Jul 252015
 

Down 3-0, the Potomac Nationals got back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases in the bottom of the 7th.

Then the #8 hitter (Cody Dent) struck out swinging. So did the #9 hitter (Narciso Mesa), albeit on a check wwing. Then—if you;ve been playing along at home, you know what’s coming—the leadoff man flailed and failed for the third whiff and the end of the inning.

Frederick would tack on two in the top of the 8th, as Potomac inexplicably (well, maybe not — they’ve got seven starters and five relievers on the staff right now) sent an ineffective Justin Thomas out for a fourth inning of work, where he was predictably lit up for two more runs to put the game out of reach at 5-0.

The P-Nats would break up the shutout with a run in the bottom of the 8th, as Anthony Rendon drew a leadoff walk and scored on John Wooten’s subsequent double for the game’s eventual 5-1 outcome.

Phillips Valdez got the start but struggled with his command, walking three as he wobbled through four scoreless innings. Thomas came on in the 5th and worked around a leadoff walk to retire the side, but gave up the winning runs — with an “assist” from Drew Ward’s 21st error in 77 games — in the 6th to garner the loss.

The P-Nats matched the Key with eight hits, with Wooten and Grant DeBruin both going 2-for-4 with a double, but were an abysmal 1-for-14 with RISP and left on eight runners in the loss, which was their third straight and ninth in ten games to fall back into the Carolina League North cellar at 12-15 in the second half.

Potomac now hits the road for six games — three against Salem, three against Myrtle Beach — before they return to the Pfitz next Friday.

Jul 182015
 

Myrtle Beach scored in six of nine innings while Potomac struggled to score at all, as the Woodbridge nine fell for the third straight gane, 7-2.

Lucas Giolito got the start on Friday night, but struggled with his command. As is often the case with high-profile prospects, it’s diffiuclt to separate the talent from the results. Giolito had moments where his changeup was a thing of beauty, as the Pelicans were light years ahead of the pitch. Yet Giolito “only” struck out four in five innings. And walked three — his second-highest total in 12 starts (oh, the horror).

Giolito would finish with a crooked line of 5IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K, WP — not great, but not horrid, either.

While it might not satisfy the fair-weather fans, it’s fair to say that the Nats’ #1 prospect, and the #1 overall prospect according to some midseason prospect rankings (or is that post-preseason rankings?) might not yet be ready for AA just yet. And that’s okay. We’re still talking about a player that turned 21 this week.

Ulitmately, as has been the case for the past three games, it’s about the Potomac offense and its inability to score consistently. In three games against the Pelicans, they’ve collected 14 hits and scored four runs. It should come as no surprise that that’s resulted in three losses.

Veteran Khayyan Norfork was 2-for-4 and scored both runs, but the rest of the lineup was an atrocious 3-for-29 with one walk. The P-Nats had just four chances with runners in scoring position, and the one hit was a bunt single that scored the first run.

The series concludes tonight with a matchup of Phillips Valdez (3-2, 4.66) versus Jeremy Null (0-1, 4.24).

May 312015
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-2 @ Durham,
5:05 p.m.
TBD vs. Andriese (0-0, 4.35)
Harrisburg Lost, 3-2 @ Bowie,
2:05 p.m.
Ross (2-2, 3.05) vs.
Ramos (0-0, 0.00)
Potomac Lost, 11-1 vs. Myrtle Beach,
1:05 p.m.
Pivetta (3-3, 1.41) vs.
Skulina (1-3, 4.25)
Hagerstown Lost, 3-2 vs. Kannapolis,
3:05 p.m.
Dickey (0-0, 10.12) vs.
Almonte (3-2, 3.72)


Durham 4 Syracuse 2
• Espino 6⅔ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 8K, 2HR
• Davis 1⅓ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 1K, 1-0 IR-S
• Burriss 2-3, BB
• Dykstra 2-4, R

Make that six straight losses for Syracuse as Durham rallied in the 8th for a 4-2 win. Paolo Espino got the start in place of Taylor Hill and gave up two homers and four hits total over six and 2/3rds innings. He walked one and struck out eight. Erik Davis took the loss as he was dinged for two runs in the 8th. Emmanuel Burriss and Cutter Dykstra both singled twice as the Chiefs compiled nine hits (all singles) and three walks on offense.
Roster move: RHP Taylor Hill recalled to Washington.

Bowie 3 Harrisburg 2
• Voth (L, 2-3) 7IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 8K
• De Los Santos 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Renda 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Vettleson 1-3, BB

Bowie rallied for three in the 6th to turn a 2-0 deficit into eventually winning score of 3-2 over Harrisburg. Austin Voth suffered the loss, his third, with all three BaySox runs allowed on six hits and a walk while fanning eight. Abel De Los Santos worked around a walk in the 8th. The Senators were held to just five hits, with Tony Renda going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI to lead the way. Drew Vettleson was the only other hitter to reach base twice as he walked in the 4th and singled in the 8th.

Myrtle Beach 11 Potomac 1
• Lopez (L, 2-2) 5IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 6K, HR
• K. Perez 1+ IP, 1H, 5R, 5ER, 4BB, 0K, HR
• Wooten 2-4
• S. Perez 1-3, 3B, RBI

Potomac pitchers were off the mark Last Night In Woodbridge.

Kannapolis 3 Hagerstown 2
• Bach (L, 1-1) 4IP, 3H, R, ER, 5BB, 4K
• Cooper 3IP, 4H, R, ER, BB, K
• DeBruin 3-4, 2R, 2-2B
• Abreu 1-3, 2B, BB

Hagerstown matched Kannapolis’s single runs in the 7th and 9th inning but not in the 2nd as they fell, 3-2. Connor Bach took the loss, giving up a run on three hits and five walks while setting down four on strikes over four innings. Andrew Cooper let in a run over three innings while Sam Johns gave up a run over two. The offense was held to four hits: three by Grant DeBruin, who doubled twice and scored both Suns runs, and Osvaldo Abreu’s 1st inning double. The rest of the lineup was 0-for-21 with a sacrifice hit and a sacrifice fly.

Trea Turner Update
The rain on Friday merely postponed Turner’s next three hits in Saturday’s doubleheader as the 21-y.o. went 3-for-8 with two RBI, two runs scored, and two strikeouts.

Editor’s Note
While the DSL Nationals were rained out yesterday, it should be noted that I have decided to drop day-to-day coverage of the GCL and DSL. I think I can handle the addition of Auburn to my morning writing session but I know I can’t handle all three short season teams consistently without making sacrifices to the overall coverage. I’m hoping to develop something that I can write on Sundays to summarize those two levels.

May 282015
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 3-0 @ Norfolk,
12:05 p.m.
Billings (1-3, 4.10) vs.
Villanueva (1-1, 5.23)
Harrisburg Lost, 12-0 @ Richmond,
6:35 p.m.
Ross (2-2, 3.05) vs.
Marte (4-0, 3.31)
Potomac Lost, 3-1;
Lost, 5-1
vs. Wilmington,
7:05 p.m.
Simms (1-4, 4.44) vs.
Caramo (2-2, 2.40)
Hagerstown Lost, 8-5 vs. Kannapolis,
7:05 p.m.
Valdez (5-2, 1.47) vs.
Peralta (1-4, 9.45 ERA)


Norfolk 3 Syracuse 0
• McGregor (L, 3-4) 7IP, 8H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K
• Meek 1IP, 4H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Minicozzi 2-3
• Ramsey 0-2, 2BB

The Chiefs bats remained AWOL as the Tide shut them out, 3-0 for Syracuse’s third straight loss. Scott McGregor was the hard-luck loser, letting in two runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out three. Mark Minicozzi singled twice while Darin Mastroianni and Tony Gwynn Jr. each singled once to account for the four (4) hits. Caleb Ramsey drew two of the four walks as the Chiefs left on all eight baserunners and were 0-for-4 with RISP.

Richmond 12 Harrisburg 0
• Bleier (L, 3-1) 4⅔ IP, 8H, 8R, 8ER, BB, 2K
• De Los Santos 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Robinson 1-3, BB
• Vettleson 1-3, BB

The Harrisburg defense blocked two extra points but couldn’t cross the goal line in a 12-0 loss to Richmond. Reigning E.L. Pitcher of the Week Richard Bleier took the brunt of the beating, charged with eight runs on eight hits and a walk over four and 2/3rds innings for his first AA loss of the season. The Senators offense was held to four singles, one double (Brian Goodwin), and five walks with Brian Jeroloman the only batter to reach base three times on a single and two walks.

Wilmington 3 Potomac 1 — GAME ONE
• Spann (L, 0-5) 6IP, 9H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 6K, HR
• K. Perez 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Ward 1-3, R, 2B
• Yezzo 1-3, 2B

The lack of hitting was spotted in Woodbridge, too, in a 3-1 Potomac loss to Wilmington. Matt Spann took the loss, his fifth, while giving up all three Blue Rocks runs on nine hits and a walk. The P-Nats 5th encapsulated the offensive struggles as Brandon Miller drew a leadoff walk and would have scored on a James Yezzo double to the right-center gap had it not bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double. Miller and Yezzo would watch the next two batters strike out then a flyout ended the 2nd-and-3rd no-out threat.

Wilmington 3 Potomac 1 — GAME TWO
• Mapes 4IP, 5H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Johansen (L, 1-4) 3IP, 6H, 5R, 4ER, 0BB, 1K
• Kieboom 2-3, 2-2B
• S. Perez 1-2, 2B, SF, RBI

Wilmington broke open a 0-0 game with a five-run 5th and easily took the nightcap, 5-1 to sweep the doubleheader. Starter Tyler Mapes scattered five hits over four scoreless innings with no walks and four K’s. The loss went to Jake Johansen, who was pummeled for a second straight appearance as the Blue Rocks sent nine men to the plate in his first inning of work and five of them came in to score. Spencer Kieboom doubled twice and Stephen Perez doubled once to account for three of the four hits and the sole run (Perez sac fly in the 6th) that Potomac produced.

Greensboro 8 Hagerstown 5
• Reyes 5IP, 8H, 4R, 3ER, 0BB, 4K, 2HR, WP
• Mooneyham (L, 0-2) 1IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, HBP, 2WP
• Masters 3-4, R, 2B
• DeBruin 3-4, RBI

Greensboro prevented a three-game sweep by Hagerstown with an 8-5 win in the series finale. Losing pitcher Brett Mooneyham gave up the decisive three runs on four hits, a hit batsman, and two wild pitched in one inning thrown. Starter Luis Reyes was dinged for four runs (three earned) on eight hits, including two solo HRs. The Suns collected 12 hits — five less than the rest of the Nats minors on Wedensday — with David Masters and Grant DeBruin both going 3-for-4.

Trea Turner Update
Turner struck out twice and was only 1-for-4 on Wednesday, which dropped his batting average to a paltry .342 but extended his hit streak to 13 games.

May 102015
 

Potomac’s losing streak was extended to three as they were shut out for the second time this season, 4-0 by the first-place Frederick Keys.

Perhaps the outcome was evident from the first inning, which began with such promise. Isaac Ballou led off with a line-drive single to right, followed by a ‘tweener that fell in to short right-center off the bat of Christopher Bostick. Stephen Perez then drew the first of two walks on the night to load the bases.

Then Spencer Kieboom was caught looking. Drew Ward swung and missed for another K. John Wooten worked the count full, which allowed the runners to take off and ensure that at least two runs would score on anything that got out of the infield.

Nope — Wooten whiffed. It was the first and best chance for Potomac to score.

The next-best chance came in the 5th when Ballou walked and took third on another Bostick single to short right-center, though an on-line throw would have got him. Bostick advanced on the throw, which missed third but was backed up by the pitcher.

Perez flew out to shallow center and Ballou ran the P-Nats out of the inning by getting thrown out at the plate.

John Simms, who had been hit hard in his first two starts, was the hard-luck loser as he turned in a quality start of two runs allowed on four hits and no walks over six innings.

Jake Johansen was the first man out the ‘pen and also had the misfortune of a one-out error followed by a double, which forced the Potomac infield to play in. Sure enough, Frederick’s John Ruettiger bounced one up the middle to double the Keys lead from 2-0 to 4-0.

It was mostly a moot point, though, since P-Nats went down in order in the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th as Keys reliever Dennis Torres was perfect while earning his first save of the season.

The loss dropped Potomac to 11-18 for the season, five and half behind Frederick and just a game and a half out of the Carolina League North cellar.

Today, it’s a matchup of southpaws Matthew Spann (0-4, 5.87) faces off against Jhonathan Ramos (0-0, 1.93).

Apr 102014
 

wheelscameoffthebus
It came an inning later than the previous night, but the wheels came off the bus with another big inning in the early going as Lynchburg pummeled Potomac, 9-1.

It only took three batters for the Hillcats to score in the 1st as Josh Elander served up a two-run shot to the opposite field to give the visitors an early 2-0 lead. Things would not go much better in the second with a leadoff triple and a grounder to 1st plating the third Lynchburg run.

On a night where P-Nats highlights were few and far between, Brandon Miller broke up the no-hitter and the shutout with a solo homer to right (yes, the wind was blowing that way, but it was only 5 m.p.h.) with one out in the 2nd. Tony Renda collected the second hit for the Woodbridge nine with a liner 3-4 hole into right field in the fourth and took second on a wild pitch.

Alas, Potomac would have just one more baserunner — a one-out walk by Mike McQuillan in the 6th — before McQuillan and Renda would lead off the 9th with their second walk and hit, respectively. Veterans Oscar Tejeda and Kevin Keyes couldn’t cash them in though as they hit into double play and struck out to end the bid for a second run.

Ronald Pena (0-0, 12.27) will take the hill for the P-Nats this morning in front of hundreds of screaming girls. Unfortunately, they’ll be middle schoolers there for the annual Science Day promotion. Lynchburg will be going for the sweep with Mauricio Cabrera (0-0, 2.25) on the bump for the Hillcats.

Aug 122013
 

That Potomac will win both halves of the 2013 season still seems pretty certain. Whether they’ll advance to the Mills Cup Finals is not.

Playing flat on offense and sloppy on defense, the P-Nats lost 5-2 in 10 innings to the Mudcats for their fourth straight defeat.

Sammy Solis got the start, essentially his 10th as his lone relief appearance was a continuation of a suspended game, and set down the side in order in the 1st. It should have been four in a row but newcomer Brandon Miller, who’s been on a tear on offense, looked like the second coming of Chris Marrero in left field on defense as he misplayed a flyball into a leadoff double in the 2nd.

Solis nearly pitched around the mistake but a two-out double to right-center plated the first Carolina run. It happened again in the 3rd: a flyball that a stronger defender would have caught fell in for a double, Solis getting two outs before giving up the RBI hit.

At the plate, Potomac didn’t get a hit until Cole Leonida led off the 3rd with a single to right and didn’t get a runner into scoring position until the 5th, when Carolina’s defense returned the favor with a passed ball and two errors by second baseman Joe Wendle to allow the P-Nats to tie with just one clean hit, coincidentally a single by Brandon Miller.

Solis was pulled after five innings, finishing with two runs on six hits and a walk and four strikeouts. Colin Bates was summoned from the ‘pen, which has been asked to pitch four or more innings in seven straight games, and turned in two scoreless innings. He couldn’t make it three, giving up a single and a double to open the 8th.

Rafael Martin bailed out Bates by striking out the side in the 8th and worked around a one-out single in the 9th.

As you might have already guessed, after the 5th, the Potomac offense threatened just once more — putting runners on 1st and 2nd with a one-out walk by Justin Miller and Leonida’s second single in the 7th only to have Randolph Oduber strike out for third time.

Robert Benincasa took over from the Martin in the 10th and was tagged for three runs on a walk, single, triple, and another single to suffer his third loss and the third straight outing with a run allowed.

The P-Nats would go down in order in the 10th for their sixth loss in seven games — all to the Carolina League South’s top two teams, Carolina and Myrtle Beach, which are separated by just a 1/2 game in the race for the 2nd half title.

Blake Schwartz (9-4, 2.92) will be tasked with breaking Potomac’s losing streak tonight, if not giving the bullpen some badly needed rest. He’ll be opposed by Nick Pasquale (4-6, 4.56) for Carolina.

May 142013
 

About the only thing colder than the weather were the P-Nats bats, held to just six hits in a 7-0 shutout by the Dash.

Coming into the game, Potomac was riding a five-game win streak and attempting its first four-game sweep at the Pfitz since 2007. With a matching of a low-2’s ERA prospect versus a high-6’s ERA journeyman, the odds seemed stacked in Potomac’s favor.

After Robbie Ray struck out the side — all three times looking — in the first, and two more in the second, the odds looked even better. Unfortunately, these were not nine-pitch innings so all those K’s came at a cost.

Indeed, the bill came due in third when Winston-Salem sent seven men to the plate, beginning with a walk and ending with, yes, another strikeout. In between, however, was a double, a strikeout, another walk, and a single. While Ray was able to minimize the damage to just two runs, the inning took its toll as Christian Meza was spotted warming up before Ray registered the third and final out.

With long counts on every man, Ray easily cracked 30 pitches and may have hit the 40-pitches-in-one-inning limit that famously shortened several Ross Detwiler outings in 2008. (Sorry, tracking pitches is the line between fun and work when it comes to keeping score). Thus, he was done after just three innings with two runs allowed on two hits and two walks with nine strikeouts.

Meza was no more effective than Ray, giving up three over the next three on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Colin Bates followed with two scoreless innings while Derek Self coughed up a two-out, two-run homer in the 9th to erase any doubt of the eventual outcome.

Of course, as aforementioned the offense was frigid and flat. Except for a leadoff double by Adrian Nieto in the 2nd, there was hardly a hard-hit ball on the night. Billy Burns’s one-out bunt single followed by Michael Taylor’s slap through the 3/4 hole in the 3rd were the only consecutive base knocks, which gave fleeting hopes of tying the game when it was only 2-0.

The chance to answer the Dash was, um, dashed with a 5-C-3 double play off the bat of Cutter Dykstra, who reached based three times with a walk and two singles. It was the first of two double plays turned by Winston Salem, as Dykstra’s leadoff walk was erased in the 6th with a 6-4-3 DP.

Kevin Keyes was the last leadoff man to reach, as the big man drew his sixth walk of the series (and ninth for the year) in the 7th as the next three batters went down in order with a pair of grounders and a popup to end Dash starter Bryan Blough’s winning night with seven strong innings that lowered his ERA from 6.94 to 5.82.

The loss drops Potomac into second place, one game behind Lynchburg in the Carolina League North. Rob Gilliam is scheduled to make his 2013 season debut tonight against Wilmington’s Aaron Brooks (0-3, 4.99) as the last-place Blue Rocks come to Woodbridge for a three-game series.

Mar 102013
 

Davey Johnson got his wish for a fast game, but not the result as Washington dropped a 2-1 decision to Detroit in a brisk two hours and twenty-five minutes this afternoon in Lakeland.

Dan Haren was stretched out to four innings in his third spring start, giving up both Tigers runs on five hits as both LF Tyler Moore and 1B Chris Marrero made defensive misplays that weren’t ruled errors. Haren walked none and struck out two. Four relievers followed, each turning in a scoreless inning, including Yunesky Maya (1H, 1BB, 0K) and Cole Kimball (0H, 0BB, 1K).

Four of “our guys” got the start, which is custom for road games in the Grapefruit League at this point in Spring Training…

…Corey Brown started in RF and finished in CF but struck out twice while going 0-for-4.
…Marrero went 0-for-2 with a groundout and a flyout.
…Matt Skole (1-for-2, RBI) drove in the sole Nats run on a sacrifice fly in the 7th, starting at 3B and replacing Marrero at 1B.
…Anthony Rendon made another start at SS and shifted over to 3B but went hitless at the plate with an 0-for-3 afternoon.

The Nationals were held to four hits total, which all came from the starting lineup. Micah Owings (LF), Sandy Leon (C), Carlos Rivero (LF-RF), and Zach Walters (SS) came off the bench with Rivero and Walters drawing the only two bases-on-balls for Washington.

The loss drops Nationals below .500 at 6-7-2 as they return to Viera for another afternoon game tomorrow against the Braves. Charlie Slowes and Dave Jagler have the call on 1580AM.

Feb 272013
 

via @NationalsPR on Twitter

The Nats mustered just three hits on offense, scoring their lone run on a Carlos Rivero sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 8th in a 5-1 loss to the Marlins this afternoon.

Dan Haren took the loss by virtue of giving up the first Miami run on two hits and no walks. He struck out three. Drew Storen rebounded from his previous outing — a blown save on Sunday — to turn in a scoreless inning, though he hit batter.

As the spring starts to ramp up, more regulars are playing as Zach Walters was the sole minor-leaguer in the starting lineup at shortstop, going 0-for-2 with a strikeout. Rivero made his first infield appearance, taking over at short for Walters.

Other notable minor-leaguers…

  • CF Eury Perez, 0-for-1
  • RF Corey Brown, 0-for-1, SO
  • 1B Chris Marrero, 0-for-1
  • 3B Matt Skole, two BB and R
  • C Carlons Maldonado, BB
  • 2B Will Rhymes, 0-for-1
  • LHP Fernando Abad – 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
  • RHP Tanner Roark – 1⅔IP, 4H, 4R, 2BB, 2K
  • RHP Erik Davis – 1⅔IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 2-2 IR-S

It’s another night game against the Mets, but you’ll be spared the SNY broadcasters trying to pretend they’re not looking at possible 90-loss team as MASN has the telecast at 6:05 p.m. tomorrow night.