Thursday, March 21, 2013

Nats vs. Braves - 3/21/13

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Dan Haren leads the Nats into Disney's Wide World of Sports tonight.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The last time Dan Haren pitched, it wasn't a pretty sight. Plagued by what he could only assume was a "dead arm," the right-hander was flinging up fastballs in the mid-80s, well below his normal velocity. An obvious perturbed Haren vowed to be back to his usual self the next time he took the mound, and tonight we'll find out whether he truly was experiencing a one-time bump in the road or whether this is actual cause for concern.

Haren will be facing many, though not all, of the Braves' regulars. He'll have his full Nats starting lineup behind him, though, as Davey Johnson continues to crack the whip and puts his regulars out there for the second straight day. Look for Wilson Ramos to catch the full nine innings, the first time he's done that since he tore his ACL last May, the last real milestone for Ramos to cross in his return.

Tim Hudson, named Atlanta's Opening Day starter by manager Fredi Gonzalez, gets the nod tonight. And you're in luck, because the game will be televised on MLB Network (picking up the Braves' broadcast). Be sure to check back here for updates and analysis, of course...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Disney's Wide World of Sports, Lake Buena Vista
Gametime: 6:05 p.m. EST
TV: MLB Network (Braves' broadcast)
Radio: Braves radio via MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Mostly sunny, 68 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to CF
NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Dan Haren

BRAVES
SS Andrelton Simmons
CF Reed Johnson
RF Jason Heyward
LF Justin Upton
3B Juan Francisco
1B Chris Johnson
2B Tyler Pastornicky
C Matt Pagnozzi
RHP Tim Hudson

5:55 p.m. -- Before we get started, the Nats have announced Opening Day festivities. Barack Obama won't be attending, but Teddy Roosevelt's great-great-grandson will announce "Play ball!", so there's there. The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by former Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha, who received the Medal of Honor for some truly heroic acts in Afghanistan.

6:08 p.m. -- And we're underway with a ball low from Tim Hudson to Denard Span. It's "Pirate and Princess Day" here at Disney. If you'll excuse me, I need to go track down Rafael Soriano's dentist and see if I can get root canal.

6:12 p.m. -- And Hudson sets the Nats down in order in the top of the first. He struck out Span on a sinker that may or may not have caught the inside corner of the plate. He then got Jayson Werth to foul out and Bryce Harper to ground out. Lot of Nats fans here tonight. Fairly impressive for a road game.

6:20 p.m. -- Looks like Dan Haren is back to normal. He consistently threw 89 mph in the bottom of the first and topped out at 90, so looks like the dead arm is no more. He also ended the inning with a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play, with Wilson Ramos firing off a nice throw to third to nail Andrelton Simmons. Scoreless after one.

6:29 p.m. -- Well, that was quite an eventful top of the second for Adam LaRoche. He was greeted by old pal Hudson with a 47 mph eephus pitch and had to step out of the box to stop himself from laughing. Awesome stuff. LaRoche then drove the next pitch (at normal speed) into right field for a single. He took second on a wild pitch, then took off for third on Danny Espinosa's base hit to right. But then Trent Jewett inexplicably waved him around and LaRoche was thrown out by Jason Heyward by a good 20 feet. Bizarre send there by Jewett. After all that, it's still scoreless.

6:43 p.m. -- The second inning wasn't nearly so kind to Haren. He was roughed up for three runs on four hits and a walk. No problem with his velocity, which was even better than last inning (he reached 91 mph a couple of times). The Braves just hit Haren hard. It's 3-0 as we move to the third.

6:56 p.m. -- Better stuff from Haren in the bottom of the third. He retired the side on 14 pitches and struck out both Justin Upton and Chris Johnson. In fact, he's got five strikeouts in the game already. Nats still trail 3-0 after three.

7:10 p.m. -- Make it seven in a row retired by Haren, three via strikeouts. He's bounced back nicely from that ragged second inning. He's at 70 pitches (46 strikes) overall, so he's probably got one more inning in him. Hudson, meanwhile, is taking the mound for the top of the fifth, having yet to allow a run to the Nats.

7:21 p.m. -- Haren continues to cruise, retiring the side on eight pitches in the fifth, resulting in three groundouts. He's at 78 pitches, so perhaps Davey will let him go another inning. Davey wouldn't mind a little offense out of his everyday lineup, either. Still 3-0 as we go to the sixth.

7:29 p.m. -- Nothin' doin' in the sixth for the Nats. Hudson is doing what he usually does to these guys: Mow 'em down.

7:44 p.m. -- On "Pirate and Princess Night" here at Disney, it's of course appropriate that Capt. Hook made an appearance. Davey came out to take the ball from Haren, who served up a gargantuan homer to Upton and then a couple of singles before reaching the 90-pitch limit. So Craig Stammen entered and got out of the inning. It's now 4-0 Braves moving to the seventh. Roger Bernadina, by the way, is making his Nats season debut, now in center field.

8:21 p.m. -- OK, we've reached the top of the ninth here, the Nats having scored three times in the seventh to cut the deficit to 4-3. Just got back from the clubhouse, where Dan Haren said he felt "1,000 times better" tonight than last time. Adam LaRoche also said he called for Tim Hudson to throw him a knuckleball in the first inning. Apparently Hudson makes a tradition out of doing something funny with LaRoche every time they face in spring training. Said LaRoche: "That was great."

8:25 p.m. -- That's your ballgame. The Nats lose this one, 4-3.

146 comments:

SonnyG10 said...

Here's hoping Haren is over his dead arm blip.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Haren never said he had a dead arm. That was Davey.

Haren said he stunk. I hope he's over stinking.

Another_Sam said...

Last year I got so comfortable with BH hitting second. But it's not about me. I can get used to his hitting third.

NatsLady said...

New post on Nats' opponents' base stealing. Warning: MATH AHEAD.

Theft Prevention

http://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/2013/03/theft-prevention.html

SonnyG10 said...

Ouch, NJ.

NatsJack in Florida said...

All in jest Sonny....all in jest.

Sam, I'll see you and Dave about 5:30.

TimDz said...

NatsLady said...
New post on Nats' opponents' base stealing. Warning: MATH AHEAD.

-----------------------------

Let me know when the math requirement is gone....

SonnyG10 said...

OK ;)

Another_Sam said...

See you in a bit, NJ. And MicheleS.

NatsLady said...

TimDZ, you don't have to DO the math--I did that. But you do have to look at it! If even that's too much--don't worry. I don't have the energy for a post like this every day. I gave myself a headache.

A DC Wonk said...

(following up on post from last thread)

Thanks for the back up Doc and Wonk - By the way, Wonk, waiting on hearing about the veteran fan in your family and how she is gearing up for our run at the World Series.

Aww, thanks for remembering -- I do have a few funny off-season stories to tell.

Here's one: when I told her that John Lannan signed with the Phillies, she said "so?"

(background: she's pretty quick to judge players, and her opinion doesn't change that much no matter what -- she had decided a while back that Lannan was completely expendable, and so thought it irrelevant that he had signed somewhere else. Since she became a fan "cold-turkey" just last May, she knows almost zero baseball history, and, of course, no idea of what "Lannen" meant to the Nats in prior years. Her "so?" reaction was the the result of a 17-year-old-teenage-girl's cold calculation. It might not translate so well into a message here, but her one word reaction told volumes....)

I promise -- more stories to come!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Another_Sam said...
Last year I got so comfortable with BH hitting second. But it's not about me. I can get used to his hitting third


The 3 hole is the MVP spot as the voters give higher marks to RBI men over those who score runs.

Bryce Harper will have plenty of opportunities in the 3 hole and I suppose if all goes well Zim will also in the 4 hole like LaRoche did last year!

Some suggest going Span-Harper-Zim-LaRoche but I like this lineup much better and Davey seems to have embraced this as his "A" lineup.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I love this lineup as it puts the best overall power hitter in the whole organization in the 3 hole where he belongs.

baseballswami said...

Ex- Nat sighting! Bixler now hitting for the Mets.

bowdenball said...

I apologize if this has been discussed among the regulars before, but what's the deal with the Braves starting Hudson on Opening Day? What a weird decision. They started Medlen in the wild card playoff game, so it's not like they're worried about his lack of experience on the big stage. Anyone else find it very odd?

BigCat said...

I sure would of liked The Beast tucked quietly in that 5 or 6 slot, but it is what it is. And as soon as Span makes one of his diving catches I will be smiling

NatsLady said...

Haren should consider taking the bus so he can get up and walk around.

Section 222 said...

There's no doubt this is the best lineup for the Nats with this personnel -- putting Harper in the 3 spot where his power can produce more runs, keeping Werth at the top of the order where his pitch taking ability and bat control can pay dividends and he isn't taking up a spot like 5 or 6 better suited for a power hitter, and having a LRLR alignment for late inning matchups. It seemed like the obvious solution from the day that Span was obtained and slotted into the leadoff spot, but I'm glad that everyone seems to have accepted and adjusted to their new spots. Well done Davey.

sjm308 said...

I love this lineup as well. I think I wrote a fantasy 1st inning about two months back with Span looking at 9 pitches before drawing a walk. Werth taking another 8 pitches before dropping a single with Span moving all the way to 3rd (I might have had him steal 2nd, can't remember). Harper drives them both in with a double to the wall and Zimm finishes it off with a single to right scoring Harper easily. Opposing pitcher will have thrown over 30 pitches in the first inning and will be toast by the 5th.

Go Nats

MurrayTheRed said...

Best part....

It is in TV after work! Going to race home order delivery and enjoy.

NatsLady great blog post! Impressive.

MurrayTheRed said...

That was "on TV" not "in TV". Can't blame that one on spellcheck.

NCNatsie said...

In an earlier thread, Natsfan1a said, "You forgot to not post about what time it will take place (1-3:30, if memory serves). :-)"

1. I did that on purpose.
2. Your memory serves.
3. You have the cutest emoticon!

NCNatsie said...

I agree with Murray that Naats Lady's post on stealing is most impressive. Of course, with her blog, I only look at the pictures.

NatsLady said...

Thanks, Murray. If any one finds errors, let me know in the comments section and I will fix! I tried to double-check...

NCNatsie said...

Nats Lady. Sorry. :-)

baseballswami said...

There was a Nats classic on this morning and I dvr'd it. I am using it as a warm up game for later. Harper walk off in the 12th. Chris Young is the starter for the Mets. He is an absolute giant. How tall is that dude? He totally fooled our hitters. Did not realize he was quite so tall. Think he will stay or go?

NatsLady said...

NCN--I stole the picture. (sigh) I guess I should credit it.

Unknown said...

While long term weather predictions are always speculative, AccuWeather is predicting 45 degrees and rain for April 1st opening day against the Marlins.

NatsLady said...

I got a ticket with my plan for the Yankee game. IF the weather is decent I'll go--otherwise someone else can have my ticket. It's a paper ticket.

MurrayTheRed said...

Just curious, how many of you have received your season tickets? Haven't got mine yet getting nervous. If you already got them would you mind posting the date you received them.

baseballswami said...

Not a season ticket holder, but got one of those four packs as a Christmas gift. Got them last week!

Joe Seamhead said...

Just saw NatsJack in his seat.

Wow did that call on the K to Span look inside, or what?
So the Braves guy just said that Werth would be the Nats leadoff guy.Whatever...

Mac said...

Half season plan arrived last Friday.

Joe Seamhead said...

Wow, Danny, really?

baseballswami said...

Braves announcers also said that Danny struggled defensively at second last season because he prefers to play shortstop. Really? Wait til they bring up SS and the you know what.

Drew said...

Yeesh, Danny.

Wilson!

baseballswami said...

By the way- shadows look awful right now.

Joe Seamhead said...

Great job, Wilson, Zimmerman and Haren!

Joe Seamhead said...

Ryan got away with that one!

Drew said...

Note to Mark:

Do you have to wear the puffy shirt?

baseballswami said...

Eye patch?

Joe Seamhead said...

Note to Coach Jewitt: Justin Heyward has a pretty good arm in right. Jeesh...you sent ALR?

Drew said...

Gotta question sending Adam, matey.

Shiver me timbers!

Joe Seamhead said...

I meant to say Jason Heyward.

Drew said...

No worries, Joe.

Susan Hayward could throw out Adam on a single to right.

baseballswami said...

Arrrrrrgh!

baseballswami said...

Are they going to show the game or is this an interview dhow?

baseballswami said...

*show*

Steady Eddie said...

From the sound of Harrn's 2nd inning pitching, maybe better not to see.

baseballswami said...

Haren really a part of the rotation now - base hit.

natsfan1a said...

I ordered a flex plan, too, as well as a supplemental game, and have received all of the tix.

baseballswami said...

Not a season ticket holder, but got one of those four packs as a Christmas gift. Got them last week!
March 21, 2013 6:12 PM

Drew said...

Jewett must have felt sorry for the parrot on Adam's shoulder.

baseballswami said...

My first game is April 11th.

baseballswami said...

Ok- one guy out at home, one at first. New base coaches?

natsfan1a said...

On topic, and catching up.

I also had a NatsJack sighting.

I also wondered about sending Adam. Arrggghhh.

Not a fan of in-game interviews.

That about does it. Now it's back to the basement baseball viewing lair for me.

natsfan1a said...

I'm going April 1, thanks to a very nice baseball buddy, and again on April 13.

Oh, wait. Was it a dead parrot, by any chance?

ehay2k said...

Just got my Nats Season Ticket cards in the mail today! We will see how this works out.

And, Span was safe.

ehay2k said...

That parrot is not dead. He's pining for the fjords!

skidge said...

I think I'm seeing Natsjack on the tv here.

baseballswami said...

Span was a makeup call for the out at third. So Ryan is an original Nat? Don't remember itt that way, do you?

ehay2k said...

Zim came up in 2005, so I think he counts. Plus first draft pick, etc. He is A original, just not THE original, Nat.

natsfan1a said...

ehay @ 6:54, or perhaps tired due to a prolonged squawk.

On a game note, the Braves team is showing some love for our rotation and 'pen.

natsfan1a said...

I also liked the part about the Nats having owned Hudson. :-)

baseballswami said...

Not to mention John Lannan owning the Braves!

Gonat said...

There's NatsJack and Gator John in their Nats red. Looks like they have the fronnnt roooow!

Gonat said...

Wave to us MicheleS!!!!!!

baseballswami said...

Is that them right behind the batter?

natsfan1a said...

I believe so, swami.

baseballswami said...

Cool!!!!!

Gonat said...

Yes, that is them behind the right-handed batter.

UnkyD said...

"Oh, wait. Was it a dead parrot, by any chance?"
-----------
Ex-parrot....

ehay2k said...

Yikes. Here's hoping Haren is just working on things, with a dead arm, etc.


Gonat said...

MicheleS is taking pictures now.

baseballswami said...

I would rather watch them than listen to the blather.

Joe Seamhead said...

Yes, that's them!

skidge said...

Yes, saw NJ before and now see Michelle, I think.

baseballswami said...

Nice play by Zim! I know this game doesn't count, but some offense would be nice to watch. Some NATS offense, that is.

Gonat said...

MicheleS may want to erase -those- pictures.

MicheleS said...

Its is us!

baseballswami said...

Yay! Encourage our hitters a bit more? They look like they need it. Or-- go in for one of the base coaches?

Steve Hayes said...

Haren is absolutely horrible. It would appear he is the same pitcher as last year -- yes, he's washed up. A 87 mph meatball fastball and a weak sinker aint gonna cut it. Rizzo has made another mistake. Davey mentioning that Haren is the #4 pitcher over Det makes Davey looks stupid -- a reputation he's had to battle his entire career. Haren -- done and gone by All star break -- if not before.

natsfan1a said...

Save the Stammen pics. :-)

natsfan1a said...

Hey, Tim, they'll hit you during the regular season, when it counts.

UnkyD said...

Look! It's JayB Hayes!!!

natsfan1a said...

I think I saw Rizzo during Desi's AB.

baseballswami said...

Haren could still work out, but I still see Det as four. Haren has had moments. Maybe now some consistency.

UnkyD said...

"This parrot is no more...."

Drew said...

Steve is not a jolly roger.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Steve Hayes, give it some time. It wasn't great and luckily this is still Spring Training.

natsfan1a said...

And did I just hear a woo hoo?

natsfan1a said...

Indeed, Unk. Shuffled off the mortal coil.

natsfan1a said...

Nice catch. Not.

baseballswami said...

Ooooooops. Inning not over just yet.

baseballswami said...

Is it my imagination or do I hear loud Nats fans cheering?

natsfan1a said...

I was thinking I heard that, too.

Joe Seamhead said...

Haren will be fine, though Justin Upton has always hit homers off him. Steve Hayes it's okay with me if you don't like Haren, but calling Davey Johnson stupid is pretty questionable on your part.

natsfan1a said...

Meanwhile, somewhere, on some Barves blog, they're hating on Avilan. Such is life.

natsfan1a said...

Good one, and there's a gator in the stands.

7:44 p.m. -- On "Pirate and Princess Night" here at Disney, it's of course appropriate that Capt. Hook made an appearance.

ehay2k said...

I see Hanley Ramirez is out due to thumb surgery. How did he hurt it?
Did he clench?

Steve Hayes said...

Seamhead - naming Haren the #4 over Det Is pretty stupid. period even you wouldn't have done that.

DL in VA said...

Just tuned in, and heard this exchange by the Braves announcers:

"Doesn't surprise me a bit that Washington will stoop to any level to gain an illegal advantage over the Braves tonight."

"Yeah, how do you know who you're pitching to?"

What in hell are they talking about?

natsfan1a said...

I believe he hurt it in the WBC but can't recall exactly how. Ugh, that chant.

Steve Hayes said...

Lets watch the wolves and knives come out ... here goes

The Nats will win 5 or more fewer games this year than last -- bookmark this statement.

natsfan1a said...

Multiple players sporting #1. I believe they were joking.

baseballswami said...

Hanley jammed his thumb making a play( yes, he actually hustled) and broke something.

natsfan1a said...

Are there any wolves here? Or knives? Didn't think so.

Steve Hayes said...

Bringing up a producing Rendon and playing him at 2b may make up the loss of Morse's production -- I just don't see how Span with an avg of 11 steals a year, while batting ,265 who outfielders play as shallow as your little brother playing little league is really going to help that much. defensively, yes -- but as unorthodox as our OF was last year, it didn't do too shabby -- enough to win 97 games

baseballswami said...

Oh , no. Another interview . Root canals for everyone.

baseballswami said...

Steve- I believe that was 98 games?

ehay2k said...

Never bring a knife to a wolf fight, just saying.

djinFl. said...

So is was our leader absent from yhe press box while we had a little rally. Surprising

natsfan1a said...

At least use the split screen. Thank you.

Steve Hayes said...

I sure do hope they give Ramos a lot more time before he gets significant ab's

Espi's swing Does look better
Zim looks great
Werth is werth!
Span is suspect
Laroche - can he repeat this year?
Desi will be a monster
as will Harp
One lefty in bullpen? are they crazy?
Haren a #4, are they nuts?

natsfan1a said...

Must have been in the clubhouse. Is this a new trend? hmmm...

Good one, ehay.

Steve Hayes said...

98 games, of course!

baseballswami said...

Stores in- let's see how this goes......

baseballswami said...

StoreN

Gonat said...

Steve Hayes, if Haren does better than EJax then it's a gain. EJax was very up and down all season.

Gonat said...

That's how you frame a strike 3! After watching Yadier Molina in the WBC you see how he just helps his pitchers. Great job by Ramos!

baseballswami said...

What exactly, do you think is a good record for a 4 or 5? Ten wins?

ehay2k said...

Molina frames pitches when he's batting.

Drew said...

Constanza doesn't want to be a pirate, either.

natsfan1a said...

Hey, it's Terdoslavich! [ding]

baseballswami said...

Drew's mechanics look different. He doesn't have that very pronounced drag move. Maybe that was causing the stealing so he is trying to be quicker to the plate? Just doesn't look right yet.

EmDash said...

There's not really a difference between 3rd and 4th starters - if everyone stays healthy they get the same number of starts. Naming Haren the 4th starter is a harmless perk for his veteran status, and not terribly significant.

EmDash said...

...that should be 4th and 5th starters, in my previous comment.

natsfan1a said...

Prom?

natsfan1a said...

Better get that, it might be the phone.

EmDash said...

Drew did look awkward - they were making what seemed to be a lot of sharp contact off of him.

ehay2k said...

He is asking the Barves pitcher to the prom.

baseballswami said...

I would love it if Owings went yard.

baseballswami said...

Boooo.

natsfan1a said...

That's what I was thinking, ehay.

ehay2k said...

I will trade that loss for a win in the regular (or post) season.

natsfan1a said...

That's your ballgame. Day game tomorrow, people. Don't stay up too late. :-)

natsfan1a said...

Me, too, ehay.

Joe Seamhead said...

I could be wrong, but I think the schedule is why Davey is putting Haren ahead of Detweiller. Haren will miss the first Braves series all together.

Gonat said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
Looks like Wilson Ramos will 'up' his 7 innings he did yesterday to a full 9 on his next start!
March 19, 2013 11:17 AM


Good call. Ramos looked great back there!

Drew said...

Speaking of Davey, MASN is showing Game 4 of the 1970 World Series.

Clay Carroll just struck Davey out.

Gonat said...


Mark Zuckerman‏@ZuckermanCSN
Wilson Ramos scheduled to catch all nine innings tonight, first time since he tore ACL in May. #Nats
1:18 PM - 21 Mar 13

Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSN
Impressive throw by Wilson Ramos to nab Andrelton Simmons trying to steal 3rd. Got a big jump on Dan Haren

Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSN
Wilson Ramos scheduled to catch all nine innings tonight, first time since he tore ACL in May. #Nats
____________________________________

All great news on Ramos! SteveM, how did you know 2 days ago that Ramos would catch 9 if Davey didn't confirm this until before game time per Mark's tweet.

Gonat said...

Steve Hayes said...
I sure do hope they give Ramos a lot more time before he gets significant ab's

Espi's swing Does look better
Zim looks great
Werth is werth!
Span is suspect
Laroche - can he repeat this year?
Desi will be a monster
as will Harp
One lefty in bullpen? are they crazy?
Haren a #4, are they nuts?

March 21, 2013 8:09 PM
____________________________

You are still looking at small sample sizes. Denard Span should be right back on his career numbers and hopefully with the work Eck has done with him he will improve.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Gonat.....Davey AND Rizzo said last Thursday that Ramos would go 9 this week.

NatsJack in Florida said...

For what ir's worth, Storen was nasty tonite.

He's fine.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Haren was stuck throwing pitches mid thigh to belt buckle in thre first 2 innings and was excellent after that

He did throw one slop slider to J-Up which ended up the farthest I've ever seen a ball hit since Frank Howard.

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
Gonat.....Davey AND Rizzo said last Thursday that Ramos would go 9 this week.

March 21, 2013 9:48 PM
______________________________

Yep, I do remember that and I guess that could have meant Saturday. I read on Twitter that Davey informed reporters before the game that tonight was the night Ramos would go 9.

You, Michele and Gator John represented well behind homeplate!

NatsJim said...

Just watching the game, from the looks of it Michelle got a pretty good snapshot of Upton's blast!

NatsJack in Florida said...
Haren was stuck throwing pitches mid thigh to belt buckle in thre first 2 innings and was excellent after that

He did throw one slop slider to J-Up which ended up the farthest I've ever seen a ball hit since Frank Howard.
March 21, 2013 9:55 PM

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