AFL/Offseason Update: Nov. 4, 2017

The Solar Sox were eclipsed on a one-hit shutout yesterday, 3-0 to end the week.

And because we can’t have one day without (contrived) Victor Robles drama, the Nats top prospect played just one inning yesterday and exited without official explanation. He popped up to short in the top half of the inning and caught the final out in the bottom half.

Daniel Johnson replaced Robles in center field but went hitless again (0-3, 2K), as did Taylor Gushue (ditto). Kelvin Gutierrez pinch-walked and played third base for the final two innings.

Austen Williams was the first man out of the Mesa ‘pen and gave up a run on four hits over two innings. He threw 31 pitches, 24 for strikes.

# # #

TRANSACTION UPDATE
Minor-League Free Agency begins at 5 p.m. on Monday. Not coincidentally, Wander Suero was added to the 40-man roster yesterday rather than re-sign as he did last November 3rd. In other news, Erik Davis declared free agency while Esmil Rogers was released.

THE BA TOP 10
Baseball America’s fall SEO campaign 2018 prospect rankings began last week with the Braves, Marlins, and Mets and continued this week with the Phillies and the Nationals (paid sub to read all).

As noted in the comments, the list is skewed towards major IFAs who have yet to play a full season and the top two pitchers taken last June. Just three of the top 10 have played more than one full season, and given the current state of the big club, it’s not outlandish to consider that perhaps two of those players will be on the 25-man roster by the middle of next summer.

THE SYRACUSE CHIEFS
They were bad. Very, very bad.

There’s really not much more to say. The team was old, slow, and had no power on offense and the pitchers were hit-prone (both bats and bodies) and couldn’t miss bats. About the only thing they weren’t in the bottom third was defense, but that may be in part because the players were kept in good shape with all the balls they had to chase.

Somehow, there were enough home-grown, replacement-level players available to the big club when needed, including roughly half-a-dozen homegrown guys. But it would be foolish to infer that had there been fewer injuries in DC, the team would have been significantly better, and specious to even attempt to name/rank these players.

The best thing that could happen for all of them is for them to not be needed so they can indeed play every day and perhaps play well enough to get traded — or be more prepared for their next trip to the Show.

As always, if you’re so inclined to see the full team’s stats, you can find them here.

Nats to Look for a new AAA Affiliate for 2019

By now, you’ve probably heard that the New York Mets have bought the Syracuse Chiefs, which have been the Nationals’ AAA affiliate since 2009.

Details at this point are still scarce – we don’t know, for example, how much the sale price was or whether the Chiefs approached the Mets or vice-versa. At this point, I tend to believe the latter.

Why? Because for the past 10 years, the trend has been for major-league teams to buy affiliates to ensure a desired location or environment, as J.J. Cooper of Baseball America writes here. As any East Coast team would be, the Mets were unhappy with the logistics of flying a player from the West Coast.

More intriguing is Cooper’s environment argument, which has seen the California League lose two teams and the Carolina League expanded by two and two franchises purchased (Salem by Boston in 2009, Carolina by Milwaukee this year). It’s almost mandatory for a prospect writer to excuse poor pitching and discount good hitting in the CAL. It also makes it harder for the analytics folks to break down, and even harder for the casual fans to understand (well, aside from “the whole league is like the Colorado Rockies”).

As the headline suggests, the Nats are now back to trying to find a new home for their roster-fill…er, AAA team. The knee-jerk analysis is that they’ll end up in the market that the Mets are leaving: Las Vegas. While certainly possible, there are 17 teams that have expiring PDCs after next season and nine of them are in the PCL like Vegas, baby (sorry, autocorrect).

Presuming that the Nationals will want to stay in the I.L. and not knowing the politics of the PDCs, my best guess is that Washington will make a play for Rochester. Given the Baltimore-DC rivalry, I know lots of folks would want a shot at Norfolk, but do you remember that time when the O’s were outbid or outmaneuvered by the Nats? Not to mention, I’m not sure if the drive will be any shorter.

In any case, the relative stability of the affiliates — same five since 2010 — has been shaken and changes are coming.

Tuesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 3-2 END OF SEASON N/A
Harrisburg Lost, 7-4
(12 inn.)
END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac Won, 5-3 END OF SEASON N/A
Hagerstown Won, 11-6 END OF SEASON N/A
Auburn Won, 4-1 @ State College,
7:05 p.m.
Romero (0-1, 4.02) vs.
Oviedo (2-2, 4.25)
GCL Nationals Won, 7-5 vs. GCL Yankees East,
12:00 p.m.


Buffalo 3 Syracuse 2
• Simms 5IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 6K
• Valdez (L, 0-3) 2IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 1K
• Bautista 1-4, R, 3B
• Stevenson 1-4

The Chiefs fulfilled their destiny as the worst team in AAA with their 87th loss of the season, 3-2 to Buffalo. Roster move: C Pedro Severino and RHP A.J. Cole recalled to Washington.

Altoon 7 Harrisburg 4
• T. Hill 6IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K, HR(28)
• Self (L, 4-3) 2⅓ IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, IBB, K, HR
• S. Perez 2-4, 2R, 3B, HR, 2RBI
• Robles 2-4, R, 2-2B, BB, SB
• Lowery 2-4, BB, RBI

Harrisburg fell in the 12th inning, 7-4 on a three-run walkoff HR to make it an even 80 losses. Taylor Hill served up #28 but still managed to twirl a quality start of three runs on six hits, two walks, and two whiffs (only one of which was the opposing pitcher) in a no-decision. Derek Self lost for the third time as he put on two with a double and an intentional walk before he was sent packing. Stephen Perez tripled and homered, Victor Robles doubled twice, and Jake Lowery singled twice to lead the Senators offense.

Potomac 5 Frederick 3
• Rodriguez (W, 4-3) 6IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Orlan (H, 1) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Wiseman 2-4, R, BB
• Noll 2-5, R, RBI
• Carey 1-1, 3BB, RBI

With the help of 11 walks, Potomac stopped its six-game slide with a 5-3 win over Frederick. Jefry Rodriguez got dinged for a two-run shot in the 1st but settled down to go six innings with all three Keys runs allowed on seven hits and a walk for his fourth win. Jorge Pantoja, R.C. Orlan, and Tommy Peterson combined for three scoreless innings to seal the deal. Dale Carey led the walk column with three while Rhett Wiseman and Jake Noll both singled twice to lead the P-Nats’ attack.

Hagerstown 4 Lexington 3
• Braymer (W, 3-2) 6IP, 8H, R, ER, BB, 4K, WP
• Morse (SV, 5) 1⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K, 3-2 IR-S
• Panaccione 4-4, 3R, 2B, 2RBI
• Corredor 3-5, R, 2RBI, PO
• C. Kieboom 2-3, R, 2BB

Hagerstown scored in each of its last six “ups” to outslug Lexington, 11-6. Ben Braymer got his third win with one run allowed on eight hits and a walk over six innings. Phil Morse let in two of three inherited runners, gave up two hits and a walk, but was credited with the save for not blowing a 9-4 lead in the 8th. Paul Panaccione went 4-for-4 with three runs score while Aldrem Corredor went 3-for-5 with two RBI to pace the Suns offense.

Auburn 4 State College 1
• Raquet (W, 3-2) 6IP, 5H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 1K
• Cousins (SV, 2) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Upshaw 2-3, BB, RBI, CS
• Pryor 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI, CS
• 2-for-14 RISP, 10 LOB

The Doubledays turned four double plays as they blunted the Spikes, 4-1. Nick Raquet allowed an unearned run on five hits with no walks and one whiff for his third win. Jeremy McKinney pitched a scoreless 7th for the hold while Jake Cousins kept State College off the board in the 8th and 9th for the save. Armond Upshaw singled twice and walked once while Jonathan Pryor singled and homered to lead Auburn’s nine-hit, eight-walk offense.

GCL Nationals 7 GCL Yankees East 5
• Stoeckinger 4IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 4K
• N. Lee (BS, 1; W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K, 2-1 IR-S
• Zwetsch (SV, 1) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Pineda 3-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI
• Gutierrez 3-5, R, RBI, SB
• L. Garcia 3-5, 2R, 2B

The G-Nats lost leads of 4-0 and 5-4 before rallying for two in the 7th for a 7-5 win over the G-Yankees East and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three GCL Finals. Jackson Stoeckinger went the first four innings and gave up two runs on five hits and three walks. Nick Lee blew the 5-4 lead but got the win, allowing a hit and a walk over two innings. Connor Zwetsch kept the G-Yankees East off the board in the 8th and 9th inning to earn the save. Israel Pineda, Kelvin Gutierrez, and Luis Garcia combined for nine hits, four runs scored, two doubles, and two RBI to lead the G-Nats hit parade.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 2-1 vs. Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
Simms (2-4, 5.63) vs.
House (9-11, 4.27)
Harrisburg Tied, 1-1
(Susp.)
@ Altoona,
4:00 p.m.
Voth (3-3, 4.84) vs.
Coley (5-4, 3.16)
Potomac Postponed @ Frederick,
4:00 p.m.
Guilbeau (4-4, 5.23) and
Williams (2-4, 4.24) vs.
Grimes (0-2, 4.91) and TBD
Hagerstown Cancelled vs. Lexington,
2:05 p.m.
TBD vs. O. Gomez (7-11, 5.20)
Auburn Lost, 5-1 @ State College,
6:05 p.m.
Raquet (2-2, 2.78) vs.
Castano (8-3, 2.82)
GCL Nationals Lost, 13-9 vs. GCL Twins,
12:00 p.m.

Syracuse 2 Buffalo 1
• Severino 2-3, BB
• Stevenson 2-4, BB, RBI
• Bautista 0-3, BB
• Skole 1-4, 2B, 3K

The Chiefs walked off in the 9th on an Andrew Stevenson single, keeping pace with the 51’s with their 54th win in 140 games.

Altoona 1 Harrisburg 1 – SUSP.
• McGowin 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K
• Gamache 2-2, R, 2B, RBI

Play was halted after five innings and a tie score of 1-1. They’ll make it up this afternoon, then play a seven-inning game afterwards.

Frederick vs. Potomac – PPD
Rain postponed Saturday night’s matchup between the Keys and the P-Nats. They’ll also play a doubleheader this afternoon to make it up, presumably because Salem did not lose last night, although the doubleheader was scheduled ahead of that outcome.

Hagerstown vs. Lexington – CNCLD
They pulled the plug on this one Saturday afternoon and will not make the game up, ostensibly because both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention. According to the Suns media folks, it’s the 13th Hagerstown home game to be affected by the weather and the ninth home date lost this season – five more than in 2016.

West Virginia 5 Auburn 1
• Johnston 5IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Johnson (L, 0-2) ⅔ IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 0K
• N. Perkins 2-3, 2PB, PO
• Jo. Ramirez 2-4

Powered by a four-run 6th, the Black Bears completed the sweep of the Doubledays with a 5-1 win in Auburn’s home finale. Kyle Johnston got the start and turned in five shutout innings on four hits, no walks, and three K’s. Jared Johnson gave up the aforementioned four runs on five hits and a walks while retiring the leadoff batter and watching from the mound when Nic Perkins picked a runner off third. He then gave up a double that chased him from the game. Perkins, who had two passed balls, singled twice as did Joshual Ramirez to account for four of the six (6) Auburn hits.

GCL Cardinals 13 GCL Nationals 9
• Galindez 5IP, 4H, 5R, 2ER, 4BB, 4K, HR
• J. Peguero (L, 1-1) 3⅓ IP, 7H, 8R, 7ER, 2BB, 3K, HR
• Soto 5-5, 2R, 2B, 3B, 3RBI
• L. Garcia 1-4, R, 3B, 2RBI
• Gutierrez 1-4, R, 2B, BB, RBI

Juan Soto went 5-for-5 with a double and a triple and drove in three in the G-Nats’ 13-9 loss to the G-Cards in the regular-season finale. Nelson Galindez was lit up for five runs (two earned) on four hits and four walks while striking out… wait for it… four. The loss went to Jairon Peguero, who was somehow trotted out in the 9th after getting torched for four runs in the 8th. He then gave up another four runs for eight total over three and a 1/3rd innings on seven hits and two walks.

Despite finishing with the third-best record of the four division winners, the G-Nats will host the G-Twins in a one-game playoff. Should they win, they will play the winner of the D-Phillies and G-Yankees East in a best-of-three series for the GCL Championship.

Saturday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-0 vs. Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
Rogers (3-2, 3.58) vs.
Mu. Smith, (4-5, 3.66)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-5 @ Altoona,
6:00 p.m.
McGowin (1-5, 7.17) vs.
McRae (10-5, 3.67)
Potomac Lost, 3-2 @ Frederick,
6:00 p.m.
Guilbeau (4-4, 5.23) vs.
Grimes (0-2, 4.91)
Hagerstown Won, 5-4 vs. Lexington,
6:05 p.m.
TBD vs. Bender (5-5, 3.93)
Auburn Lost, 8-6 vs. West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. Sulser (2-3, 4.58)
GCL Nationals Lost, 6-0 @ GCL Cardinals,
10:00 a.m.

Buffalo 4 Syracuse 0
• Stevenson 1-4, SB(10)
• Severino 1-4, BB
• Bautista 0-2, 2BB, E(4)
• Skole 0-4, 2K (no, I didn’t forget to change it from yesterday)

After threatening to not finish with the worst record in AAA, the Chiefs got back on track with their third straight loss, a 4-0 shutout by the Bisons. Roster moves: RHPs Austin Adams, Erick Fedde recalled to Washington; RHP Cody Satterwhite, C Jhonatan Solano activated from the 7-Day DL.

Altoona 6 Harrisburg 5
• Crownover (L, 1-7) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 3K
• S. Perez 3-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Hernandez 2-4, R, BB
• Marmolejos 2-2, 3RBI (PH-LF)
• Robles 1-1, SB (as PH)

Altoona built a 5-0 lead before Harrisburg rallied for two in the 7th and three in the 8th, but fell one run short, 6-5. Matthew Crownover took the loss while throwing five innings of two-run ball on five hits and three walks while striking out three. Braulio Lara and Jimmy Cordero brought the petrol instead of the water and let in four more runs. Stephen Perez led the Sens hit column with two singles and a double while Jose “Orange” Marmolejos came off the bench to drive in three with two singles. Roster moves: C Raudy Read recalled to Washington; C Taylor Gushue reassigned from Potomac.

Frederick 3 Potomac 2
• Jo. Baez 4⅓ IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 5BB, 3K,
• Pantoja (L, 1-3) 2+ IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• Peterson ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K, 2-1 IR-S
• Johnson 2-5, R
• Carey 1-3, BB

The P-Nats fell in the 9th for their fourth straight loss, 3-2 to the Keys. Joan Baez couldn’t make it out of the fifth as he put on 12 baserunners over four and a 1/3rd innings and gave up two runs. The loss went to Jorge Pantoja, who put on two in the 9th that Tommy Peterson couldn’t strand. Potomac went just 2-for-12 with RISP and left on nine baserunners. Daniel Johnson was the sole P-Nats batter with multiple hits ad he singled twice in five at-bats.

Hagerstown 5 Lexington 4
• Y. Ramirez 4⅓ IP, 3H, 4R, 3ER, 4BB, 5K, HR, 2HBP
• Howard 3⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K, 3-1 IR-S
• Held (W, 2-4) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• C. Kieboom 2-4, R, BB
• Banks 1-3, R, HR, BB, 3RBI, SB
• Ortiz 1-3, R, HR, BB, RBI

Hagerstown walked off Lexington in regulation, 5-4 for back-to-back wins for the first time in more than three weeks, but were eliminated from the Sally Lg. North 2nd-half title race. Yonathan Ramirez was knocked around for four runs on three hits and four walks over four and a 1/3rd innings. Hayden Howard let in one of three inherited runners to tie things at 4-4 but threw three more scoreless innings before Sam Held added a fourth goose egg in the 9th. Blake Perkins doubled with one out and scored on Aldrem Corredor’s RBI single, his fourth walkoff hit of the season. Nick Banks hit a three-run homer in the 1st while Oliver Ortiz went solo in the 4th to for a 3-0 and 4-3 lead respectively.

West Virginia 8 Auburn 6
• Guillen (L, 0-2) 3IP, 5H, 8R, 1ER, BB, 2K, HR(GS)
• Smith 4IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Shepard 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Je. Baez 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• A. Martinez 1-3, 2BB, 2RBI

Five Doubledays errors led to seven unearned runs in an 8-6 loss to the Black Bears. Angel Guillen didn’t help his cause by serving up a grand slam and five hits total over three innings for his second loss. David Smith (4IP), Jared Brasher (1IP), and Jake Cousins (1IP) combined for six scoreless innings of relief but the offense fell two runs short of digging out of the 8-1 hole. Chance Shepard doubled and homered while Jeyner Baez singled and doubled to lead the nine-hit, three-walk effort.

GCL Marlins 6 GCL Nationals 0
• Acevedo 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• De Los Santos (L, 3-1) ⅓ IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 1K, HR
• Gutierrez 1-3, 2B, BB
• Ventura 2-3

With a playoff spot secured, now the race is for position, which the G-Nats’ 6-0 loss to the G-Marlins did not help. Carlos Acevedo started and threw three scoreless innings with one hit allowed, no walks, and two whiffs. The loss went to Jose De Los Santos, who was strafed for four runs on five hits, including a three-run homer. Kelvin Gutierrez walked and doubled while Edwin Ventura singled twice to lead the G-Nats’ seven-hit parade.

Friday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-1 vs. Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
J. Turner (2-5, 5.19) vs.
Rowley (3-5, 2.79)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-5 @ Altoona,
6:00 p.m.
Dragmire (4-1, 2.93) vs.
Keller (1-2, 3.77)
Potomac Lost, 5-1 @ Frederick,
7:00 p.m.
Baez (4-8, 3.86) vs.
B. Gonzalez (5-7, 5.05)
Hagerstown Won, 9-6 vs. Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Ramirez (1-2, 5.19) vs.
N. Watson (1-10, 6.75)
Auburn Lost, 3-1 vs. West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Guillen (0-1, 4.50) vs.
G. Wallace (2-2, 2.25)
GCL Nationals Won, 7-5 @ GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.

Lehigh Valley 5 Syracuse 1
• Valdez 1⅓ 0IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Bautista 1-4, R
• Stevenson 1-4, RBI
• Skole 0-4, 2K
• Severino 0-3, BB

Syracuse tied it at 1-1 then opened up a donut shop on the bottom of the scoreboard in a 5-1 loss to Lehigh Valley.

Akron 6 Harrisburg 5
• G. Ross (L, 5-4) 7+ IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, BB, 9K
• Robinson (BS, 4) 2IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 2K, 3-3 IR-S
• Joseph 1-3, R
• Hernandez 1-3, R, HR, BB, RBI, SB
• Ward 1-4, 2B, RBI

The Senators returned the favor from Wednesday night as they coughed up five in the 8th in a 6-5 loss to the RubberDucks. Greg Ross was pushed three batters too far as he left with the bases loaded and nobody out and a 2-1 lead. Andrew Robinson blew his fourth save as he emptied the bases then let in two of his own runs on three hits and a walk. Yadiel Hernandez homered, walked, and stole a base as Harrisburg made the most of its six hits and four walks. Victor Robles returned the to the lineup and went 1-for-5 with a run scored and a stolen base.

Lynchburg 5 Potomac 1
• Sharp 5IP, 6H, R, ER, 2BB, 7K, HR, WP
• Orlan (L, 2-1) 2IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Reetz 1-3, BB, SB
• Sundberg 1-4, RBI

Lynchburg completed the sweep of Potomac with a 5-1 and eliminated them from the playoffs. Sterling Sharp held the Hillcats to one run (albeit on a home run) and six hits total over five innings. He walked two and struck out seven in the no-decision. R.C. Orlan was pegged with the loss as he gave up deciding run in the 7th. Jakson Reetz was the sole P-Nats batter to reach base twice with a walk (one of two) and a single (one of five hits).

Hagerstown 9 Delmarva 6
• B. Hill 3⅔ IP, 7H, 5R, 4ER, 0BB, 4K
• Bogucki (W, 4-2) 3⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 5K, 1-0 IR-S
• Barrera 3-4, 2R, 2B, 3B, HR, 5RBI
• Perkins 3-4, 3R, HR, 2RBI
• Banks 3-4, 2B, 2RBI

The Suns staved off elimination with a 9-6 win over Delmarva. Brigham Hill was sent packing after three and 2/3rds innings, charged with the first five Shorebirds runs on seven hits and no walks. He struck out four. A.J. Bogucki picked up the win with three and a 1/3rd scoreless innings pitched, with two hits allowed, no walks, and five K’s. Tres Barrera drove in five while finishing a single shy of the cycle while Blake Perkins and Nick Banks both went 3-for-4 with two RBI.

West Virginia 3 Auburn 1
• Crowe 3IP, 1H, R, ER, 0BB, 4K, HR
• Rishwain 3IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• McKinney (L, 1-2) 3IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 3K
• Upshaw 2-4, R, 2B
• Jo. Ramirez 2-4
• Pryor 2-4, SB, CS

Auburn outhit West Virginia 9-6 but the Black Bears outscored the Doubledays, 3-1 to take the series opener. Wil Crowe gave up a homer over three innings while walking none and striking out four in a no-decision. Michael Rishwain followed with three scoreless before Jeremy McKinney was clawed for two runs on five hits over the final three innings to take the loss. Armond Upshaw, Joshual Ramirez, and Jonathan Pryor each went 2-for-4 to lead the Auburn offense.

GCL Nationals 7 GCL Mets 5
• M. Pena 4IP, 7H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 8K, 2HR
• Adler (W, 3-0) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• R. Mendez 2-4, R, 2-2B, BB, RBI
• Soto 2-3, RBI
• L. Garcia 2-4, R, RBI

The G-Nats scored four times in the 8th to erase a 5-3 deficit and secure the GCL East Division title with a 7-5 win over the G-Mets. Malvin Pena recovered from a five-run 1st to pitch three more scoreless innings. He gave up seven hits (two homers), walked two, and struck out eight. Sean Adler picked up the win as he got the last four outs in order. Ricardo Mendez doubled twice, scored once, walked once, and drove in a run to lead the G-Nats’ attack.

Thursday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 7-4 vs. Lehigh Valley,
6:35 p.m.
Long (4-5, 4.18) vs.
Eshelman (9-3, 2.37)
Harrisburg Won, 6-5 vs. Akron,
6:30 p.m.
G. Ross (5-3, 6.26) vs.
Esparza (5-5, 5.08)
Potomac Lost, 5-2 @ Lynchburg,
6:30 p.m.
Sharp (2-2, 5.33) vs.
McKenzie (11-6, 3.57)
Hagerstown Lost, 6-4 vs. Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
B. Hill (0-1, 5.54) vs.
Seabrooke (3-8, 4.61)
Auburn Won, 3-2
(11 inn.)
vs. West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Crowe (0-0, 2.45) vs. TBD
GCL Nationals OFF DAY vs. GCL Mets,
12:00 p.m.

Lehigh Valley 7 Syracuse 4
• Cole (L, 4-5) 6⅔ IP, 10H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 8K; 1-1, SAC
• Bautista 0-4, RBI
• Stevenson 1-4, R
• Skole 0-1

Chiefs pitchers struck out 15 and gave up 15 hits in a 7-4 loss to the IronPigs. Roster move: SS Bengie Gonzalez placed on the 7-Day DL.

Harrisburg 6 Akron 5
• T. Hill 7IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 9K, HR
• Self (W, 4-2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 1K
• Marmolejos 2-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Joseph 2-5, R, CS
• Hernandez 1-4, R, BB, 2RBI

Harrisburg rallied from a 5-0 deficit with three in the 8th and three in the 9th, capped off by Yadiel Hernandez’s two-out, two-run homer. Taylor Hill gave up his 27th in the 3rd and two runs total on seven hits over seven innings while striking out a career-high of nine. Derek Self got the “W” as the pitcher of record while working around a walk in the 9th. Jose “Orange” Marmolejos and Corban Joseph both went 2-for-5 with a run scored to lead the Senators offense.

Lynchburg 5 Potomac 2
• Rodriguez (L, 3-3) 4IP, 2H, 3R, 2ER, 5BB, 3K
• Peterson 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Noll 1-3, R, 3B, RBI
• Reetz 1-4, R, 2K, PB, PO

Potomac took another circle ’round the drain with a 5-2 loss to Lynchburg, which reduced its tragic number to two with five to play. Jefry Rodriguez made it through only four innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits and five (5) walks while striking out three for his third Carolina League loss. Mariano Rivera gave up the final two Hillcats runs over three innings before Tommy Peterson threw a scoreless 8th. Jake Noll tripled and scored a run while Jakson Reetz scored the other as the P-Nats were held to just five hits total while striking out 13 times. Roster move: RHP Luis Reyes placed on the 7-Day DL.

Delmarva 6 Hagerstown 4
• Braymer 6IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 6K
• Barnett (L, 1-1) 3IP, 4H, 3R, 1ER, 0BB, 2K
• Perkins 1-3, R, 2BB, 2SB (30, 31), E(8)
• Corredor 1-3, R, 2BB, RBI

Likewise for the Suns, who dropped their third straight and 13th out of their last 17 with a 6-4 loss to the Shorebirds. Ben Braymer turned in a quality start of three runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks over six inning with six K’s. The loss went to Jake Barnett with three runs coughed up in the 7th and four hits total over three innings. Aldrem Corredor and Blake Perkins both singled once and walked twice to lead the Hagerstown offense, which was just 3-for-14 with RISP and left on 12 baserunners.

Auburn 3 Williamsport 2 (11 inn.)
• Romero 5IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 7K
• Chu (BS, 1; W, 1-1) 3IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 2K, WP
• Ja. Johnson (SV, 1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Mergeildo 2-5, 3K
• Upshaw 1-2, 2R, 2BB, SB(9)

Despite committing four errors, which led to two unearned runs, Auburn got the winning run in on a wild pitch for a 3-2 win in extra innings. Seth Romero shut out Williamsport for five innings on one hit while striking out seven. Romero’s 2-0 lead went up in smoke with unearned runs off Dan Butler in the 7th and Gilberto Chu in the 8th. Chu was credited with the blown-save-win while Jared Johnson survived the fourth Doubledays error while giving up a walk and a hit in the bottom of the 11th to earn the save.

GCL Nationals – OFF DAY
The G-Marlins won to postpone the G-Nats’ celebration of the GCL East title, which can be clinched today with a win vs. the G-Mets or a G-Marlins loss.

Wednesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-1 vs. Lehigh Valley,
6:35 p.m.
Cole (4-4, 5.82) vs.
H. Alvarez (0-0, 3.60)
Harrisburg Lost, 10-9 vs. Akron,
6:30 p.m.
T. Hill (4-6, 5.54) vs.
Bieber (2-1, 2.83)
Potomac Lost, 9-3 @ Lynchburg,
6:30 p.m.
J. Rodriguez (3-2, 3.06) vs.
Civale (10-2, 2.59)
Hagerstown Lost, 6-1 vs. Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
B. Hill (0-1, 5.40) vs.
Humpal (7-11, 4.16)
Auburn Lost, 8-2 @ Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
Romero (0-1, 5.91) vs.
Stewart (4-2, 4.44)
GCL Nationals Lost, 2-1;
Won, 5-0
OFF DAY

Syracuse 4 Lehigh Valley 1
• Simms (W, 2-4) 7IP, 3H, 0R, 3BB, 9K
• Bautista 2-4, 2RBI
• Stevenson 2-4, R
• Skole 0-3
• Severino 1-3, R

John Simms tossed seven scoreless innings while striking out nine to lead Syracuse a 4-1 victory, its third straight. Roster moves: IF Adrian Sanchez optioned from Washington; C Jhonatan Solano placed on the 7-Day DL.

Akron 10 Harrisburg 9
• Voth 3⅔ IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 4K, HR
• Bacus (BS, 1; L, 1-2) 1IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Hernandez 3-4, 2R, 2-2B, RBI
• Abreu 2-3, R, RBI
• S. Perez 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI

Harrisburg blew leads of 4-0 and 8-6 in a 10-9 loss to Akron. Austin Voth didn’t make it past the fourth for the fifth time this season as he gave up five runs on eight hits and two walks over three and 2/3rds innings in a no-decision. Dakota Bacus took the loss on a two-run homer in the 9th in his one and only inning pitched. Yadiel Hernandez singled once, doubled twice, scored twice and drove in a run to lead the Sens’ offense.

Lynchburg 9 Potomac 3
• Williams (L, 2-4) 5IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 7K, HR
• Reetz 2-4, 2-2B, 3RBI
• Carey 2-4, 2B

The P-Nats got three in the 9th to turn 9-0 demolition into a 9-3 defeat, failing to take advantage of the Keys’ 6-5 win over the Red Sox. Austen Williams let in four runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings while striking out seven in his fourth High-A loss. Neither Ronald Pena nor Jordan Mills could stop the onslaught as they gave up five runs over the next three innings. Jakson Reetz cashed in three straight walks issued with one out for a three-run double to break up the shutout. Reetz and Dale Carey both went 2-for-4 to account for four of the five Potomac hits on the night. Roster moves: 1B Ian Sagdal activated from the 7-Day DL; IF Tyler Beckwith placed on the 7-Day DL.

Delmarva 6 Hagerstown 1
• C. Pena 5IP, 0H, 0R, 3BB, 9K
• Morse (L, 0-4) ⅓ IP, 3H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 1K
• Banks 2-4, 2B, SB
• La Bruna 1-2, 2B, RBI, SAC

Hagerstown imploded in the 9th for five runs as they dropped to .500 in the 2nd half with a 6-1 loss to Delmarva and lowered their tragic number to two. Carlos Pena no-hit the Shorebirds for five innings, though he needed 84 pitches to do it while walking three and striking out nine. Phil Morse lost his third straight appearance and fourth game overall (all in August, in which he has a 14.09 ERA) as he was charged with the aforementioned five runs on three hits and two walks, with the “help” of Kyle Simonds, who failed to strand the two runners he inherited while retiring two of four batters to finish the 9th. Nick Banks led the Suns’ hit column of six with a single and double while stealing his 12th base.

Williamsport 8 Auburn 2
• Raquet 6IP, 8H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K, BK
• Smith (L, 3-4) 2IP, 8H, 6R, 6ER, 0BB, 1K, HR, 3WP
• Guibor 1-3, 2B, 2BB, 2RBI
• Pascal 2-4, R, 2B
• 0-6 RISP, 10 LOB, 15 batting K

SSDL in the NYPL as the Doubledays’ David Smith coughed up five in the 7th and one in the 8th in an 8-2 defeat to the Crosscutters. Nick Raquet went the first six innings and scattered eight hits for two runs. He walked none and fanned three. Smith also gave up eight hits, but in just two innings while losing for the fourth time. Austin Guibor reached base three times with two walks and a double and drove in both Auburn runs.

GCL Astros 2 GCL Nationals 1 – GAME ONE
• German (L, 1-4) 4⅓ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 6K, HR
• Peguero 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• L. Garcia 3-3, 2B, SB

In the first game, the G-Astros stopped the G-Nats four-game win streak with a 2-1 win. Jhonatan German gave up both runs on four hits and two walks while striking out six for his fourth loss. Luis Garcia collected all three G-Nat hits with two singles and a double and stole his 11th base.

GCL Nationals 5 GCL Astros 0 – GAME TWO
• Alastre (W, 3-1) 5IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 6K
• Zwetsch 2IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Evangelista 2-3, 3R, 2B
• Jo. Sanchez 2-3, R, 2RBI
• Pineda 2-3, 2RBI

In the nightcap (hey, it is Florida), the G-Nats shut out the G-Astros, 5-0 and reduced its magic number to one. Tomas Alastre went the first five, giving up two hits and two walks while striking out six for the win. Connor Zwetsch worked around three hits over the final two innings. Juan Evangelista scored three times and doubled while Jose Sanchez and Israel Pineda both went 2-for-3 with two RBI to lead the G-Nats’ attack.

Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 9-2 vs. Lehigh Valley,
6:35 p.m.
E. Rogers (2-2, 4.23) vs. TBD
Harrisburg Lost, 7-4 vs. Akron,
6:30 p.m.
McGowin (1-5, 8.51) vs.
Lugo (8-7, 4.56)
Potomac Won, 4-2 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Lost, 2-1 OFF DAY N/A
Auburn Lost, 3-2
(14 inn.)
@ Williamsport,
5:05 p.m.
Johnston (0-2, 3.69) and TBD
vs. Young (5-2, 3.06) and Brown (3-4, 3.40)
GCL Nationals Won, 9-8
(10 inn.)
@ GCL Cardinals,
10:00 a.m.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 7 Syracuse 1
• Skole 0-4

Syracuse scored nine unanswered runs to stop a three-game slide and prevent a three-game sweep by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with a 9-2 win in the series finale. Roster moves: RHP A.J. Cole optioned from Washington; RHP Erick Fedde, OF Rafael Bautista recalled to Washington.

Reading 7 Harrisburg 4
• Dragmire 5⅔ IP, 8H, 3R, 2ER, 4BB, 2K
• Cordero (H, 4; L, 2-6) ⅔ IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 0K
• Robinson (BS, 3) ⅓ IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K, HR, 3-3 IR-S
• Robles 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Marmolejos 1-3, 2B, BB, 2RBI

The Senators bullpen saw a 4-3 lead vanish with one swing of the bat as the Jimmy Cordero loaded the bases while getting the first two outs in the 8th and Andrew Robinson unloaded them with a grand slam for a 7-4 loss to the Fightins. Brady Dragmire got the start and gave up the first three Reading runs on eight hits and four walks while striking out two over five and 2/3rds innings. Victor Robles singled and doubled while Jose “Orange” Marmolejos walked and doubled; both drove in two runs for Harrisburg.

Potomac 4 Frederick 2
• Reyes (W, 8-13) 7IP, 3H, R, ER, 3BB, 5K, 2WP
• Orlan (SV, 5) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Mejia 2-3, RBI
• Noll 1-3, R, HR, RBI, BB

Potomac closed out its home schedule with a 4-2 win Sunday afternoon in Woodbridge.

West Virginia 2 Hagerstown 1
• DeRosier 6IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 4K, WP, HBP
• Klobosits (H, 1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Howard (BS, 1; L, 4-2) ⅓ IP, 2H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 0K
• C. Kieboom 2-2, R, 2BB
• Corredor 1-4

The Suns lowered its tragic number to three with another walkoff loss, 2-1 to the Power. Matt DeRosier did his part with six shutout innings on four hits and two walks with four whiffs. So Likewise for Gabe Klobosits with two perfect innings. Hayden Howard did not as he retired just one of five batters faced to blow the save and take the loss. Carter Kieboom singled twice and walked twice while Aldrem Corredor singled once. The rest of the Hagerstown lineup was 0-for-23 with eight strikeouts.

Batavia 3 Auburn 2
• Guillen 5IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 6K, HR, WP
• Engelbrekt 4IP, 4H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Brasher (L, 1-2) 3IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, K
• Jo. Ramirez 2-6, E(19)
• Esthay 1-5, R, BB, RBI

Auburn’s relievers worked overtime to cover for the batters, who were off the clock with just five hits over 14 innings in a 3-2 loss to Batavia. Angel Guillen gave up the first two Muckdogs runs on four hits without a walk and six whiffs over five innings. Jared Johnson and Max Engelbrekt combined for six scoreless innings and Jared Brasher made it eight straight before Batavia broke through for the game-winner in the 14th. Joshual Ramirez (two singles) and Kameron Esthay (homer, walk) were the only Doubledays batters to reach base twice.

GCL Nationals 9 GCL Marlins 8 (10 inn.)
• Acevedo 3IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 5K
• Adler (W, 2-0) 2⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 3K, 2-0 IR-S
• Connell 3-4, 2R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
• Jo. Sanchez 2-4, R, RBI
• Gutierrez 1-3, R, 2K

The G-Marlins took an 8-3 lead with a five-run 8th then gave it away with six unanswered runs – five in the 9th and one in the 10th – for a 9-8 loss to the G-Nats. Carlos Acevedo let in a run on three hits and struck out five as the starter. Sean Adler got the last out in the 8th and stranded two runners, then pitched a scoreless 9th and 10th to earn the win, his second. Justin Connell singled twice, scored twice, doubled once, walked once, and drove in two while Jose Sanchez went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI to lead the G-Nats’ attack.

Saturday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 9-1 @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre,
6:35 p.m.
Long (4-4, 3.60) vs.
Adams (10-4, 2.69)
Harrisburg Lost, 3-1 @ Reading,
6:35 p.m.
G. Ross (4-3, 6.90) vs.
Kilome (1-1, 2.25)
Potomac Lost, 1-0;
Won, 5-0
vs. Frederick,
5:15 p.m.
Baez (3-8. 3.99) and TBD vs.
Peralta (2-10, 5.67) and TBD
Hagerstown Lost, 5-4
(10 inn.)
@ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Ramirez (0-2, 5.70) vs.
Nunez (4-7, 3.76)
Auburn Won, 4-1 vs. Batavia,
6:05 p.m.
Crowe (0-0, 2.31) vs.
Guenther (1-2, 2.92)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY @ GCL Mets,
10:00 a.m.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 9 Syracuse 1
• Valdez (L, 0-2) 2⅓ IP, 7H, 7R, 7ER, BB, 2K, HR; 1-2
• Bautista 0-4, K
• Skole 1-4, R, 2K

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre scored eight times in the first four innings en route to a 9-1 demolition of Syracuse. Roster moves: C Pedro Severino optioned to Washington; RHP A.J. Cole recalled to Washington.

Reading 3 Harrisburg 1
• Hill (L, 4-6) 6⅔ IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 5K, HR, WP; 0-2, SAC
• Lara 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K, 1-0 IR-S
• Robles 1-3, 2BB, CS
• Gamache 2-4, R, 2B

Taylor Hill gave up a three-run HR in the 5th—No. 26 in 25 appearances—as the Sens could only get one run back for a 3-1 loss to the Fightins. Hill was otherwise adequate, pitching six and 2/3rds innings, allowing six hits and a walk, and nearly matching his season high with five K’s. Braulio Lara stranded a runner in 7th and got the first two outs in the 8th before Jimmy Cordero came on to leave two on while getting the final out in the 8th. Victor Robles singled once and walked twice but was also caught stealing for the 9th time, which does not include every time he’s been thrown out on the basepaths, while Dan Gamache singled and doubled and scored the lone Harrisburg run.

Frederick 1 Potomac 0 – GAME ONE
• Sharp (L, 2-2) 6IP, 5H, R, ER, 2BB, 2K, 10-3 GO-FO
• Peterson 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Sundberg 2-3
• Noll 1-3

In the opener, Potomac could only muster four hits, even with two (2) MLB rehabs while Frederick got the customary 1st-inning run and held on for a 1-0 win. Sterling Sharp paid dearly for the leadoff walk, as it led to the game’s only run, which scored on a sacrifice fly. Sharp rolled ten grounders and got three double plays over his six innings of work while giving up five hits, two walks, and striking out two. Tommy Peterson followed with a 1-2-3 seventh and two whiffs. Jake Sundberg singled twice, Jake Noll once, and Jayson Werth doubled to compose the P-Nats hit column.

Potomac 5 Frederick 0 – GAME TWO
• Rodriguez 4IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Rivera (W, 1-2) 3IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 1K, HBP
• Masters 1-3, 2B, 3RBI
• Johnson 1-2, R, BB, RBI

Potomac capitalized on Frederick’s sole error and four walks to score five times in the 5th for a 5-0 shutout to split the doubleheader. Jefry Rodriguez dominated for four innings with just one hit allowed, no walks, and four strikeouts. Mariano Rivera III came on to finish up and careered through the final three innings (two hits, two walks, and a hit batsman) to earn the win, his first of the season. The P-Nats drew five walks total and managed five hits, with David Masters’s three-run double the killshot that put the game away. Roster moves: OF Jayson Werth, SS Trea Turner assigned from Syracuse for MLB rehab; LHP Taylor Guilbeau placed on the 7-Day DL; RHP Steven Fuentes reassigned from Hagerstown.

West Virginia 5 Hagerstown 4 (10 inn.)
• B. Hill 6IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 5K, 2HR
• Bogucki 3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 6K
• Morse (L, 0-3) 1BF, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 0K, HR
• Banks 3-5, R, 2-2B, RBI
• La Bruna 2-4, BB
• 1-14 RISP, 14 LOB

After rallying for two in the 9th to tie it at 4-4, the Suns were shocked by the Power with a leadoff, walkoff HR in the bottom of the 10th for a 5-4 win – Hagerstown’s tenth in its last 13 games. Taylor Brigham Hill gave up two homers, eight hits, four runs over six innings. A.J. Bogucki was perfect over three innings with six whiffs. Phil Morse gave up the game winner to the first and only batter he faced for his third loss. Nick Banks singled once, and doubled twice for his third three-hit game over the last seven while Angelo La Bruna walked once and singled twice to lead the Suns’ 14-hit parade. Roster moves: LHP Yonathan Ramirez, RHPs Gabe Klobosits, Alex Troop promoted from Auburn.

Auburn 4 Batavia 1
• Romero 4IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Smith (BS, 2; W, 3-3) 3IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 4K
• Shepard 2-3, R, 2RBI, SB
• Pryor 1-2, 2B, SF, BB, RBI

Auburn rallied for three in the 8th for the 4-1 sportswriter’s win over Batavia. Seth Romero threw four shutout innings with four hits, no walks, and four K’s for the no-decision. David Smith got the blown-save win with an unearned run let in on two hits over three innings and also struck out four. Jake Cousins struck out the side in the 9th to earn the save, his first. Chance Shepard went 2-for-3 with two RBI while Jonathan Pryor walked, doubled, and drove in a run with a sac fly to pace the Doubledays’ offense. Roster moves: LHP Gilberto Chu, RHP Angel Guillen reassigned from the GCL.

GCL Nationals – OFF DAY
The G-Nats’ magic number is down to six with nine games left to play. Today, they take on the last-place G-Mets while tomorrow they host the second-place G-Marlins.