 IR-S
• Florentino 1-3, BB, CS
• Encarnacion 1-3, SB

The ValleyCats scratched out single runs in the 1st and 7th innings while blanking the Doubledays for a 2-0 win. Taylor Hearn gave up just one run on four hits but left with two out in the 4th after walking the bases loaded. David Ramos stranded them and got the last out of the 4th and then pitched a scoreless 5th. The offense was limited to five hits and two walks with Darryl Florentino the sole batter to reach base twice with a single and a walk.

Aug 122015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-1 vs. Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Espino (4-5, 3.09) vs.
Vasquez (7-4, 3.87)
Harrisburg Lost, 11-8 @ Reading,
7:05 p.m.
Purke (1-2, 8.03) vs.
Jo. Rodriguez (4-2, 5.01)
Potomac Won, 8-5;
Lost, 1-0
vs. Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Lopez (5-7, 4.55) vs.
Almonte (2-0, 0.00)
Hagerstown Lost, 9-1 @ Augusta,
7:05 p.m.
Reyes (5-7, 5.18) vs.
Johnson (1-2, 6.41)
Auburn Canceled @ Tri-City,
7:05 p.m.
Hearn (1-3, 2.89) vs.
Murphy (0-1, 1.42)

Syracuse 4 Lehigh Valley 1
• Jordan 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• McGregor (W, 5-5) 3IP, 5H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Burriss 1-4, 3B, 2RBI
• den Dekker 1-3, R, 3B, 2RBI

The Chiefs rallied for four in the 2nd as they extended their win streak to eight with a 4-1 triumph over the IronPigs. Taylor Jordan got the start but was lifted after two scoreless innings (injury unlikely since he also struck out in the bottom of the 2nd). Scott McGregor got the win in relief, allowing one run on five hits over three innings without a walk or a whiff. Emmanuel Burriss and Matt den Dekker both had two-run triples in the Syracuse 2nd to pace the offense.
Roster move: RHP J.C. Gutierrez assigned from Washington.

Reading 11 Harrisburg 8
• Voth 5IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 7K, HR
• Mendez (BS, 5; L, 6-4) 4BF, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 0K, 0HR, 2-2 IR-S
• Ballou 4-4, 3R, BB, RBI
• Difo 4-5, 2RBI
• Pleffner 3-4, BB, RBI, SB

A six-run lead was too small for the Harrisburg bullpen to hold as they coughed up eight runs in the 7th to lose to Reading, 11-8. Austin Voth started and was knocked for three runs on four hits, including a two-run HR, over five innings. He struck out seven, but walked four. Wander Suero bore the brunt of the beating with five runs charged over an inning and a 1/3rd but the loss went to Gilberto Mendez, who let in two runners and three of his own while failing to retire a batter. Isaac Ballou reached base five times with four singles and a walk to lead the Sens’ 16-hit parade that saw seven of eight position players hit safely.

Potomac 8 Winston-Salem 5 — COMP.
• Mapes (W, 2-1) 4IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 3K
• Orlan (H, 1) 2IP, 2H, 0R, BB, K
• Wright 2-3, 2R, 2-2B
• DeBruin 2-4, R, 2-2B, 3RBI
• Mesa 2-5, R, 2RBI, 2SB

A five-run 6th erased a 4-3 deficit as the P-Nats took the completion from the Dash, 8-5. Tyler Mapes picked up the win in relief of Matt Purke with two runs allowed over four innings on five hits and a walk. R.C. Orlan and Phillips Valdez combined for three scoreless to earn the hold and save, respectively. Grant DeBruin doubled twice and drove in three while going 2-for-4 to lead the Potomac attack.

Winston-Salem 1 Potomac 0 — GAME TWO
• Rauh (L, 2-1) 7IP, 5H, R, ER, BB, 9K
• Keller 1-3, 2B
• S. Perez 2-2, 2B

Brian Rauh pitched a complete-game loss as the P-Nats bats were stifled in the nightcap for a 1-0 loss. Rauh went the full seven, letting in a run on five hits and one walk while fanning nine. Potomac was held to four hits and two walks and hit into four double plays to offset three Winston-Salem errors.

Augusta 9 Hagerstown 1
• Fedde (L, 0-1) 4⅓ IP, 5H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 3K
• D. Williams 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-4, 2B
• Carey 2-4

The Nats continued their tradition of promoting high-profile pitchers to start on the road and were “rewarded” for their caution as Erick Fedde was stung for six runs by the GreenJackets in a 9-1 loss. Fedde gave up five hits, walked two, and struck out three over four and a 1/3rd innings in his Low-A debut. D.K. Carey and “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz both went 2-for-4 but the rest of the Suns were 2-for-28 as they were limited to six hits and a walk.
Roster moves: RHP Erick Fedde promoted from Auburn; RHP Kevin Perez placed on 7-Day DL.

Auburn vs. Connecticut — CNCLD
Rain washed out the finale between the Tigers and the Doubledays. It will not be made up because the two teams do not meet again in 2015.
Roster move: LHP David Ramos reassigned from GCL Nationals for MiLB rehab.

Aug 112015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY vs. Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Jordan (4-4, 2.46) vs.
O’Sullivan (1-1, 4.70)
Harrisburg OFF DAY @ Reading,
7:05 p.m.
Voth (4-5, 2.90) vs.
Lively (8-7, 3.87)
Potomac OFF DAY vs. Winston-Salem,
5:05 p.m.
TBD and Rauh (2-0, 2.43) vs.
TBD and Clark (7-3, 1.97)
Hagerstown OFF DAY @ Augusta,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. Young (7-2, 3.84)
Auburn Lost, 10-5 @ Connecticut,
7:05 p.m.
Hearn (1-3, 2.89) vs.
Watkins (4-2, 2.70)

Syracuse — OFF DAY
Sadly, Syracuse cannot play Pawtucket the rest of the season, so they’ll have to see if they can continue their streak against the likes of Lehigh Valley and Buffalo as they return home for six games tonight.

Harrisburg — OFF DAY
The Senators embark on a brief three-game road trip (Reading) after an off day on Monday before heading home for a weekend homestand (Bowie). Next week, the pattern repeats, with a visit to Akron on Tuesday through Thursday, then back to City Island to host Portland.

Potomac — OFF DAY
The P-Nats resume the July 13th suspended game tonight, down 3-1 to the Winston-Salem Dash before playing a seven-inning game for a de facto doubleheader. Weather permitting, of course.

Hagerstown — OFF DAY
The Suns are riding a four-game win streak as they head out on the road to Georgia and North Carolina for three games apiece against Augusta and Kannapolis. It’s also the start of 13 straight games without a scheduled off day.

Connecticut 10 Auburn 5
• Crownover 4⅔ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 2K
• Overton (L, 1-1) 1⅓ IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 1K, HR, 2-0 IR-S
• Robles 2-3, R, SB
• Encarnacion 2-4, RBI
• Wiseman 2-4, R

The Tigers unloaded on the Doubledays bullpen to turn a 4-1 deficit into a 10-5 smackdown to even the series at 1-1. Matt Crownover started and lost steam in the 5th, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk over four and 2/3rds innings. Connor Overton stranded two in the 5th but was pummeled for three runs in the 6th to take the loss. Auburn racked up 11 hits with Victor Robles (who left after diving and missing a triple in the 6th), Randy Encarnacion, and Rhett Wiseman each collecting two singles.

Aug 102015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 3-1 OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Lost, 5-0 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Lost, 3-2 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Won, 8-2 OFF DAY N/A
Auburn Lost, 4-2 @ Connecticut,
7:05 p.m.
Crownover (0-4, 5.00) vs.
Alexander (0-2, 0.82)

Syracuse 3 Pawtucket 1
• Cole (W, 3-5) 7IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 6K, HR
• Martin (SV, 7) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Ramsey 2-3, BB, RBI
• den Dekker 1-3, 2B, 2BB, RBI

The sun don’t shine on the same dog’s [prosterior] every day, but don’t tell that to the PawSox, who dropped all seven games to the Chiefs in a home-and-home series. It was a 3-1 win for Syracuse with A.J. Cole giving up the lone run on a home run and three hits total over seven innings. He walked one and struck out six while notching his third win. Caleb Ramsey and Matt den Dekker both reached base three times and drove in a run as the Chiefs registered eight hits total on the afternoon.
Roster move: RHP Aaron Barrett option voided, placed on Washington 15-Day DL retroactive to August 6.

Erie 5 Harrisburg 0
• Bates (L, 4-3) 6⅓ IP, 4H, R, ER, BB, K
• Harper ⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 1-0 IR-S
• Goodwin 2-4
• Pleffner 1-3, BB

The Seawolves silenced the Senators bats, limiting the Harrisburg nine to just five hits as they lost the series finale, 5-0. Colin Bates took the loss despite allowing just one run on four hits and one walk over six and a 1/3rd innings. Erie broke open the game with a pair two-run rallies in the 7th and 8th innings to put the game away. Brian Goodwin singled twice and struck out once while Shawn Pleffner singled and walked but the rest of the lineup was just 2-for-22 with nine whiffs.

Carolina 3 Potomac 2
• Spann 5⅔ IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 5BB, 7K
• Walsh (BS, 1) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 2-2 IR-S
• Self (L, 3-5) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K
• Bautista 2-3, 2R, HBP, SB
• Norfork 1-3, 2B, BB, CS

After slugfests on Friday and Saturday night, the series finale was pitcher’s duel that ended with some smallball as the Mudcats edged the P-Nats, 3-2. A safety squeeze after a pair of singles and a sacrifice sent in the gamewinner against losing pitcher Derek Self. Matt Spann started and pitched into the 6th, giving up five hits and five walks. He left with a 2-0 lead but Jake Walsh let in both inherited runners with a single to the first batter he faced. Rafael Bautista reached base three times and scored twice as Potomac was held to just five hits and three walks on offense.

Hagerstown 8 Delmarva 3
• Bach (W, 5-3) 5IP, 4H, R, ER, 3BB, 5K
• K. Perez 2IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K
• Mejia 3-5, 2R, HR, 2RBI, SB
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Abreu 2-4, R, BB, 2RBI, SB(25)

Hagerstown scored four in the 3rd and never looked back as they pounded Delmarva, 8-2 to complete the four-game sweep. Connor Bach won his fifth game with five innings of one-run ball on four hits and three walks. He struck out five. The top third of the order combined for seven hits, four runs, and six RBI, led by Bryan Mejia, who was 3-for-5 with a home run. Osvaldo Abreu also reached base three times with two singles and a walk and stole his 25th base.

Connecticut 4 Auburn 2
• Borne (L, 1-2) 4⅔ IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K
• Johns 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K, 1-0 IR-S
• Jefferies 2-3, RBI
• Encarnacion 2-4, R, 2-2B

The Tigers roared for four in the 3rd and held off the Doubledays for a 4-2 win. Grant Borne was charged with all four runs on seven hits and two walks over four and 2/3rds innings to suffer the loss, his second. Sam Johns and Cody Gunter combined for three and a 1/3rd scoreless innings of relief. Randy Encarnacion doubled twice and Jake Jefferies singled twice to account for four of the eight Auburn hits on the afternoon.

Aug 092015
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-3 @ Pawtucket,
1:05 p.m.
Cole (2-5, 4.11) vs.
Spruill (4-8, 4.54)
Harrisburg Won, 4-1 @ Erie,
1:35 p.m.
Bates (4-2, 4.29) vs.
Fulmer (7-2, 1.75)
Potomac Won, 7-4 @ Carolina,
6:00 p.m.
Spann (1-6, 4.53) vs.
Walters (5-5, 2.84)
Hagerstown Won, 5-0 vs. Delmarva,
3:05 p.m.
Bach (4-3, 3.30) vs.
Scott (0-1, 5.40)
Auburn Won, 8-7 @ Connecticut,
4:05 p.m.
Borne (1-1, 1.50) vs. TBD

Syracuse 4 Pawtucket 3
• Billings (W, 7-4) 5⅓ IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 6K
• Martin 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Martinson 3-5, R
• Burriss 2-5, R, 2B, SB

The Chiefs broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run 5th and held on for a 4-3 win — the sixth straight against the PawSox. Bruce Billings got the “W” with one run on three hits and a walk over five and a 1/3rd innings. Rafael Martin worked around a two-out single in the 9th for his sixth save. Syracuse pounded out 11 hits, with Jason Martinson leading the charge with a 3-for-5 game.

Harrisburg 4 Erie 1
• Giolito 6⅔ IP, 7H, R, ER, 4BB, 5K, HR, WP
• Bacus (W, 6-3) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K, 1-0 IR-S
• Lozada 2-3, R, BB
• Goodwin 1-3, R, IBB, OF assist at 2B

Harrisburg broke out for four in the top of the 8th for a 4-1 win and took a 2-0 series lead. Lucas Giolito put on 11 baserunners (seven hits, four walks) but only let in one, albeit on a solo HR in the bottom of the 6th. He pitched into the 7th and struck out five. The win went to Dakota Bacus, who got the last out of the 7th and pitched a scoreless 8th. Erie walked three (one intentionally), hit a batter for a Homer Simpson RBI, and committed two errors, the last of which scored two runs on a botched 3-2-3 DP attempt. Erik Davis wobbled through the 9th with a single and a walk allowed to earn the save, his third at AA.

Potomac 7 Carolina 4
• A. Williams (W, 3-3) 6IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, 0BB, 8K
• Johansen 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• S. Perez 2-3, 2R, BB, HR, 3RBI, E(15)
• Keller 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

No curse of the GBI for Austen Williams as the P-Nats jumped out to a 5-1 lead and survived a scare in the 9th for a 7-4 win. The 22-y.o. Texan notched his third high-A win with a quality start of two runs on four hits, no walks, and struck out eight. Jake Johansen followed with two scoreless. R.C. Orlan stranded two of the four baserunners that Phillips Valdez put on to open the 9th to earn his first save for Potomac. Stephen Perez smacked a three-run HR in the 2nd and went 2-for-3 with a walk to lead the Potomac offense.

Hagerstown 5 Delmarva 0
• Howell 4IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• M. Sanchez (W, 6-5) 3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Marmolejos-Diaz 1-3, R, BB, HR, 3RBI
• W. Rodriguez 2-3, R, 2SB
• Mejia 1-2, HBP, 2SB

Three Suns pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout of the Shorebirds by a 5-0 score. Jeff Howell went the first four and gave up one hit and no walks while striking out three. Mario Sanchez got the win with three perfect innings, fanning two. Koda Glover finished with two innings, giving up one hit and no walks. Jose “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz capped Hagerstown’s four-run 5th with a three-run HR and also drew a walk. Wilman Rodriguez led the hit column with two singles while going 2-for-3 and stole two bases, as did Bryan Mejia.

Auburn 8 Williamsport 7
• Guilbeau 5IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Torres (BS, 1; W, 4-0) 3IP, 3H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 3K, HR
• Robles 2-5, 2R, 3B, SB
• Schrock 3-4, R, 2-2B, RBI
• Wiseman 2-4, R, 2B, 3RBI

Big innings were the name of the game as the Doubledays outslugged the Crosscutters, 8-7 to prevent the sweep. Taylor Guilbeau started and pitched five innings of one-run ball on three hits and a walk while setting down two on strikes. He left with a 5-1 lead. Luis Torres gave it away with four runs in the 6th but was the pitcher of record when Auburn struck back for three in the bottom of the 7th to take an 8-5 lead. Mariano Rivera III was credited with the save despite giving up two runs on four hits in the 9th. Max Schrock led the Auburn hit parade with a single and two doubles while Rhett Wiseman drove in three and went 2-for-4.
Kelvin Gutierrez was the sole Auburn representative at the 2015 NYPL All-Star game.

GCL Update
Despite a 4-3 week, the G-Nats are cellar dwellers in the GCL East with an elimination number of 14 with 19 games left to play. Telmito Agustin continues to lead the age-appropriate batters with a line of .333/.375/.481, the last of which is particularly impressive for an 18-y.o. Joan Baez has started six games without prolonged interruption since being dropped down from Auburn in early July and has pitched four or more innings, posting a 1.93 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 28IP. However, the 20-y.o. was absolutely lit up in the previous six starts in Auburn and Hagerstown (12.71 ERA, 2.29 WHIP in 17IP), which begs the question: Is it because he’s improved or because the competition is lesser?

DSL Update
As the DSL’s youngest batting lineup (yes, really) that they’re even within six games of .500 is pretty impressive. The pitchers are only marginally older, and also well below league-average age (18.3 vs. 19). More encouraging, just seven starters have been used and three of the five regulars are sporting sub-3.00 ERAs, two with FIPs under 3.2 (by formula, that’s league average). The GBI has been a challenge for this group because it’s the same names that keep excelling: Juan Evangelista and Aldrem Corredor on offense, Pedro Avila (starter) and Francys Peguero (reliever). It will be interesting to see how the Nats move (or don’t) this group along in 2016.

Aug 082015

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 48-67, 5th place I.L. North 15½ games behind

Good Richard Bleier 2-0, 2.45 ERA, 1.09 WHIP since callup
Bad Dan Butler .156/.250/.200 since All-Star Break (13G)
Interesting 16 IBB issued leads the International League

HARRISBURG SENATORS 55-58, 6th place E.L. West, 8 games behind

Good Wilmer Difo .333BA (15-for-45), 9SB in last 10G
Bad Wander Suero 1-0, 6.91 ERA, 1.95 WHIP since All-Star Break (6G)
Interesting Bryan Harper .167OBA vs. LHBs

POTOMAC NATIONALS 17-23, 3rd place C.L. North, 6 games behind (50-60 overall)

Good Austen Williams 2-3, 2.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP since callup
Bad Oldest average batters age (23.6) in Car. Lg., 7th in offense (3.68 R/G)
Interesting 36 sacrifice flies 2nd most in Car. Lg.

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 19-22, 6th place Sally North, 9 games behind (54-55 overall)

Good Matthew Page .296/.384/.418 in 27G
Bad Drew Van Orden 1-4, 5.60 ERA, 1.42 WHIP since All-Star Break (8GS)
Interesting Andrew Stevenson .350/.393/.439, 9RBI since callup (11G)

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 22-24, T3rd place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 7½ games behind

Good Erick Fedde 4-1, 2.57 ERA, 1.31 WHIP in 8GS
Bad Jake Jeffries .399OPS in 11G
Interesting 76E in 46G, .956 FA — both 13th in 14-team NYPL

GCL NATIONALS 18-22, 4th place GCL East, 4½ games behind

Good 17-y.o. Anderson Franco 3HR, .763 OPS in 33G
Bad Jorge Pantoja 0-1, 9.00 ERA, 1.88 WHIP
Interesting 43CS — 3rd worst in the GCL (60SB = 58.25% success rate)

DSL NATIONALS 27-32, 3rd place Boca Chica North, 10 games behind (eliminated from div. race)

Good 19-y.o. Francys Peguero 1-1, 9SV, 45K in 29⅓ IP
Bad 18-y.o. Jose Cabello .444OPS in 32G
Interesting 18-y.o. Luis Perdomo .288/.380/.412, 12SB, 11CS