Last Night In Woodbridge

Potomac splits a pair of 3-2 decisions

Midweek doubleheaders are a tough go, especially when the first game goes longer than seven, so I apologize in advance for folks looking for a hands-on writeup for both games…

On a chilly night the Potomac Nationals and Winston-Salem Dash played 17 innings and scored 10 runs, with each team taking a 3-2 decision.

In Game One, the two teams traded goose eggs for the first three innings, as the P-Nat bats started cold for the second straight game and starter Paul Demny allowed just a two-out single in the first.

A leadoff single in the Dash fourth was quickly erased by Sandy Leon (his second CS in six attempts) before Demny allowed a two-out walk and single before escaping the jam with a groundout.

The P-Nats broke up the no-no three innings earlier than Monday night with a Rick Hague single to left. Steve Souza put a coat on a hanger for a two-run shot three batters later for his third home run of the season to give the Pfitz tenants a 2-0 lead.

Demny was lifted with two outs in the sixth and a runner on first in favor of Ryan Demmin who returned the fourth-inning favor with a curve that didn’t that was smacked by Dash’s veteran first baseman Ian Gac for a game-tying two-run shot.

Bad baserunning erased the last true threat of the night for Potomac in the sixth as J.P. Ramirez attempted to take third base from first base on an infield single by Destin Hood. Walks to Leon and Francisco Soriano in the seventh and eighth and a leadoff bunt single by Souza in the ninth was the extent of the offense the rest of the way.

Adam Olbrychowski followed Demmin on the mound and turned in two solid innings of relief with a just a walk allowed and a two strikeouts. Carlos Martinez took the loss in the 10th inning on a lucky break as a grounder up the middle bounced off his ankle towards right field, away from second baseman Jeff Kobernus who was tracking the ball behind the bag. Unable to reverse direction fast enough, the would-be groundout turned into a game-winning single.

The P-Nats took the nightcap in the regulation seven innings with a 3-2 win. Starter Mitchell Clegg turned in four innings, allowing both Winston-Salem runs on four hits and a walk. He also struck out three. Josh Smoker got the win in relief for his 1-2-3 inning while Pat Lehman did likewise for two more for this first save of the season.

With the split, Potomac now stands at 2-3 and has its lone scheduled day off in April before heading up the highway to visit Wilimington for the weekend, coming back next Monday-Wednesday for three-game set against the Frederick Keys.

Byron Kerr is reporting that Rick Hague has injured his shoulder during Game One. This was seen by yours truly but he did not come off the field in apparent distress, so it was attributed to simply playing it safe and giving the bench some playing time. This morning, when looking through the boxscores, I knew something was awry when Dykstra was put in at third base, an unusual move given his defensive struggles.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

28 thoughts on “Last Night In Woodbridge”

      1. Spotted this while filtering through the Twitter feed, but thanks for the heads-up. Post has been updated for this news, along with my commentary.

        1. He actuallly went out the next inning for infield but then removed himself seems to have caught the coaching staff off guard when he did. They looked confused.

          1. It looked like he took a grounder and then tried to throw it to 1st and then walked immediately to the dugout

      2. First it takes Josh Hamilton out of my fantasy lineup, now it takes out Hague. The headfirst slide is the devil’s spawn.

        1. The headfirst slide is the very definition of stupid baseball.
          Zimmerman’s on the DL for the very same reason.

    1. Don’t stop there. Potomac has the potential for the all no-defense team. King did a great bullfighter impression on a grounder in the 4th which was scored as a hit by Stevie Wonder the official scorer. Lecroy was constantly fussing at Leon for not catching pitches. And Eury sometimes has his adventures in CF, akthough he did run down a ball last night that few would have reached. I have a feeling the rovers will be in Potomac a lot this year helping them with defense.

      1. I arrived with two outs in the 4th so I didn’t see the King play, but I will defend him because I have seen an immense improvement on defense from 2009. He’s already made at least a dozen or so plays that last year’s 3B would not have made.

      2. Potomac’s defense could be hideous this year, based on last years’ cumulative numbers, as I brought up in an earlier string. But King at 3B and Souza at 1B have both been pleasant suprises over the first week – I’m willing to give it some time before throwing any of them under a bus just yet.

  1. Personally I am over the Stephen King Experiment. His D is ok to good but his AB have been terrible. He seems to ground out and loaf down the line. Just my opinion.

  2. I agree with toast about Stephen King, experiment over when I saw him loaf to first yesterday. Kind of feeling Eury Perez will be a bust too. Overall though I think the big difference I noticed from Saturday’s and Wednesday’s games that I went to was the lack of aggressive coaching. I think maybe there was one hit & run in yesterday’s game. In all, it didn’t appear to me that Potomac was trying to manufacture any runs with a guy on first several times. This is a stark change from the Randy Knorr and Trent Jewett days. As a matter of fact the only “aggressive” play was the Ramirez attempt to take 3rd on a grounder by Hood, in which he was thrown out by 3 feet. Overall the pitching has been good except for the Demmin outing in which he got tagged with a Solid 420 foot Center field HR. You have to be worried about the Offense though if you are a Pnats Fan like me.

    1. That’s what happens when you get rid of someone like Matt Nokes, a major league all star who turned Tyler Moore into an MVP and prospect and resurrected Josh Johnson’s career, and hire a hitting coach who never got out of A ball and never hit above .200. Real credibility there. Looks like a long season of starting pitchers with low ERAs but losing records, anemic hitting, and a bunch of Michael Jackson’s for defense. You know, a glove on one hand for no apparent reason.

      1. A few notes…

        …The P-Nats were also 2-3 after five games in 2010

        …Tyler Moore was hitting .130 after five games last year.

        …The ability to teach and ability to play are not closely correlated. If anything, they are inversely proportional. Charley Lau, for example was a career .255 hitter, slightly better than Matt Nokes’s .254

        1. RebelliousOne1 is not talking about Charlie Lau he is talking about Mark Harris who is a career .195 and finished his playing in of all places Alexandria for the Dukes.

          1. Understood fully. And Harris has worked with the likes of Wil Myers, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer, much the way Lau worked with George Brett, Hal McRae and Amos Otis. This is not to say that Harris is going to turn our guys into All-Stars, but to reinforce the point that poor hitters can (and do) make good coaches.

    2. I think(hope) the hitting will improve with the weather. It was cold last night!! Eury wil be just like Boomer if he can get on base he will be a major distraction for the pitchers. Cutter can also be a facor on the bases as last night he did steal 2nd and 3rd but was stranded on 3rd. aybe we have become a little spoiled by the older guys being more mature but the younger guys will be more exciting in the long run.

    3. It’s sad if it’s true about King still showing a bad attitude and loafing. After all this time, he must still not get it; proof it takes more than talent to make it.

      Sue, what’s your take?

      1. Offensively, he’s been struggling and he’s been showing some frustration (helmet slams) and hasn’t been burning down the line on ground outs, but he’s been nowhere near Manny-trotting either.

        Five games in cold weather is too small a sample size to draw any meaningful conclusions.

  3. Sue- whats the story/background on Jeremy Mayo who came up for Peacock? I left before the 2nd game started last night.

    1. Mayo is on our watchlist for his performance in the GCL. Here’s the blurb:

      Another ’10 draft pick, Mayo put up a decent line of .284/.397/.477 in
      the GCL, which is not that far off from the .299/.395/.508 line from his
      senior year at Texas Tech. Greg Schaum of says
      his speed is particularly good for a catcher and compares him to
      Jeff Mathis of the Angels.

      1. I personally liked some of the little things Mayo did last night; Signaling the # of outs to the infield, not being afraid to go out to the mound when the pitcher got a little loose. I was suprised by how small he looked – built like Craig Biggio.

  4. Hey Toast, it was cold on both sides of the field and Winston-Salem seemed to have no problem hitting.

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