Tuesday’s News and Notes

Five of seven win on Tuesday, including a 16-2 beatdown in Viera

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 5-3 OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Senators Won, 8-6 @ Binghamton, 6:35 p.m. Andrew Kown (6-4, 3.78) vs.
Michael Antonini (6-9, 4.45)
Potomac Nationals Won, 9-5 @ Lynchburg, 7:00 p.m. Marcos Frias (4-5, 6.54) vs.
Justin Walker (1st A+ start of ’10)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 8-5 vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m. Garrett Mock (rehab) vs.
Zachary Grimmett (4-1, 4.00)
Vermont Lake Monsters Lost, 5-3 @ Tri-City, 7:00 p.m. Chad Jenkins (2-3, 2.75) vs.
Jesse Hernandez (1-3, 5.73)
GCL Nationals Won, 16-2
@ GCL Marlins
DSL Nationals Won, 4-2 @ DSL Phillies @ DSL Orioles2, 10:30 a.m. TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs L, 5-3 vs. Scranton/WB
WDWRD* — 2-4, 2R, 3B, RBI; 0-0 SB vs.
Starting Pitcher: Chico (L, 5-6) 3IP 5H 2R 2ER 1BB 1K
Pitching Star: Leatherman 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star: Orr  3-4, 1-3B, 2RBI
Notes: Scranton remained in the driver’s seat throughout this one as they began their scoring in the top of the 2nd with one run and added another run in the 3rd, one more in the 5th, and another two runs in the 6th making it 5-0 for Scranton. But Syracuse showed signs of a comeback in the bottom of the 6th with one run and then in the 8th they added two more runs to make it 5-3. Unfortunately, that’s all the Chiefs could muster as they fell to Scranton 5-3. Starter Matt Chico went three innings giving up five hits, two runs and one walk with the loss, his sixth of the season at AAA.
* This is an initialism for “What Did Wilson Ramos Do,” per a suggestion from one of our brilliant readers that we highlight the exploits of the most visible Syracuse prospect. The asterisk-with-a-footnote-in-italics is better known as a Posterisk, a gimmick stolen from Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski. We steal it in the spirit of plagiarism being the sincerest form of flattery.

Harrisburg Senators W, 8-6 @ Binghamton
Starting Pitcher: Peacock, Brad (W, 1-0) 5IP 7H 5R 5ER 3BB 2K
Pitching Star: Kimball 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Solano  3-3, R, 2-2B, BB, 5RBI
Hitting Star #2: Valdez 3-5, 2R
Notes: In the top of the 2nd Harrisburg took the lead with 2 runs and retained that lead until the 4th and 5th. In those innings Binghamton managed to score 1 in the bottom of the 4th and another 4 in the 5th to take the lead 5-2. Harrisburg came right back in the top of the 6th inning scoring four runs and they added two more runs in the 7th making it 8-5. Binghamton could only add one more run to their score as they were downed 8-6 by the Sens. Starter Brad Peacock got the win despite allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks over five innings.

Potomac Nationals W, 9-5 @ Lynchburg
Starting Pitcher: Lehman 2⅔ 8H 5R 4ER 1BB 2K
Pitching Star #1: Barthmaier (W, 2-1) 3⅓ IP 2H 0R 0BB 3K
Pitching Star #2: VanAllen (SV, 5) 3IP 1H 0R 1BB 5K
Hitting Star #1: Moore 2-3, 3R, 2-2B, BB, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Lozada 2-4, R, 2-2B, 3RBI
Hitting Star #3: Jacobsen 2-4, 3RBI
Notes: Starter Pat Lehman was hit hard early, charged with five runs in eight hits in 2⅔ innings, but veterans Jimmy Barthmaier and Cory VanAllen picked him up held down the fort, combining for 6⅓ innings of scoreless relief to get the win and save, respectively. Down 5-2 after three full innings, the P-Nats bats scored in four of the next five innings, taking a 6-5 lead with two runs in the 6th and putting it away with a three runs in the 8th. The win puts Potomac in sole possession of first place at 20-16, one game ahead of Wilmington.

Hagerstown Suns W, 8-5 vs. Lexington
Starting Pitcher: Hicks 3⅓ IP 7H 4R 4ER 1BB 1K 
Pitching Star: Weaver (SV, 14) 2IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Ramirez 3-4, 3R, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Hood 2-3, R, BB, RBI
Notes: Hagerstown started the scoring in the bottom of the of the 1st with three runs. Lexington answered in the next inning with two runs and added two more in the top of the 3rd. Hagerstown wasted no time coming back as they punched in four runs in the bottom of the inning. Lexington could only come back with one run in the 5th, but the Suns scored one run of their own in the 7th to counter it as they went on to win 8-5. Starter Graham Hicks went 3⅓ innings giving up seven hits, four runs and one walk. Ben Graham got the win in relief, while Dean Weaver pitched two scoreless innings for the save, his 14th of the year.

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 5-3 @ Tri-City
Starting Pitcher: McKenzie (L, 1-2) 4IP 7H 4R 4ER 1BB 2K
Pitching Star: Herrera 1⅓ IP 1H 0R 4K
Hitting Star #1: Miller 2-3, R, BB, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Freitas 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
Notes: Tri-City began the scoring in the bottom of the 1st with 1 run, while Vermont kept up with the Valley Cats by adding a run in the 2nd. Not to be outdone, Tri-City scored another run in the bottom of the 3rd to re-claim the lead. The Lake Monsters still came back though as they continued the pattern scoring yet another run in the top of the next inning making it 2-2. Unfortunately Tri-City began to pull away in the bottom of the 4th as they scored two. Vermont could only answer with one run, making it 4-3. Tri-City went on to add one more run in the 7th to seal this one at 5-3. Starter Christopher McKenzie went four innings giving up seven hits, four runs and one walk with the loss.

GCL Nationals W, 16-2 @ GCL Marlins
Starting Pitcher: Ryan Mattheus 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
Pitching Star: Christian Meza 2IP 1H 0R 0BB 2K (Happy 20th B-Day)
Hitting Star #1: Randolph Oduber 3-3, 2R, 2-2B, 2BB, 4RBI
Hitting Star #2: Rick Hughes 2-4, 2R, 2B, 2BB, 3RBI
Hitting Star #3: Adrian Sanchez 3-5, R, 2RBI
Notes: Powered by an eight-run third inning, the GCL Nationals hooked the GCL Marlins by a score of 16-2. Eight of the nine starting batters got a hit, six got two or more as the G-Nats put 17 hits on the board. Rehabbing Ryan Mattheus started the game and pitched a scoreless inning while “40”-year-old Orlando Hernandez allowed an unearned run on two hits over two innings while striking out three.

DSL Nationals W, 4-2 @ DSL Phillies
Starting Pitcher: Silvio Medina (W, 3-4) 6⅓ IP 5H 2R 2ER 0BB 3K
Pitching Star: Inocencio Heredia [SV, 8] 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star: Jean Valdez 2-4, RBI
Notes: With single runs in the first three innings, the D-Nats built a 3-0 lead and played errorless baseball en route to a 4-2 victory over the DSL Phillies. Starter Silvio Medina got the win, pitching 6⅓ innings and allowing two runs on five hits and no walks. Inocencio Heredia pitched two scoreless innings to earn the save, his 8th on the year. Jean Valdez led the hitters by going 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Monday’s News and Notes

A Potomac win that reclaims 1st place is the lone bright spot on a dismal Monday for the Nats’ minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost. 6-5 @ Scranton/W-B, 7:00 p.m. Matt Chico (5-5, 3.64) vs.
Jason Hirsh (6-7, 4.22)
Harrisburg Senators OFF DAY @ Binghamton, 6:35 p.m. Brad Peacock (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Mark Cohooon (1-3, 7.24)
Potomac Nationals Won, 6-4 (11 inn.) @ Lynchburg, 7:00 p.m. Pat Lehman (3-2, 4.79) vs.
Lance Janke (3-8, 6.28)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 9-4 vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m. Graham Hicks (1-4, 4.85) vs.
Luis Cruz (5-2, 3.25)
Vermont Lake Monsters Lost, 10-1 @ Tri-City, 7:00 p.m. Christopher McKenzie (1-1, 8.87) vs.
Alexander Sogard (1-2, 4.64)
GCL Nationals Lost, 5-2 vs. GCL Astros @ GCL Marlins, 12:00 p.m. TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost 11-4 vs. DSL Mets1 @ DSL Phillies, 10:30 a.m. TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs L, 6-5 vs. Scranton/WB
Starting Pitcher: Marquis 6IP 3H 2R 1ER 2BB 4K
Pitching Dud: Villone (L, 2-4) 1IP 2H 1ER 1K
Hitting Star#1: Whiting 2-4, 2R, 1-2B
Hitting Star#2: Orr 2-4, 1R, 1-2B
Notes:  Syracuse began the scoring in the bottom of the 1st with two runs, Scranton came back in the 2nd and 3rd with a run in each inning to tie it back up. Syracuse regained the lead in the bottom of the 3rd  and increased it to 4-2 after the 4 innings of play. But Scranton wouldn’t give up and once the 7th came around they tied this game back up at 4-4. But they weren’t done there as Scranton scored one run in the 8th to take the lead. Syracuse tied it back up in the bottom of the inning, unfortunately Scranton had the last laugh as they were able to sneak one more run in the 9th inning to win this one 6-5. Rehabbing Jason Marquis went six innings giving up three hits, two runs and two walks but got the no-decision.

Harrisburg Senators — OFF DAY
Notes: The Senators are riding a four-game win streak and are now just 3&frac; games out of second place. They head north to Funkytown Binghamton for three games before hosting first-place Altoona this weekend.

Potomac Nationals W, 6-4 (11 inn.) @ Lynchburg
Starting Pitcher: Holder 2⅓ IP 6H 4R 4ER 2BB 0K
Pitching Star: McCoy (W, 2-1) 3IP 1H 0R 0BB 6K
Hitting Star #1: Rhinehart 3-5, 2R, 2-2B,
Hitting Star #2: Lombardozzi 3-6, 2R, 3RBI
Notes: A wild pitch plated Bill Rhinehart as the go-ahead run and sac fly off the bat of Steve Lombardozzi gave the P-Nats some insurance in the top of the 11th as they defeated the Lynchburg Hillcats 6-4. Starter Trevor Holder lasted just 2⅓ innings, but the Potomac bullpen was outstanding as Carlos Martinez (3⅔ innings), newly acquired Joe Testa (2 innings) and Pat McCoy (3 innings) combined to shut down the Hillcats, allowing three hits combined and striking out 11 the rest of the way.

Hagerstown Suns L, 9-4 vs. Lexington
Starting Pitcher: Demny (L, 6-4) 5⅓ IP 7H 5R 5ER 2BB 2K
Pitching Star: Garcia 2IP 2H 0R 1K
Hitting Star#1: Ramirez 1-3, R, HR, BB, 3RBI
Hitting Star#2: Jones 1-2, R, BB
Notes: Lexington scored two runs in the 2nd to start things off and scored one more run in the top of the 3rd. The Suns answered with two runs in bottom of the 3rd to keep things close at 3-2. Lexington started to pull away in the 6th scoring four runs making it 7-2. Hagerstown could only managed to get single runs in each of the 7th and 8th innings, but it wasn’t enough as Lexington scored two more in the 9th to win this one going away, 9-4. Starter Paul Demny went 5⅓ innings giving up seven hits, five runs and two walks with the loss.

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 10-1 @ Tri-City
Starting Pitcher: Jordan (L, 1-2) 3IP 7H 7R 7ER 2BB 2K
Pitching Star: Cahill 1⅓ IP 2H 0R 0BB 5K
Hitting Star#1: Moore 2-3, BB  
Hitting Star#2: Labrie 2-4, 1RBI
Notes: Vermont didn’t have much of a say in this game as their bats were pretty quiet today (six hits total). Tri-City Started their onslaught in the bottom of the 3rd with seven runs and added an additional run in the 4th, making it 8-0 early. In the 7th Tri-City added two more runs to make the score 10-0. On a positive note, the Lake Monsters prevented a shut-out as they were able to obtain one run in the top of the 9th to make this a final of 10-1 for Tri-City. Starter Taylor Jordan was hit hard for his fourth straight start. He went three innings giving up seven hits, seven runs, and three walks while striking out two.

GCL Nationals L, 5-2 vs. GCL Astros
Starting Pitcher: Pedro Encarnacion (L, 2-2) 2⅔ IP 5H 4R 4ER 3BB 1K
Pitching Star: Mitchell Clegg 3IP 2H 0R 2BB 1K
Hitting Star: Randolph Oduber 2-3, BB
Notes: Make that seven of eight, as the GCL Nationals fell again, 5-2, to the GCL Astros. Pedro Encarnacion was lit up for four runs on five hits and three walks over 2⅔ innings. Both Nationals runs were aided by Astros errors, as the offense was held to just three hits. Rehabbing Mitchell Clegg was the pitching star, tossing two-hit ball over three innings with two walks and one strikeout.

DSL Nationals L, 11-4 vs. DSL Mets1
Starting Pitcher: Wirkin Estevez 4IP 8H 5R 4ER 2BB 2K 1HR
Pitching Star: Andy Santana 3IP 0H 0R 2BB 4K
Hitting Star #1: Narciso Mesa 2-4, R, SB
Hitting Star #2: Nelalexfred 2-4, R, RBI
Notes: Not even staff ace Wirkin Estevez could stop the bleeding, as the DSL Nationals dropped their 8th straight game, 11-4 to the DSL Mets1 squad. Four double plays on offense and four errors on defense were also to blame for the futility. Estevez allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks over his four innings of work.

Sunday’s News and Notes

Ronnie Labrie’s 7RBIs highlights a three-win Sunday in the Nats’ minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 3-1 @ Scranton/W-B, 7:00 p.m. Jason Marquis (0-0, 7.20) vs.
David Phelps (1-2, 3.86)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 12-11 (11 inn.) OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Nationals OFF DAY @ Lynchburg, 7:00 p.m. Trevor Holder (0-2, 3.44) vs.
Chase Ware (1-2, 3.65)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 1-0 vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m. Paul Demny (6-3, 3.58) vs.
Jose Cisnero (5-5, 4.03)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 13-4 @ Tri-City, 7:05 p.m. Taylor Jordan (1-1, 4.83) vs.
Jake Buchanan (2-2, 4.88)
GCL Nationals Lost, 5-1 @ GCL Mets vs. GCL Astros, 12:00 p.m. TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals OFF DAY vs. DSL Mets1, 10:30 a.m. TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs W, 3-1 @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Starting Pitcher: Martis (W, 7-6) 6IP 2H 0R 3BB 5K
Pitching Star: Carr (SV, 2) 1IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Ramos 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Whiting 2-4, 2B
Notes: Newly acquired Wilson Ramos led off the scoring with a solo HR in the 2nd inning, then hit an RBI single in the 6th to lead the Syracuse Chiefs to a 3-1 victory over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. Starter Shairon Martis rebounded from his last outing to pitch six scoreless innings, allowing two hits, walking three, and setting down five on strikes. Adam Carr pitched a scoreless ninth to collect his 2nd AAA save.

Harrisburg Senators W, 12-11 @ Portland
Starting Pitcher: Thompson 3⅔ IP 10H 8R 6ER 1BB 5K
Pitching Star: Matin (W, 4-2) 3IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Ivany 2-3, R, 2BB, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Marrero 2-3, 3R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
Hitting Star #3: Baez 1-6, R, HR, 5RBI
Notes: Devan Ivany’s solo HR with two outs in the bottom of the 11th gave the Senators a 12-11 victory and a series sweep against the Portland Sea Dogs. Just five of the 19 batters did not collect a hit, while nine batters got two or more, and two Sea Dogs got four. Chris Marrero also homered while Edgardo Baez smacked a grand slam as part of a five-run third inning that gave Harrisburg its only other lead at 5-2. Starter Aaron Thompson was chased from the game with two outs in the fourth, charged with eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits and one walk. Rafael Martin got the win in relief, pitching three scoreless and hitless innings with one walk and one strikeout.

Potomac Nationals — OFF DAY
Notes: The P-Nats begin a three-game against the last-place Lynchburg Hillcats today. This represents a chance to make some hay in the second-half playoff race, as the next 22 games are against teams that are currently .500 or worse before they play first-place Wilmington for three games on August 23-25.

Hagerstown Suns L, 1-0 @ Greensboro
Starting Pitcher: Bronson (L, 1-1) 6⅔ IP 6H 1R 0ER 1BB 4K
Pitching Star: Wort 1⅓ IP 1H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Hood 1-3
Hitting Star #2: Leon 1-3
Notes: For the second time in three games, the Hagerstown found themselves on the short end of a 1-0 score, as the Grasshoppers swept the Suns in all four games. Starter Evan Bronson was the hard-luck loser, pitching 6⅔ innings and allowing the one, unearned Greensboro run on six hits and one walk. Just two Hagerstown baserunners made it into scoring position, as the Grasshoppers pitchers allowed just three hits and no walks on the afternoon.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 13-4 @ Lowell
Starting Pitcher: Hansen 4⅔ IP 6H 4R 2ER 3BB 8K 1HR
Pitching Star:
Hitting Star #1: Labrie 3-5, 3R, 2B, HR, 7RBI
Hitting Star #2: Keyes 2-5, R, 2B, RBI
Hitting Star #3: Moore 1-3, 3R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
Notes: Ronnie Labrie’s three-run shot in the 3rd inning broke open a 2-2 game as the Vermont defeated Lowell by a 13-2 count. Labrie would go 3-for-5 with seven RBI on the afternoon to lead the Lake Monsters’ 11-hit onslaught, which also included six doubles and six walks. Starter Bobby Hansen went 4⅔ innings, giving up all four Spinner runs, six hit and three walks. He also struck out eight. Cameron Selik got the win with 3⅓ innings of scoreless relief, with one hit allowed and three batters set down on strikes.

GCL Nationals L, 5-1 @ GCL Mets
Starting Pitcher: Kelvin Lopez (L, 3-2) 6IP 7H 3R 2ER 4BB 3K 1HR
Pitching Vintage: Orlando Hernandez 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Randolph Oduber 2-4, 2B, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Andruth Ramirez 2-3, 2B
Notes: The GCL Nationals losing ways continued as they dropped a 5-1 decision to the GCL Mets, the sixth loss in the past seven games. Starting pitcher Kelvin Lopez went six innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits and four walks. Orlando Hernandez pitched an inning in relief, striking out two and was followed by Matt Grace, who gave up two runs in the bottom of the eighth, but still lowered his ERA from 22.09 to 21.21.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
Notes: Sunday was a welcome day off for the DSL Nationals, who are in the midst of a seven-game losing streak. The DSL Nats host the Mets1, Giants on Monday and Thursday while visiting the Phillies, Orioles2, Cubs2, and Marlins the rest of the week. Their elimination number stands at 11.

Who Are The New Guys, Part Deux

A look at the other two guys that Washingtn picked up at the trade deadline

On Friday, we examined the two players that the Nationals acquired in the Matt Capps trade. Today, we’ll take a quick peek at the two players that came with the trade of Christian Guzman.

Tatusko may be the more famous of the two, thanks to his efforts to follow in the footsteps of Dirk Hayhurst in chronicling the minutia of minor-league life in The Backfield Diaries. Tatusko is 25 years old and is listed at 6’5″ and 200 lbs. Kevin Goldstein at Baseball prospectus describes him as a pitcher that works low in the zone with a high 80s-low-90s fastball, and a decent breaking ball, but “doesn’t have the stuff to miss bats.” John Sickels describes him as a Grade-C prospect.

Roark is younger (turns 24 in October) and a little shorter (6’2″) but a little heavier (220 lbs) than Tatusko. Like Tatusko, he’s said to throw strikes consistently with a better fastball but weaker secondary pitches. Sickels also describes him as a Grade-C prospect, and sees both pitchers as “utility pitchers at the major-league level.

Saturday’s News and Notes

The Senators win, the rest don’t

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 2-1 @ Scranton/W-B, 5:05 p.m. Shairon Martis (6-6, 4.42) vs.
Zach McAllister (7-7, 4.82)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 10-0 @ Portland, 2:00 p.m. Aaron Thompson (4-11, 5.38) vs.
Alex Wilson (3-3, 6.46)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 5-1 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 5-4 @ Greensboro, 4:00 p.m. Evan Bronson (1-0, 4.50) vs.
Erick Carrillo (3-5, 5.11)
Vermont Lake Monsters Lost, 4-3 @ Lowell, 1:35 p.m. Bobby Hansen (3-2, 3.11) vs.
Hunter Cervenka (0-2, 3.72)
GCL Nationals Lost, 7-3 @ GCL Mets, 12:00 p.m. TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 11-1
@DSL Yankees1

Syracuse Chiefs L, 2-1 @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Starting Pitcher: Arnesen (L, 3-7) 7IP 6H 2R 2ER 1BB 2K
Pitching Star: Bisenius 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
Hitting Star: Davis 1-2, R, HR, RBI
Notes: Former National Tim Redding stifled the Chiefs, allowing just one run (a Leonard Davis HR) on four hits as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre edged Syracuse 2-1. Starter Erik Arnesen was nearly as good, allowing two runs on six hits and one walk.

Harrisburg Senators W, 10-0 vs. Portland
Starting Pitcher: Zimmermann 4⅔ IP 1H 0R 2BB 3K
Pitching Star: James (W, 6-0) 3IP 1H 0R 2BB 4K
Hitting Star #1: Johnson 3-4, 3R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
Hitting Star #2: Martinez 2-3, 2RBI
Notes: Three pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout as the Harrisburg Senators blanked the Portland Sea Dogs 10-0. Josh Johnson singled, doubled, and homered and drove in three to lead the offensive onslaught. Jordan Zimmermann, recently activated and assigned to Harrisburg, started the game and went 4⅔ innings, allowing one hit and two walks. Chuck James got the win in relief, his sixth against no losses for Harrisburg this season.

Potomac Nationals L, 5-1 vs. Frederick
Starting Pitcher: Rosenbaum 5IP 3H 1R 1ER 2BB 3K
Pitching Star: VanAllen 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star: Lombardozzi 1-3, 2B, BB
Notes: Perhaps the catch of the year was made Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns L, 5-4 @ Greensboro
Starting Pitcher: Smoker 3IP 5H 3R 2ER 3BB 1K 1HR
Pitching Star: Wort 1IP 0R 0H 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Hague 2-5, R, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Bloxom 2-4
Notes: The Suns took an an early 1-0 lead in the 1st but the Grasshoppers leapt past them with a two-run rally in the 2nd and a single run in the 3rd to go up 3-1. Hagerstown tied it in the 4th with an infield single and an RBI ground out, but Greensboro answered those two runs with two of their own in the bottom of the fifth to take a 5-3 lead. Greensboro would give one run back on an error and a run coming in on a double play, but otherwise the Grasshopper bullpen was stifling, allowing just two hits over four innings while striking out eight. Starter Josh Smoker’s generosity to the opposition continued with three runs allowed on five hits, including a home run. He walked three and struck out one.

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 4-3
Starting Pitcher: Bates (L, 2-2) 5IP 11H 4R 2ER 0BB 4K
Pitching Star: Holland 3IP 0R 0H 1BB 4K
Hitting Star #1: Rowe 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI; OF assist at HP
Hitting Star #2: Jimenez 2-5, 2B, RBI
Notes: Connor Rowe’s two-run HR gave Vermont an early lead at 2-0 in the top of the 3rd. Two errors and a string of singles by the Spinners led to three runs to put the Lake Monsters down 3-2. Lowell would extend the lead to 4-2 in the 4th. Vermont could only muster an unearned run in the 7th as Lowell won 4-3. Starter Colin Bates was stung for 11 hits over his five innings, allowing four runs (two earned) in the loss.

GCL Nationals L, 7-3 vs. GCL Cardinals
Starting Pitcher: Ryan Mattheus 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
Pitching Star: Randy Mower 1IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
Hitting Star: Adrian Sanches 3-3, 2B, SB, RBI
Notes: With two runs in the 3rd and three runs in the 4th, the GCL Cardinals went up 5-2 after four full innings and were in control the whole way, as the GCL Nationals fell to them 7-3. The GCL Nationals only left three runners on base, but only the starting and finishing pitchers were untouched as the GCL Cardinals rapped out 10 hits.

DSL Nationals L, 11-1 @ DSL Yankees1
Starting Pitcher: Antonio Guzman (L, 3-3) 5IP 8H 6R 6ER 2BB 4K
Pitching Star: Luis Matos 1IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
Hitting Star: Victor Chavez 1-3, BB
Notes: The DSL Nationals pitchers were pounded for 13 hits, while the batters were held to just five hits as the DSL Yankees1 won handily 11-1. Starter Antonio Guzman took his third loss, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks.

Last Night In Woodbridge

Potomac loses a chance for first place

Smart baserunning might get you an extra base, maybe an extra run. But dumb baserunning will kill rallies and cost runs.

Such was the case in the second inning last night in Woodbridge. It began with the No. 7 man in the lineup, Jose Lozada, leading off with a single and getting caught stealing. A calculated risk, given that the nos. 8 and 9 batters were up next. After both men singled, Steve Lombardozzi drew a walk to load the bases.

With one out, Will Ortiz lifted a foul fly to medium-shallow right, with the rightfielder, second baseman and first baseman converging. Nick Moresi wisely saw that perhaps an infielder would get to it and tagged up from third. When the rightfielder caught it (read: facing towards home plate, with forward momentum), Moresi unwisely started toward home. Though he only made it down the line about twenty feet, it was enough for two strong throws to catch him in a rundown for the inning-ending double play.

It was that kind of night for Potomac. Though in the end it was only eight men stranded on the night, five of those came in the first two innings. The lost chances wasted another fine effort by Danny Rosenbaum, who pitched five innings and allowed just one run on three hits and two walks.

But it could have been worse. The picture above captures the moment that made the crowd gasp and then roar with approval.

With a runner on first, and two outs in the fifth, Xavier Avery launched a rocket to right-center field. Chris Curran read it perfectly and took off on a dead run. And then he leapt, his body seemingly parallel to the ground, his left arm stretched out ahead him at a 45-degree angle. It was do or die, because Avery is a triple waiting to happen when outfielders are on their feet, never mind on the ground.

After sliding headfirst on the warning track, Curran rolled over and pointed his glove to the sky. Inning over. He did.

Curran would lead off the next inning — because that’s how the baseball gods roll — and come around to score on a two-out single by Ortiz, tying the game at 1-1.

Unfortunately, things fell apart after that. Frederick got the run back the very next inning to go back up by one at 2-1. They extended to 4-1 with two in the top of the 8th and added another in the ninth for the final score of 5-1. Potomac managed only two leadoff singles in the final four innings.

With the loss, Potomac missed a chance to reclaim first place and remains one game back of Wilmington in the Northern Division. They have an off day today before embarking on a seven-game roadtrip against Lynchburg for three games and Myrtle Beach for four games before returning home next Monday.

Friday’s News and Notes

Syracuse breaks its losing streak to highlight a four-win Friday

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 8-6 @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 7:05 p.m. Erik Arnesen (3-6, 4.37) vs.
Tim Redding (6-4, 2.62)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 3-2 (11 inn.) vs. Portland, 7:00 p.m. Jordan Zimmermann (rehab) vs.
Potomac Nationals Lost, 8-7; Won, 8-2 vs. Frederick, 6:35 p.m. Danny Rosenbaum (2-0, 0.69) vs.
Ryan O’Shea (5-6, 4.16)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 1-0 @ Greensboro, 7:00 p.m. Evan Bronson (1-0, 4.50) vs.
Edgar Olmos (2-4, 3.74)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 10-1 @ Lowell Colin Bates (2-1, 3.52) vs.
Tyler Wilson (0-3, 5.50)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY vs. GCL Cardinals, 12:00 p.m. TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 6-5 vs. DSL Marlins @ DSL Yankees1, 10:30 a.m. TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs W, 8-6 vs. Indianapolis
Starting Pitcher: Mandel 5IP 6H 3R 1ER 0BB 2K
Pitching Star: Bergmann (W, 3-3) 2IP 1H 1R 0ER 3BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Maxwell 2-4, 2R, 2B, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Orr 2-4, 2R
Notes: Indianapolis started the scoring early with one run in the top of the 1st, Syracuse didn’t let that lead last though, as they claimed the lead in the 2nd with 3 runs. In the 3rd Indianapolis kept the one-run streak going with another run and Syracuse hit in a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. Indianapolis got another run in the 4th and added the tying run in the 6th making it 4-4. In the bottom of the 7th Syracuse started to run away with this one as they amassed four runs making it 8-4. Indianpolis could only get two in the 8th and lost steam after that as Syracuse took this one 8-6. Starter Jeff Mandel went five innings giving up six hits, three runs and two walks but got a no-decision. The win snaps a nine-game losing streak for the Chiefs.

Harrisburg Senators W, 3-2 (11 inn.) vs. Portland
Starting Pitcher: Milone 7.0IP 6H 2ER 8K
Pitching Star: Kimball (W, 3-1) 2.1IP 1H 1K
Hitting Star #1: Valdez 2-5, 1R, 1-3B
Hitting Star #2: Pahuta 2-5, 1R, 1-2B, 1RBI
Notes: Harrisburg and Portland were neck-and-neck throughout this one. Portland scored one run in the top of the 1st and Harrisburg tied the game back up with a run in the 2nd. In the 7th Portland took the lead, scoring another run, but the Sens tied it back up in the bottom of the frame. Things remained tied through 9 innings which meant extras for these two teams. The 10th solved nothing, but in the 11th Harrisburg’s Tim Pahuta singled one to right field to score Josh Johnson to win the game 3-2. Starter Tom Milone went seven innings, giving up six hits and two runs with eight strikeouts but got the no-decision.

Potomac Nationals L, 8-7; W, 8-2 vs. Frederick
For more details, check out Sue’s take in Last Night In Woodbridge

Starting Pitcher: Frias (L, 4-5) 4IP 7H 7R 7ER 3BB 4K 1HR
Pitching Star: Martinez 1⅓ IP 1H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Norris 2-4, HR, 2B, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Lombardozzi 3-4, RBI

Starting Pitcher: Alaniz 4⅓ IP 6H 2R 1ER 1BB 2K
Pitching Star: Barthmaier (W, 1-1) 1⅔ IP 0H 0R 2BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Rhinehart 2-4, 2HR, 4RBI
Hitting Star #2: Lozada 3-4, R, 2B

Hagerstown Suns L, 1-0 @ Greensboro
Starting Pitcher: Applebee (L, 2-4) 4⅓ IP 3H 1R 1ER 3BB 1K 1HR
Pitching Star: Weaver 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Hood 2-4, SB
Hitting Star #2: Perez 1-3, BB, SB (#40)
Notes: A solo HR by Taylor Krick in the third inning was the lone run of the night, as the Grasshoppers shut out the Suns 1-0. Former teammates at UC Riverside, Greensboro’s Matt Montgomery got the best of Hagerstown’s Paul Applebee, who went 4⅓ innings and allowed two singles besides the Krick HR while walking three and striking out one. Ben Graham and Dean Weaver combined for 4⅔ innings of scoreless relief, with Graham allowing one hit and Weaver allowing one walk.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 10-1 vs. Hudson Valley
Starting Pitcher: Swynenberg (W, 3-2) 5⅔ IP 6H 1R 1ER 0BB 5K
Pitching Star: Demmin 2⅓ IP 1H 0R 0BB 5K
Hitting Star #1: Rowe 3-3, R, BB, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Freitas 2-5, R, HR, 3RBI
Hitting Star #3: Martinson 2-5, R, RBI
Notes: A seven-run fifth inning turned a close game into a runaway, as the Lake Monsters roared past the Renegades 10-1. Connor Rowe led the 13-hit attack with a 3-for-3 night, while David Freitas and Ronnie Labrie went deep. Starter Matt Swynenburg, who had given up 15 runs (all earned) in his past three starts, rebounded with a strong start. He allowed just one run on six hits over 5⅔ innings, walked none and struck out five.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
Notes: The GCL Nats got a rare Friday night off and return to action today with a 13-19 mark, eight games off the pace and in last place.

DSL Nationals L, 6-5 vs. DSL Marlins
Starting Pitcher: Dennis Lellis 2⅔ IP 3H 2R 1ER 3BB 2K
Pitching Star: None
Hitting Star #1: Juan Pena 2-4, R, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Emilio Caseres 2-3, R
Notes: A three-run rally by the DSL Marlins in the sixth inning erased an early 4-2 lead. Juan Pena’s RBI single in the 8th drove in pinch-runner Nelalexfred Ortega to give the DSL Nationals a tie at 5-5. Karin Burgos coughed up the game-winner with two walks and a two-out single in the top of the 9th, and the D-Nats failed in two chances to get the equalizer after a leadoff walk and a sacrifice.

Last Night In Woodbridge

The P-Nats rap out 25 hits in a doubleheader split

The Potomac bats remained hot, but the pitching was erratic, resulting in a split against the Frederick Keys.

In Game One, Marcos Frias took the hill against a team that he had thrown a quality start against earlier in the month, when Potomac swept the Keys on the road. For three innings, it looked like he might just duplicate that feat, though the signs that this might be short outing were evident: three of the first four Frederick hits were of the extra-base variety, enabling the Keys to get single runs in the 1st and 2nd.

In the fourth, Frias set down the first two batters fairly quickly but then struggled to get the Nos. 8 and 9 batters out, walking them both. This paved the way for the top of the order to make him pay. Xavier Avery* doubled to right, Kyle Hudson singled to left, and Ronnie Welty, who had doubled in his previous two at-bats, completed the scoring binge with a two-run shot to turn a 2-1 lead into a 7-1 chasm.

* If there’s a contest to rank great baseball names, how could MiLB look past this one?

Potomac, however, would not roll over in its half of the 4th. Derek Norris his just his second HR at the Pfitz to lead things off. Following singles by Bill Rhinehart and Jose Lozada, Chris Curran and Francisco Soriano hit back-to-back triples with two outs to rally the P-Nats to within two at 7-5.

Steve Lombardozzi’s third single of the game with two outs drove in Lozada in the sixth cut the lead to one at 7-6. Billy “But He’s Still Young” Rowell connected for a solo HR in the top of the 7th — his 25th for Frederick in 316 games since 2008 — to give the Keys an 8-6 lead.

That run would prove crucial as Potomac rallied one more time in the 7th, as a Moore single, a wild pitch, and a Rhinehart single whittled the lead to 8-7, but that’s as close as the P-Nats would get.


After an announcement of a 20-minute break between games, the nightcap started 39 minutes later with Adrian Alaniz on the mound and he was not sharp. Consistently falling behind hitters, the 26-year-old battled through 4⅓ innings and somehow managed to allow just two runs on six hits and one walk before giving way to Jimmy Barthmaier.

Meanwhile, the Potomac bats, which had peppered the field in the first game with 14 hits, a-salted the Frederick pitchers for 11 hits in the second game. They scored in every inning but the first, highlighted by a pair of two-run blasts by Bill Rhinehart in the third and sixth innings. Jose Lozada led the hit parade with three hits, and had five hits combined in the doubleheader, as did Steve Lombardozzi.

With the split, Potomac gained a half game on first-place Wilmington and remains a game-and-a-half ahead of third-place Frederick, the first-half winner. Recently promoted Danny Rosenbaum makes his second home start for Potomac, with Ryan O’Shea taking the hill for Frederick.

Who Are The New Guys?

Here’s a closer look at the two newest members of the farm system

If the “news” that a big, fat lineman failed his physical hasn’t distracted you, then chances are you’ve heard that the Washington Nationals traded Matt Capps to the Minnesota Twins for two prospects. This is quite a coup for GM Mike Rizzo, as he’s managed to flip a guy that was non-tendered last season by the Pittsburgh Pirates and leveraged his overrated status as an All-Star closer into something this organization lacks: a catcher that’s both healthy and on the verge of contributing.

Wilson Ramos

So who are these guys?

Wilson Ramos is obviously the key cog in this trade. Blocked by some guy name Joe Mauer at catcher, he’s coming off a season of injuries (broken finger, pulled hamstring) and has hit .241 with 5 HR and 30 RBI with Rochester in 71 games — .292 in June/July after a .177 April/May stretch.

John Sickels rated him a Grade-B prospect in his most recent edition, praising his ability to throw runners out (42% in ’09) and overall characterizing him as an above-average defender. Sickels cautioned his strike-zone judgment, noting his low walk rate, which has evidenced itself in 2010: 12BB in 71G.

Rob Gordon and Jeremy Deloney gave him an 8B rating (roughly a 70% chance of becoming a solid, everyday player) and praised his power potential and described his defensive play as “fundamentally sound… with plus arm strength and agility.” Unlike Sickels, they have more faith that he can hit for a high average, but like Sickels they believe that will only happen with more selectivity.

He is expected to begin his Washington Nationals career with the Syracuse Chiefs.

Joe Testa

Josh Johnson of the Twins prospect-following site Josh’s Thoughts summarized the inclusion of Joe Testa into this trade:

Testa was ranked as the No. 49 prospect heading into the season and is back in Single-A Fort Myers after struggling in Double-A New Britain. His inclusion into the trade doesn’t bother me. He is a 24-year-old with control problems who is still three stops away from the Major Leagues.

Neither Sickels nor the MLBA rated Testa, thus I’ll defer to Johnson’s scouting report, which can be found here. It would appear that Testa, a non-drafted free agent  was the proverbial “throw-in” for this trade and has hit his ceiling and is on the verge of being too old for his current level. Thus, he’ll be reporting to Potomac, which has several pitchers that fit that description.

Good, Bad, Interesting… Vol. 16

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

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

SYRACUSE 54-52, 2nd place IL North, 7 games back

Good Jason Bergmann 2.19ERA, 1.16WHIP, .212OBA
Bad Chase Lambin .216BA, 31K in July
Interesting Adam Carr 4K in 2⅔ IP in AAA debut

HARRISBURG 53-53, 4th place, 8 games behind

Good Danny Espinosa .287/.324/.545 in July
Bad John Lannan 1 quality start in 7 AA games
Interesting Brad Peacock 7 scoreless innings in AA debut

17-14 2nd Half; 48-53 Overall

Good Daniel Rosenbaum 2-0, 0.69ERA in first two A+ starts
Bad Jimmy Barthmaier 4H, 5R, BB, HR in return to A+
Interesting Tyler Moore 17HR, 73RBI leads all Nats affiliates (Pahuta tied in HR)

12-21 2nd Half; 48-55 Overall

Good Rob Wort 4-0, 5SV, 28K in 24IP in June/July
Bad Adrian Nieto .097BA in July
Interesting Paul Demny’s .240OBA is second-best

23-16, 1st Place Stedler Division of NY-Penn League

Good Chad Jenkins .192OBA, 1.11WHIP system-best for SPs
Bad Jason Martinson 10E in 35G
Interesting Wade Moore’s 12SB is 4th highest total in NYPL

13-19, 5th place GCL East Division, 7½ games back

Good Randolph Oduber .366/.418/.620 in 17G
Bad Matthew Grace 22.09ERA, 3.55WHIP in first 3 appearances
Interesting Mills Rogers .393OBP, 16BB in 26G

24-25, 5th place B.C. South Division, 9 games back

Good Jorge Hernandez 0.98WHIP, 2.05ERA
Bad Jose Arismendy .196BA .208OBP
Interesting Juan Pena 4 OF assists in 13G as CF