Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nats vs. Tigers - 3/18/12

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Edwin Jackson faces the Tigers today at Space Coast Stadium.
It's a rare event indeed when the visiting lineup at a spring training game features more regulars than the home lineup. That does appear to be the case today in Viera, where Jim Leyland is bringing several of his big names (headlined by Miguel Cabrera) to face Edwin Jackson and the Nationals.

Davey Johnson's lineup boasts only four regulars: Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth. That's because the other four regulars (Michael Morse, Adam LaRoche, Rick Ankiel, Wilson Ramos) are all battling various nagging injuries to various degrees.

Jackson, meanwhile, becomes the first member of the Nationals rotation to make his fourth start of the spring. The right-hander has looked really good so far (1.93 ERA to date) though he struggled somewhat in his last outing.

Charlie and Dave have the radio call for the Nationals' final game before their lone off day of the spring. Then come Tuesday, I'll be back in Florida to provide full coverage and game updates through the remainder of camp...

DETROIT TIGERS vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: None
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 178
Weather: Sunny, 80 degrees, Wind 12 mph LF to RF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
CF Jayson Werth
DH Chad Tracy
C Jesus Flores
RF Bryce Harper
1B Tyler Moore
LF Roger Bernadina
(P Edwin Jackson)

TIGERS
CF Austin Jackson
RF Brennan Boesch
3B Miguel Cabrera
1B Don Kelly
2B Ryan Raburn
LF Andy Dirks
SS Jhonny Peralta
DH Clete Thomas
C Gerald Laird
(P Doug Fister)

130 comments:

JaneB said...

I will forever remember and bless Xavier Nady robbing the blasted Cards of a home run, in the rain, by leaping up and catching it over the rail at Shea in the NL championship series. He's got a lot of miles on him since then. But I'm prepared to hug him if we need him. And I hope hope hope we don't.
I do wonder what they saw in Morse's MRI that made them go out and sign him, though. Doesn't sound like the "nothing" that was reported.
It will be fun to hear EJax set these guys down today.
And it will be GREAT to have Mark back on the beat on Tuesday!
GYFNG! And for the ones who aren't playing: HYFNH! (Heal)

Anonymous said...

And Tuesday back on MLB TV.

Have to wonder when Harper gets sent down at this point. The spring training games for the minor league teams have started. Or is Davey planning on starting Harper in the opening day lineup? Best bet would
be to send Harper to Harrisburg with the other top prospects. None will
be in Syracuse ... Corey Brown didn't make the list this year ... unless
Lombardozzi is sent down and that seems unlikely given the way Desmond
is hitting.

sm13 said...

Picking up on a thought from the last thread - Mark, do we know why Drew hasn't pitched in a game in more than a week?

sjm308 said...

Lots of anxiety with so many nicks and I am hoping that is all they are is nicks. I had written earlier about my concern with the cortisone shot into the muscle and its definitely rare but has been done before to try and hit that "trigger point" and loosen things up but it is usually for joint/cartilage as I mentioned earlier. If its just a lat pull or strain Morse should get better sooner than later but its still a worry.

I have not heard much about Ramos, can the posters here catch me up to speed?

Go Nats!

MLB Gameday said...

And EJax open the game with a strikeout of Auston Jackson.

natsfan1a said...

Evidently 106.7 didn't get the memo about the broadcast.

MLB Gameday said...

Boesch hits a fould pop caught by Zimmerman for the 2nd out, Cabrera works a walk, and Don Kelly singles to right, Cabrera taking third. Rayburn grounds out and Detroit gets nothing in the first.

Sunderland said...

Hey, we got any Insiders on the ground in Viera?

Edwin Jackson said...

Thank you, Ryan.

JaneB said...

Thank you game day poser, I mean poster. It's great to have you!

MLB Gameday said...

Desmond and Espinosa start off the bottom of the first with strikeouts.

Try Federal Baseball ... sheesh! said...

You all realize you could follow this with Patrick Reddington on Federal Baseball? He's been doing this since the Expos and his play-by-play isn't bad?

You could have it in a separate open window along with game day.

MLB Gameday said...

Zimmerman reaches, E4. Werth Strikes out, end of 1, 0 - 0.

MLB Gameday said...

Top of 2nd, EJax walks Dirks but then gets a GBDP from Peralta, Zimmerman to Espinosa to Moore. Clete Thomas strikes out for the 3rd out.

natsfan1a said...

Second the thanks to Mr./Ms. Gameday.

Anonymous said...

Bryce Harper strikes out. Joins the list of K's

MLB Gameday said...

Bottom of 2nd, Tracy strikes out and Flores gets a seeing eye single to drop into shallow right. (Flores is now at .391 this spring).
Harper strikes out for the 2nd out, continuing his woes versus lefties this spring. Tyler Moore reaches E7 (Dirks), Flores running on the play takes 3rd. Bernadina comes through, singles Flores home, Moore takes third. 1 - 0, two out, bottom 2.

NatsLady said...

Unearned run. Almost another one on a bad pickoff throw to first. Desi, nice hit! Heard a good crack of the bat.

MLB Gameday said...

Desmond delivers as well, single to left plates Moore, Bernadina holds at second.

Gonat said...

Nice, Bernadina and Desmond with RBI singles

NatsLady said...

Yikes!! Baserunning!!! Hey, fundamentals, people! Charlie and Dave are taking away your off-day.

Gonat said...

MLB Gameday - I think Fister is a Right-handed pitcher.

MLB Gameday said...

OK, someone help me out here....Desmond thrown out at 2nd by catcher Laird?

MLB Gameday said...

Gonat - so true, apologies.

Too much St. Pattie's Day celebrating. said...

MLB Gameday must have a red nose. He's more than a bit behind at this point.

Gonat said...

MLB Gameday, no apologies needed. Just helping out.

NatsLady said...

Werth, great catch, according to C&D. Boy, I wish this was on TV.

Gonat said...

Werth with some nice D

MLB Gameday said...

Top of 3rd, Laird is credited with infield single on a ground ball to Desmond. Austin Jackson F8. Boesch singles to right, Laird takes third. First and third, one out.

MLB Gameday said...

Charlie and Dave may call it a great catch. To Gameday, it's just a run of the mill F8. Also wishing for TV....

Opening Day is on its way! said...

They'll be on again on Tuesday NatsLady ... starting the home stretch now ...

MLB Gameday said...

Passed ball (Flores), Laird scores, Boesch takes second, Miggy still at the plate.

MLB Gameday said...

Miggy doubles to left, plates Boesch, game tied 2 - 2, man on 2nd, one out.

MLB Gameday said...

Don Kelly F7 for the 2nd out, but Raburn drives in Miggy with a single up the middle, 2 outs, 3 runs in.

MLB Gameday said...

And Flores guns down Kelly on an attempted steal, inning over.

Signing off.....MLB Gameday

sm13 said...

Ejax having a rough inning

NatsLady said...

Later, folks. The gym is nagging me.

Gonat said...

Harper strikes out leaving 2 on. He's now 0-for-2 with 2 Ks today

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

Harper -> Harrisburg ... he appears to be backsliding ...

NatsLady said...

There are two guys pitchers are really focused on, seems to me, Harper and Braun. Better get used to it.

OK, now I'm really going.

Anonymous said...

Game day is really stuck - update anyone?

Positively Half St. said...

Ugly game today. I am glad that Spring Training games don't count. The guys can use the day off tomorrow. I do have to remind myself that EJax is a career .500 pitcher; he will have days like this. All the runs during this 5th inning are against Chad Durbin, and we didn't expect him to make the club anyway.

I think it is pretty clear that Harper can use some time in the minors. I won't feel that the Nats are even doing it to extend their control another year. He truly seems to need time to face AAA and AAAA pitchers in Syracuse.

The injuries to Morse, LaRoche, Ankiel, etc. is delaying cuts that would give us a taste of more regulars, it seems. All the more reason not to fret about the score too much.

+1/2St.

NatsLady said...

You don't want to know. Durbin not good. 8-3 Tigers.

natsfan1a said...

I went downstairs to check on the laundry before the end of the 1/2 inning, but it was 8-3 Tigers when I left.

Confidential to Charlie: the other day they were pronouncing it Bee'-low, accent on the Bee.

natsfan1a said...

Oh, thanks, NatsLady. Hope the Nats are gonna get some of those back now.

natsfan1a said...

Good points by PHS.

NatsLady said...

Harper not good vs. Lefties or breaking balls. Not making OD roster unless he bats .900 from here on in.

natsfan1a said...

Nats scored two and are not done yet (I hope).

natsfan1a said...

Dave just used his binos to ID the owl. :-)

Gonat said...

Zim w/ a double and Werth w/ a double

natsfan1a said...

He did not, however, name it. On the name front, I told my husband about our suggestions and he said, wouldn't it be a female on the nest? hmmm...

Anonymous said...

Finally found a radio that works -- gameday is still on top five. At least there is a little hitting going on now ( by the nats, of course).Were all of those runs in the fifth off of Durbin?

NatsLady said...

9-5. Gameday is lost. Harper K again.

Gonat said...

Darn, Bryce Harper looks at strike 3. 3rd K of the day

MicheleS said...

Hmm.. me thinks the kid will not be with the club on Opening Day.

NatsLady said...

Yes. Durbin gave up 5 runs, only 1 earned.

owlfan1a said...

Then again, the male and female both feed young after they hatch, so it could be Jake. We now return you to the baseball game. Thank you for reading and enjoy your wiiiild America.

natsfan1a said...

Scoreless top of the 6th for Perry. Let's see if the Nats can add to their run tally in the bottom of the inning.

natsfan1a said...

Tyler Moore with an oppo boppo to lead off the inning.

NatsLady said...

Dinger for Tyler Moore. 9-6.

MicheleS said...

Yea Tyler Moore!!! Even Shark gets a hit!

natsfan1a said...

What about "the Dozer" as a nickname for Lombo? Just a thought.

MicheleS said...

The hawk is eating a snake.. wow.. Birds of Prey in the outfield

Anonymous said...

Shark Mode T-shirts might be coming back in style as he singles to make the 25-man.

Anonymous said...

The hawk is eating a snake.. wow.. Birds of Prey in the outfield

Plus the Owl? The Two Towers from Tolkien or Harry Potter Space Coast stadium.

Gonat said...

Amazing how quick your BA climbs in Spring Training. Bernadina with 2 hits and now hitting .250

natsfan1a said...

Da Bearss.

natsfan1a said...

The owl has a cult following (owlcult)? Who knew?

Anonymous said...

Tyler Moore up to .280. Past 3-4 games he's been showing his power with some long outs that could go out without the wind ...

There's your first baseman if LaRoche flounders ... big reach I know but its Davey and this team lacks offense and power outside of Morse and to a lesser extent Zim.

sm13 said...

Even Detroit's benchwarmers hit home runs. Glad we're not playing them in the regular season this year.

gonatsgo said...

So - I am not in the anti-Desi camp, nor am I trying to start a brawl -- but..... is it my imagination or is Lombardozzi actually out-playing Desi? He just seems too good to be in the minors or on the bench. He was minor league player of the year last year - he should be done there. Talk about being blocked. Does the kid want to be traded? Oy.

Anonymous said...

The owl has a cult following (owlcult)? Who knew?

Only Hogswart grads can see them. C&D muggles still watching the bear.

natsfan1a said...

Let's go, Maldo.

Anonymous said...

Talk about being blocked. Does the kid want to be traded? Oy.

Desmond is vulnerable ... someone must have mentioned it in passing I suspect ... mebbe Davey?

natsfan1a said...

Keep the line moving, Bryce.

natsfan1a said...

Oh dear, a golden sombrero for the kiddo.

NatsLady said...

Bryce up with 2 on board. C'mon, kid!

Gonat said...

Uh oh, Bryce Harper with his 4th K. Another RH pitcher. This time w/ 2 men on and no outs

NatsLady said...

Nope, another K.

Cwj said...

The games recently have been battles between guys trying to make the 25 man roster.
It's nice when the starters occasionally get good results in ST, but it's these guys fighting for utility spots that makes ST interesting to me.

Lombardozzi is a lock, and remember that a rookie utility/backup role is one step away from becoming everyday starter.

natsfan1a said...

F1, "Nationals threaten but do not score."

natsfan1a said...

Good points by Cwj.

gonatsgo said...

CWJ -- You are correct, sir -- one little tweak and he is playing everyday. So - a little reality check for the youngster today, huh? It will be headlines for a 19 year old that hasn't played int he majors yet, even though this happens to seasoned veterans also.

natsfan1a said...

Yes, a reminder that he's human (who isn't)?

natsfan1a said...

An efficient (7P) 1-2-3 inning for Burnie.

Anonymous said...

No Chance Harper makes the OD Roster. Nats are not playing good baseball. Hopefully they get this out of their system now otherwise it's 1970 ALL OVER AGAIN :(

sm13 said...

Where is Drew?

Cwj said...

Listened to a bit of the game when I was driving to the store earlier.
Doesn't look like Harper had a good day. Is it pretty much settled that he will begin the season at AAA? That's where he should start.
He's only 19 for heavens sake, and he's a couple months away from joining the Big Leagues for good.
Enormous talent, and he's going to do well for the Nats no doubt.
He should start in AAA though. And be an early season call-up.
My projection for him from his MLB debut through game 162 Slash lines AVG, HR, RBI: .255 16 65
Griffey Jr. at 19 would be a good comparison.

Anonymous said...

Harper is totally overmatched; he needs to prove himself at AA first(he hit only .256 with 3 HRs last year in about 37 games), then AAA, before having a chance to stay up with the Nats.

Anonymous said...

If you want any rally stalled put in Andres Blanco.

Gonat said...

Hey Anon, where have you said this before on Harper? Its great to bash the kid on a day that he looks lost at the plate. I have been saying for over a week that he hadn't hit 1 line drive or XBH (until yesterday) and that concerned me.

He will be fine as yesterday he finally got on pitches.

Just a baaaad day today.

natsfan1a said...

I don't do predictions or GM stuff, but I'd be fine with Harper starting the season wherever they think best, be it AA or AAA.

natsfan1a said...

And that didn't strike me as bashing, for the record.

Cwj said...

Anon 3:44- disagree about Harper being over-matched except for today and maybe 2 other games. Didn't he have a double yesterday?

But I believe he should start the season at AAA.
It does appear that since college he has become a slow starter, but then adjusts and progresses.

Maybe a June call-up would be about right.

NatsLady said...

sm13--Drew? Makin' videos, finding a "new crib," y'know, gettin' set for the season. Oh, you were thinking he should pitch once in a while? Why? Didn't he seem ready?

natsfan1a said...

Seems like I read something about Storen's schedule the other day to the effect that there were other guys they wanted/needed to take a look at?

Cwj said...

That was funny NatsLady :-)
True though, Storen is ready for the season to start tomorrow.
I noticed other teams not using their established closers much so far this spring.

That'll probably change the closer we get to the regular season. Starting pitchers should be getting ready to put in 5 or 6 innings pretty soon. I think Lincecum went 6 today.

hondo99 said...

All right, boys and girls, great news on two fronts now that today's game is winding down.

1) We have Mark back for the rest of spring training.

2) The next THREE games are televised, however only one of them is live:

Tuesday (at Mets) on MLB Network Wed. 3-6 AM (tape delay)
Wednesday (vs. Braves) on MASN LIVE at 1 PM and repeated at 7 PM
Thursday (at Cardinals) on MLB Network at 10 PM (tape delay)

Fellow NI, set your DVRs after the game so you don't miss any action.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info Hondo99

Cwj said...

Hondo99- That is good news thanks for that!
I believe Strasburg is pitching the Tuesday game.

NatsLady said...

Clipp said he still needed to "work on stuff." And we see a triple hit to where they ain't. And a broken bat single that maybe could have been caught. That's a couple of outings now that Clipp has gotten the first two out but couldn't put them away. And last time he got lucky that the 3rd out was a sharply hit ball that was caught.

I'm not worried but I understand why he's getting work.

natsfan1a said...

Yep, good news from Hondo99. Plus, we're at over 100 comments for a ST game. Atta way, Insiders! We'll be in midseason form before you know it.

natsfan1a said...

Good for you, kid - an XB hit. Good point by Dave on dealing with adversity.

NatsLady said...

Well, well, well. Nice hit, kid!

natsfan1a said...

11-7 Tigers. The end.

Unkyd said...

Lombo is one of the Best 25....

And agree on Harper, cjw, but I think "slow-starter" is a mis-nomer. I think of that as a veteran, like LaRoche, who for whatever reason doesn't bat effectively until May or June. I know I'm picking nits here, and NOT tryna pick a fight. But I don't think of a 19 year old who historically takes a few weeks to adjust to a higher level of competition every year, as a "slow-starter"... I do think BH needs to start at AA and go to 'Cuse after he maintains a .300+ avg, and shows that he's picking up the ball out of the hands of leftys, and IDing breaking balls. Defensively, he'll be fine, the reps will help him, where ever he plays

Unkyd said...

Here's something to chew on: what are the odds against Rendon and Lombo as starting MI, by the end of '13? Sounds like a couple of table setters, to me...and do either of them project adequately at SS? I still like Desi, and I LOVE Espi, but offensively, the other two are looking like frequent base runners, to me....

Jes' sayin'....

sm13 said...

NatsLady: I guess with all the injuries going round, I'd feel better if there was a live sighting of Drew on actual pitcher's mound.

hondo69 said...

I just flipped over to Tigers radio team and color man Jim Price, who had a long career backing up All-Star catcher Bill Freehan, praised Bryce for that solid double after 4 Ks. He said Nationals fans are going to enjoy seeing that stroke for many years. It's nice to hear the opposition say good things about our team.

This is my correct handle, not hondo 99. I use "69" as a tribute to Ted Williams and that wonderful 1969 season and of course, Hondo, for the big fellow himself.

I don't post that often, but I read all the comments everyday, and really enjoy most of the intelligent commentary.

Come on, Opening Day! I can't wait!!

Cwj said...

Unkyd @4:13 Very good points.

gonatsgo said...

I am not convinced that Harper looks any more over matched than any of our other hitters. In fact, there are many days where his approach ( with fond memories of Debbie Taylor) seems better than theirs. The opposing pitchers are exploiting his vulnerability with off-speed and curvy stuff. Looks like instead of hanging his head he has adjusted and fought back. Maybe he needs to come to the big leagues to be an example to some of the guys who are older than he is. He hit a rough patch today - that's not only fine, but a good lesson, and overall he has looked pretty darn good. I still think he needs some AAA ball, but the kid impresses me more each day.

Cwj said...

Hondo69- Look forward to reading more of your posts.

Opening Day is not long away!
Also can't wait to see my prediction of 87-75 come true :-)

NatsLady said...

Sm13, understood. Gotta take inventory. But I assume with press and fans all over the place, someone would notice if Drew were limping. At least, I hope so.

Anonymous said...

I hear that everyone is worried about not seeing Drew pitch, but they haven't kept anyone else's dings a secret so why would they do it for him? How many innings have we seen Lidge? He is a new guy and has been hurt a lot and so we need to see him. I think a closer doesn't need to be stretched out like the starters and long relievers and Clip apparently needs to work some stuff out ( please). I think when more minor leaguers are sent away, then we will see him more. Just not enough innings to go around when the starters need to start going longer.

NatsBrat said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmm.....just announced on the MLB Network sports strip that neither ALR nor The Beast will play for another week.

Altogether now, Davey, Rizzo, & Co.: "We're not worried"!

Great stuff this Nats' PR stuff!

Sunderland said...

Mike Pelfrey, NYM, v Houston, 2.2 innings, 4 walks, 8 hits, 8 ER, 1 HR. Ouch. He's pretty much a lock for the Mets rotation, in spite of a 4.74 ERA last year. And he's making $5.7M in his 2nd Arb year.

natsfan1a said...

Also looking forward to more posts from Hondo69, as well as from Oldguy, another infrequent commenter who posted earlier today. The road opener (AKA Duffy's Day) is even closer than the home opener. Here's to the Best 25 Going North and all that.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:44- disagree about Harper being over-matched except for today and maybe 2 other games. Didn't he have a double yesterday?

Harper isn't over matched ... but clearly he should be sent to AA Harrisburg to be with other prospects who are close to his talent level and age. Not sure AAA is the right place for him to start the season. He appears to have some potential to play CF. That's the place to find out. Let Corey Brown play CF in Syracuse. Perez can play left field or right in Harrisburg for now he doesn't have a left-handed bat. Brown, Harper, and Goodwin do.

AAA is basically has become the place for veteran depth extending the 25 and 40-man rosters.

Sunderland said...

AAA is also where you have opposing pitchers with more guile & more smarts. Guys who have been to the big leagues and are trying to get back. AAA is the right place for Harper at this point. And even is he has a .900 OPS from here out, AAA is where he will be come April.

NatsLady said...

Another reason not to pitch Storen: why let other clubs look at him any more than necessary? Rest that precious arm!

Cwj said...

I'm not at all concerned about Clippard or Storen.
Both will have a great 2012.
Clipp + Storen = dominant. Just barely below Venters + Kimbrel for the Braves.

Top 5 Bullpen, in my opinion :-)

NatsLady said...

Harper to AAA. Just saw it on The Twitter.

Sunderland said...

Twitter owes me a Diet Pepsi.

Mark'd said...

See you soon Bryce.

Anonymous said...

I think NatsLady makes a good point. When we play division or even nl teams, why let them get a look at drew? Is that official about Harper? I hope they start to nail down some more things soon and let things shape up so that some of these guys can know what their roles will be and really settle in and get ready.

gonatsgo said...

I'm sure they have told him he has a chance to be our centerfielder and they want him to concentrate on learning the position. He will dig in as hard as he can. Tough kid. I wish him the best and I hope we see him in dc soon.

Mark'd said...

Gonat Mar 18, 2012 12:53 PM

Hey Anon, where have you said this before on Harper? Its great to bash the kid on a day that he looks lost at the plate. I have been saying for over a week that he hadn't hit 1 line drive or XBH (until yesterday) and that concerned me.

He will be fine as yesterday he finally got on pitches.

Just a baaaad day today.
--------------------

Right on point again as he finished up with a nice double.

Some will pounce in hindsight and still not be right. Davey saw enough and that says AAA, be isn't ready.

Anonymous said...

That's where he needs to be in AAA

natsfan1a said...

Well played, Sunderland. Pay up, Tweeter. :-)

Sunderland said...

Twitter owes me a Diet Pepsi.
March 18, 2012 5:10 PM

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