AFL Update: Nov. 7, 2017

Kelvin Gutierrez drew a leadoff walk in the 4th and scored ahead of A.J. Simcox’s two-run HR that gave the Solar Sox a 2-1 lead en route to a 5-2 win over the Scorpions.

Kyle McGowin (pictured) won for third time in five starts with one run let in on a home run and five hits total over four innings. He walked none, struck out five, and threw 55 pitches, 37 for strikes.

Jimmy Cordero also pitched but saw his scoreless inning streak end at 8⅓ innings as he gave up a run in his second inning of work on two hits and a walk. He struck out four and earned a hold.

Gutierrez also drove in a run in the 7th with an RBI single. The Mesa DH finished with a line 1-for-2 with a run scored and two walks and is now 7-for-16 in the six games he’s played with six runs scored and five RBI.
And of course, there was that Victor Robles guy… he led off and played center field, where he made two putouts. He only went 1-for-5 but stayed upright and scored on a steal of third (pictured) that coincided with a wild pitch.

Mesa returns to action this afternoon as they host Peoria. The two teams are both in first place, by 1½ and 4 games respectively, with eight games left to play.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 7-1 @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre,
6:35 p.m.
TBD vs. Lail (6-4, 5.24)
Harrisburg Won, 4-2 @ Reading,
1:05 p.m.
Dragmire (4-1, 2.89) vs.
Irvin (5-3, 4.16)
Potomac Won, 4-2;
Lost, 2-0
vs. Frederick,
1:05 p.m.
Reyes (7-13, 4.49) vs.
Grimes (0-1, 4.91)
Hagerstown Won, 13-2 @ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
Auburn Lost, 5-4 vs. Batavia,
6:05 p.m.
TBD vs. S. Perez (3-1, 2.14)
GCL Nationals Won, 5-4
(8 inn.)
vs. GCL Astros,
10:00 a.m.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 7 Syracuse 1
• Skole 1-4, RBI
• Severino 2-3, BB

The Chiefs took a commanding 1-0 lead in the 1st and failed to hold it for a 7-1 loss to the RailRiders.

Harrisburg 4 Reading 2
• G. Ross (W, 5-3) 6IP, 8H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K
• Bacus (H, 3) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Marmolejos 2-3, R, 2B, SF, RBI
• Ward 2-3, R, BB

Harrisburg took advantage of two Reading errors to score their final two runs and secure a 4-2 victory. Greg Ross turned in six innings of one-run ball on eight hits and two walks while striking out five to notch his fifth AA win. Dakota Bacus shut the door for two innings before turning the ball over to Andrew Robinson who Soriano’d through the 9th on a leadoff HR to get the rulebook save. Jose “Orange” Marmolejos singled, doubled, and hit a sacrifice fly while Drew ward reach base three times with two singles and a walk to lead the Sens’ offense.

Potomac 4 Frederick 2 – GAME ONE
• Baez (W, 4-8) 7IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 7K, HR
• Turner 2-3, R, 2B, SF, RBI
• Mejia 1-3, 2B, RBI

Joan Baez continues to dominate in the month of August (3-1, 1.88) as he spun a complete-game gem in a 4-2 P-Nats win over the Keys. Baez walked four and allowed a solo HR and two hits total but also struck out seven. Trea Turner, who flied out weakly in each of his four ABs on Friday night, singled, doubled, and hit sacrifice fly (one of three) to cap off Potomac’s two-run 6th. Bryan Mejia (double) and Rhett Wiseman (single) accounted for the other two P-Nats hits.

Frederick 2 Potomac 0 – GAME TWO
• Fuentes (L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 0K
• Pantoja 3⅓ IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 1K, WP
• Mendez 3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Mejia 1-1, SAC
• Beckwith 1-2

In the nightcap, it was all Frederick as two pitchers combined to shut out Potomac 2-0 on two hits to split the doubleheader. Steven Fuentes made the start but wasn’t pitching to blind basketball players, so he walked three of the seven batters he faced and fell behind in nearly every count to dig a 2-0 hole after just 2/3rds of an inning. Jorge Pantoja stranded three while getting the last out of the 1st and held the Keys scoreless for three, as did Gilberto Mendez, who retired all nine batters he faced. Matt Reistetter broke up the perfect game with a walk in the 3rd while Tyler Beckwith denied the no-no with a two-out single in the 5th. Bryan Mejia’s infield single to lead off the 6th was the fourth and final P-Nats baserunner. Roster moves: IF Austin Davidson placed on the 7-Day DL; C Matt Reistetter activated from the 7-Day DL.

Hagerstown 13 West Virginia 2
• Ramirez (W, 1-2) 7IP, 10H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 4K
• Held 2IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Barrera 4-4, 2R, 2HR, 3RBI, BB
• C. Kieboom 4-6, 2R, HR, 3RBI, CS
• Agustin 3-4, 2R, 2B

The extra point sailed wide in Hagerstown’s six-run 4th as they went on to a 13-2 takedown of West Virginia. Yonathan Ramirez scattered 10 hits over seven innings but walked none and struck out four as he finally earned a Low-A win. Sam Held mopped up with two scoreless innings. Tres Barrera homered twice while Carter Kieboom went deep once; both had four hits and three RBI to lead the Suns’ 17-hit parade.

Batavia 5 Auburn 4
• Crowe 3IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Rishwain (BS, 4; L, 1-4) 3IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Scudder 3-5, 2B, 2RBI
• Pryor 2-3, 2R, BB, SF, RBI
• Pascal 2-4, SB

The Muckdogs reclaimed 5th place in the Pinckney Division with a 5-4 win over the Doubledays. Wil Crowe got the start and gave up a homer and two hits total over his three innings for the no-decision. Michael Rishwain blew his fourth save in as many opportunities and lost for the fourth time with the final four Batavia runs allowed on six hits over three innings. Jake Scudder and Jonathan Pryor both reached base three times, scoring twice (Pryor) and driving in two (Scudder) to lead the Auburn offense.

GCL Nationals 5 GCL Mets 4 (8 inn.)
• N. Lee 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Peguero (BS, 1; W, 1-0) 1⅔ IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 2-1 IR-S
• Connell 3-3, BB, 2RBI, OF assist at HP
• Blash 2-4, 3R, 2B, 2SB

Rain shortened this to eight innings, just in time as the G-Nats took a 5-4 lead in the top of the final frame and Justin Connell threw out the would-be tie run at the plate at the bottom of the final frame. Nick Lee made his first regular-season appearance of 2017 with a scoreless inning in the first for the “start.” Jairon Peguero got the blown-save-win as Alex Dunlap’s passed ball let in one of two inherited runners in the 6th and he worked around two singles in the 7th. Connell reached base four times with three singles and a walk and drove in two while Jamori Blash singled, doubled, scored three times, and stole twice to pace the G-Nats’ attack. Roster move: LHP Nick Lee assigned from Harrisburg for MiLB rehab.

DSL Nationals Update
The D-Nats closed out the 2017 campaign with back-to-back wins, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a last-place finish in the DSL South at 28-43, 21 games off the pace.

Playoff Update
GCL – The G-Nats lead by 3½ games and have gotten a little help from Mother Nature as rain has postponed or suspended the last three games for the streaking (seven straight wins) second-place G-Marlins.

Low-A – While the Suns went medieval on the Power’s [buttocks] last night, they remain in fourth place and four games behind (three in the loss column) in the Sally North with just one game (today’s) against the three teams they’re chasing.

High-A – Potomac lost three one-run ballgames to Salem this week, and split a pair of doubleheaders the past two nights with Frederick. The P-Nats are also in fourth place and four games back, but also play their would-be playoff opponent (Lynchburg) while the Red Sox and Keys play each other this week. TL;DR – Potomac needs to reel off several wins over the final nine and get a lot of help.

Astros Edge Nats, 5-4

Houston took an early 3-0 lead, Washington rallied to tie it at 4-4, but the Astros pushed across a run in the 9th against Koda Glover to take this one, 5-4.

Glover gave up a leadoff double and a one-out single to wear “L.” It was the first run he had given up in seven appearances this spring.

Joe Ross got the start and pitched into the 5th, letting in the first four runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk. He struck out three.

Brian Goodwin got yet another start, this time in CF, and went hitless yet again, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

You can already probably guess the next two watchlist players to appear:
Rafael Bautista pinch-hit for Bryce Harper in the 7th and was 0-for-2.
Pedro Severino pinch-hit for DH Chris Heisey and was also 0-for-2.

The Nats fall below .500 again at 8-9-4 and make a return trip to Jupiter, FL to visit the Marlins. Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to pitch while the game can be heard locally on 1580AM again. Rinse.Lather.Repeat.

Nationals Trade Pedro Avila for Derek Norris

Derek Norris for NPPAs semi-predicted in the penultimate post, the Nats have begun the plug holes via the trade route with the acquisition of former farmhand C Derek Norris from San Diego for RHP Pedro Avila.

Norris, who was traded away nearly five years ago to Oakland, will most likely split time with Jose Lobaton while Pedro Severino becomes trade bait or insurance, given his age and option status.

Avila, 19, rose quickly through the Nationals farm system making the jump from the DSL in 2015 to Low-A in 2016. He went 5-5 with 2.91 ERA in the first half, but 2-2, 4.18 in the second half, which is not uncommon for young pitchers in their first full season. The Venezueln teenager had been rated as the #23 prospect in the most recent listing by the MLB.com.

AFL Update: Nov. 16, 2016

img_0061Glendale got on the board first for a single run in the 1st and a quintet of pitchers, led by Austin Voth, (pictured) made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over Surprise.

Voth, who was named the AFL Pitcher of the week, tossed five scoreless innings and allowed just two hits and three walks to win for the third time this fall.

Nick Lee was the first man out of the Desert Dogs bullpen and struck out the side on 16 pitches (10 for strikes) in the 6th.

Andrew Stevenson scored the game’s lone run after leading off with a single, taking second on a wild pitch, and scoring on an RBI single by Nick Tanielu.

Osvaldo Abreu also appeared in the game but went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

The win returns the Desert Dogs to .500 (15-15) and into 2nd place in the AFL West. Glendale visits Mesa this afternoon, then Peoria tomorrow.

AFL Update: Oct. 16, 2016

nick-lee-afl-10-15-16Scottsdale put up a four-spot in the 1st and never looked back as they defeated Glendale, 9-4 yesterday afternoon.

Drew Ward and Osvaldo Abreu both started and comprised the Desert Dogs’ left side of the infield at third and shortstop, respectively. Andrew Stevenson got the nod in right field (it’s a developmental league, kids).

Ward, who batted third, remains red-hot as he reached base three times with a double and two walks. He was busy at the hot corner, making four assists without an error.

Abreu batted eighth and went 1-for-4 with a strikeout. In the field, he had two assists and turned a double play.

Stevenson singled in a run and stole a base but struck out twice in four trips to the plate. He had one putout on defense.

Nick Lee (↑↑ if you haven’t figured out yet ↑↑) made his second appearance with an up-and-down inning: one unearned run allowed on one hit and two walks while striking out one. He threw 26 pitches, 10 for strikes.

Glendale is now 2-3 and has today off. They’ll start back up tomorrow afternoon as they host Peoria.

Wednesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 2-0;
Won, 4-3
vs. Buffalo,
1:05 p.m.
Voth (6-7, 2.92 @ AA in ’15) vs.
Hutchison (0-1, 1.80)
Harrisburg Won, 4-3 (11 inn.) @ Binghamton,
6:35 p.m.
Williams (4-6, 2.59 @ A+ in ’15) vs.
Lara (9-5, 3.44 in ’15)
Potomac Lost, 6-3 @ Lynchburg,
6:30 p.m.
Valdez (1-0, 1.80) vs.
Brown (0-0, 5.79)
Hagerstown Won, 8-7 vs. Lakewood,
10:35 a.m.
Hearn (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Gueller (10-1, 2.23 @ SS-A in ’15)


Buffalo 2 Syracuse 0 – GAME ONE
• Hill (L, 0-1) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 1K
• Davis 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Turner 1-2, BB
• Martinson 0-1, 2BB

Buffalo put up single runs in the 1st and 3rd inning while three pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout in Game One. Taylor Hill took the loss, giving up both Bisons runs on five hits and three walks while striking out one (1). The Chiefs drew six walk but also hit into two double plays. Trea Turner (single, walk) and Jason Martinson (two walks) were the only batters to reach base twice.

Syracuse 4 Buffalo 3 – GAME TWO
• Laffey 3IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Gott (W, 2-0) 2IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 0K
• Turner 4-4, R, 2B, RBI, SB
• Goodwin 2-3, BB, RBI

Trea Turner singled three times and doubled once as the Chiefs split the doubleheader with a 4-3 win in the nightcap. Aaron Laffey made the spot start and let in a run on three hits and a walk over three innings. The win went to Trevor Gott while Sammy Solis earned a hold and Rafael Martin closed it out for the save. Brian Goodwin singled twice and was intentionally walks as Syracuse piled up 12 hits and five walks total.

Harrisburg 4 Binghamton 3 (11 inn.)
• Giolito 4IP, 1H, 0R, 3BB, 4K
• Gutierrez (W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• De Los Santos (SV, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Difo 2-4, BB
• Perez 1-1, 2B, RBI

Stephen Perez’s one-out, pinch-hit double in the 11th snapped a 3-3 deadlock as the Senators edged the B-Mets, 4-3. Lucas Giolito, who was originally announced as today’s starter, went four scoreless innings with one hit and three walks allowed with four strikeouts. The win went to veteran J.C. Gutierrez with two shutout innings while Abel De Lost Santps worked around a walk in the 11th for the save. Wilmer Difo singled twice and walked once to lead the Harrisburg offense.

Lynchburg 6 Potomac 3
• Reyes (L, 0-1) 4IP, 2H, 5R, 2ER, 5BB, 4K, HBP
• M. Sanchez 3IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Carey 2-3, R, BB, RBI
• Keller 2-4

A four-run first was too much for Potomac to overcome as they lost for the first time in 2016, 6-3 to Lynchburg. Luis Reyes inflicted much of the damage himself, walking two and hitting a batter in the 1st and five overall in four innings. He finished with five runs allowed on two hits and struck out four. Potomac cut the 6-0 lead in half with a three-run 7th, and put the tying run on base in the 9th one out before Hillcat reliever Trevor Frank got a strikeout and a flyout to stall the comeback bid and secure the win. D.K. Carey and Alec Keller both got two hits to pace the P-Nats attack.

Hagerstown 8 Lakewood 7
• A. Lee 5IP, 5H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K, 2WP
• Guilbeau (BS, 1) 1IP, 4H, 6R, 0ER, BB, 2K
• Peterson 3IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 4K, HBP
• Reetz 1-2, 2R, 2B, 3BB
• Agustin 3-5, R, 2B, RBI, 2SB
• Schrock 2-3, R, 2BB

The Suns took an early 3-0 lead, fell behind 7-3, then walked off in the 9th for an 8-7 win over Lakewood. Andrew Lee started and turned in five innings of one-run ball with five hits and two walks allowed. The defense took the 6th off as they committed three errors while Taylor Guilbeau was pinched for four hits including two doubles to “earn” the blown save. Tommy Peterson got the win with three scoreless innings of relief. Telmito Agustin knocked a double off the wall against a five-man infield and (presumably) a drawn-in outfield for the gamewinner. He went 3-for-5 total and stole two bases to lead the Suns 13-hit parade.

Potomac Booster Club Silent Auction, Redux

The second of two silent auctions for the Potomac Booster Club is scheduled for tonight at the Pfitz. Come early, bid often, and help support the folks who help the players during the long season.

Without further ado, here’s a list of the items that will be up for auction:

  • Jordan Zimmermann Autographed Major League Baseball; MLB Certified; Washington Nationals Donation Item
  • 2015 Team Autographed Bat
  • Ryan Zimmerman Autographed Game Used Carolina League Baseball
  • Anthony Rendon Autographed Major League Baseball
  • Tyler Moore Autographed Major League Baseball
  • 2015 P-Nat Difo Autographed Home Opener Game Used Jersey
  • 2015 P-Nat Difo Autographed Blue Home Game Used Jersey
  • Wilmer Difo Autographed Engraved Cracked Bat
  • David Carpenter Autographed Carolina League Baseball
  • Esix Snead Autographed Photo – Carolina League 106th Stolen Base
  • Tanner Roark Autographed Carolina League Baseball
  • Tyler Moore Autographed Carolina League Baseball
  • Denard Spann Autographed Carolina League Baseball
  • Dan Uggla Autographed Carolina League Baseball
  • Michael Taylor Pillow
  • Lucas Giolito Autographed Button
  • Wilmer Difo Autographed Carolina League Baseball
  • Reed Johnson Autographed Carolina League Baseball
  • Michael Taylor Flattop Bobblehead
  • Tyler Moore Bobblehead
  • One Eyed Willie Bobblehead
  • Justin Maxwell Bobblehead
  • John Lannan Bobblehead
  • Drew Storen Bobblehead
  • Danny Rosenbaum Bobblehead
  • Manny Machado Captain Manny Bobblehead
  • Eric Davis Autographed P-Nat Baseball Cap
  • Uncle Slam Bobblehead
  • Randy Knorr Bobblehead
  • Ian Desmond Bobblehead
  • Bryce Harper Bobblehead
  • Danny Rosenbaum Bobblehead
  • Jayson Werth Autographed Cracked Bat
  • Michael Taylor Autographed 8×10 Photo
  • 2014 Arizona League Ball Autographed by Spencer Kieboom, Pedro Severino, Tony Renda, Matt Grace, Neil Holland, Derek Self, Felipe Rivero
  • Virginia Sports Hall of Fame 2015 Induction Ceremony Program
  • July 9th Game One Line-Up Card vs Lynchburg
  • July 9th Game Two Line-Up Card vs Lynchburg
  • July 15th Line-Up Card vs Myrtle Beach
  • Anthony Rendon Engraved Cracked Bat
  • Clint Robinson Autographed Major League Baseball
  • 2014 Arizona Fall League (AFL) Packet – Autographed Pedro Severino 8×10, Autographed Tony Renda 8×10, Autographed Spencer Kieboom 8×10, Autographed Felipe Rivero 8×10, Autographed Neal Holland 8×10; Two 2014 AFL Fan Guides, Two 2014 Nats AFL Photos
  • Matted USPS Legends of Baseball Postage Stamps (20); USPS Baseball’s Legendary Playing Fields Postage Stamps (20)
  • P-Nat Backpack with Two Gray Potomac Tee Shirts; Two Potomac White Jerseys (Give-Away Item); Five Misc. P-Nat Team Card Sets; Two Misc. Potomac Cannons Team Card Sets; 2010 All-Time Potomac Team Card Set; P-Nat Logo Baseball; Cannons Logo Baseball; Ross Detwiler Autographed Carolina League Baseball
  • Ross Detwiler Autographed Carolina League Baseball
  • John Lannan Autographed Carolina League Baseball
  • Reynaldo Lopez Autographed Carolina League Baseball

Last Night In Woodbridge

Myrtle Beach scored in six of nine innings while Potomac struggled to score at all, as the Woodbridge nine fell for the third straight gane, 7-2.

Lucas Giolito got the start on Friday night, but struggled with his command. As is often the case with high-profile prospects, it’s diffiuclt to separate the talent from the results. Giolito had moments where his changeup was a thing of beauty, as the Pelicans were light years ahead of the pitch. Yet Giolito “only” struck out four in five innings. And walked three — his second-highest total in 12 starts (oh, the horror).

Giolito would finish with a crooked line of 5IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K, WP — not great, but not horrid, either.

While it might not satisfy the fair-weather fans, it’s fair to say that the Nats’ #1 prospect, and the #1 overall prospect according to some midseason prospect rankings (or is that post-preseason rankings?) might not yet be ready for AA just yet. And that’s okay. We’re still talking about a player that turned 21 this week.

Ulitmately, as has been the case for the past three games, it’s about the Potomac offense and its inability to score consistently. In three games against the Pelicans, they’ve collected 14 hits and scored four runs. It should come as no surprise that that’s resulted in three losses.

Veteran Khayyan Norfork was 2-for-4 and scored both runs, but the rest of the lineup was an atrocious 3-for-29 with one walk. The P-Nats had just four chances with runners in scoring position, and the one hit was a bunt single that scored the first run.

The series concludes tonight with a matchup of Phillips Valdez (3-2, 4.66) versus Jeremy Null (0-1, 4.24).