Draft Deadline Discussion

I’ve been honest about my distaste for the draft, but following an offline suggestion, I’m creating a post for folks to comment on what might happen tonight. For the first time since ’08, the pressure to sign the #1 pick overall is off, which is just as well because there are still hard feelings from that hot August night when the Nats didn’t sign Aaron Crow.

From what I can gather, the Nats should sign at least four of their top five picks, with Matt Purke being the wildcard. For the purposes of fodder, here’s a little link-o-rama of the beat guys’ thoughts (as I go to virtual press, Bill Ladson, et al):

Mark Zuckerman — Deadline day for draft picks to sign

Ben Goessling — For Nationals, annual dance with Boras ends tonight

Adam Kilgore — Nationals hoping to finish off a meaningful draft

Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Postponed vs.
5:00 p.m.
Yunesky Maya (1-8, 5.30),
Craig Stammen (9-6, 4.62) vs.
Adam Warren (6-5, 3.39),
D.J. Mitchell (9-9, 3.54)
Harrisburg Won, 4-2 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Lost, 5-2 @ Kinston,
6:30 p.m.
Adam Olbrychowski (4-6, 4.50)
vs. Mike Rayl (0-1, 4.24)
Hagerstown Won, 9-1 vs. Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Matt Swynenberg (5-1, 3.24) vs.
Tanner Bushue (6-4, 4.28)
Auburn Cancelled ALL STAR
GCL Nationals Won, 12-10;
Lost, 7-1
@/vs. GCL Mets
@/vs. GCL Marlins,
11:00 a.m.
DSL Nationals Cancelled
vs. DSL Giants
@ DSL Marlins,
10:30 a.m.

Syracuse Chiefs — PPD
Rain postponed Sunday’s game to today, when it will be made up with a pair of seven-inning games.

Harrisburg 4 Trenton 2
• Arnesen (W, 8-3) 7IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 10K
• Komatsu 3-5, R, RBI, 2SB
• Harper 2-2, 2BB

A pair of two-run rallies in the first two frames combined with seven strong innings from veteran Erik Arnesen was the formula for a 4-2 Harrisburg triumph over Trenton. Arnesen struck out a season-high 10 batters while allowing just an unearned run on four hits and no walks. The other Erik, Komatsu, led the offense with a 3-for-5 night, scoring a run, driving in a run, and stealing two bases. Bryce Harper reached base four times with two hits and two walks. The win combined with a doubleheader loss by Bowie puts Harrisburg back into first place, plus a one-game lead. Archie Gilbert was returned from Potomac to replace Adam Fox on the Senators roster.

Myrtle Beach 5 Potomac 2
• Selik (L, 4-9) 3⅔ IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Holder 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Lozada 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Soriano 1-3, R, BB, SBThe 5-2 loss makes for a 3-4 homestand that ended Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 9 Lexington 1
• Demmin (W, 3-2) 5IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 2K
• Holt (H, 2) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Keyes 4-4, RBI
• Curran 3-4, 3R, 3B, HR, 4RBI

The trio of former Doubledays combined to limit the Lexington Legends to just one run on five hits as the Suns debunked the Legends, 9-1. Ryan Demmin got the win with the lone run allowed on two hits and two walks, while Greg Holt and Colin Bates both turned in two scoreless innings. Kevin Keyes led the 14-hit assault with a perfect 4-for-4 game and an RBI, followed closely by Chris Curran’s 3-for-4 effort that was a double shy of the cycle. The win was the fourth straight for Hagerstown, which finally gained a game on Kannapolis and slipped into second place, three games behind in the Sally North.

Auburn-Staten Island — CNCLD
It’s rain across the state of New York, as the Auburn-Staten Island game was canceled without a scheduled makeup.

GCL Nationals 12 GCL Mets 10 — GAME ONE
• Encarnacion 3⅓ IP, 3H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 2K, HR
• Lee 1⅔ IP, 1H 0R, 4BB, 3K
• Karlen 4-4, R, 3B, 3RBI, BB
• E Martinez 3-5, 2R, 3B, SB
• Mozingo 3-5, 2R, 2B, RBI, BB

Good pitching and defense took the afternoon off as the GCL Nationals and GCL Mets combined for 22 runs, 25 hits, and six errors, with the G-Nats scoring a pair in the “extra” 8th inning with the aid of a wild pitch. Frank Karlen led the G-Nat offense with a 4-for-4 game, with a walk, a run scored, and three RBI. Cody Davis got the blown-save-win in his 4th GCL game of the season.

GCL Nationals 7 GCL Mets 1 — GAME TWO
• Medina (L, 0-3) 4IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 3K
• Smith 2IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 1K
• Mozingo 1-1, 2B, RBI, SF
• Difo 1-1, R

Rain shortened the second game as the G-Mets piled on four in the 5th and three in the 6th for a 7-1 win over the G-Nats. Silvio Medina took the loss with the four-spot given up over the first four innings. Offensively, the G-Mets were limited to just two hits, as Wilmer Difo singled, took third on an errant pickoff throw, and scored on Chad Mozingo’s sac fly. The split leaves the G-Nats at 16-29, 1½ games ahead of the G-Astros in the “race” for fourth place in the GCL East.

DSL Nationals-DSL Giants — CNCLD
With the last week of the DSL upon us, a rainout cancelled this contest between two also-rans.

Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge

It’s not quite the rookie wall, but Cameron Selik may be hitting it.

The 23-year-old flirted with perfection for one turn through the lineup plus two batters before giving up a walk. OK, no problem, right?


A double over the head of Eury Perez in center broke up both the no-hitter and the shutout, and tied the game at 1-1. A home run to right put the Pelicans up 3-1. A triple to left-center, then a double to right-center and Selik’s day was done.

Maybe it’s day games that don’t agree with Cameron, or perhaps the Pfitz itself — his ERA is nearly 1½ runs lower at night, 2½ lower on the road. But my gut says that as his first full (long) professional season as a starter, he’s hitting a rough patch that affects a lot of pitchers when they pitch deeper into the summer than they ever have before.

Of course, it doesn’t help that Selik was facing a team chock-full of lowball hitters and was following a pitcher with a similar repertoire. His pitches may have had a little less life on them, but they were down in the zone.

The starters-turned-relievers that followed Selik did an admirable job to keep the team within striking distance, as Mitchell Clegg stranded two runners for Selik, then retired five straight before Myrtle Beach’s 5-6-7 batters (all went 2-for-4) repeated their feats with three straight singles. Trevor Holder did likewise for Clegg, then retired three straight but was able to work around a leadoff double in the 8th. The two combined for four and 1/3rd innings, with one run allowed on four hits.

I call this out because that kind of effort only gets mentioned when the hitters can make the comeback, and lately, that seems to be too tall an order for the Potomac nine. Take away two errors by the newest Pelican, Andrew Clark, and it’s just one base runner over the middle third of the game, a two-out walk to Steve Souza.

Even after Jose Lozada’s leadoff HR in the 7th, the offense just couldn’t get it going — a hit batsmen and a single set up runners on first and second for Jeff Kobernus, who then flied out weakly to right and the ordinarily “money man” Destin Hood popped up to the catcher.

The way the game ended was almost emblematic of the struggle: a two-out single, then a pickoff at first.

The 5-2 loss was a missed chance to gain ground on Frederick, while Lynchburg was rained out of its finale with Wilmington, reducing the Potomac lead to 5½ games.

The P-Nats embark on a quick three-game roadtrip to Kinston before returning home for a six-games-in-seven days homestand against Winston-Salem and Wilmington.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Won, 4-2 vs. Scranton/WB,
5:00 p.m.
Yunesky Maya (1-8, 5.30) vs.
Adam Warren (6-5, 3.39)
Harrisburg Lost, 7-4 vs. Trenton,
6:00 p.m.
Erik Arnesen (7-3, 2.53) vs.
Graham Stoneburner (1-2, 2.86)
Potomac Won, 3-2 vs.
Myrtle Beach,
1:05 p.m.
Cameron Selik (4-8, 4.33) vs.
Justin Grimm (3-2, 3.55)
Hagerstown Won, 2-0 vs. Lexington,
4:05 p.m.
Ryan Demmin (2-2, 2.28) vs.
Carlos Quevedo (7-4, 3.93)
Auburn Lost, 5-0 @
Staten Island,
4:00 p.m.
Taylor Hill (0-2, 4.58) vs.
Bryan Mitchell (0-3, 4.82)
GCL Nationals Won, 7-4
vs. GCL Astros
@/vs. GCL Mets,
11:00 a.m.
DSL Nationals Won, 4-2;Lost, 4-3
@/vs. DSL Cubs2
vs. DSL Giants,
10:30 a.m.

Syracuse 4 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 2
• Milone 7IP, 8H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 6K
• Mandel (W, 4-3) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Bynum 3-4, R, 3B, HR, 2RBI
• Solano 2-3, 2R, HR, RBI, BB

Back-to-back big flies by Jhonatan Solano and Seth Bynum broke a 2-2 tie and sent Syracuse on to a 4-2 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Jeff Mandel got the win with a scoreless inning of relief, while Josh Wilkie bounced back from his last outing to record his 10th save with a perfect 9th. Tom Milone went the first seven innings, giving up two runs on eight hits, but walked none and struck out six. Bynum and Solano also combined for five of the nine Chiefs hits, three of the four runs and RBI. The win improves Syracuse to 54-65, 13½ games behind Pawtucket for first place in the I.L. North.

Trenton 7 Harrisburg 4
• Perez, O (L, 3-3) 4⅓ IP, 8H, 7R, 3ER, 2BB, 5K, 2HR
• VanAllen 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Davis 3-3, 2-2B, 2RBI, BB, SB
• Johnson 1-3, R, BB

Oliver Perez dug his own grave with an error and a first-inning grand slam as Trenton, um, thundered past Harrisburg, 7-4. Perez gave up all seven runs on eight hits and two walks over four and a 1/3rd innings. Carlos Martinez and Cory VanAllen combined for four and 2/3rds scoreless innings of relief to give the Sens a chance at a comeback. Leonard Davis singled, doubled twice, walked, stole a base and drove in two in the losing effort. The loss flip-flops Harrisburg from a ½ game up to a &frac; game back of Bowie in the E.L. West.
Adam Fox informs us via Twitter that he’s headed to “the Cuse” to cover Tug Hulett’s paternity leave for the next five days.

Potomac 3 Myrtle Beach 2
• Demny (W, 8-10) 8IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 4K
• Frias (S, 1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Gilbert 3-5, R, 2B
• Dykstra 2-4, R, 2B

Potomac dodges the raindrops to pick up a 3-2 win Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 2 Delmarva 0
• Cole (W, 4-6) 5IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 9K
• Eusebio (H, 9) 3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Weaver, D (S, 2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Kelso 1-3, 2R, 3B, BB
• Rogers 2-3

A.J. Cole, Wilson Eusebio and Dean Weaver combined one a one-hitter as Hagerstown shut out Delmarva, 2-0. Cole struck out nine and walked one over five innings, giving up the sole hit for his fourth win. Eusebio threw three perfect innings for his 9th hold while Dean Weaver pitched a scoreless and hitless 9th for his second save as a Sun. Blake Kelso scored both runs, which were bookends on the ‘board in the 1st and 9th, tripling and drawing a walk. The win kept pace with Kannapolis, but Hagerstown still trails by four games in the Sally North.

Staten Island 5 Auburn 0
• Dupra (L, 3-3) 5IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 5K
• Garcia 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Jimenez 1-3, BB
• Moldenhauer 1-4, 2B

Four Staten Island pitchers held the Auburn lineup to just four hits in a 5-0 combined shutout. Brian Dupra took the loss despite spinning five innings of one-run ball with just three hits and a walk given up and five strikeouts. Richie Mirowski took the loss with a four-run 6th, his only inning of work. Auburn remains in first place, but with just a ½ game lead over Williamsport and a one-game edge on third-place Jamestown.

GCL Nationals 7 GCL Astros 4
• McGeary 4IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Santana (W, 1-2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Mesa 3-4, 2B, RBI
• A Ramirez 2-4, 2RBI

With a six-run 7th inning rally, the G-Nats turned a 3-1 deficit into a 7-3 en route to a 7-4 win in Viera. Jack McGeary went four scoreless innings, allowing three hits, giving up no walks, and striking out three. Four D-Nats collected multiple hits, led by Narciso Mesa’s 3-for-4 effort, as they notched 12 hits total and were an efficient 5-for-10 with RISP. The win breaks the tie for last place in the GCL East, one game ahead of today’s opponent.

DSL Nationals 4 DSL Cubs2 2 — GAME ONE
• Mendez (W, 6-0) 6IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 8K
• K Rodriguez (S, 2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• W Rodriguez 2-3, R, 2SB
• Eusebio 3-3, RBI

Gilbert Mendez won his team-high sixth game in the first game with six strong innings, with two runs (one earned) given up on four hits and two walks. He struck out eight. Diomedes Eusebio was a perfect 3-for-3 with an RBI to lead the nine-hit attack. Kelvin Rodirguez pitched a 1-2-3 inning to earn his second save.

DSL Cubs2 4 DSL Nationals 3 — GAME TWO
• Suero 4IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 3K, HR
• De Los Santos 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Mercedes 2-4, R
• Read 1-3, R, HR, RBI

A two-run rally with two outs in the 5th broke a 2-2 tie as the DSL Cubs2 took the second game, 4-3. Losing pitcher Brian Escolastico struck out the first two batters, then walked the next two before giving up a double steal and a single. Wander Suero got the start and gave up two runs on two hits, but walked four over four innings. The loss to the division-leading Cubs2 squad officially eliminated the DSL Nationals from the playoffs.

Last Night In Woodbridge

The Potomac Nationals got just enough offense to not waste Paul Demny’s best outing of the year for a 3-2 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Demny went eight innings, dominating seven of them, and gave up just two runs on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts. He only allowed two leadoff hits — a single in the 3rd, which he promptly erased with a 1-6-3 double play, and a double in the 8th. That double was followed by a triple to plate the first Pelican run, then a grounder to second to send in the final Myrtle Beach run.

After a disastrous stretch of road starts in July and early August (7R in Lynchburg over 1⅔ IP, 9R in Winston-Salem over 4IP, 5R in Salem over 4⅓ IP), the past two home starts have been just what Demny needs to regain some confidence. Even with a rainout today, he’ll likely start his next two games at the Pfitz, and can build on this run as the P-Nats slouch towards head for the playoffs.

Offensively, there’s still reason to worry. Like the night before, getting runners on was not a problem: Leadoff doubles in the 1st and 7th, one-out singles in the 2nd and 3rd, a leadoff walk in the 4th. But when you subtract leadoff hitter Archie Gilbert from the equation, that’s three less hits, one less run, and the only hit with a runner in scoring position.

Potomac would strand 10 runners, including runners on second and third in the bottom of the 7th, as neither Brian Peacock nor Steve Souza could deliver the killshot to turn a 3-0 game into a 5-0 game.

With Nelo and Smoker used the night before, Marcos Frias was called upon to close out the 9th and delivered the win and earned the save, working around a leadoff single and finishing strong with two strikeouts.

The win keeps pace with Frederick, which won its 30th game of the second half and its fourth straight, keeping the division deficit at four games. A loss by Lynchburg extended Potomac’s lead to six, lowering the magic number to clinch a playoff spot to 17.

Should the rain hold off, Cameron Selik (4-8, 4.33) is scheduled to start this afternoon against Justin Grimm (3-2, 3.55).

Saturday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Won, 7-4 vs. Scranton/WB,
7:00 p.m.
Tom Milone (9-6, 3.52) vs.
Greg Smith (3-3, 5.16)
Harrisburg Won, 3-2 vs. Trenton,
7:00 p.m.
Oliver Perez (3-2, 3.04) vs.
Craig Heyer (8-6 3.92)
Potomac Won, 1-0 vs.
Myrtle Beach,
6:35 p.m.
Paul Demny (7-10, 4.94) vs.
Kennil Gomez (2-2, 3.65)
Hagerstown Won, 6-1 @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
A.J. Cole (3-6, 3.82) vs.
Jarret Martin (5-8, 5.18)
Auburn Won, 12-3 @
Staten Island,
7:00 p.m.
Brian Dupra (3-2, 3.68) vs.
Matt Tracy (0-1, 3.18)
GCL Nationals Lost, 8-5
@ GCL Cards
vs. GCL Astros,
12:00 p.m.
DSL Nationals Won, 11-8
@ DSL Giants
@/va. DSL Cubs2,
10:30 a.m.
(doubleheader)TBD vs. TBD

Abbreviated version today, since I wanted to make sure I got the Strasburg story right.

Syracuse 7 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 4
• Peacock (W, 3-1) 5⅔ IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 9K, HR
• Tatusko (H, 1) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Hulett 2-4, R, 2-2B, RBI
• Solano 3-3, R, BB, RBI

A four-run 8th opened up a 3-2 game while J.D. Martin survived a rocky 9th to get the save and seal the 7-4 win. Chiefs are now 53-65, 14½ games behind Pawtucket in I.L. North.

Harrisburg 3 Trenton 2
• Rosenbaum 7IP, 5H, 2R, ER, BB, 9K
• McCoy 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Pena (W, 2-2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Harper 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• L Davis 3-4, 2R, 3B, CS
• Pahuta 2-3, 2B

Bryce Harper’s two-run homer gave Harrisburg a 3-2 walkoff win. With a loss by Bowie, the Sens are back in first place by a ½ game with a 67-52 mark.

Potomac 1 Myrtle Beach 0
• Strasburg 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Bronson 4IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Hood 3-4, R
• Gilbert 2-4, RBI

Here’s what happened Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 6 Delmarva 1
• Grace (W, 11-5) 7IP, 1H, 0R, 3BB, 4K
• McCatty 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Freitas 2-5, R, 2K
• Keyes 2-5, R, 2RBI, 3K
• Nieto 3-4, R, 2B, 3B

Matt Grace one-hit Delmarva for seven innings as Hagerstown pounded out 12 hits in a 6-1 win. The victory keeps pace with Kannapolis as the Suns moved into 3rd place in the Sally North, but still trail by four games.

Auburn 12 Staten Island 3
• Karns 3⅔ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 5K
• Jenkins (W, 3-0) 3⅓ IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 2K
• Kreis 2IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 5K
• Ramsey 3-5, R, RBI
• Alvarez 3-5, 2R, SB

Auburn answered a two-run 1st with a five-run 2nd as the Doubledays routed the New York-Penn League’s best team 12-3. The win coupled with a loss by Mahoning Valley puts Auburn alone in first place by a game in the Pinckney Division.

GCL Cardinals 8 GCL Nationals 5
• Slaten 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Baez 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Ramos 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI, BB

The G-Nats rolled out six pitchers and subbed in three batters as it’s evaluation mode. Oh, and they lost, 8-5 to the G-Cards, dropping back into a tie for last place in the GCL East.

DSL Nationals 11 DSL Giants 8
• Pineyro (W, 4-5) 7IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 7K
• Hernandez, Jr 1⅔ IP, 8H, 8R, 8ER, 0BB, 0K, 1HR
• Eusebio 3-5, 2R, RBI
• Reyes 2-3, 2R, 2-2B

The D-Giants beat on J.J. Hernandez for all eight runs in the bottom of the 9th before Kelvin Rodriguez came on and got the last out in an 11-8 win. The D-Nats are now 30-32, but the elimination number is now one.

Last Night In Woodbridge

Click this bad boy to see the video

Believe the hype.

It’s not often that I can say a rehab start isn’t overrated. Usually, they’re a disappointment. Not this time. This was everything anyone could have possibly hoped for, perhaps even more.

In thirty-three pitches over three innings, Stephen Strasburg gave nine Myrtle Beach Pelicans batters a story to tell their children and grandchildren about the time they faced him. I know that because I had the pleasure of hearing a former minor-leaguer tell me about what it was like to face Dwight Gooden, a should-have-been Hall-of-Famer.

Two of them will boast that they got a hit, conveniently leaving out the part that the ball never left the infield, a byproduct of how hard Strasburg throws as they drove the ball into the dirt in front of home plate to produce a 30-foot hop that gave them time enough to beat the throw.

Four of them might be honest enough to say “Strasburg struck me out and I never had a chance,” like Vince DiFazio (pictured above) and maybe Leury Garcia will tell them “He got me twice.”

Strasburg threw mostly fastballs, hitting 96 to 99 m.p.h. on the scoreboard gun that was actually only juiced one or two m.p.h. This was the first time that was done this season, and of course, it was only done for Strasburg. Same goes for the four armed guards (I believe they were PWC officers) that were stationed along the home dugout, the first-base field boxes, and the bullpen.

But he also tossed a couple of curves and changeups that batters at this level just simply can’t adjust to on the fly, much like the guys three levels up in the National League. Twenty-six of the 33 pitches went for strikes and no batted ball left the infield in fair territory.

The announced attendance of 8,619 was the largest non-firework crowd at the Pfitz, according to Mark Zuckerman, who was stationed in the “press row” of the backless reserved seats below the press box, which rarely has more reporters than radio guys, never mind last night’s contingent. (If you’re reading, Mark, I was the guy wearing a red Nats cap in the field boxes below you 😉

To their credit, the crowd didn’t disperse en masse when Strasburg left. And those that stayed got to see a pretty good ballgame, which, now I’ll tell you about quickly…

Evan Bronson followed Strasburg on the mound and despite throwing a wee bit softer, got similar results. He threw four scoreless innings and allowed three hits, but walked none and struck out two.

Meanwhile, the Myrtle Beach pitchers were up to the task of keeping their hitters in the game by keeping Potomac off the board. The P-Nats had baserunners in seven of the eight innings they came to bat, but were denied until the 6th.

With one out, Destin Hood tapped a grounder to deep short for an infield hit and took second when the throw went into the Potomac dugout. After a grounder to short, Archie Gilbert delivered the lone run of the game with an RBI single to left that sent in Hood.

Josh Smoker took the ball from Bronson in the 8th and retired the two- and three-hole hitters before giving up a single. Matt LeCroy called on Hector Nelo to face the next batter, the 25-year-old veteran catcher DiFazio. Nelo stranded Smoker’s runner with an infield popup.

Hood led off the bottom of the 8th with a single to right (his third in a 3-for-4 night) and Brian Peacock followed suit with a single to left. But like any 1-0 game, the Pelican defense got the key DP that it needed to prevent the insurance run, getting Gilbert on a sharp 6-4-3 sequence and popping up Steve Souza to end the 8th.

Nelo, who throws two kinds of fastballs (hard and hit-the-bull), nailed down the game with a little panache. He struck out the first batter looking, gave up an infield single that he might have fielded but followed the coaching that says let the infielders get it, then induced a liner to Souza who applied the tag on the runner for the game-ending double play.

Bronson got the win (#4), Smoker the hold (#5), and Nelo the save (#15) as Potomac kept pace with Frederick in the Carolina League north and got game back as Lynchburg lost to fall to five games behind Potomac, reducing the magic number to 19.

Paul Demny (7-10, 4.94) gets the start tonight in game three of the four-game series, opposed by Kennil Gomez (2-2, 3.65).

Good, Bad, Interesting – Vol. 17

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 49-61, 4th place I.L. North, 13½ games behind

Good Brad Meyers 1.23 ERA, 1.09 WHIP in August
Bad Seth Bynum .194/.248/.280 since All-Star Break
Interesting Garrett Mock 1.50 ERA, 0.67 WHIP in August

HARRISBURG SENATORS 66-52, 2nd place E.L. West, ½ game behind

Good Tyler Moore .333/.385/.590 since All-Star Break
Bad Adam Fox .159/.245/.318 since All-Star Break
Interesting Rafael Martin 0.95 ERA, 0.88 WHIP

POTOMAC NATIONALS 24-22, 2nd place C.L. North Division, 4 games behind (53-62 overall)

Good Sandy Leon .275/.331/.443 since C.L. All-Star Break
Bad 535 RA (4.65/G) is 36 R more than 7th place C.L. pitching staff
Interesting The chance to make the playoffs despite being 6th in hitting, 7th in fielding, 8th in pitching

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 23-22, 4th place Sally League North Divison, 4 games behind (63-52 overall)

Good Michael Taylor .324/.373/.610 since All-Star Break
Bad Dean Weaver 6.62 ERA, 1.53 WHIP
Interesting Adrian Nieto .522 SLG in first 6G

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 32-22, T1st place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 1½ games ahead

Good Brian Dupra 2.96 ERA, 1.23 WHIP as a starter
Bad Angel Montilla .184/.304/.289 in August
Interesting Justin Miller .467 SLG, 1E in 44G

GCL NATIONALS 14-27, 4th place GCL East, 17 games behind (Eliminated)

Good 19-y.o. Estarlin Martinez .311/.406/.517
Bad J.C. Valdez, Wes Schill 12E in 29, 32G
Interesting Jack McGeary 1.13 ERA, 1.25 WHIP in first 3G (8IP)

DSL NATIONALS 29-32, 7th place, Boca Chica South Division, 10 games behind

Good Gilberto Mendez 5-0, 2.35 ERA, 1.16 WHIP
Bad Bienvenido Valdez .111/.304/.111 in last 10G
Interesting Wilman Rodriguez .333/.389/.515 since DSL All-Star Break

Friday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Lost, 3-2 vs. Scranton/WB,
7:00 p.m.
Brad Peacock (2-1, 4.97) vs.
Manny Banuelos (0-0, 2.45)
Harrisburg Won, 4-1 vs. Trenton,
7:00 p.m.
Danny Rosenbaum
(1-0, 1.59) vs.
Dellin Betances (4-6, 3.57)
Potomac Lost, 12-5 vs.
Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Stephen Strasburg (rehab) vs.
Wilfredo Boscan (4-9, 4.15)
Hagerstown Won, 6-2 @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Matt Grace (10-5, 4.60) vs.
David Baker (2-2, 2.37)
Auburn Lost, 7-4 @
Staten Island,
7:00 p.m.
Nathan Karns (1-2, 5.29) vs.
Evan DeLuca (3-2, 3.40)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY @ GCL Cards,
12:00 p.m.
DSL Nationals Lost, 5-4;
Lost, 16-2
@/vs. DSL Rangers
@ DSL Giants,
10:30 a.m.

Buffalo 3 Syracuse 2
• Meyers 5IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 2K
• Mock (H, 1) 2⅓ IP, 0H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 3K
• Lombardozzi 3-5, 2R, 2B
• Marrero 0-1, RBI, 2BB

With single runs in the 8th and 9th innings, Buffalo tied, then beat Syracuse in a 3-2 pitcher’s duel. Josh Wilkie took the loss while Atahualpa Severino blew the save, both spoiling the efforts of Brad Meyers, who started and went the first five innings. Steve Lombardozzi accounted for half the Chiefs hits with a 3-for-5 afternoon and scored both runs. The loss put the brakes on a modest three-game win streak. Syracuse is now 52-65, 14½ games behind in the I.L. North with an elimination number of 11.

Harrisburg 4 Richmond 1
• Roark (W, 7-8) 7IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 5K
• Martin (S, 10) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Norris 1-3, R, HR, RBI, BB
• McConnell 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI

After a shaky first inning — double, double, single (out at HP; Bryce Harper assist) to start the game — Tanner Roark dug in and guided the Sens to a 4-1 win, taking the series against the Flying Squirrels. Roark went seven innings, allowing just the first-inning run on six hits, no walks, and struck out five. He also singled in two at-bats. Four Sens went 1-for-3, with Derek Norris and Chris McConnell homering. Rafael Martin worked around a single in the to earn save #10. The win keeps pace with Bowie, as Harrisburg still trails the Baysox by a ½ game in the E.L. West.

Myrtle Beach 12 Potomac 5
• Davis (L, 0-2) 4⅓ IP, 7H, 7R, 6ER, 3BB, 6K
• Testa 2⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Peacock 2-4, R, 2RBI
• Perez 2-4, 2R

Two former AA pitchers looked like they were making their High-A debuts Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 6 Delmarva 2
• Applebee (W, 6-2) 5IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Weaver, D (S, 1) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Kelso 2-4, R, RBI, BB
• Rogers 2-5, R, 2B, 2RBI

Hagerstown scored early and often, building a 5-0 lead after three innings and cruising to a 6-2 win over Delmarva. Paul Applebee got the win with five scoreless innings with just two hits and a walk allowed while setting down three on strikes. Dean Weaver got his first save for the Suns with two shutdown innings to finish. Blake Kelso and Mills Rogers both singled twice to lead the offense. The win keeps pace with Kannapolis, as Hagerstown still trails in the Sally North by four games.

Vermont 7 Auburn 4
• M Rodriguez 2⅔ IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB, K
• Hanks 2⅔ IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Skole 1-2, RBI, 3BB
• Norfork 1-3, R, SB

A pair of errors to start the 7th doomed the Doubledays, as coughed up four unearned runs to turn a 4-3 lead into the eventual losing score of 7-4. Kelvin Lopez was charged with the loss (and those four runs) over an inning and a 1/3rd. Manny Rodriguez got the start, but gave up three runs in two and 2/3rds on three hits and three walks. Auburn would get just six hits, with Matt Skole reaching base four times (hit, three walks) to lead the offense. The loss drops Auburn back into a first-place tie with Mahoning Valley in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League with a 32-22 mark.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
Thanks to rainouts, it’s six games over the next four days for the G-Nats, starting today with a nine-inning tilt against the G-Cards.

DSL Rangers 5 DSL Nationals 4 — COMP OF SUSP GM
• Guzman, Je (L, 0-2) 2IP, 5H, 5R, 5ER, BB, K
• Barrientos 5⅓ IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 6K
• W Rodriguez 2-4, R, 2B, SB
• Ruiz 2-5, R, 2B

Joel Barrientos pitched in five and a 1/3rd innings of scoreless relief in the continuation of a game suspended last week, but the D-Nats offense couldn’t muster enough runs to complete the comeback, falling 5-4 to the D-Rangers.

DSL Rangers 16 DSL Nationals 2 — GAME TWO

• Moscat (L, 3-6) 3IP, 6H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 4K
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-3, R, HR, BB, RBI
• Eusebio 2-4, R, 2B

Like sailors on shore leave, the D-Rangers scored in every inning against all four D-Nats pitcher in a 16-2 rout in the seven-inning game that followed. Felix Moscat took the loss, his sixth, with six runs given up over three innings on six hits and two walks. The two losses dropped the D-Nats to 29-32 and lowered their elimination number to two.

Last Night In Woodbridge

Last week, Myrtle Beach’s Miguel De Los Santos and Erik Davis squared off in a 3-0 near no-hitter, looking like two AA pitchers pitching against High-A hitters.

Last night, they looked like two Low-A pitchers making their High-A debuts as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans flew past the Potomac Nationals 12-5 to take the first game of the four-game series.

Maybe that’s a little cruel, because both men showed flashes of what had gotten them past this level — through four innings, the two combined for 15 strikeouts — but games like last week are what you should expect when veteran pitchers throw against less experienced lineups.

Instead, both men walked three batters and got into deep counts on seemingly every batter. De Los Santos was a little better, giving up no extra-base hits — Davis gave up a long double and a longer triple despite the speedy Eury Perez and Archie Gilbert in center and right to chase them down — but was so slow to the plate that he gave up six stolen bases.

Davis did himself no favors with two hit batsman and a bases-loaded walk, his third, and was victimized by Zach Walters’s first error as a P-Nat when Neil Holland came in to relieve Davis with the bases loaded and one out. Instead of an inning-ending double play and a manageable 5-3 deficit going into the bottom of the 5th, it was 7-3 and the momentum shifted.

The Pelicans put the game away with a five-run seventh, as Rob Wort’s struggles continued with three walks and two extra-base hits. Joe Testa would also give up a hit before settling down to finish the game with two scoreless innings, working around leadoff triple in the 9th. If you’ve lost count, that’s three triples and three doubles for Myrtle Beach.

Offensively, the P-Nats were led by Destin Hood and Brian Peacock, who each went 2-for-4. Hood was one of the six base thieves, even taking third base on the stolen-base attempt. While his knee may be aching from a scrape suffered last week in Myrtle Beach, it appears to be healing — a problem that P-Nats media man Will Flemming said via Twitter is getting better every day.

The loss knocks Potomac back to four games behind Frederick, four ahead of Lynchburg in the Carolina League’s Northern Division.

Tonight’s game is a sellout, with Stephen Strasburg set to make a rehab outing of 50 pitches or three innings. Evan Bronson (3-3, 3.67) gets the unenviable task of trying to follow that act, while Wilfredo Boscan (4-9, 4.15) will toe the slab for Myrtle Beach.