After a preventable, unscheduled day off on Monday, the Potomac Nationals took to the field on Tuesday to take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for pair of seven-inning games, and as the pic suggests, it was split.
Potomac won the first game 5-1 to extend its winning streak to five games, the longest of season — home or away — as Cameron Selik tossed a complete game for the victory, his second win of the season (third complete game) for the P-Nats.
Selik went all seven innings, allowing the one run on four hits, one walk, and four strikeouts. He threw 54 of his 78 pitches for strikes, and retired the side four times, though he labored through the seventh by loading the bases and giving up a warning-track flyball to right.
Since getting tattooed for 10 runs in four and a 1/3rd innings on May 13, Selik has given up just 11 runs (seven earned) over his past five starts. Though he’s won two and lost two, he’s posted a WHIP of 0.95, an ERA of 1.99 and an FIP of 3.42 — all great numbers when you compare them to the league averages of 1.27, 3.76, and 3.29.
But more importantly, Selik has shown significant improvement from that first home outing. The pitches are down in he zone, he’s getting that slider underneath the forearms of the right-handed batters (slipping in the backdoor to the lefties) and mixing in his breaking pitches with some flair (no, that flair; more like this flair) to fluster batters.
Offensively, the first game was a showcase for Jeff Kobernus, who went 3-for-3 with a walk, a double, a run scored, two RBI, and a stolen base — his league-leading 24th (No. 25 would come in the nightcap). Destin Hood and Eury Perez would drive in the other three runs as the 1-2-3 batters combined to go 5-for-11 with two doubles.
The second game was what the stat folks might call a reversion to the mean, with Potomac losing 2-0 on just two hits on offense.
Adam Olbrychowski got the spot start in the second game of the double-dip, but took the loss. The middle reliever went four innings and gave up both Pelican runs on six hits but also struck out five while walking just one, aided by two double plays but hindered by two errors, too. Josh Smoker and Joe Testa followed him out of the ‘pen, combining for three scoreless innings on two hits, a walk, and four K’s.
As the summary suggests, the pitching wasn’t the problem in the second game; the lack of offense was. Potomac loaded the bases in the first on three walks but couldn’t get the two-out hit when it needed it. Kobernus got his fourth hit of the night in the third with a infield single to short but 11 of the next 12 batters would be retired before J.P. Ramirez drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the seventh.
Brian Peacock ripped a double to left, hard enough for Ramirez to make it to third, to put two runners in scoring position for J.R. Higley, who struck out for the third time. Destin Hood pinch-hit for Justino Cuevas but the Carolina League All-Star grounded to second to end the game.
The split puts Potomac at 27-38 for the first half, two games behind third-place Lynchburg and 14 games behind first-place (and playoff-bound) Frederick. With no team release written since Sunday, and the MiLB.com listing “TBD,” today’s starter is unknown. Sources do report, however, that last night’s expected starter (Danny Rosenbaum) is not injured.