Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nats (ss) vs. Mets - 3/13/13

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals host the Mets today at Space Coast Stadium.
VIERA, Fla. -- Hello from Space Coast Stadium, which hasn't really changed at all since I was last here two weeks ago. It's a beautiful -- if a tad chilly -- afternoon as the Nationals face the Mets for roughly the 237th time this spring.

Davey Johnson has almost all of his regulars in the lineup. That includes Ryan Zimmerman, who is once again DH'ing. I talked to Zim this morning about his progression in the field, and he said everything remains on course for him to debut at third base on Monday. He's doing the full pregame routine now, and from what I saw this morning, he looks perfectly normal out there.

Jordan Zimmermann takes the ball for his fourth start of the spring, his first since a ragged outing against the Cardinals in which the right-hander was dealing with some "dead arm" issues. He hopes to put that behind him today.

There's another split-squad Nationals team playing in Kissimmee today against the Astros, with Ross Ohlendorf on the mound. This game's on the radio, and I'll have plenty of updates and analysis here all afternoon, so please check back...

Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
TV: None
Radio: WHFS (1580 AM), MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Partly cloudy, 67 degrees, Wind 17 mph out to RF
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
DH Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos
3B Chad Tracy
(RHP Jordan Zimmermann)

CF Collin Cowgill
3B Jacob Turner
1B Ike Davis
RF Marlon Byrd
LF Lucas Duda
C Travis d'Arnaud
SS Omar Quintanilla
2B Brian Bixler
RHP Matt Harvey

1:08 p.m. -- And we are underway from Viera with a fastball from Jordan Zimmermann to Collin Cowgill for strike one.

1:21 p.m. -- Well, that turned into quite a laborious top of the first for Zimmermann, though it wasn't entirely his fault. Chad Tracy couldn't handle a chopper to his right (it was scored a hit but could've been an error) and then we saw the rarest of the rarities: A routine grounder right through Adam LaRoche's legs. That error brought home two runs and further prolonged the inning. By the time it ended, the Mets scored two runs and Zimmermann racked up 30 pitches.

1:35 p.m. -- Sweet Fancy Moses, is Bryce Harper crushing the ball or what? He just destroyed a pitch from Matt Harvey over all the signage in right-center field for a three-run homer, his third of the spring. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's only spring training. Still, Harper is now batting .455 and slugging .848. I'd say he's ready to get the season started. Nats lead 3-2 after one.

1:44 p.m. -- Much better stuff from Zimmermann in the top of the second. He retired the side, striking out a pair. Still 3-2 Nats as we move to the bottom of the second.

1:57 p.m. -- More good stuff from Zimmermann in the third. He's now retired seven in a row (three via strikeout) since the shaky top of the first. There's no radar gun readings here, so it's tough to say whether he's completely over the dead-arm issue. Through my untrained eye, he certainly looks fine. Still 3-2 Nats.

2:03 p.m. -- Eh, maybe this Harper kid needs some more seasoning after all. He struck out to lead off the bottom of the third, lowering his spring training batting average to .441. What a bum.

2:16 p.m. -- Both pitchers have settled into a nice groove now. Zimmermann has retired 10 of the last 11 he's faced, allowing only a two-out single to Omar Quintanilla in the fourth. Harvey, meanwhile, has retired seven in a row, four on strikeouts. It remains 3-2 Nats as Zimmermann re-takes the mound for the top of the fifth.

2:33 p.m. -- A two-out walk to Lucas Duda in the top of the fifth brought Captain Hook out of the dugout and Zimmermann out of the game. Craig Stammen entered and immediaely gave up an RBI single to Marlon Byrd but otherwise escaped the inning unscathed. So Zimmermann's final line is: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER 2 BB, 6 K, 82 pitches, 54 strikes. He looked pretty sharp, especially after that laborious first inning. It's now 3-3 heading to the bottom of the fifth.

2:38 p.m. -- Meanwhile in Kissimmee, Ross Ohlendorf allowed four runs on five hits and three walks in three innings. The Nats and Astros are tied 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth.

2:42 p.m. -- As we move to the sixth, Kurt Suzuki has taken over behind the plate for Wilson Ramos. This was the second time Ramos has caught five innings this spring, and the plan is for him to continue to increase his workload until he's ready to go the full nine.

2:56 p.m. -- Mass changes for the Nats in the top of the seventh, including Drew Storen on the mound after 1 1/3 scoreless innings from Stammen. It's still 3-3.

3:04 p.m. -- Storen had some trouble in the seventh, falling behind several hitters. One of them, Collin Cowgill, crushed a 2-0 fastball to left-center for a solo homer that was perhaps a bit wind-aided but nevertheless was well-struck. So the Nats now trail 4-3 at the stretch.

3:24 p.m. -- While the rest of the world is being introduced to the new pope, Tyler Moore smacks an RBI single to right in the bottom of the seventh, tying this game 4-4. Harper then delivered another RBI single, this one to left field bringing two runs home (one on an error). And then Zimmerman finished off the rally with an RBI single to center. The Nats lead 7-4 and Zim is now hitting .474 for the spring.

3:29 p.m. -- A 1-2-3 inning of relief from Ryan Mattheus preserves the 7-4 lead for the Nationals as we move to the bottom of the eighth.

3:47 p.m. -- That's your ballgame. The Nats win 8-5.


Anonymous said...

Hey is there still an email where you can send a note to Charlie and Dave during games? Bonus question, on days the Nats are on TV, is there an email where we can write Bob and FP?

alexva said...

Wright may be Captain America but Bryce is Superman

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Good 2nd inning for JZim. I guess the 1st inning wasn't too bad as he wasn't helped by Tracy not making a play at 3rd and LaRoche's error at 1st.

MurrayTheRed said...

Way to go BHarper! He is amazing!

Tcostant said...

Nice preview:

Scooter said...

Is that our first "Sweet Fancy Moses" of the season? I hope for many more to come!

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

I'm getting the impression that one of the goals Harper had in mind, the ones he wouldn't share because we'd think he was crazy, was to hit .400. This year, not just someday.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

And I'm not going to tell you he can't.

alm said...

400 hundred home runs??!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I would say Bryce Harper likes that 3 hole!

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

That's "DOT four zero zero" there. Wise guy.

Doc said...

'Sweet Fancy Moses'---OK, MarkMeister, I'm gonna look up the Yiddish translation of that.

GoooooooooooooooMark! GooooooHarper! GooooooooNats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Faraz Shaikh said...

this guy better be batting 3rd come opening day, and not because Zim won't be ready.

Faraz Shaikh said...

alexva, nice post. Superman is better than Captain America.

CN said...

Meanwhile in Kissimmee, Rendon's having a ho-hum day, 4-5 with a double, go-ahead 2-run HR, and 3 RBIs

natsfan1a said...

I have to admit that I kinda like Wright, even if he is a Met. Seems like a good guy.

Diz said...

Today, Rendon is at least the Boy Wonder!

Pilchard said...

If (emphasis on if) Rendon stays healthy through the middle of June, the Nats will not be able to keep him down in the minors. At Rice, scouts considered Rendon the best offensive player in college in years. He has missed most of the last two seasons, and even so, Rendon is among the leaders in spring training HRs and RBI. His offensive ceiling is just a tick below Harper and Trout.

Crazy the amount of young talent that this organization has right now.

Scooter said...

1a, I'm digging Wright too. Whilst at spring training, we met a young lady from his neck of the woods, and she said he's very active there and well-regarded.

Can't stand that "Captain America" thing that the Honkball Classic announcer keeps trying to pin on him. Ugh.

Scooter said...

Speaking of Americans at the WHC: I'm really enjoying the chance to watch, in particular, Jimmy Rollins and Brandon Phillips, and root unabashedly for them, without any tinge of sadness because they play for teams I hope will fail. Phillips in particular, but also Rollins, is just a joy to watch.

Oh, Stanton too. Stinkin' Fish.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

"His offensive ceiling is just a tick below Harper and Trout."

He may turn out to be the best of the lot. He has the kind of swing that holds up, year after year after year. Today he had as many hits as Harper and Ryan, combined, with another HR and another 2b hit among them, and 4 more RBIs.

And he needs "more reps?"

natsfan1a said...

Okay, if Livo can be Plastic Man Emeritus.

Diz said...

Today, Rendon is at least the Boy Wonder!
March 13, 2013 3:56 PM

JD said...


Apples to Oranges. Harper and Zim are both hitting over .400 against other teams top pitchers this spring. Rendon comes in with the rest of the subs when the other team also has mostly minor leaguers in the game. Today Rendon got 4 hits in what amounts to a 'B' game.

This is not to denegrade or criticize him in any way; it's just too early to comapre him to 2 major league established stars based on 32 spring training games and an AFL season.

He may en the end be as good as you think but it may behoove us fans to exercise a bit more patience.

JD said...

I meant 32 spring training at bats.

Scooter said...

JD, Laddie is surely overstating his case, but I fear you are too. Rendon was getting lots of starts, at least at the beginning of the spring, with Zimmerman sitting out. What I saw, he was being treated pretty much like a regular -- except he wasn't coming out in the 5th. So yeah, he has faced some scrubs. But also some big-league starters and closers.

Just sayin'.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Once Rendon plays competitive baseball for 75 straight days, he then will be able to be judged as the super prospect he appears to be.

Until then, he will be viewed as the fragile athlete that his history has proven him to be.

Mac said...

Also, w.r.t. Rendon, let's see how he adjusts to the league adjusting to him before we start putting up his Hall of Fame plaque.

baseballswami said...

The Nats organization= an embarrassment of riches. So many guys, so few roster spots.

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