Jun 222011
 

[Ed. Note: Another guest column for frequent commenter BinM]

As we close on the halfway point for the full-season affiliates, and begin ramping up the short-season teams, here’s a review of the minor-league side of the Nationals Organization as of June 20…

Syracuse Chiefs (AAA) – 27-40
I had initially expected a much better result from this squad, given their makeup out of Spring Training; It’s been disapointing, to say the least. The offense has struggled for consistency, the pitching has been less than overpowering, and the bullpen has been sketchy, with all areas affected, given the callups to the big club so far. This is a team starved for consistent run producers. Marrero (.282/.345/.431 slash) is okay, but still prone to streaks, as is Matt Antonelli (.316/.391/.469), and Jhonatan Solano (.266/.326/.367).

The starting staff has been bounced around between the big club and Syracuse a bit, but both Maya (0-1 W-L, 6.86 ERA, 1.78 WHIP in four GS in DC), and Craig Stammen (0-1 W-L, 4.50 ERA, 1.50 WHIP in two relief appearances) were returned. The bullpen promotions fared slightly better, with Henry Rodriguez, Cole Kimball (15-DL), and Ryan Mattheus still in D.C., while Collin Balester is in yo-yo mode.

Players I like (statistically) so far…
• Marrero (1B): Could be used as trade bait at some point this year; Trapped behind Adam LaRoche, and now Michael Morse at 1B in DC.
• Antonelli (MI): Another trade bait candidate. The big club has depth at MI, so he becomes fungible.
• Milone (LHSP): A personal favorite. The numbers can’t be ignored (4-5 W-L, 3.81 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 16.4:1 K-BB), this kid just knows how to pitch. A September (or earlier) promotion in in his grasp.
• Meyers (RHSP): Has stumbled a bit in SYR, but still may be a ‘dark-horse’ candidate for a 40-man spot; Has posted solid K:BB ratios (9.6:1) over 14 starts between AA and AAA.
• Wilkie (RHRP): Steady, if not overpowering numbers in Syracuse; Worthy of a look in a MR role with somebody at the MLB level.

Harrisburg Senators (AA) – 39-29
Currently leading their division of the Eastern League by 3½ games, the Sens are setting the stage for another playoff appearance, should they remain focused. The team has been getting steady, but not outstanding performances across the board in all aspects of the game so far this season, with no glaring weaknesses either.

Offensively, the standout hitters have been Lombardozzi (a .309/.366/.454 slash from primarily to #1 spot in the order), and 2011FA OF acquisitions Chris Rahl (.297/.350/.407) and Archie Gilbert (.287/.369/.468). The starting staff is topped by Brad Peacock, who has posted ridiculous numbers to date (8-2 W-L, 2.46 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 6.0:1 K-W), with no-one else on the staff anywhere close. The bullpen has been filled with solid performers as well, with a number of pitchers posting a WHIP of at or below 1.00 as of this post (Zech Zinicola, Hassanb Pena, Rafael Martin, and Pat Lehman [current] and Rodriguez & Mattheus [promoted]).

Players I like (statistically) so far…
• Lombardozzi (2B): A personal favorite; He’s continuing his climb toward the bigs at 2B; It’s simply a question of when (2012-13), and then maybe with which club (WSH currently has the Espinosa/Desmond combo that looks pretty solid).
• Norris (CA): While currently carrying a low BA, his OBP & SLG numbers are in-line with career norms. He’ll play out the year at Harrisburg and look for a good start at Syracuse next season.
• Rhinehart (1B-OF): It looks like ‘Dolla Bill’ is catching onto AA pitching; Probably an OG in terms of age at this point, he still might be worth a look at an AAA level next year for some team.
• Peacock (RHSP): Another personal favorite; Outstanding numbers so far this season, building on previous season results.

Potomac Nationals (High-A) – 29-40
The hoped-for long home stretch failed to yield big changes to the W-L record. The team enters the All-Star break continuing to struggle offensively, and the pitching still looks uneven. One thing that has become evident is the ability to collect errors in the field, with even the Face of The Franchise (Ryan Zimmerman) falling victim to “the curse of the Pfitz” in a three-game rehab stint.

On the mound, Danny Rosenbaum has been the only consistent starter (4-3, 2.65 ERA, 1.33WHIP), while early-May promotion Cameron Selik could be turning the corner (2-4, 3.64 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) after a horrid beginning. The bullpen has been ragged overall of late, with Hector Nelo, Joe Testa, and Josh Smoker sharing the late-game innings.

At the plate, Destin Hood has been consistent all year (.276/.373/.453 slash), earning an All-Star nomination only to lose it to a knee injury. As his replacement, Jeff Kobernus leads the Carolina League in stolen bases (29) while hitting for an improved .266/.308/.369 line. Eury Perez is proving to be a slap-hitter with speed, when he chooses to use it. Justin Bloxom (.255/.321/.455) has played the majority of his games at 3B, where he is woefully out of
position, and a liability defensively (19 errors in 40 games).

The team currently lacks a player to ‘carry the load’ offensively, and will continue to muddle about until they find one. Maybe they’ll catch some promotions from Hagerstown for the 2nd half; We’ll see if that helps.

Players I like so far…
• Peacock (CA): An 26-y.o. OG, but plays with energy and catches a pretty decent game. Deserves another shot at AA.
• Hood (OF): Only 21, could be a possible for the AFL in 2012 if his knees stay healthy.
• Kobernus (2B): Back in my good graces after two injury-plagued years; Has shown unexpected speed and a consistent glove at 2B.
• Rosenbaum (LHSP): Steady & nearly unshakable on the mound; Needs slightly better control to play at higher levels.
• Nelo (RHRP): An age thing (24yo) as much as anything else – He’s pitching well at high-A, but should be playing to age at AA.
• Smoker (LHRP): Decent numbers, but not quite ready for in-season promotion.

Hagerstown Suns (Low-A) – 40-30
The Suns slumped late, falling out of the 1st half pennant chase in the final week; The good news is they are four games ahead of last years’ pace. There’s a lot to like about this team, both at the plate & on the mound; Having five players named to the All-Star team (Bryce Harper, Blake Kelso, David Freitas, Taylor Jordan, & Chris Manno) speaks to that. Their failings have come mostly in the field or in the bridge innings between the starters and the back end of the bullpen.

The hitters have been the big story, with Harper (.330/.429/.586), Kelso (330/.396/.404), and Freitas (.317/.422/.502) all raking the ball, and others (Randolph Oduber, Brett Newsome) chipping in as well. The starting staff covered the early loss of Selik to Potomac with the additions of Sammy Solis (1-0, 3.62, 1.17), and Robbie Ray (2-0, 1.13, 0.90). The bullpen has been a bit of a roller coaster of late, with both Manno and Ben Graham having
some rough outings in late-inning situations, while most of the middle relievers continue struggle to achieve mediocrity. This is still a team that could be
a force to be reckoned with in the 2nd half of the 2011 season.

Players I like (statistically) so far…
• Harper (OF): He’s ready for the next challenge; It’s just a question of where (Potomac or Harrisburg).
• Kelso (IF): He might need a full year at low-A, as his defense is less than stellar at this point.
• Freitas (CA): Still needs some polish behind the plate, but the pitching hasn’t suffered greatly from his game-calling, imo.
• Oduber (OF): A personal favorite, the ‘Groovin’ Aruban’ could push his way into a higher level with a good 2nd half.
• Jordan (RSP): Almost ready to make the jump to high-A, keeps the ball in the park (1HR in 69.3IP).
• Manno (LRP): Outstanding 1st half; Could be moved up at the All-Star break.
• Holland (RRP): Another personal fave; Outstanding as a set-up man, could move up later this season.

The 2011 Draft
You’ve seen the list, probably read a few evaluation pieces. All I’ll offer here for now is a summary by position.
As of 06/20/11
LHP – 10 drafted, 4 signed [B. Monar (12th), T. Simko (21st), R. Lucas (27th), B. Hawkins (36th)].
RHP – 16 drafted, 6 signed [B. Dupra (7th), M. Rodriguez (10th), T. Henke (22nd), K. Ferrer (28th), A. Kreis (35th), R. Mirowski (45th)].
CA – 2 drafted, 2 signed [E. Fernandez (25th), S. Cotton (29th)].
CI – 5 drafted, 2 signed [M. Skole (5th), B. Ortega (41st)].
MI – 7 drafted, 3 signed [D. Williams (16th), K. Norfolk (23rd), T. Karlen (33rd)].
OF – 11 drafted, 2 signed [C. Ramsey (11th), A. Nix (50th)].

Jun 212011
 

Suffice it to say, the first half was a monumental disappointment — even with the strong finish (7 of last 10). The 40 losses appear to be the most in the first half since the team began the Washington affiliation in 2005, the 29 wins tying the 2007 squad for the fewest. This was supposed to be the youngest and most talented team to date.

Wins and losses aren’t the most important bellwether, of course, but the nature of the wins and losses is an indicator. If a good team scores five or more runs while allowing three runs or fewer, well, Potomac hit that standard just eight times (8) in 69 games. Conversely, they scored three or fewer runs while allowing five or more 15 times. They were shut out seven times, and returned the favor four times.

The team’s offense was sixth, the team’s pitching was eighth, as was its defense. There is no mystery as to why this team finished where it did.

Revisiting the format from last months “First Impressions”…

FIRST BASE
After a decent April, Steven Souza has cooled considerably, the average dropping from .273 to .224 and has been on a homerless streak for 19 games. He’s cut down on his strikeouts recently but is also walking less. Defensively, he’s still a work in progress but as a convert from the other side of the diamond, that’s to be expected.

SECOND BASE
The results are now starting to match the intensity with which Kobernus plays. Those of you who thought Jeff would be leading the Carolina League in steals at the break raise your hands. Anyone besides Mr. & Mrs. Kobernus? The soon-to-be-23-year-old is also starting to hit for some power, collecting six of his 13 doubles in the past month or so. He’s still not taking walks (just 14 in 66G) which is arguably the next step for him to take.

SHORTSTOP
Jose Lozada has inherited the position with the season-ending injury to Rick Hague, but one has to wonder how long until the 25-y.o. is moved to the bench to give more playing time to someone younger, like, say Justino Cuevas. Unfortunately, Cuevas is streaky both on offense and defense, so much that Kobernus was placed there this past homestand (and showed why he’s a second baseman). Best-case scenario: Francisco Soriano gets the job back once he regains his form/health in the GCL.

THIRD BASE
Nothing’s changed in terms of my opinion of Justin Bloxom as a third baseman: It’s not his position. But with Souza learning first base, it’s where Bloxom’s been put to keep his bat in the lineup. He’s not hitting .300+ like he was for Hagerstown, but I suspect that by season’s end, he’ll probably be close to .275 and be in the top three for the team in HRs and RBI.

DESIGNATED HITTER
Injuries have returned this slot in the lineup to its more traditional role in the minors of a way station while guys are shifted in and out defensively. Destin Hood, Bloxom, J.P. Ramirez and Cutter Dykstra have been the primary guys there. Dykstra seems to have been used there the most (there is no quick and easy way to look this up, so please bear with me) and while he’s been hitting a bit better, turning on the ball more, he appears overmatched by Carolina League pitchers and is not taking walks — a critical factor since he came to the organization with a reputation for having strong OBP skills.

LEFT FIELD
J.P. Ramirez has played here the most, but unlike Bloxom, it’s because there’s nowhere else for him to play. He compensates well for his lack of footspeed (only Sandy Leon is slower) but there are just far too many balls hit his way that aren’t turned into outs. His patience at the plate has improved tremendously of late, but he’s still hitting like a backup catcher, not a corner OF.

CENTERFIELD
Now the challenge is to see how the league reacts to Eury Perez now that everybody knows his game. Defensively, he’s been solid, just what you’d expect from his archetype with a decent arm, to boot. In what seems like a cut & paste, he’s not taking the walk and striking out too much. The gap power has diminished, too. Relative to the hype, a disappointment, but otherwise fine for a 21-year-old.

RIGHT FIELD
Easily the biggest surprise on the team. Destin Hood’s 33BBs and 5HRs in the first half matches his 2010 season totals for the two categories. Knee troubles have sidelined him lately, but it’s not been evident on the field. He’s begun to start hitting to all fields and the power is starting to flow. Ought to be playing more in LF in preparation for the inevitable shift, unless Bryce Harper plays CF exclusively for games in Woodbridge (*ahem*).

CATCHER
Very little change in my thinking: Sandy Leon is a defensive stalwart that’s still learning to hit, with flashes of power as a LHB.

BENCH
Also not much change here: Peacock belongs in Harrisburg, but is blocked by another OG in person of Devin Ivany. With the DH slot unavailable because it’s being used to evaluate the likes of Dykstra and/or rotate in/out prospects, he’s been limited to a couple of starts a week and the occasional pinch-hitting appearance. J.R. Higley has been getting a fair amount of playing time in the wake of Hood’s injury and/or when Ramirez is put at DH, but both he and Chris Curran appear to be odd men out despite their significant defensive skills and relative youth (both are 23).

STARTING PITCHERS
Little has changed since Opening Day in terms of the hopes of Potomac’s starters getting a callup prior to the AFL deadline. Truth be told, none has made the case consistently to get folks to pound the drum the way Brad Peacock has in Harrisburg. Some have made the case to be shifted to the ‘pen, reassigned or released.

Danny Rosenbaum — Twice the southpaw has put together back-to-back quality starts only to falter in the third start. Of course, “falter” is relative; Rosenbaum has gone at least five innings in every start. Still looking for that curve to come back, but has gone five straight starts with two or less walks and has kept the ball in the yard.

Trevor Holder — A maddening pitcher. Just when you think it’s time for tines in the spine, he comes off the ropes. A troublesome trend: walks and home runs have gone up at the same time strikeouts have gone down. Holder’s never going to be a strikeout guy, but in conjunction with those critical peripherals, it’s something to watch, and perhaps worry.

Paul Demny — Last time, I cited his differential between ERA and FIP as a sign that perhaps he’s been more lucky than good. It’s gone down by more than a run (-2.52 to -1.26) but almost all of that can be explained by the six HRs he’s given up. Or has just been the good fortune of only surrendering solo shots? Demny’s much like Holder in that he has flashes of brilliance but can also get hit very hard.

Mitchell Clegg — Too often the pitches were up and flat, and the OBA of .330 is the expected result. Recently sent to the ‘pen and gave up three hits in a two-and-1/3rd inning outing. More walks allowed than strikeouts (17 vs. 16 in 42⅔ IP). A righthander like that would have been released in April (Kyle Morrison).

Evan Bronson — The beneficiary of Clegg’s removal from the rotation, Bronson will need to prove that he’s a better starter than reliever. Most of his starts have been the result of the numerous rainouts (i.e. a long reliever asked to go four or five out of seven innings). He’s also pitched dramatically better on the road. All of these splits are fair small (20 or so innings per cell) so it’s tough to get a read on him just yet.

Cameron Selik — The first SP to be recalled from Hagerstown, Selik struggled early, making some folks wonder if his Suns success was simply a factor of age (he turns 24 in August), but he’s made an impression on us with his ability to pound RHBs inside and spot his breaking pitches, making him the most improved starter of the bunch.

RELIEVERS
The struggles of the starters have given these guys a lot of work, but it’s hard to make the case that anyone’s been abused. Back-to-back outings have been rare, even for the closers [insert snarky remark about losing record here]. Here’s a rundown on the relievers, ordered by appearances.

Josh Smoker — His velocity is up: mid-90s, but he’s nearly as likely to walk a batter as strike him out. He’s mostly come in to face lefties in the 7th and 8th innings though he’s been slightly more effective vs. RHBs.

Marcos Frias — As a reliever, he’s been effective but no less prone to walks. The regulars wonder aloud “are we going to get the good Marcos or the bad” when he comes in. Typically used for multiple-inning stints.

Adam Olbrychowski — It’s surprising that he’s not the team leader in appearances because it seems like he’s pitched a lot in Woodbridge. Began the year strong, then suffered a string of six straight appearances with at least one earned run allowed. In the past month, he’s been much more effective, but like most of the relievers this year, struggles with walks allowed.

Joe Testa — The powers that be have dropped him down to a sidearm delivery, delaying his first appearance until late April. He’s appeared enough in late games to get four decisions, but it’s clear that they want him to be a LOOGY someday, with seven of his 17 appearances lasting less than an inning.

Dean Weaver — If/when a reliever is moved up from Hagerstown, Weaver is a candidate to take his place. Simply has not been effective, as the 9.37ERA and .319OBA clearly shows.

Rob Wort — Wort caught our eye with his tendency to excel in pressure situations in his brief stint with Potomac in 2010. This year, he’s been more wild (5HBP) and hit harder (2HR) in a slightly larger body of work (though he’s still rail-thin).

Hector Nelo — All the makings of a Rizzo project: thick trunk, big (6’1″, 200) and throws HARD (95-98). Like Cole Kimball, his radar reading can often indicate balls and strikes. The higher the speed, the more likely it’s a ball.

EXPECTATIONS
My initial instinct was to write a wish list, but that’s just going to lead to bitching session about who’s where and why. Last year, Rosenbaum and Holder were sent up in the second half and it wasn’t hard to figure that might happen with the likes of Jesse Estrada and Adrian Alaniz in the rotation. This year, it might just be Sammy Solis or Matthew Grace, and it may not be until August in conjunction with the AFL deadline.

It would be nice to get a couple of the Suns late-inning guys, but who will replace them? Perhaps after a month or so, we’ll have an Auburn guy sawing through the NY-Penn League, but until then, I’d keep my hopes in check.

The P-Nats could use a true third baseman, but as simple as “bring up Blake Kelso, send down Cutter Dykstra” sounds, I’d put more money on Stephen King returning from Harrisburg, and that’s pretty unlikely. A level a year seems to be the new normal from High A down.

Lastly, there’s the question of Bryce Harper. He may be the exception to this “rule,” but I thought he’d be here by now and now I’m starting to think that Rizzo will treat him much the way the Atlanta Braves treated Jason Heyward, leaving him in Hagerstown for almost the entire year. That wouldn’t be the tragedy that some impatient DC fans (an redundancy, I know) may think, especially if that would also mean that we’d have a more fully seasoned 20-year-old in the Washington outfield for Opening Day 2013.

Jun 202011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Probables
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 10-9 @ Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m. Ross Detwiler (5-6, 5.01) vs.
Julio Teheran (6-1, 1.78)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 4-1 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Nationals vs. Salem — CANCELED ALL-STAR BREAK N/A
Hagerstown Suns Won, 11-4 ALL-STAR BREAK N/A
Auburn Doubledays Won, 6-4 @ State College, 7:05 p.m. Kelvin Lopez (0-0, -.–) vs.
Stetson Allie (0-0, -.–)
GCL Nationals SEASON OPENER vs. GCL Mets, 12:00 PM TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals OFF DAY vs. DSL Mets1, 10:30 a.m. Gilberto Mendez (1-0, 3.46) vs.
Franly Caminero (1-0, 2.70)

Charlotte 10 Syracuse 9
• Maya 5IP, 10H, 6ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Mandel (BS 2, L, 1-2) 2IP, 5H, 2ER, BB, 2K
• Hulett 4-5, R, 2-2B, 3RBI
• Brown 3-4 2R, 2HR, 3RBI, BB
• J Valdez 3-5, 3R, 2-2B

This game featured 19 runs, 32 hits, 2 Syracuse blown saves, another heartbreaking loss to the Charlotte Knights, and an out-of-breath recapper. After Saturday night’s walkoff victory, Sunday afternoon Syracuse failed to tie the game up after loading the bases in the 9th inning. A poor performance starts with lackluster starting pitching, and Yunesky Maya appears to not be fooling anyone right now. After a leadoff double by Jordan Danks and a Michael Restovich walk in the sixth inning, Ryan Tatusko was brought in to add more gasoline to the fire, allowing both of Maya’s runners to score and two more of his own to score while putting Syracuse down 8-7. Syracuse got both perpetrators off the hook with a two-run 7th. Tug Hulett doubled in Jim Gallagher who had doubled and Chris Marrero (0-4, R, BB) who had walked earlier in the inning to put the Chiefs up 9-8. Charlotte, however, provided the dads in the house with an immediate response when Gookie (how do you get named Gookie?!?! [Ed. Note: It refers to a face made famous by Harpo Marx]) Dawkins hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 7th off Jeff Mandel to end the scoring and leave Syracuse on the wrong end of a wild 10-9 loss. Lost in the wild scoring at the end were Corey Brown’s two home runs and 3 early RBI to put the Chiefs up early 3-0 before Maya’s Meltdown.

Altoona 4 Harrisburg 1
• Arnesen (L, 3-1) 6IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 7K, WP
• VanAllen 1H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Johnson 1-4, 2B
• Arnesen 1-2

Erik Arnesen did everything he possibly could to carry a feeble Harrisburg offense to victory. He offered a quality six innings. He got a hit. Ultimately, the Harrisburg defense hurt his outing by contributing to an unearned run and the feeble offense couldn’t make up for it. The Suns only mustered one unearned run themselves when Jonothan Tucker reached on a throwing error by catcher Tony Sanchez, Josh Johnson doubled, and Archie Gilbert grounded out. Harrisburg’s chief nemesis was Quincy Latimore, who went 2-2 with a double, a homer, and two of Altoona’s run scored. Relievers Corey VanAllen and Jimmy Barthmaier failed to add quality relief; they allowed one run each.

Potomac Nationals vs. Salem Red Sox — CANCELED
The link above is the official press release regarding the cancellation. This is how the field looked like at approximately 1:10 p.m. yesterday afternoon: Pic1 | Pic2. The second half resumes on Thursday with a six-game trip from South to North Carolina, with visits to Myrtle Beach and Kinston for three games each.

Hagerstown 11 Delmarva 4
• Solis 4IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 5K
• Manno 1IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 1K
• Martinson 3-5, R, RBI, SB
• Keyes 3-5, 2R, HR, RBI
• Leonida 3-4, 3R, 2B, RBI

After being mathematically eliminated on Saturday night, the Hagerstown Suns closed out the first half with a big 11-4 win, its third straight following a six-game tailspin that killed their playoff hopes. The Suns pounded out 19 hits, with every batter collecting at least one and four collecting three. Kevin Keyes and Wade Moore both homered. Bryce Harper sat for the second straight game, ostensibly to rest his nagging injuries. Sammy Solis pitched the first four innings while four relievers followed him out of the ‘pen, including Chad Gaudin on rehab. Christopher Manno’s struggles returned with his worst outing of the season: two runs on three hits and walk over just one inning.

Auburn 6 Batavia 4
• Encarnacion 3⅔ IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 2K
• Henke (H, 1) 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K IR-S: 2-1
• Moldenhauer 2-4, 2-2B, 2RBI, BB
• Montilla 2-4

Russell Moldenhauer’s two-run double capped off a four-run second, as the Auburn Doubledays held on for a 6-4 win and took the series 2-1. Pedro Encarnacion couldn’t go the requisite five to get the win, chased with two outs in the fourth inning with three runs allowed on three hits and four walks. Aaron Barrett got the win despite also giving up four walks and a run in just two and 2/3rds innings. Travis Henke and Ben Grisz closed out the game with two and 2/3rds scoreless innings to get the hold and save respectively. Angel Montilla and Moldenhauer paced the 12-hit attack that saw eight of the nine batters reach base safely.

GCL Nationals — SEASON OPENER
The initial roster has a strong Dominican feel to it with roughly a dozen-plus DSL “grads” making it stateside (yes, including HWMNBN) for Opening Day in Viera. Some notables: 17-y.o. IFA Pedro Severino (C), 18-y.o. IFA Arialdi Peguero (1B), Nathan Karns (RHP), Luis Atilano (rehab), Francisco Soriano (rehab), and our 2011 Watchlisters — OF Victor Chavez, RHPs Anthony Marcelino and Andy Santana, IF Jean Carlos Valdez.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
Some home cooking this week for the D-Nats with just one road game over the next six (@ D-Giants) as they host the D-Mets1, D-Phillies, D-Rangers, D-Cubs2 and the D-Marlins.

Jun 192011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 7-6 (11 inn.) @ Charlotte, 2:15 p.m. Yunesky Maya (1-4, 3.79) vs.
Matt Zaleski (1-3, 6.75)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 6-3; Won, 4-3 @ Altoona, 6:05 p.m. Garrett Mock (0-1, 13.50) vs.
Bryan Morris (1-3, 5.05)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 5-2; Won, 2-0 vs. Salem, 1:05 p.m. Cameron Selik (2-4, 3.64) vs.
Chris Hernandez (5-4, 2.95)

CANCELED
Hagerstown Suns Won, 7-3 vs. Delmarva, 1:05 p.m. Sammy Solis (1-0, 3.47) vs.
Scott Copeland (4-4, 4.78)
Auburn Doubledays Lost, 9-6 vs. Batavia, 1:05 p.m. Pedro Encarnacion (0-0, -.–) vs.
Andrew Benes (0-0, -.–)
DSL Nationals Won, 4-1
vs. DSL Yankees1
OFF DAY N/A

Charlotte 7 Syracuse 6 (11 inn.)
• Stammen 3IP 6H, 5ER, BB, 2K, 2HR
• Wilkie 2IP 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• J Flores 3-5, 2R, 2B, RBI
• Frazier 2-4, R, 2R HR, 4RBI

Why? Why? Why did they pitch to Damon Viciedo, the 21-year-old phenom (.912 OPS) for the White Sox, after coming back from five runs down to take a 6-5 lead in the top of the 11th inning? With two outs, a man on second, and an 0-2 count, Viciedo rapped a game tying single that was part of the two-run Charlotte walkoff eleventh. Outstanding bullpen work by JD Martin, Jeff Mandel, Atahulapa Severino, and even eventual loser Hassan Pena held down the knights for 7 scoreless innings to give Syracuse a chance for what might have been. In the fifth, Jeff Frazier started the comeback with a two run homer. In the sixth inning Jesus Flores had an RBI double (his 11th two-bagger), and Jeff Frazier stepped up with a 2RBI single to plate Flores and Tug Hulett. All in all, this is the kind of loss that Syracuse will look back upon if they manage to run off a miraculous win streak to get back into the IL playoff picture from their current 27-39 record.

Harrisburg 6 Altoona 3 — GAME ONE
• Brad Peacock (W, 8-2) 7IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 7K, HR, CG
• Moore 2-4, 2 2B, 2RBI
• Rahl 2-4, 2R, 2B, RBI

Brad Peacock proved to the Altoona Curve that he is one of the better pitching prospects in the Nationals system. Last night, he gave up a first-inning home run. He gave up a double and a triple in the 6th as part of a two-run rally for the Curve, but in-between he must have been filthy, striking out seven and walking only one in a seven-inning complete game. Harrisburg did most of its damage in the third inning, keyed by doubles from Chris Rahl and Tyler Moore and helped by a Curve fielding error. Archie Gilbert had a strong game as well. He helped engineer a run in the second with some get ‘em on (walk), get ‘em over (stolen base), get ‘em over once more (balk), and get ‘em in on a Jonathan Tucker groundout. He later led off the sixth inning with a home run.

Harrisburg 4 Altoona 3 — GAME TWO
• C. Martinez 4IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Martin 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Zinicola (S, 4) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• A. Valdez 1-2, R, HR, BB
• Tucker 2-3 2R, 3B, RBI
This game got off to an inauspicious start when Carlos Martinez gave up a first-inning, three-run shot to Jordy Mercer. The back end of the bullpen and the back end of the lineup sealed the deal on the doubleheader sweep for Harrisburg against former Harrisburg pitcher Aaron Thompson. Batters six through eight scored all four runs. In the second, Alex Valdez homered and Jonathan Tucker scored on a two out wild pitch from Thompson. In the fourth, an RBI Tucker triple was the big blow in a two-run frame. Rafael Martin pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win. Protecting a one-run lead, Zech Zinicola struck out the side in the 9th.

Salem 5 Potomac 2 — GAME ONE
• Holder (L, 3-8) 6⅓ IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 3K, HR (three-run)
• Nelo ⅔ IP, 2H, 2R, 1ER, 0BB, 2K
• Bloxom 2-4, R
• Ramirez 0-1, 3BB

Sue may have picked the wrong game to skip, but here’s what “she” saw in the first game Last Night In Woodbridge.

Potomac 2 Salem 0 — GAME TWO
• Demny (W, 4-6) 5IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 5K
• Testa (S, 1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 2-0 IR-S
• Perez 2-3, 2RBI
• Kobernus 2-3

Paul Demny carried a no-hitter into the fifth, giving up a one-out double with a runner on but getting two key outs to escape the jam. Josh Smoker would pitch to two batters in the sixth, hitting one and walking the other before Joe Testa was brought on to kill the rally. Testa got the last six outs to earn his first save of 2011. Eury Perez’s two-run single in the second against the #39 pick in the 2010 Draft, Tony Ranaudo, stood up as the game-winner. Perez and Jeff Kobernus both went 2-for-3 to pace the Potomac offense. Sue skipped this one in part because of fatigute, but also to make time to write a Father’s Day essay.

Hagerstown 7 Delmarva 3
• Jordan (W, 7-3) 6IP, 8H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 2K
• Eusebio (S, 3) 3IP, 2H, 0ER, 3BB, 3K
• Keyes 3-4, 2R, 2B, 2HR, 4RBI
• Martinson 1-2, 2R, HR, RBI, 2BB
Hagerstown battled back from a 3-0 fourth inning deficit. Taylor Jordan was hit hard in the second and gave up a double and two singles as part of an early two-run rally. In the fourth inning, two singles and a Michael Mooney error led to an eventual Tyler Kelly sacrifice fly. Kevin Keyes answered back with a three-run homer that scored David Freitas, who had doubled, and Jason Martinson. Hagerstown went on score in three consecutive innings with back-to-back homers by Martinson and Keyes to put the game out of reach. Wilson Eusebio pitched three shutout innings to close the door and earn his third save.

Batavia 9 Auburn 6
• Esteves (L, 0-1) 3⅔ IP, 9H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 6K
• Jenkins 1⅔ IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 2K
• Ortega 2-2, 2R
• Norfork 3-5, 2B, 4RBI

A five-run fourth chased DSL grad Wirkin Estevez, who gave up six runs on nine hits and a walk, as the Auburn Doubledays lost their home opener, 9-6 to Batavia. Middle infielders Bryce Ortega and Khayyan Norfork combined to go 5-for-7 with two runs and four RBIs to lead the Doubleday offense, which scored five of their six runs in the last three innings.

DSL Nationals 4 DSL Yankees1
• Martinez, A 4IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 3K
• Vasquez (W, 1-0) 2⅔ IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 3K
• Difo 2-2, 2R, 2BB
• Tllero 1-3

Their fourth error of the day prevented the shutout, but not before the D-Nats snapped their three-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the DSL Yankees1 squad. Venezuelan Anderson Martinez made his first start, going four scoreless innings and allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out three. Daury Vasquez was awarded the win as the most effective reliever to follow, pitching two and 2/3rds innings and charged with the lone run on one it and a walk. Wilmer Difo reached base four times with two hits and two walks to lead the D-Nat offense.

Jun 182011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 5-2 @ Charlotte, 7:15 p.m. Craig Stammen (5-3, 3.84) vs.
TBD
Harrisburg Senators Won, 8-4 @ Altoona, 5:05
(doubleheader)
Brad Peacock (7-2, 2.33) and
Erik Arnesen (3-0, 2.78) vs.
Jeff Locke (5-5, 4.46) and TBD
Potomac Nationals Postponed vs. Salem, 5:35 p.m.
(doubleheader)
Trevor Holder (3-7, 6.31) and
Paul Demny (3-6, 4.38) vs.
Anthony Ranaudo (1-2, 2.55) and
Ryan Pressly (4-6, 4.58)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 2-1 (10 inn.) vs. Delmarva, 7:05 p.m. Taylor Jordan (6-3, 2.84) vs.
Luis Noel (4-6, 5.76)
Auburn Doubledays Won, 6-1 vs. Batavia, 7:05 p.m. Wirkin Estevez (0-0, -.–) vs.
Patrick Daugherty (0-0, -.–)
DSL Nationals Lost, 5-4
@ DSL Braves
vs. DSL Yankees1, 10:30 a.m. Anthony Marcelino (1-0, 0.57) vs.
Cesar Vargas (0-2, 6.30)

Charlotte 5 Syracuse 2
• Milone (L, 4-5) 5⅓ IP, 7H, 5R, 4ER, BB, 6K
• Tatusko 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Aubrey 2-3, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB
• Hulett 2-2, 2B, BB

The Charlotte Knights’ Lastings Milledge picked last night to show one of those flashes of offensive brilliance that has tantalized and tormented Nats fans. He had a two-run double after Tug Hulett allowed Eduardo Escobar to reach on a fielding error. Milledge also had a two-out RBI single to almost singlehandedly beat the Chiefs. Tom Milone showed control (six K’s and just one walk for the IL strikeout leader entering the game), but didn’t miss enough bats within the strike zone to earn the win. Offensively, the Chiefs struggled to score early when they got their leadoff man aboard, wasting a leadoff single in the first, a Tug Hulett walk in the second, and an Adam Fox double in the third. Overall, the Chiefs went 2-for-10 with RISP and left nine runners on base.

Harrisburg 8 Altoona 4
• Davis (W, 3-2) 6IP, 10H, 4ER, 0BB, 8K
• VanAllen 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Rahl 3-4, 2R, 3B, RBI
• Moore 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Norris 2-3, 2RBI, 2BB

The Altoona Curve pitching was a bit flat as the Harrisburg offense exploded for eight runs in Altoona. Six Senators had multihit games. Eight Senators tallied in the box score with either runs or hits. Harrisburg did half of its damage in a four-run third inning. Tyler Moore’s two-run double was a key blow, followed by a Derek Norris RBI single, and an RBI single from Alex Valdez that scored Bill Rhinehart, who had doubled earlier in the inning. If it wasn’t for a caught stealing of Alex Valdez, Harrisburg might still be batting. Erik Davis was didn’t walk anyone but caught too much of the plate, yielding 10 hits and four runs in his six innings. Pat Lehman, Corey VanAllen and Zech Zinicola combined for three innings of perfect relief to shut the door on the Curve.

Potomac Nationals — PPD
Heavy thunderstorms in the six-o’clock hour dumped enough rain on the Pfitz field to force a rainout and a Saturday night
doubleheader between the High-A affiliates of the Boston and Washington franchises of the same names.

Hagerstown 2 Delmarva 1
• Ray (ND) 5IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 4K
• Swynenberg 4IP, 0H, 0R, 1BB, 7K
• Harper 2-3, 2RBI, 2BB, SB
• Freitas 2-3, BB

Hagerstown snapped its six-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds, but it may be too little, too late as both Greensboro and Hickory won on Friday night to reduce the Suns’ elimination number to one. Randolph Oduber drove in the gamewinner in the bottom of the tenth after back-to-back walks issued to Bryce Harper (intentional) and Mills Rogers (unintentional) after Blake Kelso’s leadoff single. Ben Graham got the win in relief, following four scoreless and hitless innings from Matt Swynenberg. Robbie Ray started and allowed the lone Delmarva run on seven hits and one walk over the first five innings.

Auburn 6 Batavia 1
• Demmin (W, 1-0) 5IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 4K
• Bates (S, 1) 4IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Nieto 3-3, 2R, HR, 2RBI
• Moldenhauer 2-4, R, 2B

Hendry Jimenez’s two-run triple highlighted a three-run sixth, as the Auburn Doubledays broke open a 2-1 lead for a 6-1 victory on the Opening Day of the New York-Penn League. Ryan Demmin returned to action as a starter after struggling in relief for Potomac with the lone Muckdog run allowed on three hits and three walks over five innings. Adrian Nieto returned from his PED suspension with a 3-for-3 night, including a solo HR and two RBIs. Colin Bates finished the game with four scoreless innings to earn the save.

DSL Braves 5 DSL Nationals 4
• Moscat (ND) 5⅔ IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, BB, 4K
• Guzman 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 1K
• Difo 2-5, CS
• Rosario 0-1, R, 2BB, SB

The D-Nats dry spell was extended to three straight with a 5-4 loss to the DSL Braves. Starter Felix Moscat couldn’t hold an early 3-0 lead, coughing up four runs over five and 2/3rds innings. A run in the top of the eighth gave him the no-decision, but the ‘pen gave it back in the bottom of the inning for the loss. Wilmer Difo went 2-for-5 to lead the offense, which managed seven hits for the game.

Jun 162011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs OFF DAY @ Charlotte, 7:15 p.m. Brad Meyers (3-3, 4.95) vs.
Deunte Heath (1-2, 3.96)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 6-1 @ Trenton, 7:05 p.m. Tanner Roark (3-2, 6.67) vs.
Craig Heyer (6-3, 2.97)
Potomac Nationals Won, 5-4 vs. Salem, 7:05 p.m. Evan Bronson (1-2, 2.70) vs.
Junichi Tazawa (0-1, 6.61)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 3-2; Lost, 9-5 vs Delmarva, 5:05 p.m.
(Comp., 7-inn. game)
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 9-5
vs. DSL Giants
@ DSL Cubs2, 10:30 a.m. Miguel Navarro (0-1, 10.80) vs.
Jose Arias (0-1, 1.93)

Syracuse Chiefs — OFF DAY
The Chiefs fly down to North Carolina (and boy, will their arms be tired) this morning for four games in Charlotte, followed by four in Gwinnett, Ga. before returning to New York next Friday. The Syracuse-DC pitcher carousel has recently spun again, with Yunesky Maya and Craig Stammen optioned back this week and Collin Balester recalled, as Tom Gorzelanny is slated to return to the rotation on Sunday.

Harrisburg 6 Trenton 1
• Martis (W, 4-2) 6IP, 2H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K
• Lehman (H, 1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K
• McCoy (H, 4) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Lombardozzi 2-5, R, 3B
• Rahl, 2-4, 2R, 2RBI, BB

In the first, Josh Johnson homered off starter Delin Betances. Chris Rahl scored when he was walked, Tyler Moore was hit by a pitch, and Bill Rhinehart reached on a fielding error. In the 6th, Harrisburg was glad to greet Brad Halsey with a two-out rally, as Stephen King walked, Lombardozzi singled, Johnson walked, and Rahl delivered with a clutch two-out single to score both King and Lombardozzi. Harrisburg put things out of reach in the 9th when the Godfather of the Bill Rhinehart Mafia landed a bomb in the right-centerfield seats. Sharion Martis delievered a strong six innings, allowing only one unearned run, to lower his ERA to 3.30. The Pats (Lehman and McCoy) and Zech Zinicola offered three innings of scoreless relief, yielding only one hit and one walk. Outside of errors by Gilbert, Johnson, King, and Norris (catcher interference), Harrisburg delivered a dominating win to silence the Trenton faithful and stop a four-game slide.

Potomac 5 Myrtle Beach 4 (10 inn.)
• Gaudin 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Rosenbaum 5⅔ IP, 9H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 5K
• Hood 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI, BB
• Bloxom 3-5, R, 2B, HR, RBI

The big fly sufficed when the clutch hit went missing as the Potomac Nationals edged the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in extras for a 5-4 victory. Destin Hood’s 5th home run was the sole P-Nat hit in 11 chances with RISP, capping off a four-run fifth. Danny Rosenbaum, who followed Chad Gaudin’s scoreless inning of rehab work, ran into trouble in the 7th and left with the game tied at 4-4. Rob Wort, Marcos Frias and Joe Testa combined for three and a 1/3rd scoreless innings, with Testa getting the win. Justin Bloxom’s walkoff HR to lead off the bottom of tenth gave Potomac the walkoff win. In the last seven games, the bullpen has posted a line of 21IP, 13H, 4R, 3ER, 9BB, 16K, 1HR, earning two wins, four holds, and three saves.

Lakewood 3 Hagerstown 2 (12 inn.) — COMPLETION
• Solis 7IP, 4H, 2R, ER, 2BB, 6K
• Manno 2IP, H, BB, 3K
• Freitas 2-3, R, 2R HR, BB
• Kelso, R, BB, K

Sean Nicol singled to “lead off” the suspended game in the 11th, and Randolph Oduber doubled with one out in the 12th, but Hagerstown fell in the bottom of the 12th on a throwing error, 3-2.

Lakewood 9 Hagerstown 5
• Grace (L, 7-5), 3IP, 9H, 8R, 8ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Applebee 4IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 5K
• Kelso 2-4, R, BB
• Sanchez 2-5, R, RBI
• Harper 1-4, R, 3B, 2RBI

The Blue Claws completed the four-game sweep with a 9-5 victory over the Suns. Starter Matt Grace was less than amazing, torched for eight runs on nine hits and a walk, including a three-run shot in the bottom of the first. Bryce Harper returned to the lineup after sitting out the past two games with a sore thumb and went 1-for-4 with a two-run triple, the second and third runs in a four-run fifth that got the Suns as close as 8-5. With the two losses, Hagerstown drops to third place as Hickory won its fourth straight to overtake both the Suns and the Grasshoppers. The Suns finish with five games at home against Delmarva, starting with a completion doubleheader tonight. Starters have not been officially announced, but A.J. Cole could potentially pick up where he left off in Game 1, and Bobby Hansen, if healthy, is a likely candidate for Game 2

DSL Giants 9 DSL Nationals 5
• Pineyro (ND) 5IP, 2H, 0R, 1BB, 7K
• Vasquez (H, 1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 0K
• Read 3-4, 2B, RBI, SB
• Reyes 2-4, RBI
• Mercedes 2-5, 2B, 2RBI

The D-Nats bullpen collapsed, giving up seven of the nine D-Giant runs in the 8th and 9th innings to turn a 4-0 mid-game lead into a 9-5 defeat. Starter Ivan Pineyro went five scoreless innings with two hits and one walk allowed and seven strikeouts. Raudy Read led the 11-hit attack with a three hits, including a double and a stolen base, followed by Yermin Mercedes’ and Aladin Reyes, who collected two hits apiece.

Jun 152011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 3-1 OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 7-3 vs. Trenton, 7:05 p.m. Shairon Martis (3-2, 3.79) vs.
Dellin Betances (3-1, 1.75)
Potomac Nationals Won, 5-1; Lost, 2-0 vs. Myrtle Beach, 10:30 a.m. Chad Gaudin (rehab) vs.
Wilfredo Boscan (1-2, 4.31)
Hagerstown Suns Suspended, 2-2 (Top 11) @ Lakewood, 6:05 p.m.
(completion, reg. gm)
Matt Grace (7-4, 4.14) vs.
Garrett Claypool (1-3, 2.69)
DSL Nationals Lost, 7-6
@ DSL Rangers
vs. DSL Giants Ivan Pineyro (0-1, 3.46) vs.
Yeini Martinez (1-1, 2.31)

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 3 Syracuse 1
• Detwiler (L, 5-6) 7IP, 7H, 3ER, BB, 5K
• Mandel 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Blanco 1-4, R, HR, RBI
• Frazier 1-3, BB

After a leadoff home run by Gregor Blanco, Syracuse was completely stymied by the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees’ Adam Warren last night. Matt Antonelli sat, and apparently the Chiefs offense sat with him as they mustered just two more hits and five walks on the evening. Ross Detwiler barely managed to survive the third inning. He gave up a single, a double, and a Kevin Russo two-run double to start the frame. That was immediately followed by a Greg Golson RBI single to make four consecutive hits and to have Detwiler reeling against the ropes. After a lineout to Jesus Valdez, Detwiler bounced back by striking out Jorge Vazquez and Brandon Laird. Detwiler showed some moxie in pitching through adversity for an encouraging fourth consecutive quality start, which will help him battle his way back into the DC conversation.

Trenton 7 Harrisburg 3
• Mock (L, 0-1) 3⅓ IP, 9H, 7R, 7ER, 2BB, 4K
• Martinez 2⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Van Allen 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Norris R, 2 BB
• Moore 1-4, 2B

I would like to offer a moment of silence for all of those Harrisburg fans who will have to watch Garrett Mock today.” — Souldrummer, 6/14/11

Carlos Martinez did his best to keep clean up after Mock, turning in a strong two and 2/3rds innings of relief and stranding both baserunners he inherited. Unfortunately, Harrisburg was practicing its binary code with a 100100100 box score. Steve Lombardozzi followed up his Eastern League player of the week with a classic get-on walk, get-over stolen base, and get-in on a Chris Rahl Single to give Harrisburg an early 1-0 lead. Derek Norris walked to leadoff the fourth, two singles loaded the bastes, and a Jonathan Tucker walk were responsible for Harrisburg’s second run. Sadly, the rally lost steam with a Lombardozzi double play groundout. In the 7th, Lombardozzi reached first on a Jose Pirela error, stole second, reached third on a Corban Joseph fielding error and later scored on a Rahl groundout.

Potomac 5 Myrtle Beach 1 — GAME ONE
• Selik, 7IP, 4H, ER, BB, 4K *CG*
• Kobernus 3-3, R, 2B, 2RBI, BB, SB (24)
• Hood 1-4, 2B, RBI

Myrtle Beach 2 Potomac 0 — GAME TWO
• Olbrychowski 4IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 5K
• Smoker 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Kobernus 1-3, SB (25)
• Peacock 1-3, 2B

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Sue’s take on the doubleheader split.

Hagerstown 2 Lakewood 2 — SUSP. (Top 11)
• Solis 7IP, 4H, 2R, ER, 2BB, 6K
• Manno 2IP, H, BB, 3K *(ERA 0.29. BA .117 in 31 IP)
• Freitas 2-3, R, 2R HR, BB
• Kelso, R, BB, K
Some of the usual suspects showed up for Hagerstown last night. Kelso scored in front of a 2R Frietas home run in the first. Manno’s Minions witnessed another dominant two innings of relief in the 9th and the first frame of extra innings. Sadly, Sammy Solis was his own worst enemy in the fifth. After allowing a leadoff double by Cameron Rupp, Miguel Alvarez singled. Carlos Pedermo reached on a Solis throwing error that ultimately led to an unearned run. Ground outs by Edgar “Duran” Duran, Zach Collier, and Jim Murphy were responsible for the second run that ended the scoring in last night’s extra inning affair before it was suspended. The Grasshoppers won to move into a virtual tie for first place with the Suns with five games to play, while Hagerstown’s magic number remains frozen at seven with seven games to play. Hickory also won last night and is a ½ game back of the top two teams, while Kannapolis is still mathematically alive at two games back with five to play but will only play 68 to ther rest of the teams’ 70 games with two games canceled

DSL Rangers 7 DSL Nationals 6
• Mendez 4IP, 6H, 2R, 1ER, 0BB, 6K
• Martinez 2IP, 4H, 4R, 3ER, 4BB, 3K
• Eusebio 2-4, 2B, SB
• Ruiz 2-2, 2R, 2B

The D-Nats fell below .500 at 6-7 with a 7-6 loss to the DSL Rangers, which was not a doubleheader as anticipated. Gilberto Mendez got the start and struck out six but gave up six hits and allowed two runs (one earned). Somehow the D-Nats nearly overcame seven errors, but only two of the seven runs surrendered were unearned. Diomedes Eusebio and Adderling Ruiz each collected two hits to account for four of the team’s seven hits.

Jun 142011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 8-3 vs. Scranton/WB, 7:00 p.m. Ross Detwiler (5-5, 5.13) vs.
Adam Warren (4-2, 3.53)
Harrisburg Senators OFF DAY @ Trenton, 7:05 p.m. Garrett Mock (0-0, 9.00) vs.
Shaeffer Hall (5-3, 4.00)
Potomac Nationals Postponed vs. Myrtle Beach, 6:05 p.m.
(doubleheader)
Cameron Selik (1-4, 4.11) and
Danny Rosenbaum (4-3, 2.50) vs.
Justin Grimm (2-0, 0.96) and
Barret Loux (5-3, 3.75)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 3-1 @ Lakewood, 7:05 p.m. Sammy Solis (1-0, 3.86) vs.
Jesse Biddle (3-6, 4.13)
DSL Nationals Game Not Reported vs./@ DSL Rangers TBD vs. TBD

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 8 Syracuse 3
• Gorzelanny (L, 0-1) 4IP, 5H, 4ER, BB, 3K, 3R HR
• J.D. Martin 4IP, 7H, 4ER, 0BB, 3K
• Aubrey 2-3, R, 2B, BB
• Blanco, 1-2, R, HR, RBI, 2BB
Tom Gorzelanny was not sharp in his first rehab start back from injury. The big blow was a three-run home run in the third inning that gave Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a 4-0 lead. Syracuse answered with a solo home run from George Blanco in the fourth. They added two runs against Andrew Brackman, who had replaced George Kontos in the fifth. A leadoff double from Michael Aubrey, followed by a Flores HBP, a Jesus Valdez single, and a Corey Brown sac fly led to the additional runs. The Yankees extended their lead in the top of the sixth with an RBI double from Greg Golson. They put it out of reach with three more runs against relievers Lee Hyde and Ryan Tatusko in the 9th.

Harrisburg Senators — OFF DAY
Despite getting swept at home by Akron, the Senators remain in first place by three games in the E.L. West. They’re back on the road for seven games in six days before returning to Harrisburg a week from today for a six-game homestand.

Potomac Nationals — PPD
Unplayable field conditions was the announced (offline) explanation for the postponement. A doubleheader is scheduled for tonight at 6:05 p.m. to make up the game.

Lakewood 3 Hagerstown 1
• Jordan (L, 6-3) 5IP, 4H, 3ER, 2BB, 4K
• Swynenberg 2IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Freitas (1B) 3-4
• Kelso 2-4, R, K

With a 3-1 loss to Lakewood, Hagerstown’s lead is down to one over Greensboro and Hickory in the race for the first-half division title in the Sally League North. The Suns were eclipsed each time a runner reached the apex of the basepaths, going 0-for-10 with RISP and stranding nine runners — seven with two out in the inning. Starter Taylor Jordan’s winless streak was extended to six starts by allowing all three Lakewood runs over five innings on four hits and two walks. Brad Kelso and David Freitas, playing first base, combined for five of the eight Suns hits (Bryce Harper did not play. The magic number to clinch remains at seven with seven games to play, the last five of which are scheduled for Municipal Stadium, where the Suns have actually played worse than on the road (15-15 vs. 22-11).

DSL Nationals vs. DSL Phillies — Empty Box Score
We’ll put the link here so you can see for yourself, but as of this writing at ~7:55 a.m., it looked like LeBron James’s digitus quartus.

Jun 132011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 5-4 vs.
Scranton Wilkes-Barre, 7:00 p.m.
J.D. Martin (1-4, 4.71) vs.
David Phelps (4-4, 2.95)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 5-4 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Nationals Won, 5-2 vs. Myrtle Beach, 7:05 p.m. Tom Gorzelanny (rehab) TBD vs.
Justin Grimm (2-0, 0.96)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 5-4 @ Lakewood, 7:05 p.m. Taylor Jordan (6-2, 2.62) vs.
Ervis Manzanillo (3-3, 5.43)
DSL Nationals OFF DAY @ DSL Phillies, 10:30 a.m. Anthony Marcelino (0-0, 1.00) vs.
Adrian Sierra (0-2, 6.17)

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 5 Syracuse 4
• Arnesen 6⅔ IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 4K
• Severino 1IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 2K
• Frazier 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Marrero 3-4, 2B

Ryan Zimmerman’s rehab start was unsuccessful at the plate with an 0-5 afternoon. He handled five chances in the field — including two bunt attempts — but made a poor fielding choice that helped contribute to Scranton Wilke-Barres four-run 8th inning. Erik Arnesen was stung early by the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees with an Austin Krum double and a Ramiro Pena single but settled down and gave up no additional runs. Jeff Frazier homered to lead off the fifth, the only run off Yankees’ overpriced AAAA signee Kei Igawa. Syracuse scored an unearned run in the 7th inning on a throwing error by relief pitcher Josh Schmidt on a single by Matt Antonelli (3-for-5, now hitting .364/.430/.545). Things fell apart during an 8th inning in which Hassan Pena took the loss when he could not retire a batter. He left the bases loaded for Josh Wilkie after a the dreaded leadoff walk, and two singles. Josh Wilkie not only allowed three runs for Pena to score, he allowed one run of his own to put Syracuse down 5-2 heading the 9th. Syracuse launched a furious comeback, putting the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position with two outs for #MrWalkoff, Ryan Zimmerman, who became #MrWalkBacktotheDugout after a groundout to end the game.

Akron 5 Harrisburg 4
• Peacock (L, 7-2) 6⅓ IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 10K
• VanAllen 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Lombardozzi 2-3, 2R, BB
• Rahl 2-4, 2-2B, 2RBI

Brad Peacock continues to dominate Eastern League batters, this time to the tune of 10 Strasburgesque strikeouts of the Akron Aeros with only one walk. In the first inning, a Steve Lombardozzi leadoff walk eventually led to a Tyler Moore sac fly. Jonothan Tucker singled in Alex Valdez for to tie the score after Peacock had given up two runs in the with the big blow a Nick Weglarz – who later scored – double to right field. Akron scored three more in a 7th inning rally, aided by a Stephen King fielding error. This key error led to FAIL from both Pats: Lehman McCoy, who allowed three singles without retiring a batter, and McCoy Lehman, who gave up a Chun-Hsiu Chen double on a grounder down the line to left field before inducing two groundouts. Akron gave up an unearned
run of its own in the bottom of the 8th as Harrisburg fell short in its comeback bid to eventually match the Chiefs score with a 5-4 loss.

Potomac 5 Carolina 2
• Demny (W, 3-6) 5⅔ IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 5K, HR (10)
• Frias (H, 3) 1⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 2-0 IR-S
• Higley 3-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• Cuevas 3-4, R, 3B, RBI
• Leon 2-3, R

Four wins in a row for Potomac, playing for pride on a Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge

Lakewood 5 Hagerstown 4
• Ray (ND) 5IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 3K
• Holland 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Freitas 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Martinson 1-3, RBI, SF

Apparently, Potomac didn’t get the memo about losing 5-4, but the Suns did, falling to Lakewood but having its magic number reduced to 7 with a loss by second-place Greensboro. Robbie Ray showed signs of mortality, giving up three runs over five innings pitched on five hits and three walks and a mere three strikeouts. David Freitas led an otherwise moribund offensive effort with three-fourths of the cycle, singling, doubling, and homering while driving in two of the four Hagerstown runs. Suns batters went just 1-for-11 with RISP while stranding seven.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
A three-game losing streak has dropped the D-Nats to 6-6 for the season, which is three games off the pace. After hosting three of their last four, the D-Nats hit the road for four of the next six days, including rainout/makeup doubleheader against the Rangers.

Jun 122011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 3-2 vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 7:00 p.m. Erik Arnesen (0-2, 4.91) vs.
Andrew Brackman (2-5, 6.75)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 4-3 vs. Akron, 7:00 p.m. Brad Peacock (7-1, 2.28) vs.
Matt Packer (2-6, 5.19)
Potomac Nationals Won, 2-0 vs. Salem, 1:05 p.m. Paul Demny (2-6, 4.50) vs.
Ryan Pressly (4-5, 4.50)
Hagerstown Suns Suspended:
Top 2nd, 1-1
@ Lakewood, 4:05 p.m. Robbie Ray (2-0, 0.30) vs.
David Buchanan (7-3, 2.68)
DSL Nationals Lost, 7-3
@DSL Mets1
OFF DAY N/A

Syracuse 3 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 2
• Milone (W, 4-4) 7IP, 8H, R, ER, 0BB, 8K, HR
• Balester (S, 1) 1⅔ IP 2H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Zimmerman 2-4, R, RBI; 2 PO’s
• Marrero 2-3, RBI, BB
• Valdez, J. 2-4, R, HR, RBI

Ryan Zimmerman took his rehab tour up to Syracuse against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and delighted the home-team radio announcers to the refrain of “Can we keep him?” Zimmerman made a stellar play to gun down a runner at home on a fielder’s choice and made a pretty grab down the line but a tough throw that Chris Marrero caught with his ever-improving glove. “Watch out NL EAST!” exclaimed the announcers. Both Zimmerman and Chris Marrero had key two-out singles to lead a late two-run rally that put the Chiefs ahead 3-1 before Collin Balester pitched an inning and 2/3rds innings for the save. Starter Tom Milone was his usual calm, cool, and controlled self in allowing a bit of contact on eight hits, but allowing just one run on a solo HR, no walks and striking out batters in key situations, eight in all to even his record at 4-4.

Akron 4 Harrisburg 3
• Ollie Perez 5⅓ IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 7K
• Martin 1IP, 0R, 0BB, K
• Lombardozzi 2-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI
• King 1-4, R, HR, RBI
Once again, Harrisburg got off to a strong offensive start early with a leadoff HR by Steve Lombardozzi, and an unearned run on a Tyler Moore groundout following Josh Johnson’s reaching base on a through-the-wickets error on Beau Mills. Stephen King homered in the bottom of the second to give Harrisburg a 3-1 lead. Unfortunately, it would not be enough. The shell of Ollie Perez, whose velocity topped off in the mid 80s, gave up three runs, one of which was unearned in the first inning following a two-out passed ball on Derek Norris. Jimmy Barthamier continues to struggle in AA. He gave up the decisive run in relief despite striking out four batters in two and 2/3rds innings pitched.

Potomac 2 Salem 0
• Holder (W, 3-7) 7IP, 6H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Nelo (S, 4) 1⅔ IP, 0ER, 0BB, K
• Hood 3-4, R
• Ramirez 2-4, R, 2B

A season-best start for Trevor Holder and a three-game home win streak for Potomac, Last Night In Woodbridge.

Delmarva 1 Hagerstown 0 — SUSP. T2
The rains came in the top of the second with the score tied at 1-1, with Delmarva’s Tyler Kelly channeling Rickey Henderson for a leadoff HR off A.J. Cole. They’ll pick up play next week when the two teams meet in Hagerstown to close out the first half. The Suns magic number remains at eight with second-place Greensboro winning last night in Kannapolis.

DSL Mets1 7 DSL Nationals 3
• Moscat 4⅔ IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K, HR
• Barrientos (L, 1-1) 1IP, 1H, 3R, 1ER, 1BB, 1K
• Difo 2-5, R, SB
• Eusebio 2-4, R, 2B

A three-run seventh broke a 3-3 tie as the DSL Nationals dropped a 7-3 decision to the DSL Mets1 squad for their third straight loss. Felix Moscat started and went the first four and 2/3rds, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four. The D-Nats put 12 in the “H” column on the scoreboard, with Wilmer Difo, Diomedes Eusebio and Aladin Reyes each collecting two hits.