Tom Milone continues to make his case for Minor League Pitcher of the Year in the Nats system. In a response to a question from Sue Dinem at minorleagueball.com yesterday Sickels wrote that Milone "is rather hittable, but the K/BB points to significant potential as a control artist." But Milone will continue to face an uphill battle with scouts at every level to prove that he is not just a AAA or AAAA pitcher. Tuesday night continued to make the case that he can silence the doubters. He pitched 6.1 strong innings and gave up three runs to earn his eleventh win of the season in a 6-3 Harrisburg win over Portland. Chris Marrero is breaking out of his slump and hit a home run while adding 2RBI. Jesus Valdez hit two doubles and delivered a clutch two out RBI. Since Bowie split a doubleheader tonight, Harrisburg now holds a half game lead over Bowie for second place in its division and a playoff spot.
Potomac, Syracuse, and Harrisburg gamers after the jump, along with links and key performances after the jump:
Potomac needed a stopper to stay in first place. Unfortunately, Trevor Holder wasn't up to the task. He gave up two home runs and all four earned runs in a 4-2 Potomac loss to Wilmington. Will Smith (who has been shuffling between levels as a 20 year old) managed a dominating eight shutout innings while striking out 12 P-Nats for Wilmington. Potomac lost first place and faces a crucial game tomorrow to regain first place over Wilmington.
Brian Bixler led the attack for Syracuse going 4-5 in a Chiefs 5-4 win over Lehigh Valley. Grizzy fav Michael Martinez hit his first HR for Syracuse and Danny Espinosa reached base safely three times and scored two runs.
Hagerstown played two seven inning games in a doubleheader. In the first game, Graham Hicks pitched 5.1 innings in no decision, striking out three while issuing no walks and only 5 hits. After a blown save by Ben Graham, the game went to extra innings and Kyle Morrison earned the win (3-5) in relief by itching two shutout innings in a Hagerstown 4-3 win over Phillies' affilliate Lakewood. Hagerstown won a walkoff solo homer by reserve Marcus Jones. In game 2, Paul Demny was a tough luck loser, giving up no earned runs and two runs overall in a 2-1 loss to the Blueclaws. Eury Perez reached base safely in both of his plate appearances, stole a base, and scored the Suns only run.
- Geoff Morrow's Harrisburg gamer focuses on how Milone was dominant after a rocky first inning. He also writes a feature that focuses on how Milone's approach has helped him be dominant. I'm reminded of why the scouts are down on Milone and his 85mph fastball, though.
- Sue Dinem at Nationalsprospects.com blames Potomac's overly aggressive approach as much as Will Smith's pitching for all the strikeouts in the P-Nats loss.
- Will he earn a September callup? Milb.com joins Campaign El Duque, summarizing his career accomplishments and contributions to Harrisburg's playoff run.
- Danny Espinosa, SS: 1-3, 2R, 2BB, K, throwing error (2nd at Syracuse)
- Wilson Ramos, C: 1-4, R, K, 2 stolen bases against, 1 caught stealing
- Fan Fav Michael Martinez, CF: 2-4, R, RBI, HR (1st at Syracuse)
- Matt Chico, LSP: 5IP, 8H, 3ER, 2BB, 4K
- Atahualpa Severino, LRP: 1IP, 0R, 0H, 0BB
- Fan Fav Josh Wilkie, RRP: (W, 4-3) 1.2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB (1 IBB), 2K, WP, E (pickoff)
- Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B: 0-5 The dreaded curse of the in-game "Down at the Farm" oh-fer.
- Chris Marrero, 1B: 2-3, R, 2RBI, HR, BB
- Michael Burgess, RF: 1-3, RBI, BB, K
- Tom Milone, LSP: (W, 11-5) 6.1IP, 4H, 3ER, BB, 7K, HR, 2 WP
- Chuck James, RRP: (H, 4) 1.2IP, 2H, 0BB, 2K Chuck James now has a .51 ERA with 39K and 6BB in 18 games and 35.1IP as a flyball reliever. That's AA domination. But what does it means for his chances to get in the DC mix for next year?
High A Potomac:
- Trevor Holder, RSP: (L, 4-5) 5IP, 5H, 4ER, 2BB, 5K, 2 run HR, solo HR, 2 WP
- Joe Testa, RRP: 3IP, 0R, 1H, 1K The lefty spare part in the Capps/Ramos deal is now 1-0 in 13.2IP for Potomac with a 2.63 ERA and a .241 avg against while having an 11/2 K/BB ratio.
- Derek Norris, DH: 1-4, RBI, 2B, 2K
- Tyler Moore, 1B: 0-4, 2K
Low A Hagerstown:
- Rick Hague, SS: Game 1 2-5, R, K, fielding error; Game 2 1-3, RBI, K, fielding error (14 in only 29G)
- Adrian Sanchez, 2B: Game 1 4-5, R; Game 2 0-3
- JP Ramirez: Game 1 DH 2-4, R, BB; Game 2 LF 2-3, 2B
- Destin Hood, RF: Game 1 2-4, RBI, K, SF
- Eury Perez, CF: Game 1 0-3, HBP; Game 2 1-3, R, SB, HBP (51st)
- Graham Hicks, LSP:Game 1 5.1IP, 5H, 0BB, 3K
- Josh Smoker, LRP: Game 1 1IP, 0R, 3BB, 2K
- Paul Demny, RSP: Game 2 6H, 2R, 0ER, 2BB, 4K