The Senators welcome the Richmond Flying Squirrels to FNB field to start a six game homestand beginning Tuesday night. The Senators are coming off a 4-3 road trip while Richmond has lost six of its last eight matchups. This is the final series between the Senators and Flying Squirrels this season and the Senators have a 9-8 edge in the season series.
The Senators have the second best batting average in the Eastern League during the month of August at .296. In the past 13 nine-inning games the Senators have played, the club has knocked double-digit hits in nine of those games. The team is averaging 10.6 hits per game over the past 13 nine-inning games.
TONIGHT’S STARTING PITCHERS
Taylor Hill starts the homestand opener for the Senators. The right-hander is 4-4 with a 6.08 ERA across 13 games and 12 starts with the Senators. Hill allowed seven runs on eight hits across four and a third innings in his last start against Bowie on August 9. For more information on Hill, please visit the starting pitcher page on page two of the game notes.
Richmond sends starter Tyler Herb to the mound opposite Hill. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.95 ERA across six starts with the Squirrels this year after he was acquired by the Giants the Mariners on July 8. Herb was born in Wiconisco, PA which is 24 miles from Harrisburg and went to Williams Valley High School in Williamstown.
The Senators and Yard Goats wrap up the season series between the two Sunday afternoon at Dunkin Donuts Park. The Senators try for the series win after they swept Saturday’s doubleheader, winning 4-2 and 3-0 in games one and two respectively. The Senators are 8-5 against the Yard Goats this season.
With his eighth inning go-ahead home run in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, Raudy Read became the first Senators player this season to homer twice in a game. Read is the first Senators player to hit multiple home runs in a game since Wilmer Difo on June 8, 2016, who also hit a pair against Hartford.
HOME RUN HAPPY
The Senators have hit 12 home runs on the road trip after knocking four in both games of the twin bill. The Senators now have hit 17 home runs in August, which is tied for the most in the Eastern League. The club has slugged at least one home run in 13 of its past 15 games.
Austin Voth gets the call in the road trip finale for the Senators. The right-hander is 3-1 3.71 ERA with the Senators this season. Voth worked seven innings of two run ball in his last start against Bowie on August 8, his longest start as a Senator this season. For more information on Voth, please go to the starting pitcher page on page two.
Parker French takes the bump for the Yard Goats. The right-hander is 7-11 with a 6.54 ERA across 22 starts this season. French has allowed six runs or more in four of his last five starts, including allowing seven runs in six and two thirds innings against Trenton in his previous start on August 8.
The Senators travel to Hartford, Connecticut for a four game series against the Yard Goats. The Senators dropped the series opener 3-1 after finishing 2-13 with runners in scoring position. Saturday’s twin bill is part of a makeup for the clubs’ scheduled April 19 game that was rained out. The Senators are 3-11 in doubleheader matchups this year and have lost their last five twin bill games. The Senators are 6-4 against the Yard Goats this season.
OH MY GOSH GAMACHE
In games played in the Eastern League since Dan Gamache was added to the Senators roster on July 13, the 26-year-old is fifth in the league with a .356 batting average. Gamache has recorded a hit in 19 of the 26 games he’s played in with the Senators.
Wirkin Estevez starts game one for the Senators. The right-hander is 7-4 with a 4.07 ERA across nine starts this season. For more information Estevez please visit the starting pitcher page on page two. Brady Dragmire gets the start in game two of the twin bill. For more information on Dragmire, please go to bullpen page on page three.
The Yard Goats counter with starter Ryan Castellani in game one of the twin bill. The 21-year-old is the sixth ranked prospect in the Rockies organization per MLB.com. Castellani is 8-11 with a 5.41 ERA across 22 starts this season. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 4.80 ERA over his first three starts against the Senators in 2017.
The Senators travel to Hartford, Connecticut for a four game series against the Yard Goats. The Senators are coming off their second consecutive road series win as they took two out of the three from Bowie while Hartford captured two out of three from Trenton on the prior series. This is the first meeting between the two clubs since they met at FNB Field May 4-7. The Senators are 6-4 against the Yard Goats this season.
HOME RUN HAPPY
The Senators hit eight home runs in the three game set against Bowie, including tying a season-high with three home runs in both game one and three of the series. At one point from the ninth inning on Tuesday night to the fourth inning on Thursday afternoon, the Senators last five hits were all home runs.
BOTH SIDES OF THE COIN
The Senators’ 12-2 victory in the series opener against Bowie on Tuesday night was their largest margin of victory of the season. In contrast, the 14-2 loss they suffered in the next game on Wednesday was their largest losing margin of the year.
Matthew Crownover starts the series opener in Hartford for the Senators. The left-hander is 1-5 with a 4.59 ERA in 12 starts with the Senators this season. Crownover has thrown a quality start in three of his past four starts, including tossing six innings of two run ball against Binghamton in his last start. For more information on Crownover, please visit page two of the game notes.
The Yard Goats counter with starter Nick Additon. The left-hander is making his Rockies organization debut after he was signed by the club just prior to Friday night’s game. Additon previously pitched in the Korean Baseball Organization, where he went 2-7 with a 5.91 ERA in 15 games and 13 starts.
The Senators and Baysox play the rubber match of the three game series Thursday morning at Prince George’s Stadium. After winning the series opener 14-4, the Senators fell in game two 14-2 after Bowie knocked five home runs. Both teams have lost five of their past seven games played. The Senators play their final morning game of the season, as they are 1-3 in games started before noon this season. The Senators are 5-6 against the Baysox this season as the two clubs wrap up the season series.
The Senators tied their season high in a nine-inning game by scoring 14 runs Tuesday night against Bowie. Over the past nine games, the Senators are averaging 6.3 runs per game, and have recorded double-digit hits in five of the nine contests.
MICHAEL A. TAYLOR REHAB
Michael A. Taylor was added to the Senators roster prior to Tuesday’s game on an MLB rehab assignment. The Nationals placed Taylor on the 10-day disabled list on July 7 with a right oblique strain. The 26-year-old joined Potomac on a rehab assignment on July 31 before joining the Senators. Taylor is 4-29 (.138) with a home run during the eight games on rehab.
Greg Ross starts the series finale for the Senators. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 6.43 ERA across five starts with the Senators this season. Ross allowed three runs in six innings in his last start against Binghamton on August 4, which was completed after the sixth inning due to rain. More for more information on Ross, please go to page two.
The Baysox counter with starter Jesus Liranzo. The right-hander 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA across 26 games and 10 starts this season. Liranzo is the 22nd ranked prospect in the Orioles organization according to MLB.com. The 22-year-old has allowed two runs over four appearances and five innings against the Senators this season.
This content was originally found in Issue No. 19 of this year’s Senators Program
— Brandon Phillips (@DatDudeBP) August 6, 2017
The Wit and Wisdom of Brandon Phillips
“I’ll take a three-run homer over a walk.”
“You need haters in your life. If you don’t have haters in your life, you’re not doing anything.”
“Yes, I’m flashy. I just feel like it makes me have fun if I put a little flair to it. Do I feel like I’m arrogant? No. Do I feel like I’m confident? Hell yes, I do. I feel like I’m the best all-around second baseman in
baseball. If you don’t think you’re the best, why go out and play this game?”
“What I love is people are starting to recognize defense now. If you just hit home runs, you’re a one-dimensional player. So if you don’t hit a home run, then you didn’t do your job. But if you can play defense and do a decent job swinging the bat? Then you’re one of the best players in the game.”
“It’s about me being confident and believing in myself. You have to believe in yourself to play this game, because this game will kill you.”
“The only thing I can do is go out and play the game the way I do. I do it with flair because baseball is a boring game.”
“If I was to go out there and be selfish, my stats would be totally different than what they are. But my goal is to get a ring on my finger. I’ve got the Silver Slugger, got the All-Stars, got the Gold Gloves. The only thing I’m missing is a ring. I got it in the Minor Leagues, had it in high school. Would I like an MVP? Yeah that would be nice. But what I really want is a ring.”
“If I could say one word to describe me, it’s ‘misunderstood’.”
Accolades and Achievements
- Over two partial seasons and 127 games in Harrisburg, Phillips hit .312 with 16 home runs, 32 doubles, 71 RBIs, and 19 stolen bases
- In 2001, Phillips was the first teenager to play for the Senators since Ugueth Urbina had previously done so in 1993
- Was a three-sport star at Redan High School and originally considered attending the University of Georgia to play both baseball and football
- Traded with Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, and Lee Stevens for a two-month rental of Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew in one of the worst trades in baseball history
- Clubbed 30 home runs for Cincinnati in 2007 breaking the franchise’s single season record by a second baseman set by Hall of Famer Joe Morgan
- One of only three second baseman in the history of baseball to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season
- A human highlight reel on defense, Phillips has claimed the National League Gold Glove four times so far in his career
- Holds the Reds’ club record for most consecutive errorless games with 107
- One of the most popular MLB players (@DatDudeBP) on Twitter with over 1.1 million followers
- Comes from a family of athletes as his older brother Jamil played for the Texas Rangers’ organization, his younger sister Porsha played for the San Antonio Silver Stars of the WNBA, and his younger brother P.J. played in the Los Angeles Angels organization
- He is an avid bowler with at least three perfect games to his credit
Revisiting the “Trade of the Decade”
With reports swirling that the Montreal Expos would be eliminated through contraction after the 2002 season, Expos’ GM Omar Minaya made a bold decision to push all of his chips to the center of the table
to get Montreal in the playoffs for the first time since 1981. He wanted an ace for his staff and was willing to empty the farm system to do it.
The Expos trailed the Braves by 6.5 games in the National League East and found themselves five games behind the Wild Card-leading Diamondbacks when Minaya dealt away Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee, Grady
Sizemore, and Lee Stevens to the Cleveland Indians for Bartolo Colon and minor league pitcher Tim Drew on June 27, 2002.
Colon pitched well for Montreal down the stretch — tallying a 3.31 ERA and 74 strikeouts over 117 innings. But unfortunately the rest of the roster faltered in the second half and the Expos were distantly
behind Atlanta in the Division and the Giants for the Wild Card. One piece of good news was that baseball agreed to not contract any teams through 2006 as part of a new labor deal that it forged with
the players’ union.
By then, the Expos’ best young talent was in Cleveland.
“When we did that deal, Brandon clearly was the marquee player,” Indians’ then GM Mark Shapiro recalled to Ken Rosenthal. “Cliff Lee, we felt, would be a very good major-league pitcher, but we had no idea he’d win a Cy Young. Grady was the upside guy.”
The Binghamton Rumble Ponies completed a three-game sweep against the Harrisburg Senators with a 8-6 victory. Both teams combined for 28 hits in the game.
Facing Harrisburg starter Wirkin Estevez, the Rumble Ponies brought the lumber in the Sunday getaway day contest. Binghamton scored in four of the five innings Estevez pitched as the 25-year-old right-hander allowed six runs on seven hits and three walks.
Harrisburg though had just as much success off Robert Gsellman, pitching for the Ponies in his third Major League rehab start. The Senators plated three runs in the first and third inning to take a brief 6-5 lead and chase Gsellman from the game. Yadiel Hernandez stayed hot with a double and walk in both innings to drive in three runs. Jose Marmolejos and Jake Lowery each plated a run with an RBI groundout and double respectively.
Binghamton broke the 6-6 tie in the top of the sixth inning off Senators’ reliever Dakota Bacus. A walk, single, and fly out that advanced the lead run to third base set the stage for Kevin Kaczmarski who delivered a single through the box to put the Rumble Ponies up for good. Binghamton added an insurance run in the ninth off Andrew Robinson as Gustavo Nunez hit a solo home run.
The Senators threatened in the ninth as Dan Gamache and Drew Ward led off the frame with back-to-back singles. After a sacrifice bunt from Hernandez pushed both tying runs up into scoring position, Harrisburg couldn’t come up with the big hit as Khayyan Norfork struck out and Lowery flew out to end the game.
Hernandez went 2-for-2 with two walks to raise his batting average to .281 on the season. The 29-year-old outfielder has been on an impressive tear since July 1 as he is slashing .347/.426/.526 in 30 games with 17 runs driven in.
Gamache reached base all five plate appearances as the first baseman went 2-for-2 with three walks …Ward registered his sixth multi-hit game in his last 10 played… Braulio Lara and Brady Dragmire each threw a scoreless inning of relief.
The Senators and Binghamton Rumble Ponies meet for the final time during the 2017 regular season on Sunday afternoon. The Senators look to salvage a game in the three game series after dropping the first two games. The Rumble Ponies are 4.5 games ahead of Reading for the final playoff spot in the Eastern League Eastern Division, and have won nine of their previous 11 games. The Senators are 5-8 against Binghamton this season.
AIN’T IT GRAND
Drew Ward knocked in all four runs for the Senators in game two of the series with his sixth inning grand slam, the first of his career. Overall the home run was the Senators’ third grand slam this season and first since Jose Marmolejos’ go-ahead blast in the ninth inning against Erie on May 22.
Wirkin Estevez starts the series finale for the Senators. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.77 ERA across eight starts with the Senators this season. Estevez worked eight shutout innings in his last start against Binghamton on July 21, his longest start of his career. The 25-year-old has worked at least five innings in every start this season since his first start with Potomac on April 11th.
Binghamton counters with starter Robert Gsellman. The right-hander is making his third rehab start with the Rumble Ponies after he was placed on the disabled list by the Mets on June 28 with a strained hamstring. Gsellman is 5-5 with a 6.16 ERA with the Mets across 17 games and 14 starts this season.
The Binghamton Rumble Ponies scored five runs in the seventh inning to overcome the Harrisburg Senators, 7-4, on Saturday night at FNB Field.
“That’s been our season,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “We get hits but we can’t hold it or we pitch well and can’t get the hits.”
Held scoreless through the first five innings by Binghamton starter Marcos Molina, the Senators finally broke through to take the lead. Three singles from Victor Robles, Jose Marmolejos, and Raudy Read loaded the bases as Harrisburg moved station-to-station to bring up Drew Ward. The third baseman delivered his first grand slam in his professional career, a towering shot that cleared the right field boardwalk, to give the Senators a 4-2 advantage.
The lead, however, was short lived as about 10 minutes later the Rumble Ponies rallied off Senators’ reliever Tim Collins for the deciding runs. Two walks, a single, and a double knotted the score up at four, but the big blow came when Luis Guillorme connected for a three-run opposite field home run, his first long ball of the season. Marmolejos got a glove on the homer as he leapt but couldn’t quite bring it back over the wall.
Harrisburg starter Matthew Crownover gave the Senators a chance as the southpaw allowed only two runs on six hits in six innings of work. Other than the top of the third when the Ponies plated two, Crownover faced only one batter over the minimum in every other inning.
“He finds a way,” LeCroy said. “He’s still a little up and they hit some balls good off of him. I can’t argue with him giving us a chance to win.”
Ward registered his fifth multi-hit game in his last nine games and has raised his average 15 points during the stretch.
“He’s worked hard,” LeCroy said. “He’s just trying to find that good hitting position that gets him on the ball a little bit more. Obviously if you look at the numbers, he swings and misses way too much. It’s looking a lot shorter but he still has a ways to go. Hopefully he can finish up strong here down the stretch.”
Robles, Ward, and Yadiel Hernandez were the only batters to reach base twice…Collins, who is making his way back from Tommy John surgery, became the shortest pitcher (at 5’7”) to play for the Senators in the modern era… Kyle Schepel and Ryan Brinley each worked an inning of scoreless relief.
The Senators welcome the Binghamton Rumble Ponies to FNB Field for the final series between the two clubs during the 2017 regular season. The Senators lost the series opener 3-2 in a rain shortened six inning game, the second consecutive game the Senators have played that was completed in six innings or less. The Rumble Ponies are 5.0 games ahead of Reading for the final playoff spot in the Eastern League Eastern Division, and have won eight of their previous ten games. The Senators are 5-7 against Binghamton this season.
The Senators have completed two games in a row that finished in six innings or less after each game was shortened due to rain. Prior to these last two games, the Senators had not played an official game in six innings or less since July 7, 2013 at Bowie in game two of a doubleheader.
Matthew Crownover takes the bump for the Senators in game two of the series. The left-hander is 1-5 with a 4.74 ERA across 11 starts with the Senators this season. Crownover has made two starts against the Ponies this season, including tossing six shutout innings against the club in game one of a doubleheader on July 2. Crownover earned his first double-A win in his last start against Portland on July 30.
Binghamton counters with starter Marcus Molina. The right-hander is 0-5 with a 3.98 ERA across seven games and six starts this season. Molina is making his first start of his career against the Senators. The 22-year-old has allowed just two runs over 12 innings and two starts since being activated from disabled list on July