May 092013
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-3 @ Durham,
7:05 p.m.
Ohlendorf (3-3, 4.58) vs.
J.D. Martin (3-1, 3.94)
Harrisburg Lost, 7-6
(10 inn.)
@ Binghamton,
6:35 p.m.
Demny (1-4, 5.90) vs.
deGrom (0-3, 4.81)
Potomac Won, 3-2 @ Wilmington,
6:35 p.m.
Jordan (2-1, 1.24)
Dupra (0-1, 10.80) vs.
Brooks (0-3, 5.70)
Hagerstown OFF DAY vs. Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Anderson (2-1, 1.85) vs.
Taylor (1-2, 1.19)

Syracuse 5 Durham 3
• Rosenbaum (W, 3-2) 7IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 7K, HBP
• Davis (SV, 4) 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Costanzo 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Walters 2-4, R, 2-2B
• Rhymes 3-4, RBI, CS, SB

Mike Costanzo homered and drove in three runs to power the Syracuse offense as the Chiefs won their third straight over the Bulls, 5-3. Danny Rosenbaum continued his dominance over Durham with another seven strong innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk while piling up a season-high seven strikeouts. J.C. Romero, Jeff Mandel, and Fernando Abad split the eighth, each earning a hold while Erik Davis came on again the 9th for the save, his fourth of the season.

Altoona 7 Harrisburg 6 (10 inn.)
• Treinen 3⅓ IP, 8H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 3K, HR
• Broadway 2⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 1-0 IR-S
• Rendon 2-3, R, 2B, HR, 4RBI, 2BB
• Goodwin 2-4, 3R, BB, SB

Anthony Rendon’s two-out, two-run HR tied it in the 9th for Harrisburg, but Altoona answered with a solo shot in the top of the 10th and held off the Senators for a 7-6 win. Rendon also doubled and drew two walks, driving in four runs altogether to pace the Harrisburg attack, followed closely by Brian Goodwin’s 2-for-4 effort with three runs scored, a walk, and a stolen base. Michael Broadway and Pat McCoy combined for four and 2/3rds scoreless innings of relief, enabling the comeback from a 6-3 deficit.

Potomac 3 Wilmington 2 (6 inn.)
• Ray (W, 3-1) 5IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 7K, HR
• Martinson 1-2, BB, RBI
• Burns 0-1, BB, SB(15)

Rain shortened this one to five-plus innings as Potomac beat Wilmington, 3-2. Robbie Ray got the win, technically a complete game, with two runs allowed on two hits and two walks. His seven strikeouts pushes his Carolina League-leading total to 48. The P-Nats managed just one hit, an RBI single by Jason Martinson in the first. The Blue Rocks battery had a rough night — six walks, two hit batsmen, two wild pitches, and a passed ball. Most of the miscues came in the 5th inning when Potomac scored twice with just one ball leaving the infield (a sacrifice fly by Michael Taylor).

Hagerstown Suns — OFF DAY
After a 5-1 swing through Georgia, Hagerstown comes home for four against Delmarva, leading the Sally League North by a ½ game over Hickory. Roster moves: With the return of Khayyan Norfork from Potomac, IF Matt Foat has been transferred to XST.

May 082013
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 3-2 @ Durham,
11:05 a.m.
Rosenbaum (2-2, 2.51) vs.
Colome (1-4, 2.84)
Harrisburg Won, 13-2 vs. Altoona,
10:30 a.m.
Treinen (3-3, 3.82) vs.
Sanz (1-1, 3.29)
Potomac Lost, 4-1 @ Wilmington,
6:35 p.m.
Ray (2-1, 1.85) vs.
Selman (1-1, 5.57)
Hagerstown Won, 1-0;
Lost, 1-0

Syracuse 3 Durham 2
• Perry (W, 1-3) 6IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Davis (SV, 3) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Solano 3-4, 2B
• Walters 1-3, R, HR, BB, 2RBI

Chris Rahl’s two-run shot tied it while Eury Perez doubled and scored on a Jeff Kobernus bunt single that was tossed away to cap a three-run rally as Syracuse edged Durham, 3-2. It was the first time the Chiefs had won consecutive games since April 8th and 9th in Buffalo. Ryan Perry coughed up a two-out, two-run shot in the 1st, his fourth big fly surrendered in six starts, but settled down to go six innings, with just five hits total, no walks and two strikeouts. Fernando Abad and Mike Crotta each pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout to set up Erik Davis for his third save in the 9th.

Harrisburg 13 Altoona 2
• Karns (W, 3-1) 5IP, 2H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 8K, HR
• Bray 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Van Ostrand 4-5, 2R, 2B, HR, 5RBI
• Bloxom 2-3, R, BB, 2RBI, SF
• Rendon 2-4, 2-2B, BB

The Harrisburg Senators had season highs in hits and runs scored as they pummeled the Altoona Curve, 13-2. Every position player had a hit, five had multiple knocks. Jimmy Van Ostrand’s led the onslaught by going 4-for-5 with a double, homer, and five RBI. Nathan Karns labored through five innings (85 pitches) to get his third win, walking three and striking out eight with two runs allowed on two hits, including a home run. Southpaw Bill Bray made his 2013 debut with two scoreless innings, walking one and striking out one.

Wilmnington 4 Potomac 1
• Schwartz (L, 2-1) 4IP, 3H, 2R, ER, 4BB, 2K
• Herron 3IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 3K
• Sanchez 1-3
• Nieto 1-4, PB(5)

For better or worse, a lot of the “First Impressions” were validated in a 4-1 loss to Wilmington. Except maybe the part about the offense, though that discredits 20-y.o. Royals pitching prospect Kyle Smith’s six innings of two-hit ball. P-Nats starter Blake Schwartz suffered his first loss, allowing two runs on three hits and four walks with two strikeouts. The Adrians Nieto and Sanchez both singled, Cutter Dykstra and Billy Burns both walked twice while Caleb Ramsey’s sac fly in the 7th accounted for the single Potomac run. Roster moves: RHP Taylor Jordan was activated from the Temporary Inactive List, with IF-OF Khayyan Norfork reassigned to Hagerstown.

Hagerstown 1 Rome 0 — GAME ONE
• Pineyro (W, 2-2) 5IP, 4H, 0R, BB, 5K
• Pena (H, 1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Benincasa (SV, 6) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Severino 1-2, 2B, RBI
• B. Miller 1-3, 2B

Three Suns pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout to take the matinee opener, 1-0 and win their seventh straight game. Ivan Pineyro got the win with four hits let up over five innings, with a walk and five strikeouts. Ronald Pena tossed a scoreless 6th to get the hold while Robert Benincasa set ’em down in order in the 7th for his sixth save. Pedro Severino’s RBI double was one of just two Hagerstown hits, with Brandon Miller also doubling.

Rome 1 Hagerstown 0 — GAME TWO
• Encarnacion (L, 2-2) 5IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• Rauh 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Pleffner 1-3, 2B
• Foat 1-2

An unearned run in the last of the 5th dropped the Suns in the second game, 1-0. Pedro Encarnacion took the loss with just two hits and no walks allowed over five innings to go with three K’s. Brian Rauh held things down in the bottom of the 6th with a scoreless frame, but the offense was held again to just two hits — a double by Shawn Pleffner and a single by Matt Foat. The Norfork move (above) was announced minutes after this game completed and a corresponding move by the Suns is not likely to be made until today or tomorrow.

May 072013

After a dozen home games across three homestands, it’s time for the first assessment of this year’s edition of the Potomac Nationals.

This the eighth season I’ve been following the P-Nats, fourth for this site. Just twice in that time have they won the first half (2008) or break .500 (2009). That, of course, is the fan talking — the one who wants to see playoff baseball in September and saw the 40+ win second halves go for naught in 2007 and 2009.

There is, however, the sense that the .500 (15-15) team so far is on the verge of breaking out. The offense, which has already been good, can get better. Likewise for the defense, with the exception of the outfield, which may be the strongest ever seen, thanks to multiple players capable of playing CF. The starting pitching has been sensational, but the bullpen has been anything but. To steal from “Mayflies and Big Flies,” it’s a box of chocolates.

Here are my takes, position-by-position…

Kevin Keyes – The focus has been on the defense thus far, and yes, it’s steadily improving. Light years ahead of Chris Marrero at the same stage of conversion (though that’s not a high bar to clear). The offense, however, has lagged. This is not unusual, he started very slowly last year, too.

Adrian Sanchez – The nagging feeling is that this is not his position, watchlist notwithstanding. It’s not just the errors, but the range, which actually seems to be decreasing, even as he continues his habit of cheating towards the hole and playing unusually deep. Offensively, he’s become quite good at serving up singles to all fields, but at the cost of power, which is not good.

Jason Martinson – Obviously, he’s cooled off. That was bound to happen after putting up Nintendo numbers in the first two weeks of the season. Now, the question is whether or not he can adjust back. A lot will be made of the K’s but he’s still drawing walks, and as long as that’s the case, I suspect the Nats brass will let it slide (see: Espinosa, Danny). Not as much has been made about how his defense has improved, which may actually be why he’s been DH lately (i.e. others need the defensive reps more than he does).

Cutter Dykstra – The biggest difference between the 2011 and 2013 is not the two years of age but the strike-zone judgment. And that’s not just drawing walks, but working the count. Two years ago, it seemed like he was three pitches and out. This year, every at-bat is a grind, and he’s getting better pitches to hit. The question about where he fits defensively still remains. About the only thing I’m sure of is that shortstop isn’t his position.

Billy Burns – Sorry to repeat what’s been in the comments lately, but here it is. Burns is a CF playing LF because Michael Taylor is on the roster. Consequently, for a LF he has outstanding range which has been sorely missing in Woodbridge the past 2-3 seasons. Offensively, he’s a low-power, high-contact speedster with terrific small-ball skills. That’s fun to watch in the minors, but hasn’t been valued at the major-league level for quite some time.

Michael Taylor – Folks that haven’t seen him in person are dismissive, but those of us who have can understand why he’s been touted. Good range, strong arm on defense, quick-twitch at the plate, runs like you’d expect a wiry kid (22 y.o. but looks 12) with long legs (he’s been listed anywhere from 190 to 205 lbs, which would be accurate only when wearing multiple layers of wet, woolen clothing). Still has a habit of waving at pitches on the outside corner rather than taking them.

Caleb Ramsey – There are times when he looks really good, driving the ball to the gaps and making the most out of his average speed. Then there are times when he looks like a backup giving someone a day off. Defensively, the weakest of the bunch in Potomac, playing right field for his arm but has the range of left fielder.

Randolph Oduber – The Groovin’ Aruban is still struggling with strike-zone judgment (27K, 2BB in 17G) and has had his moments of brilliance, but seems to have hit his ceiling. Using him at DH instead of the OF raises questions about his health, which are both fair and natural given that injuries have prevented him from playing much more than half a season in full-season ball.

Adrian Nieto – Once touted as glove-first backstop, often in the same sentence as Sandy Leon, but hasn’t shown it aside from throwing out baserunners. Has had four passed balls charged to him already, which is even worse when you consider that official scorers tend to dole them out sparingly in the minors, much like errors.

Cole Leonida – Perhaps it’s a backhanded compliment, but when it’s Leonida catching instead of Nieto, it’s not all that noticeable. He hits as well, fields as well, and makes the routine defensive plays. Obviously, there’s a reason why he hasn’t been given more playing time in the past, but it’s not immediately apparent in the limited time I’ve seen him thus far.

The shuffling of players between Low-A and High-A and AA has severely limited the Potomac bench’s appearances. Khayyan Norfork had been 10th in games played until his return to Hagerstown today — with 11. Leonida is 11th with 10. The remaining four players (Miller, Soriano, Kelso, Piwinica-Worms) have as many ABs as Norfork and Leonida combined (65).

Robbie Ray – After a dreadful 2012, Ray seems to have put it behind him. The most noticeable change is that he seems to be sacrificing speed for the sake of command. That may not please the velo-hungry folks, but instead of trying to throw 92-94 inaccurately, he’s having success with working 88-90 and hitting his spots.

A.J. Cole – Until last Friday, I wasn’t too impressed with Cole, but could always understand that the excitement is in part the projection based on the live arm on a tall, lean body that even now you can see isn’t done filling out. It’s easy to like a pitcher when he’s “on,” though. I’ve seen the good and bad on the same day, so my biggest caution to folks is that I have a feeling this streakiness will continue.

Taylor Jordan – This is the first full season after having had TJ surgery in 2011 and as such there are expectations that he should pick up where he left off. He has. The velocity seems as good as it ever was, likewise for command and control. Appears to have shelved the curve in favor of the change, but that’s an observation, not a criticism

Taylor Hill – Last year he finished 2012 with Potomac but wasn’t particularly impressive. This year, he’s shown some promise though ironically as a flyball pitcher, not a groundball artist, which is how he was touted. Obviously, that’s a byproduct of his approach, which seems to be more fastball-curve than sinker-slider.

Blake Schwartz – Just one start, which you can read about here.

“If we can just hang with these guys and get into their bullpen, we’ll have a chance.”

That’s the kind of thing Potomac fans have said for years about the opposing teams. This year that sentiment applies to the P-Nats ‘pen.

It’s been better of late, but it’s still a Maalox moment when manager Brian Daubach takes the ball and gives it to the man coming in. Unfortunately, a lot of that is a function of the starters being so good. On the nights when the ‘pen was needed for more than three innings, it hasn’t been pretty.

As is always the case, the sample sizes here are tiny. Matt Grace, for example, got knocked around on Saturday night but prior to that he had five straight scoreless outings with multiple innings pitched. Richie Mirowski has managed to appear in each of the games I’ve had to miss, thus I’ve only seen him once.

Like all of the above, let’s check back in a few weeks and revisit these first impressions.

May 062013
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-5
(11 inn.)
@ Durham,
7:05 p.m.
Maya (0-3, 7.45) vs.
Archer (4-1, 4.06)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-1 vs. Altoona,
7:00 p.m.
Broderick (1-2, 5.34) vs.
Sadler (3-2, 3.50)
Potomac Won, 3-2 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Won, 5-4;
@ Rome,
5:00 p.m.
Pineyro (1-2, 4.58) and
Pena (2-2, 4.43) vs.
LaFreniere (2-0, 4.50) and
Scoggin (2-2, 4.98)

Norfolk 6 Syracuse 5 (11 inn.)
• Young 5⅓ IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 4K
• Davis 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Perez 3-6, R, 2B
• Kobernus 2-6, 2R, SB
• Rhymes 2-5, BB, 2RBI

After taking a two-run lead with single runs in the 6th and 7th, the Chiefs gave it back with a three-run 8th but tied the Tide with a two-out Will Rhymes RBI single in the 9th. Alas, Norfolk got to Mike Crotta (the seventh Syracuse pitcher) in the 11th for the deciding run, 6-5. Chris Young got the start and gave up just two runs on six hits and one walk (all season lows) with four strikeouts. Eury Perez scored the tying run with the second of his three singles, which led the Syracuse hit column. Jeff Kobernus and Micah Owings both scored two runs, with Kobernus swiping his 13th bag, which would lead any league without Billy Hamilton (17).

Binghamton 6 Harrisburg 1
• Clay (L, 3-1) 7IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 2K, 2HR
• Lehman 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Rendon 2-4, BB, 2K
• Hood 2-4, 2B, 2K, OF assist at 2B

Harrisburg was one hit shy of Binghamton, but outhomered 3-0 and outscored 6-1. Caleb Clay took the loss, giving up six hits and four runs, three coming via two home runs allowed. He walked one and struck out two. Anthony Rendon both went 2-for-4 and struck out twice as the Senators were a woeful 1-for-14 with RISP and 11 runners left on. Pat McCoy gave up the third big fly and the final two B-Mets runs in the 8th. Pat Lehman, activated from the DL after Marcos Frias was struck by a line drive on Saturday night, pitched a scoreless 9th.

Potomac 3 Carolina 2
• Hill 7IP, 2H, R, ER, 2BB, 7K, HR
• Mirowski (BS, 2;W, 2-2) 2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 3K
• Burns 2-4, R, RBI, BB, SB
• Taylor 2-5, RBI

For the second time in less than a week, Billy Burns and Michael Taylor teamed up for the walk-steal-walkoff as Potomac edged Myrtle Beach, 3-2 to take the series 2-1 and close out the homestand 5-2. The steal was Burns’s Carolina League-leading 14th while Taylor’s single was his second of the game, but just the third P-Nat hit from scoring position as the P-Nats struggled to plate their nine hits and six walks, not to mention three Pelican errors. Taylor Hill gave up just two hits over seven innings, but one was a solo shot. He walked two and struck out seven. Richie Mirowski got the win with an unearned run over the last two frames, allowing two hits and a walk but setting down three on strikes.

Hagerstown 5 Augusta 4 — GAME ONE
• Turnbull (W, 2-0) 5IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 3K, 2HR
• Hudgins (H, 2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Benincasa (SV, 5) 1IP, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• Miller 3-3, 2R, 2-2B, HR, 3RBI
• Schill 2-3, RBI

Brandon Miller doubled and scored twice, homered once, and drove in three runs as the Suns edged the Braves, 5-4 in what was to be the first of two in Rome, GA yesterday afternoon. Kylin Tunrbull got the win, but continues to give up the long hits, allowing seven total with five going for extra bases (two homers, two doubles, and a triple) as he gave up four runs and walked one with three strikeouts in his second start since being demoted from Potomac. Will Hudgins pitched a scoreless 6th for his second hold while Robert Benincasa walked two and struck out three in the 7th for his fifth save.

Hagerstown vs. Augusta — GAME TWO (PPD.)
The rains came back and postponed game two. They’ll try to get in two tonight, weather permitting.

May 052013
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 9-1 @ Norfolk,
1:05 p.m.
Young (0-1, 9.00) vs.
Stinson (1-0, 1.96)
Harrisburg Lost, 8-2 vs. Binghamton,
2:00 p.m.
Clay (3-0, 2.17) vs.
Cohoon (2-0, 4.35)
Potomac Lost, 11-5 vs. Myrtle Beach,
1:05 p.m.
Hill (3-1, 2.43) vs.
Eickhoff (2-2, 4.44)
Hagerstown Postponed @ Rome,
2:00 p.m.
Turnbull (1-0, 1.50) and
vs. Pineyro (1-2, 4.58) vs.
W. Perez (3-1, 3.08)
Scoggin (2-2, 4.98)

Syracuse 9 Norfolk 1
• Ohlendorf (W, 3-3) 7⅓ IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Crotta 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K, 1-0 IR-S
• Kobernus 4-5, 3R, 2B, 2RBI, 2SB
• Walters 3-5, R, RBI
• Rivero 2-5, R, 2B, RBI

The fourth was strong with Syracuse as the Chiefs scored nine unanswered runs in a 9-1 victory over the Norfolk Tides. Just three hits did Ross Ohlendorf give up as seven and a third innings he did pitch, the solo run on a home run in the first. Jeff Kobernus led the 15-hit attack with a 4-for-5 night with a double and two RBI and two stolen bases. Zach Walters was close behind with three singles in five ABs as five Chiefs had multiple hits. The win ended a five-game losing streak.

Binghamton 8 Harrisburg 2
• Demny (L, 1-4) 4IP, 6H, 5R, 2ER, 3BB, 7K
• Holder 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Hague 1-3, R, 2K
• Head 1-4, 2RBI

A three-run 4th knocked Paul Demny from the box as Harrisburg fell to Binghamton, 8-2. It was the fifth time in six starts that Demny failed to go six innings, as he was charged with five runs (two earned) on six hits and three walks, though he did strike out seven. Trevor Holder turned in two perfect innings of relief to start, but the offense never got going, tallying just three hits and three walks while fanning eight times. Anthony Rendon drew a walk but struck out twice in three ABs his return to the minors.

Carolina 11 Potomac 5
• Dupra (L, 0-1) 4+ IP, 5H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 4K, HR
• Taylor 3-5, R, 2-2B, RBI
• Burns 2-4, R, BB, RBI, SB
• Dykstra 2-5

Just two innings saw neither team score as Myrtle Beach pounded Potomac Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown vs. Augusta — PPD

Heavy rains rendered the field unplayable in the series opener, which is scheduled to be made up this afternoon with a doubleheader.

May 042013
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-2 @ Norfolk,
7:05 p.m.
Ohlendorf (2-3, 5.46) vs.
Britton (1-0, 1.98)
Harrisburg Won, 6-1 vs. Binghamton,
7:00 p.m.
Demny (1-3, 6.12) vs.
Goeddel (1-2, 5.70)
Potomac Won, 10-3 vs. Myrtle Beach,
6:35 p.m.
Dupra (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Payano (1-2, 4.76)
Hagerstown Won, 9-1 @ Rome,
7:00 p.m.
Turnbull (1-0, 1.50) vs.
W. Perez (3-1, 3.08)

Norfolk 8 Syracuse 2
• Rosenbaum (L, 2-2) 5IP, 10H, 6R, 5ER, 3BB, 5K, 2HR
• Romero 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Rhymes 2-4, RBI
• Komatsu 1-2, R, BB

This one was over early as the Tide rolled in for five in the first and cruised to another 8-2 win over the Chiefs. Starter Danny Rosenbaum doubled his season strikeout total with five on the night but also gave up twice as many runs (six) and a pair of home runs for 10 hits total over five innings. Will Rhymes led the seven-hit offensive effort with a 2-for-4 night and an RBI as Syracuse avoided the shutout with a two-spot in the eighth.

Harrisburg 3 Binghamton 1
• Treinen (W, 3-3) 7IP, 5H, 0R, BB, 5K, WP, BK
• Holland (H, 2) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Goodwin 1-3, R, 3B
• Johnson 2-4, R, RBI

The Senators returned to .500 with a 3-1 win over the Binghamton Mets. Blake Treinen evened his win-loss mark at three apiece with seven scoreless innings with five hits and one walk allowed. Neil Holland led a trio of relievers with a scoreless eighth while Aaron Barrett nailed things down by striking out the lone batter he faced with the tying runs on base in the 9th for his fifth save. The top four batters combined to go 5-for-15 with a double (Bloxom) and a triple (Goodwin) with Josh Johnson the sole Senator to have multiple hits at 2-for-4. Roster moves: C Jeff Howell was reassigned from Syracuse, with C Kris Watts placed on the 7-Day DL to make room of the Senators roster. Today, 3B Anthony Rendon will be activated with IF Francisco Soriano to be reassigned to Potomac per Geoff Morrow of the Patriot-News.

Potomac 10 Carolina 3
• Cole (W, 1-1) 6IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 9K
• Meza 2IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 2K
• Leonida 2-3, 2R, HR, 4RBI
• Burns 3-4, BB, RBI
• Oduber 1-3, 3B, 3RBI

A.J. Cole struck out a season-high nine as the P-Nats broke into double digits for the fourth time this season Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 9 Augusta 1
• Andwerson (W, 2-1) 6IP, 0H, 0R, 5BB, 7K
• Fischer (SV, 3) 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K, 2-1 IR-S
• McQuillan 3-4, R, RBI, SB, SAC, E(8)
• Pleffner 3-5, R, RBI

A seven-run 8th busted open a pitcher’s duel as the Suns pitchers combined to one-hit the GreenJackets in a 9-1 smackdown. Dixon Anderson walked five and struck out seven over six no-hit frames. Bryan Harper walked one in his 2/3rds of an inning while David Fischer let ‘im in on a wild pitch but closed out the game with two and a 1/3rds innings pitched and the lone Augusta hit surrendered. Hagerstown pounded out 13 hits with Mike McQuillan and Shawn Pleffner both racking up three singles.

May 032013
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-2 @ Norfolk,
7:05 p.m.
Rosenbaum (2-1, 1.14) vs.
Jurrjens (2-1, 2.64)
Harrisburg Won, 6-1 vs. Binghamton,
7:00 p.m.
Treinen (2-3, 4.76) vs.
deGrom (0-2, 4.91)
Potomac Won, 5-1 vs. Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Cole (0-1, 4.85) vs.
Payano (1-2, 4.76)
Hagerstown Won, 3-2 @ Augusta,
7:05 p.m.
Anderson (1-1, 2.25) vs.
Flores (2-0, 1.52)

Norfolk 8 Syracuse 2
• Perry 4+ IP, 9H, 7R, 7ER, 4BB, 0K, HR
• Tatusko 4IP, 2H, R, ER, 3BB, 4K, HR
• Kobernus 2-4, 2SB (10)
• Rhymes 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

The Tide ripped Ryan Perry for seven runs over four-plus innings as Norfolk defeated Syracuse, 8-2. The 26-year-old walked four and struck out none and gave up nine hits, including a solo shot to Trayvon Robinson. Ryan Tatusko let in two after coming in with the bases loaded and no outs, but stopped the bleeding with four innings of long relief, with just one run allowed (another Robinson HR). Jeff Kobernus and Will Rhymes both went 2-for-4 to pace the Chiefs offense. Roster Moves: OF-1B Jimmy Van Ostrand reassigned to Harrisburg; OF Erik Komatsu reassigned to Syracuse

Harrisburg 6 New Britain 1
• Karns (W, 2-1) 6⅓ IP, 3H, R, ER, 3BB, 3K
• Barrett 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 2K, 2-0 IR-S
• Head 3-5, R, HR, 2RBI, CS
• Watts 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Hood 2-3, 2R, 2B, BB

A four-run fifth broke a string of 14 scoreless innings as the Senators pounded out a season-best 13 hits en route to a 6-1 win in the getaway matinee (hey, that rhymes!) versus the Rock Cats. Nathan Karns struggled some early, issuing leadoff walks in the 1st and 3rd innings, but recovered to pitch into the 7th for his second win and second quality start. Pat McCoy stranded one runner while Aaron Barrett stranded two as the two combined for two and 2/3rds scoreless innings of relief. Jerad Head led the Harrisburg hit parade with a home run and two singles for his fourth straight multihit game.

Potomac 5 Carolina 1
• Jordan (W, 2-1) 8IP, 5H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Holt 3BF, 3H, 1R, 1ER
• Self (SV, 2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Sanchez 3-4, R
• Norfork 2-4, 2R, HR, 2RBI, 1PO, 7A

Taylor Jordan threw eight scoreless innings while Khayyan Norfork dazzled on both offense and defense Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 3 Augusta 2
• Encarnacion (W, 2-1) 6IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Henke (H, 1) 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Renda 3-4, R, BB, 2RBI, SB
• Ramos 1-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB, 2K

The Suns scored three in the 2nd and held off the GreenJackets in the 9th for a 3-2 win in Augusta. All three runs came with two out as Tony Renda cashed in the back-to-back walks drawn by Wes Schill and Hunter Bailey to lead off the inning with a two-run single. Mike McQuillan send Renda to third with a safety to RF but couldn’t score from first on “Help Me” Wander Ramos’s double to CF that drove in the third Hagerstown run. Pedro Encarnacion tossed six shutout innings to get the win while the trio of Cody Davis, Travis Henke, and Robert Benincasa each pitched an inning in relief, with Benincasa getting the save, his fourth, though he gave up a home run in the 9th.

May 022013
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY @ Norfolk,
6:35 a.m.
Perry (0-1, 4.79) vs.
Arrieta (1-0, 0.00)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-0 @ New Britain,
10:35 a.m.
Karns (1-1, 3.80) vs.
Hermsen (0-1, 5.79)
Potomac Lost, 3-2
(10 inn.)
vs. Carolina,
7:05 p.m.
Jordan (1-1, 1.59) vs.
Anderson (3-0, 2.25)
Hagerstown Won, 5-3 @ Augusta,
7:05 p.m.
Encarnacion (1-1, 2.60) vs.
Stratton (2-1, 2.38)

Syracuse — OFF DAY
It’s the first southern swing for Syracuse, with four against the Norfolk Tides and and four against the Durham Bulls. The road has actually been a friend to the Chiefs with a 6-4 mark vs. 3-12 at home.

New Britain 4 Harrisburg 0
• Broderick (L, 1-2) 7IP, 10H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 6K, HR
• Swynenberg 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Head, Bloxom, Hood 2-4
• 0-for-5 RISP, 7 LOB

Usually when the heart of the order goes 6-for-12, you can chalk up a win. But not when the rest of the lineup goes 0-for-20. The Rock Cates took Game 3 of 4 with a 4-0 shutout in mercifully short 121-minute game. Brian Broderick scattered 10 hits over seven frames and let in four runs, the last coming on a solo shot, but the sixth HR the veteran has allowed in as many starts. Jerad Head, Justin Bloxom, and Destin Hood each singled twice while Sandy Leon and Ricky Hague both drew a walk, but the top three batters struck out six times as the Senators were shut out for the first time in 2013.

Carolina 3 Potomac 2 (10 inn.)
• Ray 5IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 7K
• Herron 3IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• Mirowkski 1IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K, 1HR
• Nieto 2-3, R, HR, 2RBI, BB
• Zimmerman 0-3, 2PO, 1A

Richie Mirowski fell victim to the homer again as the P-Nats fell in extras, 3-2. Unlike his previous outing in Myrtle Beach, his teammates had the chance to take him off the hook but speedster Billy Burns was caught stealing for just the second time this season to end the game in the bottom of the 10th. Robbie Ray got the start and went the first five innings, allowing two runs on four hits and four walks while striking out seven. Adrian Nieto provided both Potomac runs on his second home run in the 2nd inning and went 2-for-3 with a walk overall, but the P-Nats were otherwise held in check with just five hits total, two walks drawn and 11 strikeouts.

Hagerstown 5 Augusta 3
• Pena (W, 2-2) 5IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, 6BB, 3K
• McKenzie (H, 1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Rauh (SV, 2) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Pleffner 1-2, R, RBI, 2BB, SB
• Severino 2-4
• Schill 1-4, R, 2B, 3RBI

Hagerstown got to spot starter Justin Schumer early, pounding him for five runs in the first and held off Augusta for a 5-3 win. Ronald Pena worked around six walks in five innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits and striking out three to even his win-loss record at 2-2. Chris McKenzie and Brian Rauh combined for four shutout innings to earn the hold and save respectively. Shawn Pleffner led the Suns attack with single, two walks, an RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base.

May 012013
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 7-1 OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Won, 6-2 @ New Britain,
6:35 p.m.
Broderick (1-1, 5.40) vs.
Darnell (2-1, 2.73)
Potomac Won, 5-0;
Won, 4-3
vs. Carolina,
7:05 p.m.
Ray (2-1, 1.55) vs.
Colon (0-1, 4.15)
Hagerstown OFF DAY @ Augusta,
7:05 p.m.
Pena (1-2, 4.67) vs.
Schumer (0-1, 3.86)

Durham 7 Syracuse 1
• Maya (L, 0-3) 5⅔ IP, 5H, 5R, 5ER, 3BB, 2K, HR
• Abad ⅓ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 0K, 2-2 IR-S
• Perez 2-4, R, SB
• Rahl 1-3, 2B

Poor pitching from an aging veteran? Check. Too little offense? Check. Rinse, lather; repeat. With a 7-1 defeat to Durham, Syracuse lost for the 7th time in its last eight games and 12th time in 15 home games. Starter Yunesky Maya allowed five runs on five hits and three walks over five and 2/3rds innings to suffer his third loss in five starts. Eury Perez led the Chiefs hit column with a pair of singles, scoring the lone Syracuse run on Jeff Kobernus’s 8th-inning double that prevented back-to-back shutouts by Durham pitchers. As predicted yesterday, C Sam Palace was returned to the DL with the arrival of C Jhonatan Solano.

Harrisburg 6 New Britain 2
• Clay (W, 3-0) 5⅔ IP, 3H, 2R, 0ER, 3BB, K
• Krol (H, 1) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K, 3-0 IR-S
• Head 2-4, R, 2RBI
• Bloxom 1-3, R, HR, SF, 3RBI

Caleb Clay ran out of gas in the 6th, but still outpitched former Nats farmhand Alex Meyer as Harrisburg defeated New Britain, 6-2. An error and three walks issued in the Rock Cats’ 6th rendered both runs Clay was charged with as unearned, thanks in large part to Ian Krol’s strikeout to leave ’em loaded in what was a 4-2 game at the time. Justin Bloxom’s two-run shot in the 8th gave the Senators some breathing room as well as his second and third RBIs. Jerad Head led the hit column with two singles and drove in two as well.

Potomac 5 Carolina 0 — GAME ONE
• Schwartz (W, 2-0) 5IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Grace 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Ramsey 3-3, 2R, 2B, SB, RBI
• Dykstra 2-3, RBI
• Taylor 1-3, R, 2RBI

Drizzle pushed back the start of the doubleheader to 7 p.m., hence the coverage of just the first game of the doubleheader Last Night In Woodbridge

Potomac 4 Carolina 3 — GAME TWO
• Hill 5⅔ IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, HR
• Self (W, 1-1) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Martinson 1-3, R, 2B, 2SB, 2DP
• Ramsey 1-3, 2B, RBI, SB

Billy Burns walked, stole second, and came around to score on a Michael Taylor single to give Potomac the walkoff win and a doubleheader sweep with a 4-3 win in the nightcap. Eight of the Woodbridge nine reached base as the P-Nats racked up eight hits, drew three walks, and swiped six bases (three by Billy Burns). Starter Taylor Hill gave up all three Mudcats runs on six hits, including a solo shot in the first, but pitched into the 6th for third time in five starts. Derek Self stranded two runners for Hill with a popup to the first batter he faced, then set ’em down in order in the 7th to get the win. Caleb Ramsey combined for a 4-for-5 night with two doubles, two RBI and two stolen bases for the night.

Hagerstown — OFF DAY
The longest roadtrip of the season for the Suns as they make their only regular-season trip to Georgia to play three against the Augusta GreenJackets and four against the Rome Braves before returning home for four against the Delmarva Shorebirds. The other shoe has dropped on the promotion of Brian Dupra, as the Suns announced LHP Bryan Harper has been activated from the DL.

Apr 302013

Ever Seen The Rain

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-0 vs. Durham,
12:00 p.m.
Maya (0-2, 7.33) vs.
Archer (3-1, 5.04)
Harrisburg Lost, 16-8 @ New Britain,
7:00 p.m.
Clay (2-0, 2.70) vs.
A. Meyer (2-0, 1.64)
Potomac Postponed vs. Carolina,
6:00 p.m.
Schwartz (1-0, 0.00) and
Hill (3-1, 1.88) vs.
Morimando (1-2, 1.80) and
Roberts (1-3, 6.10)
Hagerstown Postponed OFF DAY N/A

Durham 5 Syracuse 0
• Young (L, 0-1) 5⅔ IP, 8H, 5R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K
• Mandel 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Marrero 2-4
• Rahl 2-3

Chris Young improved in his second start, albeit from awful to bad, but it was mostly a moot point as Syracuse offense was shut down (and out) in a 5-0 loss to Durham. Young was charged with all five runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out two over five and 2/3rds innings. Just three Chiefs hit safely (five singles) and only one reached second base (Chris Rahl) and watched as the next two batters made outs. With the activation of C Wilson Ramos, C Jhonatan Solano was optioned back to Syracuse with C Jeff Howell placed an the Temporary Inactive List. Solano was in transit when the game begun last night, thus C Sam Palace was activated from the DL as an emergency option and will likely go back once “The Onion” rejoins the team.

New Britain 16 Harrisburg 8
• Demny (L, 1-3) 3⅓ IP, 8H, 6R, 6ER, BB, K
• Goodwin 3-5, R, 2B, 3B, CS
• Bloxom 3-4, R, RBI

New Britain sent 15 men to the plate in the 4th and 10 of ’em came ’round to score as the Rock Cats doubled up the Senators, 16-8. Starter Paul Demny took the brunt of the beating, charged with six runs on eight hits and a walk over three and a 1/3rd innings for his third loss of the season. New Britain pounded out 19 hits total, but hit no home runs against the four Harrisburg pitchers. Brian Goodwin was a home run shy of the cycle while Justin Bloxom singled three times in four trips to the plate to lead the Sens offense.

Carolina vs. Potomac — PPD
“Constant rainfall and wet grounds” were the reasons cited for the postponement last night, which was not made until slightly more than a half hour before the scheduled first pitch. It is scheduled to be made up tonight as part of a doubleheader at 6:00 p.m.

Hagerstown vs. Hickory — PPD
Rain postponed the finale between the Suns and the Crawdads with both teams off until next month. The game will be made up when Hickory next comes to town on June 10th as part of a doubleheader that’s scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m.