Thursday, March 22, 2012

Nats vs. Cardinals - 3/22/12

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Gio Gonzalez faces the Cardinals today at Roger Dean Stadium.
JUPITER, Fla. -- Obviously, there's news today that has nothing to do with this game against the Cardinals. Please read my earlier posting for the latest news on Michael Morse, who it appears may not be ready for Opening Day.

But as for today's game, Gio Gonzalez is on the mound facing the World Series champion Cardinals. Not too many regulars in the Nationals lineup. Rick Ankiel is here. So is Wilson Ramos. Otherwise, it's backups and guys trying to make the roster.

Plenty of updates to come right here, so please check back often...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Where: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: MLB.tv (live), MLB Network (tape delayed at 10 p.m.)
Radio: Cardinals radio via XM 186, MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Partly cloudy, 81 degrees, Wind 19 mph RF to LF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS
SS Steve Lombardozzi
CF Rick Ankiel
3B Mark DeRosa
1B Chad Tracy
C Wilson Ramos
LF Roger Bernadina
RF Brett Carroll
2B Andres Blanco
P Gio Gonzalez

CARDINALS
2B Tyler Greene
CF Carlos Beltran
LF Matt Holliday
3B David Freese
C Yadier Molina
SS Rafael Furcal
RF Shane Robinson
1B Tony Cruz
P Jaime Garcia
1:07 p.m. -- We're underway with a ball from Jaime Garcia to Steve Lombardozzi.

1:12 p.m. -- Nice line-drive single by Rick Ankiel, who turned on a pitch from Garcia and laced it to right field. Nice to see Ankiel do that against a lefty. Otherwise, nothing doin' for the Nats in the top of the first. Garcia struck out both Lombardozzi and Chad Tracy.

1:21 p.m. -- Gio Gonzalez got into a little bit of trouble in the bottom of the first, allowing an infield single to Carlos Beltran and then walking Matt Holliday. But the left-hander battled back to strike out David Freese looking at a great inside fastball, then got Yadier Molina to ground out to third. Through one inning, it's scoreless.

1:32 p.m. -- Kind of a strange second inning for Roger Bernadina. Actually, it was kind of a typical Roger Bernadina inning. He dropped a really nice bunt for a single. Then he nearly was picked off, only to be saved by Garcia's wild throw that allowed Roger to advance all the way to third base. Then he was almost picked off again by Molina. In the end, he was stranded there after Brett Carroll struck out and Andres Blanco lined out.

1:42 p.m. -- Speaking of craziness ... bottom of the second ... runners on the corners ... one out ... the runner on first takes off ... Ramos throws down to second base, at which point the runner on third takes off for the plate ... Lombardozzi had no shot to make the throw home, so he got the trailing runner in a rundown, only to watch as Chad Tracy dropped his throw. Somehow, they still managed to tag him out, but not until after the lead runner scored. Cardinals lead 1-0 after two.

1:49 p.m. -- Gio Gonzalez has been talking about his offensive prowess all spring. I have a hunch he was joking about that, because he didn't look too good striking out to lead off the third. Gio does hit from the right side, unbeknownst to me until just now. We go to the bottom of the third, still 1-0 Cards.

2:06 p.m. -- Tough third inning for Gio. And for Bernadina. Beltran sent a line drive to left, and Bernadina was in position to make a diving catch. Except it glanced off his glove for a double. Gonzalez then walked Holliday. Following a groundball that advanced both runners, Molina stroked a two-run single to left. So the Cardinals now lead 3-0 after three.

2:28 p.m. -- Not a good day for Gio. He just served up a two-run bomb to Tyler Greene, putting the Cardinals up 6-0 in the fourth. Then he allowed another two-run single, making it 8-0. He's allowed 10 hits, walked four and hasn't looked comfortable at all. But the Nats need him to get his pitch count up, so he's staying in to suffer more carnage.

3:02 p.m. -- Just got back from the clubhouse, where Gonzalez spoke about his wretched outing. The good news is he said his arm felt great and he could've continued even after throwing 85 pitches. He credited the Cardinals batters for hitting some good pitches but also acknowledged he could've done a better job with his pitch selection and location. Ultimately, "I'm glad it happened now and not during the season." Meanwhile, it's still 8-0 in the bottom of the sixth, with Ross Detwiler on the mound.

3:15 p.m. -- Make it 9-0 as Detwiler gives up a run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth.

3:30 p.m. -- Not much left to care about in this one. Detwiler wound up pitching only two innings, allowing the one run. Henry Rodriguez just tossed a scoreless seventh. It's still 9-0. The Nats have produced all of three hits, and now they've got mostly minor leaguers in the game.

3:48 p.m. -- It's over. It's all over. Final score: Cardinals 9, Nationals 0. A good time was had by all. Except anyone sitting in the Nationals dugout. Or covering them from the press box.

100 comments:

Concerned Nationals Fan said...

If any Nationals personnel are listening, do some research on this, and then purchase it. Marine Phytoplankton. LaRoche and Morse will heal within a week, and all of the pitchers will not have to ice down again after pitching.

NatsLady said...

From March 6, 2012.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Michael Morse was a late scratch from the Nationals' lineup for today's spring training game against the Braves due to a lat strain that had been bothering him for several days, but the cleanup hitter doesn't believe he'll be out more than a day or two.

Anonymous said...

This city is cursed. Another last place on the way

Nats fan in NJ said...

I've added myself to the DL with a head contusion. The source was the palm smack to the forehead while shouting "I'm shocked!" upon hearing the both Storen and Morse have injuries worse than initially portrayed...

NatsLady said...

Rick--nice hit. Solid.

JaneB said...

Why do they say, "may not be ready" when they MEAN "WON'T be ready"? Why can't they just say what they mean?

How long before they say what they mean about ALR? Not a rhetorical question...

NatsLady said...

Not a good AB for Chad Tracy. Swung at a ball outside for strike 3.

NatsLady said...

Ball off the glove of DeRosa at 3rd. Have to think RZ would have made the play.

NatsLady said...

Gio out of trouble. Really fooled Molina, fun to watch.

MicheleS said...

Listening to Game Day of KMOX.. Makes me miss Charlie and Dave even more

NatsLady said...

Bernie beats out a perfect bunt for a hit. Then they had him picked off, threw away the ball and now he's on third. (Nice that he can beat out a bunt, but don't like that he was picked off except for an error. Shark is SO frustrating.)

NatsLady said...

Cards TV announcers are very good. Nice analysis of Bernie almost getting picked off at 3rd, and very good knowledge of status of players on the team (though mispronounced "Wang").

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Michele, I'm listening to them, and I hear you.

Uncle Jerry said...

Everytime i look on this website and see comments natslady is always making some annoying comments

NatsLady said...

Just trying to give some play-by-play for those who don't have access. Sorry to interfere with your day, Uncle.

A DC Wonk said...

Belatedly responding to messages from two posts ago (hey, I've got to spend _some_ time doing work while I'm at work! ;-) )

So, Harper has to prove he can hit MLB pitching before he comes up, but Desmond's 1,000+ AB's which show he can't hit MLB pitching is no reason to send him down?

To repeat at least the third time in a week: Ian hit .289 after the all star break last year. So, yes, Ian has proved he can hit MLB pitching. Whether he can continue is a different question -- but anybody hear would be happy with either of our middle infielders batting .289, and he did it over the last 60-70 games last season.

Erik said...

DC Wonk-How is Harper supposed to learn how to hit Major League pitching in the minor leagues???


Really?

You learn by gradually increasing the level of difficulty. If he starts tearing up AAA, then he'll be moved up. Do you remember how he did in AA last year?

Look, the kid has played exactly 37 minor league games above the South Atlantic League. Yep, 37. And in those 37 games AA, he hit .256 for crying out loud. (And slugged _under_ .400). Let's at least see if he can hit AAA before we make a 19 year old a MLB starter.

He hit .286 in 9 games in spring training and you say he is overmatched..

Errr . . . I'm not the only one to say he was overmatched. I think every person who actually watched him bat came to that conclusion. He stuck out 11 times in 28 at bats, and all but two of his hits were singles. C'mon -- he hasn't even conquered AA yet.

I have no doubts he'll be a star. And pretty darn soon. If he starts tearing up AAA from day 1, I'll take these words back -- but I think it will take him a little while to conquer AAA, too.

His time will come. But not in two weeks.

John C. said...

Remember, ladies and gentlemen, the proper term for "picked off" (particularly when egregious) is "Nyjer'd."

NatsLady said...

Nice throw from Carroll in RF to third but still safe. Cards announcer said he had a litte trouble with the transfer.

A DC Wonk said...

An annoying neg-anon wrote:

This city is cursed. Another last place on the way

Wanna bet?

=========
Natslady -- don't listen to the riff-raff -- your comments are great for the vast majority of us who are not listening to the game. (You know, because we might be at work or something).

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Apparently today's game is on a delayed telecast on MLB at 10 pm tonight.

NatsLady said...

Thanks Wonk. I figure you can see Gameday or the box score but that doesn't tell the whole story.

NatsLady said...

TURTLES!!! Strike out and a botched rundown and the Cards score.

NatsLady said...

(sigh) now we have to get two runs.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Again with the Plush-hatin. They guy's been gone for a year. Give it a rest.

m20832 said...

I paid $20 to watch the scrubs play the real cards team??? That throw to second and the run down was a joke to watch....I thought DJ was going to get serious.

C'mon...two weeks...two weeks...

jd said...

Wonk,

You are dead on about Harper. People just have no patience. It will be the same with Rendon, Purke and everyone else.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

It's turtles all the way down, NatsLady...

NatsLady said...

Gio laughing while he bats. Hit a long foul. Chops another foul. Finally looks at a strike, doesn't seem upset.

NatsLady said...

Lombardozzi with a Baltimore chop, no play so he's on base.

natsfan1a said...

Likewise.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Michele, I'm listening to them, and I hear you.
March 22, 2012 1:32 PM

natsfan1a said...

And I always enjoy NatsLady's comments, fwiw.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Come to think of it, that story's the perfect metaphor for the neganons. It doesn't matter what you say, they're convinced and that's that.

NatsLady said...

Rick looks at a perfect strike, not sure how that fooled him. Freese makes an excellent play on DeRosa and that's it.

jd said...

NatsLady,

'sigh) now we have to get two runs'.

Why? Do we care if we win or lose these exhibition games?

The botched run down in ST is a perfect opportunity to correct a poorly executed play so hopefully it doesn't happen when it counts.

jd said...

I mean if DJ actually cared about winning would he start 3 lefty hitters against a lefty?

NatsLady said...

Mark, I thought Gio said he couldn't hit worth a lick, was only going to bunt and runs like he has a piano on his back...

NatsLady said...

jd, agree we don't care about winning, but it does seem impossible to get two runs.

Bernie makes an all or nothing dive for a ball and it's, well, nothing. Cards announcers say he botched it. They didn't show the beginning of the play so I can't see whether he had a bad jump on the ball.

Gio not looking that sharp.

jeeves said...

Harper overmatched? Gosh, it seems that practically all the position are overmatched--or hurt. People keep referring to how poor Harper's stats were at AA. True, but after his usual poor start (no matter what the level) he did relatively well and then was hurt. I couldn't find the splits, but am positive he was beginning to put it together just like he did in A ball and later in Arizonia.

Unkyd said...

Prof. Sofa continues to edify.... ;-)

Section 3, My Sofa said...

1:42 p.m. -- Speaking of craziness ... bottom of the second ... runners on the corners ... one out ... the runner on first takes off ... Ramos throws down to second base, at which point the runner on third takes off for the plate ... Lombardozzi had no shot to make the throw home, so he got the trailing runner in a rundown, only to watch as Chad Tracy dropped his throw. Somehow, they still managed to tag him out, but not until after the lead runner scored. Cardinals lead 1-0 after two.

for those of you following asynchronously, this was all with the pitcher at bat, striking out on the pitch in question, so it wound up being a strike-'em-out/throw-'em-out inning-ending double play, with the run still scoring anyway.

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

Oh, they showed pitch count. Gio up to 53. He walked Holladay, and went to 3-2 several times with a bunch of fouls.

NatsLady said...

Molina solid hit, no doubt about it.

m20832 said...

Geeezzz....none of the nats are playing hard. Ramos hits a swinging bunt and still can't make it to first base. Looked like he was trotting down the base line.

m20832 said...

No to mention that it's ST for umpires also? Ump has a postage stamp strike zone for Gio and it's wide fricken' open for Garcia. UFB!!!

m20832 said...

Not...

m20832 said...

Gio has had to adjust to the ump's strike zone and is being hammered due to ball being up in the zone. Can't watch this dreck anymore.

NatsLady said...

How is the Cards' bullpen? Because Garcia is dealin'. Another pair of hits against Gio. I remember on his last outing he said he got tired.

NatsLady said...

m20832--even the Cards announcers mentioned the difference in the strike zone, Garcia getting calls Gio isn't. Still, that doesn't explain the hits.

NatsLady said...

And as I write the above, Gio gives up a dinger to Tyler Greene.

NatsLady said...

And walks the next batter, and no activity in the Nats bullpen. You are right, jd, this game is not for real. The Cat finally comes out to talk to Gio.

NatsLady said...

Gio is frustrated and tired and it's 8-0. What is he learning by still being in the game?

Steve M. said...

Luckily this is Spring Training is all I can say. Just sounding ugly.

NatsLady said...

Finally, Gio gets a K, and Davey takes him out.

Mark'd said...

Nice to get online and see the Nats getting crushed 8-0 and its only the 4th inning and Berkman isn't even playing.

Remind me again why the Nats didn't get Carlos Beltran.

Anonymous said...

Remind me again why they didn't get Fielder

Anonymous said...

Richest Owners in Baseball are CHEAP B*****

A DC Wonk said...

Remind me again why the Nats didn't get Carlos Beltran.

I actually have no idea, but I would guess that part of it is that he's turning 35 next month, wanted at least a two year deal, and that in 2009 he played 1/2 season, in 2010 he played less than that, and he has bad knees. In 2011 he was great (and played a full season), but, does he have much left in the tank? (I have no idea).

PAY TO PLAY said...

When you look at the Cardinals and how they attack pitchers who are struggling you see the divide between the good offensive teams and the bad ones.

You are seeing the polar opposites on the offensive scales today.

DWS said...

Ugly.

A DC Wonk said...

Richest Owners in Baseball are CHEAP B*****

Let's see . . . Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, Gio Gonzalez, Edwin Jackson, Michael Morse, and four over-slot guys means they committed over $300 million over the past two years. Strasberg and Harper got all time record packages for draft picks.

I wish I had an uncle who was half as cheap!

Mark'd said...

I jokingly write "why didn't they get Beltran" and some cones back with why didn't they get Fielder and then some brainless low IQ idiot writes some slam on the Lerners.

That's a shame that some things never change.

Unkyd said...

There you go, Wonk...

Unkyd said...

I mean... If the Learners were't so cheap, we coulda had Fielder, Beltran AND Puhols..... It's just $$, right?

NatsLady said...

SteveM, it was not pretty. Gio got his work in. He didn't throw a lot of curves, maybe he figured he already knows how to do that and he was working on other stuff. The "other stuff" was not a success. There is only so much you can attribute to a small strike zone.

Reminds me a bit of Livo, he also would throw batting practice sometimes if he was mad.

If Gio is tiring, he needs to get in shape because it will be HOT HOT here in the summer.

From March heat in Washington, D.C. to a summer scorcher?

WaPo Weather Gang's prediction is in the link.

Unkyd said...

Pujols......

Steve M. said...

P2P, I will say it again, no hitting coach preps his players like Mark McGwire. His players approach the plate with a plan and confidence. They also become sharks smelling blood when a pitcher is struggling. They love crooked number innings.

Lance Berkman found the fountain of youth with him. Freese became a Post-season star learning from him.

bdrube said...

I just wanted to point out that the Nats start the season with a VERY soft schedule...only one opponent that was over .500 last year during the entire month of April. If they get off to a very slow start, it could torpedo the season before it really gets going and they start to face the good teams.

NatsLady said...

bdrube, I noticed that also about the schedule. First road trip is the Cubs and Mets. Gotta get WINS.

SCNatsFan said...

Anonymous troll who asked why we didn't get Fielder comment... please, please still be posting in this forum in about 2 years and ask the same question. I bet you said the Lerners were cheap when they didn't sign Soriano to that contract too.

NatsLady said...

Only the 6th inning? Gotta go to work, someone else will have to do the play-by-play.

Anonymous said...

So besides pitching this just turned into a Single A ballgame

PAY TO PLAY said...

SCNatsFan, the richest owner in baseball mantra is just a flawed statement. There are wealthier ownership groups in baseball of which the Dodgers group will certainly be #1. The Cardinals group is very wealthy, are they cheap because they didn't sign Pujols? These are businesses. Its like saying Microsoft lost market share because they didn't hire the top people out there because of money.

Cease the Opportunity said...

I really enjoy the slow play poker playing offense of the Nationals. Why show your cards now. Just waiting for the opening day... :~)

A DC Wonk said...

SCNatsFan said...

Anonymous troll who asked why we didn't get Fielder comment... please, please still be posting in this forum in about 2 years and ask the same question.


2 years?! How about 5, 7, 8 years from now when he's age 35+ and they will _still_ be paying him $24 MM per year!

MicheleS said...

When did Ross change his name to DITWILER? Mike Shannon really makes me miss Charlie and Dave ( I know.. I am repeating myself)

A DC Wonk said...

Cease said:

Why show your cards now.

Dude. You're not in mid-season form either. You missed the play! How about:

Why show your cards to the Cards now.

;-)

SCNatsFan. said...

DC WOnk, I figure the fan base is over the signing in 2 years. In 5-8 years they will be burning him in effigy. Obviously a very large fire.

And P2P, I agree... you have to look at the wealth of all the owners in a group. Lerners are cheap is just such an easy mantra for this forum, correct or not.

Cease the Opportunity said...

A DC Wonk said...

Darn it...

Anonymous said...

Wow, Destin Hood in the game.

bups said...

This team's offense is so pathetic that it is almost impossible to score even one run. Now the pitching is falling apart. Maybe we aren't better than the Mets.

Anonymous said...

This team's offense is so pathetic that it is almost impossible to score even one run. Now the pitching is falling apart. Maybe we aren't better than the Mets.

No, they are going to be horrendous offensively but the pitching will be good this year of that we can be sure ... defense above average.

Everyone will just have to get used to Werth and LaRoche in steep 30+ declines. Morse and Zim will contribute but then we have developing players who will contribute in spurts. Its time to be patient as we wait for the Lombo's, Espy's, Desmond's, Ramos, Flores ... plus the minor league prospects ... its all going to happen but it just isn't this year offensively.

bups said...

Regardless of how good the pitching is, a team has to score runs to win games. Having no offense puts tremendous pressure on the pitching staff, both starters and relievers, and that can wear the pitching staff down big time.

sjm308 said...

I will jump in to help DC Wonk vs. all the neganons. Werth is what? 31-32. How is he in a steep 30+ decline. He had one bad year and was expected to do way more then was realistic. Look at his career numbers and I am betting he comes closer to those then what he did last year. Werth will play better and we have to hope that Morse will not fade too much from his great year. Zimm is back for an entire season and like the last Anon did say (in a semi positive fasion I might add), we have to be patient with the youngsters. I am done calling Desmond a youngster though. I think he has had enough at bats to be called a veteran and I am just hoping like DC Wonk has pointed out numerous times that his last 70 games are an indication he has it figured out.

I do have to admit that I am just a little worried about all the injuries. I realize other teams are battling the same kind of thing but it just hits home a little harder with our lads.

Hoping those platlets hit the mark and Morse feels better quickly.

Go Nats!

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Ehh. It's one game, it's spring training, nobody (else) got hurt. Go get 'em tomorrow.

A DC Wonk said...

sjm308 said...

I will jump in to help DC Wonk vs. all the neganons.

Thanks!

I'm going away for the weekend (in about 10 minutes -- limited connectivity), so I'm going to need you (and others) to help fill in for me ;-)

Happy trails, and have a good weekend, all!

GYFNG!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

I am now officially worried. No Mickey Morse. Probably now ALR. Center field still muddled. Leadoff batter by committee. Gio bombed today.

I just don't see this bunch equaling 85 wins. Maybe 75.

Too many moving parts. Too many unavailable parts. Too many unproven parts.

sjm308 said...

Sunshine, the important question we all want to know is - have you got your supply of maalox and bourbon all ready to go for the season?

I am switching to SmuttyNose Old Brown Dog Ale. Just can't pass up the name and its actually pretty tasty!

I am still on record for 85 wins this year. Just can't see this staff not being better than last years.

A DC Wonk said...

Sunshine wrote:

I just don't see this bunch equaling 85 wins. Maybe 75

My, oh, my. Time to bring out the old saying: "a team is never as good as it looks when it's on a winning stead, and it's never as bad as it seems when in a slump." (I thought I wouldn't have to pull that out until the season started!)

Sunshine, I'll take the "over" on 75 wins on a bet!

Have a good weekend, all!

Anonymous said...

Leadoff by committee worked pretty well for Davey back in 86 with Dykstra and Mookie. If only Desmond OBP skills like either of those guys. D'oh.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Why worry so much now? How many games are we back in the division race? So we have some injuries. So does everone else.

This year we have a manager that is not afraid to say "hey Mike! Since Morse is out 3 weeks or so and LaRoche is still gimpy and such a slow starter, how about getting me that kid Moore to fill in a bit amd let's see what he can do."

NatsJack in Florida said...

Watching the Cubs and Rangers. Thank God one team has red numbers and the other white. It's the easiest way to tell them apart.

Anonymous said...

If you have been around long enough you would not have as much optimism. I can see 1970 all over again. So many years in last place or close to it. I see about 75 wins this season. No Injuries and a better hitting team would win 85-90.

natsfan1a said...

Or any Nats fan listening to or watching the game, I'm guessing. I lucked out because I had a mid-afternoon appointment at the gym. (Ab crunches, yay!).

A good time was had by all. Except anyone sitting in the Nationals dugout. Or covering them from the press box.

NatsLady said...

To those of you who want to listen to the games at work, I have one word for you: Bluetooth. Get the ear that is A2DP (a little more expensive than the kind that just answers calls). Charlie and Dave will come right through your smartphone--or your computer--into your head.

Anonymous said...

Wow you got a bluetooth? Cool.

Thanks for the update.

NatsJack in Florida said...

First game was at Griffith Stadium in 1954. Broke my 12 year old heart when they traded my favorite player (Roy Sievers) for Earl Battey and Don Mincher in 1959.

So yes. I've been around for awhile.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Thanks, all, for the encouraging words. I've stepped back from the ledge, thanks to you. And yes, sjm308, the bourbon and Maalox supply is full-up. No supply chain glitches there. The supply seems to last a lot longer with Clipp-Storen coming out of the pen than when Gascanrahan used to light a match to the charcoal.

NatsJack, you're correct too. Everybody has injuries. It's just I am innocent (and gullible) enough to believe Nats' first injury reports. The analogy to Baghdad Bob is spot on.

So I'm breaking out the bourbon and Maalox early this evening to celebrate this 9-0 doesn't-counter. Cheers, ladies and gents...

Anonymous said...

I know in Spring Training, no one is supposed to care about the record, but ours is... *shudder* frightening.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

You are easily frightened.

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