Monday, February 25, 2013

Nats vs. Mets - 2/25/13

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Gio Gonzalez starts tonight at Tradition Field.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Since arriving for spring training amid reports of his connection to the Biogenesis clinic under investigation by MLB, Gio Gonzalez has talked about wanting to move on and shift focus to the field. Well, he finally gets his chance tonight.

Gonzalez will be on the mound for his Grapefruit League debut when the Nationals face the Mets here at Tradition Field. As was the case with Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann before him, the lefty will be on a 45-pitch limit, so look for two or three innings from him.

Gonzalez won't have many regulars behind him in the field. Actually, he won't have any members of the projected Opening Day lineup, with only Steve Lombardozzi and Tyler Moore (hitting cleanup for the third straight day) even assured of roster spots among tonight's starters.

Just like Saturday's game here, tonight's will be televised on MLB Network (again picking up the Mets' SNY broadcast). I'll have my own updates and analysis here, so please check back often...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. NEW YORK METS
Where: Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie
Gametime: 6:10 p.m. EST
TV: MLB Network (Mets' SNY broadcast)
Radio: None
Weather: Partly cloudy, 77 degrees, Wind 11 mph out to LF
NATIONALS
CF Eury Perez
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Corey Brown
DH Tyler Moore
1B Chris Marrero
LF Carlos Rivero
3B Matt Skole
C Chris Snyder
SS Zach Walters
(LHP Gio Gonzalez)

METS
CF Collin Cowgill
SS Ruben Tejada
3B David Wright
1B Ike Davis
RF Marlon Byrd
LF Jamie Hoffmann
DH Andrew Brown
C John Buck
2B Wilmer Flores
(RHP Collin McHugh)

6:10 p.m. -- And we're underway with a ball from Collin McHugh to Eury Perez. It was quite warm this afternoon during batting practice, up to 91 degrees, but it's cooled off nicely to 77 degrees at first pitch.

6:14 p.m. -- A nice display of speed from Perez, who tapped a slow roller to third and forced David Wright to attempt a tough, barehanded play. Unfortunately, he was immediately erased on a double play grounded into by Steve Lombardozzi. Corey Brown was grazed by a pitch, but Tyler Moore flied out to left to end the top of the first. Here's Gio...

6:29 p.m. -- A laborious bottom of the first for Gio, but he escaped unscathed. His fastball command was all over the place (six of his first eight pitches were balls) but his curveball was in midseason form. He buckled Wright's knees with one and struck out Ike Davis on another beauty. He also wasn't helped by his defense at all, with Zach Walters booting a routine grounder and Lombardozzi charged with an error when he couldn't corral Carlos Rivero's throw from left field. After all that, though, it's still scoreless after one.

6:38 p.m. -- Good lord does Matt Skole have some serious power or what? He just murdered a baseball to right-center. Only trouble was he didn't get under it enough, so he had to settle for a double. It's going to be fun watching this kid as long as he's in big-league camp.

6:46 p.m. -- Much better fastball command from Gonzalez in the second inning, resulting in a pair of strikeouts. Corey Brown also made a really nice diving catch along the right-field line to rob Andrew Brown of a bloop hit. Scoreless as we head to the third. Gio has thrown 34 pitches (20 strikes) but Ross Ohlendorf is warming in the pen, so that might be it for him. Scoreless through two.

7:07 p.m. -- The Nats took it to McHugh and reliever Brandon Lyon in the top of the third. Perez beat out another grounder -- the kid does have blazing speed, I'll give him that -- and then scored on Lombardozzi's blooper into the left-field corner. Brown roped a single, knocking McHugh out of the game, then Moore delivered an RBI single of his own off Lyon. Rivero completed the rally with an RBI double to left, so just like that the Nats lead 3-0 as Ohlendorf enters for the bottom of the third.

7:13 p.m. -- Nice debut inning for Ohlendorf, who needed only nine pitches to retire the side and struck out Collin Cowgill on an 85-mph offspeed pitch.

7:43 p.m. -- Just got back from the clubhouse, where Gio Gonzalez was in rare form. He had plenty to say about his actual performance, about the mechanical adjustment he made after the first inning to rein in his fastball, about how much confidence he has in his curveball even in his first outing of the spring, about how pleased he was to get a positive reaction from the crowd in the wake of the Biogenesis story. But really the most entertaining part of the interview was when Gio explained why his forehead looked like it had been burned. His explanation: His dog did it. No, really. He was horsing around with his French bulldog, Hollywood, and got kind of roughed up in the process. Only Gio. ... Anyways, back to the game. Ike Davis homered off Ohlendorf in the bottom of the fourth, so it's now 4-1 Nats in the fifth.

7:58 p.m. -- Nice job by Ohlendorf. He finished up three innings of strong relief, the only hit he allowed that Davis homer. He also made a really nice play on a bouncer to his right, firing a perfect, off-balance throw to first base to nail the batter. Still 4-1 Nats through five.

8:13 p.m. -- First time I've ever seen Nathan Karns pitch in person, and I have to say I was impressed. He's got a very smooth delivery that makes his 94 mph fastball look even faster. He battled David Wright impressively in the bottom of the sixth, with Wright fouling off three straight 3-2 pitches before finally singling to right. Good stuff from the Nats minor league pitcher of the year. Still 4-1 as we go to the seventh.

8:24 p.m. -- Whoa, Anthony Rendon nearly hits his second homer in as many days, only to be robbed in center field by Matt den Dekker. Incredible catch by den Dekker, who scaled the wall to bring Rendon's blast back. The Nats still managed to score when Destin Hood drilled an RBI double to right-center, putting the visitors up 5-1 at the seventh-inning stretch.

8:33 p.m. -- More good stuff from Karns in the bottom of the seventh. He recorded a pair of strikeouts, getting top prospect Travis d'Arnaud. Still 5-1 heading to the eighth.

8:50 p.m. -- Not a particularly strong eighth inning from lefty Pat McCoy. He just turned that 5-1 lead into a 5-4 nailbiter. It'll be Ryan Mattheus for the save in the ninth.

8:59 p.m. -- Well, the Nats got a run back in the top of the ninth, so it's 6-4 as Mattheus enters. Sadly, no Katy Perry as he trots in from the bullpen. Though they are playing a great old clip from "Cheers" on the scoreboard, the one where Woody inadvertently starts the entire bar on "We Will Rock You."

9:09 p.m. -- That'll do it. Mattheus closes out a 6-4 victory, the Nats' first of the spring.

52 comments:

Section 222 said...

Sorry to hear that Kristina won't be back. She did her job well, and with humor and grace. And she wasn't cringe-inducing like Debbi T. I could have imagined her moving into the studio after a few years, like Amber Theoharris did before she moved on.

Good sideline reporters are tough to find. Will be interesting to see if MASN can line one up before the season starts.

Doc said...

Guess I'll tune in to watch Gio, and see if Rivero and Skole show anything.

After his performance in the AFL, I've sorta thought that his path to the Bigs might be a bit quicker than some are projecting.

He's not thought of as a top Nats' prospect, but he has demonstrated some good skills on both sides of the ball.

NCNatsie said...

"Is that the same Jonathan Albaladejo that we traded to the Yankees for Tyler Clippard?"


It's hard to be sure. There are so many Jonathan Albaladejos.

JD said...


Doc,

I always caution people to take AFL results with a grain of salt; the sample size is not large enough and players are sent there to work on specific things.

Skole has shown a lot of power in the minors and if he can handle AA this will indicate that he has real major league potential. I think he's a bit too old to be considered an 'A' type prospect.

MicheleS said...

BASEBALL!!! ON MY TV!!!!

JD said...


Doc,

It's also instructive to keep in mind that from a major league roster point of view there is only one open spot and that's the last bullpen position (wide open between Bray, Henry, Garcia etc). Since the bench will almost certainly consist of: Moore, Lombo, Tracy, Bernadina and the backup catcher there is no position spot open at all barring injury.

Tcostant said...

I want to see Rendon get a start at 2B this week! Had my season ticket holder draft this weekend, I cannot wait for this season to start!!!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Moment of silence, please, for the one-and-done Kristina Akra. Nobody took the residue of a Gatorade shower better than Ms. Akra.

NCNatsie said...

RE: why on-field announcers tend to be pretty young women. My guess is that it is because MLB has decided it has to increase the number of female on-air people it has, and is taking a cue from the NFL, which did essentially the same thing with its "sideline" reporters.

They have basically created the jobs where none existed before -- until recently there were no baseball third voices. That makes it a little different than the news business back in the 1970's when a lot of middle aged male anchors were simply fired to make room for the first generation of women.

They're using the on-field jobs as a training regimen to let the best rise to the top.

Some call it sexism. Some call it affirmative action.

sm13 said...

Nathan Karns is scheduled to pitch 3rd tonight. It will be interesting to seem him and Skole in action.

Gonat said...

A chance to watch some youngsters!

SCNatsFan said...

To be fair, a lot of the post game interviews are just puff, not hard hitting journalism. Watch any entertainment show on tv and I think you'll find the anchor and reporters are damn good looking. Mlb is no different.

baseballswami said...

There should be more female baseball announcers- the way it is being done now is not it. Just like they have " ladies night" for all the dumb women who couldn't possibly know anything about the game. Actually I think the MLB TV network is doing the best job - their female on- air people are very good. Now they need to put one of them at the desk. Alanna Rizzo is brilliant. Look around you at the park, on this site. Lots and lots of smart, female fans out there who are passionate about the game. MLB needs to wise up and stop patronizing them.

Joe Seamhead said...

"Bimbo" was never a description that I would've tagged Kristina Akra with. I found her to be articulate, had a good relationship with the players, was great in her dealings with Davey, and the fact that she was nice eye candy was just a bonus. I wish her well, but Mrs. Seamhead and I will miss her persona. I'm with Sunshine Bobby C as I feel almost like we lost a friend. Oh, well. Move on. GYFNG!!!

MicheleS said...

Geesh MLB Network. LOMBardozzi not LAMBardozzi

John C. said...

Tonight on the MLB Network: Syracuse Chiefs (and Gio Gonzalez) vs. the New York Mets.

MicheleS said...

John.. are we sure this is the Chiefs lineup and not the Harrisburg one?

Gonat said...

Danny Rosenbaum for the win for the Rockies.

SCNatsFan said...

I know it is preseason but watching the stupid mistakes I realize I have mid season angst

EmDash said...

Middle infield's a little shaky tonight.

Gio's curve is looking good, though.

EmDash said...

We angst-ers are getting in shape for the season too, right SCNatsFan? *g*

Gonat said...

Nice liner by Skole!

Drew said...

Skole is a beast.

MicheleS said...

When did we get so stocked up on Infielders??

MicheleS said...

It looks so nice in Florida right now.. I need sun and warm weather

Drew said...

Nice grab Corey Brown.

EmDash said...

Wonder if there'll be a third inning for Gio? He's about 10 pitches under his limit.

He looked good after some initial wildness in the 1st.

MicheleS said...

Well, it's nice to see our minor league and back up guys beat up on the Mets

SCNatsFan said...

Spring training or not, I don't like to see the team get on a roll of losing. It isn't something a team should get used to.

EmDash said...

Ha, 3 for 3 for Eury on infield hits!

phil dunton said...

The colorful Beast is 2 for 6 with a double so far this Cactus League season. I hope he wins the AL Triple Crown.

EmDash said...

The Mets' manager apparently switching out their pitcher for a better match-up during spring training? That seems pretty crazy.

EmDash said...

Awesome fielding by Ohlendorf. Wow. He's been great so far.

Joe Seamhead said...

I don't care if it is only spring training, there's just something very sweet about seeing Papelbon with an ERA of 81.00. No that's not a typo,His ERA really is 81.00! I think they are still waiting for the ball to land that Cabrerra hit off of him.

MicheleS said...

Even David Wright is complementing the Nats pitching staff

phil dunton said...

This is not play by play, just the conducting of player interviews. Ridiculous!

MicheleS said...
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Natman said...

Rendon hits another home run. Ooops.... robbed by den Dekker!

MicheleS said...

Take 2, puts wine glass down:

Phil, LIGHTEN UP! It's Spring Training and the Mets have to sell something especially since our minor leaguers are beating them. I bet FP and Carp do this on Thursday. It's called get to know your Nats.

Gonat said...

Karns looked real good.

UnkyD said...

Scrubbinis.... Taking it to the Mess!!!

Gonat said...

The Tweeters are giving a lot of love to Karns.

EmDash said...

Lefty relievers continue to struggle for the Nats, it seems.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Pat McCoy working his way down it appears.

Drew said...

Wow. Rendon looks special.

How bout this club? It's got a bounty of young talent in the bigs and Rendon, Skole, Karns, Cole and Giolito on the farm.

Man, Rhymes was robbed -- safe all the way.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

home plate ump in midseason form. Calling Rhymes out. Even Met announcers thanked him for the gift as he clearly tag home.

Gonat said...

Rendon in a 0-2 count just flattened that ball on that line drive to right. As ST goes on, we of course need to see him against some real MLB starters but this is fun!

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!! have to practice!!

Doc said...

The best part of Rendon's hit was a solid smack on 0-2.

This kid doesn't back down!

Faraz Shaikh said...

am I the only one who finds it hard to watch games like today's? haha guess it will take some more time to get over that ninth inning.

Scott Margenau said...

U know it's bad when at 2 am u r reading 100 plus comments about an Exhibition game! #gyfng

Scott Margenau said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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