Last Night In Woodbridge

’08 teammates Zimmermann and Alaniz combine for eight strong innings to down the Blue Rocks 4-2

The Potomac Nationals returned home last night to host the Wilmington Blue Rocks for their traditional cash cow 4th of July festivities and sent the reported crowd of 5,908 home happy with a 4-2 win.

Jordan Zimmermann returned to Woodbridge for the first time since early 2008, pitching two scoreless innings in a rehab start from last year’s Tommy John surgery. The surprise #5 starter in the ’09 Washington rotation threw 25 pitches, 16 for strikes. His velocity appeared fine, but his location was a little lacking.

Zimmermann was quoted by Robert Daski in the News & Messenger as believing that he’ll be with the team for a total of three or four appearances, which would have him pitching on the road in Frederick and against Salem in Boston, then again in Woodbridge against the Kinston Indians on Wednesday, July 14th.

Adrian Alaniz, a teammate of Zimmermann’s in ’08 at Potomac, followed the righthander with six solid innings of relief, allowing just two unearned runs on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts.

The offense would leverage the mistakes of the Wilmington Blue Rocks pitchers to score a pair of runs in the third, with Dan Lyons and Steve Lombardozzi drawing walks and Derek Norris driving them in with a double over the head of the centerfielder to take a 2-0 lead.

They would take advantage of poor Blue Rocks defense in the fifth. With a runner on first and one out, Lombardozzi would lay down a bunt to the third baseman, who threw wide of first, enabling the runner to score and Lombardozzi to take second. After a passed ball and a walk, Mike Burgess bounced a hard grounder over the Wilmington first baseman for an RBI single that would give the PNats a 4-1 lead.

They would return the favor for the game’s final run in the top of the 8th as a two-out error and triple broke up a streak of eight batters set down by Alaniz, but Zach Dials snuffed any hopes of a comeback by striking out the side in the 9th to earn the save.

With the win, Potomac improves to 4-5 in the second half, 1½ games behind Wilmington and Frederick for the Northern Division lead. The two teams will meet again tonight, with Marcos Frias taking the hill for the PNats against John Lamb for the Blue Rocks.

Friday’s News and Notes

News & Notes from Friday’s action in the Nats minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 7-0 @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre,
7:05 p.m.
Shairon Martis (5-5, 4.07) vs.
Zach McAllister (6-5, 4.24)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 7-2 @ Trenton, 7:05 p.m. Aaron Thompson (4-9, 5.63) vs.
D.J. Mitchell (6-3, 4.70)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 4-2 vs. Wilmington, 6:35 p.m. Jordan Zimmermann (rehab) vs.
Buddy Baumann (2-0, 1.97)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 8-7 (10 inn.) @ Lakewood, 11:05 a.m. Dan Rosenbaum (1-4, 2.14) vs.
Joshua Zeid (5-2, 3.07)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 7-3 @ Lowell, 5:05 p.m. Shane McCatty (0-1, 5.40) vs.
Roman Mendez (1-2, 6.55)
GCL Nationals Suspended vs.
GCL Mets
vs. GCL Astros, 12:00 p.m. Tyler Hanks (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Francis Ramirez(1-0, 2.70)
DSL Nationals Lost, 16-2
vs. DSL Giants
@ DSL Cubs2, 10:30 a.m. Silvio Medina (1-2, 3.33) vs.
Amaury Paulino (1-0, 0.84)

Syracuse Chiefs W, 7-0 vs. Lehigh Valley
Starter/Pitching Star: Jones (W, 1-2) 8IP 1H 0R 0BB 4K
Hitting Star # 1: Mench 2-3, 1R,1-2B, 1HR, 2RBI, 1BB
Hitting Star # 2: Botts  2-4, 1R, 1-2B, 2RBI,
Notes: Syracuse had control of this one all the way to the end, starting pitcher Jason Jones did an amazing job, pitching eight scoreless innings while giving up just one hit, no walks and striking out four. The Chiefs began their scoring in the top of the 1st with one run and added two in the 4th, three more in the 8th and one more in the 9th to sweeten the win all the more as they cruised to the 7-0 victory.

Harrisburg Senators L, 7-2 vs. Trenton
Starting Pitcher: Kown (L, 2-4) 2⅓ IP 6H 7R 7ER 3BB 3K 1HR
Pitching Star: Spradlin 3⅔ IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star # 1: Martinez 2-4, R, SB
Hitting Star # 2: Lowrance 2-4
Notes: In this one, Harrisburg outhit Trenton but did not outscore them. The Sens kept the game scoreless until the bottom of the 3rd when the Thunder rolled, scoring a whopping seven runs. Harrisburg was able to score two runs, one in the 5th and one in the 8th to make this one look less of a blow out. Starter Andrew Kown went 2⅓ innings giving up six hits, all seven runs, three walks and one home run.

Potomac Nationals L, 4-2 @ Winston-Salem
Starter/Pitching Star: Holder (ND) 5⅓ IP 6H 1R 1ER 0BB 3K
Pyrotechnician: VanAllen (BS, 3; L, 1-3) ⅔ IP 3H 2R 2ER 0BB 0K 0HR WP 1-1 IR-S
Hitting Star #1: Rhinehart 1-3, R, 2B
Hitting Star #2: Burgess 1-4, R, HR, RBI
Notes: Trevor Holder pitched into the sixth with a 1-0 lead, but reliever Cory VanAllen was a welcome sight to the Dash batters, who uncorked a wild pitch and gave up a single and double before retiring a batter. The Dash would go up 3-1 before Mike Burgess answered with a solo home run in the top of the seventh to make it 3-2. Back-to-back two-out doubles in the bottom half of the seventh gave Winston-Salem the insurance run for a 4-2 win.

Hagerstown Suns L, 8-7 @ Lakewood (10 Innings)
Starting Pitcher: Smoker (ND) 4IP 6H 5ER 4BB 3K
Pitching Star: Erb 2IP 1H 0R 0BB 1K
Reversion To The Mean: Garcia (L, 1-1) 4BF 3H 1R 1ER 1BB 0K
Hitting Star # 1: Kobernus 2-3, 2BB, 2RBI
Hitting Star # 2: Nieto 2-3, R, BB, RBI
Notes: Lakewood started the scoring with one in the 1st and added four more in the bottom of the 2nd. Hagerstown answered with six of their own scoring two runs in each of the 4th, 5th and 6th innings. Lakewood wouldn’t stay down though as they added another run in the 5th to put them back on even ground. The Suns regained the lead in the 8th at 7-6. A throwing error on a steal of second set up a sac fly to enable Lakewood to, um, claw back to even at 7-7. Luis Garcia did not retire a batter in the tenth, as all four batters he faced reached base for the 8-7 walkoff win.

Vermont Lake Monsters, W, 7-3 vs. Lowell
Starting Pitcher: McKenzie 4IP 3H 2R 2ER 1BB 2K
Pitching Star: Graham (W, 1-0) 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Freitas 2-5, BB, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Moore 2-3, 2B, 2BB, RBI
Notes:  Despite Lowell taking an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first, Vermont bounced back and fought hard to earn a 7-3 victory. McKenzie got the no-decision, going four complete innings, allowing two runs off three hits and a walk. He also struck out two. Ben Graham got the win, pitching two scoreless innings, allowing only one base runner via a walk. David Freitas and Wade Moore were the players of the games, going collectively 4-8, with three BBs and three RBIs.

GCL Nationals vs. GCL Mets — Suspended
Notes: The two teams will finish things when they next meet on July 7th.

DSL Nationals L, 16-2 vs. DSL Giants
Starting Pitcher: “Slim” Diaz (L, 2-3) 3⅓ IP 5H 5R 4ER 1BB 4K
Pitching Star: None
Hitting Star: Jean Valdez 2-2, R, 2B
Notes: An eight-run sixth turned a 6-1 beating into a 14-1 laugher as the DSL Nationals eventually fell 16-2. D-Nats pitchers amazingly only gave up four extra-base hits, but perhaps that was the shock of D-Giants seeing the ball over the plate as they also walked ten batters.

Halfway There… Hagerstown Edition

A look at the Suns at the midway point of the 2010 campaign

The Potomac edition was lost in the changeover, but here’s our Hagerstown guy’s report on the Suns. And don’t forget to visit his blog Musings about Sports and other important items

Former Suns

Trevor Holder (23)
Holder walks few, but seems to be right off the non-Strasburg Washington template: college pitcher, good control, average velocity. Nothing special, nothing negative to say either. If he can keep the level of control as he moves up, I can see him as maybe a 4 or 5 starter…

Jack McGeary (21)
McGeary was starting to show signs of removing the rust from not pitching in 2008. Two bad outings inflated his numbers, but his curve was so much better than 2009 that it looked like a different pitcher. Tommy John surgery ends his 2010 season and leaves unanswered questions.

Glenn Gibson (22)
Once touted prospect has good K numbers, but the fastball was all too often straight and fat and the 8+ ERA was the expected result.

Suns Pitchers

Paul Applebee (22)
Fringy stuff limits the ceiling.

Patrick Arnold (21)
Could be a late bloomer, but seems to be stuck in no man’s land between hard thrower and sharp control pitcher

Mitchell Clegg (23)
Nice numbers,but misses few bats.Looks like long relief is his best role long term

Paul Demny (20)
Ranges from dominant to dominated.Either strikes out a lot or very few. Has shown enough flashes to be intriguing and stay on the radar.

Shane Erb (23)
Hittable and walking batters is no way to go through life, son

Luis Garcia (23)
Almost unhittable in his last five outings, Garcia was awful at Potomac. [Ed. note: “Awful” is kind]

Kyle Morrison (23)
His nice strikeout numbers (52 K in 43 innings) give me hope for him despite having pedestrian stats otherwise.

Daniel Rosenbaum (22)
Pitch-to-contact lefty, throws strikes and keeps the ball down. Poor run support is the reason for the bad W/L numbers.

Josh Smoker (21)
Horrible numbers, but occasionally fires a game that is interesting enough to make you think that he is turning things around. A 2011 return to Hagerstown might be what he needs for a full comeback.

Wanel Vasquez (23)
Ummm, no.

Dean Weaver (22)
Doesn’t throw as hard as his body frame indicates that he should, but looks solid enough as a bullpen arm that moves through the system

Rob Wort (21)
Worth following as a sleeper, strikes out more than a man an inning and has been used some as a closer.

Graham Hicks (20)
If he adds some velocity when he fills out, could be a sleeper. Not a power arm, but has nice control.

Suns Hitters

Justin Bloxom (22)
A blistering June puts Bloxom on the radar screen, but all of his homers came in June as well. I have seen this film before with Bill Rhinehart and Tyler Moore, so I’m not too excited yet.

Jeff Kobernus (22)
For a guy with zero homers, I think Kobernus will develop power. Bigger question is health: He strikes me as having the body type of a player that will struggle a lot with hamstring/leg injuries

Sean Nicol (23, DL)
Nicol looks to me to be an organizational soldier type, I just don’t see him hitting enough as the competition increases.

Francisco Soriano (23)
Think Michael Martinez with a little more speed and a hair more pop. Where’s Martinez? There’s your answer. Versatility will help him move up, much as it has Martinez.

Brett Newsome (23)
Not enough playing time for this soon-to-be 24-year-old. If you cannot find it here, then where?

Justino Cuevas (21)
Zero pop + average speed = non-prospect

Steven Souza (21)
A bad June balances out a May that showed hopeful signs. Power is up this season as is RBI (season total to date higher than all of last season), but I just am uneasy about hitching to this wagon as a prospect. I still think that he could be the type of player that will play better against higher levels of competition.

Sandy Leon (21)
Leon is a solid defensive catcher with little power. I see him as similar to the Jhonathan Solano’s that move up and down the system according to need. One of those types eventually make it as the big league backup, but none are real prospects.

Adrian Nieto (20)
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the season. Some is not Nieto’s fault as Sandy Leon has gotten the lion’s share of playing time, to my surprise. Nieto has yet to hit a homer as a professional and isn’t strong enough defensively to overcome the lack of a bat. I do think he has room to improve and I like his arm as a plus feature. Nieto was thought to be a good hitting catcher coming into the ’08 draft, but his swing seems to be slower than I expected.

J.R. Higley (22)
Love the arm and defensive skills,but the bat has struggled. Higley has some power and I think he gains more as his body fills in. Upside: 4th outfielder with some power

Destin Hood (20)
Athletic and will develop more power,Hood looks to me to be the best position hope on this team. He has good speed, but has been caught stealing six of eight tries. The fix could be as simple as some extra instruction. Good enough defensively, but he won’t have the power of Michael Burgess, though I like him more as an all around player.

Eury Perez (20)
Speed to burn, but bad breaks in the outfield and an average (to be generous) arm make me wonder what the hype from the fans is all about. Perez’s game (and future) will be all about his plate contact. Maybe he can be Nyjer Morgan but he could also be Pedro Powell. Either way, I think he was overrated before the season.

J.P.Ramirez (20)
Love the power. Take that away and you have an organizational soldier. Defensively, he can only be a left fielder in the National League and even then, he is below-average with the arm and leather. Ramirez is vulnerable to gas high and junk low, but the bat gives you hope and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see Ramirez mature his plate discipline and be sent to an AL team in a few years.

Good, Bad, Interesting… Vol. 12

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.

46-36, 2nd place IL North, ½ game back

Good Shairon Martis, 5-3, 3.44ERA since May (0-2, 6.75 in April)
Bad Chase Lambin, Syracuse All-Star (DOB: 7/7/79)
Interesting Whiting .270 BA, .397 OBP 12 steals in 31 games; .253 BA / .352 OBP in last three seasons at A+

38-42, 4th place, 13½ games behind

Good Rafael Martin 1-1, 2.16ERA. 1.02WHIP in June
Bad Danny Espinosa 70K in 71G, 34K in June
Interesting Edgardo Baez .301/.366/.377; .254/.314/.406 in ’09

3-4 2nd Half; 34-43 Overall

Good Patrick McCoy 1-1, 1.98ERA, 1.17WHIP in June
Bad Michael Burgess .183/.280/.312 in June; .313/.394/.509 in May
Interesting N/A

3-5 2nd Half; 39-39 Overall

Good J.P. Ramirez .322/.361/.467 in June; .228/.283/.402 in May
Bad Shane Erb 22R, 20BB, 31H in 22G (5.20ERA, 1.87WHIP)
Interesting Luis Garcia 1-0, 2.13ERA since demotion; 0-0, 10.38ERA at Potomac

11-3, 1st Place Stedler Division of NY-Penn League

Good Matt Swynenburg 2-0, 0.56ERA, 0.56WHIP in 3 starts
Bad Wilson Eusebio 8BB in 8⅓ IP
Interesting Marcus Jones .289/.341/.553 in 11G; .210/.248/.280 for Hagerstown in 28G

2-6, 5th place GCL East Division

Good Adrian Sanchez .424/.457/.606
Bad Estarlin Martinez 10K in 19AB
Interesting N/A

16-13, 4th place B.C. South Division

Good Bienvenido Valdez .288/.374/.438
Bad Yamaicol Tejeda 1-for-20 with 8K
Interesting Nelalexfred Ortega 7E, 12SB, 15BB, 14K in 26G

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