A multimillion-dollar business is seeking to relocate to Virginia from the District to avoid regulations with which it does not wish to comply. Just another “sports as a microcosm of society,” as the Nationals are reportedly exploring the use of Fredericksburg for its home games to circumvent public-health regulations. If that happens, you can, um, take it to the bank that the Fredericksburg franchise will have its PDC renewed for the maximum term allowed by the new agreement between MLB and MiLB.
Pawrucket 8 Syracuse 5 – 2012
• Lannan (L, 6-9) 5+ IP, 9H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 2K, 2HR
• Pena 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Rivero 2-3, 2R, BB, HR, RBI
• Valdez 2-4, R, HR, RBI
In a game that featured seven HRs between the two teams, Pawtucket outslugged Syracuse for an 8-5 win. John Lannan, who’s been tabbed to start in the DC doubledip on Sat., was hammered at the start and finish, charged with six runs on nine hits and a walk over five-plus innings, with two solo shots surrendered. The Chiefs hit four of the seven HRs, with Carloses Rivero and Maldonado, Brett Carroll, and Jesus Valdez going deep and accounting for all five Syracuse runs.
Harrisburg 6 Akron 3 – 2018
• McGowin 7IP, 4H, R, ER, 2BB, 8K
• Self (W, 4-2) 2IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Jones 3-3, R, HR(GS), 2BB, 5RBI
• Noll 2-4, R, 2B
• Kieboom 1-3, BB
Not all the HR drama was at Nationals Park, as the RubberDucks blasted a two-run shot in the top of the 9th to take a 3-1 lead only to see Hunter Jones smack a grand slam in the bottom of the 9th for a 6-3, walkoff win by the Senators. Kyle McGowin made his first start in more than a week and was still sharp, with one run allowed on four hits and two walks while fanning eight. Derek Self was the blown-save-winner with four hits allowed, including a one-out triple issued after the go-ahead homer. Jones also reached base on two singles and two walks and drove in five total while Jake Noll went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored to lead the Harrisburg offense. Self was among the three-dozen plus minor-leaguers released in late May, ending an eight-year run as an OG for the Nats. He was drafted as a senior (how novel) out of the Univ. of Louisville in the 9th Rd. of the 2012 draft and made the Potomac opening day roster in 2013. That proved to be too soon as he was demoted to Hagerstown in mid-June after a horrific first half. In 2014, he repeated High-A but got to AA at the half and earned a trip to the AFL that fall. Alas, Self would bounce between High-A and AA in 2015, AA and AAA in 2017 and 2018, before finally sticking at AAA for all of 2019.
Potomac Nationals W, 8-7 (10 inn.) vs. Kinston – 2010
• Walker ⅔IP 1H 3R 3ER 4BB 2K
• Phillabaum 2⅓ IP 3H 0R 0BB 2K
• Moore 3-5, R, 2-2B, HR, 5RBI
• Norris 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB; two runners CS
Read more about how Kinston snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Last Night In Woodbridge
The legend of Tyler Moore is too well-known to repeat, so let’s got to another Derek… Derek Norris. Drafted out of HS, Norris rose four levels in four seasons, going from the GCL in 2007 to AA in 2011. Like Raudy Read, he was a hitter asked to catch. Unlike Read, he improved to become good enough to survive for parts of four MLB seasons on his defensive skills while his offensive skills topped out (OPS at MLB: 684, MiLB: .858). He was a part of the famous Gio Gonzalez trade in December 2011. The Nationals reacquired him December 2016 but let him go the following March. While he was able to hook on with the Tampa Bay Rays, he was released midway through the 2017 season amid allegations of spousal abuse. That September he was suspended for the remainder of the season, a symbolic move as he was a free agent. The Tigers took a chance on him in 2018, but ultimately released him at the end of spring training. Norris made his obligatory ex-Nats appearance with Sugar Land in the Atlantic League in 2018, batting .256/.379/.402 with 12HR in 117G but did not play in 2019.
Hagerstown 4 Lexington 2 – 2011
• McKenzie (W, 3-3) 6IP, 2H, ER, BB, K, HR
• Brown (S, 3) 3IP, 3H, ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Sanchez 2-4, R
• Taylor 2-4, R, 2R HR, 2RBI
• Freitas 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI
Chris McKenzie pitched six strong innings in a 4-2 Hagerstown win over the Lexington Legends. Bryce Lane was the only Legend to score, hitting solo shots off both McKenzie and reliever Sam Brown. Hagerstown managed two homers of their own, a solo shot by David Freitas in the third (10th overall) and a two-run shot by Michael Taylor (9th overall) in the sixth. Hagerstown’s other run was an unearned tally in the first after Jay Austin misplayed an Adrian Sanchez single to center to allow him to reach third base. Hagerstown managed 11 hits to just five for Lexington in the win. Hagerstown improves to 13-9, 1½ games behind Hickory in the Sally North. Freitas was often compared to Derek Norris as a catcher who came to the position late in his amateur career while possessing a keen eye at the plate (.400+ OBP in his first two seasons). He was also traded to Oakland (2012), which in turn traded him to Baltimore (2013). Freitas has since played for the Cubs, Braves, Mariners, and Brewers including parts of three seasons (2017-2019). He was in spring training this past March and is now in Summer Camp with Milwaukee.
Mahoning Valley 4 Auburn 3 – 2015
• J. Rodriguez (L, 1-3) 6IP, 8H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 6K
• Pirro 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Stevenson 1-3, R, BB, RBI, SB
• Lora 1-3
Mahoning Valley rallied for four in the 6th to take a 4-2 lead and held off Auburn for a 4-3 win. Jefry Rodriguez took the loss, charged with all four runs on eight hits and two walks while setting six down on strikes. The Doubledays could only answer with one in the 7th as Max Schrock led off with a triple and scored on a one-out groundout, then went in order in the 8th and 9th innings. Andrew Stevenson led the Auburn attack with a single, walk, and a stolen base. He also scored a run and drove in a run. Rodriguez was a longtime farmhand for Washington and frequently touted for his high-90s heat, but spent four years in short-season ball before finally sticking in full-season ball in 2016. He was suspended 80 games in May 2017 but was added to the 40-man roster [insert trope about NFL, Charles Manson, 4.2 dash here] in November. He started 2018 in AA and ended it in DC, filling in three times during the summer before joining the team for good in September. He was traded to Cleveland, along with Daniel Johnson and the immortal Andruw Monasterio, for Yan Gomes in November 2018. He spent 2019 bouncing between AAA and MLB before going on the DL in June, then returning for two relief appearances in September.