Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Game 2: Marlins at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
It's going to be a chilly night at Nationals Park.
If you're coming to Nationals Park tonight, be sure to bundle up. The forecast temperature at first pitch is 48 degrees, with a northwest wind, and it will drop into the 30s once the sun goes down. Might just feel a bit like October baseball, to be honest.

Gio Gonzalez certainly remembers what it's like to pitch in the cold, having been on the mound for Games 1 and 5 of the NLDS last fall. The Miami native, though, might have gotten used to sunshine over the last seven weeks, pitching in Florida both in the Grapefruit League and the World Baseball Classic.

Gonzalez will pair up with Kurt Suzuki behind the plate, as Davey Johnson begins his plan to alternate starting catchers. Otherwise, the rest of the Nationals' lineup is the same as it was on Monday, with this group looking to inflict some pain on Marlins right-hander Kevin Slowey.

Updates to come, so please check back...

MIAMI MARLINS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), XM 185
Weather: Clear, 48 degrees, Wind 14 mph LF to RF
NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
LHP Gio Gonzalez

MARLINS
LF Juan Pierre
2B Donovan Solano
RF Giancarlo Stanton
3B Placido Polanco
CF Justin Ruggiano
C Miguel Olivo
1B Casey Kotchmann
SS Adeiny Hechavarria
RHP Kevin Slowey

UMPIRES
HP Eric Cooper
1B Paul Schrieber
2B Chad Fairchild
3B Jeff Kellogg (cc)

7:08 p.m. -- And we're underway on a 45-degree night. Gio Gonzalez starts off Juan Pierre with a fastball for strike one.

7:12 p.m. -- It took Gio all of nine pitches to retire the side on a flyout to right and a pair of groundouts to short. You've got to think his fielders appreciate that on a cold night like this.

7:22 p.m. -- The good news in the bottom of the first: Denard Span drew a six-pitch walk to get things started and Bryce Harper scorched a base hit to center (making him 3-for-5 on the season). Also, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche each tagged line drives. The bad news: Both Zimmerman and LaRoche's line drives were hit directly at outfielders, so the Nats came away with nothing out of it all. Scoreless after one.

7:37 p.m. -- Yikes, Kurt Suzuki took a pitch from Slowey off the curly W insignia on his chest. That couldn't have felt good on a night like this. He stayed in, but I imagine that'll be barking all evening. Two scoreless innings in the books here.

7:49 p.m. -- Wait, did we actually just witness a Nats battery throw out a would-be basestealer? Indeed we did. Gio and Suzuki teamed up to nail Pierre trying to steal second to end the top of the third. That would be a nice trend to continue this season. Still 0-0 here.

7:58 p.m. -- Can't blame Span tonight. He's reached base twice and led off the third with a double down the first-base line. But he again was stranded there, with Werth grounding out, Harper striking out (!) on an 88-mph high sinker from Slowey and Zimmerman smoking a ball back up the middle that the right-hander managed to snag and toss to first to end the inning. Scoreless through three.

8:10 p.m. -- On a cold night like this, especially early in the season when pitchers are already well ahead of hitters, it's probably not surprising what we're seeing so far in this game: No offense whatsoever. It's scoreless through four innings as Gonzalez and Slowey mow each lineup down. Gio pulled off an impressive strikeout of Giancarlo Stanton, getting the slugger to hack at a 3-2 curveball in the dirt. But Slowey has been no less impressive, retiring six in a row and completing four innings having surrendered only two hits. First team to score tonight could easily win.

8:20 p.m. -- Gio isn't exactly sharp tonight, but he is getting by with a fantastic curveball and some timely outs. He did just that in the top of the fifth, when with two on and one out he induced a 1-6-3 double play out of Casey Kotchmann (who appeared to pull a hammy as he ran down the first base line and has now been replaced by Greg Dobbs) and then struck out Adeiny Hechavarria on a curveball to end the inning. So it's still scoreless here and the Nats pitching staff hasn't allowed a run yet in 14 innings this season.

8:27 p.m. -- Gio Gonzalez: Home run king. Wait, seriously? Yes, he just clobbered a first-pitch curveball from Slowey into the left-field bleachers to open the bottom of the fifth. That's directly into the wind tonight. It's his second career homer, and this one was far more shocking than his previous one (which sailed over the short fence in Houston last summer). This one also produced the second curtain call in as many games at Nationals Park. Stunning. Nats take a 1-0 lead behind their slugging left-hander.

8:36 p.m. -- Another big K for Gio on a curveball, this time to get Stanton to end the top of the sixth and strand the tying runner at second base. He's got five strikeouts on the night, but he's at 91 pitches through six, and Ryan Mattheus is beginning to warm in the pen. Nats pitchers, meanwhile, have now thrown 15 scoreless innings this season. Not bad.

8:55 p.m. -- Ian Desmond's aggressive approach at the plate pays off for him a lot, but not in this case. With two on, one out and a reliever just in the game for the Marlins, he grounded the first pitch into a 5-4-3 double play to end the bottom of the sixth and kill a potential rally. Gio, meanwhile, is done for the night after six scoreless innings and 91 pitches. So Ryan Mattheus entered for the seventh, gave up a quick single to Polanco but then came up big by getting Ruggiano to ground into a double play and then striking out Olivo. So it remains 1-0 at the stretch.

9:07 p.m. -- The Nats take a 2-0 lead on kind of a bizarre play. Espinosa scored from third on Span's fielder's choice grounder to second. The out was recorded when Roger Bernadina ran over Donovan Solano, preventing Solano from trying to turn a double play. No obstruction was called, though Mike Redmond did come out to argue for a moment. Whatever the case, the Nats will gladly take the insurance run. It's 2-0 as Drew Storen prepares to enter for the eighth.

9:20 p.m. -- That went quite well for Storen, a 1-2-3 eighth. He got some help from Span, who showed off his great range and smart route-taking when he tracked down Hechavarria's drive to the warning track in right-center. But Storen did the rest, striking out Chris Coghlan to end the inning and preserve the 2-0 lead. The Nats are three Rafael Soriano outs away from back-to-back shutout wins to begin the year.

9:25 p.m. -- Harper just missed his third homer of the year by a couple of inches. He settled for a double, not to mention a .500 season average (4-for-8). And he scored moments later on Zimmerman's base hit up the middle. I think we'll be repeating that line a few times this year. So make it 3-0 as Soriano enters for the save situation.

9:40 p.m. -- That's it. Soriano closes out his second save, though he put two guys on and had to face the tying runner at the plate. And the Nats close out their second straight shutout victory, this one by a count of 3-0. They're 2-0 on the young season and boast a staff ERA of 0.00.

157 comments:

Kirbs said...

Lets get the starts of a winning streak goin!

Section 222 said...

Well, at least the daily debates of who should be in the starting lineup are over (or at least dormant for a bit).

baseballswami said...

We have only had 1 game in the last four days. Time for some baseball!!!

pete said...

Any Nats faithful have any ideas for a good (free) place to park a motorcycle near Nats Park? Thanks

Dryw Loves the Nats said...

Game 2. I love the way that looks!

UNTERP said...

pete said...

Any Nats faithful have any ideas for a good (free) place to park a motorcycle near Nats Park? Thanks


South Capital St, north of the freeway, it's about a five or six block walk...

Ivan Tuski said...

Let's win our first series tonight

Section 222 said...

Fascinating article about Rafael Soriano's routine and quirks, including his entry music. And some links from Yankee blogs about initial reaction to his signature "untuck."

This video shows that at least as of July 14 of last year, the Yankees players hadn't followed him in untucking. Wonder if the Nats will.

I say we fans should buy into this from the start. I'll be at the game tonight, and if Rafi saves it, I'm untucking for sure. Feel free to join in from your sofa, or in your car listening to the radio, or wherever you are.

Of course a blowout win that is finished by Zach Duke pitching a few innings would be just fine too.

Section 222 said...

Sorry, here's the video.

DCGuy7 said...

regarding motorcycles, i often park mine right outside the stadium, between 3rd base and home plate gate, next to the bike racks. i've only gotten a ticket once (out of about 30 times) and i fought that and won it. if it's too crowded to get in there, i park usually on Carrolsburg place SW, right off P Street (one block West of the stadium) - there's a house on the corner there dubbed the #1 Nats Party House, usually people out front and never had a problem. good luck!

Candide said...

Section 222 said...I'll be at the game tonight, and if Rafi saves it, I'm untucking for sure. Feel free to join in from your sofa, or in your car listening to the radio, or wherever you are.

You might want to re-think that "or wherever you are;" Could be embarrassing if you're in a restaurant or some other public venue.

I'll be home, so should be safe...

Section 222 said...

Good point Candide. If you're stuck at the office and following the game on your phone, you're still working so no untucking. Then again, it's not like you're stripping, just untucking. So I'm not particularly worried about public venues. Maybe the Nats will get so popular that when you untuck, people will ask, "Did the Nats just win again?"

Candide said...

Section 222 said...

Then again, it's not like you're stripping, just untucking.


Yeah, explain that to the group of angry fathers surrounding you as you leave the Boy Scout troop meeting with your shirttail hanging out...

natsfan1a said...

Thing is, I'm just about always untucked. That's how I roll. :-)

SCNatsFan said...

Must win tonight. Can't win all 162 if we don't sweep the fish.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Candide, I am going to take you up on your offer. :P

TimDz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

Sorry not to be going to the ballpark tonight for game 2 tonight.

Glad to be able to watch it on TV in my warm house. I hope it's spring-like warm by the time I go to my next game--next Thursday versus the White Sox.

Candide said...

Faraz Shaikh said...

Candide, I am going to take you up on your offer. :P


Okay.

BTW, I own firearms.

You can acquire them under the same conditions as the Gio bobblehead.

Seriously, though...

Cunegonde and I will likely get two Gio bobbleheads, and she has no problem with my trading or selling extras when we get them.

And as it turns out, our ticket package includes only that one bobblehead game.

So we will certainly be willing to trade you a Gio for a Bam Bam.

timeless46 said...

Section 222, thanks for the link to the article on Soriano. Interesting piece.

A DC Wonk said...

SCNatsFan said...

Must win tonight. Can't win all 162 if we don't sweep the fish.

Well put! ;-)

I'm going to be in Sec 309 -- anyone else going to be there tonight?

Grandstander said...

Sec 130 reporting in! Could only get SRO tickets for Opening Day and ended up in an empty bank of seats in 408. Looking forward to watching this one from my normal, closer perch.

Judging by what tickets were going for on Stubhub, I'm going to say the attendance today will be quite less than what it was on Monday, especially given the weather. There were seats going all the way down in 235 for only $6, the minimum ticket price.

Weekday games sell terribly for whatever reason. Everyone goes on the weekend, except for class opponents. So I'm hoping to enjoy a few games in the coming weeks while we're still a little bit ahead of the bandwagon.

sjm308 said...

Wonk: I will be there in spirit!! Have fun!

Dryw Loves the Nats said...

Wonk, I'll be in 313.

SCNats, we are currently on a 162-win pace. :-)

NCNatsie said...

Come on, Gio. Prove me wrong last fall when I said you couldn't pitch in cold weather.

Section 222 said...

Wonk, I'll be in 312, Row D, seats 11 and 12 tonight. We can meet up for a few minutes after the 3rd inning up on the concourse. I'm afraid I won't get there much before first pitch.

With the cold weather, we might get a sense of the season ticket base tonight. It's dollar hot dog night though, so maybe that brings out a thousand or so competitive eaters.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

"I say we fans should buy into this from the start. I'll be at the game tonight, and if Rafi saves it, I'm untucking for sure. Feel free to join in from your sofa, or in your car listening to the radio, or wherever you are."

OK, Deuces, I'm in.

EmDash said...

Not game-related, but on the searching for lefty relievers issue: the Yankees just released someone interesting. Injured former Yankees pitchers, as a category, have done pretty well for us.

Section 222 said...

Hahaha. Well played Untucked Sofa, well played.

Section 222 said...

Thanks to Chase for the post on Zuki, and other notes. Good stuff. This confirms what Davey means by A and B bullpens. Soriano is THE closer. The others will alternate in the setup roles. So we may not see Storen and Clippard pitch in the same game much. I think this makes alot of sense. Keep them both rested and make sure that Mattheus and Stammen get a good amount of work too. H-Rod? That's another matter, but I guess we'll see him in mopup situations mostly.

MicheleS said...

222.. Yup HROD, low pressure situations please. My tummy can't handle anything else

Gonat said...

Section 222 said...
Somewhere Feel (or whatever he now calls himself) is smiling because we are still having this discussion.

April 03, 2013 3:20 PM
____________________________

He's still with us under some other name. NatsJack has him figured out. ;)

MicheleS said...

Mark's about to be on CSN..

Also, thanks Chase for the notes on Zuki, Zimm, etc.

Dave said...

Sorry to miss the cold one tonight. Dryw, I hope the whole crew is there in 313 tonight. I was in 220 on Monday. My first game in 313 is next Thursday.

Hope y'all get a lot of practice with the. 313 cheer tonight.

Candide said...

Dave - Cunegonde and I will be in 312 on Thursday (our usual is 219). See you then?

natsfan1a said...

It's tv for me until April 13, which is my next game.

Anna Peregrina said...

I am forthwith tucking in my jammy tops (game begins at midnight here in UK).

Exposremains said...

NatsJack

Do you know which channel is the game in Orlando?

Steady Eddie said...

Wonk and 222 -- I m just arriving and will try to PO upstairs before the game.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

I'm seeing 53° here in Shaw. Not bad in the sun. Of course, that won't last much longer.

baseballswami said...

I will be there April 11th!!

Seamus Morgan said...

$1 hot dog night and no buns at Nats Dogs in sections 310, 314

Candide said...

Gio rubbing his head going to the dugout.

Gonat said...

Does Gio have a stuffy head? Got through Stanton quickly but his demeanor points to something isn't right.

baseballswami said...

So - this guy gonna be Cy Young tonight?

Gonat said...

Tonight is the type of night for extra stretching between innings.

Gonat said...

RZim stung that ball and wasn't rewarded.

Gonat said...

1st error of the season. I thought the degree of difficulty on snagging that throw wasn't as hard as most that LaRoche snags.

Candide said...

Maybe not, but a tough play; gotta be E6.

Gonat said...

Zuk takes it in the chest. That will make your heart stop!

Gonat said...

Candide, definitely an E6 and it was a shame because the hard part was fielding that ball by Desi.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Candide, I would buy that extra GG bobblehead if you are selling.

By the way, does GG's fastball seem slower or am I considering some other pitch as fastball?

MicheleS said...

Swami, I will be there on the 11th as well!!!!

Faraz Shaikh said...

agree with Gonat. That error was Desi. Sucks given that he made the hard part look easy.

Candide said...

FS, we don't have tix for the other 2 bobblehead games, so we'd be looking for a trade.

Seamus Morgan said...

I emailed the Nats about the hot dog buns and they delivered four dogs to my seat. Great service.

MicheleS said...

Sweet a pick off!!!!!!

Candide said...

Wow, KSuz! Great throw on what looked like a delayed release.

Faraz Shaikh said...

candide, davey is fine?

Gonat said...

Juan Pierre has lost 2 steps (probably due to the cold weather). Zuk's throw went to the 1st base side of the bag which was perfect!

Drew said...

Go Denard!

UnkyD said...

Lotta pitches, there.... Is the boy nibbling, again? I wish these guys would trust their stuff, and their defense....(grumble grumble...)

Candide said...

FS, I prefer Bryce, but since it would be Cunegonde's bobblehead, I'll defer to her (she's a big Davey fan, so...). She's out playing golf this evening, so we'll have to see what she says.

Gonat said...

Come on Werth!

Gonat said...

As has been said, Bryce has to take the walks when they don't want to pitch to him. He goes from a 3-0 to an ugly K.

Gonat said...

Leadoff man does his job. Werth has to get that over to the right side. Poor execution from Werth. "Come on man"

Faraz Shaikh said...

candide, just let me know which. If it is davey, I am OK. I do not wanna give up harper obviously.

baseballswami said...

Veterans are not cooking yet. Starting to simmer a little, but not there yet. I always hate it when we face an inexperienced pitcher and make it easier on him.

Joe Seamhead said...

Wow! Great K by Gio on Stanton!

sm13 said...

Way to pitch to Stanton -- don't throw him strikes. Stanton's going to have to get used to expanding his zone. He could have a tough year with no protection in that lineup.

sm13 said...

Swami -- Slowey has lots of experience. He was on the Twins for several years and was their Ace at some point. He's crafty.

Candide said...

FS, Cunegonde just came home, and she'll trade Gio for Davey.

Gonat said...

Darn, Danny went long with that swing.

MicheleS said...

I think the cold is not only impacting the hitters, it's impacting the flight of the ball. Some good contact, but few results.

Gonat said...

Last year Opening Day in Chicago there were 2 bombs hit by RZ that would have been 400 footers and instead blew back in for flyouts.

flynnie said...

I'm listening on the radio @ work. No video. Are the Nats in the dugout wearing down jackets?

Gonat said...

LaRoche just saved a big error there!

sjm308 said...

I like Ramos but hope people here have noticed Suzuki throwing out Pierre and blocking that pitch to Stanton.

Steady Eddie said...

MicheleS-- not only the cold but there has been a stiff breeze blowing in from LF that definitely kept Danny's long fly in the park, and maybe ALR's line drive too.

UnkyD said...

Atta way, Gio!!! Throw strikes! Stay ahead of them!

Gonat said...

GIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

sm13 said...

Nicely done by Gio. And doing it all without 2-3 mph on his fastball.

Candide said...

Gio freakin' Gonzalez!

MicheleS said...

OMG>> GIO BOMB!

sm13 said...

GIO!! Power hitting into the wind!!

JaneB said...

Gio should have a headache every night!

UnkyD said...

Waitaminnit?! Didn't Gio homer in his first start, last year?! I like that tradition!

Gonat said...

Gio going Kershaw!

Faraz Shaikh said...

Gio homers and Span takes another walk. Brilliant!!!

sm13 said...

Gio is determined to beat SS out for the silver slugger this year...

Candide said...

Gio was 0-1 in his first start last year, against the Cubs.

Gonat said...

FP? Decent jump by Span? He seemed to not get good footing and stood to straight up on his 1st step.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Unkyd, it was in Houston in August.

Candide said...

Gio had a single his second game last year.

Gonat said...

sjm, what's your point? Were there any steal attempts that Ramos missed? Didn't Ramos block the balls? Didn't Strasburg praise Ramos up and down?

Why do people have to make comparisons like that. I don't get it.

Gonat said...

That's bad. Can never walk the opposing pitcher unless it's Micah Owings.

Faraz Shaikh said...

nice souvenir?

Gonat said...

Gio had it all along. He wanted to dispose of Giancarlo. NASTY!!!

sm13 said...

Again, a clinic on how to pitch to Stanton...

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Maybe I reading too much into things (who, me?), but Stanton seems really demoralized.

Joe Seamhead said...

Gonat, I don't get your dig at sjm308's comment. He was just complimenting the job Suzuki is doing.

Joe Seamhead said...

Trippin' Zim!

Smatt1001 said...

Let's go Zimm!

Candide said...

LaRoche: "C'mon, throw that one again..."

Gonat said...

Don't like Zim sliding head first dive but I did like the triple!

Gonat said...

Joe, here's the quote "I like Ramos but hope people here have noticed Suzuki throwing out Pierre and blocking that pitch to Stanton."

Yah, that was certainly a compliment to Suzuki and I get that!

sm13 said...

"untucked" sofa -- I like it! And, I agree -- Stanton is not happy and it shows.

Faraz Shaikh said...

who would be happy after striking out like that, twice?

Joe Seamhead said...

I just said a bad word. My wife just said, "Anything but a double play." Boy have we wasted some great opportunities.

Gonat said...

The Nats tonight have been woeful with getting the little things done with the bat.

Gonat said...

Mattheus with the 2 seam two-for-one special!

Gonat said...

Sec 3 Untucked Sofa - Esto es muy execelente!

sm13 said...

It's not just that he struck out, but that he swung at 2 third strike pitches that were in the dirt and both times made no effort to run to first. He came in unhappy.

djinFl. said...

The Marlin announcers said that Stanton is going to have to learn to take the walks. He is not going to get a lot of good pitches to hit now. Guess that would put a real damper on a sluggers outlook.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Even on the pickle yesterday, in the play at home, that was my immediate impression ... he's just not into it.

Gonat said...

FP, is off his game tonight. That was not a textbook bunt by Suzuki but the end result was great.

Gonat said...

Don't see a collision like that too often. That's a gift.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

CANDYGRAM!

Drew said...

I think Shark got away with defensive holding.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

And a pretty good shoulder to the head.

sjm308 said...

Gonat - let me say it again slowly

I. Like. Ramos. But I hope people notice Pierre getting thrown out. And the excellent block of the strikeout on Stanton.

No comparisons but we have so many people anointing Ramos I just wanted to praise our other catcher. Sorry if that got your panties in a bunch.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

OK you two --untuck it.

MicheleS said...

Untucked Sofa.. Candy Gram comment, spit out the wine... I heart you buddy.

Candide said...

#LeBryce... love it.

MicheleS said...

Zimmy!!!!!

sjm308 said...

Sofa - I rarely wear dress shirt so I am usually untucked

Candide said...

Had to explain to Cunegonde what "candygram" was about. She never saw that SNL skit.

Gonat said...

Halladay with a stinker. 5 earned and pulled after 3 1/3

sjm308 said...

Harper might be the most exciting player I have seen since Mantle!

Candide said...

Do NOT bring in Henry!!!

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Hey Mark or someone there ... did they do Take On Me tonight?

Faraz Shaikh said...

Harper, Zimm, and Span look in good shape I guess. Other hitters need to catch up.

Gonat said...

sjm, I never got to see those throwback players but just from what you see in old videos, where do you rate Pete Rose in that mix of exciting players?

sm13 said...

Sofa - yes they did. You could here it on the TV broadcast. Sounds like the crowd was in good vocal form.

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

Ponche Soriano!

Gonat said...

Yes, untucked! 7th inning stretch

Exposremains said...

whats up with the masn gun? Why all the pitchers throwing slower than usual or is it the cold?

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

sm13, thanks. Icame back late from the commercial

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...

And thx gonat too.

Gonat said...

That's a K by Soriano. Ump needs to give that a K on a 3-2 pitch.

MicheleS said...

ummm.. do I need to start digging out the Maalox and Bourbon??

Section 222 said...

Untucked, yes they did Take on Me.

sm13 said...

Happy to be of service!

Candide said...

MicheleS - no.

djinFl. said...

Throwback players?

sm13 said...

Soriano untucks just like a sofa!

Gonat said...

SHUTOUT! Raf had it the whole time. That ball died in CF like so many in RFK. On another night, its a tied game.....

UnkyD said...

UNTUCKED!!!!

MicheleS said...

Okay!!! UNTUCK!

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faraz Shaikh said...

YES!!!

UnkyD said...

Staff ERA...... Rhymes with HERO!! Hehe

sjm308 said...

Gonat: if it was up to me, Pete Rose would be in the Hall of Fame. Just like Harper, he never backed down. Played multiple positions in the field and was the best pure hitter in the history of the game. I could care less that he bet on baseball.

sjm308 said...

Love that Davey went with Storen. Clip will not be over used this year.

sjm308 said...

Two games and we have not even used Stammen, Dukes, HRod, yet.

Scott Margenau said...

Imagine when the whole team is locked in....scary good.

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