Aug 102014
 

No, I Said The White PhoneLike his teammate Taylor Hill, his stay on the big Nats may be brief, but for today Michael Taylor will be a major-leaguer as multiple outlets are reporting that the 23-y.o. outfielder will join the big club in Atlanta.

Taylor will be replacing either Jayson Werth or Steve Souza, who was called up last week to replace outmak..er, fielder Nate McLouth, as both rightfielders are battling injuries

Taylor is in the midst of a breakout season, which began in Harrisburg where he batted .313/.396/.539 with 22HR and 34SB in 98 games, which earned him a trip to the Eastern League All-Star game and the 2014 Futures game.

He’s barely skipped a beat in Syracuse going 5-for-13 with three doubles and a triple with two RBI, albeit in four games.

Corresponding moves have obviously not yet been made, and in a season with more movement than after a bad buffet, it’s pointless to guess. As always, if/when those moves are made today, this space will be updated.

UPDATE: Steven Souza is going to the DL. Thus far, there’s just one corresponding move: UT Jose Lozada has been reassigned from Harrisburg. The P-Nats, who were rained out for the entire weekend, and the Senators both have Monday off — so it’s unlikely that any more moves will be made (or announced) until Tuesday.

Aug 102014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 7-2 vs. Louisville,
1:05 p.m.
Cole (3-0, 3.15) vs.
Diamond (1-1, 2.96)
Harrisburg Lost, 3-1 vs. Binghamton,
2:00 p.m.
Simmons (2-2, 5.98) vs.
Matz (4-3, 2.83)
Potomac Postponed @ Salem,
12:05 p.m.
Silvestre (1-0, 3.55) and
Bacus (4-6, 4.49) vs.
Gunkel (2-4, 3.83) and
Light (5-5, 4.99)
Hagerstown Won, 9-4 vs. Kannapolis,
5:05 p.m.
Suero (3-0, 1.47) vs.
Guerrero (6-0, 3.09)
Auburn Lost, 5-2 vs. Vermont,
5:05 p.m.
TBD vs. Jo. Torres (0-5, 4.43)
GCL Nationals Won, 12-8 (12 inn.) OFF DAY N/A
DSL Nationals Lost, 8-5 OFF DAY N/A


Syracuse 7 Louisville 2
• Treinen (W, 8-1) 5IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 5K
• Martin 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• E. Perez 2-3, 2R, BB, 2SB
• Kobernus 1-2, 2R, 2BB, RBI
• Johnson 2-4, 2RBI

The Syracuse Chiefs celebrated Michael Taylor’s impending callup by breaking out offensively in a crucial 7-2 win over the Louisville Bats. Starter Blake Treinen had a rough 1sst inning and gave up two runs, the first on a Felix “I ain’t Timo!” Perez RBI double and the second on a Bryan “I and I” Anderson RBI single. Syracuse answered in the bottom of the 1st on Brandon Laird’s 26th double, an RBI that scored Emmanuel Burriss. Two walks and a Josh Johnson single tied the score. Burriss gave the Chiefs the lead for good with a single that scored Jeff “Bryant” Kobernus. When starter and loser Josh “Umpteenth” Smith walked Sandy “Candy Rapper” Leon to load the bases and then threw a wild pitch to give Syracuse a much needed insurance run, Louisville knew that it would not be their night. Kobernus, Josh “Double J” Johnson, and Greg “Hobbit” Dobbs followed up with consecutive RBI singles as the Chiefs broke it open in the four-run 5th. Rafael Martin struck out four Bats in a dominant non-save situation that extended his streak without an ER to 24 AAA innings.

Binghamton 3 Harrisburg 1
• Simms (L, 2-4) 6IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 4K, HR; 1-2 (.300BA)
• Bates 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Hague 1-3, BB
• Martinson 1-4, 2B, RBI

The B-Mets scored three runs early and it was enough to win as the Sens lost again, 3-1. John Simms turned in a quality start, with all three Binghamton runs charged to him on eight hits and a walk, but lost for the fourth time at AA. Offensively, Harrisburg was held to just seven hits — four by the starting position players. The lone run came in the 9th with some help by Binghamton as Adrian Sanchez connected for a two-out pinch-hit single to drive in Jason Martinson, who reached on a three-base error to lead off the 9th.

Potomac vs. Salem — PPD
Rain struck again in Salem yesterday afternoon, forcing a doubleheader today and another this week when the two teams meet again in Woodbridge. (Best guess: Wednesday).

Hagerstown 9 Kannapolis 4
• Rivero 4IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 6K
• Johns 2⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 2-0 IR-S
• Difo 4-5, 2R, 2-2B, HR, 4RBI
• Yezzo 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Bautista 2-5, 2B, RBI

The Hagerstown bullpen blew another lead in the 7th but the offense bailed them out with five unanswered runs for a 9-4 victory over Kannapolis. Felipe Rivero made his first start north of Florida since going on the DL in May. He went four innings, and let in an unearned run on three hits while striking out six. Philips Valdez hit a batter and gave up double and a run before getting the first two outs in the 7th. Joseph Webb was greeted by a triple, walked two batters and issued two wild pitches before Sam Johns came in to get the final out and preserve the 4-4 tie. Rafael Bautista singled and came around to score on Wilmer Difo’s 12th HR in the bottom of the 7th. Difo would strike again in the 8th with a two-run double to cap off a 4-for-5 night with four RBI. Johns pitched a scoreless 8th and 9th to earn his third win. Roster move: LHP Felipe Rivero reassigned from Harrisburg.

Vermont 5 Auburn 2
• Dickey (L, 0-2) 5IP, 3H, 3R, 1ER, BB, K
• M. Rodriguez 2⅓ IP, 4H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K
• Mejia 2-4, R
• Langlois 0-1, R, 3BB

Auburn struck for two runs in the bottom of the first as they loaded the bases with two singles and a walk and connected for a sac fly and a two-out single. And that would be it as Vermont scored five unanswered runs to take game one of the series, 5-2. Robbie Dickey took the loss with three runs allowed on three hits and a walk over five innings. Bryan Mejia, D.K. Carey, and Raudy Read each went 2-for-4 but the Doubledays were held to nine singles total while drawing three walks for the game.

GCL Nationals 11 GCL Marlins 8 (12 inn.)
• Mills 1⅔ IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 2K
• Poveda 3⅓ IP, 4H, 3R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K, 3-0 IR-S
• Je. Ramirez (W, 3-0) 3IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, K
• Alvarez 3-5, 3R, BB, HR, RBI, SB
• Gutierrez 3-5, 2R, 3B, 2BB, CS
• G. Ramirez 3-6, R, BB, SB, 2CS

A four-run 12th snapped a 7-7 tie as the G-Nats held off a late charge for a 12-8 win over the G-Marlins. The two teams combined for 34 hits and six errors in the 236-minute marathon. McKenzie Mills got the start but was lit up for two runs on five hits and a walk over an inning and 2/3rds. Thomas Alvarez led off the 1st with a home run and the 12th with a single. The 19-y.o. notched three hits total, as did Kelvin Gutierrez and Gilberto Ramirez. The trio combined for four stolen bases but were caught three times. Jean Ramirez got the win in relief, pitching all three extras with one run allowed on three hits and a walk with one whiff.

DSL Giants 8 DSL Nationals 5
• Bermudez (L, 4-5) 2+ IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 3K, WP
• Pinto 3IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, K, 1-1 IR-S
• Pilier 3-3, R, BB, 2E
• A. Martinez 2-5, R, 3B
• Rengel 2-5, RBI

Juan Bermudez came up short vs. the D-Giants as they hung four runs on his pitching in the 3rd en route to an 7-5 victory over the D-Nats. Bermudez gave up four hits and no walks over two-plus innings while losing for the fifth time. Neivy Pilier led the hit column with three singles, but committed two of the five D-Nat errors on the game.

Aug 092014
 


Rosters for the 2014 New York-Penn League All-Star team were announced this week and will include two Auburn Doubledays — Jose “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz and Mario Sanchez.

Diaz was selected as a first baseman and has posted a line of .266/.344/.373 with one home run and 24RBI in 47 games. He’s a 21-y.o. from the Dominican Republic in his fourth professional season, having spent last year in the GCL and his first two seasons in the DSL.

Sanchez is a 19-y.o. Venezuelan who skipped the GCL after spending the 2012 and 2013 campaigns in the D.R. This season, his third, he’s 5-0 with three saves in 13 relief appearances. Over 28⅓ innings he’s allowed 12 runs (eight earned) on 22 hits (one HR) with eight walks and 22 strikeouts for a 2.54/3.38/1.06 line.

Brooklyn is the host of the 10th annual exhibition, which will pit players from the American League against players from the National League on Tuesday, August 19th.

Aug 092014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-4 (10 inn.) vs. Louisville,
7:00 p.m.
Treinen (7-1, 3.09) vs.
J. Smith (9-4, 4.42)
Harrisburg Won, 2-1 vs. Binghamton,
6:00 p.m.
Simms (2-3, 3,98) vs.
Lara (5-4, 4.68)
Potomac Postponed @ Salem,
3:05 p.m.
Silvestre (1-0, 3.55) and
Bacus (4-6, 4.49) vs.
Gunkel (2-4, 3.83) and
Light (5-5, 4.99)
Hagerstown Won, 6-5 vs. Kannapolis,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. Lowry (4-5, 4.48)
Auburn Won, 4-3 (10 inn.) vs. Vermont,
7:05 p.m.
Dickey (0-1, 3.60) vs.
Grundy (2-5, 4.74)
GCL Nationals Won, 12-1 @ GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 8-1 vs. DSL Giants,
10:30 a.m.
Bermudez (4-4, 1.45) vs. TBD


Louisville 6 Syracuse 4
• McGregor 6IP, 10H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Delcarmen (L, 3-4) 1⅔ IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, K
• Perez 3-5, 2R, 2B
• Laird 2-5, 2-2B, RBI

Louisville ended the Syracuse’s three-game winning streak with a come-from-behind 6-4 victory in 10 innings. The Bats took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd on back-to-back doubles, but avoided a 2-0 deficit when Michael Taylor threw out Rey Navarro at home when he tried to score from second on Tucker Barnhart’s single. Following single runs for Syracuse in the 3rd and 4th, Ruben “Gotcha” Gotay evened the score at two apiece with a solo homer. Syracuse looked to have the game in hand with a two-run rally in the 7th that made the score 4-2, but everyone in the bullpen not named Xavier Cedeno failed to do his job. Ryan Matthews “held” the lead but allowed a double and two walks to load the bases. Matt Grace “blew” the save when Josh Johnson muffed a grounder at short and two of those runners came home to tie the game at 4-4. Manny DelCarmen gets the largest share of the blame, however, as he recorded the first two outs in the tenth but gave up the final two Louisville runs on two walks and two singles before Aaron Barrett came in to get the third out.

Harrisburg 2 Binghamton 1
• Voth (W, 1-2) 5⅓ IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 8K, HBP
• Demny (H, 3) 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K, WP
• Skole 1-2, R, 2B, BB, SB
• Keyes 1-3, RBI

The Sens scored early but not often as they eked out a 2-1 win over the B-Mets. Austin Voth was touched for a two-out double following a hit batsmen for a run in the top of the 1st but was lights over the next five innings. He struck out eight and walked just one to earn his first AA win. Three relievers combined for three and 2/3rds scoreless relief, with Paul Demny and Tyler Herron both earning hold #3 and Rober Benincasa pitching around a hit and a walk in the 9th for his sixth save. Matt Skole doubled and stole third ahead of Kevin Keyes’s RBI single to tie in the 1st. Drew Vettleson doubled, took third on an Adrian Sanchez groundout to first and scored on a Brian Jeroloman sac fly in the 2nd. Harrisburg managed just four hits and one walk (Skole) total for the evening.

Potomac vs. Salem — PPD
Rain washed out the opener for the first of six games (three in Salem, thee in Woodbridge) between the 2013 Mills Cup finalists. They’ll try again today at 3:05 with the second game not starting before 6:05 for the apparent convenience of ticketholders too lazy to check the website. That fans attending both games will spend more time in a confined space without their own food or drink is just a coincidence.

Hagerstown 6 Kannapolis 5
• Pivetta 6IP, 5H, 0R, 2BB, 2K, HBP
• Johansen ⅓ IP, 5H, 5R, 3ER, 1BB, 0K
• Thomas (W, 3-4) 2⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 2-1 IR-S
• Yezzo 3-4, RBI, SB
• Mesa 3-5, R, RBI, SB, OF assist at HP
• Kieboom 2-5, R, 2B, 2RBI

With single runs in the 8th and 9th innings, the Suns put the lipstick on a pig for a 6-5 comeback victory. That’s because they originally led this 4-0 before the bullpen coughed up five runs in the top of the 7th to ruin six shutout innings by Nick Pivetta. Jake Johansen retired just one of seven batters faced (on a sacrifice), giving up five hits and one walk. Justin Thomas would inherit two and let in one to finish the frame. In the 8th, Drew Ward walked, took third on a Carlos Lopez double, and scored on an infield single by James “Mello” Yezzo to tie it at 5-5. In the 9th, Narciso Mesa led off with a single and scored one batter later when Spencer laid the Kieboom with a double down the right field line for the walkoff.

Auburn 4 Tri-City 3
• Van Orden 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 5K, HR
• M. Sanchez (BS, 2; W, 5-0) 3IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 4K, WP
• Carey 2-4, R, RBI
• Riopedre 2-4, R, 2B
• Eusebio 2-4

Like the Suns, the Doubledays won in their final at-bat. Unlike Hagerstown, Auburn only led 3-2 before letting in the equalizer. Mario Sanchez blew the save chance as a one-out walk came around to score with a wild pitch and a single but put up zeroes in the 9th and 10th innings. He would get the “W” when Austin Davidson led off the 10th with a triple and D.K. Carey followed with a single. Drew Van Orden went the first five, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk while fanning five. Chris Riopedre got the reverse GBI curse with a single, double and a run scored as he, Carey, and Diomedes Eusebio went 2-for-4 on the night.

GCL Nationals 12 GCL Marlins 1
• Baez (W, 1-0) 5IP, 5H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Salazar 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Guzman 4-5, 4R, 2-2B
• Corredor 2-3, 2R, BB, 4RBI
• Gutierrez 1-2, 2BB, 2RBI

A pair of four-run rallied in the middle innings turned a 2-0 lead into a 10-0 blowout as the G-Nats broke a three-game losing streak with a 12-1 win over the G-Marlins. Joan Baez tossed five scoreless innings in his GCL debut, giving up five hits but issuing no walks while striking out five. Las cervezas estaban a Randy Encarnacion as the only regular not to march in the 18-hit parade, which was led by Luis Guzman with two singles and two doubles.

DSL Giants 8 DSL Nationals 1
• Fuentes (L, 2-3) 3⅔ IP, 3H, 3R, 0ER, 5BB, 4K
• Avila 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• J. Ramirez 2-4, 2B, RBI
• A. Martinez 2-4

The D-Giants broke open a 4-1 game with a four-run 7th as they pounded the D-Nats 8-1. Steven Fuentes started and allowed three unearned runs on three hits and five walks over three and 2/3rds innings. Joshual Ramirez and Andres Martinez both went 2-for-4 with Ramirez plating the lone D-Nat run on an RBI double in the 6th.

Aug 082014
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 66-51, 1st place I.L. North, 2 games ahead

Good Manny Delcarmen 0-1, 1.26 ERA, 0.63 WHIP in last 10 appearances
Bad Josh Johnson .043 ISO
Interesting 803 batting K 3rd fewest in 14-team I.L.



HARRISBURG SENATORS 47-70, 6th place E.L. West, 18½ games behind

Good Quincy Latimore .323/.462/.742 4HR, 11RBI in last 10G
Bad Current pitchers with a sub-3.00 ERA: 1 (Derek Self, 2.67)
Interesting Paolo Espino 10HBP, 1.97 BB/9IP, 4.3 K:BB ratio



POTOMAC NATIONALS 26-18, 1st place C.L. North, 4 games ahead (64-49 overall)

Good Ian Dickson 1-0, 2.76 ERA since return to rotation (3GS)
Bad Khayyan Norfork .188/.257.250 in last 10G
Interesting Lead league with intentional walks drawn (12)



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 29-18, T1st place Sally North, 2 games ahead (73-44 overall)

Good Wilmer Difo .454 SLG%, 40SB, 32-game on-base streak
Bad Wirkin Estevez 0-2, 9.18 ERA, 1.98 WHIP in five Low-A starts
Interesting 0-for-6 in pinch-hitting



AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 24-28, 2nd place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 8½ games behind

Good Mario Sanchez 4-0, 3SV, 2.49 ER, 1.07 WHIP in 12 appearances
Bad Chris Riopedre .447 OPS in 14G
Interesting .964 Fld. Pct. 11th in 14-team NYPL



GCL NATIONALS 22-21, 3rd place GCL East, 5½ games behind

Good Jorge Tillero .316/.381/.368 in 23G
Bad Daury Vasquez 0-2, 9.22 ERA, 2.27 WHIP in eight appearances
Interesting 2nd fewest passed balls (7), 2nd worst CS% (24) in the GCL



DSL NATIONALS 34-24, 3rd place Boca Chica South, 6½ games behind

Good 18-y.o. Wilber Pena 2-0, 1.62 ERA, 0.96 WHIP in last three GS
Bad 19-y.o. Sandy Guerrero .167/.300/.292 in last 10G
Interesting Team batting 6th in 36-team DSL (6.34 R/G)
Aug 082014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-1 vs. Louisville,
7:00 p.m.
McGregor (1-6, 6.34 in PCL) vs.
Holmberg (1-6, 4.90)
Harrisburg Lost, 3-0 vs. Binghamton,
7:00 p.m.
Voth (0-2, 4.50) vs.
Ynoa (2-0, 5.23)
Potomac Won, 6-4 @ Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Silvestre (1-0, 3.55) vs.
Gunkel (2-4, 3.83)
Hagerstown Won, 8-1 vs. Kannapolis,
7:05 p.m.
Pivetta (12-7, 4.39) vs.
Freudenberg (1-0, 1.50)
Auburn Won, 11-4 vs. Tri-City,
7:05 p.m.
Van Orden (1-3, 6.04) vs.
Kahana (NYPL Debut)
GCL Nationals Lost, 6-3 vs. GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 1-0 @ DSL Giants,
10:30 a.m.
Fuentes (2-2, 2.25) vs.
Reyes (3-2, 4.03)


Syracuse 4 Louisville 1
• Lively (W, 2-2) 6IP, 5H, 0R, 3BB, 4K
• Martin (S, 4) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Burriss 2-4, R, 3B
• Taylor 1-3, R, 3B, BB, RBI

Syracuse effectively silenced Louisville in an efficient 4-1 victory last night. They immediately took a 1-0 lead before the Bats recorded an out when Emmanuel Burris tripled and Will “Skills” Rhymes singled him home. Greg Dobbs singled home Michael “BATMAN” Taylor and Jhonotan “Red Onion” Solano in the 6th. Taylor continued his assault on AAA pitching by tripling home Tyler Moore in the seventh to give the Chiefs a 4-0 lead. Matt Grace gave up a rare run on two singles and two groundouts in the 7th before Rafael “Hershiser” Martin (41⅓ IP w/o an ER) ended the proceedings with his fourth save for the Chiefs.
Roster moves: C Sandy Leon optioned from Washingtion; RHP Warner Madrigal released.

Reading 3 Harrisburg 0
• Espino (L, 5-4) 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 6K, HR
• Runion 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Latimore 1-3, BB, SB(10)
• Ramsey 1-4, 2B, SB

The Harrisburg Senators failed to pass the law in the Pennsylvania legislature that would have given them a victory over the Reading Fightin’ Phils and lost 3-0 on the baseball diamond. Their feeble offense mustered only two hits. Quincy “The Dude” Latimore did his best to give Harrisburg a lead in the 1st. He singled and stole second and third before Kevin Keys whiffed. Reading’s Aaron “I’m here!” Altherr announced his presence with a solo homer to lead off the 4th off of starter and loser Paolo Espino. Jake “Not the Snake” Fox launched a solo shot to lead off the 6th against reliever Derek Self. A double and two singles against Self led to Reading’s final score. Colton “In a Hurry” Murray quickly ended Harrisburg’s latest debacle with a two-inning save.

Potomac 6 Winston-Salem 4
• Dickson 5⅔ IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 4K, BK, 2WP
• Turnbull (W, 1-3) 2⅓ IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K, 2-0 IR-S
• Wooten 2-3, 2R, BB, HR, 3RBI
• Pleffner 2-3, 2R, BB
• Oduber 2-4, R, RBI, SB, OF assist at HP

John Wooten made his first High-A homer count as the three-run bomb highlighted a four-run 8th for Potomac as they completed another series sweep with a 6-4 win over Winston-Salem. Ian Dickson shook off a shaky start to pitch into the 6th for the second time since his return to the rotation, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks while striking out four. Kylin Turnbull got the win with an unearned run allowed over two and a 1/3rd with two runners stranded in the 6th. Wooten and Shawn Pleffner both went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored to lead the 10-hit parade for the Potomac offense.

Hagerstown 8 Kannapolis 1
• Lopez (W, 2-1) 6IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, K
• Napoli 2IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, K
• Bautista 3-5, R, RBI
• Lopez 3-3, 2R, BB, 2RBI
• Yezzo 2-4, 2B, 3RBI

The Hagerstown Suns were not impressed by the inaptly named Kannapolis Intimidators during their 7-1 victory last night. Spencer Kieboom, Drew Ward, and Carlos Lopez all doubled to start the 2nd, resulting in two runs for the Suns. Kannapolis starter and loser Jeffrey McKenzie walked in a run the next inning before giving up a two-out, three run double to James “Mellow” Yezzo that gave Hagerstown a 6-0 lead. The merciless Suns piled on with a Wilmer Difo RBI double in the 4th before Kieboom grounded into an inning-ending double play. Meanwhile 20-y.o. starter and winner Reynaldo Lopez tossed six shutout innings and only ran into difficulty when he walked two in the 5th before two groundouts enabled him to escape. Kannapolis broke up the shutout with a Danny Hayes one-out homer against Andrew Cooper in the 9th.
Roster move: LHP Felipe Rivero transferred from GCL Nationals for minor-league rehab.

Auburn 11 Tri-City 4
• A. Williams (W, 2-2) 5IP, 5H, R, ER, 0BB, 6K, 2WP
• Orlan (H, 2) 2IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 1K, WP
• Davidson 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Gunter 2-4, 2B, 5RBI
• Gordon 1-3, 3R, HR, 2RBI

Cody Gunter drove in five without a HR as Auburn pounded Tri-City, 11-4. Gunter got the rare three-run single to cap off a four-run 6th that turned a one-run game into blowout. He struck again for a more mundane two-run double in the Auburn five-run 7th. Austen Williams, who gave up just a single run on five hits and no walks over five innings, got the win. Gunter went 2-for-4 as did Austin Davidson to pace the Doubleday offense, which registered nine hits and four walks.

GCL Marlins 6 GCL Nationals 3
• Reyes (L, 1-4) 5IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 4BB, 3K, WP
• Reynoso 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Lora 2-3, R, 2B, BB, SB
• Gutierrez 2-4, RBI

The G-Nats lost their third straight with a 6-3 loss to the G-Marlins. Starter Luis Reyes gave up five runs on six hits and four walks over five innings while setting down three on strikes. Edwin Lora singled, doubled, walked, scored a run and stole his seventh base as the D-Nats, who managed eight hits total.

DSL Nationals 1 DSL Red Sox 0
• W. Pena (W, 3-4) 6IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 8K
• Rosario (SV, 2) 3IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• J. Ramirez 2-3, BB
• Pimentel 1-4

The D-Nats scored but one run again but it was enough to win as two pitchers combined on a 1-0 shutout of the division-leading D-Red Sox. Wilber “Where’s Charlotte?” Pena struck out eight and walked one over six innings of three-hit ball to win his third game. Ramses Rosario whiffed three, walked none, but let up four hits over the final three frames to notch his second save. Joshual Ramirez singled twice while Davinson Pimentel singled once to account for the three (3) D-Nats hits, with the game’s only run scoring on a throwing error.

Aug 072014
 

Randolph Oduber homered twice, while Matt Spann put on just two baserunners over six shutout innings as Potomac rolled to its fifth straight win, 10-2 over Winston-Salem.

The Groovin’ Aruban drove in six runs total with a three-run blast off the scoreboard in left-center to highlight Potomac’s five-run 3rd, an RBI groundout in the 4th, and a two-run shot to right in the 8th. The six RBIs were a career-best in a single game for the 2010 32nd Rd. pick out of Western Oklahoma State College.

Meanwhile, Matthew Spann quietly and efficiently dispatched the Dash with nobody reaching second base as Keon Barnum, who rapped a clean single up the middle with one out in the 2nd, watched his teammates fly out twice. Zach Voight got plunked an inning later but was out two full strides as Tony Renda had to wait for him to slide before he could apply the tag.

The next ten Winston-Salem batters trotted back into the dugout as Spann would not let another runner reach. Spann would issue no walks and strike out four while earning his eighth win for Potomac and tenth win overall for the 2014 campaign.

Offensively, Ike Ballou was also a force for the Woodbridge nine, beginning with a two-run triple that preceded the Oduber bomb in the 3rd, then connecting for an RBI double in the 4th, and a single in the 5th. He would walk in his final plate appearance to finish the proverbial triple shy of the cycle while improving his line to .356/.396/.667 in his first 10 games at High-A.

The series concludes this afternoon as Ian Dickson (3-8, 5.27) faces off against top White Sox pick Carlos “Didn’t I Just Sign For You?” Rodon (0-0, 6.00). Potomac will then make the drive down I-81 to take on the Salem Red Sox for three over the weekend, then return to the Pfitz for three more next Tuesday through Thursday.

PLAYOFF OUTLOOK: Like an annoying neighbor, Lynchburg just won’t go away as the Hillcats have strung together three straight wins to remain three behind the P-Nats. Wilmington has fallen to five games back. Myrtle Beach has also reclaimed sole possession of first place in the Southern Division by a game over Winston-Salem, two and a half over Carolina.

Aug 072014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY vs. Louisville,
7:00 p.m.
Lively (1-2, 5.74) vs.
Marshall (0-7, 8.62)
Harrisburg Lost, 9-2 @ Reading,
7:05 p.m.
Espino (5-3, 5.07) vs.
Bootcheck (2-3, 6.06)
Potomac Won, 10-2 vs. Winston-Salem,
12:05 p.m.
Dickson (3-8, 5.27) vs.
Rodon (0-0, 6.00)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-2 vs. Kannapolis,
7:05 p.m.
Lopez (1-1, 2.89) vs.
McKenzie (2-3, 5.89)
Auburn Lost, 3-2 vs. Tri-City,
7:05 p.m.
A. Williams (1-2, 6.53) vs.
Ordosgoitti (2-3, 4.68)
GCL Nationals Lost, 6-1 @ GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 18-1 @ DSL Red Sox,
10:30 a.m.
W. Pena (2-4, 3.42) vs.
Jh. Diaz (5-2, 1.28)


Syracuse — OFF DAY
The Syracuse Chiefs’ nine-game homestand resumes with a chance to make some hay against the cellar-dwelling Louisville Bats for four games and the sub-.500 Charlotte Knights for three before they begin the first of two series against the third-place Rochester RedWings. Roster move: RHP Blake Treinen optioned from Washington.

Reading 9 Harrisburg 2
• Kroenke (L, 2-5) 2⅓ IP, 8H, 7R, 7ER, BB, 4K
• Dupra 3⅔ IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 3K, HR, 2-1 IR-S
• Ramsey 4-4, 2B, RBI, 2SB
• Vettleson 2-4, 2B

The Harrisburg Senators briefly held a 1-0 lead in their eventual 9-2 defeat at the hands of the Reading Fightin’ Phils. Cole Leonida doubled to lead off the 3rd and was singled in by Caleb Ramsey. Ramsey stole second before Reading immediately blew the game open in the bottom half of the inning against starter and loser Zach Kroenke. Three straight singles and a bases-loaded walk made the score 1-1. Two more singles, a double, and a Sebastian “Frankie” Valle single made the score 6-1 before Brian Dupra entered and threw a wild pitch to give Reading a comfortable 7-1 lead. Cutter Dykstra’s solo homer in the top of the sixth was Harrisburg’s last gasp of offense.

Potomac 10 Winston-Salem 2
• Spann (W, 8-5) 6IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K, HBP
• Walsh 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Ballou 3-4, 2R, 2B, 3B, BB, 2RBI
• Oduber 2-5, 2R, 2HR, 6RBI
• Miller 2-4, R, HR, RBI

Matthew Spann tossed six one-hit innings, Randolph Oduber drove in six Last Night In Woodbridge.
Roster move: UT Justin Miller released.

West Virginia 7 Hagerstown 2
• Estevez (L, 0-2) 1⅓ IP, 5H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 0K, HR
• Valdez 2⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K, 3-2 IR-S
• Difo 3-4, 2R, 2SB (39, 40)
• Yezzo 2-4, RBI

Starter Wirkin “For the Weekend” Estevez was tattooed for five early runs in the Suns’ 7-2 loss to the Power. Hagerstown managed only one run in the top of the 1st despite four singles, two stolen bases and a walk from West Virginia because both Rafael Bautista and Wilman Rodriguez were gunned down at second for the inning’s first two outs. The Power immediately erased the 1-0 deficit with an Austin Meadows homer. Estevez later gave up four straight singles and a walk in the top of the second before leaving with an ominous sounding “injured arm.” Austin “Power’s Powers” Meadows effectively put the game away with a two-out, two-run single against reliever Phillips Valdez. Hagerstown’s James “Mellow” Yezzo’s RBI single in the bottom of the 6th preceded Drew Ward’s rally-killing double play with nobody out and runners on first and second.

Tri-City 3 Auburn 2
• Bourque (L, 1-4) 4IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 8K, WP, HBP
• Swynenberg 2IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 0K
• Page 2-4, RBI
• Langlois 1-3, R, 2B, BB

With two out in the bottom of the 9th, Brian Langlois doubled, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on Matthew Page’s second single of the night to pull the Doubledays within one at 3-2. Alas, Osvaldo Abreu struck out to end it and there was no joy in Auburn as they dropped the series opener to Tri-City. James Bourque started and gave up all three ValleyCat runs on seven hits and a walk over four innings. Three relievers combined for five scoreless innings, but the offense was limited to seven hits and two walks while fanning 11 times.

GCL Cardinals 6 GCL Nationals 1
• Morales (L, 0-5) 5IP, 9H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K
• Yrizarri 3IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 2K
• Lora 0-3, BB, RBI
• R. Encarnacion 0-2, 2BB, SB

Four G-Cards pitchers combined to no-hit the G-Nats and take a 6-1 decision. Jose Morales started for the third time, but was perforated for nine hits and two runs over five inning. He struck out three but suffered his fifth loss in nine appearances. A walk, balk, and a wild pitch set up Edwin Lora’s RBI groundout in the 3rd that prevented the shutout. The G-Cards doubled down on reliever Deibi Yrizarri for two runs in the 7th and 8th innings to put the game out of reach.

DSL Red Sox 18 DSL Nationals 1
• Acevedo (L, 3-3) 2IP, 8H, 10R, 8ER, 2BB, K, HR
• D. Rojas 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Mota 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Franco 1-2

When a 17-y.o. position player is your most effective pitcher of the game, you know it was a blowout. The D-Red Sox pounded three D-Nats pitchers for 18 runs and 17 hits before Dany Rojas tossed a scoreless 9th with one walk. Israel Mota broke up the shutout with an RBI double to plate Neivy Pilier in the bottom of the 7th and was the sole batter to record multiple hits.
Roster move: RHP Yordani Garcia assigned from Washington.

Aug 062014
 

Postgame CelebrationThe regular season is now less than a month away, which means it’s time for the annual assessment of seeing minor-league baseball past Labor Day [insert Philadelphia Phillies joke here].

Since this site took off in 2010, the Nats have had multiple affiliates make the playoffs in each season — two in 2010, three in 2011, two in 2012, four last summer. Barring multiple collapses, that streak should continue. With a lot of luck, they could match last season’s high-water mark.

Obviously, development is more important than winning, but as a season-ticket holder, I’m biased towards the latter but also because it’s just plain more fun to write about a pennant race (hence a post like this, natch).

Without further ado, here’s a look at the odds of postseason play from AAA to the DSL…

SYRACUSE
For years, Syracuse was a collection of 4A replacement-level players so it’s confusing to see multiple players under the age of 25. But perhaps more unusual is that the team is winning and clicking on all cylinders. Unfortunately, they’re in a three-way fight with Pawtucket and Rochester and the schedule does not favor them. The Chiefs have eight games left against the RedWings, but just two against the PawSox, who also only have two against Rochester and an August schedule of also-rans. Meanwhile, Syracuse and Rochester play each other six times. Yes, there’s still the possibility of the wild card but we could very well see one of those three teams finish with a better record than the Southern or Western Division teams… and miss the playoffs.

HARRISBURG
The Senators are battling to not finish with the worst record in the Eastern League, and trail the Fightins by a game and a half to avoid that dishonor.

POTOMAC
The P-Nats are already in the playoffs, having won the first-half title for the Northern Division. With the first round a meager best-of-three, they still have the incentive to win the second half and get home-field advantage for all three games (currently, they will be home for the second and third game, if necessary; as first-half champs they had the choice of first game at home or hosting a deciding game). They have a three-game lead over both the Hillcats and Blue Rocks with four games left against each. Should they advance, the Mills Cup begins at the Southern Division series winner and finishes at the Northern Division, as is League custom in even-numbered seasons.

HAGERSTOWN
While some folks called it an epic choke, the reality is that the Grasshoppers pulled off a fantastic comeback to win the first half Northern Division title by finishing with 10 straight wins — the first three against the Suns. Hagerstown took three of four in late June but the two teams have been more or less even ever since. The Suns can get to the playoffs by either winning the 2nd half or by finishing ahead of the Intimidators Crawdads for the second-best best overall record (currently, it’s a 5½ game lead) in the Northern Division if Greensboro takes both halves. Hagerstown hosts Kannapolis tomorrow through Sunday. The Suns host the Grasshoppers for three games August 19-21, then visit Hickory the 22nd through the 24th. Like Potomac, should Hagerstown advance to the Finals, they’ll travel to the Southern Division Series winner for Games One and Two, then host Game Three, and if necessary, Games Four and Five.

AUBURN
Trailing State College by 8½ games, Auburn’s only realistic chance is to sneak in via the wild card. The good news is that they’ve beaten three of the four teams ahead of them in the wild-card race (Connecticut, Brooklyn, and Staten Island). The bad news: they have no more games against them. The fourth, Williamsport, they play just three times more at Falcon Park (Aug. 22-24). With a record of just 23-27, it would seem doubtful that they’d go far in the postseason, but with two short (best-of-three) series, anything is possible.

GCL NATIONALS
Unlike Auburn, the G-Nats do have a winning record… albeit against the. same. three. teams. But if they somehow manage to knock off the GCL East-leading G-Cards down the stretch, it’s only a one-game playoff to make it to the Finals, which are a mere best of the three.

DSL NATIONALS
With 36 teams in five wildly uneven divisions (ten, ten, six, six, and four), the D-Nats are riding an eight-game win streak but are still 3½ games out of the hunt for the wildcard, eight for the division despite a .589 winning percentage. As noted a couple of years ago, there’s very little parity in this league — nine teams are playing .600+ ball, six are below .400.

Aug 062014
 

Literally, the lights went out in the 8th. But figuratively, Brian Rauh was lights out for most of the night as Potomac tripled up Winston-Salem, 6-2.

The 23-year-old has had an up and down season thus far for Potomac, missing nearly two months from late April to late June, while shifting between starting and relieving over the last few weeks.

Thus, when he walked the first two batters in the 1st, his no-hit bid for three and a 1/3rd innings would almost go unnoticed. Courtney Hawkins, who’s venturing into Billy Rowell territory as he’s in his third season with the Dash but is only 21, broke it up with a one-out double in the 4th.

Rauh would let up his second hit in the 5th, and his third in the 6th, which came after his fourth walk to put runners on second and third with one out. A whiff (#4) and a lineout to third ended the threat and Rauh’s night.

Meanwhile, the offense broke out for three in the third. Dash pitcher J.B. Wendelken also hadn’t given up a hit, but that was over Estarlin Martinez got aboard with a swinging bunt single, followed by Pedro Severino’s first safety, then a two-run triple by Isaac Ballou. Tony Renda hit a flyball to medium center, which was deep enough for Ballou to, um, dash home with the third run.

Potomac got another run in the 5th, then two more in the 6th to extend the lead to 6-0 before Richie Mirowski had an adventuresome 7th as Winston Salem got to him for four flares/singles. A Stephen Perez error extended the inning and rendered one of the two runs given up unearned. Mirowski would strike out the side with a series of curves and changes.

As the pic shows, the stadium lights actually went out for 25 minutes in the bottom of the 8th, but the layoff didn’t affect the outcome as both teams put on a pair of runners in their final “ups,” but couldn’t push them across.

The Hillcats won to keep pace while the Blue Rocks dropped to four back of the P-Nats, who lead the C.L. North by three games. Tonight, it’s southpaw Matthew Spann (7-5, 4.65) against northpaw James Dykstra (2-0, 2.70) in game two of the series.