Jun 102014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 6-5 vs. Buffalo,
10:30 a.m.
Jordan (0-2, 4.06) vs.
McGuire (2-0, 2.29)
Harrisburg OFF DAY @ Erie,
7:05 p.m.
Poveda (1-2, 5.86) vs.
Ferrell (4-5, 4.67)
Potomac Won, 5-4 @ Carolina,
7:00 p.m.
Bacus (2-1, 3.12) vs.
Peoples (2-6, 5.36)
Hagerstown Won, 5-3 (12 inn.) @ Lakewood,
7:05 p.m.
Voth (3-3, 2.50) vs.
Viza (2-7, 4.65)
DSL Nationals Won, 7-5 @ DSL Yankees1,
10:30 a.m.
Nunez (0-0, 3.60) vs.
Cedeno (1-0, 0.00)


Syracuse 6 Buffalo 5
• Roenicke 5IP, 9H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 3K
• Cedeno (W, 2-0) 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K, 2-0 IR-S
• Madrigal (SV, 2) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, K
• Leon 3-3, 2R, BB
• Moore 1-2, R, HR, RBI, BB
• Walters 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI, BB

Buffalo and Syracuse battled back and forth before breaking through with two in the 7th and holding on for 6-5 win. Josh Roenicke was charged with the first four Bisons runs on nine hits and two walks over five innings. Xavier Cedeno got the win in relief, stranding a pair of runners in the 7th and pitching a scoreless 8th. Warner Madrigal was touched for a run on two hits in the final frame but earned the save, his second at the AAA level. Tyler Moore and Zach Walters both homered while Sandy Leon went 3-for-3 with a walk as the Chiefs totaled 10 hits and two walks on the night.

Harrisburg — OFF DAY
After taking the past two series at home two games to one, the Senators hit the road for three in Erie and three in Bowie as they continue their second of three straight weeks of Tuesday-to-Sunday with Monday off.

Potomac 5 Carolina 4
• Brach 5IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, K
• Self (W, 3-0) 2IP, 5H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K
• Benincasa (SV, 10) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• J. Miller 3-4, R, 2RBI
• Norfork 1-3, 2R, BB, RBI
• Piwnica-Worms 1-3, BB, RBI

Potomac decided to win this one an inning early with three in the 8th and held off Carolina for a 5-4 win, reducing their magic number to clinch to four. The 6-7-8 combo of Khayyan Norfork, Will Piwnica-Worms, and Justin Miller combined for five of the P-Nats’ seven hits, including back-to-back-back RBI singles that turned a 3-2 disadvantage into a 5-3 advantage. The rally took starter Brett Brach off the hook for a loss as he gave up those three runs on seven hits and two walks over fine innings. The win went to Derek Self, though he was peppered for five hits over two innings. Robert Benincasa registered save #10 with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Roster moves: LHP Kylin Turnbull placed on the 7-Day DL; LHP Chris Manno assigned from Washington; RHP Derek Self added to Carolina League All-Star Team.

Hagerstown 5 Lakewood 3 (12 inn.)
• Giolito 4IP, 0H, 0R, 3BB, 6K
• Davis 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Kieboom 3-5, R, 2B, BB, RBI
• Medina 2-4, BB, RBI
• Ward 1-4, 2R, 3B, 2BB, RBI, 2SB

The Suns broke a five-inning deadlock in the 12th with a pair of runs to stop a three-game slide with a 5-3 win, which reduced their magic numer to three. Lucas Giolito spun four no-hit innings, walking three but fanning six. His teammates had built a 3-0 lead with two in the 2nd and one in the third only to see Lakewood follow suit in the 5th and 6th innings off reliever Andrew Cooper. Four relievers combined for six scoreless innings afterwards, with the win going to Joseph Webb and the save going to Jake Walsh. Spencer Kieboom led the nine-hit, five-walk attack with a 3-for-5 game, including a walk, double, and a run scored.
Roster move: UT Jeff Kobernus transferred to Potomac for MLB rehab.

DSL Nationals 7 DSL Rockies 5
• Pena (W, 1-0) 5IP, 3H, 2R, ER, 2BB, 2K
• Cespedes (SV, 2) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K, 3-2 IR-S
• Pimentel 2-3, 3R, 2-2B, BB
• Robles 2-3, R, 2-2B, 2BB, SB, CS
• Perdomo 2-4, R

The D-Nats scored in each of the first three innings to build a 4-0 lead and held off a late charge by the D-Rockies for a 7-5 win, their third straight. Wilber Pena got the win, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks. Angher Cespedes let in two of three inherited runners with no outs in the 8th but finished out the game for his second save. Davinson Pimentel and Victor Robles both went 2-for-3 with two doubles to lead the D-Nats offense.

Jun 092014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-2
(5½ inn., rain)
vs. Buffalo,
7:00 p.m.
Roenicke (1-3, 5.29) vs.
Liz (1st AAA start of ’14)
Harrisburg Won, 4-2 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Lost, 10-4 @ Carolina,
7:00 p.m.
Brach (1-0, 1.64) vs. TBD
Hagerstown Lost, 5-4 @ Lakewood,
7:05 p.m.
Giolito (2-0, 2.29) vs.
Casimio (2-5, 5.22)
DSL Nationals OFF DAY @ DSL Rockies,
10:30 a.m.
Pena (0-0, 4.50) vs.
Julio (0-0, 3.60)


Buffalo 4 Syracuse 2
• Hill (L, 8-2) 5IP, 14H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 1K, 2HR
• Hood 2-3, R, 3B
• Solano 2-3, RBI
• Rhymes 2-2

Rain stopped this one short — two outs in the top of the 6th — as Buffalo doubled up Syracuse, 4-2. Taylor Hill was strafed for 14 hits, including a pair of solo HRs in the 4th, and all four Bisons runs as he lost for just the second time this season. Brian Goodwin singled in the second Chiefs tally in the 6th before play was stopped for the ninth hit of the game. Jhonatan Solano had the other RBI (his team-best 34th), following Destin Hood’s one-out triple in the 2nd.

Harrisburg 4 Akron 2
• Kroenke (W, 1-1) 7IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 3K
• Grace (SV, 3) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Dykstra 1-2, R, 2B, 2RBI, SF
• Taylor 1-2, 2R, 2BB, RBI, SB

If you’re only going to get three hits, it’s best to get them in the same inning. That, along with with some strong pitching, is how the Senators doubled up the ‘Ducks, 4-2 and take the, um, rubber match. Down 2-1 in the 6th, Michael Taylor, who walked, stole second, and scored on a Cutter Dykstra sac fly in the 4th, cashed in an error with an RBI single to it at 2-2. Dykstra struck again with an RBI double while Matt Skole got the third and final Harrisburg hit to plate Dykstra. Zach Kroenke got the win with a quality start of two runs on four hits over seven innings, though he walked four and struck out just three. Two perfect innings of relief from Matt Grace sealed the deal and earned the 25-y.o. Californian his third save.
Roster move: RHP Brad Meyers was released. Patriot-Times beat writer Geoff Morrow has the story.

Wilmington 10 Potomac 4
• Spann (L, 4-1) 4⅓ IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 2K
• Turnbull 2IP, 3H, 0R, BB, K
• Perez 2-3, R, SF, RBI
• Piwnica-Worms 2-4, RBI

Wilmington scored nine times in the 5th to end this one Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge.

Greensboro 5 Hagerstown 4
• Pivetta 4IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 3K, HR
• Thomas 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Walsh (L, 0-2) 1IP, 1H, R, ER, BB, 0K
• Bautista 2-2, 2R, BB, SB
• Kobernus 1-3, R, BB, CS
• Difo 1-4, R, HR, 3RBI

The elation of Wilmer Difo’s game-tying, three-run HR in the top of the 8th was short-lived as the Grasshoppers answered with one in the bottom of the 8th for a 5-4 win. Nick Pivetta struggled again, giving up four runs on six hits in four innings for the second straight appearance. Justin Thomas kept the Suns in it with three scoreless innings of relief before turning the ball over to Jake Walsh. A walk, single, one-out grounder that erased the trail runner, and a sac fly got the gamewinner home for Greensboro for their third straight triumph. Hagerstown managed just five hits total, with four of the hits coming from the 9-1-2 combo of Rafael Bautista (2-for-2), Jeff Kobernus (1-for-3), and Difo (1-for-4).
The Suns’ magic number remains at four with six days to go as they head north to play Lakewood for the next three.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
A 4-2 week has the D-Nats in second place in the Boca Chica South. This week it’s four on the road against the Rockies, Yankees1, Mets1, and Mariners and two home games against the NYC affiliates on Wednesday and Thursday.

Jun 082014
 

With a nine-run 5th, Wilmington turned a pitcher’s duel into a little bit of payback for a 10-4 win to prevent a series sweep by Potomac.

Potomac had taken four out of five and three straight games, winning in their final at-bat on Thursday, 3-2, walking off on Friday with five runs in the bottom of the 9th, 11-10 and dominating them on Saturday night for a 6-1 win.

The two teams matched zeroes through the first four innings, with Potomac managing a pair of singles in the 1st and Wilmington collecting two-out singles in the 2nd and 4th inning, the damage minimized by P-Nats southpaw Matthew Spann getting the leadoff batter in every inning.

Until the 5th, that is, when Wilmington loaded the bases on a single to right, a bunt single, and a walk. For a brief moment, when Spann got a grounder to 3rd that Oscar Tejeda threw home to get the inning’s first out, it looked like Spann might clean up the mess with just one more grounder.

Instead, two more singles and a double chased the 23.y.o. southpaw. A week ago, Wander Suero was brought in to save the day and delivered a game-saving performance. This Sunday, no hubo suerte for Suero as he let in two inherited runners and gave up four runs of his own on five hits, three of which left the yard.

Potomac prevented the shutout with a pair of runs in the 6th, as Randolph Oduber doubled in one run, and Will Piwnica-Worms singled in the other. They got two more in the 7th on a Pedro Severino double followed by a Tony Renda triple and a Stephen Perez sacrifice fly.

A six-run comeback was not in the cards as the last seven batters following Perez went down in order for the 10-4 final. The magic number remains at six as the Hillcats rallied from 11-3 after four innings to win 12-11 and remain within three games with a week left in the first half.

Potomac hits the road for a brief three-game road trip against the Carolina Mudcats before returning on Thursday for a five-game set against Winston-Salem.

Jun 082014
 

Velocity matters, but there’s a difference between throwing and pitching.

John Simms reminded us of that with a masterful 14-strikeout game in a 6-1 Potomac win over Wilmington. The 22-year-old Texan topped out at 91 mph and mostly threw in the high-80s. But as the old saw goes, hitting is timing and pitching is upsetting that timing.

The Blue Rocks batters were helpless against Simms’s changeup, which came in as slow as 73 mph. Not quite the Bugs Bunny slowball, but enough to induce 10 swinging strikeouts in which the batter was usually waaaaay ahead of the pitch.

Perhaps more impressive — Simms did this in just seven innings and walked only one. He did not hit a batter nor did he throw a wild pitch, for which catcher Cole Leonida, as all backstops should, deserves both mention and credit.

Thankfully, the masterful pitching was accompanied by more than enough offense, helped a little by some sloppy defense.

With one out in the 3rd, Randolph Oduber shot a bull past the Blue Rock matador playing third base to start the rally. Stephen Perez walked and the twosome pulled off a double steal to set up the No. 3 batter, Tony Renda.

Renda flared an opposite field single to deep right field to plate Oduber and Renda. Cleanup man Oscar Tejeda did just that by hitting his team-leading 9th HR with a blast to LF to complete the four-run binge and turn an early 1-0 deficit into a 4-1 advantage.

In the 6th, Will Piwnica-Worms and Cole Leonida led off with back-to-back singles to right and left, respectively. After Justin Miller tapped one to short, too slow to get more than one out, Wilmington relieve Aroni Nina threw one past the first baseman, sending in Piwnica-Worms and Miller all the way to third.

Estarlin Martinez waved at pitch up and out of the zone for a dribbler in front of the plate, but Blue Rocks catcher Cam Gallagher lost his grip and Martinez got the hometown scoring decision of a single. Oduber skied one to right to drive in Miller and complete the two-run binge that extended the lead to 6-1.

Simms, who had a streak of six straight K’s from the 3rd to the 5th, struck out the side in the 7th, with the last two looking (hoping) for his first win of 2014. Ian Dickson, who was the originally announced starter, came on in relief of Simms in the 8th and spun two scoreless innings to close out the game, striking out two.

With the win and a Lynchburg loss, Potomac’s magic number to clinch the first-half Northern Division title was reduced to six with one week left before the All-Star break. The two teams finish the series and their sixth game over the last six days with a matchup of Matthew Spann (4-0, 2.08) against Glenn Sparkman (2-1, 1.45) this afternoon.

Jun 082014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 6-3 @ Buffalo,
1:05 p.m.
Hill (8-1, 1.57) vs.
Hendriks (5-0, 1.91)
Harrisburg Won, 8-0 vs. Akron,
2:00 p.m.
Kroenke (0-1, 4.80) vs.
Roberts (5-6, 4.26)
Potomac Won, 6-1 vs. Wilmington,
1:05 p.m.
Spann (4-0, 2.08) vs.
Sparkman (2-1, 1.45)
Hagerstown Lost, 15-5 @ Greensboro,
4:00 p.m.
Pivetta (8-2, 3.75) vs.
Garner (3-4, 4.09)
DSL Nationals Won, 6-2 OFF DAY N/A


Syracuse 6 Buffalo 3
• Laffey (W, 7-3) 7IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 4K, HR
• Mattheus (H, 4) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Souza 2-4, 2-2B, BB
• Moore 1-3, R, 2B, 2BB, 2RBI
• Walters 2-5, 3B, 3RBI

Seven of the 11 Syracuse went for extra bases while Aaron Laffey turned in seven strong innings to lead the Chiefs to a 6-3 win over the Bisons. The 3-4-5 combo of Steve Souza, Tyler Moore, and Zach Walters combined to go 5-for-12 with four doubles, a triple, three walks and five RBI. Laffey allowed just two runs on five hits, with no walks and four strikeouts while earning his seventh win. Ryan Mattheus escaped the curse of the GBI with yet another 1-2-3 inning for his fourth hold.

Harrisburg 8 Akron 0
• Cole (W, 5-2) 5IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 7K
• Espino (H, 1) 3IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Ramsey 3-3, R, BB, 2RBI
• Hague 2-4, 3R, 2B
• Taylor 2-4, R, 2RBI

Three Harrisburg pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout while the offense pounded out 11 hits in an 8-0 shutout of Akron. Thanks to the long stretches watching his teammates duck up the opposing pitchers, Cole was limited to five innings, with just two hits and a walk allowed while striking out seven, but earned his 5th win. Caleb Ramsey reached base four times in four plate appearances and drove in two to lead the Senators attack, followed by Ricky Hague and Michael Taylor, who both went 2-for-4.

Potomac 6 Wilmington 1
• Simms (W, 1-3) 7IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 14K
• Dickson 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Tejeda 1-2, R, 2BB, HR, 2RBI
• Renda 1-3, R, BB, 2RBI, SB
• Perez 1-3, R, BB, 2SB

John Simms reminded us of the difference between throwing and pitching. Last Night In Woodbridge.
Roster moves: LHP Gio Gonzalez removed from roster; RHP Paul Demny activated from TIL, reassigned to Harrisburg.

Greensboro 15 Hagerstown 5
• Silvestre (L, 2-3) 4⅓ IP, 7H, 8R, 8ER, 2BB, 0K, 2HR, HBP
• Ramos ⅔ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, HR, BK, 3-3 IR-S
• Ballou 3-5, R, RBI
• Kobernus 2-4, 2R, HR, BB, RBI, SB

The Grasshoppers eclipsed the Suns with 10 unanswered runs in the middle innings of a 15-5 beatdown. Hector Silvestre, who had appeared to have broken out a funk in his previous outing, was lit up for eight runs on seven hits, including two home runs. David Ramos did his best to make the Greensboro batters look like his brother Wilson with a five hits allowed in the space of eight batters, letting in three inherited runners and giving up a three-run HR. Rehabbing Jeff Kobernus would appear ready to take a ride over to Wilson, NC to join the P-Nats tomorrow with a 2-for-4 game in which he walked, homered, scored twice, and stole a base.
Roster moves: RHP Jake Johansen placed on the 7-Day, retroactive to June 6; RHP Philips Valdez reassigned from Auburn.

DSL Nationals 6 DSL Rockies 2
• Ramirez 4IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 6K, WP, HBP
• Charlis (W, 2-0) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Perdomo 2-2, R, RBI, SB
• Martinez 2-3, 3B, RBI
• Robles 2-4, 3R, 2B, 2SB

The D-Nats scored the first four runs of the ballgame and took advantage of four D-Rockies errors as they closed out their first full week with a 6-2 win. Nector Ramirez started and went four innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out six. The win went to Fiyeral Charlis, his second, for two scoreless innings of relief with one hit, no walks, and no strikeouts. Four batters had two hits, with Andres Martinez racking up the most total bases with a triple and a single and an RBI.
Roster move: SS Leudy Molina assigned from Washington.

Jun 072014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-1 @ Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
Laffey (6-3, 3.72) vs.
Drabek (4-5, 4.37)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-2 vs. Akron,
6:00 p.m.
Cole (4-2, 2.54) vs.
Colon (5-2, 2.37)
Potomac Won, 11-10 vs. Wilmington,
6:35 p.m.
Dickson (1-4, 7.26) vs.
Manaea (2-4, 5.09)
Hagerstown Lost, 8-7 @ Greensboro,
7:00 p.m.
Silvestre (2-2, 3.24) vs.
Milroy (5-3, 2.70)
DSL Nationals Won, 10-9 vs. DSL Rockies,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD


Syracuse 5 Indianapolis 1
• Tatusko (W, 4-5) 6IP, 4H, R, ER, 4BB, 5K, HR; 1-2, RBI
• Delcarmen (H, 2) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Solano 2-3, 2R, BB
• Goodwin 2-3, R, BB, RBI
• Moore 1-2, 2BB

Ryan Tatusko gave up a home run to lead off the game, then shut down Indianapolis as his teammates rallied for two in the 2nd and
4th and took away a save chance with a run in the 8th for a 5-1 Chiefs win. The proud papa-to-be gave up four hits and four walks while striking out five to win his fourth game of the season. Brian Goodwin, Tyler Moore, and Jhonatan Solano each reached base three times as the Syracuse offense pounded out 11 hits and drew five walks.

Akron 5 Harrisburg 2
• Meyers (L, 1-4) 4⅓ IP, 9H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, K, 0HR
• Bates 2⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, K, HR, 3-0 IR-S
• Martinson 2-2, R, 2B, BB, HR, RBI, SB
• Ramsey 2-4

Harrisburg’s quest for a three-game win streak remain unfulfilled as Akron struck for three in the 1st and cruised to a 5-2 win. Brad Meyers failed to make it out of the 5th for the fifth time in five starts, as the RubberDucks pecked him for three runs and nine hits and three walks over four and 1/3rd innings. Jason Martinson was one-man wrecking crew, going 2-for-2 with a walk, a double, a solo HR, and a stolen base. The Sens managed nine hits total but just two came with RISP as they stranded seven and grounded into three double plays.

Potomac 11 Wilmington 10
• Gonzalez 3⅔ IP, 7H, 8R, 8ER, 4BB, 2K, HR(GS)
• Harper (W, 1-0) 2⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, K
• Oduber 3-6, 2R, 2-2B, RBI
• Tejeda 3-5, 2R, 2B, RBI
• Piwnica-Worms 2-5, R, 2RBI

The P-Nats batted around and scored five runs in the bottom of the 9th to take the series opener, 11-10 versus the Blue Rocks. Gio Gonzalez made the rehab start, and as frequently (usually) happens, the hype far exceeded the performance as the southpaw was hammered for eight runs on seven hits and four walks over three and 2/3rds innings. Potomac scored in each of the first four innings and had leads of 3-0 and 6-5 before Wilmington, the worst offense in the Carolina League, put up four-spots in the 3rd and 4th. Randolph Oduber struck out to lead off the 9th, then beat out an infield single to plate the gamewinner. In between, the P-Nats walked three times, singled four times, and tied the game on a sacrifice fly. The win, which was Potomac’s sixth walkoff this season, reduced the magic number to eight. Lynchburg kept pace with a 2-1 win, coincidentally its sixth walkoff win.
Roster moves: LHP Gio Gonzalez added to the roster for MLB rehab; RHP Paul Demny placed on three-day TIL for paternity leave, RHP Blake Schwartz activated from the 7-day DL.

Greensboro 8 Hagerstown 7
• Rodriguez 4+ IP, 10H, 7R, 7ER, 2BB, K
• Webb (L, 1-1) 2⅓ IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, K, 1-1 IR-S
• Difo 3-5, 2R, 2B, 3B, RBI, SB
• Wooten 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, 4RBI, SF
• Mesa 2-4, R

The Suns drew first blood with three in the first, but the Grasshoppers dug out of the ditch and put a hurt on Jefry Rodriguez to take this one, 8-7. Rodriguez was knocked from the game after giving up back-to-back doubles in the 5th, charged with seven runs on 10 hits anf two walks. He struck out just one. The loss went to Joe Webb, who left with a runner on third and one out in the 7th and watched from the dugout as the gamewinner came in on a sacrifice fly. Wilmer Difo was a home run shy of the cycle, going 3-for-5 with a double and a triple while John Wooten drove in four with a double, a solo homer, and a sacrifice fly as the Suns racked up 11 hits but drew no walks on the night.

DSL Nationals 10 DSL Giants 9
• Baez 4IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 5K, HR
• Acevedo (W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, HR
• Cespedes (S, 1) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Mota 3-4, 2R, 2B, HR, 4RBI
• A. Martinez 2-4, R
• Agustin 1-3, 2R, BB, RBI, SB

The D-Nats scored nine times in the 2nd inning but barely held on to win vs. the D-Giants, 10-9. Israel Mota’s three-run home run, his third of the season (really), capped off big rally as the 18-y.o. (well, you can never be sure) went 3-for-4 with four RBI to lead the D-Nat attack. Joan Baez started and went the first four innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks. The win was awarded to Carlos Acevedo as the least ineffective of the two reliever that followed Baez. Angher Cespedes got the save with two scoreless innings and four strikeouts.

Jun 062014
 


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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 34-26, T1st place I.L. North, 4½ games ahead

Good Zach Walters .275/.310/.600, 3HR, 8RBI since return from MLB (10G)
Bad Zach Jackson 0-2, 10.38 ERA, 2.08 WHIP in last 10 appearances
Interesting Ryan Mattheus 1BB, 1H, 0R allowed in last 7 appearances (10IP, 33BF)



HARRISBURG SENATORS 18-34, 6th place E.L. West, 14½ games behind

Good Rafael Martin 2-0, 0.00ERA, 0.52 WHIP in last eight appearances
Bad 472 team batting K’s, 11th in 12-team Eastern League
Interesting Still have not won three games in a row (H/T Mayflies & Bigflies)



POTOMAC NATIONALS 32-27, 1st place C.L. North, 2½ games ahead

Good Tony Renda .366/.435/.537 in last 10G
Bad Ian Dickson 1-2, 8.10/4.44/1.58 as a starter (6GS), 7HR total in 48⅓ IP
Interesting Travis Henke 1-0, 2.41 ERA, 1.23 WHIP since May 2 (2-0, 9.35, 2.42 in April)



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 41-19, 1st place Sally North, 6 games ahead

Good Ryan Ullmann 2-0, 1.36 ERA, 1.12 WHIP in 11 appearances
Bad 170 team BB, 9th in 14-team Sally Lg.
Interesting 320 team K, 1st (fewest) in 14-team Sally Lg.
Jun 062014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 7-3 vs. Indianapolis,
7:00 p.m.
Tatusko (3-5, 2.79) vs.
Locke (3-1, 4.14)
Harrisburg Won, 8-7 (12 inn.) vs. Akron,
7:00 p.m.
Meyers (1-3, 7.32) vs.
Murata (3-1, 1.95)
Potomac Won, 3-2 vs. Wilmington,
7:05 p.m.
Gonzalez (rehab) vs.
Santos (0-0, 3.00)
Hagerstown Won, 9-4 @ Greensboro,
7:00 p.m.
J. Rodriguez (0-1, 5.63) vs.
Garcia (5-2, 4.87)
DSL Nationals Lost, 4-1 vs. DSL Giants,
10:30 a.m.
Baez (0-1, 3.00) vs.
Vargas (1-0, 0.00)


Syracuse 7 Indianapolis 3
• Jordan 6IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 9K, HR
• Jackson (BS, 3) ⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Mattheus (W, 1-1) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Moore 2-4, 2B, HR(GS), 4RBI
• Souza 1-2, R, 2BB
• Burriss 1-3, R, RBI

Tyler Moore’s grand slam in the bottom of the 7th snapped a 3-3 tie to lead Syracuse to 7-3 win over Indianapolis. The big fly, which was third of the game for the Chiefs, made a winner out of Ryan Mattheus as the pitcher of record by getting the last out of the 7th. Taylor Jordan got the start and posted a quality start with two runs allowed on six hits and three walks while striking out a season high of nine batters. Zach Jackson followed him in the 7th but was dinged for a run on two hits in 2/3rds of an inning. As aforementioned, Jhonatan Solano and Brian Goodwin also homered while Steve Souza maintained his (commanding) I.L. leads in BA (.371) and OBP (.476) with a single and two walks in four PA.

Harrisburg 8 Reading 7 (12 inn.)
• Simmons 5⅓ IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 6K
• Dupra 3IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 4K
• Espino (W, 2-3) 1IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, K
• Skole 2-3, 2R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Taylor 2-5, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI, SB
• Latimore 3-5, R, BB, HR, 2RBI

Matt Skole managed to do what few can do in the minors — upstage the Cowboy Monkeys — with a two-out, three-run bomb in the 12th to turn a 7-5 loss into an 8-7 walkoff win for Harrisburg. Skole also doubled in the 9th as a pinch-hitter to key a three-run rally that sent the game into extras. James Simmons started but was knocked around for four runs on seven hits and three walks in five and a 1/3rd innings. The win went to Paolo Espino despite giving up two runs on four hits in the top of the 12th. Quincy Latimore led the Sens’ 13-hit parade with a 3-for-5 night, homering in the 6th to score the first two Harrisburg runs. The Eastern League named Michael Taylor as its Player of the Month for May, an honor not bestowed on a Senator since Stephen Strasburg in April 2010.

Potomac 3 Wilmington 2
• Bacus 6IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K
• Suero (W, 2-1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K, 2-0 IR-S
• Mendez (SV, 3) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Perez 2-4, R, 2B, SB(15)
• Pleffner 2-4, 2B, RBI

All-Stars Stephen Perez and Shawn Pleffner struck for doubles in the 9th while an error plated what proved to be the gamewinner as Potomac rallied for two in the 9th for a 3-2 win over Wilmington. The rally made a winner out of Wander Suero, who stranded a pair of inherited runners with no outs in the 7th and pitched two perfect innings of relief. Gilberto Mendez bounced back from his poor showing on Tuesday with a three-up, three-down, two-K ninth for his third save. Perez and Pleffner both went 2-for-4 to lead the P-Nats offense, which managed seven hits total. Potomac now leads the C.L. North by 2½ games, thanks to Lynchburg’s fourth straight loss. Their magic number now stands at nine with 11 games left to play in the first half.

Hagerstown 9 Greensboro 4
• Johansen 4IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 5BB, 2K
• Ullmann (W, 2-0) 3⅔ IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 0K
• Ward 3-5, R, 2-2B, 2RBI, E(13)
• Difo 3-5, 2R, RBI
• Bautista 2-4, 2R, 2B

A four-run 5th broke a 2-2 deadlock as the Suns scorched the Grasshoppers for a 9-4 win and reduced their magic number to clinch the Sally North first-half title to five. Jake Johansen struggled again with his control, walking five for the second time in three starts as he only went four innings, giving up two runs on five hits. He struck out just two in his fifth no-decision in 11 starts. Drew Ward doubled twice and drove in two while going 3-for-5 as Hagerstown lit up the scoreboard for 14 hits total. The win went to Ryan Ullman, who gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks over three and 2/3rds innings.
Roster move: UT Jeff Kobernus assigned for MLB rehab.

DSL Giants 4 DSL Nationals 1
• Bermudez (L, 0-1) 4⅔ IP, 4H, 2R, 0ER, BB, 6K
• Rosario 2⅓ IP, 1H, 2R, 0ER, BB, 0K
• Franco 2-3, 2B, BB
• Robles 2-4, SB

All four runs scored by the D-Giants were unearned, but they count just the same on the scoreboard as the D-Nats fell, 4-1. The loss snapped a three-game win streak by the D-Nats. Starter Juan Bermudez took the loss, charged with two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out six over four and 2/3rds innings. Sixteen-year-old 3B Anderson Franco singled, doubled, and walked to lead the D-Nats attack.

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In Day 1 of the Rule 4 Draft, the Nationals took a pitcher who had TJ surgery. On Tuesday. Mark Zuckerman has the story on Erick Fedde, who hopes to become the second high-round, injury-risk pick to make the big club out of the past five drafts.

With the 57th pick, the line between arrogance and confidence was broached again with another injury-history selection in LHP Andrew Saurez. Baseball America led with him in its Top 100 College Players story from last December.

Jun 052014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 11-2 vs. Indianapolis,
7:00 p.m.
Jordan (0-2, 4.32) vs.
Wilk (3-5, 4.95)
Harrisburg Won, 5-4 vs. Reading,
7:00 p.m.
Simmons (0-0, 2.79) vs.
Loewen (AA debut)
Potomac Won, 2-1 @ Wilmington,
7:05 p.m.
Bacus (2-1, 3.13) vs.
Binford (3-3, 2.68)
Hagerstown Won, 5-4 @ Greensboro,
7:00 p.m.
Johansen (4-2, 4.98) vs.
German (5-1, 2.24)
DSL Nationals Won, 11-9 @ DSL Giants,
9:00 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD


Indianapolis 11 Syracuse 2
• Roenicke (L, 1-3) 3⅓ IP, 8H, 7R, 6ER, 3BB, K, HR
• Stange 3⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 3BB, 2K, 2-1 IR-S
• Leon 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Souza 2-4, E
• Hood 2-4, R

Indianapolis put the brakes on the latest Syracuse win streak, pummeling the Nats’ AAA entry for an 11-2 win. Josh Roenicke took the brunt of it, hammered for seven runs on eight hits and three walks. The big blow was a three-run shot in the Indians’ four-run 3rd. Sandy Leon, Steve Souza, and Destin Hood each went 2-for-4 as the Chiefs were held to eight hits and had just three chances with runners in scoring position. Roster move: RHP Christian Garcia placed on the 7-Day DL, retroactive to June 2 (shoulder discomfort per MLB.com’s Bill Ladson).

Harrisburg 5 Reading 4
• Poveda 6IP, 9H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 9K
• Herron (W, 2-2) 1⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Grace (SV, 2) ⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, 3-0 IR-S
• Ramsey 3-4, R, RBI
• Dykstra 3-4, 2B, RBI
• Keyes 2-4, 2R, 2B, RBI

For the first time this season, the Senators dug themselves out of a four-run hole and scored the five runs of the game for a 5-4 win. Omar Poveda survived a three-run first and gutted out six innings, striking out a season-high of nine. He allowed all four Fightin runs on nine hits. Tyler Herron got the win with a huge assist/save by Matt Grace as the southpaw struck out the first batter he faced and got the second to ground out to leave the bases loaded in the top of the 9th. Cutter Dykstra and Caleb Ramsey both went 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Harrisburg offense, followed closely by Kevin Keyes, who scored the gamewinner after leading off the 8th with a double, taking 3rd on a flyout, and chugging home on a wild pitch.

Potomac 2 Wilmington 1
• Brach (W, 1-0) 6IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 4K, HBP
• Benincasa (SV, 9) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Pleffner 3-4, 2R, 2-2B, HR, RBI
• Renda 2-4

Shawn Pleffner wasted no time in showing why (hey now) he’s (an) All-Star, (getting his game on) with a 3-for-4 night with a pair of doubles and a solo HR in a 2-1 Potomac win over Wilmington. Brett Brach spun six solid innings, giving up an unearned run on three hits and no walks while striking out four, and getting his first win. Robert Benincasa got the last four outs, stranding two in the 8th and working around a walk in the 9th for his ninth save. Tony Renda went 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot while Will Piwnica-Worms drove in a run with a sacrifice fly as the P-Nats managed just seven hits total in the pitcher’s duel. Combined with Lynchburg’s third straight loss, Potomac has opened up a 1½ game lead in the C.L. North and has a magic number of 11 with 12 games left in the first half.

Hagerstown 5 Delmarva 4
• Voth (W, 3-3) 7IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 5K
• Walsh (SV, 6) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Difo 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Ballou 2-3, R, BB, RBI
• Bautista 2-4, R, 3SB

The Suns scorched the Shorebirds for five runs in the 5th to overcome a 3-0 deficit and held on for 5-4 win. All five tallies came with two outs as Hagerstown struck for five straight hits, including a two-run homer by John Wooten and doubles by Wilmer Difo, Drew Ward, and Spencer Kieboom. Austin Voth went seven innings and let in three runs (two earned) on seven hits and a walk while striking out five to even his won-loss record at 3-3 (yes, really). Jake Walsh pitched around a walk in the 9th to earn his sixth save. The three-game sweep lowered Hagerstown’s magic number to six as they notched their 40th win in 59 games. The Suns hit the road for tied-for-second-place Greensboro for four games, then Lakewood for three and could return to the Muni next Friday having clinched the first-half title.

DSL Nationals 11 DSL Red Sox 9
• Nunez 3⅔ IP, 5H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 4K
• Charlis (W, 1-0) 2+ IP, 5H, 4R, 2ER, 0BB, 4K
• Vargas (SV, 1) 2IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 2K, 1-1 IR-S
• Mota 3-4, 3R, 2B, HR, BB, 4RBI
• A. Martinez 3-5, 2R
• Agustin 1-3, 2R, BB, HR, RBI, SB

The two teams combined for 32 hits and eight errors but the D-Nats struck first and won the slugfest, 11-9 for their third straight victory. Starter Jose Nunez gave up just an unearned run on five hits and two walks over the first three and 2/3rds while striking out four. The win went to Fiyeral Charlis, though he was charged with four runs over two-plus innings. Miguel Vargas was credited with the save, allowing an inherited runner and one of his own over the last two innings. Israel Mota and Telmito Agustin both homered as eight of nine batters hit safely.

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Longtime readers already know this, but for the more recent visitors to this space… I don’t cover the MLB draft because I’m simply too busy keeping track of the teams and the players that are already here than to speculate, worry, or otherwise spend time on the guys who might be here. I can, however, refer you to a couple of folks who have put in that work…

…Ryan Kelley runs down the Top 50 Draft Prospects over at District Sports Page.

…Sean Hogan focuses on possible targets for the Nats, who pick 18th this year.

Jun 042014
 

With the release of the 2014 Carolina League All-Star Team roster, there will be multiple Potomac players for the second straight year.

SS Stephen Perez and 1B Shawn Pleffner are both scheduled to attend the 2014 Carolina-California League All-Star Game in Wilmington on June 17th.

It’s the first All-Star nod for Perez, who’s batting .297/.406/.396 with 14 steals, 26 RBI, and 35 runs scored and has appeared in 53 of the 57 games the P-Nats have played. His .406 OBP mark is 4th best in the Carolina League while his 32 walks is second-best. He’ll be the Carolina League’s starting SS.

Pleffner was a NYPL All-Star in 2012 and was held in purgatory Extended Spring Training until late April. If he had enough PAs to qualify, his .308 batting average would be in the Top 10. In 37 games he’s made just one error, and is arguably the best defensive 1B to play for Potomac over the past several seasons. He’ll be on the Carolina League’s bench.

Last season, three P-Nats were named to the exhibition — Billy Burns, Robbie Ray, Blake Schwartz — breaking up a streak of three straight seasons of just one player — Zach Walters, 2012; Destin Hood, 2011 (replaced by Jeff Kobernus); and Michael Burgess, 2010.