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Nats vs. Astros – 3/25/13

Mar 25, 2013, 7:32 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals face Bo Porter and the Astros tonight at Osceola County Stadium.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — We are officially less than one week away from Opening Day — check out the countdown clock to the right — and most of the Nationals' spring decisions have been made. One of the few remaining big ones, though, should come later tonight, when Chris Young decides whether or not to opt-out of his minor-league contract. (The educated guess here: He will opt-out, with some other club offering him a spot on their big-league staff.)

First, Young will take the mound this evening to face the Astros in what could very well be his final start for the Nationals. The veteran right-hander has progressively gotten better with each outing this spring, culminating with five scoreless innings last time out against the Marlins. We'll see how he handles Bo Porter's Houston squad tonight.

All the regulars are in the lineup for the Nationals. In fact, every position player still in camp besides Kurt Suzuki made the trip to Kissimmee for this one.

Updates to come, please check back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. HOUSTON ASTROS
Where: Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee
Gametime: 6:05 p.m. EST
TV: MLB.tv (live), MLB Network (delayed at 3 a.m.)
Radio: Astros radio via MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Sunny, 67 degrees, Wind 14 mph out to RF

NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman

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  1. Doc - Mar 25, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Just a guess, but I bet that Astros are one of Mr. Young's suitors??

  2. SCNatsFan - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    I'm not sure Young doesn't stay here rather then go and be part of the slaughter that will be Houston this year

  3. IKN8wxU2 - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    Right. I suppose the only difference between the Astros and Syracuse is that you have ride buses at Syracuse.

  4. Knoxville Nat - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    I'll be shocked if he stays here and accepts Syracuse. I would think another team with a better chance for the playoffs than the Astros will offer him a ML contract. Got to build up that service time for the pension too.

  5. Joe Seamhead - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    Another useless, but interesting ST stat: Our old buddy Mark DeRosa is hitting .486 for the BlueJays.So, Lannen gave up 12 runs on 14 hits, but the next four relievers only gave up one hit over the next five innings.I guess it just wasn't his day. I wish John extra special good luck when he pitches against the Braves.

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    Nats need that 6th starter.

  7. baseballswami - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    This spring Lannan has probably pitched better than Halladay.He was our guy through some bad times here and he always gave it his all. I will wish him well in every start except those against us. Hey – I see that Kristina Akra is going to the MLB Network! Moving on up after being showcased with the Nats.

  8. natsfan1a - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Seconded.baseballswami said… He was our guy through some bad times here and he always gave it his all. I will wish him well in every start except those against us.

  9. Section 222 - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Good for Kristina. She deserves it for putting up with the Gatorade attacks last year (and for her good work, of course.)

  10. Theophilus T. S. - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Unless Young really ramps up tonight, e.g., 6 innings, 87-88 mph, I'm betting there's no major league contract waiting for him. I think he has promise, i.e., is adequate for the purpose for which the Nats intend him, but no major league team really needs him before the middle of the month and I'm not sure anyone will give up a roster spot for him a day before they need to.

  11. baseballswami - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    I am waiting for any sports network to hire an unattractive woman who knows a lot about her sport and is articulate. At least on MLB Network they are smart. Just seems like they HAVE to be hot. Not so with the men. Is MASN hiring someone else?

  12. baseballswami - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    As for Young – seems like the Nats hitters did not have an easy time with him last year.

  13. MicheleS - Mar 25, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    Thirded (well written Swami)baseballswami said… He was our guy through some bad times here and he always gave it his all. I will wish him well in every start except those against us.

  14. Drew - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    I love the headline on the Phillies' official site:"Adams strong in seventh outing"I guess these wouldn't fit:"Mrs. Lincoln enjoys first act of play""McLean Stevenson quits MASH for better options""Storen enters 9th with lead"(I know, too soon …)

  15. baseballswami - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Ouch…..

  16. MJR - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    A great big shout-out to NCNatsie who, in addition to writing the lyrics, drove up from Raleigh to lead the nascent Nats Insider Chorus (plus a few ringers?) in a rousing recording session of "Let's All Cheer for the Washington Nats". Another big shout-out to Waddu Eye No for the arrangement and accompaniment and to the other slightly obsessed, musical Insiders who made the trek to Duffy's on Palm Sunday no less. As recording sessions go, it was way more fun than most and it was great to meet some fellow Insiders in person. I had a great time and can't wait to see the video. Go Nats!

  17. MicheleS - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Wil Nieves made the DBacks.

  18. peric - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    Its a shame I really liked Kristina. Much better than her predecessor.

  19. baseballswami - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Nieves, Ankiel, DeRosa, Wang – you could knock me over with a feather right now I am so surprised that these guys still have jobs. Although, it used to be that the guys we were done with just rode off into the sunset and were never seen or heard of again.I guess we are producing a better quality of released players now, too. Nady have a job?

  20. baseballswami - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Wow – jobs for everyone.

  21. Another_Sam - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Certainly I was never a fan of Lannan when he was at the top of the rotation. But I wish him well and great success onthe mound, and I remember he pitched under very high pressure here last year and he came through in rousng fashion. [All that has been said by wise posters above.] In life, success isn't a zero sum game, and I hope Lannan has plenty of it on the baseball field — except when he faces the Nats.

  22. baseballswami - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    It's the free game on MLB.tv!!!!!

  23. Another_Sam - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    Swami — I'm surprised about Wang. The rest of 'em I can see taking the role of journeyman — like we once needed lots of here.

  24. sjm308 - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    I always liked LannEn as well. I have to disagree with Swami on this one though. If he was pitching in the AL I would root,for,him but I honestly hope he loses every game he pitches with the Phillies. I can't wish any good luck for them, and I want us to cruise into the playoffs. Every game LannEn wins hurts our chances.

  25. Mac - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    Players have to bring their own jerseys to the games? I thought that was the equipment manager's job. So I guess Zimmerman and Dunn were the ones to blame for "Natinals", huh?

  26. Another_Sam - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    how does one get the free game on mlb.tv?

  27. natsfan1a - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    He could pitch well during his innings, and then the Phillies 'pen could blow it. Problem solved. :-)sjm308 said… I always liked LannEn as well. I have to disagree with Swami on this one though. If he was pitching in the AL I would root,for,him but I honestly hope he loses every game he pitches with the Phillies. I can't wish any good luck for them, and I want us to cruise into the playoffs. Every game LannEn wins hurts our chances. March 25, 2013 6:13 PM

  28. baseballswami - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Go to MLB. Com — when you see the games listed on the left, our game will say free game. Just click it. I already had registered at another time when there was a free game – just an email address and password. They do free games a lot.

  29. baseballswami - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Ankiel is the DH. What ????

  30. Another_Sam - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Dandy. Thank, Swami.

  31. MicheleS - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Sam.. go to nats page. look under Video/Watch/Listen.

  32. NatsLady - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Spring training is different than the regular season. Players are responsible for their own gear (just like in the minors). There are some funny stories about players forgetting stuff, including a pitcher who ran around to the local sports store to buy his gear (not one of ours, if I recall.)

  33. MicheleS - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    so I just bought tickets to the 3rd bobble head game. the other 2 are in my plan. Such a sucker for bobbleheads (and free stuff in general)

  34. Another_Sam - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    I've got it. I've never done this. First I'm on twitter. Now MLB.TV what's next? LOL

  35. JaneB - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    I wish LannEn good luck, too. Like Mac, I am surprised that players bring their own jerseys. I thought that stuff was taken care of for them.Bo is going to make these Astros better than people think. That's my prediction.

  36. Another_Sam - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    MicheleS – I've still got a Matt Capps bobblehead that I got in Pittsburg. LOL. I know what you mean.

  37. Candide - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    Trying to get the free game on MLB.com – all I get is a two-minute video of Matt Capps losing a game on a walkoff HR in Houston, and a logon screen. What am I doing wrong?

  38. JaneB - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Collin Balestar doesn't have a team yet. What a hard game this is!

  39. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    It amazes me how many swings and misses Young is getting up in the zone.

  40. MicheleS - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Jack are you at the game?

  41. MicheleS - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Peacock made the Astros opening day line up. Good for him

  42. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Yes. Gator and I are sitting in the second row behind the dugout just behind Davey and Rick.

  43. natsfan1a - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    I'm also cuckoo for bobbleheads. We have tix for the first two bobblehead games, but not the third, which I believe is a Saturday night. That said, I hope to have spares of the first two bobbleheads to barter. :-)MicheleS said… so I just bought tickets to the 3rd bobble head game. the other 2 are in my plan. Such a sucker for bobbleheads (and free stuff in general) March 25, 2013 6:32 PM

  44. DaveB - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Candide … you need to have a MLB.com userid … I forget where you register .. perhaps if you just put in your email and click "forgot my password" it will register you.

  45. John C. - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Should potential Chris Young suitors discount for opponent quality level? Even if he pitches well today, his two "decent" starts would be against the Marlins and Astros. How would he do against major league hitters? It's like pitching impressively against the 2006-2009 Nationals (opposing pitchers were immediately "Cy Young for a Day"). That said, I bet Young ends up in the Houston rotation, in the Livan Hernandez role. They get a veteran to provide guidance for the kids, Young gets to prove he can pitch in the majors and possibly get flipped for prospects before the deadline.

  46. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    And Bryce does his best Carlos Rivero imitation.

  47. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Uh oh…Davey just sent Henry down to the bull pen to get loose.

  48. Theophilus T. S. - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Anyone care to 'splain why Harper is wearing his sunglasses upside down above the bill of his cap?

  49. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Uh….so he doesn't lose them.Most ball players wear them like that when they don't actually need them.

  50. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    And heerre comes Henry.

  51. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Henry only threw one warm up to the back stop.

  52. MicheleS - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Henry needs to go on the DL

  53. Joe Seamhead - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Good for Henry. I guess…

  54. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Well….that wasn't so bad.

  55. Joe Seamhead - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Espinosa looks very confident right now.

  56. Joe Seamhead - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    I hope Maxwell is OK. He's had a history of very fragile bones going back to when he was at University of MD.

  57. Steady Eddie - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    That was the first time I can recall seeing bad Henry and Good Henry together in the same inning. So they're not two completely different people after all.

  58. Nattering Nat - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    Young is gone, gone, gone (no news yet, just anticipating). Too bad, but then again, he seems to have served Rizzo's main purpose–insurance in case a starter got hurt during ST. Young said he'd take any major league opportunity over Syracuse, so I believe him. The only rabbit out of the hat that might keep him here is if Rizzo put him on the 25-man roster as of tonight, to use as a long reliever in the interim. But ain't gonna happen.

  59. SCNatsFan - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Nattering nut, I still think putting Young on the 25 man wins more games then Henry. Either way one guy is lost for nothing. In a year Henry will be the same – a tease.

  60. Joe Seamhead - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Steady Eddie, I though that maybe Good Henry relieved Bad Henry. Glad it wasn't either Henry that hit Maxwell on the wrist.

  61. Joe Seamhead - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    "Thought" Henry relieved Henry.

  62. baseballswami - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Stammen is stee-ruggling. He has been so good. Get it over with and leave it in Florida.

  63. baseballswami - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Bad Henry has possessed Craig's arm?

  64. Joe Seamhead - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    It looked like Denard might have misjudged that one.

  65. MicheleS - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    Young did opt out. Sorry to see him go.

  66. baseballswami - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Sure- I start watching and the Astros turn into an offensive powerhouse.

  67. ehay2k - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Did Denard have to change his normal depth to help cover turf for Micah?

  68. Joe Seamhead - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    Another run scores because Storen doesn't hold the runner at first. He better start learning how because the word is out.

  69. Nattering Nat - Mar 26, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    So Young has filed the papers, but he is "hopeful" that the Nats might still get something done, according to Mark? Then DO it, Rizzo!! That's an invitation if I ever saw one. I, for one, have been willing to give Henry two, three, four chances, in the hopes he can corral himself, but I don't think my heart can take it any longer. If Young wants another opt-out soon into the season and might start at Syracuse, that would be his way of repaying the Nats treating him well. That would speak volumes about him AND about the Nats organization nowadays. And how their prospects are perceived.So, fingers crossed.

  70. baseballswami - Mar 26, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    Except that he is not a reliever and we don't have a starter job available. Proverbial rock and a hard place.

  71. Steady Eddie - Mar 26, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    Joe S. — I'd have to look at the replay to be sure, but it may have been the wind that crossed Denard up. It's been pretty gusty blowing from left to right field, and has held up some balls hit to left (may have taken a dinger away from TMo and aided ALR's), and might have carried that triple in a weird way.

  72. baseballswami - Mar 26, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    JC Romero looked decent in the eighth. Where are they playing? Some people at the game wearing parkas with hoods.

  73. Nattering Nat - Mar 26, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    Yes, I guess I realize that Young's not positioned right now to transition to be a long reliever, nor would he want it, I suppose. If you look at the good luck the Nats had with their starters last year, yet how many other of their pitchers have gotten hurt, I find it hard to believe it will be long before one of the starters has something happen. Almost unavoidable, defying the odds. Rizzo must know that, but how do you say that to Young–or anyone–after what Lannan went through last year.Besides, Young himself seems prone to injury. So I won't get too worked up over it. I'll be worked up enough watching Morse hit over .300 with power for someone else this year–provided he stays healthy.

  74. baseballswami - Mar 26, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    A lot of this stuff is a crap shoot.

  75. baseballswami - Mar 26, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    And Bo Porter looks like he is right where he belongs. Everyone feels sorry for him with his lack of resources, but no expectations , either. He looks happy.

  76. Joe Seamhead - Mar 26, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    I know Eddie, it's hard to tell while watching on my desk top. Just looked like he both broke back late, and then maybe misjudged his leap, but those lasers coming in like that are very tough to play.

  77. MicheleS - Mar 26, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Swami, from the tweets I was seeing, wind was howling and it was cold for Florida (probably a cool 55 degrees or something like that)

  78. MicheleS - Mar 26, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    HMMMM..interestingMark Zuckerman‏@ZuckermanCSNDavey Johnson did a masterful job dancing around the question of whether Henry Rodriguez will make #Nats Opening Day bullpen.

  79. Steady Eddie - Mar 26, 2013 at 3:56 AM

    Coming back to Cocoa Beach from the game, my car thermometer read 58 degrees, and there was a maybe 25-30 mph wind blowing across the field. My 12 year old daughter refused to zip up her hoodie despite my repeated urgings untill the bottom of the 7th and then immediately started complaining that she was freezing (in shorts). I think that wind was part of the erratic fielding, as I mentioned. We stayed when I saw Romero warming up, and as Mark noted, he looked basically OK. A little trouble locating the zone at times (not wild, just a bit off-target), but recovered enough to put away each batter smoothly. Another good Rizzo find, like Michael Gonzalez (older lefty reliever with decent though not blazing velocity, but crafty veteran stuff).

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 58 -- 19
ATLANTA 72 66 7.0
MIAMI 67 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 74 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 63 74 15.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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