Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Nats vs. Braves - 2/26/13

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The forecast doesn't look good today at Disney World.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Good morning from the Happiest Place on Earth, which doesn't look so happy today. It's dark, muggy and windy, and there's a big mass of thunderstorms approaching the area, leaving the status of this exhibition game between the Nationals and Braves in serious question.

If they do play, Ross Detwiler will be on the mound for the Nats, making his first start of the spring. It's actually kind of important that the lefty gets a couple of innings of work in today, because he's only scheduled to make two starts here before leaving to pitch in the World Baseball Classic. He'll need to build up his stamina somehow.

There are a few more regulars on this trip than last night's road game in Port St. Lucie. Bryce Harper, Danny Espinosa and Ian Desmond are here hoping to get some at-bats. We'll see even more regulars tomorrow against the Marlins, with Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche scheduled to make their spring debuts.

If they play, you can listen to today's game on the radio (1580 AM). And you can get all your updates and analysis (both game an weather related) right here...

Where: Disney's Wide World of Sports, Lake Buena Vista
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
TV: None
Radio: WHFS (1580 AM)
Weather: Thunderstorms, 83 degrees, Wind 19 mph RF to LF
CF Eury Perez
2B Danny Espinosa
LF Bryce Harper
1B Tyler Moore
SS Ian Desmond
DH Chris Marrero
RF Carlos Rivero
3B Anthony Rendon
C Jhonatan Solano
(LHP Ross Detwiler)

LF Reed Johnson
RF Jason Heyward
DH Justin Upton
1B Freddie Freeman
CF B.J. Upton
2B Dan Uggla
3B Juan Francisco
C Christian Bethancourt
SS Ramiro Pena
(LHP Mike Minor)

12:45 p.m. -- We're now 20 minutes away from scheduled first pitch, and the tarp remains on the infield. A couple of Braves are starting to warm up, but neither starting pitcher has emerged. So it would appear we're not going to be starting on time.

1:05 p.m. -- Well, there's been no official announcement, but gametime has arrived and the tarp hasn't moved from its position covering the infield, so ...

1:39 p.m. -- The tarp is being rolled up, so we may actually have some baseball here shortly. Whether they can play nine innings is questionable, but really the Nats would probably be OK with getting anywhere from 3-5 innings completed.

1:41 p.m. -- While you're waiting for the game to start, might as well read my just-posted article on Ryan Mattheus, who is making a key adjustment this spring knowing he's going to be asked to face more left-handed hitters this spring.

2:05 p.m. -- And we are underway at last here at Disney. Mike Minor delivers a fastball for strike one to Eury Perez to get this one started.

2:17 p.m. -- And the Nats take it to Minor in the top of the first, with five of the first seven batters reaching safely, the highlights coming on Bryce Harper's bouncing double over first baseman Freddie Freeman's head and Ian Desmond's scorched RBI single past Freeman. They scored twice and had a chance to really pile on early, but Anthony Rendon struck out with the bases loaded to end the frame with the Nats on top 2-0.

2:25 p.m. -- Solid first inning for Ross Detwiler, who retired the side on 13 pitches (8 strikes). He fired off a couple of really nice curveballs, including a 79 mph bender that buckled Jason Heyward's knees for a strikeout.

2:30 p.m. -- Nothin' doin' in the top of the second as Minor retires the side. He struck out Eury Perez (who, like I suggested last night, really should bunt every time he steps up to bat) looking and then got Danny Espinosa to whiff to end the inning. Nats still up 2-0 heading to the bottom of the second.

2:42 p.m. -- Good evidence of how effective Detwiler has been here so far: He's already go four swings-and-misses in only two innings. Must be getting good movement on his pitches today. He's at only 29 total pitches so far, so he's good to come back out for the third. Minor, on the other hand, is done after 38 pitches. Right-hander Cory Rasmus now in for Atlanta.

2:50 p.m. -- Call me crazy, but I think this Bryce Harper kid has a chance to be decent some day. He just laced his second double in as many at-bats today and is now 5-for-7 this spring.

3:02 p.m. -- Well, the wheels came off a bit for Detwiler in the bottom of the third. He gave up four singles, two of them well-struck RBI base hits to the Upton brothers. And with his pitch count at 41, we got a rare spring glimpse of Capt. Hook. Davey emerged from the dugout to take the ball from his starter and summoned Ryan Perry from the pen. Detwiler's final line: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 41 pitches, 28 strikes. It's now a tie game, 2-2 after three.

3:20 p.m. -- In addition to his bat skills, I've been quite impressed with Anthony Rendon's defensive ability at third base so far this spring. He just made another nice play on a 5-3 double play, rifling a throw to first base to end the bottom of the fourth. Still 2-2.

3:30 p.m. -- Make it a 3-for-3 afternoon for Harper, who singled in the fifth and came around to score on Desmond's base hit to right. Bryce is now 6-for-8 this spring, making a strong case for inclusion on the Opening Day roster, I'd say. Nats now lead 3-2 in the fifth.

3:50 p.m. -- Yikes, Ryan Perry took one on the chin today. He was battered around for three runs on seven hits in only 1 2/3 innings and got yanked by Davey after retiring only one of eight batters faced in the fifth. The Braves now lead 5-3 as Brandon Mann enters.

4:00 p.m. -- And what does Mann do upon entering with the bases loaded? Walks in a run. Then gives up another. So it's 7-3 Braves, with five runs charged to Perry. If it suddenly started pouring again and they called this game, I really doubt anyone in the Nats dugout would be upset.

4:20 p.m. -- Just got back from the clubhouse, where Ross Detwiler talked about how important it was that he faced a good, tough Braves lineup today, which he saw as a good tuneup for the WBC in a couple weeks. Meanwhile, the Nats now trail 8-3 in the seventh. The Braves currently are going with a battery of Schlosser and Schlehuber. Been that kind of day.

4:49 p.m. -- The Nats get a couple runs back in the eighth, with another double from Rendon (who has looked impressive). It's now 9-5 as we go to the bottom of the eighth.

5:00 p.m. -- That's the ballgame. Nats lose 9-5. They fall to 1-2-1 this spring.


Anonymous said...

Weather.com looks as if the storms will bypass Lake Buena Vista.

TimDz said...

From Ross' standpoint, it would be great if the first three innings went by without any rain...

After that, whatever happens, happens...

WA2CHI said...

Break out the aluminum bats!

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Well, it's about the same weather here, except fifty degrees colder.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Looks like Mark still has Ian Desmond in his lineup.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mark, any intel on when do we get to see Rendon playing 2nd base?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Not sure this came up, but some anonymous scout supposedly wrote this:

DKnobler ‏@DKnobler
One scout who saw Wheeler spring debut: "Same stuff as Strasburg. That will go down as best trade Sandy Alderson will make in his life."

Mets got Wheeler in the Carlos Beltran trade to San Fran.

You could tell Wheeler has potential but come on.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Listening to 106.7 on Radio.com as they do that Bryce Harper Nationals report before 11AM.

Danny Rouhier on 106.7 "Anthony Rendon was born to hit".

Holden Kushner "Rendon needs to get reps at 2nd base".

Doc said...

Glad to see that Davey is giving Rivero lots of AB's. He doesn't give Rivero much of chance at making he team, but I guess he wants to make sure he's not making a mistake.

Lombo has lots of options left, but I doubt that Davey would do it that way. Looks like some other team is going to gobble up Rivero.

He could come along like Brandon Phillips who only got going at Cinci, after bouncing around with the Expos and Cleveland.

Mark Zuckerman said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mark, any intel on when do we get to see Rendon playing 2nd base?

Probably not until mid-to-late March. He's only done some footwork drills so far, hasn't even taken grounders yet.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mark Zuckerman said...
Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mark, any intel on when do we get to see Rendon playing 2nd base?
Probably not until mid-to-late March. He's only done some footwork drills so far, hasn't even taken grounders yet.

February 26, 2013 11:51 AM

Mark, thanks for that intel.

I spoke with Bobby Grich who was a 4 time Gold Glove winner and in a similar situation as Rendon when he was getting called up after his time in the Minors as an infielder and the Orioles had Brooks Robinson at 3rd, Belanger at SS and Davey Johnson at 2nd so Grich was blocked but crushed it in the Minors and he got his callup.

Grich took work at all 3 positions and was predominantly a Shortstop at his callup and played SS, 2nd, and 3rd in spot duty.

What Grich said was that any 3rd baseman who has never played middle infield has to learn the pivot on double plays and taking relay throws from the other positions and handling cutoffs to a lesser extent.

He said the only reason a grounder is different is if it hits off the mound but otherwise its handling a larger range to your right.

I'm thinking it won't take Rendon long to work on his footwork and hopefully he is studying video.

An interesting aside on Bobby Grich, he supposedly was the reason that the Orioles traded Davey Johnson.

Teddy Rochlis said...

Mark all these guys can probably play most positions well im sure its more a matter of the front office then davey not letting him play at second isnt this the point of st? To give people reps to get more familar at a position

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Teddy, they aren't going to put Rendon in there until he can get his footwork set around 2nd base and do the pivot and throw.

I don't think it will take him long to do it and then he needs real game experience.

Coach Mac said...

Phillips didn't bounce around. He was traded by the Expos along with Sizemore and Cliff Lee for Bartolo Colon. Expos were set to be contracted after the season when trade was made.

Coach Mac said...

With Rendon's ankles, 2B may not be an option.

Doc said...

Davey probably won't go any further than he already has, relative to expounding on the virtues of Rendon's hitting.

But he obviously knows that he has a rare hitting talent in this guy.

Moore, Rendon, Goodwin, Skole, Perez, Rivero, Lombo,Walters--all dressed up and all most nowhere to go.

Gardner said...

Waiting for Bernadina to the Yankees to fill Granderson's spot trade chatter to kick-off.

Coach Mac said...

Not too sure why Nats would trade Bernadina. Corey Brown would be more likely to get traded if any OF is going to be traded.

Doc said...

So what's your definition of 'bounce around' Coach Mac?

The Expos and the Indians gave up on a future All Star!

Coach Mac said...

Why do you say Expos gave up on Phillips? Because he got traded? Did Royals give up on Wil Myers, or did they trade him because that is the cost when obtaining premium SP (which Colon was at the time)

Granted the package given by Expos was huge but there was also a good chance team was being contracted the next year.

SCNatsFan said...

I think they would also like to get a look at Danny's shoulder and swing before they start moving rendon anywhere

NatsLady said...

Hard to imagine the Yanks would be interested in Corey Brown who is just a prospect at this point. They would want an MLB player, it would have to be Bernadina. I'm sure he'd jump at the chance,even if it's only for a couple of months.

The question would be what could we get back and can we afford to give up Bernadina and rely on Brown, et al.

Coach Mac said...

Bernadina doesn't have any chance to "jump" for any trade. Rizzo job isn't to get bench players opportunities to start for other clubs. When I mentioned Brown, it wasn't to be specifically traded to Yankees. Just can't see why Nats would trade versatile OF like Bernadina who can play all three spots and doesn't earn big salary.

NatsLady said...

Coach Mac, sorry, I thought you were replying to Gardner wondering about a trade of Bernadina to the Yankees. I agree that it doesn't seem likely, but it would depend on what the Yankees offered.

Doc said...

Coach, contraction may have been in their future, but Minaya's intention was to remain competive with Colon wherever the team landed.

What was Cleveland's excuse for trading a future All Star?

The Expos' trade will go down in history as one of the worst in the history of baseball.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

I thought the whole point of contraction was that they weren't going to land anywhere, except the dustbin of history. Not the way it happened, fortunately, but if Minneapolis hadn't won a their lawsuit, it probably would have been the end of the line, no?

Weather update: the radar as of 1 pm shows the line of storms right on top of Orlando, so it's looking like it'll be a hour maybe. Nothing much behind that, though.

EmDash said...

Pointless but kinda fun anecdote from an article about
Bo Porter:

"During his informal chat with writers, Porter also revealed two tunes at the heart of Washington’s thrilling 2012 playoff run. Porter still had both songs on his phone, and the former Nationals third-base coach said star pitcher Stephen Strasburg got to the point he didn’t want to take the mound without hearing Washington’s pregame choice: Lil John’s “Get Outta Your Mind.” The Nationals’ post-victory track was Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness,” Porter said."

Strasburg is really into Lil' Jon! If there's a more improbable player-music choice matchup, I absolutely can't think of one.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Coach Mac said...
With Rendon's ankles, 2B may not be an option.

February 26, 2013 12:43 PM

I think if he plays 2nd he will wrap his ankle and probably already does it. Remember, the ankle injury happened on running the bases and he turned it.

MicheleS said...

NatsLady.. the Anthem singer.. Ummm.. she needs some work with you.

alexva said...

it's early spring Michele, she's still getting stretched out

NatsLady said...

Got audio!!! Warm-up! :)

MicheleS said...

Even Heist agrees with me:

Craig Heist‏@cheistWTOP

After the Nationals Anthem, the windows are still in place here at Champion Field

MicheleS said...

ESPI walked!!!

NatsLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ehay2k said...

Espi's shoulder must be worse than we thought! ;-)

sm13 said...

It seems as if Bryce is ready for the season!

NatsLady said...

Hey, guys, remember the point of this game is to give DETWILER a chance to pitch!!!

TimDz said...

NatsLady said...
Hey, guys, remember the point of this game is to give DETWILER a chance to pitch!!!


Um...yeah...I pretty much said that at the top of the scroll here...but coming from you, it probably makes it more valid :)

sm13 said...

NatsLady -- I think half that mission was just accomplished. Ross seems to have enjoyed taking the mound with a lead and sailed through the bottom of the 1st.

NatsLady said...

TimDZ, LOL. But, but, they kept getting walks & stuff... OK, 2nd inning much more efficient.... 3 outs right away... Det back in.

baseballswami said...

I was listening to the game on 1580 on my computer - the live stream was working, but now it's not anymore :( Keep me up to date - can't really trust gameday a lot.

NatsLady said...

(Sigh) gotta run. You all keep Det safe, ok?

sm13 said...

Det struggling a bit in the 3rd -- he's given up two runs on a bunch of singles, but has two outs.

sm13 said...

Ryan Perry in for Det....

baseballswami said...

Man, it's hard to get am radio around here.

EmDash said...

Rough day for the relief pitchers, it seems.

Kenz aFan said...

Braves started the games against the Nats with 6 starters (not including pitching) in the lineup, compared to 3 Nats regulars.

I'm thinking the Braves are scared of the Nats to the point that they felt they had to start that many regulars in an early spring training game to give themselves a better chance of winning.

I'm actually impressed they held the number of regulars to six.

For me, it doesn't matter in the least if the Braves win, especially since they got most of their runs off pitchers who wont be be around when the season starts.

JD said...

Since there is only 1 open spot on the roster (last bullpen spot) these couple of performances by Bray are dooming his position. I would say that this spot is still wide open and can be looked at as an open try out.

natsfan1a said...

Was sort of half listening to the game while reading. Good that Det got his work in. For my money, the best part of the broadcast was hearing Charlie and Dave on the Schlehuber-Schlosser battery. [ding] Throw in Terdoslavich and it's gold, Jerry, gold!

Joe Seamhead said...

I wouldn't put much stock in who started whom. The Nats don't even send a lot of their regulars on early ST trips, but will often start more of their regulars when at home. I seriously doubt that the Braves got any great boast from this exhibition, any more than the Nats are in the least bit disturbed by it. Johnson is allowing guys like Perez, Rivero, Walters etc. a chance to impress, though nobody can realistically think that, barring injury, any of them will be one of the 25 to head north, even Rendon, though I guess there could be a long chance on Anthony if the injury bug were to bite. Espinosa, and even Zimmerman, are wild cards until they show that they're not.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

looks like Ryan Perry used one of his two mulligans today.

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