Offseason Update: Sept. 23, 2017

Fall arrived yesterday afternoon but we’ve yet to see the chill rains come. The big Nats are lurching towards the postseason, the drama reduced to who will make the postseason roster (a.k.a. who’s healthy enough to play) and how he’ll be used.

100 wins? Home-field advantage? Both possible but not probable. Even Stevie Wonder can see that Dusty Baker has been managing the club to minimize fatigue, which has prompted the knee-jerk comparisons to spring training.

But we’re here to talk/read about the minor-leaguers….

STATE OF THE FARM
As noted in the comments, the Nats were near the bottom of the collective standings with a .456 winning percentage, tied with the Mets. While it’s tempting to put that all on the Syracuse Chiefs, the worst team in AAA at 54-87, the Harrisburg Senators (60-80), Auburn Doubledays (30-45), and DSL Nationals (28-43) also “contributed.”

Unlike a year ago, we can’t point to the breakthrough of a new starter or position player or even a key reliever. It was supplying the “next man up” (my apologies, but DC is still a football town) for the bevy of injuries that have dogged this team/organization like they were wearing Milk-Bone underwear even more than last season, which was a lot.

There’s still some guys to be excited about, but the vast majority of them are in the lower minors, which means a lot of the buzz is based on things that are constant variables like their age or their draft position. And if we’re honest, there are roughly half a dozen guys that wouldn’t make a Top 30 list in most other organizations.

I can’t say that the organization isn’t still meeting the bare minimum requirements of developing talent that can be useful to the big club, albeit mostly in depth and trading chips. But I can say it’s not doing much else.

BA TOP 20 LISTS
I’m sure you’ve gotten over the shock of not a single Chief making the International League Top 20 for Baseball America, but you may be a little surprised that two Nationals farmhands made BA’s Eastern League Top 20 – Victor Robles and Erick Fedde.

About the only argument you can make against Robles is that he didn’t play enough, though BA – as it usually does – sets the bar very low: just one PA or ⅓ IP per team game for position players and starting pitchers (20 appearances for relievers). Personally, I’d set it at about twice those marks, except for the relievers; that does seem about right.

Fedde, on the other hand, wasn’t exactly dominant at any level this season. Yes, I know it’s not all about stats but I do believe the two are not mutually exclusive. I’d also have to question his placement since he split time between starting and relieving for Harrisburg. But incumbency is also a BA hallmark…

I’d expect Robles to make the Carolina League Top 20, and FWIW, Carter Kieboom does have the necessary number of PAs for the Sally Lg. so stay tuned this week.

THE WATCHLIST AND THE GBI
As noted a year ago, these have become more difficult to do. The system isn’t as deep as it used to be (or seemed to be) and all the losing tends not to produce the kind of numbers or streaks that are “G-worthy.” I had forgotten about my “note to self” to drop the GBI from every three weeks to monthly. That seems about right these days, and that’ll be the goal in 2018.

As for the watchlist, it may get shorter, but it’s a core part of the offseason ritual, and it’s how I get caught up on the short-season guys, so I don’t see it going away.

TRANSACTION UPDATE
We’re now in the re-signing season, where would-be FAs opt to stick around rather than try their luck elsewhere:
• RHP Brady Dragmire
• LHP Hector Silvestre
• IF-OF Khayyan Norfork

No huge surprises here. Dragmire was (finally) starting to pitch well at the end of the season. Silvestre turns 25 in December and has yet to pitch above High-A, but between Washington’s pitching-starved upper minors, and it’s “sunk-cost” approach to Dominican prospects, he might get that chance in 2018. Norfork has made a career thus far on his versatility, and let’s face it: He could be the next Adrian Sanchez.

THE DSL NATIONALS
Despite having a handful of players in their third DSL season, the team actually had a fairly normal blend of players in terms of age. Like a year ago, the batters were a shade older than league average (18.2 vs. 18.1) while the pitchers were slightly younger (18.4 vs. 18.7).

The offense was right around league average (4.65 R/G vs. 4.60) but the pitching was 35th in the 40-team DSL and nearly a run worse (5.49) per game. The defense was also right around league average (.955 FA vs. .956). All of this is sight-unseen, strictly numbers-based observation, so take it with a fistful of salt.

Without further comment, here are the obligatory Top 5’s, excluding “three-timers” and players who were old for the level…

TOP 5 BATS TOP 5 ARMS
1. Wilmer Perez, C/1B/DH
.288 GPA, 17-2B, 4-3B, 3HR
1. Alfonso Hernandez, LHSP
2.10/2.53/1.17, 9.86 K/9IP
2. Adrian Liriano, SS/2B
.242 GPA, 15BB
2. Rafael Gomez, RHSP
4.09/2.88/1.27, 1HR in 55IP
3. Landerson Pena, RF/LF
.244 GPA, 13SB
3. Joan Adon, RHRP
3.54/3.12/0.96, 9.96 K/9IP
4. Luis Aquino, SS/LF
.240 GPA, 19SB
4. Niomar Gomez, RHSP
4.07/3.17/1.27, 2.52 K:BB ratio
5. Caldioli Sanfler, CF
.237 GPA, 58 of 60G at CF, .984 FA
5. Pedro Gonzalez, RHSP
5.30/3.51/1.63, 12GS, 52⅔ IP, turned 17 in July

An honorable mention goes to Geraldi Diaz, the analog to Pedro Gonzalez. He also turned 17 in July and appeared in 41 games behind the plate with a .989 fielding percentage while hitting .001 below the .232 league-average GPA. Folks interested in seeing the entire team’s stats can find them here.

Checking In…

Like the past couple of Septembers, we’re in a weird lull between the usual offseason sequence of events. The big club has already clinched – though that says a lot more about the division than the Nationals – but most of the focus on “the kids” is the singular (i.e. Victor Robles), which is fine when he’s doing well. I don’t envy Dusty Baker’s task in picking when, where, and how to play Robles because if he is indeed being groomed to take a postseason roster spot, he’s going to have to limit the chances for advance scouts to find a flaw.

As noted in the comments, the instrux roster was released, which, thankfully, doesn’t have the urgency that it once had. For me, it’s mostly an indicator of who the club values for next season, who may have underperformed this season, and confirmation that some names that we haven’t seen in quite some time weren’t quietly released in April or May.

The organizational awards, which used to be named in early September, are still unannounced. You can probably bet the farm on Robles getting the nod as the Player of the Year, but Pitcher of the Year is going to elicit arguments.

You can’t give it to McKenzie Mills, who was the actual best pitcher until he was traded. Erick Fedde? Is that a consolation prize for how badly he was mishandled? Try selling Joan Baez, even if he led the Nats minors in innings pitched and strikeouts and was second in wins (yes, really). Wander Suero? That begs the question of why he wasn’t called up or put on the 40-man roster.

It will be interesting to see who the Nationals pick because there really isn’t one currently in the organization who merits the title. Not to mention finding out who’s the coaches’ favorite this year’s Bob Boone Award winner.

Until or unless something else comes up, season reviews begin next week.

Friday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Auburn Won, 9-4 END OF SEASON N/A

Auburn 6 Batavia 3
• Johnston 4IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 6BB, 5K
• Chu (W, 2-1) 3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Shepard 3-4, R, 2B, HR, BB, 3RBI
• Scudder 3-5, R, 2-2B
• Vilorio 2-3, R, BB

The Doubledays erased an early 2-0 deficit with crooked numbers in three consecutive innings as they neutered the Muckdogs in the season finale, 9-4. Kyle Johnston wobbled through four innings, giving up three runs on four hits and six walks while striking out five. Gilberto Chu threw three perfect innings with two whiffs to pick up the win, his second for Auburn. Chance Shepard drove in three on a single, double, and a homer while Jake Scudder doubled twice and singled once to lead the Doubleday offense. Roster moves: OFs Rafael Bautista, Andrew Stevenson recalled to Washington; OF Victor Robles added to 40-man roster, recalled from Harrisubrg.

That’s it, kids. We’re in the semi-offseason. Next up: Arizona Fall League in 5½ weeks.

Victor Robles Gets the Call

No, I Said The White PhoneIn a move that surprised just about everyone except the talk-radio philistines, the Washington Nationals called up their #1 position prospect, Victor Robles.

On the other hand, the corresponding news that Brian Goodwin, the erstwhile 1st Rd. (supplemental) pick from 2011 who finally realized his potential this season, was likely done for the year should also come as no surprise in a season where everyone has gotten hurt for the big club.

I had concluded my penultimate MASN column with a elbow-to-the-ribs line about Robles. So when I saw Jeff Passan’s tweet around 3 o’clock this afternoon, I felt like Harris Telemacher in “L.A. Story,” joking about his wife cheating on him… only to find it out it was actually true.

Still, the Nationals also called up Andrew Stevenson and Rafael Bautista: two outfielders with both MLB and AAA experience, of which Robles has neither (but in fairness, he has more talent than the two multiplied). This is key because some folks immediately and mistakenly made the comparison to Trea Turner and Michael Taylor as late-season callups in the heat of a playoff race (more in a bit), which ignores how much more time they spent at AA (68G, 98G respectively vs. 35G) and AAA (48G, 12G, 0G). More astute folks reference Ryan Zimmerman, who also spent 0 games at AAA, or Anthony Rendon, though he was called up in the spring and was older than all but Taylor.

And let’s be honest: with a magic number that can be counted on two hands—one if you’re Antonio Alfonseca—there’s almost no pressure on the Nats right now. Perhaps that’s why the Nats are willing to start the arbitration clock early, although it’s very hard not to be cynical and wonder if he’s being showcased for another offseason trade (is there anyone left on the A’s we want?). I hope not; I’d much rather think this is a preview of things to come.

Thursday’s News & Notes

GCL Nationals lose GCL Finals, 2-1

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Auburn Won, 6-3 @ Batavia,
6:05 p.m.
Johnston (0-2, 3.10) vs.
Mateo (3-3, 3.04)
GCL Nationals Lost, 5-4 END OF SEASON

Auburn 6 Batavia 3
• Crowe 3IP, 4H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Ja. Johnson (W, 1-2) 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Je. Baez 3-4, 3R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Martinez 2-2, 2B, 2BB
• Pryor 2-4, BB, RBI

Auburn broke through for three in the 6th to turn a 2-1 edge into a 5-1 lead as they doubled up Batavia, 6-3. Wil Crowe gave up a homer and four hits total over three innings. He walked none and struck out two. The win went to Jared Johnson, who followed with three scoreless innings with one it, no walks, and two whiffs. After two ineffective innings by Daniel Butler and David Smith, Jared Brasher cordero’d around a hit and a walk in the 9th to earn his second save. Jeyner Baez was a triple shy of the cycle while Andres Martinez reached base four times with a single, double, and two walks to lead the Doubledays offense.

GCL Yankees East 5 GCL Nationals 4
• Acevedo 4IP, 3H, 3R, 0ER, BB, 3K, PO
• Jimenez 3IP, 1H, R, ER, BB, K, HR
• Adler (L, 0-1) 2IP, 3H, R, ER, IBB, K
• Gutierrez 1-3, 2R, BB
• Connell 1-3, BB, RBI
• 1-for-10 RISP, 8 LOB

An error with two outs in the top of the 2nd loaded the base for the G-Yankees East and they cashed in the extra out for three unearned runs to take a 3-0 lead. The GYE returned the favor with four walks and a passed ball in the bottom of the 2nd for the first two G-Nats runs and two walks and an error in the bottom of the 3rd for the last two G-Nats runs. The third GYE pitcher, 19-y.o. Luis Rijo, no-hit the G-Nats for five and a 1/3rd innings to enable the GYE offense to tie it at 4-4 in the 7th on a Jose Carrera homer, then take a 5-4 lead in the 9th.

The G-Nats got the tying and winnings runs on in the bottom of the 9th on a Justin Connell single and an error. A failed bunt resulted in a 1-5 putout for the first out and Ricardo Mendez’s fourth whiff pushed the G-Nats to the brink. Luis Garcia singled to load the bases but Yasel Antuna struck out to end it. Carlos Acevedo started and was charged with the first three GYE runs on three hits and a walk over four innings. Jose Jimenez worked around a walk in the 5th, set the side down in order in the 6th, and gave up the tying run in the 7th. Sean Adler had a scoreless 8th but was touched for the gamewinner on three hits and an intentional walk in the 9th.

Offensively, the G-Nats were held to four singles but drew six walks. Kelvin Gutierrez and Justin Connell both went 1-for-3 with a walk, with Gutierrez scoring twice and Connell driving in a run.

Wednesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Auburn Lost, 8-6 @ Batavia,
7:05 p.m.
Crowe (0-0, 2.55) vs.
Perez (4-1, 1.88)
GCL Nationals Lost, 2-1 vs. GCL Yankees East,
12:00 p.m.

State College 8 Auburn 6
• Romero 4⅓ IP, 4H, 5R, 5ER, 3BB, 10K, 2WP
• Guillen (L, 0-3) 1⅔ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Esthay 3-5, 3R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Scudder 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Choruby 2-5, 2R, SB

Auburn lost its season finale in walkoff fashion as State College’s Ricardo Bautista smacked a two-out, two-run home run in the 9th for an 8-6 win. Seth Romero struck out a career-high of 10 but also gave up five runs on four hits and three walks over just four and a 1/3rd innings. The loss went to Angel Guillen, his third, with four hits allowed, no walks, and three whiffs over an inning and 2/3rds. Kameron Esthay missed the cycle by a triple and drove in three while Jake Scudder singled and doubled and plated one to lead the Doubleday offense.

GCL Yankees East 2 GCL Nationals 1
• Ma. Pena (L, 0-1) 5IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 5K, 2HBP
• N. Ramirez 4IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 3K
• R. Mendez 1-3, 2B, BB
• L. Garcia 1-4, RBI

The G-Yankees East pitchers outdueled the G-Nats for a 2-1 win that forced a decisive Game Three today. Two stolen bases and a passed ball led to the first GYE run while the second came on a walk-single-single sequence with two outs in the 7th. The G-Nats took advantage of a two-base error to lead off the bottom of the 8th, which Luis Garcia cashed in with a two-out single. The GYE committed another error with one out in the 9th to put on the tie run on. A sacrifice moved the tying run into scoring position with two outs but the G-Nats couldn’t get the equalizer.

Malvin Pena took the loss with an unearned run on one hit, two walks, and two hit batsmen over five innings. Nector Ramirez followed with four innings of one-run relief, with three hits and one walk allowed. Ricardo Mendez was the sole G-Nat to reach base twice with a double and a walk as the GYE pitchers held the offense to just three hits and four walks.

Tuesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 3-2 END OF SEASON N/A
Harrisburg Lost, 7-4
(12 inn.)
END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac Won, 5-3 END OF SEASON N/A
Hagerstown Won, 11-6 END OF SEASON N/A
Auburn Won, 4-1 @ State College,
7:05 p.m.
Romero (0-1, 4.02) vs.
Oviedo (2-2, 4.25)
GCL Nationals Won, 7-5 vs. GCL Yankees East,
12:00 p.m.


Buffalo 3 Syracuse 2
• Simms 5IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 6K
• Valdez (L, 0-3) 2IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 1K
• Bautista 1-4, R, 3B
• Stevenson 1-4

The Chiefs fulfilled their destiny as the worst team in AAA with their 87th loss of the season, 3-2 to Buffalo. Roster move: C Pedro Severino and RHP A.J. Cole recalled to Washington.

Altoon 7 Harrisburg 4
• T. Hill 6IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K, HR(28)
• Self (L, 4-3) 2⅓ IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, IBB, K, HR
• S. Perez 2-4, 2R, 3B, HR, 2RBI
• Robles 2-4, R, 2-2B, BB, SB
• Lowery 2-4, BB, RBI

Harrisburg fell in the 12th inning, 7-4 on a three-run walkoff HR to make it an even 80 losses. Taylor Hill served up #28 but still managed to twirl a quality start of three runs on six hits, two walks, and two whiffs (only one of which was the opposing pitcher) in a no-decision. Derek Self lost for the third time as he put on two with a double and an intentional walk before he was sent packing. Stephen Perez tripled and homered, Victor Robles doubled twice, and Jake Lowery singled twice to lead the Senators offense.

Potomac 5 Frederick 3
• Rodriguez (W, 4-3) 6IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Orlan (H, 1) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Wiseman 2-4, R, BB
• Noll 2-5, R, RBI
• Carey 1-1, 3BB, RBI

With the help of 11 walks, Potomac stopped its six-game slide with a 5-3 win over Frederick. Jefry Rodriguez got dinged for a two-run shot in the 1st but settled down to go six innings with all three Keys runs allowed on seven hits and a walk for his fourth win. Jorge Pantoja, R.C. Orlan, and Tommy Peterson combined for three scoreless innings to seal the deal. Dale Carey led the walk column with three while Rhett Wiseman and Jake Noll both singled twice to lead the P-Nats’ attack.

Hagerstown 4 Lexington 3
• Braymer (W, 3-2) 6IP, 8H, R, ER, BB, 4K, WP
• Morse (SV, 5) 1⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K, 3-2 IR-S
• Panaccione 4-4, 3R, 2B, 2RBI
• Corredor 3-5, R, 2RBI, PO
• C. Kieboom 2-3, R, 2BB

Hagerstown scored in each of its last six “ups” to outslug Lexington, 11-6. Ben Braymer got his third win with one run allowed on eight hits and a walk over six innings. Phil Morse let in two of three inherited runners, gave up two hits and a walk, but was credited with the save for not blowing a 9-4 lead in the 8th. Paul Panaccione went 4-for-4 with three runs score while Aldrem Corredor went 3-for-5 with two RBI to pace the Suns offense.

Auburn 4 State College 1
• Raquet (W, 3-2) 6IP, 5H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 1K
• Cousins (SV, 2) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Upshaw 2-3, BB, RBI, CS
• Pryor 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI, CS
• 2-for-14 RISP, 10 LOB

The Doubledays turned four double plays as they blunted the Spikes, 4-1. Nick Raquet allowed an unearned run on five hits with no walks and one whiff for his third win. Jeremy McKinney pitched a scoreless 7th for the hold while Jake Cousins kept State College off the board in the 8th and 9th for the save. Armond Upshaw singled twice and walked once while Jonathan Pryor singled and homered to lead Auburn’s nine-hit, eight-walk offense.

GCL Nationals 7 GCL Yankees East 5
• Stoeckinger 4IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 4K
• N. Lee (BS, 1; W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K, 2-1 IR-S
• Zwetsch (SV, 1) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Pineda 3-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI
• Gutierrez 3-5, R, RBI, SB
• L. Garcia 3-5, 2R, 2B

The G-Nats lost leads of 4-0 and 5-4 before rallying for two in the 7th for a 7-5 win over the G-Yankees East and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three GCL Finals. Jackson Stoeckinger went the first four innings and gave up two runs on five hits and three walks. Nick Lee blew the 5-4 lead but got the win, allowing a hit and a walk over two innings. Connor Zwetsch kept the G-Yankees East off the board in the 8th and 9th inning to earn the save. Israel Pineda, Kelvin Gutierrez, and Luis Garcia combined for nine hits, four runs scored, two doubles, and two RBI to lead the G-Nats hit parade.

Monday’s News & Notes

GCL Nats win one-game playoff, advance to GCL League Finals

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Cancelled vs. Buffalo,
1:05 p.m.
Simms (2-4, 5.63) vs.
House (9-11, 4.27)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-3;
Lost, 6-0
@ Altoona,
12:00 p.m.
Hill (4-6, 5.33) vs.
Brubaker (7-6, 4.51)
Potomac Lost, 10-4; @ Frederick,
2:00 p.m.
Rodriguez (3-3, 3.18) vs.
Peralta (2-10, 5.58)
Hagerstown Won, 4-3 vs. Lexington,
2:05 p.m.
Braymer (2-2, 5.97) vs.
Garabito (4-4, 2.71)
Auburn Lost, 8-0 @ State College,
12:00 p.m.
Raquet (2-2, 2.78) vs.
Summerville (4-0, 1.62)
GCL Nationals Won, 4-0 vs. GCL Yankees East,
12:00 p.m.


Syracuse vs. Buffalo – CNCLD
Rain cancelled last night’s game in Syracuse and enabled the Chiefs to take a ½-game lead in the battle for the worst record in AAA as the 51’s won their game, 2-1 in Las Vegas.

Harrisburg 4 Altoona 3 – COMP.
• Dragmire (BS, 2; W, 5-1) 3IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 1K
• Robinson (SV, 13) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Joseph 3-5, R, HR, 2RBI
• Hernandez 2-4, 2B, BB, RBI

Corban Jopseh’s two-run homer in the top of the 9th turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 Sens lead that Andrew Robinson held for Harrisburg’s 60th win. Brady Dragmire picked up the blown-save-win with two runs allowed on seven hits and three ewalks over three innings. Robinson worked around a leadoff single for his 13th save. Joseph and Dan Gamache both finished 3-for-5 while Yadiel Hernandez also reached base three times—and extended his modest hit streak to seven games—with a single, double, and a walk.

Altoona 6 Harrisburg 0 – GAME TWO
• Voth (L, 3-4) 6IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 0BB, 8K, 0HR
• Lara 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Norfork 1-3, 2B
• Robles 1-4, 0HBP

It was all Altoona in the nightcap as the Curve shut out the Sens, 6-0. Austin Voth went off the rails with a three-run first and single runs in the 2nd and 3rd before getting back on track with three scoreless. He gave up nine hits total over six innings and struck out a season high of eight. Khayyak Norfork doubled the sole extra-base knock among Harrisubrg’s tally of five hits, which included a single from (unclutch your pearls) Victor Robles.

Frederick 10 Potomac 4 – GAME ONE
• Guilbeau (L, 4-5) 1⅓ IP, 7H, 8R, 8ER, 2BB, K, HR
• Rivera 3⅔ IP, 3H, 2R, 0ER, 0BB, 4K, HR, 3-3 IR-S
• Reetz 1-3, R, HR, 3RBI
• Masters 1-3, R, RBI

In the opener, the Keys clinched a playoff spot with a 10-4 demolition of the P-Nats. Taylor Guilbeau retired just four of 13 batters faced as Frederick tagged him for eight runs on seven hits and two walks. Mariano Rivera III was only marginally less ineffective as he let in all three inherited runners and two more runs of his own over three and 2/3rds innings. David Masters ended the shutout bid with an RBI single while Jakson Reetz dropped an Earl Weaver special to complete Potomac’s four-run output.

Frederick 10 Potomac 4 – GAME TWO
• Williams (L, 2-5) 5IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 2K
• Mills 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, HBP
• Mejia 1-2
• Sagdal 1-3

Potomac’s losing streak was extended to six with a 2-0 shutout in the nightcap. Austen Williams gave up both Frederick runs on three hits and three walks while striking out two but lost for the fifth time in High-A and 11th overall. Jordan Mills worked around a hit batsman in the 6th to keep things close, but the P-Nats bats were limited to five singles and no walks.

Hagerstown 4 Lexington 3
• DeRosier (W, 3-4) 6IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 6K, HBP, E(4)
• Troop (H, 1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Banks 1-2, R, BB, HR, SF, 3RBI
• La Bruna 1-2, 2B, BB

Hagerstown got two in the 1st and two in the 4th and held on for a 4-3 win. Matt DeRosier let in all three Legends runs on seven hits, but walked none and struck out six for this third win at Low-A. Alex Troop put up two goose eggs for the hold while Gabe Klobosits earned the save with a scoreless 9th. Nick Banks drove in three with a two-run HR and a sac fly to lead the six-hit, five-walk offense.

State College 8 Auburn 0
• Tetreault (L, 2-2) 4⅓ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 2K
• Rishwain 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Esthay 2-4
• Meregildo 1-3

The wheels came off the bus in the middle innings as the Spikes scored three in 5th, three in the 6th, and two in the 7th in an 8-0 shutout of the Doubledays. Jackson Tetreault was knocked from the box in the 5th after giving up three runs on five hits and three walks over four and a 1/3rd innings for his second loss. Gilberto Chu (3R, 1⅔ IP) and Jared Brasher (2R, 1IP) were also victimized before Michael Rishwain threw a scoreless 8th. Kameron Esthay singled twice while Omar Meregildo and Andres Martinez both singled once. The rest of the Auburn lineup went 0-for-19 with two walks.

GCL Nationals 4 GCL Twins 0
• Alastre (W, 1-0) 6IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Adler (SV, 1) 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Soto 2-3, 2B, RBI
• Antuna 2-4, R, 3B, 2RBI, 2K, 0E

Tomas Alastre and Sean Adler combined for five-hit shutout of the G-Twins for a 4-0 win that sent the G-Nats back to the GCL Championship for the first since 2013. Alastre walked none, srtuck out four, and gave up four hits over the first six innings to get the “W.” Adler gave up one hit, no walks, and fanned three over the final three frames for the “SV.” Juan Soto singled, doubled, and drove in a run while Yasel Antuna singled, tripled, drove in two, and played error-free (as the DH) to lead the G-Nats’ attack.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 2-1 vs. Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
Simms (2-4, 5.63) vs.
House (9-11, 4.27)
Harrisburg Tied, 1-1
(Susp.)
@ Altoona,
4:00 p.m.
Voth (3-3, 4.84) vs.
Coley (5-4, 3.16)
Potomac Postponed @ Frederick,
4:00 p.m.
Guilbeau (4-4, 5.23) and
Williams (2-4, 4.24) vs.
Grimes (0-2, 4.91) and TBD
Hagerstown Cancelled vs. Lexington,
2:05 p.m.
TBD vs. O. Gomez (7-11, 5.20)
Auburn Lost, 5-1 @ State College,
6:05 p.m.
Raquet (2-2, 2.78) vs.
Castano (8-3, 2.82)
GCL Nationals Lost, 13-9 vs. GCL Twins,
12:00 p.m.

Syracuse 2 Buffalo 1
• Severino 2-3, BB
• Stevenson 2-4, BB, RBI
• Bautista 0-3, BB
• Skole 1-4, 2B, 3K

The Chiefs walked off in the 9th on an Andrew Stevenson single, keeping pace with the 51’s with their 54th win in 140 games.

Altoona 1 Harrisburg 1 – SUSP.
• McGowin 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K
• Gamache 2-2, R, 2B, RBI

Play was halted after five innings and a tie score of 1-1. They’ll make it up this afternoon, then play a seven-inning game afterwards.

Frederick vs. Potomac – PPD
Rain postponed Saturday night’s matchup between the Keys and the P-Nats. They’ll also play a doubleheader this afternoon to make it up, presumably because Salem did not lose last night, although the doubleheader was scheduled ahead of that outcome.

Hagerstown vs. Lexington – CNCLD
They pulled the plug on this one Saturday afternoon and will not make the game up, ostensibly because both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention. According to the Suns media folks, it’s the 13th Hagerstown home game to be affected by the weather and the ninth home date lost this season – five more than in 2016.

West Virginia 5 Auburn 1
• Johnston 5IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Johnson (L, 0-2) ⅔ IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 0K
• N. Perkins 2-3, 2PB, PO
• Jo. Ramirez 2-4

Powered by a four-run 6th, the Black Bears completed the sweep of the Doubledays with a 5-1 win in Auburn’s home finale. Kyle Johnston got the start and turned in five shutout innings on four hits, no walks, and three K’s. Jared Johnson gave up the aforementioned four runs on five hits and a walks while retiring the leadoff batter and watching from the mound when Nic Perkins picked a runner off third. He then gave up a double that chased him from the game. Perkins, who had two passed balls, singled twice as did Joshual Ramirez to account for four of the six (6) Auburn hits.

GCL Cardinals 13 GCL Nationals 9
• Galindez 5IP, 4H, 5R, 2ER, 4BB, 4K, HR
• J. Peguero (L, 1-1) 3⅓ IP, 7H, 8R, 7ER, 2BB, 3K, HR
• Soto 5-5, 2R, 2B, 3B, 3RBI
• L. Garcia 1-4, R, 3B, 2RBI
• Gutierrez 1-4, R, 2B, BB, RBI

Juan Soto went 5-for-5 with a double and a triple and drove in three in the G-Nats’ 13-9 loss to the G-Cards in the regular-season finale. Nelson Galindez was lit up for five runs (two earned) on four hits and four walks while striking out… wait for it… four. The loss went to Jairon Peguero, who was somehow trotted out in the 9th after getting torched for four runs in the 8th. He then gave up another four runs for eight total over three and a 1/3rd innings on seven hits and two walks.

Despite finishing with the third-best record of the four division winners, the G-Nats will host the G-Twins in a one-game playoff. Should they win, they will play the winner of the D-Phillies and G-Yankees East in a best-of-three series for the GCL Championship.

Saturday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-0 vs. Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
Rogers (3-2, 3.58) vs.
Mu. Smith, (4-5, 3.66)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-5 @ Altoona,
6:00 p.m.
McGowin (1-5, 7.17) vs.
McRae (10-5, 3.67)
Potomac Lost, 3-2 @ Frederick,
6:00 p.m.
Guilbeau (4-4, 5.23) vs.
Grimes (0-2, 4.91)
Hagerstown Won, 5-4 vs. Lexington,
6:05 p.m.
TBD vs. Bender (5-5, 3.93)
Auburn Lost, 8-6 vs. West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. Sulser (2-3, 4.58)
GCL Nationals Lost, 6-0 @ GCL Cardinals,
10:00 a.m.

Buffalo 4 Syracuse 0
• Stevenson 1-4, SB(10)
• Severino 1-4, BB
• Bautista 0-2, 2BB, E(4)
• Skole 0-4, 2K (no, I didn’t forget to change it from yesterday)

After threatening to not finish with the worst record in AAA, the Chiefs got back on track with their third straight loss, a 4-0 shutout by the Bisons. Roster moves: RHPs Austin Adams, Erick Fedde recalled to Washington; RHP Cody Satterwhite, C Jhonatan Solano activated from the 7-Day DL.

Altoona 6 Harrisburg 5
• Crownover (L, 1-7) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 3K
• S. Perez 3-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Hernandez 2-4, R, BB
• Marmolejos 2-2, 3RBI (PH-LF)
• Robles 1-1, SB (as PH)

Altoona built a 5-0 lead before Harrisburg rallied for two in the 7th and three in the 8th, but fell one run short, 6-5. Matthew Crownover took the loss while throwing five innings of two-run ball on five hits and three walks while striking out three. Braulio Lara and Jimmy Cordero brought the petrol instead of the water and let in four more runs. Stephen Perez led the Sens hit column with two singles and a double while Jose “Orange” Marmolejos came off the bench to drive in three with two singles. Roster moves: C Raudy Read recalled to Washington; C Taylor Gushue reassigned from Potomac.

Frederick 3 Potomac 2
• Jo. Baez 4⅓ IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 5BB, 3K,
• Pantoja (L, 1-3) 2+ IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• Peterson ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K, 2-1 IR-S
• Johnson 2-5, R
• Carey 1-3, BB

The P-Nats fell in the 9th for their fourth straight loss, 3-2 to the Keys. Joan Baez couldn’t make it out of the fifth as he put on 12 baserunners over four and a 1/3rd innings and gave up two runs. The loss went to Jorge Pantoja, who put on two in the 9th that Tommy Peterson couldn’t strand. Potomac went just 2-for-12 with RISP and left on nine baserunners. Daniel Johnson was the sole P-Nats batter with multiple hits ad he singled twice in five at-bats.

Hagerstown 5 Lexington 4
• Y. Ramirez 4⅓ IP, 3H, 4R, 3ER, 4BB, 5K, HR, 2HBP
• Howard 3⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K, 3-1 IR-S
• Held (W, 2-4) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• C. Kieboom 2-4, R, BB
• Banks 1-3, R, HR, BB, 3RBI, SB
• Ortiz 1-3, R, HR, BB, RBI

Hagerstown walked off Lexington in regulation, 5-4 for back-to-back wins for the first time in more than three weeks, but were eliminated from the Sally Lg. North 2nd-half title race. Yonathan Ramirez was knocked around for four runs on three hits and four walks over four and a 1/3rd innings. Hayden Howard let in one of three inherited runners to tie things at 4-4 but threw three more scoreless innings before Sam Held added a fourth goose egg in the 9th. Blake Perkins doubled with one out and scored on Aldrem Corredor’s RBI single, his fourth walkoff hit of the season. Nick Banks hit a three-run homer in the 1st while Oliver Ortiz went solo in the 4th to for a 3-0 and 4-3 lead respectively.

West Virginia 8 Auburn 6
• Guillen (L, 0-2) 3IP, 5H, 8R, 1ER, BB, 2K, HR(GS)
• Smith 4IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Shepard 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Je. Baez 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• A. Martinez 1-3, 2BB, 2RBI

Five Doubledays errors led to seven unearned runs in an 8-6 loss to the Black Bears. Angel Guillen didn’t help his cause by serving up a grand slam and five hits total over three innings for his second loss. David Smith (4IP), Jared Brasher (1IP), and Jake Cousins (1IP) combined for six scoreless innings of relief but the offense fell two runs short of digging out of the 8-1 hole. Chance Shepard doubled and homered while Jeyner Baez singled and doubled to lead the nine-hit, three-walk effort.

GCL Marlins 6 GCL Nationals 0
• Acevedo 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• De Los Santos (L, 3-1) ⅓ IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 1K, HR
• Gutierrez 1-3, 2B, BB
• Ventura 2-3

With a playoff spot secured, now the race is for position, which the G-Nats’ 6-0 loss to the G-Marlins did not help. Carlos Acevedo started and threw three scoreless innings with one hit allowed, no walks, and two whiffs. The loss went to Jose De Los Santos, who was strafed for four runs on five hits, including a three-run homer. Kelvin Gutierrez walked and doubled while Edwin Ventura singled twice to lead the G-Nats’ seven-hit parade.