Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nats at Cardinals (ss) - 3/3/11

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, home of the St. Louis Cardinals.
There's no question how important this season is for Jordan Zimmermann, who after battling back from Tommy John surgery is fully healthy and poised to develop into the quality starting pitcher the Nationals felt they were getting before he got hurt.

Today, Zimmermann takes the mound for the first time this spring, facing a split-squad Cardinals lineup that still boasts some fearsome hitters (Albert Pujols chief among them). The right-hander has enjoyed a good camp so far; now we'll see how that translates into actual confrontations with opposing batters.

Plenty of regulars made the trip to Jupiter for today's game, including Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond, Ivan Rodriguez and Nyjer Morgan. Other pitchers scheduled to appear after Zimmermann include Garrett Mock, Shairon Martis, Todd Coffey, Doug Slaten and Adam Carr. Bryce Harper also was on the travel roster and is expected to come off the bench.

Since I'm back in D.C. now, there won't be mid-game updates. But please continue the discussion with each other, and if there's any significant news from Florida, I'll do my best to pass it along...

NATIONALS at CARDINALS (ss)
Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV/Radio: None
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 75 degrees, Wind 21 mph in from CF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
1B Michael Morse
LF Rick Ankiel
C Ivan Rodriguez
DH Wilson Ramos
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Alberto Gonzalez
(P Jordan Zimmermann)

CARDINALS
SS Ryan Theriot
CF Colby Rasmus
1B Albert Pujols
DH Lance Berkman
RF Mark Hamilton
C Yadier Molina
2B Skip Schumaker
3B Ramon Vazquez
LF Adron Chambers
(P Brandon Dickson)

56 comments:

Joe Seamhead said...

Interesting lineup, starting with Morse @ 1B, and followed by AG @3B and the Pudge/Ramos thing. I'm starting to seriously wonder if Nyjer is on borrowed time?

Sunderland said...

That's a good good chunk of the Cards projected regulars in their lineup.

NatsJack in Florida said...

The pressure has to be mounting on Nyjer. He better start positively against somebody named Brandon Dickson.

N. Cognito said...

Unless he has a great year, which I highly doubt, Morgan will be here, at most, until the end of this season.
The Nats brass believe he's better than what he was last year, but I believe they still look at him as a placeholder for a true CF and leadoff hitter.
One of these days (perhaps even before Opening Day), our Nyger nightmare will be over.

Steve M. said...

So they are missing Matt Holliday and the Nats are missing Ryan Zimmerman and LaRoche and the slugger Roger BERNadina.

Also, Nyjer Morgan gets to face a RH AAA pitcher so he better get some offense going.

N. Cognito said...

Guess who's back in the news.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=6177350

Jaxpo Nat said...

Pathetic:
Ex-MLB Star Accused Of Slapping Pregnant Ex.
Elijah Dukes Held Without Bond After Arrest.

NtasJack in Florida said...

Just yesterday at the game someone asked me what Dukes was up to and I stated, "Well, if he's not in jail, he's roaming the streets of Tampa/St. Pete fashioning himself as a gangsta rap star."

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

"Since I'm back in D.C. now, there won't be mid-game updates."
Mark, I hope you made arrangements for somebody to leave the pressbox. How are they going to score otherwise?

Steve M. said...

N. Congnito, this report fails to call him by his new name Fly Eli the successful rapper.

http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_tampa/former-ray-elijah-dukes-arrested-again

joemktg said...

"Since I'm back in D.C. now, there won't be mid-game updates."

Not going back?

natsfan1a said...

Well, technically, he *did* leave the press box, so the offensive onslaught should continue. :-)

---

Mark, I hope you made arrangements for somebody to leave the pressbox. How are they going to score otherwise?

Doc said...

The trick will be for Mark to come and go from the press box(es) in Florida during each game.

Too much travel; the Nats will have to score without his 'bat'. Guess they may not be scoring again until March 21st!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

True dat, 1a.
Now, who *is* at the game and can keep us up?

JD said...

The thing that jumped at me when I read the Dukes story is the phrase: 'pregnant girlfriend'. The tragedy in this whole story is that he keeps on procreating.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I actually have to work today, but I'm listening to the Cardinal feed on my computer.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Nyjer grounds weakly to short to start the game. And as I said to him on Tuesday, "at least your OB percentage didn't go down".

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

AK is live from Jupiter (tcntp), and Ben is Tweeting, in addition to the excellent feed from NatsJack. Thx!

CBinDC said...

Mark you deserve a medal for your work on Danjazzera between Sheehan trying to spit verbal acid at you and Loverros snark and bad jokes you still inform and enlighten thank you

Anonymous said...

Alberto singles (STL Radio "he came out of the box like he thought he had a double"), Nyjer bunts, Yadier throws it away. Bunt single, two base error, Alberto plated and Nyjer standing on 3B.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Nyjer Morgan finally lays down a bunt towards 3rd and Yadier Molina throws it down the RFline for an error. Alberto Gonzalez scores from 1st and Morgan goes all the way to third.
Desmond follows with an RBI single to left.
2-0 Nats, top of the third with 2 outs and Werth up.

joemktg said...

Was Nyjer sacrificing or bunting for a base hit?

Donald said...

Any word on how JZimm pitched? Is he still in the game?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Nyjer was bunting for a hit. And JZimm is pitching into the third with 1 out and Pujols on firsr after his second hit....
Update... Schumaker grounds into a Morse (on first) Desmond to JZimm double play. Inning over.
I think JZimm gave uo 4 hits, no runs, no walks and one K.

A DC Wonk said...

Top of the 4th: Pudge, Ramos, and A Gonzo all single... Nyjer up with bases loaded and two outs... Grounder to 1st to end the inning. No runs scored on three hits.

joemktg said...

It's official: Nyjer's pressing in a pressure situation, i.e., to hold on to his position as a major leaguer.

Anonymous said...

Mark...

Have to tell you i love this blog but I'm saddened that CSN has taken over things. To pull you from spring training reporting from Florida on March 2nd? Good plan Comcast. First rate outfit...

MGG said...

Ok soooo Mock didn't do so well, and now we have....Tim Wood? Anybody know who this guy is? Bueller?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Garrett Mock is seeing his last days with the Nats.

Why a pitcher does not understand the importance of establishing a fast pace when on the mound is beyond me. Errors hurt but walks and fat pitches hurt worse.

MGG said...

Agree NatsJack, I don't think Mock will be with us when opening day rolls around.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And may I suggest we select a committee to negotiate a price to buy back our personal sportswriter?

Taking him away from Viera at this time is stupid!

Feel Wood said...

Looks like this may finally be the year when they quit Mocking us.

Les in NC said...

I have to agree, NJ. Taking "our" Nationals beat writer away from the hub of the action when ALOT can change during the first 2 weeks (or any week) of the Grapefruit League, is a questionable decision at best.

Anywhoo, I was just wondering if our team had made any errors as of yet (Baseball Tonight reported that the Cubs had made 14 errors so far this spring), then Espinosa makes one. Ugh...

BinM said...

Waiting for Rizzo to dust off the "I got tired of watching him" quote for use on Mock.

Garrett M said...

Fielding let me down and the blue weren't giving me Garrett Mock strikes.

N. Cognito said...

Six unearned runs but the pitching was just as much to blame. Just because the inning should be over, you can't let up and allow several more guys to get on base.

Feel Wood said...

Notice how the shoddy defense returned as soon as the substandard pitchers starting taking the mound? There IS a correlation there.

gonatsgal said...

oh man, not a good day for G. Mocks & it didn't help any we had errors. Shake it off Nats. Let's beat the Yanks though in the next game! Go Nats!

NatsJack in Florida said...

We get the Braves tomorrow at Viera (I'll be there) then it's off to Tampa to play the Evil Empire on Saturday.

Feel Wood.... That's what I meant about the guys who don't understand about pitching to a fast pace. It keeps everybody alert and ready plus, if you're bad like Mock, it gets you out of the game quicker.

Anonymous said...

Why in the world did Comcast bother hiring a guy to cover the Nats and then pull him off the job at the most critical time of the year? When the Nats are on TV every night we really don't need the insight as much as we do in March. We don't have that much press covering this team and Comcast has taken away the best of the bunch. Lame.

Anonymous said...

Tried to listen to the St.Louis broadcast on XM today. Boy did their announcer, especially the color guy trying to do play by play, really mailed it in. They had Rodriguez up and then Campos and then said DH Espinoza was at the plate and I was thinking, where is Campos playing. Then I read Espinoza was the second baseman. They misidentified pitches, outs, and players in the field and on the bases. Man, have a little pride in your work. You have a great gig.

JayB said...

Njack,

Rizzo has a real blind spot for "his guys" Mock and Morgan are both way past proven losers. What do your sources say about this issue. For all the good Rizzo has done for this team if he has this type of fatal flaw in his evaluation skills then he needs a counter balance....he does not seem to have it or be listening to it.

BinM said...

JayB:
I'm not sure if it's purely Rizzo's 'blind-spot' or more of what he gets in feedback from McCatty & the other Assistants with Mock, Morgan & some others. But at some point, he might have to let what he actually sees (in person & on tape) overrule what he hears.

Much like with Shell, Hinckley & Cabrera, he just has to say "I got tired of watching them".

BinM said...

@anon-6:25:
Don't know who is doing the radio side for the Cardinals' broadcasts currently, but a year-or-two ago, their 'color' guy was Mike Shannon (a former Cards' 3B) and he was completely clueless; Listened to a couple of their ST broadcasts when WFED wasn't covering the game.

They weren't 'homers' like Santo (w/the Cubs), but Shannon would just make unrelated comments about players from his era (or prior). After four or five innings, it just became a mashup of current events & 3rd-person history - Very weird, and very hard to listen to.

Between the Cards', the Astros' (fairly neutral, IMO), and the Yankees broadcasts, I grew to appreciate the radio team (Jaegler & Slowes) that we currently employ.

Anonymous said...

So wait Norris had something on his face when Harper is suggested by many to leave it? Does not make sense.

More than the loss, error by Danny hurts. I wanted him to have a perfect ST.

Anonymous said...

1. You're being a little tough on Mike Shannon, one of the few ex-jocks who actually does play-by-play on the radio. It is early spring training, after all, and most of his audience is only interested in the Cards.

2. Sure, Mock missed on too many pitches, but if Morse gets an out at the plate, as he should have, and Espinosa doesn't botch a ground ball, Mock's inning wouldn't look nearly as bad.

JayB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JayB said...

lots more data than just this spring on Mock. He has never thrown strikes....3 walks....come on...that is just what he did last year and the one before....He looks scared, works at a very slow pace, and is afraid to challenge hitters with strikes.....Agree with Njack...his pace of work causes a huge problem for defenses. That outing showed everyone that nothing has changed in his approach and he is NOT going to change his approach...get his attention with a trip to MILB camp...nobody is going to claim him but he has an option anyway as I recall.....bye bye before he infects the team any further. The Big Change this year should be zero tolerance for repeat head cases who consistently under achieve.

NatsJack in Forida said...

Anonymous @ 9:58 .... Harper wore eye black on Wednesday and nobody said anything. It's not that he can't wear it. It's that he has to wear it normally and not like Mel in Braveheart.

JayB said...

Njack,

Thoughts on Mock and why he is still on the 40 man after several years of proven failure most of which is in his head.......at age 28 is there really a chance the light will go on?

NatsJack in Florida said...

JayB.... My take on it is that he's extremely talented from the neck down and has fought through several injuries however, as you point out, he's a head case. The injuries have allowed the evaluation period to drag on.

I wouldn't be suprised if Rizzo's Father is behind some of these extended evaluation periods. Mike puts alot of weight on what his Dad says.

JayB said...

Njack...that is interesting......what are the examples of extended evaluations....way past what most would get........ proving out to be successful calls by Dad.....Morse maybe but he hit from the day he got here so I would not count that.....I would say the benefit of Maxwell, Morgan, Mock, Chico types is far outweigh the roster space cost of keeping them year after year...add in the lost opportunity cost of someone else and I see a bad trend here.

Feel Wood said...

Mock is coming off an injury and pitched like one inning in the fourth of thirty or so meaningless spring training games. That's not an "extended evaluation" by any means. He's not taking innings away from any other pitchers at this point. It's pretty clear that he's being given his last chance to show that he's not worthy of being DFA. My bet is that he'll get maybe one more appearance this spring to show something, and unless he's uncharacteristically lights out in that appearance, he'll be gone. It sure would be nice if JayB would spare us his rants until there's a valid reason for them. If Mock is still on the team when they head north, JayB, rant away. Until then, chill out.

JayB said...

You mean like last year when he did go North and yet again proved he just does not have the mental make up to pitch at this level as a then 27 year old.....Look it is not about this spring it is about all the past wasted time on these type of guys...they clog up 40 man roster and their is a lost opportunity cost to that. Again....where have we seen an upside example to these endless tryouts year after year for the Chicos Mocks and Maxwells of the world?

Feel Wood said...

JayB, here's a hint for you. Any time your entire rant starts and ends with "you mean like last year" it has passed its sell-by date. Give it a rest. Please.

Big Cat said...

Marrero 2 for 2 with a double and a ribbie. Why oh why are these journeyman guys in here playing in front of him. I can see Laroche, cause we gave him big bucks, but, come on Riz this guy is one of ours.....ohhhhh....wait....did Bowden draft him? Ok ok, now its starting to make sense. Anyhow, Chris is now 4 for 4 this spring.

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