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Nats vs. Orioles – 3/24/12

Mar 24, 2012, 4:56 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Newly renovated Ed Smith Stadium, spring training home of the Orioles.

SARASOTA, Fla. — I've been covering games in the Grapefruit League since 2001, but until today I'd never been to Sarasota. In the past, I wasn't too upset about missing out on decrepit, old Ed Smith Stadium. But that was before they completely overhauled this place and the Orioles moved in. Have to say, this has become a fine facility, one of the best in Florida.

The Nationals actually brought a decent number of regulars on the three-hour trip from Viera. Ian Desmond (a Sarasota native), Danny Espinosa, Rick Ankiel and Wilson Ramos are here. So are Jesus Flores and Steve Lombardozzi.

Edwin Jackson makes the start, looking to bounce back from a four-run, seven-hit outing earlier this week against the Tigers. Updates to come throughout…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Where: Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: MASN, MLB Network (outside of Balt/DC area), MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), WSPZ (570 AM).
Weather: Partly cloudy, 82 degrees, Wind 13 mph in from RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
1B Chad Tracy

Read more »

  1. MicheleS - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Woo Hoo.. Espi extra base hit, ramos with a bloop and we are up 1-0

  2. Kirbs - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Oppo double from espi. That's what we need to see!

  3. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Used to play in tournaments there, and once you get started calling it "Ed Wood Stadium," it's very hard to stop. And they don't think it's funny.

  4. Unkyd - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    I thought Corey Brown was sent down?

  5. sm13 - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    You don't run on Ankiel. Maybe the 3rd base coach thought it was Nyjer.

  6. Gonat - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Espinosa did a nice job ripping that double in a 0-2 count.Ankiel bobbles and boots the bloops single in the bottom of the 1st and then recovers to throw out Adam Jones at home.

  7. MicheleS - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Unkyd.. I think they brought Corey since Bernadina messed up hit toe the other day

  8. John C. - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    I'm surprised Ankiel didn't lay out for the ball; Carroll was there to back him up even if he missed it. Nice inning by Jackson. No solid contact at all, just a couple of well placed slow rollers and a popup that found green in short CF.

  9. Gonat - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Unkyd said… I thought Corey Brown was sent down? March 24, 2012 1:25 PM ___________________________They often take Minor Leaguers back for road trips and split squads and to fill in late innings on the home games.

  10. John C. - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    I'd love to see the day when the Orioles and Nationals play and MASN uses the Nationals broadcast team. I'd love to see it, but I'm not holding my breath …The Nationals are forever the stepchild on MASN. It's annoying, but it's not going to change anytime soon.

  11. Gonat - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    From Mark: And that's why Rick Ankiel is going to be #Nats CF to open the season. Gunned down Adam Jones at the plate with a frozen rope.__________________________Could a faster CF been there to catch it on a fly?

  12. sm13 - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Unkyd: being sent down doesn't mean you can't play in big league ST games. It Just reduces the ML roster size and indicates you won't be on the team when it breaks camp. Wait until you see some of the guys who come into the game later.

  13. Unkyd - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Thanks guys. He was among the first cuts… I like him…

  14. MicheleS - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    So good to see Nick. Hope he makes the team.

  15. MicheleS - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Nick's not much of a talker though…

  16. Traveler8 - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    @JohnC, the game is being played in the Orioles Park, which is why their broadcast team is being used.

  17. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Chad Tracy is an awful fielder and hitter. He absolutely sucks. If he is in the lineup come OD we are in trouble.

  18. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Touble it is my man.This team is in REAL TROUBLE

  19. Kirbs - Mar 24, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    I would love to Adam Jones in a nats uni.

  20. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Watching and listening to the radio feed. This team, at this time, reminds me waaay too much of the Nats at their worst last season. A .129 hitter drives in O's first run? Seeing-eye hits. A three-run HR? Nats not hitting? OK, it's only ST, I'll stop hyperventilating. Wake me when the season starts.

  21. Kirbs - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    We have zero offense. Is that 10 in a row out now? And I don't wanna hear its a road game….

  22. Will - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Chad Tracy isn't the only waste of space. Michaels, Carroll and Blanco have all been varying degrees of terrible this Spring. Hopefully, none of them make the roster.Sadly, it looks like that won't be the case.Also, why is DeRose getting so little playing time?

  23. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    This lineup is all minor league. Every player in the lineup aside from Ramos would be in the minor leagues on a good team such as the Yankees or Rangers. We just have to face the fact that aside from Zim, Morse, and maybe Werth, there are no major league ready hitters on this team. Compare the approach the O's boogers have compared to the nats. Long at bats, not swinging at bad pitches. If this Nats lineup was facing EJax they'd already have 10 K's

  24. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    When is the next round of cuts? I'd get rid of Carroll, Tracy, Blanco, and Michaels and take a chance on Damon. He can't be any worse in the field than Jason" I can't catch a simple flyball Michaels" or Chad"I can't catch a throw over" Tracy. And we know he can hit. Horrible non-roster invites once again from Rizzo.

  25. Original Nats Fan - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    @anon 2:03they had a 2½-3 hour bus trip from Viera this morning, so not too many regulars made the trip.

  26. bdrube - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Boy, if it turns out that Jackson is the kind of pitcher who can't handle the pressure of not getting run support, it's going to be a LONG season for him.

  27. Gonat - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Ken Rosenthal reporting that Ryan Madson needs Tommy John. Lucky the Nats didn't sign him.

  28. Kirbs - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Oh my……..

  29. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    For all those Lombardozzi lovers, 2 errors. Dude looks lost.

  30. Unkyd - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Paging Tyler Moore….. Please report to 1B…..,

  31. nats08 - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Holy cow! Watching on TV, this is scary bad!

  32. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Original Nats Fan said… @anon 2:03they had a 2½-3 hour bus trip from Viera this morning, so not too many regulars made the trip. ————————————————Put the crack pipe down and back away. Bus Trip?What a terrible excuse for being a minor League Ball Team.

  33. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Agreed. I don't understand the role of past-their-prime vets who can't run, hit or field. Matt Stairs revisited.

  34. Unkyd - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Mercy….mercy?

  35. NatsLady - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Guess I owe sjm13 (worried about Storen) an apology). What happened? I was working and it's 11-1? Never mind the hitting–what happened to the good pitching?

  36. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Add Matthues to the list of cuts along with Blanco, Tracy,Carroll, Michaels, Durbin.

  37. DWS - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Curious to hear Davy and Rizzo explain this road kill.Truly embarrassing…

  38. Jim Webster - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    If FRob were in Sarasota he may see a worse game than FL in .06.

  39. Jim Webster - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    If FRob were in Sarasota he may see a worse game than FL in .06.

  40. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    I wonder how much longer all the optimists on this blog will continue to make excuses for this sad sack team that Rizzo says he is very happy with. Rizzo may have been a good scout but he is a lousy GM. You guys can bash JayD all you want but he is on the mark whether you like it or not.

  41. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Terrible hitting approach has to go to Eckstein. Willis walks 3 straight and we have guys swinging 1st pitch. He should be fired for that alone.

  42. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    I for one have little concern. This is a scrimmage. Save the theatrics for the main show. If this was regular season, then I don't think there could be any positive posts…

  43. Sunshine SuperNat - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    I'm just checking in with my NI pals for my daily dose of illusory optimism. It makes sense that we'd be getting crushed by the Orioles today. It makes sense we have the worst ST record (well, tied for it) in baseball. It makes sense that we can't hit. I checked out STL and Detroit sites today. No articles about grinding out the dog days of ST. No, they're all raking, having fun. It turns out the reason is their A players are better than our A players and their B players are better than our B players. To read NI, you'd believe the Nats are the only team playing B guys! It's hilarious.The next salve? — When we get our regulars in there…except Morse/hurt, LaRoche hurt, Espy/Desi cannot hit, Ramos/can't hit, Werth/can't hit.It's just nice to know there's a place where the sun is always shining and tomorrow's team will always win. NI.

  44. NatsJack in (Sarasota) Florida - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    I've seen this before. Relax. The Nats are stil tied in the lost column for the division lead. When we are 5 games back with 6 to play , I'll start worrying.

  45. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Rizzo thinks Eckstein is wonderful. He even protects him from the press.

  46. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Of course you have seen it before Nats Jack. We have been watching this horror show for seven years!

  47. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Season 8 of horror show and 1970 all over again.

  48. JayB - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Keep in mind Njack is a long time Senators fan trust him he has seen it before/Davey and Rizzo know what they are doing, they are not even trying to hit the ball yet. Nats are practicing missing it for the first 30 days of camp. Wait till next week, when they will flip a switch and start hitting. Trust Njack he was a Senators fan after all.

  49. NatsLady - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Boy, am I glad I'm not married to any of these guys. Haven't played one game yet and they are already filing for divorce.

  50. JayB - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    NLady….come one with all due respect….and it is alot…we have seen this over and over again….it is not just this bad baseball spring training this year…..you know it is Nook Logon, B Watson, Milidge, Dukes, Stairs…..Rizzo and Jimbo before him just have no idea how to put an roster together that will hit and score runs. All these guys who are not hitting that Davey is not worried about….those are the guys who were brought in to beef up the worst bench in baseball….stop the drama reaction….this was completely predicable and completely preventable.

  51. bdrube - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    For all of those who keep saying, "it's only spring training," well, it is only spring training for the other teams, too. Yes, the 2010 Nats started out awful in ST, but got a little better toward the end and then got off to a good start in the regular season. This version is absolutely cratering as the season approaches.

  52. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    The only real negative comment I will make about the Nationals is that you would never know it was Spring Training;i.e.,I'm not sure what they've been training for. You couldn't look worse than they've showed. That said, I'd hate to see them scoring 7 and 8 runs every game and shutting out everybody. Why? Because it don't count…

  53. MicheleS - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    That was ugly . Its going to be a LONG bus ride back to Viera

  54. NatsLady - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Oh, I think they look terrible, and I'm a little worried about the pitching. Just not sure how predictive spring training is of the regular season. I'm thinking of looking at where the last-place Grapefruit and Cactus league finishers did in the real race.What I was observing what that the giddy optimism of a couple of weeks ago has evaporated without (so far) any major setback.Joba Chamberlain is out for the season. Stay off trampolines.

  55. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Orioles 17 hits, Nats 4 hits. What else is new?

  56. Section 222 - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    I've seen this before. Relax. The Nats are stil tied in the lost column for the division lead. When we are 5 games back with 6 to play , I'll start worrying.Really? That's what it's going to take to get your worried. How about 10 straight losses to start the season? How about 15 games back by the All Star break? Too soon? Really?Frankly, I don't see any difference in craziness between that kind of polyannaish(and probably misplaced) confidence and getting ready to dump all hope at before the season even starts, which so many here criticize.

  57. bdrube - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    No major setbacks? How about Morse, Storen and Wang all being hurt? If Morse has an actual tear, it might not heal itself and he may become this year's LaRoche, which would absolutely devastate our offense. As for Storen, it sounds like he is just one pitch from going down for his own TJ surgery.The optimism has rightly faded in the face of reality, which shows a team playing very poorly with reason to believe it may well carry over into the regular season.

  58. m20832 - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    I'm hoping that DJ is right when he says that we will see what they are made of come next week…..'cause what they are showing just doesn't give too many fans a lot of confidence.

  59. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    The worst revolting development is that Poopy McPoop will all over WaPo's sports comment sections telling us how great the O's are and how the Nats aren't worth squat.

  60. fpcsteve - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    It's a game, just a game. Quit making yourselves miserable.

  61. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    All these guys who are not hitting that Davey is not worried about…Actually, JayB Davey may be just a tad worried … did you not notice how he started Corey Brown in left-field and played him the entire game? And how a certain outfielder named Chris Rahl seemingly keeps making these bus trips? Certainly Brown has the potential and Rahl had an All Star year with Harrisburg … so … I suspect they are worried and weren't expecting this. Relying on LaRoche was the owners IMO. They didn't want to waste their 8 million or so. And for the blithering fools who want Parra, Bourn, and all of those other Juan Pierre slap happy hitters did you listen to the commentary in between innings? The better lead-off guys also had that power component, guys like Ricky Henderson according to Brady Anderson. Perhaps the Nats all-time best at getting on base Nick Johnson had that power component. That's why Upton looks so attractive to the FO …

  62. NatsLady - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    fpcsteve– I'm with you. Not asking for a refund… it can't rain every day.

  63. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    About Eck. It's one thing to teach *batting* – i.e., stance, stroke, follow through, etc. It's another to teach *hitting* – pitch anticipation, pitcher intimidation, developing AND adapting a theory in the batter's box, etc. I am convinced that Eck is a super batting coach – he analyzes miles of video. I am not so sure that he is a world class hitting coach.

  64. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    fpcsteve said…It's a game, just a game. Quit making yourselves miserable.What he said. The comments are getting unreadable again. Dog days for us, too, I guess.

  65. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Spring training results are not a good predictor at all of regular season results. The truth of this proposition is proven over MANY MANY seasons of Major League data. Please insert this concept into your brain, and relax.Corky

  66. CBinDC - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    It is a cause of worry when the team plays so sloppy and the starting pitching looks suddenly lost. If this was the Yankees or Cards or Rangers, would we be upset NO. But a team with history of losing of the Nationals can not just shrug off Spring Training. I did not expect or want them to dominate but they should look less like their old self by this time in the preseason. The last three games are not good reflections they did not seem to be good teaching moments. I kid about panic but if this how they look next week, it will be 4 alarm time.

  67. SayNoToClint - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    I haven't read the WaPo comments in well over a year. That guy's still over there talking crap?Anonymous said… The worst revolting development is that Poopy McPoop will all over WaPo's sports comment sections telling us how great the O's are and how the Nats aren't worth squat.

  68. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    By the way, when I say that Spring Training results are an awful predictor of regular season Major League results, please do not take my word for it. Nor should you trust the opinions of those who disagree with me. You can google with all of the relevant keywords, and find out for yourself that I am right. It is much better to spend five minutes researching to find out whether a belief is true than to spend hours panicking and arguing.Corky

  69. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    I don't care about wins and losses in ST, but, and someone else said this, you CANNOT just flip a switch and start hitting.

  70. SonnyG10 - Mar 24, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    I can understand the negativity here because of the way the Nats have played the last ten or eleven games, but gosh, its depressing to read all that negative dribble. I'm going to remain positive on my Nats because that's what gives me joy. I don't care how bad of a start they have, I will remain positive. They will play better and it will be good baseball to watch.

  71. sjm308 - Mar 24, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    I am too lazy to look this up but didn't the Yankee's have a horrible spring last year and end up winning the AL East? Didn't the Orioles have a great spring training last year and have their 14th straight losing season?That being said, this team has not looked good in any aspect of the game for the last few days. Pitching, fielding, hitting, baserunning have all been very disappointing. Davey says that all changes Sunday but I am not sure you just pull a switch and voila! they are right where you want them. Hard to keep my glass half full since I am quickly becoming a heavy drinker but I am hoping things get better soon.Go Nats!!

  72. SonnyG10 - Mar 24, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Yes, you can flip a switch. You can start playing all your A team players instead of the minor leaguers they're throwing out there now.

  73. sjm308 - Mar 24, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    SonnyG10 – I agree and I am not sure how old you are but when the team of your youth is taken from you not once but twice and you wait forever for the 3rd chance you kinda like just having a team.They can make fun of NatsJack all they want, but if like me, he was a Senators fan, they have no idea the poor teams we watched. I am thrilled even today that I will get to go to a nice park, watch major league baseball and root for my hometown team. (still wish we could get decent beers for a decent price but I have stopped dreaming about that – I will instead dream about that first playoff win).Go Nats!!

  74. CBinDC - Mar 24, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    This is the old problem when do you say it's just practice and when do you worry that it reflects something troubling. It is not time to bring out the Fire XYZ or the XYZ is cheap. But the Nats need to start getting their heads back on, the bad energy that has surrounded this team is not gone just yet. This type of day is cause for worry but not panic. Just that the Nationals have NO reserve of good times to draw from so they need to take bad trends much more seriously then other teams and that is a fact that hoping and wishing will not make go away.

  75. natsfan1a - Mar 24, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    I was at a conference all day but had recorded the game. Was listening to 106.7 on the way home and they had Brian McNally talking Nats but didn't mention the outcome. Just came here to check out the results. To watch or not to watch, that is the question. :-)

  76. blovy8 - Mar 24, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Still doesn't count, but Lombo's errors at third were ugly rushed throws. Probably won't be resting Zim as much, maybe. Whatever Rizzo says, you can't be happy with the Morse and LaRoche situations.

  77. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 25, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    The correlation taken from Spring Training 2011 into the regular season for the Nationals was their abysmal ability to score. Not sure the same circumstances will apply this season, but it may be a harbinger…

  78. Section 222 - Mar 25, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    @NatsLady– Thanks for the link to Amanda Cormak's article. Rizzo just said in an interview with Dave J. that the first day back for players who are backdated to tomorrow on the DL would be April 10.A few days ago, I posed this exact question on a thread here and one of our regular commenters (I won't name names, but you know who you are) very authoritatively answered that there was no backdating (except perhaps to the date that the A's open the season in Japan). So players who open the season on the DL would have to miss the first 15 days. The commenter concluded that that Nats would go shorthanded for a few days rather than put Morse or Storen on the DL, if they think the players will be ready fairly soon after Opening Days. Apparently, that information was incorrect. In fact, there is some chance we won't see Morse or Storen in major league spring training games for the rest of the spring so they can be backdated if necessary.Do us a favor everyone, if you don't actually know the answer to a question don't answer it. Or at least indicate that you're not sure. Thanks.Here's an excerpt of Amanda's piece:As the Nationals' injured players begin to inch closer to activity and possible returns this week, it's important to keep in mind that tomorrow is the date which players can be backdated to if they need to go on the disabled list to start the regular season. However, in order for the Nationals to backdate a player to that date they cannot participate in a major league spring training game after then.So, even if Adam LaRoche, Michael Morse and Drew Storen work their way back to being healthy enough to be in games in the next 10 days, unless the Nationals are certain they will be ready to open the season on the active roster, they will not play them in major league games as a failsafe.They can still play in minor league games and get their work in that way but if any player plays in a major league spring game from March 27 until the end of the spring, they won't be able to use the maximum amount of backdating for the disabled list, thereby elongating the amount of games they'll miss during the season due to procedure.

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)
OCT. 7: 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.

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