Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nats vs. Marlins - 3/26/13

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals face the Marlins today at Roger Dean Stadium.
JUPITER, Fla. -- We are really starting to wind down the spring now, with only three Grapefruit League games left on the Nationals' schedule, then Friday's exhibition against the Yankees on South Capitol Street in advance of Opening Day. (By the way, just checked Monday's forecast for D.C.: 66 degrees and partly cloudy. That'll work.)

The Nationals will face the Marlins on Opening Day, and they'll get a preview of Miami today here at Roger Dean Stadium. Dan Haren gets the start, hoping not to be plagued by the dead arm that took him down 10 days ago when he pitched in this same ballpark. Word is that Haren actually drove down from Viera last night to avoid the long bus ride on the morning of his start.

All the regulars are back in the lineup, with Kurt Suzuki catching. Bryce Harper will be looking to record his eighth consecutive base hit.

Updates to come...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. MIAMI MARLINS
Where: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MLB.tv
Radio: Marlins radio via MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Partly cloudy, 64 degrees, Wind 14 mph LF to RF
NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Dan Haren

MARLINS
LF Juan Pierre
3B Placido Polanco
RF Giancarlo Stanton
1B Greg Dobbs
CF Justin Ruggiano
C Rob Brantly
2B Chris Valaika
SS Adeiny Hechevarria
RHP Henderson Alvarez

1:07 p.m. -- We are underway with a strike from Henderson Alvarez to Denard Span, who thankfully is wearing his correct No. 2 today after forgetting to bring his jersey to Kissimmee last night and being forced to wear a nameless No. 91 uniform.

1:12 p.m. -- Hey, what do you know? Bryce Harper singled up the middle in his first at-bat of the day. That's eight straight at-bats with a hit for him. And a quick check of the updated Bryce-o-Meter now has him at a hefty .468 (and climbing).

1:19 p.m. -- Hey, what do you know? Giancarlo Stanton just homered off a Nationals pitcher. Never seen that before. Though, to be fair to Dan Haren, that was a glorified pop-up to right field, aided by a stiff wind. Haren was fine otherwise in the bottom of the first, but he and the Nats now trail 1-0.

1:31 p.m. -- On the other hand, that homer by Chris Valaika in the bottom of the second actually was crushed off Haren. Solo shot to left puts the Marlins up 2-0. In other news, Ryan Zimmerman successfully made a routine throw to first base without causing anyone to clutch their heart. So there's that.

1:43 p.m. -- Hey, what do you know? Bryce Harper singled to right field. Nine in a row for the young lad, who has now raised the Bryce-o-Meter to .476. Suzuki also collected a base hit and Werth drew a walk, so the Nats have tied this one up, 2-2 in the third.

2:02 p.m. -- Seven in a row retired now by Haren, who has been throwing in the high 80s and has been fairly effective doing it. He even struck out Stanton looking to open the fourth. Still 2-2 as we move to the fifth.

2:18 p.m. -- Stop the presses: Harper drew a four-pitch walk in the fifth, so the hit streak is over. Sort of. He's still reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances. And he's still hitting .476. He also scored one of two runs by the Nats in the inning. They now lead 4-2.

2:25 p.m. -- Haren had retired nine in row, but he came unglued a bit in the fifth. Allowed his third homer of the day, this one a two-run shot to right by Chris Coghlan. It's now 4-4 as we go to the sixth.

3:04 p.m. -- Pretty wild ballgame here today. The Marlins hit four homers off Haren, with Stanton going yard again. Roger Bernadina went deep for the Nats. It's 7-5 Marlins in the bottom of the seventh. Oh yeah, and Carlos Maldonado is playing first base for some reason.

3:30 p.m. -- Nats lose 8-5.

80 comments:

NatsLady said...

They are predicting 57 degrees for Friday. Is anyone going to the Yankee game?

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Accuweather is showing a HIGH of 54, and that won't be gametime.

NatsLady said...

Could the Nats have paid Young more than 100K to stay in Syracuse, say, $500K until June? Or would the Players Association object to that?

SonnyG10 said...

NL, I'm not going to the Yankee game.

SonnyG10 said...

NL, I don't think Young would have taken $500K to go to Syracuse. He wants on a major league roster.

NatsLady said...

A friend of mine, big Yankee fan, was planning on going with her daughter and some friends--and got tickets long ago. She is revising her plans.

It's spring break, so it wouldn't be a big financial ding for me to take the day off, but it's not my idea of fun to shiver in the stands for an exhibition game (though last year with the Red Sox was a lot of fun).

Went by the Park today, the workers are out in force sprucing the place up. My printer isn't working (along with my other computer), so the ticket lady very nicely wrote down the game dates on my plan--no Opening Day (sniff).

But it was too cold to stand out there and buy individual game tickets. They are refurbishing the little office for season ticket holders, so that was closed.

NatsLady said...

SonnyG10, I'm sure he does. I'm just wondering what the dollars would be to persuade him to stay. By June, someone will be injured, if not here then on another contending team. Right now, it seems like the good teams have their rotations set and they would want the same thing we do--stay in AAA as insurance. He needs a contending team that is missing a rotation piece. Texas?

Faraz Shaikh said...

'66 degrees and partly cloudy' that would be awesome.

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

And the Kid keeps his streak going, with a stolen base... I wonder what would happen if he kept hitting that way in the season. They could walk him, like they used to do with Barry Bonds, but his speed is also a threat.

natsfan1a said...

NatsLady, are you looking to unload a ticket for the Yankees game? Because I know someone who would be interested in acquiring one.

natsfan1a said...

In other news, is this on Game Day audio? Because I couldn't find it there, just video, to which I don't subscribe.

SonnyG10 said...

Kinda late in ST for Haren to be "working on stuff" don'tcha think?

NatsLady said...

1a, yes, I'm pretty sure I'm not going. $10, Sec. 230. It's ADA, I don't know how strict they are about that.

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, is there a "Nats Lady" email addy I could give him?

NatsLady said...

Sure. DM me on Twitter I will send it to you.

natsfan1a said...

I'm not on Twitter.

sjm308 said...

Not that anyone cares but if its 54 degrees I do not need to be uncomfortable in an exhibition game. My best friend and I have traveled this area looking for craft beers and great pizza the last 3 years (retirement is really rough). Our plan is to get to the area early to check out the new places(Gordan Biersch & BlueJacket) that will not yet be open but just see how they look. If its not unbearable we might head into the stadium after a brew at Justin's but if its horrible we plan to metro over to Meridian Pint which is hosting a great event that afternoon in conjunction with the craft beer convention that is here this week. Later it will be all about the Nationals, for this game its all about the beer.

natsfan1a said...

Nats Lady, I think my friend tweetered you about the ticket. Hope that you two will be able to work it out via DM.

Unknown said...

NatsLady, I might be interested. I will know shortly. I am the friend of natsfan1a that is looking. My twitter is @wigi49

SCNatsFan said...

sjm I think its best to go to the game with a plan and I think yours is excellent

NatsLady said...

OK, wigi tozzi, I sent you a message with my email.

NatsLady said...

I guess I could go to the game and stay inside... :)

NatsLady said...

Boy this ticket exchange thing is NOT intuitive. Why don't they just bring up the schedule and you can move your ticket to the game you want, with games you can't exchange for blacked out. I have three windows open trying to figure it out. Also, they should bring up your games on a Nats schedule with your games highlighted.

Ivan Tuski said...

Well from the tone of this thread it sure is obvious that we all are sooooooo done with ST Games. i wish I had the intelligence and self control to skip the exhibition, but.....a fool in love

natsfan1a said...

Sounds like the interface is not straightforward.

natsfan1a said...

You're not alone, Ivan. I've gone to exhibition games at Nats Park in the past and will doubtless do so again. This year it just happens that I'll be taking off Monday instead of Friday. :-)

NatsLady said...

Also, the interface asks you "what delivery method" you want for your (exchanged) ticket. Why wouldn't it just go on your card? These are questions I will ask my rep...

sjm308 said...

Natslady - sorry you are having issues. I did not try and exchange games but moving games to my son was easy and my package was highlighted. As I moved one seat to him there were two little dots under my games and with each move the color changed. If I kept both tickets there were two in my color and if I gave him one it was one of each. I also got good answers from not only my agent but anyone who answered that number on the back of your new card. Good luck!

sjm308 said...

I was told the card came loaded with just your games and you actually have to email the pdf to either yourself or your partners so they can print out an actual ticket. I did that for the four or five games we are not going to together. It was not hard at all and I am a complete computer ludite.

NatsLady said...

Yeah, I don't have a working printer... Normally that's not a problem, as I don't print anything except my taxes. But, actually, now I'm needing to get this thing fixed. I'm about ready to unplug the computer and take it to the shop. Microsoft is REALLY annoying, and FedEx isn't far behind.

SCNatsFan said...

C'mon Haren 3 HR? Against this lineup? I hope the wind is blowing out like the jet stream.

NatsLady said...

Make that 4 HRs. Two by Stanton.

NatsLady said...

Bernie would have gotten that if it weren't spring training.

NatsNutty said...

Does Haren's pitching style remind anyone besides me of our old friend, Livo? And we know what happened to Livo.

EmDash said...

Haren's the part of the team I'm most worried about - we've got good position player depth, and bullpen depth is relatively cheaply obtained, but it's hard to get your hands on a starting pitcher in May if he doesn't work out without giving up some big pieces. Hopefully these would mostly be flyballs in a normal big league park.

MicheleS said...

STOP PITCHING TO STANTON!

SCNatsFan said...

Haren is obviously working on his neck twist after his pitches get crushed

slidell2 said...

MicheleS- No problemo; our boy Austin replacing him- who says the Fish have no heart?

NatsLady said...

Davey and his sense of humor. Maldanado at 1B!

SCNatsFan said...

Spring training or not I am so sick of seeing bad baseball out of this team. I believe habits, both good and bad, are learned in the spring.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

It doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count It doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count It doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count It doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count It doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count It doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count It doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count It doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count it doesn't count ...

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

It's a warm-weather staff. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

SCNatsFan, you're watching this on MLB.com?

NatsNutty said...

I agree with you, SC. Others give the excuse "It doesn't count" about a hundred times, but if spring training is anywhere near a "preview" of what we can expect during the regular season, especially this late in spring training, I don't think the Nats will be as "invincible" as the press and other "happy talkers" here think they will be.

natsfan1a said...

Last year the Nats went 12-17 in Spring Training. If memory serves, their regular season W-L percentage was somewhat better than that.

SCNatsFan said...

Sec 3 there are pirate feeds you can get out of europe (not kidding) but you didn't hear that from me

natsfan1a said...

Arrgh...

SCNatsFan said...

natsfan1a I know, but there is no reason at this point Haren should be putting the ball on a t for the Fish. It frustrates me.

natsfan1a said...

scnats, I'd probably be frustrated, too, if I was watching it.

EmDash said...

I don't know if anyone here thinks they'll be anything like invincible? They have a good chance to be a very good team, I think, but nothing's guaranteed. The only people who consider them a lock are the national sportswriters looking to make dramatic predictions.

natsfan1a said...

(btw, that was supposed to be pirate talk at 3:20)

Section 222 said...

NatsNutty, it's not happy talk that insists that Spring Training means nothing. It's cold hard stats. Check out the Nats' record for the last 6 years.

Year ST Record/Season Record

2007: 11-17 / 73-89
2008: 12-18 / 58-102
2009: 15-17 / 59-103
2010: 10-20 / 69-93
2011: 15-14 / 80-81
2012: 12-17 / 98-64

The Nats are 12-15 so far this spring. Care to make a prediction based on past performance of their record this year? If they lose the rest of their games, you could make a case for 58 or 98 wins, and if they win the rest, I guess they'l win 80 games.

Section 222 said...

Hmm, I'm going to buy 1a a Coke, if not for the ST stat, then for the Aaaarrrrggghhh.

EmDash said...

A possible cause for Haren's bad day: it seems he had 9 days between starts. That seems a bit inadvisable? I guess the vet needs a little less time to get on a schedule than the younger guys, but I don't know if that's such a good idea for a guy coming back from injury...

Scooter said...

Well, that was an excellent game. By which I mean short.

Well done, boys! Now I can get back to other stuff.

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, 222. :-)

Section 222 said...

Hmm, I'm going to buy 1a a Coke, if not for the ST stat, then for the Aaaarrrrggghhh.

TimDz said...

Not to be too negative here, but Haren's spring reminds me too much of Former Nat Jason Marquis' first year with the team...

Rabbit34 said...

Nothing wrong with Haren that one huge ballpark wouldn't solve!

NatsLady said...

Tim Kirkjian just said the Nats were the best team he's seen this spring.

Look at Clip's ERA and WHIP--you think that's going to last all season? Espi's improved, Werth is solid. Gio looks good...

Span will come around. So will Haren IF (big IF) if he's not hurt.

The main thing is, to me, no one injured (except Garcia). Everyone is getting their work in.

NatsLady said...

Nats need to do the usual--beat up on the bad teams (Mets and Marlins). Hold their own against the better teams. Don't slack off and take the bad teams for granted... Just chew them up and spit them out.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I like Tim Kurkjian. Stras on the new SI cover. Go Nats!

Section 222 said...

Somehow I missed this the other day -- Lohse is a Brewer. Three years/$33 million. Vindication for Boras?

NatsLady said...

Pete Kozma hit a grand slam today.

NatsLady said...

The deal is back-loaded a lot, 222. Apparently, it's only worth about $9 million/year in present value. They still lose the draft pick (#17) and the pool money. I read that around this time of year the Brewers sell about 7,000 tickets a day, but when the Lohse signing was made public they sold $34,000. That's some fan club.

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

Er, 34,000 tickets, not $34,000.

Section 222 said...

It's still real money to Lohse. At his age, it's probably a better outcome than taking the $13.3 qualifying offer the Cards made him and hoping for next year. No doubt it's a hit to the Brewers. Maybe they decided it was worth giving up that draft pick to avoid having to rely on Yovani Gallardo and four no names for a rotation.

Remember when Greinke nixed a deal with the Nats to go there because he thought he had a better shot at the playoffs?

Ivan Tuski said...

Lohse turned down 13.3 Mil from the Cards

livernonions said...

It appears that Harper -- he of a 9 for 9 streak with a walk thrown in for good measure -- is getting sent to the doctor because of increased swelling in his thumb. Apparently, the trainers have seen him for a few days, but not the doctors. You can't and shouldn't send everyone to a doctor every time there is an ache or pain, but it sure seems like we read a lot of stories about this team making diagnoses a bit late. Is this normal for big league teams to let things fester for days based on the player's instincts and the trainers. Why wouldn't you err on the side of caution with a player of Harper's ilk. Mind you, I routinely wait too long to seek medical advice for injuries and illness, but I support my family by sitting on my a$% all day at a computer.

Candide said...

Been thinking about how good the Nats will be this year. Easiest way (for me, anyway), is to go down the list of the regulars and see how I think they'll do compared to last year.

Going around the infield:

LaRoche: Don't see him having a better year next year, given his age and the fact that last year was a career season for him. Expect him to regress to his norm, which still ain't bad.

Danny: Everything I'm hearing is that he seems to have grown up as a hitter. Looking for him to have similar power as last year, but with much better OBP and fewer Ks

Desmond: Tough one to call. Was last year a career year, or was it his new norm? I think the latter, at least until I see evidence otherwise. But I'm not going to predict an even better year this season.

Zimm: His post-cortisone season was great. If he avoids injury, expect him to hit .290 or so, 30-35 homers, 110-120 RBIs with all the men on base he's going to see (assuming Harper doesn't clear the decks ahead of him). If LaRoche is having a poor season, expect Zimm to get a lot more walks.

Catcher: Ramos/KSuz has to be a big improvement over KSuz/Whoever Isn't Injured. Glad to see Wilson in good shape. Now if he can just learn to hold on to throws from the outfield...

Outfield:

Werth: His OPS last year was right at his career average, despite falloff in home run power. He's much more of a doubles hitter now than in Philly, and strikes out a lot less. At 33, hard to see him having better OPS than his career average, but not having him miss half the season has to help the team.

Center Field: Span won't hit nearly as well as Harper did last year, but should be better defensively.

Harper: We won't miss Morse at the plate with Harper taking his place. Or in left field, for that matter. Anyone want to bet whether or not he'll hit .400?

So at the plate, we have two players who (I think) won't be as good as last year (or the guy they replace in the field) - LaRoche and Span. Three who will put up similar numbers to last year (Desmand, Zimm, and Werth, adjusting the latter two for injury time). And three who should be better - Espinosa, catcher, Harper/left field. Overall, a somewhat better lineup.

Starting Pitching:

All the starters except Gio and Haren are at the stage of their careers where they're maturing. So I'm looking for all of them to be better, for various reasons. Strasburg because 200 innings, and he looks stronger (have you seen his legs? Calves look like Popeye the Sailor's). Zimmermann because he apparently now has a changeup, which Boswell says is like teaching a gorilla to use a machine gun. Detwiler because he started showing last year that he trusts his stuff. I don't see Gio being better than last year - maybe a little less rattle-prone with experience. Haren... tough call; is he back from his injury last year? Or was giving up four homers to the Marlins today a harbinger of bad things to come?

Starting Pitching conclusion: Three better, one regressing somewhat, one a big question mark.

Bull pen: I really don't think it's going to be as much of a problem as some people here seem to think. Davy wants his starters to go longer this season, and there's no reason they shouldn't. With Soriano, Storen, Clippard, and the rest, finding two guys per game to pitch the eighth and ninth shouldn't be too hard.

So I think we're definitely a somewhat stronger team than last year's 98-win squad. Would be interested to know other people think.

I know at least one guy sees them at 81-81...

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

When I get worried, I just keep muttering to myself "it doesn't count."

Steve Hayes said...

Candide does a goodf analysis -- except for the outfield, his logic here is flawed. You don't compare Morse to Harper - Harper was there last year. You compare Span to Morse -- you compare personnel change, not who is playing the position. Span cannot even begin to compete with Morse at the plate. Defensively he is better, but Nats won 98 games without Span, but can they win 98 games without Morse? remains to be seen.

Haren: an unmitigated disaster in the offing. Is he washed up? Is this the real Haren? If it is, Rizzo just wasted 13 million bucks. 13 mil for Haren, what a joke.

Let go of Young while you pay a washed up Haren 13 million -- oh, that's very smart.

Meanwhile, Davey declares Haren is his #4? Not only does Davey talk stupid at times, but he disses his players, in this case Detweiler. Look for an interesting year. Rizzo's magic dust might be all gone.

Steve Hayes said...

To the person who wants to bet whether or not Harper will hit .400? Uh, I think you need to calm down a bit, maybe take a Xanax. I'll take the bet. $1000 says Harper won't hit .400. easy money.

Steve Hayes said...

To Rabbit 34: Nothing wrong with Haren that a big ball park won't fix. Ha Ha. Got news for you: an American Legion Fastball aint gonna get anyone out -- big park or small. When you're throwing pure pus up there at 86-87, you can barely get good high school kids out. He looks terrible.

Rabbit34 said...

Steve Hayes....you are sharp man! Can't get nuttin' by you!

Mac said...

"You don't compare Morse to Harper - Harper was there last year. You compare Span to Morse -- you compare personnel change, not who is playing the position."

That's basically what he did. It's like a double switch. You don't dwell on who bumped who where, you look at the lineup before and after.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Let's just blame the wind and move on. I hope that was seriously the case. I can't imagine Haren being so HR-prone in regular season.

from numbers, he seems to be generating more groundouts than flyouts. he should be fine with that. anyways ST numbers don't mean much.

Candide said...

Steve Hayes said...

To the person who wants to bet whether or not Harper will hit .400? Uh, I think you need to calm down a bit, maybe take a Xanax. I'll take the bet. $1000 says Harper won't hit .400. easy money.


Yeah, he almost certainly won't hit .400.

Not this year, anyway...

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Well, he didn't say he wanted to bet, he asked, rhetorically, who does.

But having said that ... you sound pretty sure, Steve Hayes. Sucker bet, no doubt. I mean, nobody is gonna hit .400, that's crazy, right? So you'd give pretty good odds on that grand?

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