Thursday’s News and Notes

Six wins against one loss in Nats’ minors on Thursday

Best wishes to our foreign correspondent, who’s off today celebrating Canada Day.

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 4-2 @ Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m. Jason Jones (0-2, 6.75) vs.
Brian Mazone (5-7, 3.68)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 4-1 @ Trenton, 7:05 p.m. Andrew Kown (2-3, 3.77) vs.
Lance Pendleton (6-3, 3.70)
Potomac Nationals Won, 5-2 @ Winston-Salem, 7:00 p.m. Trevor Holder (0-1, 4.11) vs.
Terry Doyle (3-3, 3.81)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 6-4 @ Lakewood, 11:05 a.m. Josh Smoker (1-8, 6.88) vs.
Matt Way (7-4, 3.35)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 10-4 vs. Tri-City, 7:05 p.m. Chris McKenzie (1-0, 5.40) vs.
Hunter Cervenka (0-0, 1.08)
GCL Nationals Suspended vs.
GCL Cardinals
@ GCL Mets, 12:00 p.m. Kelvin Lopez (0-0, 4.00) vs.
Carlos Vazquez (1-0, 5.06)
DSL Nationals Won, 14-0; Won, 6-2
vs. DSL Orioles2
@ DSL Giants, 10:30 a.m. “Slim” Diaz (2-2, 3.13) vs.
Luis Angeles (3-2, 1.71)

Syracuse Chiefs W, 4-2
Starter/Pitching Star #1: Mandel (W, 4-3) 7IP 10H 2R 2ER 0BB 7K
Pitching Star #2: Garate (SV, 1) 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Whiting 2-4, R, 2B, SB, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Botts 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
Notes: A two-run Chase Lambin got things started in the 1st while the Chiefs tacked on single runs in the 2nd and 5th innings to cruise to a 4-2 win over the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Starter Jeff Mandel went seven full innings, scattering 10 hits and allowing just two runs while striking out seven. Victor Garate finished the game with two scoreless innings for his first AAA save of ’10.

Harriburg Senators L, 4-1 @ Trenton
Starting Pitcher: Detwiler (L, 0-1) 4IP 5H 3R 3ER 2BB 4K
Pitching Star: Carr 3IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
Hitting Star: Pahuta 1-3, BB, RBI
Notes: Doubles with men on in both the first and second innings against Ross Detwiler put the Senators in a 3-0 hole that the offense couldn’t overcome, as Harrisburg lost 4-1. Eight different starters got a base hit, but just once consecutively, as Jesus Valdez get thrown out at home plate to limit the Sens to just one run.

Potomac Nationals W, 5-2 @ Winston-Salem
Starter/Pitching Star: Bronson (W, 3-5) 7IP 7H 2R 2ER 0BB 5K
Hitting Star #1: Johnson 1-4, R, BB, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Peacock 1-3, 2B, BB, SB
Notes: Potomac broke a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over Winston-Salem, collecting three triples among its seven hits. Speaking of seven, that’s how many innings starter Evan Bronson went in limiting the Carolina League’s top-scoring lineup to just two runs on seven hits and no walks. Veterans Zach Dials and Dan Leatherman followed Bronson for an inning apiece the hold and save, respectively.

Hagerstown Suns W, 6-4
Starting Pitcher: Hicks (ND) 6IP 7H 2R 1ER 0BB 3K
Pitching Star: Arnold (W, 2-2) 2IP 0H 0R 3BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Kobernus 3-5, 2R
Hitting Star #2: Bloxom 2-3, R, BB, RBI
Hitting Star #3: Hood 2-4, R, 2B, BB, RBI
Notes: A two-run ninth-inning rally put the brakes on a four-game skid as the Hagerstown Suns won 6-4 @ Lakewood. Brett Newsome delivered what turned out to be the gamewinner with a one-out double that sent Justin Bloxom and Destin Hood homeward bound. Starter Graham Hicks left in a position to win after pitching six innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. No soup for Wanel Vasquez, who coughed up a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to allow the BlueClaws to tie the game at 4-4.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 10-4
Starting Pitcher: Hansen 5IP 3H 1R 1ER 1BB 2K
Pitching Star: Herrera 2IP 2H 1R 1ER 1BB 4K
Hitting Star #1: Jones 2-5, 2R, 2HR, 6RBI
Hitting Star #2: Moore 2-3, 2R, SB, 2BB, RBI
Hitting Star #3: Freitas 2-5, 2R, 2B
Notes: It was the Marcus Jones show in Burlington, as the DC native connected twice for a three-run home run to pace the Lake Monsters to a 10-4 win, Vermont’s fifth straight. Starter Bobby Hansen picked up the win with five innings pitched and one run allowed on three hits.

GCL Nationals vs. GCL Cardinals, Suspended (Rain)
Notes: The game will be resumed on July 6th, with the GCL Nationals leading the GCL Cardinals 3-0

DSL Nationals W, 14-0 vs. DSL Orioles2 (G1)
Starter/Pitching Star: Wirkin Estevez (W, 3-2) 5IP 4H 0R 0BB 8K
Hitting Star #1: Bienvenido Valdez 3-5, R, SB, 3RBI
Hitting Star #2: Jean Valdez 2-3, 2R, BB, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #3: Victor Chavez 1-3, R, BB, 2RBI
Notes: Six errors enabled the DSL Nationals to score two touchdowns and two extra points 14 runs on just 10 hits as the DSL Nationals pummeled the DSL Orioles2 by a 14-0 count. Starter Wirkin Estevez pitched five scoreless innings and struck out eight.

DSL Nationals W, 6-2 vs. DSL Orioles2 (G2)
Starting Pitcher: Anthony Marcelino (ND) 4IP 1H 1R 1ER 2BB 2K
Pitching Star: Wander Suero (W, 1-2) 2IP 2H 1R 1ER 0BB 4K 1HR
Hitting Star #1: Jose Arismendy 1-2, BB, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Yamaicol Tejeda 1-1, R, 2BB, 2SB
Hitting Star #3: Nelalexfred Ortega 1-2, 2R, 3SB, RBI
Notes: The D-Nats went to town on the Orioles2 battery, stealing six bases with just one pickoff en route to a 6-2 win. The D-Birds also committed another three errors, making that nine on the day, as the DNats plated six runs on just five hits.

Wednesday’s News and Notes

Vermont sweeps to highlight the Nats Minors on Wednesday

Syracuse Chiefs L, 9-4 @ Buffalo               
Starting Pitcher: Chico (L, 3-4) 4⅔ IP 10H 8R 6ER 3BB 4K 1HR
Pitching Star:  Severino 1⅓ IP 0H 0R 1BB
Hitting Star #1: Maxwell 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Orr 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
Notes: Padilla, with two doubles and four RBI’s helped Buffalo defeat the Chiefs by a score of 9-4. Matt Chico took his 4th loss, pitching 4⅔ innings, allowing a whopping eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits and three walks. Justin Maxwell was the Chief’s offensive player of the game, going 2-4 and scoring 2 runs

Harrisburg Senators L, 7-4 @ Portland
Starting Pitcher: Lannan (L, 1-1) 6IP 10H 6R 6ER 2BB 1K
Pitching Star: Kimball ⅔ IP 0H 0R 1BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Coon 2-5, R, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Baez 2-4, 2B, 2RBI
Notes:  Lannan, preparing to return back to Washington, took his first AA loss, going six complete innings, and allowing six earned runs on 10 hits and two walks. Harrisburg got on the board early, scoring first in the 2nd inning with a pair and another run in the 3rd thanks Coon’s 5th homerun of the season, but unfortunately, they did not score last as Portland scored two in the 3rd, four in the 5th, and a final run in the eighth inning.

Potomac Nationals L, 4-2 @ Winston-Salem
Starting Pitcher: Peacock (L, 2-9) 4⅔ IP 5H 3R 3ER 3BB 2K 1HR
Pitching Star: Dill 2IP 2H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star: Johnson 2-3, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
Notes: A three-run fifth proved to be too much for the PNats to overcome, as the Winston-Salem Dash took game one of the three-game series by a score of 4-2. Starter Brad Peacock took his 9th loss, going 4⅔ innings and allowing three runs on five hits, including a home run.

Hagerstown Suns L, 3-2 @ Lakewood
Starting Pitcher: Clegg 5⅔IP 5H 2R 2ER 2BB 3K
Pitching Star: Garcia 1⅓ IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Bloxom 1-4, R, BB
Hitting Star #2: Ramirez 1-3
Notes: Hagerstown got on the board early with one run in the top of the 1st and was hoping to build on that lead. But Lakewood had other plans as they scored two runs of their own in the bottom of the 6th inning. Hagerstown then proceeded to tie things up in the next inning thanks to a Bloxom solo homer  and was hoping to score more, but it remained tied until the 9th. In the bottom of the 9th Lakewood was able to score the winning run as they downed the Suns 3-2. Starting pitcher Mitchell Clegg pitched 5⅔ innings giving up only five hits, two runs and two walks with the loss.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 8-0 vs. Tri-City
Starting Pitcher: Swynenberg (W, 2-0) 6IP 3H 0ER 2K (ERA 0.56) (16 innings = 1 earned run)
Pitching Star:  Bates (S, 2) 3IP 1H 0R 1BB 4K
Hitting Star #1: Moldenhauer 2-4, 2R, BB, 2HR, 3RBI
Hitting Star #2: Miller 1-3, R, BB, HR, 3RBI
Notes:  Home runs and excellent pitching from Vermont proved to be the difference in the game as the Lake Monsters defeated Tri-City by a score of 8-0. Swynenberg earned his 2nd win, going six complete innings, allowing only three hits while walking none. So far this season, in 16 innings, he has only allowed one earned run. Bates replaced him in the 7th and completed the game, allowing only one hit and one walk. Moldenhauer had a great game at the plate, going 2-4.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY

DSL Nationals W, 3-2 @ DSL Phillies
Starter/Pitching Star: Antonio Guzman (W, 2-2) 7+IP 2H 2R 2ER 1BB 4K
Hitting Star: Bill Pena 2-4, R, RBI
Notes: Inocencio Guzman nearly blew a 3-0 lead, but got through the 8th with lead intact at 3-2 and pitched a scoreless ninth to get the save. Starter Antonio Guzman went seven-plus and allowed just two hits to even his record at 2-2. Catcher Bill Pena led the offense with a 2-for-4 game.

Tuesday’s News and Notes

Another Vermont shutout highlights the Nats Minors on Tuesday

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 6-1 @ Buffalo, 1:05 p.m. Matt Chico (3-3, 3.50) vs.
Tobi Stoner (3-7, 5.16)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 8-4 @ Portland, 7:00 p.m. John Lannan (1-0, 1.29) vs.
Kyle Weiland (3-5, 3.70)
Potomac Nationals PPD @ Winston-Salem, 7:00 p.m. Brad Peacock (2-8, 4.44) vs.
Charlie Leesman (7-4, 5.62)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 2-1 @ Lakewood, 11:05 a.m. Mitchell Clegg (8-1, 2.55) vs.
Colby Shreve (4-4, 4.02)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 4-0 vs. Tri-City, 7:05 p.m. Matt Swynenberg (1-0, 0.90) vs.
Murillo Gouvea (0-1, 7.00)
GCL Nationals Lost, 15-12 vs.
GCL Marlins
DSL Nationals Lost, 4-0 vs.
DSL Mets1
@ DSL Phillies, 10:30 a.m. Wirkin Estevez (2-2, 2.60) vs.
Adrian Sierra (0-3, 2.78)

Syracuse Chiefs L, 6-1 @ Buffalo
Starting Pitcher: Arnesen (L, 2-4) 4⅓ IP 9H 4R ER 1BB 3K 
Pitching Star: English 1⅓ IP 0R 2BB 1K
Hitting Star: Botts 1-3, BB, RBI
Notes: The Syracuse offense couldn’t get much going today, with only three hits for the entire game the Chiefs were trampled 6-1 by the Bisons. Buffalo began its scoring in the 3rd with three runs and added one more in the 5th to make it 4-0. Syracuse got its lone run in the 6th, to close within 4-1, but in the bottom of the 7th Buffalo added two more runs to ice the win. Starting pitcher Erik Arnesen went 4⅓ innings, giving up nine hits, four runs and one walk while taking his 4th loss at AAA.

Harrisburg Senators, W, 8-4 @ Portland
Starting Pitcher: Milone (W, 6-3) 6IP 6H 4R 4ER 0BB 4K 2HR
Pitching Star: Martin 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Valdez 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 4RBI
Hitting Star #2: Martinez, 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
Notes: The 6th, 7th, and 8th, hitters accounted for all 8 RBIs as the Sens went out to beat Portland by a score of 8-4. Jesus Valdez (#5 batter) and Michael Martinez (#6 batter) both went 2-for-4 with a double and home run, with Valdez knocking in four while Martinez plated three. Tom Milone improved his record to 6-3, pitching six complete innings, allowing four runs off six hits. However, two of those hits,were homeruns. He also struck out four and walked none.

Potomac Nationals — PPD
Notes: The series finale at Kinston was rained out and will be made up on August 17 as part of a doubleheader. The team finishes its six-game road trip with three against Winston-Salem tonight through Friday night.

Hagerstown Suns L, 2-1 Lakewood
Starting Pitcher: Demny 7IP 3H 0R 2BB 5K 
Pitching Un-Star: Weaver (BS, 4; L, 1-2) ⅔IP 3H 2R 0BB  
Hitting Star: Bloxom 1-4, R, HR, RBI
Notes: Hagerstown had this one in the bag for the entire game; they had the lead throughout the game and kept Lakewood scoreless. Starting pitcher Paul Demny went seven innings giving up only three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Justin Bloxom smacked his sixth HR in the top of the 2nd and it appeared that would be all the Suns would need. In the bottom of the 9th Dean Weaver was put in to close, but unfortunately Lakewood wasn’t ready to quit as they scored two runs to steal this one from the Suns 2-1 and get the walkoff win.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 4-0 vs. Tri City
Starting Pitcher: Jenkins (W, 1-1) 5IP 1H 0R 1BB 7K
Pitching Star: Eusebio (H, 2) 3IP 0H 0R 2BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Jones 2-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Martinson 2-3, R, 2B, RBI
Notes: For the second straight night, Lake Monsters pitchers shut out the Tri-City ValleyCats, as three pitchers combined for a two-hit shutout and a 4-0 win. All four of Vermont’s runs came in the first two innings. In fact, three runs were scored in the second inning when Cole Leonida singled, advanced to 2nd on a throwing error and scored when Marcus Jones doubled. Jones would also score on a ground out and Justin Miller, who was hit by a pitch, scored when Jason Martinson singled.

GCL Nationals L, 15-12
Starting Pitcher: A.J. Morris (ND) 3IP 4H 2R 2ER 0BB 3K
Pyrotechnician #1: John Santiago (BS, 2; L, 0-2) 1IP 3H 5R 5ER 0BB 2K 1HR
Pyrotechnician #2: Brandon King 2⅓ IP 6H 7R 5ER 1BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Angelberth Montilla 4-5, R, 2B, SB, 3RBI
Hitting Star #2: Adrian Sanchez 3-4, 3R, 2B, BB
Notes: The two teams combined for 27 runs and 30 hits as good pitching took a holiday in Viera. The Marlins broke open the game with a seven-run sixth to take a 10-3 lead, only to surrender two runs in the sixth, four in the seventh, and three in the eighth to fall behind 12-10. John Santiago blew his second save by allowing five runs, punctuated by a grand slam with two outs that turned a 12-11 lead into a 15-12 deficit.

DSL Nationals L, 4-0 vs. DSL Mets1
Starter/Pitching Star: Adalberto Mieses 6IP 3H 1R 1ER 3BB 3K 1HR
Hitting Star #1: Edgar Gonzalez 2-4, BB
Hitting Star #2: Bienevenido Valdez 2-5
Notes: A three-run ninth turned a pitcher’s duel into another loss for the D-Nats, who fell 4-0 to the DSL Mets1. The clutch hit was absent all day long as all 13 baserunners were left on base.

Monday’s News and Notes

Three wins and four losses on Monday night in the Nats’ minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 9-4 @ Buffalo, 7:00 p.m. Arnesen (2-3, 3.48) vs.
Gee (6-5, 5.31)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 3-0 @ Portland, 7:00 p.m. Milone (5-3, 3.14) vs.
Fife (4-1, 3.84)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 6-5 @ Kinston, 7:00 p.m. Peacock (2-8, 4.44) vs.
Mahalic (3-1, 3.40)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 2-0 @ Lakewood, 7:05 p.m. Demny (5-2, 2.89) vs.
Colvin (4-6, 4.48)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 2-0 vs. Tri-City, 7:05 p.m. Jenkins (0-1, 4.32) vs.
Doran (0-1, 2.70)
GCL Nationals Lost, 6-4 @ GCL Astros vs. GCL Marlins, 12:00 p.m. Morris (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Kaminska (1-4, 3.51)
DSL Nationals Lost, 9-4 @ DSL Yankees1 vs. DSL Mets1, 10:30 a.m. TBA vs. TBA

Syracuse Chiefs W, 9-4 vs. Pawtucket
Starting Pitcher: Martis (W, 5-5) 5⅓ IP 6H 4R 3ER 3BB 3K
Pitching Star: Bergmann (H, 13) 1⅓ IP 1H 0R 1BB 3K
Hitting Star # 1: Botts 2-3, R, HR, 5RBI
Hitting Star # 2: Lambin 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB, RBI
Notes: Starter Shairon Martis weathered a four-run top of the fourth but pitched into the sixth to get the win, as the offense answered with three runs in their half of fourth to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead. Jason Botts led all hitters with five RBI on home run, single, and a sacrifice fly.

Harrisburg Senators W, 3-0 @ Portland
Starting Pitcher: Thompson (W, 4-9) 6IP 0H 0R 6BB 6K
Pitching Star: Spradlin (H, 6) 1⅓ IP 0H 0R 0BB 4K
Hitting Star # 1: Baez 2-3, R, BB
Hitting Star # 2: Espinosa 2-3, SB
Notes: Aaron Thompson and three relievers combined on a 1-hit shutout, as Harrisburg blanked Portland 3-0. The Senators posted a picket fence with single runs in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings, with Edgardo Baez and Danny Espinosa leading the way with matching 2-for-3 lines in the scorebook.

Potomac Nationals L, 6-5 @ Kinston
Starting Pitcher: Frias (L, 2-3) 5IP 8H 6R 6ER 3BB 4K 3HR
Pitching Star: Phillabaum 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Lombardozzi 3-4, R, HR, BB, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Moore 2-5, 2B, 2RBI
Notes: Down 6-0 after three innings, Potomac rallied for two in the 5th and three in the 7th to pull within one but that’s as close they got as Kinston’s Cory Burns struck out Derek Norris with two on and two out in the 8th and weathered two more baserunners in the 9th for the save. Marcos Frias returned to the rotation, but was rocked for six runs on eight hits, including three home runs, over five innings.

Hagerstown Suns L, 2-0 vs. Hickory
Starting Pitcher: Rosenbaum (L, 1-4) 6IP 4H 1R 1ER 3BB 4K
Hitting Star #1: Perez 2-3
Hitting Star #2: Soriano 2-4
Notes: Both teams remained scoreless in this one until the 6th inning reared its ugly head. Hickory opened up the scoring in the top of the 6th inning and was able to add one more in the 7th inning to make it 2-0. Unfortunately the Suns couldn’t answer with any runs of their own as they were shut out on seven hits for the whole game. The final score was 2-0 for Hickory. Starting pitcher Danny Rosenbaum went six innings, giving up four hits, one run and three walks in the loss.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 2-0 vs. Tri City
Starting Pitcher: Jordan (W, 1-0) 5IP 3H 0R 2BB 5K
Value Play: Ben Graham (H, 2) 3IP 1H 0R 2BB 3K
Hitting Star # 1: King 1-3, R, HR, RBI
Hitting Star # 2: Labrie 1-3, R, HR, RBI
Notes: Sue was in attendance Last Night In Burlington.

GCL Nationals L, 6-4 @ GCL Astros
Starting Pitcher: Tyler Hanks (ND) 3IP 1H 0R 0BB 1K
Pitching Star: Michael Gallo 3IP 4H 1R 1ER 0BB 4K
Pitching Un-Star: Miguel Navarro (L, 0-1) 0IP 2H 5R 5ER 3BB 0K
Hitting Star: Michael Taylor 4-4, 2-3B, 2RBI
Notes: Reliever Miguel Navarro allowed all five batters he faced to reach base, as the GCL Astros teed off in the 4th inning, scoring six runs and holding on for a 6-4 win.

DSL Nationals L, 9-4 @ DSL Yankees1
Starting Pitcher: Silvio Medina (L, 1-2) 3⅓ IP 6H 9R 4ER 2BB 0K 1HR
Pitching Star: Jesus Guzman 2IP 0H 0R 2BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Bienvenido Valdez 2-5, 2R, 2-2B, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Aladin Reyes 3-4
Notes: Six errors by the DSL Nationals led to five unearned runs, as the DSL Yankees1 made them pay for their mistakes with a 9-4 win. Four relievers combined for 5⅔ innings of relief, but were outpitched by their D-Yank1 counterparts, who pitched six scoreless innings to cinch the win.

Last Night In Burlington

Two solo HRs plus a combined four-hit shutout equals a 2-0 win

It took a ten-hour drive over two days, but the Vermont Lake Monsters did not disappoint, delivering a 2-0 win on mild summer Monday night.

Pitching was the name of the game. Both teams would get four hits, but two of the Lake Monsters’ would leave the yard, courtesy of Stephen King and Ronnie Labrie.

They would be the difference, but it wasn’t nearly that simple. With eleven baserunners total, Tri-City would threaten to score in each of the first seven innings.

Taylor Jordan’s line of 5IP 3H 0R 2BB and 5K looks a lot more dominant today on virtual paper than it did in person yesterday. Which is not to say that he was lucky, only that it didn’t feel like he was cruising at any point last night.

To his credit, he worked out of every jam regardless of whether he created it (two walks, a hit batsmen) or his defense failed him (two errors), mixing his fastball, change and curveball just enough to be effective.

Jordan was followed by Ben Graham, a sidearmer that had sharp movement on nearly every pitch, except for his curve, which tends to float and then softly break. Prediction: That will be shelved once he faces more disciplined hitters.

Graham would provide three solid innings of relief, then turn it over to Dustin Crane for a 1-2-3 ninth, punctuated by a strikeout.

Some more Quick Hits…
…Leadoff hitter Chad Mozingo displayed a patient eye, working the count full in his first at-bat. Out in left, has a very strong arm nearly tossing out one runner at second base, and freezing that same runner at third base on a flyball to medium left to keep the game at 0-0

…Stephen King looked much better than I’ve ever seen him before on defense, highlighted by turning an awkward feed from second into a smooth double play in the sixth

…Ronnie LaBrie’s and Blake Miller’s errors, however, were of the high-school variety, neither getting in front of the ball to knock it down.

…Connor Rowe struggled with breaking pitches in both of his first two at-bats before drawing a walk. Defensively, covers a lot of ground in center.

…Centennial Field may be the oldest ballpark in affiliated baseball, but it’s not the worst by any means. Most of its disrepair and decay are reversible, and attributable — like most older ballparks — to a lack of proper maintenance, not structural problems.

Sunday’s News and Notes

Two wins, four losses on Sunday in the Nats’ minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 8-1 vs. Pawtucket, 7:00 p.m. Shairon Martis (4-5, 4.00) vs.
Ramon Ramirez (1-2, 5.48)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 3-2 @ Portland, 7:00 p.m. Aaron Thompson (3-9, 6.10) vs.
Jeremy Kehrt (1-3, 3.45)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 6-4 @ Kinston, 7:00 p.m. Marcos Frias (2-2, 5.05) vs.
T.J. McFarland (7-2, 1.98)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 4-1 vs. Hickory, 7:05 p.m. Dan Rosenbaum (1-3, 2.19) vs.
Matt Thompson (5-4, 3.88)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 7-3 vs. Tri-City, 7:05 p.m. Taylor Jordan (0-0, 1.86) vs.
Carlos Quevedo (0-0, 1.74)
GCL Nationals Lost, 6-4 @ GCL Astros, 12:00 p.m. TBA vs. Jose Perdomo (0-1, 2.25)
DSL Nationals OFF DAY @ DSL Yankees1, 10:30 a.m. Silvio Medina (1-1, 2.28) vs.

Syracuse Chiefs L, 0-2 vs. Pawtucket
Starting Pitcher: Jas. Jones (L, 0-2) 2IP 7H 6R 6ER 1BB 1K 1HR
Pitching Star: Severino 2IP 2H 0R 0BB 1K
Pitching Un-Star: Balester 3IP 2H 2ER 0BB 3K 1HR
Savin’ The ‘Pen: Mench 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
Hitting Star: Botts 2-3, R, BB
Notes: Jason Jones was not on his “A” game, pitching two innings and allowing six runs off seven hits and a walk. The performance credited him with his second loss of the season as the Chiefs fell to Pawtucket by a score of 8-1. Syracuse managed just six hits and simply couldn’t move ’em over, as the Chiefs went 0-8 with RISP and left nine men on base.

Harrisburg Senators W, 3-2 vs Reading
Starting Pitcher: Alaniz (ND) 6IP 4H 2R 2ER 2BB 2K
Pitching Star: Kimball (W, 2-1) 2IP 1H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Baez (Pinch Hitting) 1-1, R, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Lowrance 1-2, R, 1BB
Notes: Down by a run going into the bottom of the eighth, Harrisburg sent Edgardo Baez in to pinch-hit for Coon. This was a wise decision as he tied it up with one swing of the bat, his first home run of the season. After a flyout, walk, and a single set up first-and-third and chased Sergio Escalona, Reading’s next reliever Chance Chapman threw wild to score what would prove to be the game-winning run. Cole Kimball, who had come on in the 8th and pitched a scoreless inning, did it again in the 9th to earn the win.

Potomac Nationals L, 6-4 @ Kinston
Starting Pitcher: Estrada 4IP 10H 5R 5ER 1BB 6K 2HR
Pitching Star: Dials 3IP 4H 1R 1ER 0BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Norris 1-2, R, 2BB, HR, 3RBI
Hitting Star #2: Johnson 2-5, 2R, 2B
Notes: Potomac’s offensive struggles continue, as the 6-4 score masks an abysmal 0-12 showing with RISP and 10 runners stranded. Starting pitcher Jesse Estrada served up ten hits, including two home runs, in his four innings of work, allowing five runs. Derek Norris homered in the first inning and hit a sacrifice fly in the third to earn the coveted #1 hitting star honor, while Josh Johnson doubled and singled and scored
two runs for the #2 recognition.

Hagerstown Suns L, 4-1 vs. Hickory
Starting Pitcher: Smoker (L, 1-8) 3IP 4H 4R 4ER 6BB 2K
Pitching Star #1: Arnold 3IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
Pitching Star #2: Applebee 3IP 1H 0R 0BB 3K
Hitting Star: Souza 1-3, R, 3B, BB
Notes: Hickory took an early lead, scoring all 4 of their runs in the first three innings of play to beat Hagerstown by a score of 4-1. Josh Smoker got ‘smoked’ yet again, falling to 1-8, pitching only 3 innings, and allowing 4 earned runs on 4 hits. His biggest flaw was the walks, as he walked 6 while only striking out 2. The bullpen was magnificent, as both Pat Arnold and Paul Applebee pitched three scoreless, one-hit innings of relief.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 7-3 @ Connecticut
Starting Pitcher: McCatty (ND) 4IP 2H 0R 3BB 3K
Pitching Star: Selik 2IP 0H 0R 2BB 4K
Pitching Un-Star: McKenzie (W, 1-0) 3IP 4H 3R 3ER 1BB 1HR
Hitting Star # 1: Freitas 2-4, R, BB, RBI
Hitting Star # 2: Jimenez 3-4, R, 2B, RBI
Notes: Seven different players notched an RBI as the Lake Monsters beat Connecticut by a score of 7-3. McKenzie got the win, despite allowing all three of Connecticut’s runs to score, pitching the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings, allowing four hits and a walk. Selik finished the game, pitching the final two innings, allowing two walks and registering four strikeouts.

GCL Nationals L, 6-4 vs. GCL Mets
Starting Pitcher: Kelvin Lopez (ND) 4IP 7H 4R 2ER 2BB 2K
Pitching Star: Billy Ott 2IP 2H 0R 0BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Adrian Sanchez 2-5, 2R, HR, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Tyler Oliver 2-3, 2B, BB, RBI
Notes: Two double plays weren’t enough to offset four errors and a passed ball as the GCL Nationals fell to the GCL Mets 6-4. Nicky Serino took the loss in relief after surrendering a solo home to break a 4-4 tie while starting pitcher Kelvin Lopez went four innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits and two walks.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY

Saturday’s News and Notes

Four out of seven affiliates win on Saturday night

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 6-1 vs. Pawtucket, 5:00 p.m. Jason Jones (0-1, 1.23) vs.
Michael Bowden (2-3, 4.23)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 4-3 vs. Reading, 2:00 p.m. Aaron Thompson (3-9, 6.10) vs.
Drew Naylor (6-6, 4.15)
Potomac Nationals Won, 8-6 @ Kinston, 5:00 p.m. Adrian Alaniz (2-3, 3.40) vs.
Marty Popham (1-2, 5.16)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 10-4 vs. Hickory, 2:05 p.m. Josh Smoker (1-7, 6.57) vs.
Robert Erlin (2-1, 1.49)
Vermont Lake Monsters Lost, 7-1 @ Connecticut, 1:05 p.m. Shane McCatty (0-1, 9.00) vs.
Lance Baxter (0-1, 12.00)
GCL Nationals Lost, 2-1 vs. GCL Mets, 12:00 p.m. Marcos Frias (0-1, 5.40) vs.
Juan Urbina (1-0, 0.00)
DSL Nationals Won, 6-0 OFF DAY N/A

Syracuse Chiefs W, 6-1 vs. Pawtucket Red Sox
Starting Pitcher: Mandel (W, 3-3) 6⅓ IP 6H 1R 1ER 2BB 2K
Pitching Star: Bergmann (H, 12) 1⅓ IP 1H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Davis 2-3, R, BB, HR, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Burke 2-4, 2RBI
Hitting Star #3: Maxwell 3-5
Notes: A three-run fifth enabled the Chiefs to pull away from a 2-1 nailbiter en route to a 6-1 win. The Chiefs collected 13 hits with four players collecting two or more. Jeff Mandel evened his record at 3-3 with 6⅓ innings of one-run ball with two walks and six hits allowed.

Harrisburg Senators L, 4-3 vs. Reading
Starting Pitcher: Kown (L, 2-3) 6IP 6H 4R 4ER 2BB 1K 1HR
Pitching Star: Pena 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Valdez 2-4, R, 2-2B, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Marrero 2-4, 2RBI
Notes: The Phillies jumped out to a 3-0 lead with three in the first, which the Senators matched in the third. Reading added a solo home run in the fourth, which proved to be the difference as Harrisburg lost 4-3. Both bullpens were remarkable, each going three scoreless innings and allowing just one hit.

Potomac Nationals W, 8-6 vs. Myrtle Beach
Starting Pitcher: Holder (ND) 5IP 8H 5R 4ER 1BB 1K 2HR
Pitching Star: Leatherman (SV, 4) 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Peacock 2-4, R, 3B, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Rhinehart 1-3, 2R, 3B, BB, 2RBI
Notes: Learn how an IBB backfired again in Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns W, 10-4 vs. Hickory
Starter/Pitching Star #1: Hicks (W, 1-0) 6IP 6H 2R 2ER 0BB 6K
Pitching Star #2: Garcia (H, 2) 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Cuevas 1-3, R, BB, 4RBI
Hitting Star #2: Soriano 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI
Hitting Star #3: Bloxom 3-5, R, 2B
Notes: The Suns were late in rising, but shone brightly with crooked numbers in the fifth (2), sixth (2), and seventh innings (5) with a 10-4 beating of the Hickory Crawdads. Twenty-year-old Graham Hicks registered his first Low-A win with two runs on six hits and a walk over six innings. The lefty also struck out six.

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 7-1 @ Connecticut
Starting Pitcher: Hansen (L, 1-1) 4IP 10H 6R 4ER 0BB 7K
Pitching Star: Herrera 3IP 2H 1R 0ER 1BB 2K
Hitting Star: Martinson 1-2, R, 2BB
Notes: The Lake Monsters were limited to just four hits, and left eight men on while striking out 13 times. The Tigers tacked four runs in the third and two more in the fourth to chase Bobby Hansen, who was dinged for six runs on 10 hits.

GCL Nationals L, 2-1 @ GCL Cardinals
Starting Pitcher: A.J. Morris 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
Pitching Star: Manuel Rivera 3IP 0H 0R 0BB 4K
Hitting Star: Wander Ramos 2-4, R
Notes: Rehabbing A.J. Morris and Jesse English handed over the the GCL Nats bullpen who held onto a 1-0 lead going into the 9th. Three consecutive singles loaded the bases, but a 5-2-3 DP put the GCL Nats in position to still win until a Michael Taylor threw away a grounder for the 2-1 walkoff win by the GCL Cards.

DSL Nationals W, 6-0
Starter/Pitching Star: Juan Diaz (W, 2-2) 6IP 1H 0R 0BB 5K
Hitting Star #1: Bienvenido Valdez 2-3, 2B, BB, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Wilmer Difo 2-3, RBI
Notes: “Slim” Diaz and three pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout as the DSL Nationals defeated the DSL Marlins 6-0. The DSL Nats only collected seven hits, but the DSL Marlins aided them with five errors.

Last Night In Woodbridge

The PNats rally for three in eighth to win 8-6 over Myrtle Beach

Perhaps the only thing more reviled than the intentional walk is the throw over to first base. When it works, a few people notice and understand. But when it fails, everybody sees and wonders why didn’t he just to pitch to him?!

It was turning point in the game last night in Woodbridge.

With the score tied at 6-6, and two outs. Rocket Wheeler was faced with a decision: Pitch to the lefty Bill Rhinehart, who had smoked a triple in the second inning for the P-Nats first two runs. Or pitch the to the righthanded Brian Peacock, who hadn’t gotten the ball out of the infield.

For the second night in a row, Rocket Wheeler ordered the free pass, and just like the night before, the decision backfired. Peacock blistered an outside fastball between the Pelican first baseman and first base itself for a two-run triple.

In the press box, the home team pulling ahead in the eighth is sometimes called a sportswriter’s win because then they can start writing up the game early, or at least think up their ledes. Dan Leatherman also did his part by striking out two in a 1-2-3 ninth for his 4th save.

As the 8-6 score implies, this was not pitcher’s duel. Neither Potomac’s Trevor Holder nor Myrtle Beach’s Randall Delgado was sharp or effective. Both went five innings and gave up five runs.

Holder labored to keep the ball in the strike zone, but only issued one walk. When he was locating the ball, the Pelicans let him know with authority, smacking eight hits including two home runs and lifting five flyballs.

As was the case last Sunday, the separation between Holder’s pitches was only apparent when he threw his soft breaking pitch that’s not quite a curve and not quite a change (this is why scouts want to be directly behind home plate; it’s difficult to read pitches otherwise, especially when seated in an elevated grandstand like the POS Pfitz).

Following Holder was Carlos Martinez, who returned to the P-Nats from the GCL to make his first appearance of the season, and his 55th in parts of five seasons with Potomac. He pitched two innings and allowed one run on two hits.

Clayton Dill pitched a scoreless top of the 8th to earn his 4th win of the season, walking one and striking out one.

With the win, Potomac improves to 2-1 on the season and hits the road for a six-game swing through North Carolina, visiting Kinston Sunday through Tuesday, then Winston-Salem on Wednesday through Friday.

Friday’s News and Notes

News and Notes from Friday’s action in the Nationals Minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 6-1 vs. Pawtucket, 7:00 p.m. Jeff Mandel (2-3, 5.58) vs.
Kris Johnson (3-5, 4.68)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 5-2 vs. Reading, 7:00 p.m. Andrew Kown (2-2, 3.43) vs.
Yohan Flande (4-5, 4.48)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 7-4 vs. Myrtle Beach, 6:35 p.m. Trevor Holder (0-1, 2.61) vs.
Randall Delgado (2-5, 2.41)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 4-0 vs. Hickory, 7:05 p.m. Graham Hicks (0-0, 9.00) vs.
Robert Ross (8-5, 2.15)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 9-7 (10 inn.) @ Connecticut, 7:05 p.m. Bobby Hansen (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Josue Carreno (0-1, 8.10)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY @ GCL Cardinals, 12:00 p.m. Kelvin Lopez (0-0, 3.60) vs.
Javier Avendano (0-0, 0.00)
DSL Nationals Won, 5-1 vs.
DSL Cubs2
vs. DSL Marlins, 10:30 a.m. Juan Diaz (1-2, 4.24) vs.

Syracuse Chiefs W, 6-1 vs. Pawtucket
Starting Pitcher: Chico (W, 3-3) 5⅔ IP 5H 1R 1ER 3BB 4K
Pitching Star: MacDougal (H, 2) 1⅓ IP 0H 0ER 1BB 3K
Hitting Star # 1: Lambin 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI
Hitting Star # 2: Maxwell 1-3, 2B, 2RBI
Notes: Syracuse grabbed an early 3-0 lead in the second inning and never looked back, adding one more in the 6th and two more in the seventh to win the game by a score of 6-1 against Pawtucket. Matt Chico pitched 5⅔ innings, allowing only one run off five hits and 3 walks to earn the victory, while the bullpen combined for 3⅓ hitless and scoreless innings, allowing just one walk. Offensively, Chase Lambin was the player of the game, going 2-4, with 2 runs, highilighted by his 9th home run of the season in the 6th inning.

Harrisburg Senators W, 5-2 vs. Reading
Starting Pitcher: Lannan (W, 1-0) 7IP 4H 1R 1ER 1BB 5K
Pitching Star: Carr (SV, 1) 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star # 1: Coon 2-4, R, 2RBI
Hitting Star # 2: Valdez 3-4, R, 2B, 1RBI
Notes:John Lannan’s first start since his return to the minors was successful, as the tall southpaw pitched seven full innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk. He also struck out five. Brad Coon and Jesus Valdez were the hitters of the game, collectively going 5-8, scoring 2 runs and getting 3 of Harrisburg`s 5 runs.

Potomac Nationals L, 7-4
Starter/Pitching Star: Bronson 6+ IP 6H 3R 3ER 1BB 6K
Pyrotechnician: Phillabaum ⅓ IP 3H 3R 3ER 0BB 0K; 2-2 IR-S; 4 BF
Hitting Star #1: Rhinehart 2-4, 2-2B, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Moore 2-4, R, RBI
Notes: See Sue’s take in Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns L, 4-0 vs. Hickory
Starter/Pitching Star: Clegg (L, 8-1) 7IP 4H 3R 3ER 2BB 3K
Hitting Star: Leon 2-3
Honorable Mention: Perez, OF assist at HP
Not So Honorable Mention: Soriano, error #23
Notes: Hagerstown couldn’t couldn’t get anything going against Hickory’s Joseph Wieland, who pitched a five-hit shutout with one walk, five strikeouts, and two pickoffs at 1st base. Mitchell Clegg’s winning streak ended at eight, despite pitching well enough to win with three runs allowed on four hits and two walks over seven innings.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 9-7 (10 inn.) @ Tri-City
Starter/Pitching Star: Swynenberg 5IP 3H 1R 1ER 2BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: King 2-5, 2R, 2B, BB, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Jones 3-5, R, 2-2B
Hitting Star #3: Mozingo 2-4, 2R, 2BB, SB
Notes: Tri-City got off to an early start vs. Vermont but in the end the victor was the Lake Monsters. Vermont started their run in the top of the 5th scoring two and then they didn’t stop. In the 6th they added two more and single runs in both the 7th and 9th inning to tie things up at 7-7, which meant extra innings. In the top of the 10th Vermont got two more runs and held on for a 9-7 win. Starting Pitcher Matt Swynenberg pitched five innings, with one run allowed on three hits and two walks.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
Notes: The GCL Nationals resume play today against the GCL Cards in a rematch of Opening Day. They are 2-2 thus far.

DSL Nationals W, 5-1 vs. DSL Cubs2
Starter/Pitching Star: Wirkin Estevez 6IP 5H 0R 1BB 10K
Hitting Star #1: Nelalexfred Ortega 2-3, 2R, BB, 3SB
Hitting Star #2: Edgar Gonzalez 0-2, 2R, 2BB
Notes: Starter Estevez was “Wirkin” it to the tune of six shutout innings with just five hits and one walk allowed while ten opposing batters went down by way of the K. “Fred” Ortega was a terror on the basepaths, swiping second twice and third once. The win put the D-Nats back over .500 at 12-11, 2½ games off the pace.

Last Night In Woodbridge

A six-run seventh drops Potomac to .500 in the 2nd half

The seventh inning was unkind to the Potomac Nationals, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans swooped on a tiring Evan Bronson and two relievers for a six-run inning en route to a 7-4 win.

As annoying as Rob Dibble may be to some folks, his mantra of putting up a goose egg after the offense gets some runs is absolutely correct. Twice last night the P-Nats took the lead, and twice the Pelicans answered the first chance they got.

It’s especially important to do this when the offense is, to be kind, inconsistent. For the second time in as many nights, Potomac’s first six batters went down in order. On Thursday, they broke through with a bunt single in the third; On Friday, it was an opposite field chalk-eater off the bat of Chris Curran in the fourth that got things started.

Steve Lombardozzi sacrificed Curran to third and Derek Norris lofted a flyball to center to score him for Potomac’s early 1-0 lead.

Former P-Nat Dan Nelson led off the fifth with a double to left that Bill Rhinehart nearly misplayed into a leadoff triple. After Bronson struck out Samuel Sime for the first out, Nelson took third on a grounder to, well, third and then came in on a two-out double from Cole Miles, who was offensive player of the night with three hits and stolen base.

Potomac regained the lead with a three-run rally in the sixth. After a Curran groundout, Lombardozzi reached first on a dribbler to second that was ruled a single, then stole second. Norris was caught looking. Rocket Wheeler curiously ordered an intentional walk of Mike Burgess and Tyler Moore made him pay with a line-drive single to left that scored Lombardozzi and sent Burgess to third. Castro threw wild to send Burgess home, Moore to second, then surrendered a double to Rhinehart to complete the three-run rally.

Potomac manager Gary Cathcart matched Wheeler’s decision-making prowess by sending out Bronson in the seventh, despite having warmed up a reliever in the previous inning. A leadoff walk wasn’t sign enough that Bronson was on empty either. After a seeing-eye single brought the tying run to the plate, Cathcart finally brought the hook.

Justin Phillabaum inherited two runners. He would pitch to four batters. Five of those six batters would score, as he uncorked a wild pitch, gave up a single, induced a grounder that went home to nail one runner, then gave up another single. A bloop double to very shallow right field ended Phillabaum’s night, the game now tied at 4-4.

A two-run double greeted lefty Patrick McCoy to put Myrtle Beach on top 6-4, and after a grounder to short, a two-out single capped the six-run rally. McCoy would finish the night admirably with two scoreless innings, but the Potomac offense couldn’t answer despite a bases-loaded threat in the seventh.

With the loss, Potomac drops to .500 in the second half. Trevor Holder (0-1, 2.61) takes mound in tonight’s series finale, opposed by the Pelicans’ Randall Delgado (2-5, 2.41).