Nationals Minor League Report: July 20

Falu Line Up Shot
Irving Falu had another hit Friday night for the Chiefs (Danny Tripodi)

By Michael Marzzacco

From staff and wire reports:

Syracuse (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Louisville Bats, 5-0, on Friday night at NBT Bank Stadium in front of a crowd of 5,686. Matt Reynolds had two hits for Syracuse and Alejandro De Aza walked three times in the game for the Chiefs.

Louisville (39-55) scored four runs in the top of the first inning off Syracuse starting pitcher Jefry Rodriguez. Mason Williams walked, Rodriguez hit Blake Trahan with a pitch, and Brandon Dixon singled to load the bases. After Rodriguez struck out Gabriel Guerrero, Hernan Iribarren walked with the bases loaded, scoring Williams for a 1-0 Bats lead. After Stuart Turner struck out, Josh VanMeter doubled to right-field to clear the bases as Trahan, Dixon, and Iribarren all scored to give Louisville a 4-0 advantage.

The Bats extended their lead in the fourth. Turner singled and moved to third base on a VanMeter single. C.J. McElroy then grounded into a fielder’s choice where VanMeter was out at second, but McElroy was safe at first, and Turner scored to make it a 5-0 ballgame.

Syracuse (40-57) was shut down on offense by Louisville starting pitcher Justin Nicolino. The left-hander threw seven scoreless innings while allowing just four hits.

Chiefs relievers Koda Glover, Trevor Gott, Jimmy Cordero, and Josh Edwin each pitched one scoreless innings, combining to allow just one hit while striking out six batters without walking anyone.

Syracuse and Louisville meet again on Saturday night. RHP Brady Dragmire will start for the Chiefs opposite RHP Jose Lopez for the Bats. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

Harrisburg (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators blew out the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 12-1 Friday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. The Senators hit a season-high four home runs in the win.

Alec Keller started the scoring in the second by driving in Jake Noll with an RBI single to put the Senators ahead 1-0.

The Senators broke the game open with five runs in the third. With one out, the Senators hit four consecutive single including back-to-back run-scoring hits from Dan Gamache and Raudy Read. With two runners on base and two outs, Noll crushed a three-run home run to left, his second with the Senators, to double the advantage to 6-0.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. plated New Hampshire’s only run in the third with an RBI single to center.

The Senators got that run back quickly, when Osvaldo Abreu and Hunter Jones hit back-to-back doubles to start the fourth to make it 7-1 Senators.

Abreu and Read hit solo home runs in the sixth and seventh respectively to expand the lead to 9-1.

After an Abreu RBI double drove in another run in the eighth, Zach Collier capped the scoring in the ninth with a two-run home run to right as the club took a 12-1 advantage.

Senators starting pitcher Sterling Sharp (1-2) tossed seven innings of one run ball, limiting the Fisher Cats to three hits and two walks while striking out six. The right-hander retired the final 13 batters he faced.

New Hampshire starter Jon Harris (7-4) surrendered six runs on nine hits in just three innings of work.

Read, Keller and Abreu each finished with three hits and seven of the nine Senators position players had multiple hits. Four players knocked multiple RBI led by Noll who drove in three, all on the home run. Harrisburg scored at least one run in every innings except with first and fifth.

The Senators and Fisher Cats play game three of their series Saturday night. Kyle McGowin takes the bump for the Senators against New Hampshire starter Jordan Romano. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. The game can be heard on CBS Sports Harrisburg 96.5 & 95.3 FM and 1400 AM or at beginning at 6:50 p.m.

Potomac (High-A Carolina League): Inclement weather has postponed the series finale between the Potomac Nationals (48-46, 11-16) and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (46-51, 12-15) at Field.

As the P-Nats are not set to return to Myrtle Beach, SC for the remainder of the 2018 regular season, the teams will make up the game as part of a doubleheader at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, VA on Saturday, August 4th. The doubleheader will feature two seven-inning games, and first pitch of game one is set for 5:30pm.

Gates will open for the 8/4 doubleheader at the regularly scheduled time of 5:00pm. 8/4 is The Sandlot 25th Anniversary Night, which will feature an appearance from Chauncey Leopardi, The Sandlot specialty theme jerseys, and a Chauncey Leopardi bobblehead for the first 1,250 fans. All regular bobblehead policies will remain the same for the doubleheader.


Series Preview: Nats Open Second Half with Three HUGE Games Against Braves


By Michael Marzzacco

The Washington Nationals enter the second half of the season with a surprising .500 record at 48-48, in third place in the National League East and trailing the first-place Phillies by 5.5 games. Right behind Philadelphia in the standings is the Atlanta Braves, who are just a half game behind them. The Braves head to Nationals Park after the city just hosted the MLB All-Star Game and the festivities that surround it and this might very well be the most important series the Nats face this season.  Continue reading “Series Preview: Nats Open Second Half with Three HUGE Games Against Braves”

Nationals Minor League Report: July 19

Pedro Severino and the Chiefs celebrated Christmas in July with special uniforms Thursday night (Danny Tripodi)

By Michael Marzzacco

From staff and wire reports:

Syracuse (AAA International League): The Chiefs dropped the series opener to the Louisville Bats, 11-1, on Thursday night at NBT Bank Stadium in front of a crowd of 6,448. Syracuse had nine hits but left ten runners on base. Irving Falu and José Marmolejos led the way on offense with two hits each for the Chiefs. The Bats scored nine of their first ten runs in the game with two outs.

Louisville (38-55) wasted no time getting the scoring started off of Syracuse starting pitcher Austin Voth. Mason Williams led off with a triple on the first pitch of the game. Blake Trahan followed with a single to left field that scored Williams for a 1-0 Bats lead. Three batters later, D.J. Peterson walked. Josh VanMeter then tripled on a 2-2 pitch, bringing home Trahan and Peterson to give Louisville a 3-0 edge.

The Bats added to their lead in the second. With two outs, Williams and Trahan each singled, placing runners at first and third base. Brandon Dixon followed with a single that allowed Williams to come home to make it a 4-0 ballgame. Next, Gabriel Guerrero hit a ball to right field that was misplayed for a three-base error on Jose Marmolejos that allowed both Trahan and Dixon to score, extending the Bats advantage to 6-0.

Louisville scored again in the third. VanMeter and Chadwick Tromp both singled to put runners on first and second. Two batters later, Cody Reed dropped a sacrifice bunt to move VanMeter to third and Tromp to second. Williams then picked up his third hit of the day with a two-run single that gave the Bats an 8-0 lead. Louisville extended the lead to nine with a Trahan double that scored Williams, and then Dixon singled home Trahan for a 10-0 margin.

The Bats scored their final run in the eighth. With one out and Trahan at third, Guerrero hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Trahan and make it an 11-0 game.

Syracuse (40-56) scored its lone run in the bottom of the eighth against Louisville reliever Brandon Finnegan. Falu singled, Marmolejos singled, and Matt Reynolds walked to load the bases. Two batters later, Yadiel Hernandez worked a bases-loaded walk to score Falu and trim the Louisville lead to 11-1.

The Chiefs and Bats continue their four-game series with the second game on Friday night. RHP Jefry Rodriguez will make the start for Syracuse while LHP Justin Nicolino will be on the mound for Louisville. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

Harrisburg (AA Eastern League): The New Hampshire Fisher Cats defeated the Harrisburg Senators 6-3 Thursday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. The Senators led 3-0 early but New Hampshire tied the game in the sixth before taking the lead with three runs in the seventh en route to the win.

The Senators struck for three runs in the third to open the scoring. With Alec Keller at third on a leadoff double and Zach Collier at first on a single, Osvaldo Abreu hit a groundball to first that was misplayed by Fisher Cats first baseman Cavan Biggio which allowed Keller to score the game’s first run. Later in the frame, Hunter Jones and Dan Gamache added a pair of RBI singles to give the Senators a 3-0 lead.

Fisher Cat starting pitcher T.J. Zeuch (7-3) allowed those three runs on seven hits in his six frames.

New Hampshire chipped into the lead in the third when Bo Bichette hit a run-scoring ground out to plate Andrew Guillote, who singled to start the inning.

The Senators remained in front 3-1 until the FisherCats tied the game in the sixth. After Bichette led off the inning with a double, Santiago Espinal hit a groundball to third and Senators third baseman Jake Noll threw the ball first baseman Dan Gamache, which allowed a run to score and Espinal to reach second. Two batters later, Biggio hit a sacrifice fly to right to tie the game 3-3.

The Fisher Cats took the lead the next inning. With one out, Eduard Pinto singled, stole second and reached third on a wild pitch. The next batter, Guillote, singled to center to put New Hampshire in front for the first time in the game. Following another single to put a pair of runners on, Bichette doubled into left-center field which drove home a pair and expanded the New Hampshire lead to 6-3.

Andrew Case pitched a scoreless ninth to cement the 6-3 win and collect his seventh save.

Senators starter Tyler Mapes (1-2) allowed five runs, four earned, on five hits while striking out five and walking one in six and a third frames.

Alec Keller paced the Senators with three hits, including a double.

The Senators and Fisher Cats continue the series Friday night. Sterling Sharp takes the hill for the Senators while New Hampshire counters with starter Jon Harris. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. The game can be heard on CBS Sports Harrisburg 96.5 & 95.3 FM and 1400 AM or at beginning at 6:50 p.m.

Potomac (High-A Carolina League): For the second day in a row, the Potomac Nationals (11-16, 48-46) put runs on the board in the top of the first inning en route to victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (12-15, 46-51). The P-Nats had double digit hits for the fifth consecutive game, scoring their six runs on 10 hits.

After a two-run top of the first on Wednesday night, Potomac’s offense doubled that total on Thursday, scoring four runs in the opening frame against Myrtle Beach starter Rollie Lacy (L, 1-1).

2B Bryan Mejia  started things off with a base hit for the second consecutive game, a double down the right field line. Potomac’s leadoff batter advanced to third on a groundout and scored the game’s opening run on a single from DH Ian Sagdal1B Aldrem Corredor followed with a single of his own, setting the stage for RF Rhett Wiseman. In a 1-1 count, Wiseman launched his team-high 19th home run of the season, the second most in the Carolina League.

In a 4-0 game, Sagdal extended the lead to five with a solo home run (3) off of Lacy in the top of the second inning. Sagdal finished the game 2-4 with two runs scored and two runs driven in, his 25th multi-hit performance of the year.

The Red, White, & Blue added one more insurance run in the top of the fifth. With Wiseman on third, 3B David Masters  tapped a ground ball to third, but 3B Wladimir Galindo‘s throw was late. The RBI infield single for Masters gave Potomac a 6-1 lead at the time.

All of this offense came in support of RHP Joan Baez (W, 5-8). Baez worked in and out of trouble for the first three innings before the Pelicans scored on an error in the bottom of the fourth. The right-hander answered with a scoreless fifth inning before his night ended in the sixth. In total, Baez spanned 5.1 innings, giving up three runs and striking out four.

Myrtle Beach scored two runs off of Baez in the bottom of the sixth before LHP Hayden Howard came into the game. With a runner in scoring position, the first man out of Potomac’s bullpen retired the final two outs of the inning, ending the Pelicans’ threat without any further damage.

Howard worked the seventh inning in scoreless fashion, setting up RHP Jeremy McKinney (SV, 2) for the final two innings. Myrtle Beach’s offense was no match for McKinney, as the right hander struck out three batters over two innings without allowing a run. McKinney’s second save as a P-Nat secured the 6-3 win and a series victory for Potomac.

The P-Nats go for a series sweep over the Pelicans on Friday night with RHP Wil Crowe  (9-0, 2.43) on the mound. Crowe is making his second start since coming off the disabled list, his first start of the season against Myrtle Beach. Potomac will face RHP Cory Abbott (2-4, 4.34). Abbott makes his first start of the season against Potomac.

First pitch at Field on Friday is set for 7:05pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:50pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at, at, or on the TuneIn Radio App.

All Star Game Proves to be a Memorable Night in D.C.

All Star Game Proves to be a Memorable Night in D.C.
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Photos: @MLB

By Michael Marzzacco

Washington, D.C. and Nationals Park was the center of the baseball universe on Tuesday night. The ballpark nestled on half and South Capitol Street, with the historical backdrop of the Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol Building seen from the outfield and the press box served to be a great setting of another memorable All-Star Game. This annual midsummer classic saw the American League prevail in extra innings over the National League by a final of 8-6 in 10 innings. This high explosive offensive game featured a combined 10 home runs, a ASG record.  Continue reading “All Star Game Proves to be a Memorable Night in D.C.”

Nationals Minor League Report July 17-18: Ryan Zimmerman Plays Two Games with AA Harrisburg

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Photo credit: Mick Reinhard @Mayflies

By Michael Marzzacco

Ryan Zimmerman continued his rehab assignment on Tuesday and Wednesday with AA Harrisburg. Find out how he did. Continue reading “Nationals Minor League Report July 17-18: Ryan Zimmerman Plays Two Games with AA Harrisburg”

Nats Minor League Report July 14-16: Koda Glover, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman Do Rehab Assignments with Potomac

Nats Minor League Report July 14-16: Koda Glover, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman Do Rehab Assignments with Potomac

By Michael Marzzacco

While Washington D.C. was lit up for the All-Star Game festivities, including Bryce Harper taking home the Home Run Derby, some Nationals players were going through rehab assignments over in Woodbridge with High-A Potomac. Saturday saw Koda Glover make a relief appearance. Sunday saw Stephen Strasburg, who will return to the Nationals starting rotation this Friday to kick off a big series against the Atlanta Braves. Monday saw Ryan Zimmerman’s first action of the season.  Continue reading “Nats Minor League Report July 14-16: Koda Glover, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman Do Rehab Assignments with Potomac”

Bryce Harper Wins Home Run Derby in Epic Fashion at Nats Park

Photo: @ESPNStatsInfo

By Michael Marzzacco

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This night may very well have been five years in the making. The last time Bryce Harper took part in a Home Run Derby, he came up on the short end. He didn’t partake in another one until Tuesday night at Nationals Park. In fitting fashion in front of the hometown crowd, their hero delivered a moment Washington baseball fans would never forgetContinue reading “Bryce Harper Wins Home Run Derby in Epic Fashion at Nats Park”