Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nats vs. Braves - 3/6/12

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Disney's Wide World of Sports, spring home of the Atlanta Braves.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The story of the day figured to be Gio Gonzalez's first start wearing a Nationals uniform, but that has been trumped for now by the news of Michael Morse suffering a lat strain during batting practice. Morse, who was supposed to bat cleanup and start in left field, was scratched. The club is officially listing him as day-to-day, but we should get a better idea later how serious this might be.

Morse's injury led to a lineup shuffling by Davey Johnson. DH Chad Tracy, who was supposed to bat seventh, has been moved up to the cleanup spot. Brett Carroll is shifting from right field to left field. And Bryce Harper is now starting in right field and batting seventh. It's the fourth time in five days Harper has started, more than anyone else on the roster.

As for Gonzalez, he'll be on a typical pitch count of 40-45 pitches. He'll also be facing most of the Braves' regulars, including Michael Bourne, Martin Prado, Brian McCann, Dan Uggla, Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward.

No TV or radio, but I'll have plenty of updates live from the Happiest Place on Earth (though the Nats' dugout may not agree with that designation today)...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Disney's Wide World of Sports, Lake Buena Vista
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: None
Radio: None
Weather: Partly cloudy, 73 degrees, Wind 19 LF from RF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
DH Chad Tracy
CF Jayson Werth
1B Mark DeRosa
RF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
LF Brett Carroll
(P Gio Gonzalez)

BRAVES
CF Michael Bourn
3B Martin Prado
DH Brian McCann
2B Dan Uggla
1B Freddie Freeman
LF Matt Diaz
RF Jason Heyward
C David Ross
SS Andrelton Simmons
(P Kris Medlen)
1:05 p.m. -- We're underway with a fastball from Kris Medlen high to Ian Desmond for ball one.

1:14 p.m. -- Not much happening in the top of the first. Ian Desmond grounded out to short. Danny Espinosa did single to left and then took second on a bobble by catcher David Ross. But Ryan Zimmerman and Chad Tracy each struck out with Espinosa in scoring position, stranding him at second base. Gio Gonzalez now taking the mound for the bottom of the first.

1:24 p.m. -- Gonzalez's first pitch as a National is a 94 mph strike to Michael Bourn. And his final pitch of the inning was a 95 mph fastball to Freddie Freeman. Can you remember another left-handed Nats starter ever doing that? I can't. (Er, actually as Adam Kilgore of the Post points out: Ross Detwiler did it last September.) But anyways, good stuff from Gio in the bottom of the first.

1:32 p.m. -- Good news: Jayson Werth homered off the top of the right-field fence to lead off the top of the second. Wind helped a bit, but Werth still scalded that ball. More good news: Bryce Harper stroked a solid base hit to right, making him 5-for-8 in the Grapefruit League. Bad news: Harper ran himself into a double play when he tried to go first to third on Wilson Ramos' slow roller to third. Wound up slipping between second and third and was tagged out to end the inning. Nats lead 1-0 going to the bottom of the second.

1:37 p.m. -- A real quick, 1-2-3 second for Gio. Struck out Matt Diaz looking. Got Jason Heyward to pop out. Got David Ross to fly out. I would think Gonzalez will be back out for the third, given how efficient he's been so far. Nats still lead 1-0.

1:46 p.m. -- Chad Tracy delivers an RBI double to deep right, nearly hitting it out of the park. Instead, it glanced off Heyward's glove at the fence, scoring Carroll from third Zimmerman (who drew a walk off lefty Eric O'Flaherty) from first. Nats lead 3-0 as Gio indeed returns to the mound for the bottom of the third.

1:54 p.m. -- Oof, Desmond with his third error of the spring. He fielded Andrelton Simmons' grounder to open the third cleanly, but then dropped the ball making the exchange from glove to hand. That's three errors in his last two games, not what Desmond or the Nationals want to see. On the bright side, Gonzalez wrapped up a really nice debut start. His final line: 3 ip, 1 h, 0 er, 1 bb, 2 k. I believe he threw 40 pitches, though that's not official. Nats still up 3-0 after three.

1:58 p.m. -- Looks like there's nothing to fear about Mark DeRosa's wrist, because he just crushed a homer to left off Jonny Venters. That was into the wind, a real blast. Harper came up next and tapped a weak grounder to first. Venters might well have been the toughest pitcher the kid has ever faced. Nats lead 4-0.

2:10 p.m. -- Yunesky Maya's first two batters faced this spring: Back-to-back doubles to right-center. And these weren't bloopers. They were rockets. Maya gave up a couple more hard-hit balls in the fourth but escaped without suffering any more damage. Nats lead 4-1 heading to the fifth.

2:19 p.m. -- Davey went up to Ryan Zimmerman before the game and told him he'd try to give him three at-bats today. He did. Unfortunately, Zim only got to take the bat off his shoulder once. He struck out in the first but walked in both the third and fifth. Still 4-1 heading to the bottom of the fifth. Have to go down to the clubhouse now to talk to Gio, so may be a bit before the next update.

3:17 p.m. -- Sorry for the long delay. We not only talked to Gio Gonzalez, but also were waiting around for Michael Morse to update his injury. The good news: Sounds like it's nothing serious. Morse said he first felt "a knot" in the back of his shoulder a couple days ago. He noticed it more today while throwing before the game. He said it only affects him when he throws, not swings or runs. He thinks he may be able to play tomorrow. Asked if he's worried at all, Morse said: "No, I'm not. And I get worried easy." As far as this game goes, it's now 4-2 Nats in the top of the eighth. Sorry I can't tell you what's happened to this point, but Anthony Rendon did just double to right-center.

3:22 p.m. -- Rendon scores on a sac fly to right, putting the Nats up 5-2 in the eighth.

3:32 p.m. -- Jeff Fulchino pitches a scoreless eighth, so the 5-2 lead remains intact heading to the ninth.

3:46 p.m. -- That's your ballgame. Chad Durbin closes out the Braves in the bottom of the ninth, and the Nats win 5-2. They're now 2-2 in Grapefruit League play.

96 comments:

NatsLady said...

Actually, there is radio. Audio from the Braves feed, got it on MLB.

Anxious in Arlington said...

What was the 2nd pitch Mark?

Sunderland said...

My best option, MLB Gameday....

Anonymous said...

Ruh roh Raggy... Don't like the. tone/connotation of those Morse comments!!

Anonymous said...

That;s why you sign Fielder!!!! You can't ever have enough players because some WILL get hurt. Bank on it.

thecleanupspot said...

Not signing Fielder is fine. This isn't a make it or break it year for Washington.

Left us open to sign Votto or B.J. Upton next off season.

HHover said...

That;s why you sign Fielder!!!!

Yes!!1!! Because every day-to-day strain requires a $214M, 275-lb insurance policy!

NatsLady said...

Sounds like quite a few Nats fans there for Werth's dinger.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

All together now:
BANG! ZOOM!

Jayson Werth.

Marty said...

The Braves announcers talking up the Nats last inning. Pegged Lannan as the #5 ;)

And Werth takes one yard!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Who is the Braves' color guy on the radio? He sounds like he's from da Sowt Side.

Anonymous said...

JAYSON!

Anonymous said...

BRYCE with a 1 Out Single. The Kid is GOOD!

joemktg said...

Harper another hit.

natsfan1a said...

Okay, I give up. How do I sign up for that $15 radio package? Somebody posted a link a while back but I can't recall when and couldn't find it on the MLB site just now.

Anonymous said...

Cancel the season! Someone else got hurt in Spring Training. Don't these honchos know how to run a team? They should have gotten Prince AND Albert to be safe!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Oooh, but Harper falls between second and third, and is tagged out for a GIDP the hard way. Hope he's OK.

natsfan1a said...

Somebody jinxed him by mentioning Kearns earlier. Remember when he fell down on the basepaths? :-)

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

ia, just go to the Nats home page, click on the LISTEN link, and follow the prompts to sign up. Have your credit card ready.

Sunderland said...

Harper was trying to go first to third on a groundout?

NatsLady said...

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/subscriptions/index.jsp?content=gameday_audio&affiliateId=2011UrlRedirect

Here ya go, 1A. Or click on Gameday and audio and it will give you the option to purchase.

NatsLady said...

It's actually $19.99 this year. Definitely worth it.

thecleanupspot said...

People watching... Think Harper is safe if he doesn't fall?

Crazy how fast he is for his size. Oh, youth.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Slow roller to third, he probably got a good jump off first, and he's just trying to hustle.

Not sure how to avoid jinxing him there, but I'm a little concerned.

Anonymous said...

You can get the audio on the MLB-At-Bat App on a smart phone for $14.99.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Cleanup spot, the game isn't on TV. Mark may be the only one who made the trip and is posting.

PAY TO PLAY said...

Bryce has to remember this 12,000 times over, this isn't High School or Junior College. These are MLB starters and AA/AAA types in there. Save those fool-type running plays for your backyard antics when you are 60 years old playing with your grandkids.

This is what keeps telling me he isn't ready yet even if he hits .400 at the end of Spring Training.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Zim just misses one--Hayward dropped it when he hit the wall. E9?? That's harsh.

JaneB said...

In spring training, why not press the case and learn what you can get away with, rather than assuming he couldn't beat it out?

As for Gameday -- you can buy it once and load it on multiple devices. Don't have to pay twice.

Go Werth! That must have felt good.

Zimmerman is "definitely one of those franchise guys" quoth the Braves announcers. Ya think? At least in the real season we get to hear Charlie and Dave and not Other Guys.

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, all. Just tried to purchase and it won't go through. May try calling the number listed instead.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

P2P, agreed, with an exception--well, two. Baseball is a game of relentless pressure, and hustle wins games.

It also gets you hurt sooner or later, often sooner. Just part of the price of playing.

2--the spring training fields are often not as solid, esp. in Fla., where it rains so much that drainage is crucial.

And the E9 on TRACY's hit, not Zim, just got changed to a hit.

FS said...

Pay to play, I don't see what he did wrong by trying to advance to third on a slow roller. Many speedy players do that.

1a, if nothing else works, go to mlb.com, go to video drop down menu, click on watch/listen, select whatever you want to hear or see, and then pay for it.

I am thinking of getting MLB.tv this season if I save enough money. Should be fun watching

Anonymous said...

Hey what do you know ANOTHER Error by Desmond. Get use to to it Nats Nation. If your not already. He's not ready for prime time. Move Espi to SS

baseballswami said...

I would actually be interested in seeing what Lombardozzi could do with some playing time. And how about that Zach Walters kid? Made a fierce play last night! I do think Ian will be fine but we should see what we have in the way of depth at MI.

NatsLady said...

With my job (which I am about to leave for), MLB.tv gives me the opportunity to see a LOT of west coast games when I get home. Saw the Giants lose last night, outfielder dropped an easy ball, 2 runs came in--speaking of errors.

Ah, another HR! Nice going.

Unkyd said...

C'mon, Desi...Focus...!

lefty1950 said...

If Desmond isn't careful, he might very well play himself out of the starting day lineup.

SpingfieldNatsFan1 said...

What's the chance we see Some of Espinoza at SS this spring? Or does Davy choose not to risk blowing Desi's confidence?

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of Desmond. Just like Stairs last year, can't the Nationals see what everyone else does?

PAY TO PLAY said...

Mark, is that the 1st Lefty/Lefty matchup Bryce has faced so far in ST?

baseballswami said...

Keeping up on gameday while I get some work done. FWIW I couldn't get the gameday audio to take my order either. The BILL NOW won't register when you click on it. Either that, or I am going to end up paying for it multiple times as I have clicked it several times over the last twenty minutes. Nice to see DeRosa joining in the fun.

Anonymous said...

Maya could be an adventure, no?

DWS said...

If you have MLB tv you get the radio feed, listening now.

Knoxville Nat said...

Pay2Play,

Harper had an infield hit last night against the Mets lefty. Lots of talk here and elsewhere about the kid's hustle afterwards.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Can't recall where/when, but I am pretty sure I remember Davey saying Espinosa would not see any time at all at short this spring.

MGG said...

Maya needs to go. I don't think he's ever going to get any better. Can anyone tell me why he's still on the roster?

Cease the Opportunity said...

Maya could be an adventure, yes. His pitching reminds me of a Disneyland vacation...

ehay2k said...

Desmond strikes out swinging. Add that to the errors, and he seems to be pressing. Davey needs to have a chat with him.

HHover said...

Sec. 3

Mark wrote a few weeks back that Davy said Espi would get time at SS in ST, but that it didn't portend a permanent move:

http://www.natsinsider.com/2012/02/infielders-getting-work-at-multiple.html

Feel Wood said...

Hey what do you know ANOTHER Error by Desmond.

Last year Desmond started the season with a spate of errors before he settled in, and then he was fine the rest of the season. Perhaps this is a phase he needs to go through on the way to getting ready. If so, it's better that he does it now, when the games don't count.

Les in NC said...

we need to stop thinking these games don't count. The outcome may not... but the individual performances most certainly do. While I haven't exactly been a Desmond champion, I have liked him. That said I am quickly falling off of his bandwagon...

natsfan1a said...

Well, that's 50 minutes of my life I'll never get back. The mlb.com purchase would not go through no matter which browser I used, whether with an existing mlb account or with a new account. According to a contact at the customer service department, which I called, one can only purchase the gameday service via the web and not via phone. So I guess I'm not getting it. Now I really gotta do some work.

Cease the Opportunity said...

It's good to see Ian Desmond in mid-season form, can't field or hit. There but by the grace of God go Ian. Can't wait until the next off season and he's here next spring and we're all discussing the same thing about him. They say Jesus could make a blind man see. What's to say everyone in Nats' management/coaches, etc., are blind to Desmond. May God bless him...

jd said...

Les,

If what you say is true then Storen would have been demoted last year. In fact the individual performances only count for the handful of players who are on the bubble. The rest of the team is just slowly getting ready for the regular season.

As I recall last spring Nyger Morgan had a rough time and people were updating his batting average at bat by at bat. You know what? he ended up hitting reasonably well for the playoff Brewers.

jd said...

I have to say one thing about the Desmond haters/detractors. You guys are a persistent bunch.

MGG said...

I'm not ready to throw Desmond out yet, but I'm getting close. If he doesn't perform this year to some reasonable expectation I don't think they have any choice but to look at other options.

ehay2k said...

I just have to write this, since I may never get another chance: Very nice inning by Maya. Threw only strikes (he nibbled a lot last year) and took out Bourn with a nice K.

Way to go Yunesky!

Ok, that's one thing off my bucket list...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

HHover, thanks for the correction.

NatinBeantown said...

Just a quick semi-humorous aside:

I saw this post on ESPN's "SweetSpot Blog", of which I'm becoming a big fan. I could care less about video games, but they are describing how great the 2012 update of The Show is, and one of the plugs is how up-to-date the information is. Case in point, Giancarlo Stanton, hitting in his new park, with the "home run feature" fully detailed. (The graphics really are amazing).

But in the still-got-a-chip-on-our-shoulder dept, you can very clearly see that he hit it off Gio Gonzalez, with Ramos in the foreground. Paging Rodney Dangerfield...

href=http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/21368/review-mlb-12-the-show-better-than-ever

Anonymous said...

Considering how few hitters there must be in the NL that have batted against Gonzalez, he has to be a favorite to get off to a strong start this year, no?

Anonymous said...

The only people more persistent than the Desi haters/detractors are the Lannan haters/detractors. If they go together in a trade, I guess life would be perfect.

Cease the Opportunity said...

jd said...

I have to say one thing about the Desmond haters/detractors. You guys are a persistent bunch.

LOL...

Cease the Opportunity said...

Anonymous said...

The only people more persistent than the Desi haters/detractors are the Lannan haters/detractors. If they go together in a trade, I guess life would be perfect.


This one too. LOL...

PAY TO PLAY said...

Knoxville Nat said...
Pay2Play,

Harper had an infield hit last night against the Mets lefty. Lots of talk here and elsewhere about the kid's hustle afterwards.

March 06, 2012 2:14 PM

Yep, brain freeze. That was the one he went Ichiro on.

David said...

Maya seemed to have settled down for the 5th inning. I wonder how hard he was throwing though?

Cease the Opportunity said...

David said...

Maya seemed to have settled down for the 5th inning. I wonder how hard he was throwing though?

His fastball was clocked at 81/82 MPH. By mid-season I'm sure it will be in the mid eighties..

Anonymous said...

so, 81 and 82 are now considered fast balls.

Anonymous said...

Mark - when you get back to the box - would love to know something more about GIO, the guy. He seems to be very gregarious.What's he like in person?

Anonymous said...

Those are the very special Livo-fastballs!

David said...

youve got to be kidding?

Anonymous said...

Still think Desmond should have been put in CF! He has the range and arm for that position. Esponida at SS and Lombardozzi at 2B and leading-off!

baseballswami said...

And the pitcher's name is what????????

Anonymous said...

Still think Desmond should have been put in CF! He has the range and arm for that position. Esponida at SS and Lombardozzi at 2B and leading-off!

Why would we want to turn a SS who can't hit into a CF who can't hit?

SpingfieldNatsFan1 said...

I've always been a pretty big supporter of Desmond in the past, but if the Nats really want to take a big step forward toward respectability then you have to look at who the best players are. Would the Nats be better with a Desmond/Espinoza combination or an Espinoza/Rendon (with Lombo covering for a year) combination? I think the answer is becoming clearer by the day. And for all the naysayers, Rendon can certainly become comfortable at second in a relatively short time. Desmond appears to be a locker room leader, but he's going to have to continue this role as a utility player.

Jaxpo Nat said...

Let's let Rendon get a few professional at bats before we hand him a starting job. Looked a little overweight and lazy to me the other day, not running out that foul popup that nearly dropped fair. Wouldn't mind them trading Desmond if they can get decent return, but, while he's here, EspinoSa/Desmond is our best duo.

NatsNut said...

Desmond didn't stop bleeding errors until he came back from paternity leave. his wife needs to have another baby, is all i'm saying.

PAY TO PLAY said...

Rendon with his first hit!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

And good hustle, to hear the Braves announcers tell it.

Unkyd said...

Good news, on Beast, Mark! Also glad to hear that he "gets worried easy"... I'd much rather lose a few days of a contributor like him, then play trough until some procedure is required. The gorse will be here, waiting for you, Mikey!

Mike Hall said...

I was in Florida for a couple spring games, and I'll say this about Rendon, he looks like a natural. If the ball is in the strike zone, he's going to get a good bat on it. And he's surprisingly fast. He hit a routine grounder to short (not a dribbler) and almost beat the throw. 10% of umps would have mistakenly called him safe.

JamesFan said...

The reality is that Desmond is going to be the starting shortstop for the Nats. They have gone a long way with him and they will give him this shot, if for nothing more than to give him value in a trade. However, he's got to considtently show value at some aspects of the game. He is not going to stick with this team on "potential" alone. So far, he's no more than average on offense or defense over two seasons, and I have a hard time seeing him delivering in critical situation in meaningful September games. I do hope that they give Espi or Lombo some time at short this spring to hedge against a real melt down by Desi during the season. I know they don't want to do that for psychological reasons, but they need to have flexibility.

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, swami. Maybe the site is dysfunctional today. The guy I spoke to asked me to switch browsers: nada. Then how about clicking the "send me oodles and gobs of emails and special offers" button?: no love. He was very helpful and we tried a bunch of stuff, but I bailed because I didn't want to spend that much flailing around with it. Maybe I'll try again another day, or maybe you and I will both end up with multiple subscriptions.

baseballswami said...

Keeping up on gameday while I get some work done. FWIW I couldn't get the gameday audio to take my order either. The BILL NOW won't register when you click on it. Either that, or I am going to end up paying for it multiple times as I have clicked it several times over the last twenty minutes. Nice to see DeRosa joining in the fun.
March 06, 2012 2:07 PM

natsfan1a said...

that much "time"

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

And the ATL color guy is Mark Lemke, from Utica, NY, not Chicawguh.

Anonymous said...

This site is at least 14 minutes behind the game! What is up with that?

Section 222 said...

Ok, I'll say it since Charlie and Dave were apparently not on hand: "A Curly W is in the books!" Sounds like there were some things to be happy about in this one -- Gio, Werth, DeRosa, Harper, Rendon. I like it!

NatinBeantown said...

1a,
Sorry for your hassle. It literally took 30 seconds for me to get MLB At Bat 12 on my phone, which is the device I use to listen to games.

Man, wouldn't it be nice if DeRosa is this year's Capps (i.e. found money)? Wouldn't it be nicer if contention means we won't be flipping him?

Anonymous said...

I updated my iPhone from At Bat 11 to 12 this morning and like you NatinBeantown it took about 30 seconds and it was done.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

This site is at least 14 minutes behind the game! What is up with that?

They're broadcasting the game ahead of time to avoid rush hour crowds at the park. This site is in real time.

natsfan1a said...

Not sure what the issue is as I've bought tix and merchandise online at mlb.com plenty of times.

Drew said...

P.S. Ian did a lousy job of guarding the Lincolns' box.

Frediemac said...

Anonymous said...
I updated my iPhone from At Bat 11 to 12 this morning and like you NatinBeantown it took about 30 seconds and it was done.

-----------------------------------

This is what you need Nats Nation AtBat 12 on your Phone or IPad. It Rocks.

ehay2k said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said:

They're broadcasting the game ahead of time to avoid rush hour crowds at the park. This site is in real time.


LOL Sec 3, I almost snarfed my drink. Good thing I was sipping - because it's more of a marathon than a sprint - otherwise the best 25 milliliters would have gone north.

Drink up, peeps.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Gone south, I think. Pleased to be of service!

fpcsteve said...

Prediction: Desmond will finish the year as the Nats shortstop. Theory: He won't be the starting SS next year. Somebody else. Don't know who; just won't be him.

natsfan1a said...

Well, first I'd need to get an iPhone or iPad thingy, neither of which I have or desire.

Frediemac said...

Anonymous said...
I updated my iPhone from At Bat 11 to 12 this morning and like you NatinBeantown it took about 30 seconds and it was done.

-----------------------------------

This is what you need Nats Nation AtBat 12 on your Phone or IPad. It Rocks.
March 06, 2012 4:31 PM

Post a Comment