Sunday, February 24, 2013

Nats vs. Marlins - 2/24/13

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Space Coast Stadium hosts its first game of the spring.
VIERA, Fla. -- With yesterday's Grapefruit League opener behind them, the Nationals get to host their first game of the spring this afternoon, with another familiar NL East foe as the opponent. Familiar, at least, in name only. This year's Marlins won't resemble in any way last year's Marlins, given the manner in which owner Jeffrey Loria and GM Larry Beinfest blew up the roster following a disastrous 2012.

One of the good, young arms Miami picked up during its fire sale is right-hander Henderson Alvarez, formerly of the Blue Jays. Alvarez will be on the mound today, facing a Nationals lineup with some similarities to yesterday's group, but with a few key changes. Danny Espinosa, Kurt Suzuki and Steve Lombardozzi each get their first start of the spring. So does Anthony Rendon, the organization's top prospect, who will start at third base and bat second.

Jordan Zimmermann gets the ball from Davey Johnson, looking to get his spring off on a strong note. The right-hander has spent much of the last two weeks working on his changeup, which he wants to make a bigger part of his arsenal this season. We'll see if he's able to apply it in a game situation today.

No TV coverage of this one, but Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler are here and will have the game on the radio. And, of course, I'll have plenty of updates and analysis throughout, so please check back often...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. MIAMI MARLINS
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
TV: None
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM)
Weather: Partly cloudy, 80 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to LF
NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
LF Bryce Harper
RF Tyler Moore
1B Chad Tracy
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
DH Steve Lombardozzi
(RHP Jordan Zimmermann)

MARLINS
3B Chone Figgins
CF Chris Coghlan
DH Greg Dobbs
LF Austin Kearns
C Rob Brantly
1B Matt Downs
SS Nick Green
2B Chris Valaika
RF Bryan Petersen
(RHP Henderson Alvarez)

1:02 p.m. -- We are underway with a strike from Jordan Zimmermann to Chone Figgins. Hazy afternoon here in Viera, a rare day with only a slight breeze blowing out to left.

1:08 p.m. -- A solid, 12-pitch top of the first for Zimmermann, who allowed a two-out single up the middle to Greg Dobbs but otherwise recorded three groundball outs. He threw eight of those 12 pitches for strikes, and must've had good downward movement to get all those grounders. Solid way to start the game.

1:14 p.m. -- Probably safe to say Bryce Harper is ready to go. For the second straight day, he roped a base hit to right in his first at-bat. Nothing else happening for the Nats in the bottom of the first, though, with Denard Span taking a borderline outside fastball for strike three, and Anthony Rendon and Tyler Moore each flying out to center. Scoreless after one.

1:27 p.m. -- Another strong inning for Zimmermann in the second. He retired the side on 11 pitches, getting a pair of groundouts and a strikeout. At only 23 total pitches, he'll be back out for the third. Nothing doing in the bottom of the second for the Nats, though, with Chad Tracy, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa set down in order by Henderson Alvarez. Still scoreless heading to the third.

1:38 p.m. -- A little hiccup for Zimmermann in the top of the third. He allowed a leadoff double to Chris Valaika past Tyler Moore in right field, then walked Bryan Petersen. An RBI groundout brought home the game's first run, but there were some positives in the inning as well. Like Anthony Rendon's nifty play at third base. He scooped up Figgins' bunt attempt barehanded, then fired a laser to first for the out. Zimmermann's final line: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 43 pitches, 26 strikes. The Nats trail 1-0.

1:42 p.m. -- A pair of singles for the Nationals in the bottom of the third -- from Kurt Suzuki and Denard Span -- but they went for naught. Steve Lombardozzi grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Rendon, meanwhile, grounded to short to end the inning. Still 1-0 Marlins as Zach Duke enters for the top of the fourth.

1:48 p.m. -- A nice 1-2-3 fourth inning for Duke, featuring a strikeout of old pal Austin Kearns (who took a big hack at an offspeed pitch for the K).

1:56 p.m. -- And now it's pouring here. They've brought the tarp out and we're in a rain delay. The good news: Harper managed to notch another base hit before the rains came. He's now 3-for-5 this spring. Still 1-0 Marlins in the bottom of the fourth. Stay tuned for updates...

2:35 p.m. -- Still in a delay here in the bottom of the fourth. It stopped raining for a while, and it looked like they might be ready to peel back the tarp. But then it started pouring again. Looks like it's going to be this on-and-off stuff all day. Probably doesn't bode well for a resumption of play.

2:45 p.m. -- The tarp is being rolled up at last. So there will be more baseball today, with the total delay likely to be around one hour. If I'm not here when they do resume, it's because we're about to get called down to the clubhouse to speak to Jordan Zimmermann on his start, which feels like it ended 15 hours ago.

3:16 p.m. -- The game indeed resumed (after a 1-hour, 6-minute delay) while we were down in the clubhouse talking to Zimmermann, who was quite pleased with his performance. Noted that he threw more changeups as planned and had good success with it. Meanwhile, we're in the bottom of the fifth here, the Nats still down 1-0.

3:21 p.m. -- Whoa, Anthony Rendon with a 2-run, opposite-field homer off Ryan Webb in the bottom of the fifth. There's a little bit of wind after the storm, but not a ridiculous breeze that would've made a huge difference. That was a legit homer. The Nats take a 2-1 lead heading to the sixth.

3:40 p.m. -- Couple of scoreless innings of relief from Yunesky Maya, who got a big assist from Chris Marrero at first base. Marrero flashed some great reflexes to snag a scorched liner, then tagged the bag to complete an unassisted double play. We've reached the seventh-inning stretch here, with the Nats still clinging to a 2-1 lead.

3:58 p.m. -- Jeremy Accardo escapes a two-on jam in the top of the eighth. So the lead remains 2-1 heading to the bottom of the eighth, and I believe Drew Storen is warming for the ninth.

4:09 p.m. -- Here's Storen for his first save opportunity since ... well, you know. Slightly less on the line today, of course.

4:19 p.m. -- Uh-oh. Storen blows the save. Gave up a couple of hard-hit singles, then an RBI groundout to make this a 2-2 game heading to the bottom of the ninth. Now, before anybody goes nuts: If you're actually giving any credence to a ninth-inning appearance on Feb. 24, you're in need of professional help.

4:24 p.m. -- You know what the only thing worse than a rain-delayed spring training game is? How about a rain-delayed, extra-inning spring training game. Ugh.

4:41 p.m. -- That's it. It's all over. This game ends in a 2-2 tie after 10 innings.

112 comments:

NatsJack in Florida said...

I'll be in my seats in section 111, row 3, seat 8.

Positively Half St. said...

NatsJack-

I look forward to your pictures later today.

JayB said...

Danny playing for the first time...Lombo started yesterday.....Njack.....please post often about Danny's approach and long loopy lefty swing with a hole you could throw a toaster through (braking balls down and in).

Please, please lets hope he has learned something and not been empowered by Davey's endless support for 200k's.

JayB said...

Njack another question please...Strass start and comments afterwards pointed to exactly why I an not in favor of WBC participation by Nats Pitchers. Strass was throwing almost only fastballs and is clearly not anywhere near ready to pitch in meaningful games. Gio and Ross are going to have to try to pitch like it is April and May in early March. That is stupid to do in my view. I recall you were all for it for Ross....how is this going to make sense for the Nats?

sjm308 said...

Can anyone here play or is this the eeyore & Natsjack hour?

Eeyore, have you thought that maybe Gio and Ross are excited to represent their country and that this is just a little bit of an honor? Have you thought that maybe Greg Maddux and Joe Torre know a little about what they are doing and would not want a reputation of ruining a pitchers season? Have you thought that maybe, just maybe all the pitchers will be in the same situation and will not pitch any differently? Just wondering if you think or just complain.

sjm308 said...

Natsjack - if I am not on twitter I am guessing I will not be able to see your pictures. Correct?

NatsJim said...

sjm, you need not be a member of twitter to see what someone else posts, so you should be ok.

sjm308 said...

Thanks natsjim but where do I go to look?

NatsJim said...

https://twitter.com/NatsJackinFl

Try that sjm...

JayB said...

yes I have thought about all that....and I remain focused on the Nats and who is paying the bills here. Nats goal is the winning WS. Nats are paying with our help millions of dollars to accomplish that. Gio and Ross's individual goals and wants mean nothing. Only Team goals should be on the table and I see no benefit for Nats in WBC participation.

As for Torre and Maddux....come on get you head out of the sand. Drew S and Danny E examples are only the most recent of endless examples of players not disclosing injuries and trying to hard for personal gain over team. You think Ross is going to tell Maddux he is not ready to throw his a breaking ball, change up, breaking ball, change up sequence to a tough MLB hitter who has been playing winter ball and Caribbean WS last month in early March?

Stop please making it about individuals and think Team.

Steve Hayes said...

I really want to see Rendon cut loose and show us he hitter that he is. seems that everytime I watch him, he never hits -- tear it up today, Anthony.

Lombo vs. Espinosa. Is there really a true contest here? I mean, if Lombo has a good spring and Espi doesn't, will Davey really make Espi the bench player Lombo was last year?

JayB said...

nope he will not and that is a problem. What he should do is send Danny to AAA to prove he can be coached and that he is healthy. If not then surgery, rehab and AAA next year.

NatsJim said...

Steve, I don't think there's a true spring training competition at 2b - Danny's the opening day starter barring any injury complications. The question is how long Davey sticks with him if he continues to perform as he did last year - if he's on pace for another 200 K season I would hope at some point Davey would sit him down, but don't know if he will.

JayB said...

Agreed on Rendon...He has not had 400 AB's in like EVER. Sure he has talent....a lot of talent but time is wasting. He needs to play everyday this spring somewhere....DH on the back fields and get 10 AB's a day.....he is very rusty.

horsey said...

Anyone else notice that Ghost of Steve M. has not been running his mouth this weekend while someone else has? Doctor JayB and Mister Hyde, perhaps?

NatsJack in Florida said...

I saw 3 BP sessions with Espi. He used the leg kick from the right side but not from the left side. Consentrated on driving the ball the opposite way from the left side.

NatsJim said...

I like that Bryce is hitting 3rd again, I interpret that to mean Davey's favoring the Span-Werth-Harp-Zimm top of the order that makes the most sense even if Bryce said he wants to continue hitting 2nd.

JayB said...

good news....Njack...not like he did not know what to do or how to do it....it is more like is he willing to do it in the game. His ego takes over and he thinks of HRs instead of team.

JayB said...

Ghost is way smarter than I am but thanks for the thought :)

sjm308 said...

Just for the record, I think you both are pretty smart, and we will just disagree about the WBC. If JB had his way the US team would be made up of minor league talent.

JayB said...

correct...it means nothing

JayB said...

what I would do is pick a team of MiLB single A or lower and pay for them to play in a winter league season and them let them be the WBC team.

They need and want the money, they are not hurting themselves because they are ready at the right time. They function as a team and they are not hurting their MLB Teams in 2013

JayB said...

They would win plenty and who cares anyway

Teddy Rochlis said...

There is an upside for them to pitch in the WBC, which is that by the time beggining of the season actually starts, they should be going full steam ahead and not have to ease into it and struggle the first couple of starts. Maybe what davey does to compensate the extra starts in the WBC is to pitch the two for a pitch limit of ~100 for the month of April, just my thought. So for the people that are saying that it only hurts the nationals i think you are wrong. Go ahead and let the arguement insue

NatsLady said...

Ghost said last year he doesn't normally post on weekends. I am not ready to read anything sinister into his absence--yet. :)

NatsLady said...

Charlie and Dave are ON THE RADIO.. Their season of silence is over. JZ with a fastball for called strike 1!!!

WT YL said...

Trying to listen online their playing the sports junks.... wth!

Doc said...

Mark, please let us know if JZim is throwing his newer version of the developing change.

Thanks!

NatsLady said...

WT YL, I think you need the MLB At-Bat app. They cut off the MLB stuff for the online apps like Tune-in. At least, they did last year.

waddu eye no said...

Mmmmmm
Charlue & dave.
Best music on the radio

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady, thanks, you are correct. I have said before I try not to post on weekends or evenings. I also don't like to post in-game because emotion causes knee-jerk posts.

JayB, nice compliment and we all know you have had several insightful posts.

Talk to you all tomorrow.

BigCat said...

NatsJack.....let me know how Rendon looks

BigCat said...

As you know, Im not his biggest fan

Scott Margenau said...

GYFNG

JayB said...

Njack how was that Danny ground out to second a good out or yet just another example of Danny trying to pull everything and rolling over an outside pitch instead of hitting it to Left?

JayB said...

Ghost....I think your policy is smart...wish I could follow it. Thanks as well.

NatsJim said...

Dave and Charlie talking about "Take on Me" - hope they make it the 7th-inning stretch music as suggested by several, would be a great new tradition and tribute to the Beast.

JayB said...

and from the other point of view...I wish there were no such thing as walk up songs. 7th inning stretch can stay take me out to the ball game and then play the game.

NatsJim said...

Given the choice I'd be happy if the walk-up music was banned altogether, but since that's not going to happen and given the popularity of the "Take on Me" sing alongs last year I think it's fitting. Plus, doing it during the stretch means it wouldn't actually interrupt gameplay...

Steady Eddie said...

Not that it really matters much, but does anyone have a clue what's going on with the game? Gameday shows the bottom of the 4th with Harper 1B, Moore and Tracy @K, then Desmond 1B and Espinosa 1B. Yet Gameday shows 2 outs, score still 1-0 Fish, and Espinosa on first. ?????

MicheleS said...

Eddie.. Rain delay right now

Steady Eddie said...

I know they're in a rain delay, but that doesn't add up. Either Desmond's really still up and Gameday fantacized his and Danny's singles, or there at least 2 runners on and a run in.

Of course, Gameday is back to not showing balls, and being either way ahead or way behind the game action, so who knows?

baseballswami said...

Can't seem to get 106.7 to live stream on the computer right now. Have to search the garage for a radio I guess.

Mark Zuckerman said...

Steady Eddie: There's one out, Harper on first base, and Tracy at the plate. Desmond's on deck.

Gonat said...

baseballswami, yep, no streaming as its blacked out. Either the MLB-App which you have to pay for or regular tune-in radio!

NatsLady said...

swami, are you using MLB or the 106.7 site? You need the MLB app, because they don't stream live games on their site.

Steady Eddie said...

Thanks, Mark! That makes a lot more sense.

Kind of bizarre Gameday sort of making up its own game -- even to the point of showing the Nats with six hits and the Desi and Danny "singles" listed in the box score.

Parallel universe stuff in a very trivial way.

NatsLady said...

I am re-watching yesterday's game, with the idea of grading the lefties. So far I have Bray at an F, and Abad at a C. Abad didn't give up any runs, but he did walk 2 guys (including a left-handed batter and an AAA-guy). Then my laptop overheated, so I have to wait a few minutes... How would you all grade Bray, Abad, and Erik Davis?

NatsJim said...

Anybody else lose the wjfk audio on the mlb app?

SonnyG10 said...

NL, I agree with your grades on Bray and Abad. I thought Erik Davis was really good.

I liked Bill Bray when he was with the Nationals the last time, but was really disappointed in what I saw yesterday.

NatsJim said...

I guess it's spring training for them too, the Miami WAXY feed is fine.

SonnyG10 said...

Yes, NatsJim, I just noticed it is gone.

baseballswami said...

I am using the 106.7 site , which should not be subject to blackout - it's just not working. NatsJim seems to find that problem also. Currently listening to an actual radio, typing on the laptop and watching a nats classic muted on the tv. Elecrtonic overload.This game starting back up anytime soon?

SonnyG10 said...

I just got mlb.com back.

baseballswami said...

Agreed that Bray looked awful yesterday.

SonnyG10 said...

swami, I could not get it on the 106.7 site either. Oops, I just lost mlb.com again.

NatsJim said...

Thanks for confirming guys - I'm still down on the mlb app, listening to the fish feed...

NatsLady said...

Thanks, Sonny. I'm planning on a post evaluating the lefties, but I suppose they could call today's game and just go home. Also am looking at Clip as a "LOOGY." Might not be a bad idea, given how well he does against them, his tendency to have high pitch counts in his innings, and the need to be careful of his shoulder and his exhaustion. Not the worst thing if he came in to get a lefty out to start or end an inning. Boy, did he have a great June last year, and a pretty good August.

Gonat said...

You can not use the 106.7 website to listen to Nats broadcasts as it is blacked out and all you will get is their alternative broadcasting.

NatsLady said...

Just looked at the radar for Viera. This storm is about done, but there is another behind it... Could be enough window to finish the game.

SonnyG10 said...

Gripe. Now I can't get the Miami or the Nats feed on mlb

NatsLady said...

Sonny, they may not be saying anything. Last year the announcers would cut back to the local station if it was a long enough delay. I mean, there is a limit to the chatter you can dream up.

Anna Peregrina said...

I'm getting Dave and Charlie, but not directly from Gameday, I think from the "listen" link on the Nats main page.

SonnyG10 said...

Thanks NL. I guess I'll just try to get some work done while I'm waiting to hear something.

NatsJim said...

Just came back on both mlb.tv website and the mlb ios app.

NatsJim said...

Swami, did Dave and Charlie ever throw it back to the studio while you were listening on the actual radio? They were taking callers when the sound cut, so I don't think it was a planned shutdown.

Oh well, glad they pulled Bryce after the delay.

SonnyG10 said...

Thanks Anna, I'm getting Charlie and Dave from the Nats web site now also.

Gonat said...

Curtis Granderson fractured his forearm. Out 2 to 3 months.

NatsLady said...

Ha, it's like a split squad, they took out everyone except Rendon for the 2nd half of the game...

Gonat said...

NatsLady, have you seen tomorrow's starting lineup? It looks like what you have now.

NatsLady said...

Gonat? Sorry, didn't understand your remark. No, I haven't seen tomorrow's lineup, is it posted somewhere?

natsfan1a said...

NL, you're going to grade them after a few innings in a ST game?

NatsLady said...

1A, it's not a final grade... just a grade on this "test." Davey, famously, doesn't audition guys. I'm planning to update my spreadsheet after each appearance.

NatsLady said...

Gameday hasn't noticed that the game resumed.

Gonat said...

Rendon!!!!

SonnyG10 said...

Way to go Rendon!!!!

natsfan1a said...

It will have a Rendon surprise when it does update. :-)

SonnyG10 said...

Downtown Brown!!!

NatsJim said...

Good for Rendon.

baseballswami said...

Charlie and Dave took callers- I found a radio. Looking at the Nats classic vs the O's from 2 years ago- Ross looks like he was 10, Stammen, 12. Rendon with the power!!! Bad news from NY. That team is just beat up. Sounds like our reserves want to play ball!!

NatsLady said...

If Zach Walter can field like this, we won't need Cesar Isturiz again... :)

baseballswami said...

What ever happened to Shairon Martis?

NatsLady said...

Boy, I hope we get videos of some of these plays eventually. I wanna see the unassisted DP by Marrero! You think these guys wanna be on the team this year or not?

Anna Peregrina said...

Gameday is being amazingly useless.

Gonat said...

I think Martis is pitching for the Dutch team in the WBC

NatsLady said...

Jonathan Albaladejo -- that's the guy we traded for Clip, right? Didn't know he was still around.

baseballswami said...

NL - I was just thinking the same thing!!! Marrero has changed his body, his look, his intensity level. I don't mind "watching" the younger guys in ST. They are so motivated. I also hope there is video later.

Gonat said...

Nice quotes from Jordan Zimmermann:

"I thought it went well. I threw strikes and was attacking the hitters. I mixed in a few changeups which were mostly good ones. I'm happy with the first outing...just going out there and attacking and throwing strikes. I threw a few that were on the corner that I thought could've gone either way, but for the most part, I was getting groundballs, getting early contact, and that's what I was trying to do."

NatsLady said...

This guy Accardo, he is for Syracuse, right? (And for working in spring training games) of which there are WAY too many!

baseballswami said...

I think maybe we need a post introducing us to some of these mystery guys and giving us an idea where theyigjt end up. I need a program.

baseballswami said...

*they might* end up.

NatsLady said...

swami, I posted yesterday on the pitchers. Here is that post. Also, federalbaseball did a post on the on-roster invitees (pitchers and catchers.)

http://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/2013/02/spring-training-game-1-pitchers.html

http://www.federalbaseball.com/2013/2/14/3984958/washington-nationals-spring-training-2013-pitchers-and-catchers-non-roster-invitees

NatsLady said...

Sorry, I mean, their post is on the NON-Roster invitees (pitchers and catchers).

Coach Mac said...

Strange that Davey would wait until so late in the game to use Storen

Corky said...

I don't get the criticism of Espi on here. Espi was near the top of MLB in WAR for a second baseman last year. Even WITH the strikeouts. An out is an out; we do not need to obsess over how the out is made.

NatsLady said...

Corky, I'm with you, and I've said the same many times. You would think from the comments here that Espy hit .197 and was a terrible fielder. He's one of my favs and I'm rooting for him.

Storen in and gives up a single to the first batter.

JayB said...

Out is not an out.....WAR is not a stat that wins Playoff games. It is OK but like any other stat is has it limitations.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

on to the 10th

natsfan1a said...

My cat says, "Forget extra innings - I can haz dinner now?"

baseballswami said...

These guys are trying to win this game. Awesome Natitude.

NatsLady said...

I know it's meaningless, but it doesn't bother me at all that Atlanta and St. Louis both lost today...

baseballswami said...

We just can't help ourselves. Philly lost to the Astros yesterday :). Go, Bo!!

NatsLady said...

Bo called for a double steal yesterday and it worked! It made me smile.

baseballswami said...

Our game is televised tomorrow? Masn showing Orioles on the guide.

natsfan1a said...

MLB Network, Swami.

Rabbit34 said...

Storen is probably the one who needs professional help after blowing a save on Feb 24.

sjb said...

Martis was with the Pirates organization in 2011, then was purchased by the Twins last June, not making either big club (though he will be on the Netherlands WBC team along with the Shark!)

Albaledejo was picked up by the Dbacks last year and pitched three innings for them before being let go this fall and being picked up by the Marlins

baseballswami said...

Thanks for the tv info. Have found the schedule and bookmarked it. We are going to have to follow them around a bit.

Rabbit34 said...

Nats are on TV tomorrow.

NatsJim said...

An out is most certainly *not* an out... all outs are not created equal. Would anyone seriously suggest that a strikeout is the equivalent of a warning track flyball with one out and a runner on 3rd? The equivalent of a grounder to first with no outs and a runner on 2nd? Really??

peric said...

The conspiracy theorists are out I see ... now JayB is Ghost? Sheesh.

A lot of spring baseball to be played and a lot could happen between now and the opener and between the opener and the beginning of June.

peric said...

Finally JayB find someone on the Nats who hit 37 doubles last year? Last I looked LaRoche didn't. Neither did Morse. Nor did Zim or Desmond. Bryce didn't even come close.

Who hit 37 doubles? Danny Espinosa while playing gold glove caliber second base and shortstop.

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