Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nats vs. Cardinals -- 3/10/10

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Adam Dunn started at first base today against the Cardinals.
JUPITER, Fla. -- Hello from Roger Dean Stadium, spring home of both the St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins. The Nationals, fresh off yesterday's hubbub in Viera, made the trip down I-95 this morning to face the Cardinals, and I would imagine there will be slightly less interest in this game than there was yesterday for the GSSSTD.

Not that there aren't significant matters taking place today. For one thing, Garrett Mock takes the mound for his second start of the spring, hoping to build off his solid debut last week against the Astros. J.D. Martin, technically also in the running for a rotation spot, is slated to follow Mock out of the bullpen. And Drew Storen will look to keep his fabulous spring (two perfect innings, 19 total pitches) going with another inning of relief on the schedule.

So check back throughout the day for updates, and any other news that crops up will magically appear in new posts...

Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter, Fla.
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV/Radio: None
Weather: Partly cloudy, 76 degrees, Wind 16 mph RF to LF
2B Willie Harris
SS Ian Desmond
DH Chris Duncan
1B Adam Dunn
LF Mike Morse
CF Justin Maxwell
C Ivan Rodriguez
RF Elijah Dukes
3B Pete Orr
(P Garrett Mock)

2B Skip Schumaker
3B Felipe Lopez
DH David Freese
LF Nick Stivinoha
CF Colby Rasmus
RF Ryan Ludwick
C Yadier Molina
1B Allen Craig
SS Tyler Greene
(P Brad Penny)

11:45 a.m. -- Cristian Guzman has returned to Washington to be with his wife, who is going to have labor induced. No set timetable for his return, but it sounds like it won't be long.

12:26 p.m. -- So much for seeing Mock and Co. face the two best hitters in the NL. Both Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday have been scratched from the Cards' lineup. David Freese now batting third, Nick Stavinoha batting cleanup. Doesn't carry quite the same weight as the other two guys.

1:11 p.m. -- We are underway. Willie Harris and Ian Desmond each fly out. Ex-Cardinal Chris Duncan receives a nice ovation from the crowd -- more on him later -- but grounds out to first to end a 1-2-3 inning.

1:21 p.m. -- Garrett Mock gets into a jam in the bottom of the first, allowing a one-out, infield single to Felipe Lopez (look at FLop hustle!) and then a line drive single up the middle to David Freese. But Mock battled his way out of it, striking out Nick Stavinoha on a nasty 3-2 offspeed pitch which turned into a double play because Lopez strayed too far off second and Pudge gunned a throw to Harris to nail him. (Look at FLop fall asleep on the bases! Where have we seen that before?)

2:08 p.m. -- Mock had another up-and-down afternoon. Allowed a double to Yadier Molina followed by a towering homer to left by Allen Craig in the second. But he rebounded in the third, striking out David Freese and getting more help from Pudge, who gunned down Felipe Lopez trying to steal second (what were the odds?). The Nats lineup did nothing against Brad Penny, getting only Adam Dunn's second-inning single and nothing else in four innings against the big right-hander. Cards lead 2-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth.

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
J.D. Martin came on in relief of Garrett Mock.
2:45 p.m. -- Here come the Nats! Back-to-back triples by Willie Harris and Ian Desmond off St. Louis closer Ryan Franklin ignite a three-run rally and bring Washington to within 4-3 in the sixth. J.D. Martin, who allowed two runs in the fourth but rebounded with a scoreless fifth, will come back out for the bottom of the sixth.

3:07 p.m. -- Just got back from talking to Garrett Mock and Pudge Rodriguez in the Nats clubhouse. More detailed stuff from them later, but of his new batterymate, Mock did say: "Ivan Rodriguez throws harder than I do. It's like a helicopter whizzing past my ear."

3:10 p.m. -- J.D. Martin's afternoon is complete. He threw three innings, allowed two runs and three hits. Matt Capps now on for the bottom of the seventh, Nationals still trailing 4-3.

3:19 p.m. -- Tough inning for Capps, who allowed two runs, though not entirely his fault. Jon Jay hit a high fly ball to deep left-center, a play Justin Maxwell probably felt like he should have made. But either because of wind or Maxwell's poor route, the ball fell in for a generous triple. Allen Craig (who homered off Mock earlier) sent an opposite-field double to right to score Jay, and then later scored himself on a sac fly. So as we head to the eighth, the Nats trail 6-3 and need a rally to avoid falling to -- gulp! -- 0-8 in the Grapefruit League.

3:28 p.m. -- Justin Maxwell blasts a solo homer to left off Mitchell Boggs. That cuts the deficit to 6-4 heading to the bottom of the eighth. Jason Bergmann has emerged from the bullpen. Looks like Drew Storen won't make it in. This is the downside to using starters in relief. With bock Mock and Martin throwing three innings a piece, and with the Nats trailing on the road, they're only going to use a total of four pitchers today.

3:50 p.m. -- The Nats are 0-8. I repeat: The Nats are 0-8. Drop this one to the Cardinals, 6-4. Mike Rizzo, watching from the front row, isn't concerned. As he said earlier today: "Spring training is spring training. We shouldn't even keep score or keep stats, as far as I'm concerned. I'm not concerned whatsoever with our won-loss record or with the performance of our players."


natsfan1a said...

Not that I've ever been a fan of either the Cardinals or Pujols, but the recent Fantasy Baseball issue of ESPN magazine had a great piece about his philanthropic work, of which I am now officially a fan. There's also an interesting piece about the origins of Rotisserie baseball (not that I'm into that stuff either).

There's an excerpt of the Pujols article here, but you have to be an Insider or buy the issue to read the whole thing.

Let's go, Nats!

p.s. Forgot about Greene and Penny being with the Cards. Kinda looks like an NL West game what with them and Holliday in there. And check out that third baseman. hmmm...

StressFree said...

"Mock ... hoping to build off his solid debut last week. J.D. Martin, technically also in the running for a rotation spot. And Drew Storen will look to keep his fabulous spring (two perfect innings, 19 total pitches)."
All of these guys have pitched quite well. I'm surprised you don't give JD some credit, since he has done as good or better than Mock and Storen. "technically in the running"? Come on now.

Mark Zuckerman said...

StressFree: I meant that as ... Even though Martin has only pitched out of the bullpen so far this spring, technically he's in the running for a rotation spot.

Anonymous said...

Now that week one is out of the way, let's wipe the slate clean and start all over again.
At least let's see if we can do better that 0-7 (actually 8 if you count the split sqaud game).
I still do not take any stock in won/lost records during early March but, come on, nobody else is getting hammered consitently like us.
Go Nats!

Anonymous said...

Mark...I believe that is Tyler Greene starting at SS for the Cardinals not Khalil Greene.

HabsProf said...

Desmond at short! Yeah!

Kim said...

Atta boy! Pudge. That should fire up the team a little bit.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is skewed by the other teams scoring so much, but it doesn't seem like the Nats have been doing much in terms of hitting so far. Would you agree with that Mark or are you seeing something we can't see from thousands of miles away?

Anonymous said...

I remember when the Redskins' preseason featured opponents who walked through the lines like they weren't there and people making excuses saying that it was "just preseason". But it was a harbinger. Now the Nats can't hit the throw-away pitching that gets tossed when the teams move north. The W-L may not matter, but HOW the games are played does...worrisome...

Scooter said...

Did Pudge earn every single dollar of his contract, just in today's game?

Mark Zuckerman said...

Regarding Rizzo's comment, I took it to mean: "I'm not paying attention to team results, but I am paying attention to individual performances."

Nervous Nats Fan said...

Rats. I was really looking forward to "seeing" Storen pitch again today.

Scooter said...

In case it wasn't clear, my question about Pudge referred to throwing out Lopez twice, and the answer is yes.

NatsGirl said...

It's like a new children's book: See Felipe. See Felipe not hustle. Hustle, Felipe, hustle. Felipe is lazy. Lazy, lazy Felipe. See Felipe get unconditionally release. Fail, Felipe, fail.
Sorry, couldn't resist the reference

Doc said...

Rizzo isn't concerned about individual performances. Gee, talk about whistling in the dark!!

BaseballinDC said...

(a) Pudge is awesome. I've been a huge fan since he went to my hometown team in Detroit and helped build a pennant winner out of nothing.

(b) I agree with Riggleman that wins and runs aren't what you look at in Spring. In fact, I'd argue that the ONLY score that matters in spring training is how many of the 25 man roster you were planning to start with that gets injured.

So far, I'd rather be the Nats than the Twins based on what's happened in Spring Training.

Unknown said...

If Rizzo isn't concerned with an 0-8 record, terrible starting and relief pitching, poor defense and weak hitting, he's sticking his head in the sand. This happens every spring; ths Nats lose in the Grapefruit League then they keep right on losing during the regular season.

Doc said...

Fair analysis, Mark. After one week, the newbees (Capps & Walker) are treading water. Except for Desmond and Morse (and thery're supposed to be subs)nobody's hitting. Stasburg is doing great but he's not going north with the team. What's Rizzo waiting for, the baseball fairy???

BaseballinDC said...

"This happens every spring; ths Nats lose in the Grapefruit League then they keep right on losing during the regular season."

Last year Washington finished two games ahead of the Phillies in the Grapefruit League.

Post a Comment