Thursday, March 28, 2013

Nats vs. Mets -- 3/28/13

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Space Coast Stadium hosts its final game of the spring today.
VIERA, Fla. -- And so the last day of spring training has arrived. I'd like to tell you there were plenty of tears shed inside an emotional Nationals clubhouse this morning, but that would be a flat-out lie. These guys have been ready to get out of Dodge for weeks, so there was an extra kick in everyone's step as they prepared to face the Mets in their Grapefruit League finale.

All the regulars will get one or two at-bats today, Davey Johnson said, except for Jayson Werth, who is sitting this one out after getting hit with a pitch in the funny bone yesterday. He's fine and should play tomorrow against the Yankees in D.C., but they figured no sense taking a chance today. Bryce Harper's thumb also appears to be fine, and he is in the lineup today, hoping not to get jammed too badly on any pitches.

Gio Gonzalez is on the mound for the Nationals, his final tune-up before he faces the Marlins for real on Wednesday. He's opposed today by somebody named Domingo Tapia. Your guess is as good as mine.

ESPN has today's game on the air, and it is available in the Washington area. I'll, of course, have plenty of updates here as well...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
TV: ESPN
Radio: None
Weather: Sunny, 65 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to CF
NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
RF Roger Bernadina
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman


1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
LHP Gio Gonzalez

METS
LF Collin Cowgill
2B Daniel Murphy
1B Lucas Duda
RF Mike Baxter
3B Zach Lutz
CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
C Anthony Recker
SS Omar Quintanilla
RHP Domingo Tapia

1:08 p.m. -- And we're underway on a beautiful, 67-degree afternoon in Viera. You know what will be even more beautiful, though? Nationals Park on Monday.

1:17 p.m. -- Kind of an eventful first inning for Gio Gonzalez, though the end result was a zero on the board. He struck out both Collin Cowgill and Zach Lutz but in between allowed a broken-bat single to Daniel Murphy, a long flyball to Lucas Duda and a walk to Mike Baxter. There were also several borderline pitches called balls by plate umpire Paul Nauert, which drew the ire of the fans here. After all that, it's still scoreless.

1:30 p.m. -- That swollen thumb sure doesn't seem to be affecting Bryce Harper, huh? He just singled again in the bottom of the first, the 11th straight time he's reached base (10 hits, 1 walk). Ho-hum.

2:03 p.m. -- Adam LaRoche hasn't had a great spring, but he's certainly gotten hot over the last week or so. He just belted his fourth homer, a towering blast to right to put the Nats up 1-0 in the bottom of the second. Moments later, Danny Espinosa continued his torrid spring with his own blast to right-center. That puts the Nats up 2-0. ... Wait, make it 3-0 as Denard Span scores Kurt Suzuki with a base hit to left. ... Wait, make it 4-0 as Harper drives in Gonzalez with a sac fly (though that ends his streak at 11). The Nats are really fileting Tapia today, huh?

2:17 p.m. -- It looks like all the Nats starters (other than Gonzalez and Suzuki) are done for the day after three innings and two at-bats. Next stop: Washington, D.C. Still 4-0 as we go to the fourth.

2:27 p.m. -- And now Gio is done for the day (and the spring). His final line: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 66 pitches, 39 strikes. Good stuff from the lefty. And with that, I am outta here. I need to head to Orlando to tape tonight's debut episode of "The Baseball Show" on Comcast SportsNet. More details coming on the blog later this afternoon, but be sure to tune in at 11 p.m. tonight and every Thursday night this season to watch the show. It's been a blast -- talk to you all from Washington!

84 comments:

baseballswami said...

Hooray- it's finally the last ST game!!!!

Doc said...

Bryce is part of the foxhole crew, that says he's fine even when he's hurting.

He could have a broken leg and a fractured right arm and he'd still say he's fine!

GooooooooooooKid!!!! GooooooooooooNats!!!

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

cough, cough.. cough.. didn't feel well, So I JUST HAD to leave the office. Didn't want to get anyone at the office sick. I am SOOO Sick, I will be OFF tomorrow as well

MicheleS said...

Mmm. not sure how I feel about this

David O'Brien‏@ajcbraves4m
#Braves Venters to have injured elbow checked by Dr. Andrews

On the one hand, don't want anyone injured ever, on the other hand, he plays for the Braves

natsfan1a said...

Go (north), NATS!

baseballswami said...

Don't wish Dr. Andrews on anyone.

IKN8wxU2 said...

Agreed. I hope Venters is okay.

Theophilus T. S. said...

The best thing about the end of ST is no longer having to follow games on Gameday.

MicheleS said...

Theo. I think you can stream it on the ESPN site

natsfan1a said...

lol again @ Stammen in the Bernadina web gem.

Theophilus T. S. said...

S'actually on ESPN on fIOS, Michele

natsfan1a said...

I'm watching on tv.

MicheleS said...

That ball went FAR!

MicheleS said...

And an ESPI BOMB..

natsfan1a said...

La (Roche) Bomba!

NatsLady said...

This is a little out of date, but,

In The Book, Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman and Andy Dolphin found that the win value for a stolen base between 1999 and 2002 was .018 wins. On average, a runner who successfully stole a base would increase his team's chance of winning by roughly 1.8 percent. On the other hand, a runner who was thrown out attempting a steal cost his team .043 wins.

Obviously, the value of a stolen base varies greatly by situation. This is what I was looking at in my article on
"Theft Prevention." The value of a stolen base in WPA (win probability added) can be nearly 10% in the late innings of a close ballgame. That says to me it is worth it for relievers to work on the skill of holding baserunners.

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

natsfan1a said...

B2B. Me likey.

natsfan1a said...

Yikes on the Mets battery throws.

NatsLady said...

Theo, you know you can purchase MLB.tv on a month-by-month basis and there are no blackouts for spring training. So, for next year...

NatsLady said...

Wow, not a good throw and the Zook is safe.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Taking advantage of a Single-A pitcher.

NatsLady said...

Who is this guy assuming the No. 5 pitcher always lines up against other No. 5 pitchers? Not so much after the first rainout or off-day.

NatsLady said...

This is getting extreme.

Mark Simon ‏@msimonespn now
NL East wins picks- Nationals 105, Braves 84, Phillies 81, Mets 70, Marlins 63

natsfan1a said...

Wait, make that 4-0. And don't bait us. :-)

1:54 p.m. -- Adam LaRoche hasn't had a great spring, but he's certainly gotten hot over the last week or so. He just belted his fourth homer, a towering blast to right to put the Nats up 1-0 in the bottom of the second. Moments later, Danny Espinosa continued his torrid spring with his own blast to right-center. That puts the Nats up 2-0. ... Wait, make it 3-0 as Denard Span scores Kurt Suzuki with a base hit to left. The Nats are really fileting Tapia today, huh?

NatsLady said...

Yawn. Espi just reaches up and snares that one... What else is new?

MicheleS said...

I wonder if it's safe to bring the Espi jersey out??

Nattering Nat said...

Such a pleasure to see the Nats on TV again. Even better to be able to see them in person, at last.

I am hoping this year to overcome some of my many anxieties that manifest as I watch the Nats play. But you all possibly could help with one really big one.

Is it really the kiss of death for the Nats to be so prominently touted as World Series favorites by so many this year? Granted, Davey, with his "WS or Bust", has helped, and granted they are a darn good team anyway, but superstitious folks like me figure that teams pegged from the get-go to take it all don't often succeed.

So, anyone know how the SI favorites/cover teams have done the past few years, as one data point? Mind you, I'll be satisfied (I think) with a really good year, knowing the playoffs are often a crapshoot, but in terms of setting expectations now, I'd like to know--if anyone knows--whether the preseason favorites usually fall short or fulfill their "destinies"

pk24 said...

Great slide by Suzuki to beat the tag last inning but you've gotta wonder a bit about Jewett's judgement so far in sending runners....

NatsLady said...

That is one of the weirdest deliveries I've ever seen. It's like he touches his toes before he lets it go.

Section 222 said...

1a, will the Mets pitcher get a quick hook, or will the manager cast his lot with his starter no matter what?

sm13 said...

It may never be totally safe with Espi, but he sure looks good at the moment...

NatsLady said...

pk24, I would say the same except spring training is the time for the 3B coach to learn what his runners can do. I'll be more upset if he is that aggressive in the regular season. Bo Porter was overly aggressive when he first started.

Diz said...

Anyone else see that Brad Peacock was named the Astros #4 starter?

Congrats to him.

That'll be a tough division to pitch against.

SCNatsFan said...

I am so tired of watching a small screen with a feed from a website that is giving my computer Lord knows what virus. Let the regular season begin if for no other reason then to spare my computer.

natsfan1a said...

lol, 222.

pk24 said...

I hope you are right NatsLady. Jewett really hung AL out to dry I when he waved him around the other day. Even Eury Perez would have been hard pressed to score on that play.

sm13 said...

I think I read that the last time SI picked a World Series winner was the 1999 Yankees, although a few have made it to the WS.

NatsLady said...

DId the Mets just make a pitching change? You get the feeling no one is paying attention?

Diz said...

Did anyone see that Brad Peacock was named the #4 starter for the Stros?

It'll be a tough division to pitch in, but good for him. He had a rough time in AAA in the A's org, (seems like all Nats pitching prospects struggle in the As minor league system) but seems to have righted his ship this spring.

Here's to a great season by BP and a not so good one for Lannan. ;-)

NatsLady said...

Ah, a double steal. My favorite play! :)

Nattering Nat said...

Thanks, sm13. And that's what I was afraid of....Such is life, I'll try to enjoy the ride.

natsfan1a said...

I did enjoy the Bob Boone interview, though. :-)


DId the Mets just make a pitching change? You get the feeling no one is paying attention?

natsfan1a said...

Pretty sure most pundit predictions are wrong, on the winning and losing side. I wouldn't sweat it.

natsfan1a said...

Hah! Look at the Goon Squad field!

natsfan1a said...

Already have the DVR set. Safe travels, Mark.

2:27 p.m. -- And now Gio is done for the day (and the spring). His final line: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 66 pitches, 39 strikes. Good stuff from the lefty. And with that, I am outta here. I need to head to Orlando to tape tonight's debut episode of "The Baseball Show" on Comcast SportsNet. More details coming on the blog later this afternoon, but be sure to tune in at 11 p.m. tonight and every Thursday night this season to watch the show. It's been a blast -- talk to you all from Washington!

NatsLady said...

Chad Tracy with the Web Gem! Nice.

natsfan1a said...

Boy, these ESPN guys are sure worried about Halladay.

Mac said...

"John C. said...

Like Ghost, I'm mystified by the allegation that Suzuki calls a better game than Ramos. I'd be interested in knowing what that statement was based on."

Bob Boone, former catcher now Nats FO guy, was asked on the ESPN broadcast to compare the two catchers, Ramos and Suzuki. The first words out of his mouth were (I paraphrase) "They're very different catchers. Suzuki is a great blocker of balls and handles the pitching staff particularly well." That would imply that he's better than Ramos, wouldn't it?

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

Well, maybe. Boone's next words were, Ramos is a star in the making (or something like that). That suggest to me that Suzuki might be better right now, but Ramos has the higher ceiling.

Section 222 said...

Weather forecast for Monday -- Partly sunny, chance of rain 10%, high temp of 65, Oh my oh my!

Section 222 said...

That would imply that he's better than Ramos, wouldn't it?

Maybe. But it doesn't say anything about whether he calls a better game.

JaneB said...

Sports Illustrated just arrived. Stras on the cover. Prediction that our boys win the Serious.

Wow.

In other (non) news, there's a piece in the Washington Post weekend section tomorrow about six Nats fans. I'm one of them. I didn't think they'd cut my dog out of the photo that I sent from us at Pups in the Park. We don't take photos of ourselves at the games and it was the only one I had. So skip the photos and have fun reading the article.

TimDz said...

Is Henry scheduled to pitch today?
I'm watching on my cell phone as I work (yeah, right....).

baseballswami said...

Gee, who was that 1B that picked Tracy's throw? Tyler Moore. Guess he can play there after all. Anyone else tired of the Halladay pity party on ESPN?

Mac said...

"Section 222 said...

That would imply that he's better than Ramos, wouldn't it?

Maybe. But it doesn't say anything about whether he calls a better game."

Pitch calling is a very big part of how a catcher handles the pitching staff. Perhaps the biggest part.

SCNatsFan said...

Who is this Holland who is on the mound? Too lazy to look.

Morse with 8 spring dingers.

pk24 said...

Not a bad inning from Holland. His breaking ball looks good.

Section 222 said...

Pitch calling is a very big part of how a catcher handles the pitching staff. Perhaps the biggest part.

Maybe, but it's not everything. And you don't know what Boone meant when he said it. He could have said, "Suzuki is a great blocker of pitchers and he calls a really good game." But he didn't.

Mac said...

Section 222, I presented a data point. Deal with it.

natsfan1a said...

Yup.

Anyone else tired of the Halladay pity party on ESPN?

Faraz Shaikh said...

SCNatsFan, just noticed that. Best wishes to Morse in NW corner. Hope he proves those FG folks wrong and has a monstrous season for Ms.

Anna Peregrina said...

Ugh, Stras shutdown, they're going on and on ...

baseballswami said...

Steve McCatty answers dumb, tired questions very well. Hey, you guys! Did you know that we don't have many lefties in the pen? Shocked! Whatever will we do? Also tried to bait him on pitch counts. Completely sensible, logical answer.

UnkyD said...

Mac: if that's all you've got, I'm gonna file it under "wild inference"...

natsfan1a said...

I think they asked about the pitch counts due to his background as a young pitcher with the A's.

baseballswami said...

I despise watching the Nats on ESPN. Ugh. Missing Carp and FP.

SCNatsFan said...

HEY! My SI arrived and freaking David Price is on the cover.

natsfan1a said...

You must have lost the regional cover lottery, sc. :-)
Ugh, I was watching on delay. Now I'm getting the SS spiel. Blah blah blah.

sm13 said...

Michael Morse hit his 9th spring homer today. Go Beast!

Section 222 said...

Mac, just expressing my opinion on whether your data is meaningful to the question of whether Zook calls a better game than Ramos. I think it's a stretch to interpret Boone's comment that way, that's all. Nothing personal.

SCNatsFan said...

Morse just hit his 9th!

baseballswami said...

Nats fan - me,too! I want to scream!!! They had the plan but the Nats did not listen to them???? Shut the "&&$))( up!!!!' Thank you, Tyler!

natsfan1a said...

Yay, it's over. One more game and it starts for real. (Ewww, that sounded kinda "Main Event-ish." Sorry.)

Mac said...

UnkyD, again, it's a data point. Take it for what it's worth in the absence of any other information on the question John C. raised. This isn't a Supreme Court argument here.

Section 222 said...

Mac, relax. You ended your quote of the Boone interview (which I really appreciated learning about by the way), with a question -- "That would imply that he's better than Ramos, wouldn't it?" So don't get bent out of shape if people answer your question and don't agree with you. We're all just trying to make the time between now and Monday at 1:05 pm go faster.

Section 222 said...

SCNats Fan, here's the link to the NIDO Spreadsheet for the drink you might want to buy sm13. :-)

sm13 said...

That may be my first Coke! Does that deserve a small wooohooo/

Mac said...

Most people are able to answer a simple yes or no question with a simple yes or no. There's no additional credit available for pounding it in.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Geez, we're getting touchy. I never thought I would be wishing the weekend would go faster to get to Monday! We need a real game.

SCNatsFan said...

Once again I'm down a drink!

Scooter said...

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...
I never thought I would be wishing the weekend would go faster to get to Monday!


My kid is 7. I look forward to going back to work on Mondays, so I can get some rest.

But, yes, your point is taken.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I believe Mac (Feel Wood) insinuated I may or may not be a less than a desireaable commentor on this site.

Maybe I was wrong.

Isn't he sweet?

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