Saturday, February 23, 2013

Nats vs. Mets - 2/23/13

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Tradition Field hosts the Nationals in their Grapefruit League opener.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Hey, look! It's a baseball field. And there's an actual game to be played today. (Well, an actual exhibition game. But beggars can't be choosers.)

The Nationals open Grapefruit League play today, facing the Mets here at Tradition Field. Stephen Strasburg is on the mound (for probably two or three innings). Denard Span is making his Nationals debut, leading off and playing center field. Bryce Harper is hitting third, perhaps the first of many times we'll see that this season.

Veteran right-hander Shaun Marcum gets the start for New York, which then will send top prospect Zack Wheeler to the mound. Manager Terry Collins has several regulars in his lineup, including David Wright and Lucas Duda, so Strasburg will face something resembling a real test today.

A reminder that this game is being televised on MLB Network (it's actually the Mets' SNY broadcast getting picked up), so you can watch live. More importantly, you can get all your updates and analysis right here throughout the game, so please check back often...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. NEW YORK METS
Where: Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie
Gametime: 12:10 p.m. EST
TV: MLB Network (Mets' SNY broadcast)
Radio: None
Weather: Partly cloudy, 81 degrees, Wind 12 mph out to LF
NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
2B Steve Lombardozzi
LF Bryce Harper
RF Tyler Moore
3B Chad Tracy
SS Ian Desmond
1B Chris Marrero
C Chris Snyder
DH Micah Owings
(RHP Stephen Strasburg)

METS
CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
SS Ruben Tejada
3B David Wright
1B Ike Davis
RF Marlon Byrd
LF Lucas Duda
C John Buck
2B Justin Turner
DH Jordany Valdespin
(RHP Shaun Marcum)

12:09 p.m. -- Denard Span steps to the plate, Shaun Marcum delivers a fastball outside for ball one and the 2013 baseball season is underway.

12:14 p.m. -- Span's first at-bat as a National was fairly uneventful. He took a couple of pitches, then tapped a grounder to the right side of the infield. Steve Lombardozzi also grounded out weakly, but then Bryce Harper stepped in to a nice ovation from the crowd and promptly whacked the very first pitch he saw down the right field line, almost taking out the entire Nats bullpen in the process. After that loud foul ball, Harper came back and poked a solid single to right for his first hit of the spring. Tyler Moore skied a flyball to right to end the top of the first, so here comes Stephen Strasburg for the bottom of the inning.

12:32 p.m. -- Not exactly the first inning Strasburg was looking for. He needed a whopping 31 pitches (28 of them fastballs) to face six batters, three of whom recorded hits, two of whom scored via Ruben Tejada's homer to left-center off a 3-2 fastball. Shaky command for the right-hander in that frame, leading to three full counts and some long at-bats. But it's one inning in February, and based on the ridiculously high percentage of fastballs he threw, obviously Strasburg was working on stuff there and not necessarily pitching for results. Nats trail 2-0 after one.

12:41 p.m. -- Man, the ball is flying here today. Ian Desmond (to the surprise of nobody) whacked the very first pitch he saw to left field for a single. Chris Marrero drove him home with a double to deep left. Then Chris Snyder poked a pitch from Marcum over the fence for a 2-run homer, putting the Nats up 3-2 in the top of the second. Could be a long day.

12:51 p.m. -- Much better stuff from Strasburg in the bottom of the second. He retired the side on 11 pitches, working on his curveball a bit more. His final line: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 42 pitches, 24 strikes. His pitch selection: 36 fastballs, 5 curveballs, 1 changeup. Should be obvious what he was working on today. Nats still lead 3-2 after two as Zack Wheeler enters for the Mets.

12:59 p.m. -- Looks like the Mets may have something with this Wheeler kid. He walked Lombardozzi to lead off the third but bounced back to get Harper to ground out to short, then struck out Moore and Tracy with some mid-90s fastballs. Good stuff from the right-hander. Craig Stammen enters for the bottom of the third, the Nats still up 3-2.

1:10 p.m. -- Stammen navigates his way through a scoreless bottom of the third, though not without a moment of trepidation. Kirk Nieuwenhuis crushed a line drive to left, right at Harper, who then turned that routine play into a spectacular, circus catch in which the ball ricocheted off his glove, off his thigh and then back into his glove. Quite a highlight there for the 20-year-old. Nats still up 3-2 heading to the fourth.

1:18 p.m. -- Chris Snyder may have little hope of making the Opening Day roster, but he's certainly making an early name for himself. After homering in the second, he roped a single in the fourth to improve to 2-for-2 on the day. He's also become a popular presence behind the plate, a very vocal and upbeat catcher. Bottom of the fourth upcoming, the Nats still up 3-2.

1:33 p.m. -- Thirty-nine pitches for Stammen in his first relief appearance of the spring? No problem. In fact, knowing the way Davey used him last year, I wouldn't be shocked to see him back out there tomorrow. OK, maybe not. Stammen did give up a run in the bottom of the fourth on three base hits, the last by noted Nationals-killer Jordany Valdespin. So it's 3-3 as we move to the fifth inning here.

2:30 p.m. -- Just got back from the clubhouse, where Strasburg, Snyder, Harper, Span and Desmond all spoke after coming out of the game. Full details postgame, but one gem from Strasburg was that he called the first inning "a bit of a debacle." He pointed out, though, that he always struggles to find a comfort zone the first time he takes the mound in a season and recalled giving up a homer in his first inning of spring training last season. The man who hit that homer? Chris Snyder, who caught Strasburg today. As for this game, the Mets scored a pair off Bill Bray in the bottom of the sixth. So they now lead 5-3 as we reach the seventh-inning stretch.

2:57 p.m. -- A chance for the Nats in the top of the eighth with runners on the corners, one out and somebody named Darin Gorski on the mound. But Anthony Rendon (getting his first at-bat of the spring) popped out to shallow right field and Jhonatan Solano grounded out to short to kill the potential rally. So it's still 5-3 Mets, with the Nats down to their final three outs.

3:15 p.m. -- That's yer ballgame. Nats lose the spring opener 5-3. Wonder if Davey will turn over the clubhouse spread in anger. Probably not.

93 comments:

natsfan1a said...

Ahhh, that is one beautiful sight, even if it isn't "our" field.

NatsLady said...

Wow! They are probably almost there now... getting off the bus... I can see it in my mind.

Got new-posted in the BEST possible way--a GAME THREAD!!!--so here is my very quick rundown of the pitchers for today's game--some strangers... but not nearly as many as in past years.

ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/

NatsLady said...

According to Ladson, Zach Duke will pitch tomorrow and then attend his grandmother's funeral.

@Zach_Duke is his Twitter handle if you want to send regards.

MurrayTheRed said...

Hey does anyone know what channel that is on DirecTV?

MicheleS said...

In the words of our esteemed host: Sweet Fancy Moses we have live baseball...

I suppose this means I can start deleting the Nats Classics from the DVR

natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
natsfan1a said...

I don't, Murray, but you might try searching your online media guide.

Yes, thanks, I'd love another cup of coffee.

NatsLady said...

All I know is 391 on RCN... Already have it pre-set for the game.

Gonat said...

Murray, I think MLB Network is around 212 to 215 on DirecTV if memory serves.

MurrayTheRed said...

Cool, Thanks Gonat!

MurrayTheRed said...

It is on 213 and in HD. Yea!

MicheleS said...

Also.. MASN has Nats Talk at 10 am.. Got to the the Phil Wood Fix started off today.

NatsNut said...

ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod, it's a GAME THREAD!!! (HAPPY DANCE!)

JayB said...

What a great gift after a hard week!

adventurehouse said...

Nats Classics? You mean the game that MASN broadcast several weeks ago, in which the Nat's lost? They re-broadcast the game because it was Strasburg's first game back...come on!

bluejeener said...

Noon? Same time as the Caps game. Decisions, decisions - youth, hope, skill or penalties and dying dreams. Thank electrons for clickers.

original Nats Fan said...

daughter watching Caps on one TV, mom [me] the Nats on the other. May there be lots of
WOOOOOOHOOOOOS

Scooter said...

Hey NatsLady, when you're mentioning one of your posts, could you try to link to the specific post, rather than the entire blog? I sometimes get behind on reading here, which makes the generic link less useful.

(This is actually a general request, for anyone who tries to share an article. What's on a site's home page now might not always be there ...)

Thanks. Let's play two!

phil dunton said...

Suspect we better get used to seeing lots of Lombardozzi at 2B this season. I won't miss all of Espi's Ks.

SlowPitch63 said...

MTR,
Nats on channel 213 on Direct TV.
Let's Play Two!

natsfan1a said...

Play ball!

baseballswami said...

Now if only it wasn't the Mets announcers.

waddu eye no said...

"Now if only it wasn't the Mets announcers'

and how.

baseballswami said...

Bryce got the bat on that foul ball!

baseballswami said...

And on that one, too.

natsfan1a said...

There goes the no-hitter, FP.

natsfan1a said...

Well, one broadcaster is a former Nats guy. :-0

SCNatsFan said...

What?

baseballswami said...

Strassie not so sharp yet. It's early.

natsfan1a said...

If the "what" is in re. broadcasting, Ron Darling is a former Nats broadcaster.

UnkyD said...

Gee.... This almost looks like ...... SWEET FANCY MOSES!!! It's a Game Thread!!!
WOOOHOOO!!!!

Dave said...

Who do we have down there from NI? NatsJack? djinfl?

We need some more Nats-oriented play by play. I don't care about the vicissitudes of the Mets.

baseballswami said...

Desi's stache is epic!! Swinging at the first pitch, of course.

tayo said...

Chris Marrero with a ringing double scores first pitch hacking desi. Looks like that power may be back.

baseballswami said...

Is this a softball game??

tayo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
natsfan1a said...

Reminds me of Pedro in Napoleon Dynamite.

natsfan1a said...

Oops. Forgot to paste the mustache comment.

NatsNut said...

"Could be a long day."

and the problem with this is...?

=)

The Retired Journalist said...

Dave, I'm down here (but I live 20 minutes from Space Coast Stadium) so I'll be at all the games in Viera. Old bearded dude on the aisle in Section 211 behind home plate if you're coming to any games. I'm watching this game on cable TV, however, because I'm going to a beer festival in Palm Bay this afternoon. Yeah, beer on Saturday and baseball on Sunday. A good weekend.

natsfan1a said...

Just what I was wondering, NN. ;-)

tayo said...

so , idiot Mets announcers are still talking about Stras shutdown so I just muted it.

Anna Peregrina said...

Talking about the shutdown, sigh.

Anna Peregrina said...

If I understood the whole drink thing, I would owe you one, Tayo.

karlkolchak said...

Why oh why are we forced to watch this game with these idiot Mts announcers who just basically blamed the Strasburg shutdown for the Nats' playoff loss last year like leaving Santana in for 260 pitches or so to get his no-hitter and having him promptly break down for the rest of the season was a wis move or something. Thank goodness we don't have neanderthal morons in our broadcast booth.

natsfan1a said...

It was one of the first things mentioned in the broadcast. Whatever.

natsfan1a said...

And that beard isn't even Werthy, dude.

NatsNut said...

It must be hard for these guys to dial it back a notch or work on what they need to work on in the name of spring training. It's still a game situation, in front of crowds, against the bad guys and these guys are COMPETITIVE. I feel for them.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Moore and Tracy look like up the Upton brothers. Swings and misses.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Harper looked like a wide receiver.

baseballswami said...

Bryce is so athletic. He can make small errors and overcome them with it. Look at him- does he look 20?

natsfan1a said...

I hear circus music.

Faraz Shaikh said...

nice recovery by Harper.

baseballswami said...

Via twitter-- Tracy fielded that ball like a true pinch hitter.

SCNatsFan said...

No matter what I am having to listen to its awesome to have live honkball to watch

natsfan1a said...

Honk if you love baseball.

sm13 said...

Honk!

tayo said...

If Marrero or even Owings have great spring Training and Moore not so much, what do you think Nationals do? Is Moore's spot already that set in stone?

sm13 said...

Davey loves Tyler Moore - its hard to imagine him not making the club. Plus, Moore has learened to play the outfield,which makes him more versitile.

baseballswami said...

Oh, no- it's Voldemort!!!!

natsfan1a said...

Oh, geez. It's Babe Valdespin.

Davide said...

can't wait for the regular season to begin...go Nats!!I hope that my present for the master degree will be a trip to D.C.!!! ;)

tayo said...

Lombo definitely looks bulked up.

SCNatsFan said...

We should have traded for valdespin just so he doesn't play against us

Steady Eddie said...

Most to the point re TMo, he's proven himself repeatedly in the regular (AND post-) season, when it counts.

Owings and Marrero are organizational depth at AAA.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Moore 0 for 2 with less than 2 outs with man on third . Both strike outs. Followed by a K by Tracy. Mid season form if a Brave.

Gonat said...

Never ceases to amaze. Abad gets the tough David Wright out and then gets lefty/lefty on Ike Davis and walks him.

phil dunton said...

Moore may have learned to play the outfield but he has an extremely weak arm. Unfortunately, that is a deficiency that can't be corrected.

SCNatsFan said...

I don't think you can discount Owings just yet; give the guy to concentrate just on hitting and he could perhaps be a valuable 25th man on a roster, just not right now.

natsfan1a said...

Those Barbasol commercials are kind of funny. LOL. Oopa.

Gonat said...

No LUNA Flooring commercials is a welcome sight on this channel feed.

sjm308 said...

I will whine just a bit. I don't actually mind the Mets play-by-play guys. Interesting that they have 3 in the booth and that must be hard but two are legit former players for their team. What drove me absolutely crazy was how long the interviews were during the game. Its now on mute. Not only did it seem like each one lasted 30 min., you could tell the players didn't want to be there and the guy was a total idiot on top of all that. OK, its baseball and its our baseball.

Go Nats!!

baseballswami said...

I hate It when any announcers don't pay attention to the game because they are doing an interview.

Gonat said...

Bill Bray with a Little League mistake there. These latter innings in early ST are painful.

WT YL said...

Bray is stinking the joint up today

Dave said...

Is that guy Strasburgh any relation to Strowsburg?

God, I'm tired of this Mutts TV team. Now they're reminding everybody that the Nats cannot possibly bounce back from Game 5.

Never mind that most people pick the Nats to go all the way, and the Mets...not so much.

WT YL said...

Was wondering why no looks at Rendon/Goodwin?

baseballswami said...

MUTE!!!!!!!

WT YL said...

Is there anyways to look at the games that wont be on MASN/MLBN?

natsfan1a said...

Eh, they have to yack about something.

natsfan1a said...

WT, I think some of them can be seen online if one has the MLB.com video package. I don't have that, just the Game Day audio.

natsfan1a said...

I will say that watching that kid roll down the berm never gets old. Seriously.

WT YL said...

Show me something Corey Brown...

Gonat said...

Another inaccurate quote. Corey Brown didn't come over in the Gio trade.

baseballswami said...

Brian Bixler sighting? Thought he was an Astro.

EmDash said...

Definitely a rough start for Bray. Hope it's nerves.

And yeah, the Mets' announcers seem to want to talk NLDS at least as much as their own team. Obviously the performance of some minor leaguers who won't make the major league club in the first spring training game is a reliable indicator of how the team will bounce back, right?

baseballswami said...

Caps had a good afternoon:)

WT YL said...

God those people in Florida are so lucky right now. Enjoying a great day with baseball in Feb. Sigh

natsfan1a said...

Step aside for the big man, Will.

phil dunton said...

It is 86 in Vero Beach right now with high humidity--not very comfortable. My guess is that players prefer the climate in AZ.

WT YL said...

Rendon has presence out there

natsfan1a said...

More Cowgill is cute, but the Rays already did that one.

Salvatore Johnson said...

Talking TV which is right around the corner, hearing that Kristina Akra has been hired by MLB and won't be with the Nats in 2013. She will be missed and I hope this doesn 't mean having to put up with either Debbie Taylor or someone like her.
Mark emailed this to you on Monday but hadn't heard from you.

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