Monday, March 12, 2012

Nats vs. Cardinals (ss) - 3/12/12

US Presswire photo
The Cardinals come to Space Coast Stadium this afternoon.
They rained out after only four innings yesterday in Jupiter, but today the Nationals get another crack at the Cardinals. Or, at least a split-squad version of the Cardinals who made the drive up to Viera.

Plenty of regulars in the Nats' lineup, including Michael Morse (making his return as DH after missing six days with a lat strain) and Adam LaRoche (starting at first base). Jordan Zimmermann takes the mound in a rematch with top St. Louis prospect Shelby Miller (the two squared off five days ago).

No TV or radio coverage of this one, but the Nationals are planning to make their first round of cuts this afternoon, so stay tuned for that news...

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (ss) vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: None
Radio: None
Weather: Partly cloudy, 74 degrees, Wind 15 in from LF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
DH Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
CF Jayson Werth
C Jesus Flores
RF Roger Bernadina
LF Corey Brown
(P Jordan Zimmermann)

CARDINALS (ss)
CF Adron Chambers
C Yadier Molina
DH Matt Holliday
1B Matt Adams
3B David Freese
LF Matt Carpenter
2B Tyler Greene
RF Wily Taveras
SS Alex Cora
(P Shelby Miller)

117 comments:

dabassguy1 said...

What's up with Harper? Haven't heard his name recently.

NatsLady said...

Nice. Most of the A-team guys. Guess Harper is still out with his strained leg.

Cease the Opportunity said...

dabassguy1 said...

What's up with Harper? Haven't heard his name recently.


Tight calf. that's all...

Interesting line-up today for Nationals...

DWS said...

Yes outfield especially.

CN said...

Harper's been taking batting practice, as his calf apparently only bothers him when running. I don't think he's tested the calf since he noticed it tightening last Thurs.

NatsNuts said...

Alex Cora sure is getting lots of starts with the Cardinals.

SweetBlues said...

So....Morse's injury is more problematic than originally reported?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Isn't it "Willy" (not Wily, as in Wily Mo Pena) Tavares?

natsfan1a said...

Cora, schmora. They have Wile E. Taveras in right field (beep beep). Seriously, nice to see lots of Nats regulars in the lineup.

natsfan1a said...

Dang, sec3 beat me to it while I was double-checking on spelling.

sjm308 said...

I am thinking those first 6 in the order today will be what we see come Opening Day. (Like most important dates I believe Opening Day should be capitalized). Nice to see C. Brown getting more opportunity but I would like to see him in CF. Does anyone know when cuts are made and how many will be sent down?

markfd said...

Mark Z -

Is your sense that minus the DH slot this will be a typical lineup for the Nats at the beginning of the season?

Desmond
Espinosa
Zimmerman
Morse
LaRoche
Werth
C
3rd OF
P

MicheleS said...

SJM.. Amanda/Kilgore reporting Cuts are after game today (I love twitter for that reason only)

PAY TO PLAY said...

MicheleS, Amanda had earlier tweeted cuts would be before the game hence no conclusions about those in todays game as they can still be cut after the game.

sjm308 said...

Thanks guys:

I guess the reality is, they can cut at anytime during the spring but try to do it at certain times to help them give more playing time to those they want to see. My question was based on Corey Brown being in the lineup and I am hoping he lasts for a little longer.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Corey Brown getting another look today. They will send him down to AAA, but he has gotten someone's attention. Maybe they put him back on the 40 man roster, based on his strong ST.

Is Rizzo working on a package deal that includes Bernadina, along with Lannen? Or are they show-casing Brown for the same reason?

MicheleS said...

P2P.. She tweeted a correction about 30 minutes ago, saying cuts would be after the game.

PAY TO PLAY said...

http://districtondeck.com/2012/03/12/the-jason-bourgeois-rumor/

The writer in this article like others are looking at Bourgeois as a full-time player which he isn't. Last week here I read some interesting points on why Rizzo may want him and that is to create a RH/LH platoon with the lefties Ankiel or Bernadina or Harper.

Bourgeois is one of the best base stealers in the Majors. He is one of the most effective batters when facing LH pitching. The issues are what would it cost to get him and how much of a factor is his age (30).

Anonymous said...

Like Bourgeois a lot!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Just trying to win back some of those cokes, 1a.

PAY TO PLAY said...

Let me also add that Bourgeois also wasn't good in leadoff but in the 2 hole against Lefties and Righties slashed .327/.403/.400/.803.

In all places in the batting order against LH pitching he slashed .396/.430/.495/.925

HHover said...

sjm308 -

If Brown doesn't have a serious shot at making the 25 man roster--and I doubt he does--then, yes, I'd think they send him down to minor league camp sooner rather than later, to get more looks at the guys who are contenders. Last year, the Nats made their first round of cuts on March 11, and sent Bryce down a day later.

Anon @ 12:50 -

That's an interesting idea--that they're showcasing Brown in major league camp as possible trade bait. But he seems like a pretty marginal trading chip, and I doubt another club would put a lot of weight on 10-15 ST ABs.

Mark'd said...

P2P, does anyone have the ability to put together what Bernadina + Bourgeois would slash in a platoon combined based on 2011.

natsfan1a said...

Okay, subtracting one coke.

Anonymous said...

Are we going to keep up with the game this time or stop blogging somewhere in the 4th inning. Oh! Wait that is Adam on the Washington Post game blog.

NatsNuts said...

HR ball by Freese 3-0

Anonymous said...

Good job JZ you sure aren't gonna be no Ace Pitching like that

Steve M. said...

Mark'd, I have to make some assumptions such as platoon splits so I took Bernadina playing 72% of the time and Bourgeois 28% of the time and only used their 2011 stats w/ Bernadina facing RH pitching and Bourgeois vs. LH pitching and the results are: .297/.353/.426/.779

If you used their respective numbers from 2011 against all pitchers and batting 2nd: .317/.353/.516/.869

I don't have the ability to neutralize those numbers taking out LH/LH matchups and RH/RH matchups in the 2 hole, but you can imagine how good both players numbers would look. Both players performed poorly in leadoff in 2011.

Steve M. said...

Anon's sure are smart! Zim & Morse go back to back with doubles.

PAY TO PLAY said...

Anon @ 1:16 who is quick to smash Jordan Z, Dave Nichols tweeted that the Freese HR off of JZim was a wind-aided opposite field HR. Some call it hitting the jet stream.

Basically a Nats Park fly ball out.

RPrecupjr said...

Actually, Anonatwit @ 1:11, Mark does the same thing. He goes down to talk to the starting pitcher when he comes out after the third, so there is usually a gap in the game blog. Also, since Mark is not currently in Viera, he won't be updating at all, but the play-by-play provided by (in no particular order) Gonat, MicheleS and natsfan1a more than make up for it. It's almost as good as being there :)

Exposremains said...

I hate to say it and I know it's just spring training. Desmond K to leadoff and Werth can't produce with men on base. Sounds familiar, I don't know why.

Anonymous said...

Desmond and Espinosa cannot happen 1-2 in the order during the regular season.. Neither gets on base enough. This is why I predict a move will be made. We do not really have any other options in those spots.. Some would say Werth in the 2 spot, but he is much better suited for the 5-6 spot.

Steve M. said...

JZim quick work in the 2nd. 3-1 in the bottom of 2

Anonymous said...

HHover -

That's an interesting idea--that they're showcasing Brown in major league camp as possible trade bait. But he seems like a pretty marginal trading chip, and I doubt another club would put a lot of weight on 10-15 ST ABs.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Mark'd said...

SteveM, thanks for crunching those numbers. Platoons can work nicely like that.

Steve M. said...

Jesus Flores with a wind aided oppo boppo HR of his own. Should the Cards get rid of their pitcher?

Danny P. said...

Solo shot by Flores.. 3-2

Danny P. said...

Steve M.

Seems like the Nats have rooughed up the cards top pitching prospect Miller twice now.

Steve M. said...

Mark'd, happy to do it. Its like I said about the Brewers CF platoon, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

Those are some crazy good numbers! Both batters struggled in the leadoff which really skewed their overall numbers.

Top of 3, 3-2 score

Steve M. said...

Danny P., I think the Nats like this kid!

Steve M. said...

Corey Brown with another slick fielding play dives for the ball and doubles Yadier Molina off of 1st

Steve M. said...

Bottom 3 and still 3-2. Probably would be Nats 1-0 without the wind.

Espinosa leads off the 3rd.

David said...

I think Brown is playing his way onto the 40 man and another year of AAA. Hey maybe he does become a Morse and figures it out in his late 20's....

Steve M. said...

Zim decided to go OPPO BOPPO with a HR himself. He's on fire 3-3

Danny P. said...

0-4 2K's between Desmond and Espinosa.. not looking too promising

Steve M. said...

Matheny just pulled Miller for Chuckie Fick!

Steve M. said...

David said...
I think Brown is playing his way onto the 40 man and another year of AAA. Hey maybe he does become a Morse and figures it out in his late 20's....

March 12, 2012 1:52 PM


You don't put Brown on the 40 man if you are going to option him back to AAA.

Brown could be your 15 seed beating a 2. Ankiel can't stay healthy so who knows. When Corey Brown is healthy, the kid is good and is a solid 3 1/2 tool player. If he can hit for average, he would be the guy.

Steve M. said...

3-3 top of 4 and looks like Jordan Zimmermann will pitch 1 more inning.

Steve M. said...

JZim pitches around Freese this time and walks him to start the 4th

Cease the Opportunity said...

Steve M. said...

Jesus Flores with a wind aided oppo boppo HR of his own. Should the Cards get rid of their pitcher?


Wind aided HRs count too. All a part of the game...

Steve M. said...

Another ground ball single between LaRoche and Espinosa.

Steve M. said...

4-3 Cardinals with 2 outs. JZim reaches is pitch limit and in comes Matt Purke

Steve M. said...

4-3 bottom 4 w/ Werth leading off against Chuckie Fick

Steve M. said...

Werth leads off w/ a double followed by a JFlo strikeout.

Steve M. said...

Corey Brown in the clutch after Bernadina walk with a RBI single to tie the game at 4-4

Steve M. said...

Ian Desmond w/ a RBI single and Corey Brown gets to 3rd w/ 1 out and RZim on deck

Nats lead 5-4

Steve M. said...

Chuckie is yanked for Adam Ottavino to face Espi

Tom in AR said...

I think Werth will generally bat second this year, unless it is some kind of platoon of right fielders (Ankiel, Bernadina, DeRosa, Brett Carroll, Jason Michaels). Even with Werth's terrible year, he had a better OBP than Espinosa. I know Espy is a switch hitter so he could break up the righty lineup up top, but I think he ends up batting 7th.

Steve M. said...

Espinosa K's and Ryan Zimmerman K's up with men on 1st and 3rd and Nats leading 5-4

Danny P. said...

Espi K's again.. he needs to work on the Ks...

Tom in AR said...

Zimmerman, too. His average is down to .583

Anonymous said...

Espy has never done well at or near the top of the order.

Steve M. said...

Tom, my thoughts that I scribbled down before was Espi bats 7th LH and 2nd RH. I am still intrigued by any trade to bring in a platoon partner for the Lefty outfielder situation.

NatsLady said...

Desi and Werth get hits, just to say "So there," to Nats Insiders.

Hey, Ryan, keep some of that for the regular season!

Steve M. said...

Holy stuff, Matt Purke just struck out Matt Holliday!

Steve M. said...

NatsLady, you are preaching to the Nats Outsiders on that one!

Steve M. said...

David Freese with 2 men on again tried to yank a pitch oppo into the jet stream and just got under it.

Nice 1 1/3 for Purke facing real MLB batters!

Steve M. said...

Like I said after watching Purke with scouts, he has great stuff and a lively 4 seam fastball and can throw the 2 seam and breaking stuff, and once he keeps a consistent release point and stops telegraphing pitches, he will be a force to be reckoned with.

I think he will be a fast climber in the Minors for the Nats and probably received some good pointers from McCatty to take with him as he will probably be sent down today.

Steve M. said...

Morse finishes up his day with a walk and gets replaced by Tyler Moore.

Steve M. said...

LaRoche reaches on a fielding error and Eury Perez will pinch-hit for Werth.

Steve M. said...

Eury Perez with a bunt that scores a run on a throwing error followed up by a RBI groundout by JFlo. Nats up 7-4

Steve M. said...

Gotta run and catch a cab to grab lunch and then some BP before the game. Go Nats!

Smurff said...

Bummer. We lost our play-by-play man...

Danny P. said...

Nats 8-4 Lombardozzi Ks with men on 2nd and 3rd to end the 5th..

NatsLady said...

Tying to slip in a glance at Gameday. Did I see a double steal?

Mark'd said...

SteveM, thanks and enjoy

natsfan1a said...

Great work by SteveM on the play-by-play!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't tell if it was a double steal or gameday having issues.

MicheleS said...

Kilgore defintely left the booth, look at all the runs we scored while he was gone.. He must have taken Mark Z's place as the good luck charm.

natsfan1a said...

I don't know on the double steal, as I was working rather than watching Gameday. I'm done now, though. :-)

MicheleS said...

In Nats Park food news.

Either really good or a bad case of indigestion

Anonymous said...

Tom, my thoughts that I scribbled down before was Espi bats 7th LH and 2nd RH. I am still intrigued by any trade to bring in a platoon partner for the Lefty outfielder situation.

Seems highly unlikely and improbable SteveM given how close to the majors Bryce Harper, Eury Perez, and Destin Hood are. Why go outside?
With Werth signed for 8 years it makes it impossible to fit guys the way
you and Tom envision. Especially, if they decide to acquire the top rung
center fielder.

natsfan1a said...

Update courtesy of Gameday. Still 8-4 after 6 innings. Against Sanchez: Teahen BB, Moore 1B, Tracy K, Perez K, Maldonado K (are we sensing a trend here?)

Anonymous said...

Then throw in Corey Brown who is batting .438 and bats left. He is just past being a prospect. He could still be a factor.

What the Nats really needed was Prince Fielder. They wouldn't go the number of years Boras wanted and Detroit did. They need a left-handed impact bat to go with Bryce Harper in right field (Werth apparently ends up in left I expect). And First base is the best spot for this bat.

natsfan1a said...

Thanks for the food link, MicheleS. Kinda gross on the burger, imo. Of course, I nearly lose my lunch whenever I try to watch one of those man vs. food/gourmand type shows where the guy shovels in mass quantities of whatever (I guess we are all Coneheads now). The regional specialties tied to visiting teams sound good, though. :-)

natsfan1a said...

Pretty quick top of the inning for Durbin (looks like his second one?): 2B, K, GO, K.

Anonymous said...

Chad Durbin has had a good spring training.
At least he is getting innings. He had no chance with Cleveland last year. Long relief, which is basically sit and wait until you are either up by several runs or down by several runs. Not very motivating. He did well being used in a needed spot while at Philly.

NatsLady said...

Like Ross Detwiler said, "Being a long reliever on this team isn't going to be much fun." (And that's good.)

Tom in AR said...

Mr Anonymous - how do you not see things fitting as I envision? Harper will start the season in the minors and barring a trade for a Centerfielder, Werth will get plugged in there. I don't see any chance that Perez or Hood will make the team (Brown is a long shot as well). That leaves a right field platoon that will be made up of the guys in camp already - Ankiel, Bernadina, DeRosa, Carrol or Michaels (and I know that DeRosa is a corner infield back-up, but he can play outfield). That also doesn't preclude them from trying to shore up the platoon by getting someone to complement the guys they have. Not a major acquisition, but a veteran who can move to the bench when Harper gets called up or gets traded.

If and when they do acquire a top-rung centerfielder, Morse will slide to first and Werth and Harper will man the corners, but that is more likely to be next year unless they move LaRoche at the trade deadline, and I don't think they will do that unless they are completely out of the race.

NatsLady said...

Has Henry had a baserunner yet? Ooops, my student (age 5) is decorating her music and not playing it. Better watch her.

natsfan1a said...

'nother Gameday update.

Bottom of the 7th, against Boggs: Carroll, Brown, Blanco = GO's for everyone.

H-Rod's top of the 8th is 1-2-3: K, GO, K

Still 8-4 Nats.

Anonymous said...

Here comes Burnett to close it out. Hopefully, Adam will get back with some news on the cuts.

natsfan1a said...

Same score after the bottom of the 8th. For Salas: it's Lombo FO, Teahen K, Moore 1B, and Tracy GO.

Anonymous said...

Mr Anonymous - how do you not see things fitting as I envision? Harper will start the season in the minors and barring a trade for a Centerfielder, Werth will get plugged in there.

Sorry I guess I wasn't more specific? I don't see them trading for a platoon bat. A trade will not occur UNLESS (IFF for you math / logician types out there) it is for an impact bat or potential impact bat. BJ Upton is a potential impact bat that does not have to go at the top of the order.

But what the Nats truly need is an impact left-handed bat at first base. (In other words a Prince Fielder that can field the position). Time will show that it is definitely NOT Adam LaRoche.

If Johnson decides to make any changes he seems far more likely than Riggleman to use what he has in his minor league system. Riggleman always wanted to trade for a good fielding utility veteran who really doesn't produce offensively. The guys they have on the cusp of the majors all know their road to the majors is through OFFENSE because that is what the Nats need right now to get to the next level.

NatinBeantown said...

I think I saw it recommended here, among other places, but now that I'm into it I have to concur: reading Jim Bouton's "Ball Four" is the perfect companion to Spring Training. Hilarious, and a good reminder of why spring training games don't count (but count A LOT to some of the marginal players).

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Gorzelanny "being Pattersoned" noting that Sean Burnett got himself into a bit of hot water in the top of the ninth trying to close out this game. Gorzelanny was more effective than Burnett, Slaten, and Detwiler in relief last year folks. He is a veteran, yet still young, left handed power arm who can both pitch in relief and start in the rotation in the same year.

Seems like too many do not understand what is really going on.

natsfan1a said...

Burnett makes it interesting but the bottom of the 9th has been cancelled: Conley 1B, Kozma 2B, Chambers FO, Cruz K, Stanley GO. 8-4 Nats. The end.

Mark'd said...

And that's your ballgame 8 - 4

Mark'd said...

A cost controlled RH bat like Bourgeois makes sense only if you dont give up much. He gives you speed and defense off the bench also.

Unkyd said...

"But what the Nats truly need is an impact left-handed bat at first base. (In other words a Prince Fielder that can field the position). Time will show that it is definitely NOT Adam LaRoche."
----------------------
Humph...... Why didn't I think of that? We'll just pick up a Prince Fielder, who can field the position.... How hard can that be? Just dangle that Cutter Dykstra bait out there, until somebody strikes it.

Problem solved.....(if only we had two Cutters....we could snag one of those Ryan Braun-types, too!)

Waddu eye no said...

Given her " take me out to the ballgame" yet?

Anonymous said...

#acomack: Davey was extremely complimentary of Corey Brown. Said if he keeps doing the things he's capable of "we don't have to look for a CF."

Yeah baby!

NatsLady said...

Waddu, not this one, but several others. And I have my Nats gear on. Red cap for a home game.

Anonymous said...

Humph...... Why didn't I think of that? We'll just pick up a Prince Fielder, who can field the position.... How hard can that be? Just dangle that Cutter Dykstra bait out there, until somebody strikes it.

Seems likely to be filled eventually by an older free agent until/unless Skole begins to prove himself.

Possible better-than-fielder examples:
1. Joey Votto (heard of him Unkyd? Probably not you don't really follow well.
FA 2014.
2. Lance Berkman FA 2013., a switch hitting impact hitter.

Bozo said...

Bet the beer is flowing in the clubhouse this afternoon.

natsfan1a said...

In other news, Mark's Tweeter update (at top right) has a list of cuts.

natsfan1a said...

More in the new post. :-)

NatinBeantown said...

Anon/Peric @4:34

You know darn well Unkyd did not imply that there are not elite hitters that play good 1b defense. You know he was saying that WANTING that type of player and ACQUIRING that kind of player are two different things. You also know that he in no way implied that we shouldn't pursue Votto or some other elite FA next year.

Stop twisting arguments. You're too knowledgable a fan to make every comment string a pissing match. Please.

Tom in AR said...

Berkman is 36 by the way. You really think he will be the answer in 2013?

DaveB said...

'Anonymous' at 4:05pm seems to have missed the fact that Burnett posted a 1.02 ERA for the entire months of August and Sept. last season over his last 19 appearances after a late July adjustment. That was the best ERA over that span for the entire staff, starters or relievers (with the exception of Stammen, but he only made 5 appearances, all in Sept.). Like Davey said of Burnett at the end of Sept., "He was as good as anyone I had out there" (And in fact, he was better).

Burnett isn't going anywhere.

JaneB said...

Unkyd, you made me laugh out loud.

I'm glad that maybe Corey Brown is getting closer to coming up. It's kinda too bad for him that our outfield is set with Werth eventually in CF, Morse in L and Prince OppoBoppo in Right. What a fun day it will be when he comes up!

I'm holding out hope that my Desi is working on something at the plate, and that he is starting to get it.

ehay2k said...

Why oh why, with the entire off season to work on it, hasn't Rizzo done anything about the wind? I am SOOOO tired of fly balls blowing out of the park. Maybe if the Lerners weren't so dang cheap!

That's about the only rant I have right now. Nats' ST used to begin and end with too many plaintive prayers and too few quality players. Not any more.

The team is in the best shape of its short life! Bring the best 25 north!

(Gulp, slam!)

GYFNG

waddu eye no said...

ehay2k said...
Why oh why, with the entire off season to work on it, hasn't Rizzo done anything about the wind? I am SOOOO tired of fly balls blowing out of the park. Maybe if the Lerners weren't so dang cheap!

stop twisting arguments. you know it's desmond's fault. look at the WHIP (wind harrassment in park) and BABIP (blown away balls in playground) numbers

jeez

Steady Eddie said...

Belated answer to you NI questioners -- yes it was a double steal.

And Corey Brown 's diving catch and doubling off Yadier Molina was a nice make up for his sort-of hesitating attempt to do so in the first that bounced off his glove and put the first runner on for Freese's bomb. no worse than Wirth's lollygagging on that hit that fell in for a double against the Mets on Saturday, tho.

I thought the kid looked impressive, though, like he belonged. And probably will by September if not July.

ANd to all you HRod doubters, fuggetabowdit! Missed seeing NatsJack today but had the fun of watching HRod's howitzer shots come in from behind the screen, and yelling "swing NOW" at Velez during HRod's windup. Dude is lethal.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Eddie, thanks for the on-site. Makes me look forward to seeing him myself.

natsfan1a said...

Funny stuff, ehay2k and waddu, but you may want to pace yourselves a bit. After all, it's a marathon, not a sprint. (Gulp.)

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