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Nats vs. Braves – 3/11/13

Mar 11, 2013, 3:52 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg faces the Braves today at Space Coast Stadium.

As Opening Day inches closer and closer — now three weeks and counting — pitchers are getting more opportunities to stretch themselves out and position players are getting more opportunities to play on a regular basis. We'll see evidence of both today when the Nationals face the Braves in Viera.

Stephen Strasburg takes the mound for his fourth start of the spring. (Incredibly, he's still got three more after this one.) The right-hander has put up some impressive numbers so far in camp — 13 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings — but now's the time for him to start building up stamina. He's yet to complete four innings, so the hope today would be that he at least does that and perhaps reaches the fifth inning for the first time.

Strasburg will be pitching with basically his entire starting team behind him in the field. The only exception is at third base, where Chad Tracy will make another start as Ryan Zimmerman gets another day in as DH. Sounds like we'll see Zim in the field in about a week or so.

Charlie and Dave are back on the radio today, so enjoy the game and the conversation…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
TV: None
Radio: WHFS (1580 AM), MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Partly cloudy, 76 degrees, Wind 13 mph in from CF

NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
DH Ryan Zimmerman

Read more »

  1. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    EmDash said… Per James Wagner, on Twitter: sounds like H-Rod's a pretty good bet to make the team as long as he's healthy. Maybe not a surprise, but it makes me a little nervous… After seeing Henry pitch last week, he looked healthy. Throwing free and easy. Granted, low stress outing. I thought then that Henry moved up to the favorite to grab the 7th spot in the bullpen.

  2. NCNatsie - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    I thought Henry looked great Friday. Those who may say that he only has problems in pressure situations need to remember that for him, this ST is a pressure situation.

  3. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    NCNatsie, I think the pressure situation is on Rizzo and Davey on the Henry future. They have to decide either to put him on the Opening Day roster, DFA him or DL him.If Henry is DFA'd and basically becomes a Free Agent, I believe he will get picked up by another team. Count on that.

  4. SonnyG10 - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    I would be more than pleased if its good Henry that makes the team. good Henry would be quite an asset, but bad Henry not so much.

  5. SonnyG10 - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    I think I would give Henry another chance. I would like to see if removing the bone chips makes a big difference or not.

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    SonnyG10 said… I think I would give Henry another chance. I would like to see if removing the bone chips makes a big difference or not. March 11, 2013 12:27 PM I think Henry will get his last chance and be on the Opening Day roster. It will be the bone chip in his head that will determine Henry's ultimate fate going forward.He showed Friday he can throw free & easy when he isn't stressed and be quite effective.

  7. NatsLady - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Soriano is listed as "available," but requested not to pitch against Division rivals. Expect we'll see other guys.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Oh Greinkehttp://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgersnow/la-sp-dn-dodgers-zack-greinke-elbow-20130311,0,2162646.story

  9. Section 222 - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    NL, that's very interesting. I'm liking Soriano more and more. Seems very focused on winning.Jim Kaat on the WBC broadcast mentioned a number of times that some of the foreign pitchers are especially effective because the major leaguers haven't seen them before, and don't get several ABs against them. Soriano could be a terror this year because NL hitters haven't ever faced him. And hopefully he'll face only 3 -5 hitters each outing.

  10. BigCat - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Maybe Stra could let one "get away" and clip one of the Uptons in the foot or something. Just a little love tap….like with Utley

  11. BigCat - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    …..just to get the kettle cooking.

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Section 222 said… And hopefully he'll face only 3 -5 hitters each outing. March 11, 2013 1:06 PM Hopefully 3 hitters each outing. His ERA was effective in his outings but lets face it, who needs the drama with a closer putting 2 men on base. Let's make it easy, 3 hitters per outing and then "untuck that jersey from your pants"!

  13. MicheleS - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    sounds like Stras is dealing..

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Bryce Harper with another hit. Getting close to that .500 BA. FP calls that hole between 3rd and SS the 5.5 hole which I would think makes that hole between 1st and 2nd the 3.5 hole. Bryce has hit a few in that 3.5 hole and it has gotten through there so quickly that the 1st baseman just watches it go by. When you talk about the luck of BABIP, some players defy it by hitting the ball so hard that the fielders reaction time is diminished. I'm thinking Bryce is hitting the ball even harder than last year.

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Maholm is shutting down the Nats as effectively as Stras is doing to the Braves.

  16. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Soriano played for Atlanta from 2007-2009 so he has seen plenty of NL hitters and especially NL East hitters.

  17. Tcostant - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    I like Hrod to make the team too. I think he'll pitch well in the 6th or 7th; just keep him away from late in the game unless an extra inning must…

  18. Drew - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    MicheleS:My brother and I are here enjoying the sunshine.Strasburg is cruising and Harper's single was a rocket.

  19. Section 222 - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Faraz, thanks for the correction. I knew I should have checked Baseball Reference! You think that's why he doesn't want to face NL East hitters in ST?

  20. natsfan1a - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Ahhh…Charlie and Dave on the radio. The next best thing to being there. Well, except maybe if I could have video as well. And a hot dog. Could I get a hot dog over here? And some peanuts, maybe? Okay, I'm good. Ahhh…

  21. Doc - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Span's and ALR's deadbat virus appears contagious. Looks like Tracy and Werth are coming down with the symptoms!I didn't know that Maholm was K pitcher? He's out-dueling Stras in K's!

  22. MicheleS - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Drew.. extremely JEALOUS!

  23. livernonions - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    SonnyG10, I think, is right that Rodriguez, albeit briefly, seemed to get his control under control before the bone chips likely became an issue. We have to say "likely" because he was apparently slow to share the news of his arm pain with the team. So put me squarely in the camp that he is going to be a valuable member of the bullpen this year. The reality is we probably won't need him in high pressure situations, but I would not be at all surprised if he earns the right to take those situations on as the season progresses.

  24. MicheleS - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Doc.. Charlie/Dave said that Werth is still tracking pitches. So give him time.

  25. BigCat - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Tracking pitches? What the hell does that mean. Back in the day, a hitter could stand in against a pitcher warming up in the bullpen and track all he wanted. I think this is just an excuse for Werth striking out. Course….when your making around 20 mil a year, you can "track" all you want

  26. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Sec222, no idea. I know he also requested throwing very few innings in spring training. maybe it does not take him too much time to get ready for season.

  27. MicheleS - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Big Cat, the way I understood when they are tracking pitches is they are watching the angle/deliver of the pitcher so they can get their timing down. Someone smarter correct me.And Big Cat.. it's spring training. Worry if he does this after Opening Day.

  28. Doc - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    So Nats Fans, do we get to see our future CFer, Curtis Goodwin, this ST???

  29. BigCat - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    You are correct Michele.

  30. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Curtis Goodwin?

  31. Section 222 - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Harper apparently doesn't need to track pitches and strike out in order to get his timing down. But spring training games are meaningless, I get that. I'd just like to see Werth's power come back. Does tracking pitches help with that?

  32. Anna Peregrina - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    I really jinxed this; forgot that you went on Daylight Saving Time and we didn't in UK, so missed the first hour — as soon as I turned it on, the Braves scored 3. — Make that 5 …. sigh. Only ST!

  33. natsfan1a - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Make that 6…but we don't really have any effect on the game as fans listening on the radio, so that's okay. :-)

  34. SCNatsFan - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    I know its only ST but the lack of pop in the bats worries me. I'm just a worrier by nature I guess. I'm not a believer you can just turn it on when you want in honkball.

  35. Michael S - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Well i am officially tired of ST games. 3 weeks from now i will hopefully be reapplying sunscreen and making sure I get my final beer(or beers)ordered the end of the 7th inning!I even feel like the blog postings are just kinda going through the motions.tic tok tic tok

  36. Rabbit34 - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Come on guys. Anything over 81 wins is going to be gravy. SS sure looks shaky. We may hope for more limited innings this year! Harper, best player in baseball. Well, I'm ready to enjoy the season. Expecting…..not much.

  37. natsfan1a - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    I will say that the commercials bleeding into the broadcasts is just brutal. Ow! And the virtual vendor just hit me in the back of the head with a hot dog. Dang.

  38. EmDash - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    This seems like just part of the process of building up endurance for Strasburg – he was all but perfect through 5. Not too worried about him.Zach Duke is probably not the guy you want to bring in to be your get-out-of-a-jam lefty, though, which made the bleeding worse.

  39. baseballswami - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    Well, Tyler sure hot a hold of that one!! Rally starts now. Quit worrying, it 's practice.

  40. natsfan1a - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    Atta way, Tyler!

  41. baseballswami - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Sounds like it was a nice confidence booster.

  42. natsfan1a - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Eh, tomorrow is another day. And Wednesday is another game. Or something. (Braves win 7-2 for those not listening.)

  43. baseballswami - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Even in spring training sometimes it is hard to choke down a loss to one if " those" teams.

  44. Gonat - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… SonnyG10 said… I think I would give Henry another chance. I would like to see if removing the bone chips makes a big difference or not. March 11, 2013 12:27 PM I think Henry will get his last chance and be on the Opening Day roster. It will be the bone chip in his head that will determine Henry's ultimate fate going forward.He showed Friday he can throw free & easy when he isn't stressed and be quite effective.March 11, 2013 12:47 PM ____________________________________Henry gets another a chance to show what he has. Gets the 1st 2 batters out. Gives up a single, no big deal. Then plunks the next batter and gets pulled.That is the bad Henry pattern. Once someone gets on base he unravels. Big deal, you gave up a single.

  45. Section 222 - Mar 11, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Atta way, Tyler!Cue you know who for your daily "TyMo should start over Span."

  46. natsfan1a - Mar 11, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Now, now. :-)

  47. Jim Zurer - Mar 11, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. Jim Zurer - Mar 11, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    >> Then plunks the next batter and gets pulled.<<I wouldn't exactly say that the hit batsman was "plunked"…more like grazed by H-Rod. The single was a hard hit ground ball which (unfortunately for Henry) went right up the middle. It didn't seem that he deserved to be pulled…unless he is on a strict pitch count.Strasburg was great for five…..seems like he tired in the 6th.It was a nice day at Space Coast Stadium despite the final score.

  49. EmDash - Mar 11, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Fun article on Werth and Span, and outfielder signals. Favorite quote, from Werth: "Bryce, I had to lead Bryce around like a little puppy dog for half the year (in 2012). And he figured it out. Now Denard seems like he knows what he’s doing. I don’t have to position him every pitch."

  50. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 11, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    Great to see Tyler finally sqaure one up, even if it was against some AA guy with an 11.12 ERA. He's been pressing and really needed to get all of one.

  51. SonnyG10 - Mar 11, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    EmDash, enjoyed your "fun article" link. Thanks for the post.

  52. ehay2k - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    When will we get to see our future CF, Doris Kearns Goodwin?

  53. MicheleS - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Saw bits and pieces of Gio's press conference, he sounds so excited. Need the catcher to be a Gio Whisperer tomorrow.Also, Rosenthal had this on Nats wanting to play in WBC…Ian & BryceSince Rollins is old, I bet Ian starts next time

  54. natsfan1a - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Eh, she's a bum. Or she roots for da bums. I'm so confused. :-)ehay2k said… When will we get to see our future CF, Doris Kearns Goodwin? March 11, 2013 6:46 PM

  55. baseballswami - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Just hope Gio doesn't get too amped up. Who will catch him?

  56. c715e5d6-9d22-11e1-a89a-000f20980440 - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    And will they be using the "home run feature"? If so, for which team (or both)? Inquiring minds want to know. (And thanks for the tip on the WBC app. Works great).ArVAFan

  57. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    Good question, Alphabits!

  58. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Mar 12, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 86 63 -- 2
ATLANTA 75 75 11.5
MIAMI 73 76 13.0
NEW YORK 72 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 17.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
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