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Nats vs. Mets (ss) — 3/5/14

Mar 5, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

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Gio Gonzalez is the last of the projected members of the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation to start this spring, which shouldn’t be interpreted as anything other than the schedule falling this way, lining up the lefty right behind Stephen Strasburg for now.

Gonzalez has nothing to prove this spring; he merely needs to get his work in, build up his stamina and hit the ground running come April. His path begins in earnest today against a split-squad Mets lineup that doesn’t feature too many familiar names.

Jayson Werth also makes his spring debut this afternoon, delayed a couple of days by what the Nationals described as a biceps strain. The veteran right fielder joins just about the entire regular starting lineup, hitting third behind Ian Desmond and ahead of Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman, for whatever that’s worth on March 5.

Enjoy the game and the discussion…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. NEW YORK METS (ss)
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
TV: None
Radio: MLB.com (Mets’ feed)
Weather: Partly cloudy, 71 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to RF

NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Bryce Harper
DH Wilson Ramos
1B Adam LaRoche
2B Zach Walters Mike Fontenot
C Jhonatan Solano
(LHP Gio Gonzalez)

METS
CF Juan Lagares
RF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
LF Andrew Brown
DH Brandon Allen
2B Wilmer Flores
1B Eric Campbell
3B Zach Lutz
C Taylor Teagarden
SS Anthony Seratelli
(RHP Jenrry Mejia)

12:50 p.m. — Zach Walters, who was scheduled to start at second base today, has been scratched. Mike Fontenot takes over.

  1. Hiram Hover - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Not many major leaguers on the other side, but that’s probably the closest thing we’ve seen from the Nats so far to a real big league line up.

    • David Proctor - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      This is probably the Opening Day lineup, except no DH and Rendon in for Solano. I’m not a huge fan of it, but I’ll live I guess.

      • Hiram Hover - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        Yes, except I don’t think Desi bats #2 in the regular season – he’s there today to get an extra AB before he’s switched out mid-game.

      • David Proctor - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        I don’t know. I fear Desi will bat second.

      • Sonny G 10 - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        Hope it doesn’t take all season for Matt Williams to learn what we already know about Desi hitting second.

  2. David Proctor - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Harper can’t get a base hit to save his life this Spring and it’s not for lack of contact. He’s lined out hard three times now and walked three times.

    • veejh - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      OBP .500. I’ll take it.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        +1 I hope that is a sign of things to come where he won’t chase pitches and take the walks as pitchers fear him and will nibble and hope he chases.

  3. natinalsgo - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Werth has a 1.000 OBP ;)

    • natinalsgo - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      Quickly cut in half to .500

  4. knoxvillenat - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Off topic somewhat but what do NI think of the MLB radio package? If I understand correctly I can purchase this for about $20 for the season and get the radio feed through the internet is that right? The only time I’d really need it is for day games when I’m at work and even then I’m not sure my employer would look too kindly on me listening to a ballgame during working hours.

    • lowstrikes - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      I’m a week into that plan and happy enough so far. It delivers about what you described. With some games, the current game for example, you are limited to listening to the other team’s radio feed. Even that yields some interesting side benefits – the Mets broadcasters are substantially more informative (and listenable) than the Braves guys, plus you come away with fuller appreciation for the Nats broadcasters. The radio package is a great deal for fans in the Shenandoah Valley, far enough from DC for radio reception to be sketchy.

      • knoxvillenat - Mar 5, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        Being in Knoxville, TN I can’t get Charlie & Dave on the radio so I’m thinking about buying the package if only to listen to when at work or when working in my office at home. I have XM radio in the car so I can listen there although sometimes I have to listen to the other teams announcers Generally I don’t have a problem with that except with the Barves bozos..

    • Section 222 - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      knoxvillenat, the MLB radio package is awesome. I use it in the following situations:

      1. When I’m traveling.
      2. When I’m driving and the reception on 106.7 FM or 1500 AM is lousy.
      3. When I want to sync Charlie and Dave to the MASN broadcast. (The radio is about 5 seconds ahead of MASN. The MLB transmission is about 30 seconds behind it.)
      4. When I want to check out another team’s games, usually in the car when there’s no Nats game on.
      5. When I want to hear what an opposing team’s announcer (like Vin Scully) is saying about the Nats.

    • Section 222 - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      Just to be clear, I usually get the MLB radio package through the MLB At Bat app for the iPhone. I believe that if you buy the package you can use it on any of your devices.

    • natsfan1a - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      I’m in my third year with the MLB Gameday audio package. I mostly use it during spring training, as I watch the games on tv or in person during the regular season. I have a not-so-smart phone, so I don’t listen that way. I use my desktop or laptop. My boss is very understanding about my listening during office hours, as she is also a big Nats fan. ;-)

      • knoxvillenat - Mar 5, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        Unfortunately my boss is a Red Sox fan.

    • naterialguy - Mar 5, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      I’ve used it for at least five years now. For $20 you can’t beat it. I had it BITD when the Nats were not available on FM and just kept it for all the reasons stated. It comes in really handy when traveling. I can sit on my deck in Canaan Valley and listen to Charley & dave. Don’t get much better than that!

    • Chas - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      I have used it for years. Strong buy recommendation.
      -Sofa

    • janebeard - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:22 PM

      I love it and I get to 50 games live each season. It’s great for seeing what gets pitched, and for when you aren’t supposed to be paying attention to baseball, or when you are out of town. Best $20 I spend all year.

      • sjm308 - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:49 PM

        Add me to the list of satisfied customers.
        Going into my second year and I use it on both ipad and iphone with better than ave. results. In the car the phone sometimes cuts off for a few seconds for “buffering” what ever that is but when we were in Europe last year it was really cool to have games.

        Go Nats!

  5. David Proctor - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Desi blasts one over 400 feet to the opposite field.

    I don’t think Werth has any intention of swinging today. Drew a walk on a full count earlier, struck out looking on a full count just now. Hasn’t swung at all.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      Why do you think that is?

      • David Proctor - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        Just tracking balls, probably.

      • ArVAFan - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        Last year at Spring Training I was told that Werth won’t swing at all for the first couple of games: he’s calibrating his sense of the strike zone. That’s just what he does. Since it seems to work for him, no one objects.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        Thanks ArVaFan that is interesting info that I didn’t know. Was nervous that it was related to the bicep.

    • Section 222 - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      After Game 4 and last year, there’s no doubt that if you look up “professional hitter” in the dictionary, you’d see a picture of Werth. So if this is his way of getting ready for the regular season, I’m all for it.

      • David Proctor - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        Oh, I’m not criticizing Werth. It’s just been funny because he hasn’t seemed even remotely close to swinging (and still got to two full counts and one walk).

  6. David Proctor - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    Harper launches a ball JUST foul, then hits a single to the opposite field. Against a lefty, too.

  7. natsguy - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Gotta say it looks like Purke has no better than a batting practice fastball. Very disappointing

    • natinalsgo - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      Are you there behind homeplate watching? Rizzo still speaks highly about Purke. Much too early in Spring Training to be overly concerned.

  8. jd - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Natsinaisgo,

    Rizzo has to speak highly about his assets. Most pundits feel that Purke is no longer a prospect, too much wear and tear on his arm at TCU.

  9. natsguy - Mar 5, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    I’m not overly concerned. The guys who matter look pretty good for this time of year. Purke just doesn’t like much of a prospect any longer. They have others.

  10. David Proctor - Mar 5, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Goodwin crushes a 2 run homer to tie the game. Mets announcers saying at least 410 feet.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 5, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      A bomb as they called it!

  11. Hiram Hover - Mar 5, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Cutter Dykstra!

  12. natsfan1a - Mar 5, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Sandy Leon! Sounds like they are using the submarine horn in ST now? *like*

  13. David Proctor - Mar 5, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Matt Skole with a 2 run homer.

  14. Hiram Hover - Mar 5, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Apparently, one of those HRs hit the scoreboard–or at least MLB’s virtual scoreboard, which seems to have utterly broken down.

  15. Section 222 - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    What did Cutter Dykstra do?

    • Hiram Hover - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      I was celebrating the fact that he appeared at all, as a pinch runner.

      But then I’ll be darned if he didn’t score, and make me even prouder.

    • natsfan1a - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      He married Meadow Soprano. Oh!

      • Section 222 - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        He’ll be forever famous for that …. and probably nothing else.

      • Hiram Hover - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        Bada bing!

    • natinalsgo - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:01 PM

      I liked the “Good”. I like Harper taking walks. I hope that is an emphasis for him at the plate to wait for his pitches. It’s a page from the Barry Bonds book of hitting pre-PEDs that some pitchers will pitch around you with men on base in the hopes you will expand your zone. Don’t expand your zone and make them throw you a strike or take a walk. Bryce is young but he’s super smart. Take what the game is willing to give you. Don’t help the other team. Once Bryce shows the plate discipline the opposing teams will have to change their strategy.

  16. nats128 - Mar 5, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    What happened to Zach Walters as I see he was scratched from the starting lineup.

    • nats128 - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:55 PM

      From Kolko:

      Zach Walters had been written into the lineup as the Nats’ starting second baseman today, but he was scratched just before gametime due to flu-like symptoms, Williams said. A virus has been going around the Nats clubhouse lately, and Walters was apparently the latest to catch it.
      “He was really sick,” Williams said. “He wouldn’t tell anybody and then we looked at him and he didn’t look too good. We asked him and he reluctantly said he didn’t feel well. So we scratched him.”
      The Nats still hope to get Walters some time at second base in the near future, Williams said.
      Bryce Harper and Jeff Kobernus also have battled a stomach bug lately, and the virus is apparently an issue on the Nats’ minor league side, as well. Kobernus was actually sent home today after participating in pregame drills.

      • Doc - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:03 PM

        Thanks for the up-date on Walters, via Kolko, nats128.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 73 53 --
ATLANTA 67 61 7.0
MIAMI 63 63 10.0
NEW YORK 60 68 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 56 71 17.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
THU: OFF
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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