Tuesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Pitching Matchup
Potomac Lost, 6-3 @ Lynchburg,
6:30 p.m.
Strasburg (MLB Rehab) vs.
Garza (4-6, 3.77)
Hagerstown Lost, 6-4 OFF DAY N/A
Auburn Won, 6-5 OFF DAY N/A
GCL Nationals OFF DAY @ GCL Mets,
12:00 p.m.

Since a 5-2 win on June 1 to get back to .500 (26-26), Syracuse has gone 11-25 to return to the I.L. North cellar, and are just a game and a half better than Louisville Bats, who they battled and “beat” last season for the I.L.’s worst record. Roster moves: C Pedro Severino optioned from Washington.

Harrisburg – ALL-STAR BREAK
Despite a two-game slide going into the break, the third-place Senators remain within striking distance of the first-place RubberDucks at five games behind and 1½ games behind the second-place Curve.

Lynchburg 6 Potomac 3
• DeRosier 5IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 4K, HR, WP
• Fuentes 2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 3K, WP
• Banks 2-4
• Wiseman 0-2, 2R, 2BB

Twice Matt DeRosier kept Lynchburg from scoring; the other three innings, not so much. The Hillcats doubled up the P-Nats, 6-3 to hand Potomac its fifth straight loss. DeRosier was knocked for five runs on eight hits, including a home run, while walking two and striking out four over five innings. It was his second loss in three starts. Nick Banks (two singles) and Rhett Wiseman (two walks) were the only two P-Nats hitter to reach base twice.

West Virginia 6 Hagerstown 4
• Hill (L, 0-3) 3⅔ IP, 4H, 4R, 3ER, 4BB, 4K
• Brasher 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Dunlap 3-5, R, HR, 2RBI
• Meregildo 2-3, 2B, 2BB
• Esthay 2-5, 2-2B, 2K
• 1-15 RISP, 13 LOB

The Suns outhit the Power, 14-5 but came up short on the scoreboard for a 6-4 loss. Brigham Hill lost for the third time in five starts as he gave up four runs on four hits and four walks over three and 2/3rds innings. Jared Johnson got Hagerstown out of the 4th but gave up a two-run HR in the 5th before tossing a scoreless 6th. The other Jared (Brasher) kept West Virginia off the board to set up the Hagerstown comeback, which came in the 9th as Alex Dunlap smacked a two-run HR to cap a three-run rally. Paul Panaccione singled and Omar Meregildo doubled to put the tying runs in scoring position before Kameron Esthay made the 14th out in 15 chances with RISP to strand the 12th and 13th batters of the night.

Auburn 6 West Virginia 5
• Fletcher 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Guillen 3⅔ IP, 7H, 4R, 1ER, BB, 4K, 2HBP, BK
• Driskill (BS, 1; W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Daily 3-4, R
• Wilson 2-4, R, 2B, BB, RBI
• Shaddy 2-4, BB, RBI, SB

Cody Wilson’s two-out double in the 9th put Auburn up for good as they edged West Virginia, 6-5 to take the series 2-1. Aaron Fletcher made his second start and turned in two scoreless innings with a one walk and one hit before turning it over to Angel Guillen, who gave up four runs (one earned) on seven hits and a walk over three and 2/3rds innings. Tanner Driskill let in the tying run in the 8th but pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the blown-save-win. Cole Daily led the Doubleday hit column with three singles, followed by Wilson and Carson Shaddy, who both went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. Roster moves: RHP Chandler Day reassigned from the GCL.

GCL Nationals – OFF DAY
After briefly surfacing above .500 (7-6) just before the 4th, the G-Nats have lost four of five to fall to 8-10 and third place in the GCL East.

Wednesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Won, 10-2 vs. Toledo,
10:30 a.m.
Vargas (1-4, 4.37) vs.
Turley (4-2, 3.86)
Harrisburg Won, 8-4 @ Hartford,
7:05 p.m.
Dragmire (4-2, 2.43) vs.
Wynkoop (2-4, 5.83)
Potomac Postponed @ Salem,
5:30 p.m.
Crownover (2-4, 5.52) and
Braymer (1-0, 3.24) vs.
Thompson (2-3, 5.13) and
DeJesus (0-1, 16.62)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-0 vs. Hickory,
7:05 p.m.
Raquet (3-5, 2.66) vs.
Bremer (0-0, 6.23)

Syracuse 10 Toledo 2
• Jackson (W, 4-2) 6IP, 6H, R, ER, 2BB, 3K, HR
• Simms 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Jones 3-4, 2R
• Marmolejos 2-4, BB, 4RBI
• Falu 2-3, 2R, 2BB

The veteran-laden Chiefs continued their hot streak as they plucked the Mud Hens, 10-2 for their sixth in over the last seven games. Edwin Jackson tossed six innings of one-run ball on six hits and two walks while striking out three for his fourth win. Jacob Wilson was the beer man as the only Syracuse batter not to reach base in the 12-hit parade led by Hunter Jones with three singles, followed by Jose “Orange” Marmolejos and Irving Falu (two apiece). Roster moves: IF Matt Hague activated from the 7-Day DL; IF Jason Martinson placed on the 7-Day DL.

Harrisburg 8 Hartford 4
• Darnell 4IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 6K, 2HR
• Long (W, 1-2) 2IP, 3H, 0R, BB, K
• Ames 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Johnson 4-5, 2R, SB
• Gutierrez 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Goodwin 1-4, 2R, HR, BB, 3RBI

Brian Goodwin’s three-run shot in the 7th gave Harrisburg the, um, insurance they would need to double up Hartford, 8-4 in the series opener. Logan Darnell nearly blew a 5-0 lead but made it through four innings before turning it over to the Sens bullpen, which combined for five scoreless with Jaron Long getting the win as the pitcher of record. Daniel Johnson went 4-for-5 with two runs scored while stealing his 14th base to lead the 10-hit, two-walk offense. PR Alert: RHP Kyle McGowin was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week.

Salem vs. Potomac – PPD
Wet grounds kept these two from tangling yet again as they’ll now have to play four doubleheaders over the final two series the two teams play. Meanwhile the second-place Hillcats lost 7-0 to fall to 2½ games behind the first-place P-Nats.

Hickory 7 Hagerstown 0
• Stoeckinger (L, 2-4) 6IP, 6H, 4R, 2ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Brasher 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Corredor 2-3, BB
• Flores 1-3, 2B

Hagerstown changed opponents but not results as three Hickory pitchers combined to shut them out on five hits, 7-0. Jackson Stoeckinger went six innings and let in four runs (two earned) on six hits (one HR) and a walk while striking out three. Aldrem Corredor (two singles, walk) and Cole Freeman (two walks) were the only two Suns to reach base multiple times.

Tuesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Lost, 8-3 vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 6:35 p.m. Jackson (0-1, 4.56) vs.
Koerner (1-1, 4.10)
Harrisburg Won, 5-3
(11 inn.)
@ Erie,
6:00 p.m.
Dragmire (2-1, 2.89) vs.
Turnbull (0-3, 6.00)
Potomac Lost, 5-3 @ Wilmington,
6:35 p.m.
Sharp (3-2, 4.45) vs.
Castillo (1-3, 8.78)
Hagerstown Won, 2-0 OFF DAY N/A

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 8 Syracuse 3
• Fedde (L, 1-1) 4⅔ IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 3BB, 10K, 95-55 PIT-K
• Miller 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Wilson 2-4, 2B, 2RBI
• Mar. Reynolds 2-3, BB

The Chiefs’ reversion to the mean continued with its sixth straight loss, 8-3 to the RailRiders. Erick Fedde struck out 10 but couldn’t make it out of the 5th as he needed 95 pitches to get through four and 2/3rds innings, in which he gave up five runs on six hits and three walks for his first loss. Adrian Sanchez and Jacob Wilson both went 2-for-4 while Mark Reynolds reached base three times with a two singles and a walk to lead the Syracuse offense. Roster moves: OF Rafael Bautista optioned from Washington; 3B Michael Almanzar released.

Harrisburg 5 Erie 3 (11 inn.)
• Estevez 6IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 6K
• Ames (BS, 1; W, 1-0) 1IP, 0H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 2K, WP
• Self (SV, 2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Johnson 2-4, 2B, BB, CS
• Hernandez 1-4, 2R, HR, RBI

Harrisburg stopped its slide at five with 5-3 win in 11 innings over Erie. Wirkin “For the Weekend” Estevez continues to pitch well but has nothing but a case of the Mondays to show for it as he notched his third straight no-decision/quality start. The win went to Jeff Ames, who let in the “inherited” runner in the 10th on sacrifice and a wild pitch. Derek Self retired the side in the 11th to earn hi second save. Daniel Johnson singled, walked, and doubled while Yadiel Hernandez and Osvaldo Abreu both homered to pace the Senators offense.

Wilmington 5 Potomac 3
• Crownover 5IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 6BB, 2K
• Rivera (L, 0-1) ⅓ IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, BB, K, HR
• Kieboom 2-3, 2R, 2B, BB
• Soto 2-4

The P-Nats took leads of 1-0 and 3-1 before the bullpen blew it in the 6th for a 5-3 loss to the Blue Rocks. Matt Crownever walked six in five innings but was taken off the hook when Carter Kieboom and Juan Soto walked and singled and came around to score on an error and a Tres Barrera double. Mariano Rivera3 was charged with the loss, surprisingly just his first, as he avoided a clean outing for the sixth time in nine appearances with two runs allowed on two hits and a walk with just one batter retired. Kieboom reached base three times and scored twice while the reigning Carolina League Player of the Week, Juan Soto merely singled twice in four trips to the plate to lead the P-Nats attack.

Hagerstown 2 Kannapolis 0
• Alastre (W, 1-1) 6IP, 6H, 0R, 2BB, 6K, HBP
• Bogucki (S, 1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Garcia 3-4, 2CS
• Antuna 2-4

Three Hagerstown pitchers combined on a eight-hit shutout of Kannapolis to get win #10 and prevent a four-game sweep. Tomas Alastre went the first six and have up six hits but also struck out… wait for it… six while walking two for the win, his first. Following a scoreless 7th by Jeremy MicCkinney, A.J. Bogucki retired the last six in order for the save, also his first. Luis Garcia and Yasel Antuna combined for five of the Suns’ seven hits.

Wednesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Lost, 4-2;
vs. Indianapolis,
10:35 a.m.
Voth (1-0, 1.69) and TBD vs.
Eppler(1-0, 0.00) and TBD
Harrisburg Won, 4-3 vs. Reading,
6:30 p.m.
J. Rodriguez (1-1, 2.25) vs.
Romero (0-2, 8.00)
Potomac Lost, 7-4 @ Salem,
11:00 a.m.
Mapes (1-0, 0.90) vs.
Da. Hernandez (1-0, 0.87)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-2;
Lost, 7-3
vs. Delmarva,
10:35 a.m.
Tetrault (0-1, 8.38) vs.
Baumann (2-0, 0.82)

Indianapolis 4 Syracuse 2 – GAME ONE
• Vargas (L, 0-1) 5IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 3K; 1-1, RBI, SAC
• Torres 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• De Aza 1-3, R, 2B
• Kieboom 1-3, R, 2B, RBI

Indianapolis doubled up Syracuse, 4-2 in the opener. Cesar Vargas went the first five innings but let in the first three Indians runs on six hits and a walk while striking out three to suffer the loss. Alejandro De Aza and Spencer Kieboom hit back-to-back one-out doubles to score the first run while Vargas helped his own cause with two-out RBI single. The Chiefs, however, managed just six hits and one walk total and could not get the tying runs aboard in the 7th.

Indianapolis vs. Syracuse – PPD
The first game was delayed 20 minutes by snow between the 5th and 6th innings, which led officials to call off the second game and try again to play two this morning. Roster moves: OF Andrew Stevenson recalled to Washington; OF Hunter Jones reassigned from Harrisburg.

Harrisburg 4 Reading 3
• Dragmire 6IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 3K, WP; 1-1, BB, RBI
• Harper (W, 1-0) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Hernandez 2-4, BB, RBI
• Gutierrez 1-3, BB, E(4)

Steven Perez got on to lead off the 9th and went up and over on a pair of bunts to set up Jacob Wilson’s game-winning sacrifice fly and a 4-3 win by the Senators. Bryan Harper, who walked one and struck out two in the top of the 9th, got the win in relief. Starter Brady Dragmire allowed all three Fightin runs on six hits and a walk ove six innings for the quality start and no-decision. He also drew a walk and drove in a run with a single. Yadiel Hernandez reached base three times with a pair of singles and a walk to lead the Harrisburg offense. Roster moves: RHP Logan Darnell placed on the 3-Day TIL; C Matt Reistetter activated from the 7-day disabled list..

Salem 7 Potomac 4
• Baez 5IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 6K, HBP
• Howard (BS, 1; L, 0-1) 1⅔ IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 2K
• Mills ⅔ IP, 1H, R, ER, 3BB, K, 2-2 IR-S
• Davidson 3-5, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI, SB
• Wiseman 2-4, R, 2-2B, OF assist at HP

Joan Baez’s five scoreless innings and a 4-0 lead both went up in smoke as the Potomac ‘pen was bewitched by Salem for seven runs over its final three “ups” in a 7-4 loss. Baez put on three baserunners with a walk, single, and an HBP but also struck out six. The blown-save-loss went to Hayden Howard with three runs charged on two hits and a walk over an inning and 2/3rds with an “assist” from Jordan Mills, who let both runners he inherited. Austin Davidson continues to rake like he’s been in the league for three seasons with a 3-for-5 night, including a double and two-run HR to lead the P-Nats attack of 13 hits and three walks.

Delmarva 7 Hagerstown 2 – GAME ONE
• Troop (L, 1-1) 4IP, 4H, 4R, 3ER, BB, 2K, HR
• McKinney 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Soto 2-3, R, 2-2B, RBI
• Garcia 1-3, RBI, E(4)

Delmarva jumped on Hagerstown for three runs in the 1st and that would prove to be enough as the Shorebirds cruised to a 7-2 win. Alex Troop took the loss, giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits and a walk while striking out two. Juan Soto doubled twice, scored once, and drove in a run to lead the Suns’ offense, which was limited to five hits and one walk.

Delmarva 7 Hagerstown 3 – GAME TWO
• Raquet (L, 0-2) 4⅔ IP, 3H, 4R, 2ER, 3BB, 3K, HR
• Bogucki 2⅓ IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 4K, HR, 2-2 IR-S
• Soto 2-2, 2BB
• Franco 2-3, BB, RBI

The Suns took a 3-2 lead halfway through, but couldn’t keep the Shorebirds at bay for a 7-3 loss and a doubleheader sweep. Nick Raquet lost for the second time on four runs allowed (two earned) on three walks and three hits, including a two-run HR. A.J. Bogucki was also taken deep for two runs as he lost both baserunners he inherited, then let in three runs of his own over the final two and a 1/3rd innings. Juan Soto and Anderson Franco combined for four singles and three walks while Armond Upshaw connected for a solo HR to pace the Hagerstown offense.

Raudy Read the Latest Nats Farmhand Suspended for PEDs

In 11 of 14 seasons, the Nats have had a minor-leaguer suspended for a banned substance

The news came across yesterday afternoon that Raudy Read had been suspended for 80 games for testing positive for a PED (Boldenone), and he was the first on the Nationals 40-man player to do so.

Why the italics? Well, as longtime readers know, Read is hardly the first Nationals minor-leaguer to be suspended for a banned substance. In 11 of 14 seasons since the franchise moved from Montreal, at least one player has been punished, including current minor-leaguers Read and Jefry Rodriguez, and former (but still active) players Steven Souza and Adrian Nieto.

While it’s been better of late—no suspensions in 2013 and 2014—there was a period from 2008 to 2012 where multiple players were dinged: two in 2008, five in 2009, six in 2010, two in 2011, and three in 2012. Read is also not the first to test positive for Boldenone (Weesly Hernandez, 2008; Jorge Hernandez, 2010).

The implication this is an isolated incident (italics above) is specious, if not outright laughable. Washington is no paragon of virtue and neither are the Sox (White and Red), Cubs, and A’s. It was bound to happen, sooner or later.

Why? Because the pressure to succeed hasn’t diminished since PED testing began in 2005. Wages haven’t kept pace with inflation while demand for younger (cheaper) players has increased. Players, many of whom forego an education (including the ones who go to college), bet their teens and 20’s to make it to The Show. The younger they get there, the sooner the financial reward. But those who take longer (or are stuck in a given system) can’t always afford to wait.

You can call it cheating, so long as you’re willing to concede that the amphetamine use (read: “greenies”) of generations past isn’t all that different. Ignoring the very real incentive to take these measures to succeed and casting moral judgment isn’t going change anything or make anyone feel better besides yourself.

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.
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.