May 092015
 

A 20-y.o. pitcher making his High-A debut and first start of the season showed flashes of brilliance, but was ultimately humbled by batters four to five years older in an 8-7 loss by the Potomac Nationals to the Frederick Keys.

That’s the reality of what happened to Lucas Giolito on Friday night, but it might not play that way to the folks who have only read the breathless hype and cheerleading from Baseball America and others that’s accompanied him since he was drafted in 2012.

The Washington Nationals’ #1 prospect did not dazzle, did not blow away the competition, and ultimately lost his first start of 2015.

Did I mention he’s just 20 years old?

For the velo whores, you can unbunch your panties: Giolito was hitting the mid-90s. He had plenty of heat. What he lacked was command. It’s been written here before, but it bears repeating. It doesn’t matter how hard a pitcher throws, if a professional batter knows what’s coming, he can hit it. Low-A, High-A, AA, AAA, it doesn’t matter.

Giolito was clearly working on his changeup, his third-best pitch. His renowned 12-6 hammer was on display for a couple of whiffs in the 2nd, but for the most part, Giolito was struggling to get ahead, enabling the Keys 24- and 25-y.o. veterans to sit on fastballs in hitter’s counts and they cashed in, scoring four times on five hits in the 3rd to take a 4-2 lead and twice in the 5th (the first run was Giolito’s, the second was Justin Thomas’s) to go up 6-4.

Frederick never trailed after the 3rd, though Potomac twice pulled within one run at 6-5 and the ultimate score of 8-7.

Drew Ward (2-for-5) homered and doubled and drove in two as did Stephen Perez (2-for-3), who also walked twice as Potomac pounded out 14 hits total but also left on 10 baserunners, including the tying run in the bottom of the 9th.

The loss dropped Potomac to 11-17, four and a half games behind first-place Frederick and three and half games behind second-place Wilmington. Tonight, John Simms (0-2, 12.71) makes his third start against Jarrett Miller (0-1, 4.30) for Frederick in Game Two of the four-game series.

Apr 082015
 

Yesterday, the Washington Nationals affiliates officially announced the 2015 Opening Day rosters. Let’s take a look at who landed where to begin the season.

SYRACUSE
Watchlist Pitchers — A.J. Cole, Felipe Rivero, Taylor Hill, Matt Grace
Watchlist Position Players — Cutter Dykstra

HARRISBURG
Watchlist Pitchers — Abel de Los Santos, Bryan Harper, Gilberto Mendez, Joe Ross, Austin Voth
Watchlist Position Players — Pedro Severino, Stephen Perez, Tony Renda, Matt Skole, Shawn Pleffner, Drew Vettleson

POTOMAC
Watchlist Pitchers — Jake Johansen, Nick Pivetta, Matt Spann, Wander Suero, Justin Thomas, Jake Walsh
Watchlist Position Players — Spencer Kieboom, Chris Bostick, Wilmer Difo, Drew Ward, John Wooten, James Yezzo, Isaac Ballou, Rafael Bautista

HAGERSTOWN
Watchlist Pitchers — None
Watchlist Position Players — Raudy Read, Austin Davidson, Jose Marmolejos-Diaz, D.K. Carey

M.I.A. — Robbie Dickey, Ian Dickson, Lucas Giolito, Cody Gunter, Brian Goodwin, Reynaldo Lopez, Jefry Rodriguez, Hector Silvestre, Sammy Solis, John Simms, Kylin Turnbull.

Obviously, there are more that fall into that last batch… but for the sake of expediency, I’m limiting my analysis to the watchlist.

• For those of you who haven’t heard, Giolito and Lopez are both being held back in XST, and that’s presumably the case with most of the other pitchers.

• If indeed Lopez and Giolito are activated in late April, the best bet is for them to debut at the Pfitz during the midweek games of the first homestand in May.

• That Brian Goodwin isn’t ready is in line with our suspicion that he’s much further behind in his recovery than team officials have stated, which is hardly a shock given the amount of time it took for them to divulge that he had labrum surgery at all.

• It’s interesting that players on the DL have not yet been identified. While not a surefire indicator, it’s a least a hint as to where they might end up.

• Folks shouldn’t read too much into Hagerstown having no watchlist pitchers — they do have five 2014 draft picks, and one of the flaws of the watchlist is that short-season guys can (and do) get shortchanged if they don’t succeed right away in the GCL or the NYPL.

• It’s tough to make out what the plans are for Matt Skole with his placement at Harrisburg, but it may be more of a comment on the club’s wanting Ian Stewart and Kila Ka‘aihue in Syracuse and available as replacements for Ryan Zimmerman and/or Anthony Rendon.

• Felipe Rivero is not starting for Syracuse; the team announced a rotation of Cole-Jordan-Hill-McGregor-Billings.

• Austen Williams is the only other Opening Day starter that’s been announced.

• Finally, longtime Nats/Expos farmhand Devin Ivany is listed as a coach for the Senators.

As always, feel free to discuss in the comments. Opening Night — weather permitting :-( — is tomorrow!

Feb 202015
 

lucas-giolito
Spring training has only just begun but the prospect-ranking season, which never seems to end, culminated last night as Baseball America unveiled its 2015 Top 100 List.

Lucas Giolito, the undisputed* #1 Washington Prospect, came in at #7 this year. Joining him on the list are Michael Taylor (#32), Reynaldo Lopez (#49), Erick Fedde (#90), A.J. Cole (#91), and Joe Ross (#96).* Not counting parents, significant others, and agents, natch

The six prospects on the list is indeed the most ever for the franchise since it relocated from Montreal prior to the 2005 season. The previous high was four in 2011 when Bryce Harper (#1), Danny Espinosa (#66), Derek Norris (#72), and Wilson Ramos (#96) were all ranked. Four times the Nationals had just one prospect ranked in the annual preseason ranking (2005-2007, 2009).

Giolito is marking his third year on the list, having been ranked #21 last year and #67 in 2013, which are the bookends for the Tommy John surgery he underwent in August 2012 shortly after making his pro debut. In 2014, his first full season, he won 10 of 20 starts and turned in 98 innings, with a three-start layoff in May. He struck out 110 while walking just 28 for a robust pitcher’s line of 2.20/3.16/1.00, though he did give up seven HR’s (hence the just slightly better than league-average FIP).

The $64,000 question for 2015 is whether or not Giolito will progress to High-A Potomac after winning 10 of 20 starts made for Low-A Hagerstown in 2014. It lingers because the Nats do have a history of skipping top prospects from Low-A to AA, most recently with Brian Goodwin (2012) and previously with Bryce Harper (2011) and to lesser extent, Stephen Strasburg (2010) as it’s not as unusual for a collegiate “1-1” prospect to debut at that level.

The hope here is that the Nats handle Giolito much like Jordan Zimmermann (2008) or Taylor Jordan (2013) and give him 5-6 starts before sending him on his way to Harrisburg. Potomac opens at home this season, but a case of Hellenic flu could delay his debut for a week and allow for him to start on the road on normal rest four times, should the Nationals decide to split the difference while keeping him away from the DC area, as they’ve also done with high-profile pitchers (Matt Purke, 2012-2013).

On that note, here are the expected assignments for the rest of the Nats Top 100 guys:

  • Taylor — AAA Syracuse
  • Lopez — A+ Potomac
  • Fedde — GCL Nationals
  • Cole — AAA Syracuse
  • Ross — AA Harrisburg

Feel free to discuss in the comments (and stay warm).

Feb 052015
 

I might not have been waiting by the mailbox as I did in years past, but the arrival of the Baseball America handbook still merits the stop-drop-and-read treatment. Over the next couple of posts, I’ll pass along my thoughts.

You’ll not be shocked to learn that — yet again — the moves the Nats made in December were not reflected in the book. As much as I understand it, I do have to wonder if the folks in Durham are doing enough to account for this. In the meantime, you’ll have to adjust your reactions to some of the rankings.

Without the Souza trade, the Nats were still ranked 12th — up from 21st in last year’s book. As you might imagine, a lot of weight is given to yet-to-throw-a-professional-pitch Erick Fedde, viewed through a prism of praise for past gambles on injury-risk players that have paid off (Anthony Rendon) or seem about to (Lucas Giolito). Obviously, the additions of Trea Turner and Joe Ross would have to improve that ranking; how much is the stuff that comment sections were made for 😉

Let’s review how last year’s Top 30 fared:

Graduated (2) — Aaron Barrett, Blake Treinen

Traded (3) — Robbie Ray, Nathan Karns, Zach Walters

Rule 5 (1) — Adrian Nieto

Waived (1) — Eury Perez

Released (1) — Christian Garcia

Dropped Out (5) — Matt Purke, Jeff Kobernus, Brett Mooneyham, Robert Benincasa, Erik Davis

Perhaps the most encouraging trend is that we’re finally seeing a Top 30 with only “one hand” of 25-or-older guys (including Souza), though eight of them will turn 24 by the end of July. So this might be a hiccup unless we see more guys from the D.R. bubble up (hey, that rhymes!) the way eight of the top 30 have over the past two years.

With that, I’ll close with the Top 15 from the book and pick up on nos. 16-31 in the next post. Last year’s ranking, if applicable, in parentheses:

1. Lucas Giolito (1) 6. A.J. Cole (2) 11. Austin Voth (15)
2. Michael Taylor (7) 7. Wilmer Difo 12.Tony Renda (13)
3. Reynaldo Lopez 8. Drew Ward (17) 13. Pedro Severino (16)
4. Erick Fedde 9. Brian Goodwin (3) 14. Jakson Reetz
5. Steve Souza (10) 10. Nick Pivetta (22) 15. Sammy Solis (6)
Dec 192014
 

Baseball America for NPP
Having confirmed the new list via Twitter, here’s the new-and-improved Washington Nationals Top 10 list from Baseball America (Last year’s ranking in parentheses):

1. Lucas Giolito, RHP (1)
2. Michael Taylor, OF (7)
3. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP (–)
4. Erick Fedde, RHP (’14 Draft Pick)
5. A.J. Cole, RHP (2)
6. Wilmer Difo, 2B/SS (–)
7. Drew Ward, 3B (17)
8. Brian Goodwin, OF (3)
9. Nick Pivetta, RHP (22)
10. Austin Voth, RHP (15)

If you’re a TCU an A.J. Cole fan, you’re probably wondering what he did to drop three slots, but I think the better way to look at it is that the three guys ahead of him simply have either more upside (Fedde) or were in stratosphere this past summer (Taylor, Lopez).

Steve Souza was originally the #5 prospect on this list, though I think most most folks already knew this as the top 10 list was leaked (tweeted) earlier this week.

I’m a bit curious as to why Brian Goodwin remains ranked so high, given this tidbit (italics added):

They pushed him to Double-A Harrisburg by the second half of 2012, but he followed a lackluster 2013 with a horrific 2014 campaign at Triple-A Syracuse that ended on July 1 when he tore the labrum in his left shoulder sliding into second base.

Granted, Goodwin throws righthanded, but injury experts have long held that the torn labrum is baseball’s most fearsome injury, not to mention the conventional wisdom that shoulder injuries in general are what ends or alters baseball careers.

Unfortunately, BA did not weigh in on Difo’s defensive prowess so the SS vs. 2B debate will have to wait until the book is released or perhaps John Sickels’s book is released. They did, however, note that Drew Ward may outgrow 3B, pointing to his size-16 cleats and describing his footwork as merely adequate while noting his arm was strong and accurate.

BA’s projections for 2015 were as follows:

AAA –Taylor, Cole, Goodwin
High-A — Giolito, Lopez, Difo, Ward, Pivetta
Not specified — Fedde, Voth

I still believe Giolito will be jumped to AA (and would love to be wrong) because the Nats have not been keen on letting high-profile prospects play at Potomac (see: Strasburg, Harper, Goodwin). Voth is a near-lock to return to Harrisburg, while I’d expect Fedde to follow the track of Giolito and start out at the GCL and perhaps make an appearance with Auburn late in the year.

Oct 052014
 

Renda-Bunting-2014I had been hoping as I plugged away at this week’s column/post during my time confetti to be able to make some reference to how the parent club is doing in the playoffs. Now, I’m just hoping this will get read between wailing and second-guessing from last night’s 2-1 loss in 18 innings.

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE
The “other” fall baseball starts up on Tuesday, with sponsor-contrived exhibition festivities held last night (hence, the pic). It looks like there won’t be a taxi squad guy this year, as the Nationals also officially placed the seven players named in late August onto the roster of the Mesa Solar Sox.

BA TOP 20 PROSPECT LISTS
The love-fest for Reynaldo Lopez continues as Baseball America named him the #2 prospect in the New York Penn League, citing what we all know now: a 96-99 FB, a killer 11-5 CV, and a devastating changeup. Also named (#13) was catcher Raudy Read, who may be more intriguing given how thin the position had gotten. The trio of Pedro Severino, Read and Reetz are all under 22 and should populate the rosters at AA, Low-A, and SS-A with a resurgent Spencer Kieboom the likely starter at High-A (though he’ll be 24).

BA loves to double-dip, which is why Lopez got the nod as the #3 prospect of the South Atlantic League, two spots behind Lucas Giolito. In a bigger market, or a true baseball town, these two would have a nickname by now (Giopez?) though I suspect they won’t be teammates again until they’re both in AA. Coming in at #14 for the Sally Top 20 was Wilmer Difo, which I suspect is a function of his age (22) as twelve of the thirteen players ranked above him were 21 or younger.

TRANSACTION STUFF
So far, it’s quiet, which is the norm. Thus far, two players have been re-signed for next year — IF Cutter Dykstra and RHP Sam Runion. As much as we’d like to read into that, Occam’s Razor suggests it’s simply that both the organization and the player are content to continue with the 2014 arrangement for 2015.

2014 AFFILIATE SHUFFLE
Thankfully, the Nats affiliates will remain the same for another two years, which is hardly a shock — even with the rumblings in Hagerstown and Fredericksburg, which continues to be more talk than walk. It does however mean that they’ll be seeing some new opponents, as the Rockies join the Eastern League and the Cubs join the Carolina League, replacing the Twins and Rangers, respectively. Jamestown will be moving to Morgantown, which will require some new scheduling for Auburn and longer bus rides for everyone.

THE GCL NATIONALS
Let’s face it: No matter what this team did in 2014, it would be a disappointment compared to 2013. It also bears repeating that folks shouldn’t get too high or too low about performance in the short-season leagues (and yes, I’ve been guilty of that “crime”). So even though the team reverted to the mean — 25-35, .417 — there’s still some kids to get excited about (ok, that sounds a little creepy).
Offensively, the team was pretty much league average (4.32 vs. 4.37) but the pitching was second-worst in the league, giving up nearly a run more per game (5.32 vs. 4.37).

Without further ado…

TOP 5 BATS TOP 5 ARMS
1. Jakson Reetz, C, .285 GPA, 26BB in 43G 1. Jean Ramirez, RHP, 3.41/3.60/1.45, 0HR allowed in 36⅔ IP
2. Kelvin Gutierrez, 3B, .250 GPA, .934FA 2. Luis Reyes, RHP, 4.42/3.86/1.42, 2.95 BB/9
3. Aldrem Corredor, LF, .256 GPA, .411 OBP 3. Yorlin Reynoso, LHP, 3.38/3.97/1.75, 73.8 LOB%
4. Thomas Alvarez, 2B, .253 GPA, 4.65 RF/G 4. Maximo Valerio, RHP, 5.23/4.28/1.45, 7.3 K/9
5. “Fred” Aguero, IF, .249 GPA, .400 SLG 5. Jose Morales, RHP, 4.68/4.58/1.68, 3.03 BB/9


I’d give an honorable mention to Edwin Lora who batted .293 and stole 13 bases, but worry about the lack of doubles (just eight out of 53 hits). It was a stretch to name five pitchers, as it seemed like the best you could say for most of these guys is that they were still teenagers. Folks who are interested in seeing the entire team’s stats, should click here.

Aug 282014
 


With a long weekend to get the hell of out of Dodge enjoy, league offices aren’t waiting until the regular season is over to churn out the postseason accolades.

Well, two can play at that game. Here’s a look at the how the Nationals have been honored thus far this week…

SYRACUSE
Steve Souza was named the International League’s MVP and Rookie of the Year (an award that meant more prior to expansion) while necomer Billy Gardner took home Manager of the Year honors. Souza was also named to the postseason All-Star team along with teammates Emmanuel Burris and Brandon Laird.

HARRISBURG
Amid the worst season the Senators have had since the Expos became the Nationals, Michael Taylor was a bright spot until his callup to Syracuse (and briefly, Washington) as he was named the Eastern League’s MVP and Rookie of the Year as well as a postseason All-Star.

POTOMAC
The full list has not yet been announced, but should be soon as former National Michael Burgess was named to the C.L. Team and the Frederick folks have been quick to publicize the exploits of a 25-year-old in his fifth year at the High-A level.

UPDATE: Tripp Keister was named the Manager of the Year while IFs Stephen Perez, Shawn Pleffner, Tony Renda, and Oscar Tejeda were named to the Carolina League Postseason All-Star Team.

HAGERSTOWN
Lucas Giolito was named both Most Outstanding Pitcher and the Most Outstannding Prospect for the Sally League while Wilmer Difo was the third Nationals farmhand to garner an MVP title. Joining them on the All-Star team is outfielder Rafael Bautista, who leads the league with 66 steals.

The GCL, which finishes today, and the NYPL have not yet announced their postseason teams/awards.

Aug 012014
 


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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 62-49, 1st place I.L. North +.001 W% ahead

Good Emmanuel Burris .351/.422/.514 in July (17G)
Bad Taylor Hill 0-3, 5.48/6.67/1.69, 5HR in 5 July GS
Interesting Rafael Martin 38 consecutive IP w/o an ER (19⅓ at AA; 18⅔ at AAA)



HARRISBURG SENATORS 45-65, 6th place E.L. West, 20 games behind

Good Scott McGregor 1-0, 2.25 ERA, 0.85 WHIP in July
Bad Senators third baseman not named Adrian Sanchez = 19E, .875 Fld. Pct.
Interesting Adrian Sanchez 2E in 39G at 3B (.971 Fld. Pct.)



POTOMAC NATIONALS 20-18, 1st place C.L. North, .001 W% ahead (58-49 overall)

Good Pedro Severino .304/.368/.468 since All-Star Break (26G)
Bad Dakota Bacus 6.33 ERA, 1.66 WHIP in July (5GS)
Interesting 752 batting K second-fewest in the Carolina League



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 26-14, 1st place Sally North, 1 game ahead (70-40 overall)

Good Lucas Giolito (duh) 5-2, 1.95/2.90/0.87, 10.3K/9IP in last 10 GS
Bad Narciso Mesa 6BB drawn in 46G
Interesting Zero CG through 110G (tied with Asheville; Savannah has 8)



AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 21-25, 4th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 10½ games behind

Good Raudy Read .319/.350/.532, 4HR, 16RBI in July (25G)
Bad Connor Bach 4.96 ERA, 1.90 WHIP, 18BB in 7 appearances (16⅓ IP)
Interesting 3.87 R/G = 13th in 14-team NYPL



GCL NATIONALS 20-16, 2nd place GCL East, 4½ games behind

Good John Feliz 3-1, 1SV, 1.23/2.04/0.82 in 14⅔ IP
Bad Ryan Ripken .453 OPS in 51AB
Interesting 2012 Avg. Batter Age = 20.9
2013 Avg. Batter Age = 19.7 (2014 Lg. Avg)
2014 Avg. Batter Age = 19.2



DSL NATIONALS 29-23, 4th place Boca Chica South, 8 games behind

Good 17-y.o. Telmito Agustin .877 OPS, 22SB, 5CS
Bad 19-y.o. Michael Archibald 1-0, 7.43 ERA, 2.10 WHIP in 13⅓ IP
Interesting 20-y.o. Angher Cespedes 4-0, 7SV, 3.49 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 38K in 28⅓ IP
May 272014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 10-5 @ Rochester,
7:05 p.m.
Tatusko (2-5, 2.22) vs.
Diamond (2-5, 6.70)
Harrisburg Lost, 15-7 vs. Erie,
7:00 p.m.
Cole (4-2, 1.97) vs.
Ryan (3-5, 4.64)
Potomac Lost, 13-4 @ Winston-Salem,
7:00 p.m.
Simms (0-2, 4.33) vs.
Montas (2-0, 1.54)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-6;
Lost, 2-1
@ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Silvestre (1-1, 2.83) vs.
Vader (6-1, 3.16)


Rochester 10 Syracuse 5
• Jordan (L, 0-1) 3⅓ IP, 9H, 7R, 6ER, 2BB, 2K, HR, BK
• Jackson 2⅔ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 3K, 2-0 IR-S
• Souza 2-4, 2R, HR, BB, 2RBI
• Hood 2-5, 2R, 2HR, 2RBI
• Peterson 2-5, 2B, RBI

The Chiefs’ six-game win streak came to screeching halt with a six-run Redwing 4th en route to a 10-5 loss. Taylor Jordan suffered the loss, his first at AAA, and was torched for seven runs (six earned) on nine hits, and two walks while striking out two. He threw 68 pitches, 40 for strikes. Destin Hood homered twice and Steve Souza homered once; both drove in two as the Syracuse offense scored in each of the final four innings and racked up 10 hits total.

Bowie 15 Harrisburg 7
• Solis (L, 0-1) 3⅓ IP, 9H, 9R, 8ER, BB, K
• Simmons 2⅓ IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K, 2HR, HBP
• Nicol 3-4, R, 2B
• Sanchez 2-4, 2R, HR, 2RBI
• Keyes 2-4

It was a rough Monday Afternoon In Harrisburg for Sammy Solis in his AA debut.

Salem 13 Potomac 4
• Dickson (L, 1-4) 1⅓ IP, 5H, 7R, 7ER, 4BB, 2K
• Mooneyham 3⅔ IP, 3H, 3R, 4BB, 3K, 2-1 IR-S
• Tejeda 2-5, R, RBI, SB
• J. Miller 2-4, 2-2B, BB, RBI

After a four-run 1st, things looked pretty good for Potomac to win back-to-back games for the first time in nearly three weeks, but Salem hung 13 unanswered runs and took the series 3-1 with a 13-4 win. Ian Dickson took the loss with seven runs allowed on five hits and four walks over just an inning and a third. Oscar Tejeda went 2-for-5 with a run, a stolen base and an RBI while Justin Miller doubled twice as the P-Nats piled up nine hits but struck out 11 times in their 16th loss in May.

Delmarva 7 Hagerstown 6 — GAME ONE
• Lopez 4⅔ IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K
• Walsh (BS, 1; L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 2H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 0K, 1-0 IR-S
• Bautista 2-3, 2B, 2RBI, SB
• Difo 1-3, R, HR, 3RBI

A six-run 2nd wasn’t enough for the Suns pitchers as they allowed seven unanswered, including three in the 7th, for a 7-6 walkoff loss. Reynaldo Lopez became the latest fill-in starter for you-know-who as he made his Low-A debut with three runs on seven hits over four and 2/3rds innings. The 20-y.o. Dominican walked none and struck out three. Jake Walsh got the blown-save-loss as he allowed two hits and two walks in the space of seven batters in the 7th, as the winning run scored on Drew Ward’s 12th error to end the game. Wilmer Difo homered and drove in three while Rafael Bautista went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI to lead the Hagerstown offense.

Delmarva 2 Hagerstown 1 — GAME TWO
• Cooper 5IP, 5H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K
• Orlan (L, 0-2) 1IP, 1H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Ballou 1-3, R, 3B
• Bautista 1-2

Hagerstown scored first again in the nightcap, as Isaac Ballou tripled and scored on an error to lead off the game for an early 1-0 lead. It would be the first of just two hits for the Suns as they were edged 2-1 to complete the Shorebirds doubleheader sweep. Andrew Cooper started and went the first five innings, letting in a run on five hits while walking none and fanning two. R.C. Orlan gave up a solo home run in the 6th to take the loss. Rafael Bautista’s bunt single in the 3rd and walks by John Wooten and Craig Manuel summed up the rest of the Suns offense on the night.
Roster moves: RHP Phillips Valdez reassigned to Auburn, RHP Reynaldo Lopez reassigned from the GCL Nationals.

May 182014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-1 vs. Columbus,
2:00 p.m.
Laffey (4-1, 3.82) vs.
Bauer (4-1, 2.15)
Harrisburg Won, 5-0;
Won, 9-3
vs. New Britain,
2:00 p.m.
Purke (1-5, 7.90) vs.
Rogers (3-3, 5.65)
Potomac Won, 2-1;
Lost, 4-3 (8 inn.)
@ Myrtle Beach,
6:05 p.m.
TBD Schwartz (1st A+ start of ’14) vs.
Parra (4-1, 4.10)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-2 @ Lexington,
2:05 p.m.
Voth (1-2, 1.87) vs.
Junis (4-2, 3.16)


Columbus 8 Syracuse 1
• Tatusko (L, 1-5) 7IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 4K
• Jackson 1IP, 3H, 4R, 3ER, BB, K, 0HR
• Souza 3-4, R, 2B, 3B
• Peterson 2-3, RBI, HBP

Beginning with a three-run 6th, the Clippers scored eight unanswered runs in the last four frames to, um, sail past the Chiefs 8-1 in the series opener. Starter Ryan Tatusko went a season-high seven innings but also surrendered four runs on six hits and a walk to take his fifth loss. For the fourth straight appearance, Zach Jackson was gashed for multiple runs with a four-run pounding in the 8th. Steve Souza singled, doubled, and tripled to push his OPS to an even 1.000 while raising his BA to .347

Harrisburg 5 New Britain 0 — GAME ONE
• Cole (W, 4-2) 7IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 8K, 98-68 P-K
• Ramsey 2-3, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Dykstra 1-3, R, HR, RBI
• Taylor 1-4, R, HR, RBI

A.J. Cole threw a seven-inning complete-game shutout in the opener for a 5-0 win in the opener. Cole pounded the zone for 68 strikes out 98 pitches, walked none, and allowed just four hits as he earned his fourth win. Caleb Ramsey drove in two with a double in the 5th and went 2-for-3 overall to lead the Senators hit column. Cutter Dykstra and Michael Taylor both hit solo HRs.

Harrisburg 9 New Britain 3 — GAME TWO
• Dupra 3⅔ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 3K
• Holland (W, 4-1) 1⅓ IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K, 1-0 IR-S
• Keyes 3-3, 2R, HR, 3RBI
• Skole 2-2, 3R, 2B, BB
• Taylor 2-3, 2R, HR(10), BB, 2RBI

The Sens completed the doubleheader sweep with a 9-3 win in the nightcap. It was the third time this season they’ve won back-to-back games. Spot starter Brian Dupra gave up two runs on four hits and three walks over three and 2/3rds. Neil Holland stranded a runner in the 4th and was touched for a run in the 5th but got win #4 nevertheless. Kevin Keyes drove in three and went 3-for-3 while Michael Taylor and Justin Bloxom both hit two-run homers as Harrisburg made the most of its eight hits and four walks in six turns at bat.

Potomac 2 Myrtle Beach 1 — GAME ONE
• Pena (W, 3-1) 5IP, 5H, R, ER, 4BB, 2K
• Harper (H, 3) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Self (SV, 2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Tejeda 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI

Oscar Tejeda’s two-run shot in 4th was enough as three Potomac pitchers held Myrtle Beach to a single run for a 2-1 win in the first game. Ronald Pena was charged with that run on five hits and four walks but got his third win. Bryan Harper and Derek Self each tossed a scoreless inning for hold #3 and save #2, respectively.

Myrtle Beach 4 Potomac 3 (8 inn.)— GAME TWO
• Simms 6IP, 6H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Mendez (L, 1-2) 1⅔ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Tejeda 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Perez 1-3, R, BB

The Pelicans have the number of Gilberto Mendez, as they got to him for three runs in the last of the 8th to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 walkoff win to split the twinbill. It was the second loss of ’14 for Mendez, both to Myrtle Beach, as he was charged with three runs on five hits over an inning and 2/3rds. Starter John Simms gave up one run on six hits and one walk over the first six innings for his third no-decision in four A+ starts. Oscar Tejeda homered again while going 2-for-4 and Steven Perez reached base twice with a walk and a single to lead the Potomac offense.

Lexington 5 Hagerstown 2
• Silvestre 5IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 1K
• Orlan (L, 0-1) 3IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 4K, HR, WP
• Difo 3-5
• Medina 1-2, BB, CS

After trading single runs twice, the Legends broke through for three in the last of the 8th for 5-2 sportswriter’s win against the Suns. Hector Silvestre made the start in place of Lucas Giolito and spun five frames of one-run ball, with one hit and one walk and… wait for it… one strikeout. R.C. Orlan took the loss with four runs given up on four hits and two walks. Wilmer Difo remains red-hot, going 3-for-5, but the rest of the Hagerstown lineup managed just five hits and left on 10 baserunners.