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Nats vs. Mets — 2/28/14

Feb 28, 2014, 10:44 AM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Hey, look at that: It’s a real baseball field! And there will be real baseball played on it this afternoon! OK, so it’s real exhibition baseball, but that’s a whole lot better than no baseball at all, so why not get excited for the Nationals’ Grapefruit League opener against the Mets here at Tradition Field.

Matt Williams, in his first game as a big-league manager, brought several regulars here, including Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos. Those guys are likely to get two at-bats apiece before calling it a day and turning things over to backups and minor leaguers.

Taylor Jordan, meanwhile, is first up on the mound for the Nationals, with the first opportunity to state his case for the No. 5 spot in the Opening Day rotation. The young right-hander will probably pitch two innings, according to Williams. There will be a host of relievers behind him, including prospect A.J. Cole.

If you’re stuck in the cold back in D.C., take solace knowing that baseball season is now underway. And knowing that you can get all the updates and analysis right here…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. NEW YORK METS
Where: Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie
Gametime: 1:10 p.m. EST
TV: MLB.tv live (Mets’ SNY broadcast), MLB Network tape-delayed at 9 p.m. EST
Radio: WFED (1500 AM)
Weather: Partly cloudy, 73 degrees, Wind 6 mph in from CF

NATIONALS
RF Nate McLouth
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
DH Tyler Moore
LF Scott Hairston
CF Eury Perez
(RHP Taylor Jordan)

METS
LF Chris Young
SS Ruben Tejada
RF Curtis Granderson
1B Ike Davis
3B Josh Satin
DH Lucas Duda
2B Wilmer Flores
C Travis d’Arnaud
CF Juan Lagares
(RHP Rafael Montero)

1:09 p.m. — And for the first time in 2014 … we are underway. Rafael Montero starts off Nate McLouth with a fastball for ball one on a gorgeous afternoon in Port St. Lucie.

1:15 p.m. — And Montero retires the side with ease. McLouth lofted a lazy fly ball to left. Danny Espinosa fell behind 0-2 and then tapped a check-swing grounder to third. And Ryan Zimmerman struck out looking. Here comes Taylor Jordan to the mound for the bottom of the first.

1:25 p.m. — A scoreless inning for Jordan, who did allow a leadoff single to Chris Young but then looked sharp in getting Ruben Tejada and Curtis Granderson to fly out. Jordan then finished with a flourish, getting Ike Davis looking at what appeared to be a nasty, 81 mph changeup. Jordan has been working on that pitch a lot this spring, and Matt Williams this morning called it a key for the right-hander. Scoreless after one.

1:30 p.m. — Make it 6 up and 6 down for Montero, who has cruised through his two innings with ease. Adam LaRoche struck out looking at a fastball on the outside corner. Ian Desmond flied out to center and Wilson Ramos wrapped up the top of the second with a routine grounder to short. The good news: Ramos was chugging down the first-base line pretty good, certainly faster than he usually ran last season.

1:45 p.m. — Solid spring debut for Jordan, who finishes with two scoreless innings, allowing only the one leadoff single to Young. He didn’t walk anybody, struck out two and threw 16 of 21 pitches for strikes. Jordan showed good command and displayed a nice changeup. And he was aided with the first great defensive play of the year when Eury Perez made a spectacular, backhanded grab to rob Lucas Duda of extra bases. Our first Sweet Fancy Moses! moment of 2014. Onto the third inning of a scoreless game, with A.J. Cole set to take the mound for the Nats now.

1:53 p.m. — And a scoreless bottom of the third for Cole, who recorded a pair of strikeouts on what I believe were changeups. They registered at 83 mph, though they didn’t break very much. Nice play at third base, too, by Zimmerman, who lunged way to his left to snag a line drive by Tejada. Onto the fourth, still scoreless here.

2:00 p.m. — Hmm, the Nats have sent 12 men to the plate so far. And all 12 have been retired by Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom, six of them on strikeouts. This is when we remind you pitchers are ahead of hitters early in spring training. Still scoreless.

3:00 p.m. — Sorry for the lack of updates. We were down in the clubhouse talking to starters who left the game already. While down there, the Nats took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth when Wilson Ramos launched an RBI double off the wall in left-center, a bomb that Ramos looked like he thought might have been enough to clear the fence. Christian Garcia, though, was roughed up in the bottom of the inning, allowing four runs on several well-struck balls, including a 2-run homer by Ike Davis on a hanging curveball. Rough debut for Garcia, who was appearing in his first big-league spring training game since 2009 with the Yankees. So it’s 4-1 Mets now in the sixth.

3:15 p.m. — Make it 4-3 as the Nats score a pair in the top of the seventh. Steven Souza Jr. had the biggest blow, a rocket of a base hit to right that ultimately brought home a run (after a horribly wild throw to the plate). So at the stretch, the Nats now trail by a run. Xavier Cedeno tossed a scoreless sixth, now it’s Aaron Barrett on the mound.

3:23 p.m. — Nice job by Barrett in a scoreless seventh, especially getting a double-play grounder. And a nice scoop at first base by Matt Skole, who is a big man over there but displayed soft hands as he snagged a tough hop. Still 4-3 New York heading to the eighth.

3:33 p.m. — Here come the Nats! Matt Skole and Zach Walters rope back-to-back doubles, and that ties the game 4-4 in the eighth. Walters has two doubles today and has hit the ball quite hard. Unfortunately, he also got picked off second base to kill a potential go-ahead rally.

3:42 p.m. — A scoreless inning for Manny Delcarmen, who is an intriguing name here in camp. Given his past experience, the right-hander could put himself in the mix for a spot in the bullpen with a strong spring. And he got off on the right foot today. Still 4-4 going to the ninth. Extra innings on the first day of spring training? No thanks!

3:56 p.m. — It’s hard to find two faster guys on a baseball field than Jeff Kobernus and Michael Taylor, and the two just combined to give the Nats the lead. Kobernus singled and then swiped second on a pitch that got away from the catcher. Taylor then drilled a ball over the center fielder’s head and raced all the way around to third for an RBI triple. So it’s 5-4 Nats as we go to the bottom of the ninth, with big left-hander Tyler Robertson in to try to close it out.

4:02 p.m. — That’s your ballgame. Nats win 5-4 and are undefeated in 2014. Odds of Matt Williams declaring “World Series or bust” after this?

127 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. David Proctor - Feb 28, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    James Wagner
    ‏@JamesWagnerWP
    David Wright to Ryan Zimmerman: “What are you doing here? Welcome to Port St. Lucie!”

    That’s pretty funny.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Feb 28, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      I clearly lack sense of humor.

      • NatsLady - Feb 28, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        Apparently Wright has never seen a veteran player make the trip to Port St Lucie for a spring training game. ;)

      • Faraz Shaikh - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:03 AM

        oh, makes sense now.

    • NatsNut - Feb 28, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      LOL

  2. scnatsfan - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    C’mon Garcia stay healthy!

    • Hiram Hover - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:05 AM

      one pitch at a time!

    • tcostant - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      Looks like he was a little rusty…

      Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSN
      4 runs surrendered in the 5th by Christian Garcia, who hung a curve to Ike Davis and paid the price. Garcia’s first ST game since ’09.

  3. Hiram Hover - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Everyone remember to enjoy all the Eurey Perez you can, because the opportunities will be limited.

    • David Proctor - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      Nobody hits an infield single quite like him.

      • knoxvillenat - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM

        Wait until you see Billy Hamilton of the Reds, assuming he makes the jump to the big leagues.

      • letswin3 - Feb 28, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        Yeah, I think I read somewhere that Hamilton has swiped over 300 bases over the last 3 seasons …somewhere in their organization.

  4. Section 222 - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Has the list of likely Nats pitchers been published anywhere?

    • David Proctor - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      Jordan, Cole, Garcia, Delcarmen, Barrett, Cedeno, Rosenbaum, Robertson.

      • therealjohnc - Feb 28, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        Too bad the Nats didn’t bring Chris Young to pitch to Chris Young of the Mets :-)

        Hooray baseball!

  5. natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Hooray for real [exhibition] baseball!!

    Looking forward to hearing the crack of the bat and the thwack of the glove.

  6. Section 222 - Feb 28, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Ok, I’ll repeat my question from yesterday. Who is Aaron Barrett and how did he all of a sudden end up in the bullpen conversation? Yes, I’ve looked him up on B-R. Anyone have any first hand knowledge of him? NatsJack?

    Can’t wait to see how Garcia looks today. Hopefully the Mets broadcast won’t be doing some boring off field intereview while he’s pitching.

  7. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Anyone watching this live? Apparently no Jordan today. Anyone know what happened?

    • David Proctor - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:06 PM

      Huh?

      • veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        Sorry….ignore

    • Hiram Hover - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      Is this some confusion over Taylor Jordan vs Jordan Zimmermann?

  8. Section 222 - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Dave J’s starting lineup has Jordan on the mound for the Nats.

  9. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Play ball!

  10. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Espinosa made contact!!!!

  11. natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    “1:09 p.m. — And for the first time in 2014 … we are underway. Rafael Montero starts off Nate McLouth with a fastball for ball one on a gorgeous afternoon in Port St. Lucie.”

    It’s ridiculous how giddy I felt upon reading this. (Sorry I’m late. I had to finish up some work.)

    • NatsNut - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      me too, 1a. big time.

  12. Doc - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    The Mets have a guy named Satan in the lineup.

    I guess if you can’t outplay them,you might as well try and scare the hell out of ‘em!!!!!

  13. Doc - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    The Mets have a guy named Satan in the lineup.

    I guess if you can’t outplay them,you might as well try and scare the hell out of ‘em!!!!!

  14. David Proctor - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Interesting that Jordan’s FB is around 87mph.

  15. Theophilus T.S. - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Not getting game on any station.

    • veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      Directv channel 639….Mets feed

  16. janebeard - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    it makes me inordinately happy to hear Charlie and Dave. Wilson behind the plate, Taylor pitching…spring is sooooooo close now.

  17. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Not bad, Jordan

  18. natinalsgo - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Comforting comment from Charlie on RZim “he’s playing deeper at 3rd then we saw him play all of last year”

    • NatsNut - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:37 PM

      my heart is beating faster now

  19. natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    hmmm…is that Papa Johns code good for ST games?

    Proposed ST slogan: If the wind’s blowing out, the pizza’s going out. :-)

  20. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Nice ccatch Eury!

  21. NatsNut - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    I’m in heaven.

  22. David Proctor - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    Moore swinging through ball 4 for a strikeout is frustrating, even in preseason.

  23. Danny - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    No hits through 3. Is it still 2013?

  24. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    D’Arnaud double off of Cole

  25. NatsLady - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Our first “past a diving Ryan Zimmerman” of the spring.

    • NatsNut - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      First? Don’t you mean “only”? ;)

    • NatsLady - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      And–NICE PLAY Zimm! So, going left he was great. Going right, not so much (although that was pretty far right).

      • nats128 - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        I said it last year and hope they put him closer to the line. I would rather give up a single in the hole than a double down the line.

  26. natinalsgo - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Past a diving Ryan Zimmerman. I hate hearing that phrase.

  27. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Zim saves a run

  28. David Proctor - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Nice play Zimmerman.

  29. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    Looks like the same Espi swing….bleh

  30. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    No hits after 4 innings. Need to break the ice on this season with a hit. Someone, please.

    • knoxvillenat - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      Fire Eck!!

      • nats128 - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:13 PM

        LMAO

      • Hiram Hover - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:20 PM

        +!!

  31. Faraz Shaikh - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Is it time for fans to hyperventilate about our offense?

    • veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      I dunno, but this game is already a bit ominous.

    • Hiram Hover - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      Fans who are prone to that kind of thing should hyperventilate and pass out now, just to get it over with and spare the rest of us.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        haha, they are still Nats fans. don’t be too harsh.

      • David Proctor - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        +1

  32. natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Nah, there’s plenty of time for that. Wait until at least the 6th inning. :-)

  33. Doc - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Mark needs to take a walk—-that usually gets the Nats going!

    • natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      Good point. No offense, Mark, but take a hike. :-)

  34. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Thank you LaRoche! The season has officially started!

  35. David Proctor - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    LaRoche with the first hit of the spring. Whoda thunk

  36. natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Hee hee, La Roche breaks it up. Cue F.P.

    • nats128 - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      and there goes the No Hitter!

  37. natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    and there goes the shut-out!

  38. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    1-0 Nats! Ramos double.

    • nats128 - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      The Nats RBI machine RAMOOOOOSE

  39. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    A healthy Ramos is critical to this season. His bat is crucial.

    • nats128 - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      That it is! He led the Nats in most “clutch” stats last year and led the team in RBI/AB which would make him a middle of the order guy. His issue is speed (or lack thereof) on the bases.

      • veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:24 PM

        As is, most catchers in the MLB

      • natinalsgo - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        True to that! Could switch places with LaRoche in the order.

  40. natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Sounds like Ramos is running better as well.

  41. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    No manager challenges from7th inning on? Kind of stupid.

    • Section 222 - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      7th inning on, the umps decide whether to challenge. I would hope they’d review most if not all key plays on which there is any question. I’ll bet the managers will argue like crazy to get a replay. Joe West and Angel Hernandez will refuse, and toss the manager.

  42. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Garcia up in the zone and getting hit

  43. David Proctor - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Not the outing I would have liked from Garcia. He’s getting too cute with the breaking balls and leaving them up. But it’s February 28 and the breaking ball is the last pitch to arrive.

    • Hiram Hover - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Getting cute, or just getting practice?

  44. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Ike just hit that 500 feet. Holy blast.

    • nats128 - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      So your saying it was a HR with or without the wind.

      • veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        Garcia threw a hanging meatball that Ike demolished. There could have been a 20mph gust in and it wouldhave gone.

  45. natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Evidently I missed a dinger, and some runs. The Mets beat writer must have left the press box as well.

  46. jd - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    So now a minor league game has broken out.

  47. nats128 - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Zach Walters almost buried that ball in the dirt. I cringe.

  48. David Proctor - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Cedeno takes care of the two lefties easily, walks and gives up a (misplayed) double to the two righties.

  49. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    A couple of runs saved today on ground rule doubles. Lucky lucky

    • natinalsgo - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Without the wind, they are can of corn “outs”

  50. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    4-2…Hill batted in Walters on a double.

  51. natinalsgo - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    Now it’s a AAAA game and Nats are looking hitterish.

    • Section 222 - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      I really didn’t have to see that NL. :-)

  52. Faraz Shaikh - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    was Ramos hit a home run in another park?

    • David Proctor - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      Yes. The wind blew it in.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        I thought so because when he hit it, it looked like it was going out. Even he thought he got it.

  53. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    Nice hustle from Skole turning a single into a double.

  54. natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    4-4? It’s a whole new ballgame.

  55. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    Walters 2 for 2 w an RBI and a run. 2 doubles. Solid.

    • natinalsgo - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      Can Walters play other positions besides SS and 2B. Seems his bat is legit and his glove isn’t.

      • veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        Not sure.

      • Doc - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:48 PM

        Walters played 3B at least one game late in the season, last year.

  56. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Time to win this game

  57. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Yessssssssss. Michael Taylor RBI trople. Wooooo!!!

  58. natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Niiiice. Agreed with Charlie on the excitement of triples, although I do also enjoy a nice inside-the-park home run.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      nowadays they involve a botched play, kinda takes away from the fun I think.

  59. Doc - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Nice to see my guy Skole do it in the field and with the bat!

  60. veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Seemed like an eternity until this day. So happy to see the team out there. Good win. Go Nats!

  61. natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Woo Hoo!! There’s an [exhibition] curly W in the books!

    • sjm308 - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      While I went with the Wooooo Hoooo for the first game, since this is just an exhibition, I will tone it down to

      woo hoo

      Go Nats!

      • natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        Dang, sjm. First I wasn’t exuberant enough and now I’m too exuberant. What’s a fan to do?

        Just kidding. Go, NATS!!

  62. Faraz Shaikh - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    oh yeah, first win of 2014!!!

  63. natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    I know it doesn’t count, but I like that the skipper’s first game at the helm was a win.

  64. sjm308 - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Little things:
    1. No Errors
    2. No wild pitches
    3. Maybe one baserunning mistake but I can live with running on contact at 3rd base, already ahead.
    4. 1 stolen base (they can’t credit Kobernus with a sb since the pitch was wild) and I don’t think anyone was caught stealing

    love this start

    • veejh - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      Walters got caught at 2nd base by the pitcher. Make that 2 baserunning mistakes.

  65. janebeard - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    Nat’s win: Great. Some baby Nats doing really well: Terrific.

    Mark back on the beat, painting games for us: PRICELESS! Thank you Mark!

  66. Doc - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    Yeah Mark, great job!

    As usual Mark, when you left the box, things started to happen.

    May need to take a walk, a little earlier next time

    Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Nattttttttttttts!!!!!!!!!!

  67. MicheleS - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    1A.. thanks for picking me up. WOOO HOO! is right, only got to hear part of this, will watch the replay tonight on MLB Network… Gosh I have missed this.!

    • natsfan1a - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:26 PM

      You’re welcome. Likewise on missing this.

  68. philipd763 - Feb 28, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    Ramos is the best clutch hitter on the Nats roster!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 45 --
ATLANTA 57 48 1.5
MIAMI 51 53 7.0
NEW YORK 50 55 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 59 12.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 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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