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Nats vs. Mets – 3/1/11

Mar 1, 2011, 2:34 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Rain is in the forecast today at Space Coast Stadium.

VIERA, Fla. — After more than two weeks of perfect weather, I suppose we were bound to experience some clouds and precipitation eventually. Sure enough, we've already had some sprinkles at Space Coast Stadium this morning, and there is going to be a threat of showers most of the day.

Assuming the rain holds off enough to allow the Nationals and Mets and to play, we'll get a good look at Jim Riggleman's new lineup. He has Jayson Werth batting third today, with Ryan Zimmerman fourth, and that's the direction he's leaning toward for the regular season. The idea: Werth is a high-OBP guy, giving Zimmerman more RBI opportunities.

"I'd like to have some men on base when Zim comes up, and if Werth is that guy, that would be real good," Riggleman said.

Against right-handers, Riggleman will probably have Adam LaRoche batting fifth, with the left fielder du jour sixth. Against tough lefties (such as the Mets' Jon Niese, who starts today), LaRoche will probably hit sixth with Michael Morse fifth.

Speaking of LaRoche, he's going to be restricted to DH duties for a couple of days due to some soreness in his left shoulder. Riggleman didn't seem too concerned about it, though it's obviously worth watching.

Plenty of updates to come throughout the day…

METS at NATIONALS
Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV/Radio: None
Weather: Showers, 78 degrees, Wind 12 mph RF to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman

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  1. JD - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Against tough lefties Adam LaRoche should be on the bench; he can't hit them. It would be nice if Flores or Ramos could handle 1st base part time.

  2. sjm 308 - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Another good reason for Werth to bat 3rd is that he is a really good baserunner. He might be one of the best in the league at taking the extra base and if Morgan or Desmond is on ahead of him Zimm just might have 120 rbi's. We do not have the same team as last year that clogged the bases. I realize Pudge can't run but did you guys see Ramos go from 1st to 3rd yesterday. How great is that. We can actually run the bases. Now we need to hope that Nyjer gets himself back to what we saw two years ago.Got to love the springGo Nats!

  3. DFL - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    sjm 308, you are exactly correct about Werth. He should bat third, Zimmerman fourth and La Roche/Morse fifth. To H— with the Right-Left-Right theory.

  4. sjm 308 - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    DFL – completely agree, that lefty/righty stuff is way overrated. I also like that even though its just one game, I think Riggleman actually talked about Morse moving up to 5th in the lineup. Not sure Morse got much love like this last year.

  5. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    It's good for my soul to see game day posts again.

  6. JaneB - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    My soul too, Anon at 10:37! When I saw that Ramos sprint from 1st to third, I yelped. For the past few seasons, I have mostly pretended to see hope for us in Spring. A crossed fingers kind of hope. Now I just feel hope. I feel like we really are coming into our own. Go Nats!

  7. Farid - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    JD said… Against tough lefties Adam LaRoche should be on the bench; he can't hit them"Last year, LaRoche batted .264-6-34 against lefties (.264-20-115 over 550 at-bats). Over his career, he's averaged (again assuming 550 at-bats for comparison) .254-21-98. against lefties.Last year, Dunn would of hit in those same number of at-bats .199-30-81 against lefties.One of LaRoche's strong points is his ability to hit against lefties.Farid

  8. Steve M. - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Following over from the last post on Gaudin, I just watched yesterday's game that I TiVo'd and Craig Stammen looked unprepared again.In 2 innings of work, 1 run, 3 hits and a walk facing replacements and AAA hitters after Gaudin's 3 innings. He threw way too many pitches and was not hitting his spots. Just not a good first impression while everyone else looked good against the mostly AAA guys left for the rest of the game.

  9. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    What do pitchers who didn't throw yesterday and aren't lined up to pitch today or tomorrow do today? any side throwing sessions?MM

  10. erocks33 - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    I agree with Farid. I'm not concerned about LaRoche facing off against a LHP.The one player who should NEVER sniff the batters box against a LHP, though, is Nyjer Morgan. He absolutely reeks. In his career (granted, just 334 PA), he's "hitting" .200 / .292 / .269 with 31 walks (9.3%) and 75 strikeouts (25.9%).Compare that to Nyjer's career versus RHP:1069 PA – .308 / .361 / .387 with 68 walks (6.4%) and 138 strikeouts (14.5%). Now, I'd take these numbers as a leadoff guy anytime …

  11. Steve M. - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    Farid – Nice stats and agreed as LaRoche in his career does reasonably well against LHP and in particular crushes Scott Olsen and very good stats vs Ted Lilly, Cole Hamels and Randy Wolf and several other LH pitchers.On the other hand, sit him against Jorge De La Rosa, Clayton Kershaw, JA Happ, Barry Zito and Madison Bumgartner.I think you can't look at a LH batter and just assume you sit him in a LH/LH matchup. I just wish Riggles had looked at some of Dunn's history and sat him a few more times last year in historically bad matchups and ironically Adam Dunn "owns" Clayton Kershaw and of course Mike Bacsik with 3 HRs in 7 at-bats.

  12. BinM - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    I like the idea of RZim in the #4slot; we'll hopefully see how it works. —@MM 11:06: I'd imagine Wood & Wilkie will likely throw either a bullpen or accelerated camp session today & reset for Thursday / Friday.

  13. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Season Tickets are scheduled to begin shipping today. Two day shipping.

  14. JD - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    Farid et.al, OBP against lefties in 2010 was .297 in 182 AB's not 550 as you say ; that's not reasonable; that's atrocious. If you look at his career splits they are extreme; he hits righties well and lefties not so much. Posting batting averages is essentially meaningless to me; you have to also draw walks. Laroche's walks to K ratio against lefties is .14 against righties it's .34. His HR ratio against lefties is 10% against righties it's 17%.

  15. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    No one even mentions the fact Chris Marerro, with his low numbered jersey, is getting reps at first base with LaRoche nursing a sore shoulder. And he is starting not coming in late … this 1st round pick is finally on the 40-man and he too now has an opportunity to prove himself.

  16. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    Extreme Makeover – Nats Insider Edition.

  17. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    WHATTTTTTTTTTTTT???????? *Not* liking the new graphical layout.

  18. NatsNut - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Ick, ick, ick. Not liking this format either. Note to CSN: it wasn't broke.

  19. BinM - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    @anon 12:04 – Marrero is a bat without a position, or as NatsJack referrered to him a day or two ago, "a DH". Yes, he has the opportunity to prove himself, both offensively & defensively. Good luck with that.———-The new layout is fine by me – It's just a frame shift from RH to LH side, with a minor font change. Looks good on a 17" monitor.

  20. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    Like the new layout and continue to love the coverage. I know you're full time with Comcast, so I really appreciate this blog. No one covers the Nats better.–Tom M.

  21. BinM - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    Additionally, no more ads or blind 'pop-ups' – Yea!!

  22. N. Cognito - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    I am blinded by the light.

  23. Ernie - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    We all fear change and I had the same initial reaction to the redesign as others, but I'll get over it. I hated the redesigned Washington Post a few years ago but can't even remember what the old one looked like anymore. Design is funny that way.Just please keep the links to other blogs. I like seeing what others are posting here before bouncing around to all of them.

  24. The Great Unwashed - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    What, no more Spring Trend Alerts? I just went out and bought a white blazer!

  25. J.P. - Mar 1, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Don't mind the new concept, didn't mind the old, just glad the good content is still the same.Was great to see Ramos go from first to third but disagree about Pudge being slower, he has always run well for a catcher. Perhaps a footrace is in order…or Mark could ask Pudge if he could beat Ramos ;)

  26. HabsProf - Mar 1, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    I know everyone is more interested in the game, but hockey writer extraordinaire Michael Farber has a good article about the late Duke Snider. It's worth checking out, especially the last part where Farber's mother meets Duke.http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/michael_farber/02/27/duke.snider/index.html

  27. DFL - Mar 1, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    I'm starting to become a believer that Morse is a late bloomer. A generation or two ago, George Foster was a late bloomer. Ryan Ludwick most recently. One worry- was Morse always 230 lbs? Could he be taking something to enhance his power?

  28. Steve M. - Mar 1, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    DFL, Morse is 6'5" and not skinny. I know 5'8" guys with beer guts that weigh more than that so not sure what point you are trying to make.He was 215 pounds 3 years ago.

  29. phil dunn - Mar 1, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    The new font size and print color make it more difficult to read on an iPad.

  30. Steve M. - Mar 1, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Great, make Willie Harris look good! LOL You know every base hit or defensive play Willie has against the Nats will make him smile.

  31. phil dunn - Mar 1, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    I hope Nyjer goes 0 for 50 and they send him to Hagerstown. Batting him in the leadoff spot is very damaging.

  32. Doc - Mar 1, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Same as last year, MarkMeister. Whenever you go down to the field to take some pictures, the Nats get busy with the lumber. Is it a coincidence–I don't think so.For the rest of the season, whenever the bats need to get busy, I think that it's imperative that you get down to the playing field. You're a significant part of the offense!

  33. PAY TO PLAY - Mar 1, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    Way to go BRYCE HARPER!!!!!

  34. MGG - Mar 1, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    Not a fan of the redesign (Ow my eyes) but still glad to see the same great coverage.now as far as the game goes: THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO SEE! The nats are hustling and getting it done, doing whatever it takes to win! I'm optimistic every year but I think I feel true hope for a DC sports franchise in a long time!

  35. Feel Wood - Mar 1, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    Looks like the web designers heard our complaints and darkened and increased the text font size a bit. And as for the rest of the redesign, I suppose we should count our blessings that these web design guys weren't involved in the recent Nats uniform redesign.

  36. Steve M. - Mar 1, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    To read that he popped up a bunt is just more of Nyjer being Nyjer.So the closest Nyjer has come to getting on base is running through the infield to take his place in CF on defense.

  37. Frenchie - Mar 1, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    MASTER OF CONTROLLivan : 16 pitches = 16 strikesDetwiler : 13 pitches = 13 strikesSo the 29 first pitches the Mets saw coming from the Nats in the first four innings were all strikes!!!

  38. Frenchie - Mar 1, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    And we could say the same things with Balester.4 pitches = 4 strikesSo, the only Nats who threw balls was Kimball. He walked a batter. But 8 of the 9 other pitches he threw were strikes.

  39. waddu eye no - Mar 1, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    1:09glad nyjer has at least the sense to stay out of werth's way. and good to hear he caught a ball. now if he can learn not to pop up bunts…

  40. HHover - Mar 1, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    Frenchie – I think you're getting those #s from MLB gameday, and they're not accurate. As Mark noted above, Livan's first pitch was a ball to Jose Reyes. At his liveblog of the game, Kilgore has Livan's line as 3 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 41 pitches, 23 strikes, and Detwiler as 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 28 pitches, 18 strikes.

  41. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Frenchie, you do realize that if the batter gets a hit the pitch is counted as a strike, don't you? Not all strikes are good.

  42. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Just an FYI, folks: The MLB Gameday updates don't track every pitch in spring training. The "pitch counts" you're seeing are really just the pitches that were put into play or ended an at-bat. Not every pitch today has been a strike.

  43. Frenchie - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    HHover : You were right. I got them from MLB gameday. Thanks for the information.Anonymous at 3 : 00 : I know that, for sure. At least since the birth of the Montreal Expos…

  44. HHover - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    So Corey Brown comes in to replace the 0-6 Nyjer and promptly gets an RBI single. T-Plush oughta be T-Worried right now.

  45. SacTown - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Have to keep reminding myself that it's the Mets so that I don't get too excited. (I mean, it's a team that's thin in pitching, has a star 3rd basemen, no answer at 2nd, and a guy who had no business in CF… or basically your 2009 Nats).

  46. Timjoebob - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    Mark… any update on Corey Brown. I hate to see injuries in Spring Training.

  47. N. Cognito - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Two games in Spring Training means nothing, but still, it's more fun when they win.

  48. Joe Sommer - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    SacTown,The Mets are worse than the 2009 Nats, because they have an enormous payroll without much talent to show for it. I do like that Ike Davis kid at first, and Josh Thole at catcher. For sheer cluelessness, the Mets resemble the 2007 Nats. And that's before you reckon with the Wilpons' financial troubles. (Let's see. The Mets are broke, can't afford to pay Johann Santana for a year of rehab, and won't have much of a team for Santana to pitch for next year. The Nats are flush, and are aiming for 2012, rather than 2011. Is there a trade possibility here? Lombardozzi and Santana's salary for Santana?)

  49. Tcostant - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    Mark -Can I ask a stupid question? Why is their a DH in a game between to National League teams? Seems to me. pitchers will most likely be lifted for pinch hitters with their limited innings and if not, it a good time to work on bunting. Is the call (on DH use) that the home team makes? It seems very short sighted to me.P.S. The darker font on the new decign is a little better than this morning.

  50. MicheleS - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    Mark,Any idea if we will see highlights anywhere? Would love to see the kids throw – even though it got dropped.I am glad they are 2-0 in Spring Training.. Remember how it was last spring when they practically went 0 for camp! That was depressing… at least with this we don't have to hear the talking heads make the dire predictions about the Nats this season – They can do that about the METS!!!!!

  51. Nats fan in NJ - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    Re the website design – the only complaint I had was the font color, and that seems to have been made darker. The rest, I'll get used to. And please keep the other links.Re the game – When do we see Bernadina in CF, Morse in LF and Nyjer in MiLB?

  52. Anonymous8 - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    Rizzo says Corey Brown has a badly sprained ankle

  53. Anonymous8 - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    Shaky 9th by Storen facing a bunch of AAA guys. Otherwise another good outing by the bullpen!

  54. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    Badly sprained ankle? Isn't that what Morse had that set him back last year?

  55. Tim - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    I think Morse had a pulled muscle last year.

  56. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    I know it is ST. I know it is the Mets and mainly their AAA players but it is good to see Nationals among wins. Least but not last, good to see Morse and Espinosa perform, especially Danny. I am so rooting for him to start season with a bang and win NL ROY.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
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