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Nats vs. Astros – 3/4/12

Mar 4, 2012, 5:30 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg will be on the mound today at Space Coast Stadium.

VIERA, Fla. — We've all been blessed so far this spring with beautiful weather, the best I can remember in the eight years the Nationals have trained here. Until today, that is. It was 75 degrees and sunny at 7 a.m. Then Mother Nature unleashed her fury on everyone, doused us with about 2 inches of rain, kicked up some fierce winds and dropped the temperature more than 20 degrees. Seriously, it was 53 degrees on the scoreboard here as Davey Johnson spoke in the dugout at 9:45 a.m.

The skies have cleared, but the wind is still blowing straight out to center field at a vicious rate. In other words, if you hit the ball into the air today, there's a reasonable chance it's going to fly over the fence.

So that's the challenge for Stephen Strasburg as he takes the mound for his first outing of the spring. This won't be nearly as big a deal as the last time the phenom toed the rubber at Space Coast Stadium (during his rookie spring in 2010). Now, it's just about getting his work in and building himself up for a possible Opening Day start at Wrigley Field (Davey Johnson says he'll make that announcement sometime next week).

Strasburg will likely go two innings today, throwing 40-45 pitches. He'll be replaced by Tom Gorzelanny, then Ryan Mattheus, Tyler Clippard, Brad Lidge and Drew Storen. Most of the regulars are in the lineup, the only exceptions being Mark DeRosa at first base and Jason Michaels and Brett Carroll manning the two corner outfield spots.

Plenty of ways to monitor today's game: Bob and F.P. are here for the TV broadcast, Charlie and Dave are back for the call on the radio, and of course I'm here with updates and analysis throughout…

Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: MASN (live), MLB Network (delayed at 4 p.m.)
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM)
Weather: Partly cloudy, 58 degrees, Wind 26 mph out to CF

SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
DH Michael Morse

Read more »

143 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. JaneB - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    So, today, we'll get a gander at how well DeRosa is hitting. I hope for everyone's sake that he is fully healed. GYFNG!

  2. JaneB - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Also, can someone remind me why there is a DH when the Astros are an NL team?

  3. sec3mysofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Hey, might we know those folks sitting behind home, nearest the camera?

  4. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    JaneB: Pretty much everyone uses a DH for the first week or two of games, even if it's two NL teams against each other. Just trying to make sure as many guys get ABs as possible.

  5. nats guy - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    JameB,Because in ST they are moe about getting people AB's not the normal rules.

  6. sec 3 my natsofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Jane, because it's spring training.

  7. sec 3, low man again - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Dang, Jane gets all the attention1!!

  8. Kirbs - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    I think the home team picks DH or not…just trying to get more ABs for people.

  9. Anonymous - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    If Desmond and Espinosa don't hit at the top of the batting order, this team is going to have real problems scoring runs this season.

  10. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Mark, I hope you got pictures of the raccoon…That had to be funny. And hopefully no animals were harmed in this production of Nats baseball

  11. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I can't believe there is NO PREGAME SHOW ON MASN..I may change my handle to MicheleS…who thinks MASN STINKS TOOO..GEESH

  12. NatsLady - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Well, I've got FP and Carp on, so I guess they changed their mind about the tape delay. They look good, all dressed up.

  13. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    TV on.. Interet tuned to NI and Twitter (NatsJack is providing commentary, I expect some healthy doses of sarcasm)..Let's play ball

  14. phil dunn in vero beach - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    I toured the new Marlins new stadium yesterday and it is a beauty. The roof was open and the view of the Miami downtown skyline is impressive. The dimensions are 344 down the foul lines, 394 to the power alleys and 418 to center field. The stadium capacity is around 37,000 and it is very intimate. In my estimation, there is not a bad seat in the Marlins' house. It a huge upgrade over the previous football field and visiting teams will like playing there. The stadium is located in a rather run down section of Little Havana but is not far from downtown Miami. The stadium appears to have ample indoor parking and it doesn't block stadium views.

  15. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    INTERNET.. I need more coffee.

  16. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Baseball on TV! All sunny from here.

  17. Grandstander - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Is the new font on the MASN scoreboard thing bugging anyone else out?

  18. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    First NATITUDE Commercial!!!

  19. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    I didn't notice it, G-Stander. Too distracted by BASEBALL!! ON TV!!

  20. NattyNation - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    I forgot how much I like FP. He really knows his stuff. And I forgot how much I don't enjoy Carp…

  21. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    WOW..They need steady cam… Anyone else getting sea sick.

  22. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    stare at the horizon, Michele. It doesn't help, but when you toss, it's more likely to get overboard.

  23. Anonymous - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    How did we end up with Carp again this year? I thought the second contract dispute would finish him off.

  24. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Zim goes deep, right here…

  25. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    I like Carp, he is much better than most of the play by play guys. FP should have his own show on MASN!

  26. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Carp's OK, and anyhow, it's his birthday. Give it a day off. It's a marathon, not a sprint. OK, GIDP. Not exactly what I called. Still. Baseball.

  27. NattyNation - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    Mark- I wouldnt call that a tidy inning. He was behind everyone, looked a bit rusty. But on the last batter he battled back from 3-0 and threw a just nasty change to strike him out- that was impressive!

  28. Will - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    Phil Dunn,Did you get a chance to check out the Marlin's "home run feature" while you were there? I'm really curious to hear if it's truly as awful as it seems like it will be.

  29. Wally - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Wow, baseball at last. Here are my observations after the 1st inning:Stras looked like he was overthrowingDesi swung at the first 6 pitches Espy looked good.Wish we replaced Carp with Dave J.They said Harper is coming in at some point for Carroll. Does anyone know if Rendon is also going to play?

  30. NattyNation - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Something I remember thinking last season too- Is it just me or does Stras never shake off anything from Ramos? They seem 100% locked in. Or maybe the pitches are coming in to Ramos from the dugout? I would think Stras and Ramos should be free to call their own game but I dont know. Does anyone know?

  31. NatsLady - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Desi took a long first at-bat, today and yesterday. If part of the purpose of a lead-off is for guys to get a good look at the opposing pitcher, then he did (part of) his job.

  32. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Ramos is calling pitches, and with the runner on second, SS did run through the signs twice, and then called him out to say "Fastball." So I think Ramos is calling pitches. No doubt they discussed it pregame, too.

  33. NatsLady - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Morse taking a walk. Nice.

  34. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Wait.. DeRosa is wearing #7… ummm what is up with that

  35. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    OMG, Werth swung and made contact on the first pitch. I believe…

  36. Wally - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    NatsLady – it is the first game of spring, Desi is probably just looking to get some hacks, and none of it is predictive of whether he can play lead off. BUT: since I saw the AB, I feel compelled to reply to you. I am pretty sure the only reason that he took a long AB is because he fouled off 6 pitches. I am also pretty sure that he didn't take 1 pitch. Which is fine for ST, but isn't sustainable as a lead off guy. Just my two cents.

  37. Phil Dunn - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Will, I saw it in CF but it was not operational. There are two impressive aquariums full of colorful fish located at field level right behind home plate. The ball park has a great color scheme. By the way the hottest item at the team was the New Era orange cap with a big white, blue and yellow M on the front, going fo $35. The Jose Reyes shirts were big sellers too.

  38. NattyNation - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    BHarp34Bored in the clubhouse! Not playing right now! Hit me with some questions!!Hah! #WSinDC

  39. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Mark… FP is saying that there may not be a 160 limit on Stras. Can you find out if that is true.

  40. Anonymous - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Anon 12:51 PM,I believe they have Lead-off #2 covered with Desmond, Espinosa, Lombardozzi, and DeRosa. Werth can also manage in the #2 spot. The big thing to watch for is whether Espinosa's wrist has improved and if he can hit consistently from the left-side. The key to the Nat's offense (as I've been saying) is getting impact left-handed hitting and that is why Davey Johnson has been filling the line up with lefties and then close-to-starting lineups early in the spring. I'm not sure you can rely on LaRoche to provide this as he has never been an impact bat. Sure, he hits for power and has had a couple of good RBI years but his bRAA is been consistently average to slightly subpar. In the end you kind of have to rely on Bryce Harper finishing his development in the majors. And left-handed hitting from the bench, from Harper, from LaRoche, from Espinosa may be the key to this offense not the silly lead-off hitter harangue.

  41. Anonymous - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Just relax and enjoy the game. A couple of years ago I watched a pitcher load the bases every inning during a spring game. When they asked him after the game what his problem was, he laughed and said, "I needed to work on my slide step."

  42. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Okay.. check out how windy it is (besides the obvious shaky camera). Jerseys's are blowing in the wind.And another gofer ball. blah

  43. dabassguy1 - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    FP busting out the Caddyshack line, "Pool and a pond. The pond would be good for you."

  44. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Watching the game on MASN.Stras looked a bit rusty but overall not too bad.BTW, the radar gun is about 4-5mph off. Stras was clocked at 89-93, Happ at 88, Gorzo at 84, and hard throwing Sosa at 90.So at about 5mph to those numbers.

  45. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    *add, not at :)So Stras was probably at 92-97 mph.

  46. Anonymous - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Mark… FP is saying that there may not be a 160 limit on Stras. Can you find out if that is true.Michelle, Johnson has pretty already reinforced Rizzo's edict of a 160 inning limit for Strasburg. FP is talking out of his hat, he's pretty excited about the season and the potential. One reason Johnson agreed to his role is Rizzo's unwavering commitment to his goal: build a team that wins now and into the foreseeable future. He's not building a one and one like the Marlins like to do. More like Tampa Bay. The only exception so far (and from a recent interview something he admitted) was Jayson Werth. Strasburg will get swapped out and Rizzo/Johnson will plug someone else in. Rizzo now has another potential pitching prodigy down with TJ's. He has pitchers on his staff now and in the past who have experienced mixed results with TJ. JD Martin, Sean Burnett, Atilano, and Gorzelanny sent out to pitch 200 innings with no previous experience pitching 100. You don't think it affected their futures? Hell yeah it did.The surgery and protocol with Zimmermann apparently worked. They will proceed with the same protocol with Strasburg and with Sammy Solis on that you can bank money.

  47. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    It's only spring training, it's only spring training..

  48. NatsLady - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    What a shame if Stras loses the game. I know it's "meaningless" but sheesh. How about taking Gorzy outta there?

  49. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Strasburg really should have been allowed to finish the 3rd. I know it's early, but Gorzelanny looks absolutely terrible.

  50. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Actually, they should have let Stras just pitch the whole game :-)

  51. Grandstander - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    I know it's spring training, but Ian really looks like crap out there.

  52. NatsNut - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    forget MASN, I'm in heaven listening to Charlie and Dave ( for the first time this season.

  53. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    I certainly hope there is more than 1 Natitude commercial

  54. Wally - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    In the good news department, Derosa looked pretty good. The hits are meaningless, but he looked liked he was making good swings and hit the ball sharply both time. Espy also made solid contact twice (from each side).Hoping to see Harper and Rendon soon

  55. JaneB - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    This Jason guy is looking pretttttttty good today.

  56. NatsLady - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Keep losing Charlie and Dave. Apparently some tech problems need to be worked out.

  57. Wally - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Ok, this one brought a smile to my face.FP: 'Ian made up his mind before the game that he was gonna hack today'.

  58. Wally - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Nice play by Chad Tracy on a pop up (although he looks a little Coffey-ish). Corey Brown is bigger than I thought.Ok, here comes Harper, and Rendon.

  59. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    FP and Bob are talking to Rizzo during the 6th inning. It's obvious today is Bob's birthday, because somebody very young must have given him that tie today….

  60. rmoore446 - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Desmond booting two is a worrisome reminder of the bad old days.

  61. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Wally, that was a nice catch indeed on the foul pop back toward the tarp area. In this wind, that had circus music playing all the way up. Nice tag on the little cross-up with the pitcher on a roller up the first base line, too.

  62. sjm308 - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Not that upset with the score or play in just our second game, but I am upset that apparently Deb Taylor has somehow entered Sunshine Bobby's body. I absolutely do not care how Matt Purke or anyone else "feels".

  63. NatsLady - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Harper sure does hustle on the basepath.

  64. Wally - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Rizzo just said that 'numbers have absolutely nothing to do with whether Harper breaks camp with us'. It will be when they think he's ready.Great answer, and seems impossible to think Harper actually does break camp, like many have said.

  65. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Also, I'll note for the record, Bryce's eyeblack is back today.

  66. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Tuned in to tv late after hearing some of the radio broadcast on my way home from the store (timing is everything). I will say that this game is going much faster than I thought it might have given earlier events.

  67. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Would be funny if the solar flares cause lights out during a Lidge frame. :-)Hey, FP's playing the drinking game – best shape of his life!

  68. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    FP: "Brad Lidgo said 'I'm in the best shape of my life.'"Diet Pepsi shots!

  69. Wally - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Anyone else catch that MASN announcement that at 3:30 we'll have a disruption in coverage because the sun will cross the equator?Huh? Seems like an Angelo's conspiracy somehow. I'll bet the sun never crosses the equator when the O's are playing.

  70. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Espresso Shot! Down the hatch!

  71. Nattydread - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Just one of those days to shake off the rust, get the bejoogees out of our system? Otherwise I don't know why I'm listening to a 9-1 drubbing in spring training.

  72. NatsFanJim - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Lidge, Mattheus looked fantastic. I've liked Espi's swings so far. Didnt take Desmond long to commit two errors and suffer a pathetic strikeout. I'm going to have to join the growing army of folks that are Down on Desi. He just doesnt fit on this team.

  73. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Nattydread.. it's because we are starved for baseball.

  74. Anonymous - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Did I hear FP say Rizzo said Strasburg didn't have an innings cap?

  75. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Wally, yes, see my earlier post.sec3, jinx – make mine a Coke. :-)

  76. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Rizzo said they will shut him down when Rizzo feels he needs to be shut down, Could be at 140 or 170. I think they are hedging their bets

  77. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Nattydread, yes.

  78. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    addendum re. Mark at 2:47 and Natty at 3:18 – reason to keeping watching: it's the first Nats live baseball since last fall, and there are only so many of them on this spring (thanks, MASN suits). At least we get one tomorrow, couresty of MLB Network.

  79. Wally - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Jarrett Hoffpauir's name is longer than he is tall.Not Rendon's finest hour.

  80. Anonymous - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Ahh- the possible playoffs gambit.I like the way I think he's thinking.

  81. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Tyler Moore, Tyler Moore, riding through the glen.

  82. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    or not

  83. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Really other than Gorzy stinking up the joint and Desi's two errors, not a totally bad game.

  84. NatsFanJim - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Derosa — a good pickup. He will make a huge contribution to this team. " … and that's a 6-4-3: Espi to DeRosa to (insert name).

  85. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    and there's your equatorial solar transit microwave disruption-thingy.

  86. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    dang, I ran upstairs and missed it

  87. Positively Half St. - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    OK, so it is not just my TV. I suppose I could go to the radio. I was wondering if the FCC Mercy Rule had just come into effect.+1/2St.

  88. JaneB - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Brian Bixler! I hope the Astros take him. He hustles like all get-out.

  89. bdrube - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Throwing out the Gorzelanny disaster, though nearly two games it looks like we've picked right up where we left off last year–solid pitching undermined by a weak offense. Desi and Espi need to start getting on base or there's going to be a lot of frustrating games again this year.

  90. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Yep, lost MASN. Damn.Anyway Lidge and Mattheus looked very good.Using my patented "adjusted velocity formula" (add 5 mph to radar gun) Lidge was 88-91 on his fastball.But wow what a slider.

  91. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    So, uh, how did Clippard do?

  92. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    MASN is back on, fwiw.

  93. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    MASN is back now

  94. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Ya beat me to it Natsfan :-)

  95. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Yay – I'll be getting Cokes from sec3 *and* Cwj. :-)

  96. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    oh, that might cancel out the Coke

  97. FS - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    no landslide win against georgetown and two back to back losses against Astros. should I start panicking now?anyways, wish i could watch any ml baseball.

  98. natscan reduxit - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    … I haven't been able to see either of these two games, so my view is a blind one for sure. But in spite of the fact it's only been two Spring Training games, I'm starting to wonder about the laissez-faire attitude of Davey Johnson towards ST and team preparation. One might be tempted to call it over-the-top (or 'under', if that makes the image more realistic). One might be tempted to worry that the team has not prepared enough in the past two weeks as they could or should have. … but thankfully there is a whole lot more baseball to come. I'll suspend judgement for now. I'll merely say it makes me wonder.Go Davey! Go Nats!!

  99. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Stop by Sec315, Row C on the Saturday Phillies game, 1a.

  100. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Natsfan- Nah, you still get a coke :-)

  101. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    no panic button yetthanks, sec3 :-)

  102. NatsLady - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Clipp not that sharp, although his high heater was working. Looked a little tired.

  103. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    thanks, Cwj.wait – baseball in a microwave oven, FP?

  104. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Reduxit, I hear you, but in this case, it's Davey. Not his first rodeo.

  105. MicheleS - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Okay. I am on FIOS.. I never lost MASN.

  106. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    I'm on FIOS as well but was upstairs and don't know if I lost it (the broadcast, anyway).In other news, I really stink at this typing and watching thing. I may have to go back to commenting before or after but not during games (my game watching suffers).

  107. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    In other news, the "ice cold beer" vendor is in midseason form.

  108. Section 222 - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    FP did a long rant against expanding the playoffs. Almost incomprehensible. Carp's reaction — "Well said." Welcome back to our MASN announcers.

  109. natscan reduxit - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa, I hear you too. And I'm not unaware of Spring Training and all it means. Still, if I'm a fan, and my team looks shaky (for whatever reason) I'm going to look for answers. … and I hear natsfan 1a. You're right, of course, There's plenty of time yet to hit panic buttons. I'm looking forward to the Nats hitting all my buttons – all the good ones, that is – and I still believe they're going to do that.Go Nats!!

  110. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    natscan, my panic button was in re. FS' comment. Haven't gotten the hang of quoting comments when using a touchpad. After trying to type and watch, I don't know how Mark does it every game, what with watching the game, doing locker room interviews, taking pics, and posting here. Tipping my virtual cap to him.

  111. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    I wouldn't call it incomprehensible. I thought I comprehended him ok, at least. I don't agree with him, but his point was that baseball is built for a longer series, and it's not fair for a 102-win team to have to play an 87-win team, and lose in a few hours everything they spent six months building up. I don't agree, but it's not a foolish argument.

  112. JayB - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    That looked just plain ugly and yesterday sounded ugly. Sure it is early but not to early to confirm what we knew from last year. Ian D. is showing yet again why he is not a MLB SS and clearly not a lead off hitter…not even close there…..And CF/OF options in camp that Rizzo is so comfortable with….I do not see it….none of them including Werth are the answer in CF…so Nats will trade now from a position of weakness in the next few weeks….Bench does not look like they have any big bats they can call on and 1B….Adam L. is not healthy from surgury and not able to make a week in camp without developing a new problem ankle……Rizzo failed this winter to do what he had to do.

  113. Sunderland - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    JayB, it is silly and immature to make judgement after two games in early March. If the Nats won both by 18 – 0 shutouts it would be silly as well.

  114. baseballswami - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Agree with above poster on the very casual attitude displayed about spring training. Disclaimer – I am probably the biggest non-fan of Davey's on this site, have never,ever liked him going years back. If he brings out the best in these guys, more power to him. But, I am not encouraged by his "whatever" attitude and his penchant to go around telling stories of his past greatness as a player. He was only really a good manager in September after the call-ups. I am taking a wait and see approach. These three games don't mean anything as far as the scores go – it's still early and there is still rust. But – perhaps we shouldn't be seeing quite this much rust as a group. Maybe those shorter practices that are supposedly so popular with the players aren't really enough to prepare adequately. I hope things tighten up as these next few weeks roll on. Could DeRosa be our answer on the bench? Also like what we are seeing from Rendon.

  115. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Agreed Sunderland.Guess who else is 0-2 so far, Philly and Atlanta.

  116. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    This happens every spring though.People get down on their teams after 1 or 2 exhibition games.It's silly.

  117. FS - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    How was Rendon in the field?

  118. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    FS- He played some shortstop and I thought he looked good. His throw to first was definitely "crisper" than Desmond's.

  119. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Speaking of meaningless results, the Braves were pounded by Detroit 18-3.

  120. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    I am the number one fan of the cut Ian Desmond witch hunt. Let's get this over and get rid of him…

  121. NatsNut - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    It's early. It's early. It's early. Repeat until mid-May.

  122. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Not me. I still think Desmond will be an average-slightly above average player at the plate and in the field. He's definitely not as bad as some people think he is.But this has been talked to death (IMO). Lets wait several more months before jumping to conclusions, I say.

  123. JayB - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  124. NatsLady - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Desi and Espi turned two nice DP's yesterday… So there!

  125. JayB - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    score of the games mean nothing….performances do especially Ian D would has a good long track record of doing just what he is doing again…..same hold true of stop gap CF and Lead Off positions for the Nats franchise.Point is not that these two games mean anything….they do not…the fact that Rizzo refuses to admit he is wrong on "his guys" means everything. Team does not have the talent it needs at several key positions and that is not new… is very very old….going back over several years….this year it is still the case….Ian D has rock hands and no command of the Strike Zone and Rizzo did not get the bench and CF players we have needed for years.If you want to wait and see AGAIN….fine…your choice but the data you need is much more than two games this spring….it goes back over 10,000 AB's and 8 years for Desmond.

  126. JayB - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Danny….he is the real deal….going to be the Nats SS for many many years….he is everything you want in a player. Ian D…..not ever close.

  127. natscan reduxit - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    … one thing is for certain: spring training is not a walk in the park, nor is it supposed to be. Some of you might be hockey fans; I am a Habs fan, and they lost their season during their own training camp last September when they tried a 'different' system. It didn't work; they began the season unprepared, and after a string of about ten losses in a row, had cemented their fate…. hockey and baseball: apples and oranges. Perhaps. But one thing is for sure: professional athletes are not perfect. They perform to their highest level when they prepare to their highest level. … I'm certainly not ready to cast Davey adrift. I am right now preparing to shout high praise for him when the team gets going and shows what it is capable of. But today- admittedly after only two measly ST games – I am taking a closer look at what has gone on for the past two weeks.Go Nats!!

  128. JayB - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    I do not have a problem with Davey's ST approach….good players do not need tons of work….Danny E or B Harper….Bad players do not improve at this level no matter how much work….see Nook Logan and Ian D.

  129. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    JayB- Don't know if you're into stats or not but Fielding wise, Betancourt, Jeter, Hanley Ramirez, and Jose Reyes all cost their teams more runs than did Desmond. Statistically Desmond is an average fielder, nothing more or less.Obviously he may not be a great hitter overall, much less a good leadoff hitter.But I disagree with your assessment.Yet of course we all have our own opinions.It would be a very boring blog otherwise :-)

  130. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Just one more defense of Desmond then I'll shut up :-)In just about every Shortstop stat I look up, Desmond is right in the middle of the pack.

  131. Buzz Killjoy - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    FWIW; twice a year, around the time of the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes(Equinoxi?), the path of the sun places it close enough to directly behind each satellite on the "Clarke Arc",in turn, to overpower the output of said satellite for about 4 – 6 minutes.While annoying as it may be, the bright side is that it makes it easy to check for "line of sight " issues, for those who have or are considering their own satellite service.

  132. JayB - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Those fielding stats are not worth much UZR and UZR150……but if you want to use them fine…take a look at Ian D over the longer haul like all this MLB time……it is not good and teams to not win meaningful games when their SS has rock hands…..IAN D has Rock Hands…..not really debatable if you watch 160 games a year like I do.

  133. Rabbit - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    To Cwj…….I know what you're saying, but I hope Rizzo doesn't settle for the middle.

  134. Oddball - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Negative waves people, stop with the negative waves.

  135. NatsLady - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  136. DWS - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    What concerns me is that you have a "bad" team smacking the ball and the Nats aren't. Early yet but Deja Vu?

  137. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    The Astros had some good at-bats, but our pitching and defense helped out with their run scoring as well.

  138. Cwj - Mar 4, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Subtract Gorzelanny and the game was actually pretty close :-)Geez, what an awful day for him. 7 runs in 1 official inning!

  139. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Agreed, Cwj.

  140. natsfan1a - Mar 4, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Just noticed this on MLB Trade Rumors:The Orioles' Adam Jones keeps popping up in trade discussions with the Nationals, but O's sources indicate that there’s very little chance he'll be dealt. The Nats are trying to figure out center field, and for the moment they’re content with using Jayson Werth, Roger Bernadina, and Rick Ankiel. However, they will be scouting Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton, Gerardo Parra, and Peter Bourjos in spring training.

  141. DWS - Mar 4, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    The Astros had good at bats for two games. The Nats didn't. What I'm wondering is how their hitters were prepared and ours didn't appear to be?

  142. Scooter - Mar 5, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    By the way, I love that Mark Zuckerman posts the updates with the newest at the bottom. It means I can come and read about the game I already watched without that crazy scrolling up and down you have to do on many blogs. Thank you!

  143. Anonymous - Mar 5, 2012 at 4:23 AM

    "JayB- Don't know if you're into stats or not but Fielding wise, Betancourt, Jeter, Hanley Ramirez, and Jose Reyes all cost their teams more runs than did Desmond. Statistically Desmond is an average fielder, nothing more or less."All of those guys are awful fielders who made their careers with their bats (well, except for Betancourt, who's just bad). Desmond is far below average defensively.





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