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.


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.

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

Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 8.10.47 PM
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”

Home Run Derby Came a Day Early at Futures Game


By Michael Marzzacco

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The future of Major League Baseball was on display Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park to kick off All-Star week in our Nation’s Capital. The stars of tomorrow put on a show with a combined eight home runs in Team USA’s 10-6 win over the World in the Futures Game. It was USA’s second win in a row and their eighth in the last nine years.  Continue reading “Home Run Derby Came a Day Early at Futures Game”

Nats Minor League Notebook July 11-12


Photo: Potomac Nationals


By Michael Marzzacco

From staff and wire reports:

Syracuse (AAA International League):

Wednesday: All-Star break.

Thursday: The Syracuse Chiefs dropped the opening day of the four-game series to the Pawtucket Red Sox, 7-3, Thursday night at McCoy Stadium. Jose Marmolejos had two extra-base hits including a home run in the loss.

Pawtucket (42-46) started the scoring in the second. Sam Travis was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a single, to third on a groundout, and scored on a Phillips Valdez wild pitch for the game’s first run.

Syracuse (37-52) squared the game in the top the third. Jaff Decker doubled to start the inning, and stood on third after a groundout to the right side. Tuffy Gosewisch followed with a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Chiefs their first run.

The PawSox answered back with two runs in the third. Dan Butler walked and after a strikeout, Tony Renda hit a ground ball to third. Drew Ward made a short-hop pick, but his throw was wide allowed Butler to score and Renda to reach third on the error. Renda then scored on Mike Ohlman’s single to give the PawSox a 3-1 lead.

The Chiefs again closed the gap. Jose Marmolejos hit an opposite field home run to bring the score to 3-2.

The game held at 3-2 until the sixth. Mike Olt was hit by a pitch with two outs, and then the PawSox loaded the bases after Mike Miller singled and Butler walked. Tim Collins came in and threw a wild pitch that scored Olt from third.

In the seventh, Pawtucket pushed the lead to 5-2. Renda walked, moved to third on a single and scored on a fielder’s choice grounder to second to add to the total.

Syracuse grabbed a run back in the eighth. Marmolejos doubled to start the frame. After a one out single, Chris Dominguez hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring the score to 5-3.

Anuery Tavarez capped the scoring with a two-run home run off Chris Smith, the first runs allowed by Smith since May 29th.

The Chiefs and PawSox continue their series Friday night at 7:05 p.m. LHP Tommy Milone is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite LHP Drew Pomeranz on a Major League rehab assignment for the PawSox.

Harrisburg (AA Eastern):

Wednesday: All-Star break.

Thursday: The Harrisburg Senators defeated the Hartford Yard Goats 4-3 Thursday night at FNB Field. Zach Collier sealed the victory by robbing Forrest Wall of a home run in the top of the ninth for the final out of the game.

“That was a fun game,” Senators manager Matt LeCroy said. “I hope people at the park enjoyed it like we did.”

Wall opened the scoring in the second with a two-run home run off Senators starter Logan Darnell to put the Yard Goats up a pair.

That lead was short-lived as the Senators came back to take the lead in the bottom of the frame. Jake Noll and Alec Keller hit back-to-back doubles to start the inning to put the Senators on the board. One batter later, Osvaldo Abreu crushed a 1-1 pitch from Yard Goats starter Frank Duncan over the left field fence for his sixth home run of the season as the Senators took a 3-2 lead.

Abreu added to the lead by driving in his third run with an RBI single in the fourth to score Keller, who doubled to leadoff the frame.

Hartford cut the lead to one with a run in the fifth on a run-scoring groundout by Brandon Bednar.

Darnell (5-4) worked six innings of three-hit ball while limiting the Yard Goats to five hits and a walk. The left-hander has thrown three consecutive quality starts.

“(Darnell’s) throwing more balls over for strikes and he’s had a pretty mix (of pitches),” LeCroy said. “He did a nice job once we got the lead and kept us in it. Hopefully, he’ll continue to do what he’s doing and give us a chance.”

After Dakota Bacus and Roman Mendez tossed scoreless seventh and eighth innings, Ronald Pena came on to pitch the ninth. With the Yard Goats down to their final out, Forrest Wall hit a deep drive to right when Zach Collier leapt and reached over the fight field fence to rob Wall off a home run and seal the 4-3 victory.

“I got pretty excited,” LeCroy said. “That’s one of the top catches I’ve ever seen. He had to really get up to get to that ball and time it perfectly.”

Hartford starter Frank Duncan took the loss after surrendering four runs in four innings. Pena earned his second save of the season with a perfect ninth.

Abreu finished 2-for-3 with a home run, double and three RBI to lead the Senators offense.

“Hopefully this night boosts his confidence,” LeCroy said. “He’s working every day with (Senators hitting coach Brian Rupp). Hopefully, this will get him going”

The Senators and Yard Goats continue the series Friday night. Jaron Long gets the call for the Senators while Hartford counters with starter Evan Grills. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at FNB Field.

Potomac (High-A Carolina League):

Wednesday: A night after a dramatic come from behind ninth inning win, the Potomac Nationals (43-44, 6-14) scored twice in the middle innings, and clung on for a 2-1 victory over the Lynchburg Hillcats (41-46, 12-8). Lynchburg left the tying run at second base in the eighth inning, and the tying run at first base in the ninth frame.

In his Carolina League debut, RHP Kyle Johnston (W, 1-0) pitched six-shutout innings. Johnston allowed seven hits and struck out three. The right-handed starter induced three double plays in the start, as the Hillcats went 0-7 with RISP in the loss.

LHP Sam Hentges (L, 5-6) cruised through three innings for Lynchburg, as he struck out seven of the first 11 batters that he faced. Potomac then had five straight men reach base in the fourth inning, but failed to score, as DH Ian Sagdal was caught stealing at second base, and LF Nick Basto was thrown out at the plate on a bases loaded groundout.

In the fifth inning, Potomac finally got to Hentges, as SS Edwin Lora led off with a double, while a bunt single from 2B Bryan Mejia put men on the corners with no outs. Lora scored on a double play groundout from CF Jack Sundberg . Sagdal followed with a single, but he was later thrown out at the plate on a two-out double from Basto.

An inning later, the P-Nats made it 2-0, as 1B Aldrem Corredor led off the frame with a walk against Hentges. The left-handed starter quickly retired the next two hitters, as Corredor moved to second base. With two outs, C Jakson Reetz provided the eventual game-winning hit with an RBI single past 2B Jorma Rodriguez. Hentges departed for RHP Jared Robinson, who combined with LHP Ben Krauth for 3.1 innings of shutout relief for the Hillcats.

After six frames from Johnston, the P-Nats got a scoreless seventh inning from RHP A.J. Bogucki. In the eighth inning, RHP Jorge Pantoja gave up a one-out single to LF Conner Capel, who eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from RF Trenton Brooks. A single from CF Jodd Carter pushed the potential tying run to second base, but Pantoja struck out DH Dillon Persinger, which ended the frame. In the ninth inning, RHP James Bourque (SV, 5) allowed a one-out single to Rodriguez, but picked up two strikeouts and a groundout, as he notched a save for the second straight game.

Thursday: Behind a three-run double from 3B Ian Sagdal and a two-run home run from LF Nick Basto, the Potomac Nationals (44-44, 7-14) picked up a 6-3 victory on Thursday night over the Lynchburg Hillcats (41-47, 12-9). After Potomac dropped the series opener on Monday night, the P-Nats won three straight and took the series from Lynchburg.

The series finale got off to a rocky start, as RHP Joan Baez (W, 4-8) looked like he may not get out of the first inning. Baez opened his outing with a walk and single, and after two quick outs, loaded the bases on his second walk of the inning. DH Jodd Carter followed with a two-run single, but Baez struck out 1B Emmanuel Tapia to end the frame. Baez threw more than 30 pitches in the first frame, as Potomac trailed 2-0 after just one inning.

The P-Nats went quietly in the first two innings against LHP Tanner Tully (L, 3-9), who faced one over the minimum through the first 2.1 innings. In his sixth consecutive quality start, Tully surrendered four runs, three earned, over six frames. The left-handed starter has just one win over the six straight quality start span.

Potomac finally cracked the Lynchburg starter in the third inning, as Tully loaded the bases with one out on a walk and two singles. With the bases full, Sagdal plated three runs with a double into the left-centerfield alley, which gave Potomac the lead. Tully got DH Aldrem Corredor to ground into an inning-ending double play, which kept the Potomac lead at just 3-2.

Already ahead 3-2, Potomac plated what ended up as the game-winning run with a two-out rally in the top of the fourth inning. After two quick outs, 1B David Masters reached on a throwing error by 3B Alexis Pantoja. 2B Bryan Mejia followed with a single, while SS Luis Garcia made it 4-2 Potomac with an RBI single.

Baez continued into the sixth inning, as C Li-Jen Chu led off with a single. CF Conner Capel followed with an RBI triple, which made it a one-run game and put the tying run at third base with no outs. Baez got Carter to pop out, while Potomac then went to the bullpen and brought in RHP Jeremy McKinney. The right-handed reliever walked Tapia, retired 2B Jorma Rodriguez on a failed safety squeeze bunt attempt, and got Pantoja to ground out to end the inning. The Hillcats went just 1-9 with RISP in the loss.

After the Hillcats got two scoreless frames from LHP Billy Strode, they turned to RHP James Karinchak for the ninth inning. Entering the game, Karinchak had allowed just one earned run in his first 19 outings of the season. Sagdal led off with a single, and after C Tres Barrera fouled out to right field, Basto connected on his first home run with Potomac. The two-run blast made it 6-3 Potomac, the eventual final.

In the home half of the ninth inning, LHP Hayden Howard (SV, 1) allowed a one-out single to Rodriguez and two-out single to SS Ernie Clement, but the Potomac left-handed reliever got LF Mitch Longo to foul out to Barrera to end the game.

The series win ended a brief one-city road trip for the P-Nats, as Potomac is set to return to Northwest Federal Field for a four-game series with the Frederick Keys, which will get underway on Friday.

First pitch at Northwest Federal 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.