Friday, March 2, 2012

Nats vs. Hoyas - 3/2/12

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Space Coast Stadium hosts the Georgetown Hoyas this afternoon.
VIERA, Fla. -- Though the Nationals are sitting nearly all of their regulars, manager Davey Johnson is plenty interested to get a look at the players he'll be putting out there in his exhibition opener against Georgetown. That includes right fielder Bryce Harper, third baseman Anthony Rendon and left-hander Matt Purke (scheduled to throw 2-3 innings).

"This is going to be fun for me," Johnson said, "seeing guys I haven't seen perform before in a game."

This is also going to be fun for the Hoyas baseball club, which gets to enjoy an exhibition against a professional organization before heading to Winter Haven for an eight-game tournament against other Northeast college teams that have to come down here for good baseball weather.

"It's a huge thrill for them," said coach Pete Wilk, whose club is 6-2 so far this season. "I heard my shortstop talking about the infield, how unbelievable it is taking groundballs out here. We walked into the clubhouse and their names are up on their lockers. I mean, we don't get that experience. These guys are getting a big-league experience that they won't forget. They won't forget this."

This game isn't being broadcast anywhere, but you're in luck. I'll be providing updates throughout, so please make sure to check back often as the Nationals take the field for the first time in 2012...

GEORGETOWN HOYAS vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 12 p.m.
TV: None
Radio: None
Weather: Partly cloudy, 81 degrees, Wind 10 mph in from CF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS
2B Steve Lombardozzi
LF Xavier Paul
RF Bryce Harper
1B Tyler Moore
DH Brett Carroll
3B Anthony Rendon
CF Corey Brown
SS Andres Blanco
C Sandy Leon
(P Matt Purke)

HOYAS
CF Justin Leeson
LF Paul Bello
SS Mike Garza
1B Danny Poplawski
C Kevin Johnson
3B Corbin Blakey
RF Christian Venditti
DH Jim Laufer
2B Andy Lentz
(P Will Harris)
12:03 p.m. -- Matt Purke fires a fastball to Justin Leeson for strike one. It's 80 spectacular degrees. Guess what folks, it's baseball season!

12:06 p.m. -- Pretty good stuff from Purke. He did give up a groundball double inside the third-base bag to Paul Bello, but he got a weak grounder out of Mike Garza and then ended the inning by striking out Danny Poplawski on a nasty breaking ball. Nine pitches, nine strikes in the top of the first for the 21-year-old lefty.

12:25 p.m. -- Plenty of early action here. The Nats scored one in the bottom of the first, though they had a golden opportunity to do more. Xavier Paul doubled with one out, bringing up Bryce Harper with one out and a man in scoring position. Harper showed his patience (and Hoyas righty Will Harris showed his nerves) in drawing a four-pitch walk. Tyler Moore then hit what could have been an inning-ending double play, but third baseman Corbin Blakey booted the ball for an error. Harris then plunked Brett Carroll to force in a run and leave the bases loaded for Anthony Rendon ... who struck out looking in his first at-bat of spring training. Corey Brown's flyball to left ended the first. Purke then made quick work of the top of the second, with some help from his defense. Harper made a nice running catch of a line drive. Andres Blanco then made a spectacular play at shortstop before Purke did a nice job scooping up a slow roller and firing to first to end the inning. So the Nats lead 1-0 heading to the bottom of the second.

12:39 p.m. -- That's three scoreless innings for Purke, who looked pretty sharp for a guy making his first-ever spring training start (obviously, against college competition). Purke wound up allowing only one hit (the Bello double in the first) and struck out three (two of them looking). Very smooth, very efficient. Also, it bears repeating that Andres Blanco can REALLY pick it at shortstop. He's basically battling Steve Lombardozzi for the backup infielder job, and it could be an interesting decision for the Nats. Still 1-0 Nats heading to the bottom of the third.

12:43 p.m. -- And in his second AB of the spring, Bryce Harper ... bunts?! Yep, he dragged one to the right side but couldn't get it past the pitcher (right-hander Jack Vander Linden). Almost beat it out, but not quite. Tyler Moore did stroke a double to left, but Carroll struck out and then Rendon flied out to center to end the third. Still 1-0 as Rafael Martin enters from the bullpen. Purke's final line: 3 ip, 1 h, 0 r, 0 bb, 3 k, 32 pitches, 23 strikes.

12:53 p.m. -- First time I've ever seen Martin in person. Wow, he's got an arm. Blew away a couple of Georgetown hitters in the top of the fourth, striking out two. We go to the bottom of the fourth, still 1-0 Nats.

1:05 p.m. -- The Nats take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth, manufacturing the run. Corey Brown drew a leadoff walk, then Eury Perez entered to pinch-run for him. Perez stole second and took third on an error by the catcher. That set the stage for Sandy Leon to loft a sac fly to center, bringing Perez home and putting the Nats up 2-0.

1:08 p.m. -- For those wondering, Matt Purke's fastball was clocked between 91-93 mph according to a Nats employee with a radar gun watching from behind the plate.

1:17 p.m. -- Tommy Isaacs can now tell his grandkids he once got Bryce Harper to fly out to right field in the fifth inning of an exhibition game at Space Coast Stadium. Pretty uneventful debut for the kid, who I assume is done for the day: 0-for-2 with a walk, a bunt groundball and that flyout. Still 2-0 after five.

1:25 p.m. -- Scoreless top of the sixth from right-hander Waldis Joaquin, keeping this a 2-0 game. Meanwhile, the Nats announced they've come to terms on 2012 contracts with 15 players who have less than three years' service time, but "renewed" the contracts for Drew Storen and Roger Bernadina. In a nutshell: Those other 15 guys actually negotiated and agreed to their salaries for this season. Storen and Bernadina asked for more and didn't get it, but they have no actual say over their salaries. So the Nats just set their salaries on their own. Nothing to get worried about, this happens often (and if I remember correctly, the same thing happened to Ryan Zimmerman years ago).

1:45 p.m. -- Seventh-inning stretch time. It's now 3-0 Nats after Zach Walters (acquired from Arizona for Jason Marquis) singled home Eury Perez (who can really fly around the bases). Joaquin tossed two scoreless innings of relief to keep the shutout intact. Not a lot of offense so far today: Four hits for the Nats, three hits for the Hoyas.

2:07 p.m. -- We go to the ninth, the Nats clinging to a 3-0 lead. Jeff Fulchino is on in search of the save. High drama in Viera.

2:16 p.m. -- That's your ballgame. Nats win 3-0. They're undefeated in 2012 ... in exhibition games against teams from the Big East who don't normally use wood bats. In all seriousness, credit to coach Pete Wilk's Hoyas, who played a pretty good game given the circumstances.

87 comments:

LoveDaNats said...

Yay Mark! I was hoping we'd get the scoop from you.

Paul said...

Please note that this lineup of prospects is better than a vast majority of the retreads and has beens that they put out there from 2007-09.

Love it.

joemktg said...

Tremendous photo!

NatsLady said...

Love the Curly W behind home plate. Gonna see it here soon.

FS said...

Such a long time since a game thread!

Yay welcome back Mark and baseball.

Anonymous said...

Mark:

Thank you for providing online updates today. Anyone want to start a pool? Here's saying the Nats score at least 20 runs today.

6thandD said...

what happened to that Nats320 dude?

NatsLady said...

This is going to be a fun season. From the new MASN blog:

Nationals manager Davey Johnson was so juiced (or, in his words, "frisky") for today's exhibition against Georgetown that he ramped up his morning treadmill session. The result wasn't what the skipper was hoping for.
"I overloaded my hummingbird rear end and a little air came out of my right hammy," Johnson said with a smile. "So, I'm not quite ready yet, is what I'm trying to say. I'm not quite ready to start the season. I'm on the DL a little bit right now."
Can't say I've heard the phrase "overloaded my hummingbird rear end" before, but I'll roll with it.

Nats fan in NJ said...

Paul - that is such a true statement!

A.W. said...

Yes. Harper and Rendon in the same lineup is good to see.

Jim Kurtzke said...

Go Hoyas!

MicheleS said...

Nats Enquirer is reporting that on May 6th (Take Back the Park game/ESPN Sunday Night) will be signing autographs

Ramos Autograph session

bdrube said...

"what happened to that Nats320 dude?"

I heard he followed his bestest bud, Willie Harris, to New York, Because the Mets don't hate Willie Harris anymore. :)

Steady Eddie said...

Game thread, yeehah!

And another vote for Paul's observation -- and that's still true AFTER the Gio trade.

BTFGN!
GYFNG!

Jenny C - DC said...

Mark! Thanks for having a chat. PLAY BALL!

Jim Webster said...

Photo makes me impatient to get there ... Two weeks from tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

6thandD said...
what happened to that Nats320 dude?


You wondering what traumatic childhood experience caused him to turn out like that, or just where he's been lately? Because those are two different answers.

Jenny C - DC said...

He Mark, do you know if there's a gamecast or something we can follow?

MicheleS said...

Jenny C..

Doesn't look like there is one on the MLB site or on CBS Sports, there might be one on ESPN, but not sure.

SonnyG10 said...

So classy for the Nats to put the Georgetown players names on their lockers. Makes me even more proud of our organization.

A.W. said...

It's not on anywhere. Just MZuck's stellar reporting today!

MicheleS said...

On Twitter some pics

Gonat = @NatsHR2Win
NatsJack = @NatsJackinFL

If we have anyone else doing Twitter fromt the game can you post your twitter id?

SweetBlues said...

Play Ball!!

jcj5y said...

If there's a radar gun in the building, I'm very curious to see where Purke is. Not that he needs to be in mid-season form today, but TCU Freshman Purke was 92-94, AFL Purke was more like 87-89. Still worried about his shoulder and his mechanics.

Grandstander said...

First game thread of the season! Found this interesting tid bit of trivia on wikipedia for Brett Carroll:

On June 8, 2009, Carroll hit his first career home run against Randy Johnson. According to the Elias Sport Bureau, the only other currently active major league player whose first major league home run was hit off a pitcher with at least 300 wins is reliever Jon Rauch, whose only career home run came against Roger Clemens in 2004. Carroll also became the first player ever to hit both a home run and a triple against Johnson in the same game.

Tom in AR said...

Looks like this is actually online http://mlb.mlb.com/mediacenter/index.jsp?c_id=mlb

08cubs said...

MLB Gameday:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_03_02_guhbbc_wasmlb_1&mode=gameday&c_id=was

souldrummer said...

@MicheleS
I don't think that's Gonat's handle. Do you have a better one?

JennyC-DC said...

Hey all, we can do a live chat here if you want

http://tinychat.com/Nats

MicheleS said...

souldrummer, that's the one that he posted yesterday and He has picks up from the game already.

natsfan1a said...

Yay, Mark's live! Looks like just a box score for gameday.

MicheleS said...

Also, Mark, Amanda, and Kilgore are tweeting the game as well.

natsfan1a said...

Oops, didn't read far enough. Thanks for the gameday link, cubbie. :-)

natscan reduxit said...

... a real live baseball game, albeit #1: ST vs the Hoyas, and albeit #2: presented in a live on-blog game thread. But still - it's Nats Baseball. Who can top that??!!

Go NATS!!

natsfan1a said...

Agreed, but please remember to take any future photos in the bottom of the inning only at Space Coast and Nats Park. :-)

joemktg said...

Tremendous photo!
March 02, 2012 11:05 AM

Jenny C - DC said...

Nats get their first run of the year!

On a HBP

Bases still loaded 1 out

Jenny C - DC said...

Rendon strikes out, 2 outs, bases still loaded

waddu eye no said...

glad the air didn't come out of davey's hummingbird rear end

DWS said...

NI,Twitter, and MLB open in tabs. Enjoying but looking forward to watching!

Jenny C - DC said...

1, 2, 3 inning for Purke

MicheleS said...

Waddu.. That comment was HILARIOUS! davey is going to be a treat this year!

All - Amanda is brining it on twitter with her game commentary. And so is Mark (of course)

natsfan1a said...

That's what I said, waddu eye (to my screen).

Also, with two Nats having made outs, gameday has Purke pitching to a Hoyas batter. Oh well, gameday has a few weeks to get the rust out. :-)

natsfan1a said...

(Well, more like a month, but whatevs.)

Anonymous said...

All - Amanda is brining it on twitter with her game commentary.

Salty, is she?

natsfan1a said...

btw, when did the Hoyas pick up Willie Harris, and when did he become a pitcher? What? Oh, never mind.

MicheleS said...

Hey.. New Masn Nats Reporter.

@dankolko on twitter.

NG said...

Mark-

Any indication of Purke's velocity?

NatsLady said...

knew that Xavier Paul shouldn't have come "late" to ST, struck out.

natsfan1a said...

Gameday to me: Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges.

(Seriously, what's a badge in that context, anyway?)

Tom in AR said...

Rendon, 0-2. Clearly a bust.

And what is Harper doing bunting? Perhaps trying to make the team as the light hitting, high OBP answer in CF?

Anonymous said...

By Bill Ladson / MLB.com 02/25/10 6:47 PM ET

VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals continue to prepare for the future, purchasing the contract of right-hander Rafael Martin from Saraperos de Saltillo of the Mexican League, according to a baseball source. ESPN.com was the first to indicate that a deal was done.

The Nationals have not confirmed they have acquired Martin.

Martin, 25, has arrived in Florida, and he took his physical on Thursday and will report to Minor League camp Friday. Washington beat out the Mariners and Yankees for his services

Martin is coming off a season in which he pitched in 54 games for Saltillo, going 6-3 with a 4.12 ERA. Even more impressive is that he struck out 65 batters in 63 1/3 innings and held opponents to a .244 batting average.

Nice to know we'll have him in our minor league system....

Go Nats,
NatFan05

NatsLady said...

Another pitcher? :) :) Actually, I'll take beating the Yanks for anything.

Anonymous said...

Not that he needs to be in mid-season form today, but TCU Freshman Purke was 92-94, AFL Purke was more like 87-89.

I see you're not following Kilgore's running game blog. It was indeed 91-93 this early in the spring. Apparently, his injury wasn't serious which is good news ... fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

Hey.. New Masn Nats Reporter.

He was doing the Orioles? Pete Kerzel is the Nats beat reporter for MASN and the editor-in-chief for all of them?

NG said...

Yes, that is excellent news about Purke.

NatsLady said...

Tried Gameday on iPhone, MLB.com and Android. Android app best, so far. Interesting.

MicheleS said...

Anon 1:21:

I thought Pete was doing Orioles and subbing until they could find Goesling's replacement. New Guy's twitter page says that he is the MASN Nats reporter

A DC Wonk said...

It was indeed 91-93 this early in the spring. Apparently, his injury wasn't serious which is good news

Awesome news. Yet another (potential) steal in Rizzo's awesome draft day last summer.

realdealnats said...

Seriously re-thinking my stance on Harper starting Opening Day, especially considering LaRoche's shoulder and the negative chain reaction it causes in terms of bats. Let him learn up here.

It's starting to become clear to me, that if we are lucky enough to "steal" a WS this year--or even go deep enough to taste it--and then win a couple to a few (or really be there for the final bell in late October for a few)--then I think Harper is going to want to stay, and not go to the Yankees. I think he'll bond with this group. This group already seems to be bonding with each other.

This group seems to be special--in attitude, work ethic, and skill. And when I say this I'm also including Rendon and Purke et al, and whoever our starting CF is next year--hopefully Upton. The weakspots are pretty clear and eminently fixable in the near future. Payroll is manageable. There's esprit de corps. Great scouts.

Obviously this is dreaming b/c Rendon and Purke haven't done anything yet--and to even talk about winning 1 much less multiple WSs is crazy--but this is what we're all starting to feel, isn't it? Davey's got us all jazzed up feeling that this thing is within our grasp! Go Nats.

A DC Wonk said...

Martin: 2IP, 4K's, no BB's

Gardner said...

Are the Hoyas using metal bats?

MicheleS said...

What's the scoop on Eury Perez? Will he start in A, AA?

Anonymous said...

Awesome news. Yet another (potential) steal in Rizzo's awesome draft day last summer.

Offsets the loss of Solis. Have to hope Rosenbaum, McGreary, Robbie Ray, and Purke continue to progress. Hopefully, Robbie Ray will develop more velocity as he matures.

A DC Wonk said...

So, the Nats have scored zero earned runs so far?

Anonymous said...

What's the scoop on Eury Perez? Will he start in A, AA?

Probably AA Harrisburg since Michael Taylor (right now the top CF prospect) will be in A+ Potomac. If Perez returns to Potomac it will likely be as a corner outfielder. Goodwin likely in Hagerstown. Destin Hood will be in Harrisburg as well. That basically means they are going to be considered major league depth.

David said...

Gardner. Good question. No one has brought this up.... college still uses metal bats. But most programs participate in wood bat tournaments every year. They shouldn't be completely unfamiliar with the lumber.

Anonymous said...

Awesome news. Yet another (potential) steal in Rizzo's awesome draft day last summer.

Have to wait and see whether Kylin Turnbull is a starter or reliever. He may also end up being a "steal".

MicheleS said...

I just tweeted Mark and Amanda on the wood vs metal bats question.

Did I mention I am NOT getting ANY work done this afternoon!

MicheleS said...

And they are using wood bats per Amanda

Steady Eddie said...

Anon @ 1:52pm -- So what's Alex Meyer, chopped liver? The guy pitched as long (3 years) at UK as Stras did at San Diego State. He and Purke were probably the biggest reasons Rizzo was as willing to give up as much as he did for Gio. Purke they obviously did that dye MRI so the shoulder issues didn't make him a total crapshoot, but Meyer was expected to be as close to MLB ready as any other prospect in the system.

More testimony to the pitching fortress Rizzo has built here (along with a solid 1 1/2 MLB-capable bullpens).

NatsLady said...

Are 2 Jim Laufers playing? Because Gameplay just informed me that a "defensive substitution Jim Laufer replaced catcher Jim Laufer." Laugher?

Steady Eddie said...

And who is this Bibens-Dirkx guy?

Even if it's against a college team, six straight called strikes followed by three straight swinging strikes?

Unreal.

souldrummer said...

Gameday gave up around the fifth inning or so. Fake Bryce Harper walked and an RBI was robbed from Zach Walters and credited to Blanco.

souldrummer said...

@steadyeddie
Gameday doesn't show balls for strikeouts when they are going bare bones like today. Unless the beat guys tweet it, it's probably more than 9 pitches.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 1:52pm -- So what's Alex Meyer, chopped liver? The guy pitched as long (3 years) at UK as Stras did at San Diego State. He and Purke were probably the biggest reasons Rizzo was as willing to give up as much as he did for Gio

Meyer is NOT left-handed steady dude. They are short in that department which is one reason why they traded for Gio. Lannan is at best a #5. Detwiler still unproven and then its the list I gave.

Plus, Meyer is still growing. Its going to take some time for him to adjust to his height. He'll be in the lower minors to start as a result. Still no telling whether he ends up a starter or reliever. He should be able to throw 100+ eventually.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

And who is this Bibens-Dirkx guy?

If only his first initials were CQ -- I'd buy that jersey.

Steady Eddie said...

Well that sucks. With men on second and third and two outs, B Harper just popped out to the catcher on the first pitch.

Always was a slow starter, and credit the pitcher for expecting Oppo to be eagerly free-swinging.

And like you Michele, getting little work done....

Steady Eddie said...

Anon @2:16 -- No one said anything about lefties. The point about Meyer is he's not a baby at 22 years old, and if he's close to MLB ready ge'll come up fast regardless of where he starts out.

As to sending him to the pen -- remember all the smart pundits who said Peacock would only ever be a reliever? Rizzo was saying he might have used the #6 pick non Meyer us Rendon hadn't been available (as it wasn't clear they could sign Bubba Starling), and you fon't use that high a pick on a reliever unless you've just gotten strikeout Jesus.

Steady Eddie said...

Eh -- normal size fingers, tiny iPhone keys.

natsfan1a said...

Yay, Natitude prevails! (I was actually getting some work done, despite a Natsty case of spring fever.)

Unkyd said...

I don't know how Harper can be described as "always a slow starter"? Every year he joins a more advanced bunch of guys, and adjusts as quickly as anybody could hope. Let's give the boy a summers worth of the Bigs, and see how slow he starts, next year....

Anonymous said...

Well. Now THAT was anticlimactic.

A DC Wonk said...

Always was a slow starter, and credit the pitcher for expecting Oppo to be eagerly free-swinging.

Unkyd tood care of the slow starter comment -- as for the second half of the sentence, didn't he walk on four pitches in the first inning?

sjb said...

Steady Eddie--that popup with 2 in scoring position was not Harper but Destin Hood. The box score indicates that Hood came in for Harper after three plate appearances, and that Hood left 2 in scoring position with 2 out while Harper did not leave any. You must have been following Gsmeday as I was--they were VERY bad today at keeping track of subsitutions, especially for the Nats

JaneB said...

A gamer to read! I am loving our babies. Thanks Mark!

Franz Leibkin said...

Babies?? Vas ist diss "babies"?? The Fuehrer never said "babies"!!

Anonymous said...

I love the format. This beats a boxscore and Gameday... not just numbers and events but a journalists' impressions... you don't get the impressive speed of a fastball or a base-runner from a boxscore!
Maybe it will catch on and we could get this every game! :)

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