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Nats vs. Astros — 3/7/14

Mar 7, 2014, 12:57 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

With Doug Fister sidelined for the time being due to inflammation in his right elbow, the window of opportunity opens for some other members of the Nationals pitching staff. That includes Tanner Roark, who today gets a chance to make his first start of the spring, bumped up to take Fister’s spot instead of appearing out of the bullpen as originally planned.

Roark tossed two scoreless innings of relief against the Yankees on Monday. He remains an intriguing decision for Mike Rizzo and Matt Williams, having shown himself to be effective late last season both as a starter and a reliever. If somebody from the rotation had to be scratched, Roark seems as good an option as can be expected to make an emergency start.

Roark today faces an Astros club loaded with young talent but very short on experience. He’ll be opposed by left-hander Brett Oberholtzer, who has the challenge of going after a Nationals lineup featuring seven regulars.

Charlie and Dave have the call on the radio today. Enjoy the game and the conversation here as always…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. HOUSTON ASTROS
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
TV: None
Radio: 1500 AM, 1580 AM
Weather: Windy, 67 degrees, Wind 24 mph out to LF

NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
C Wilson Ramos
DH Tyler Moore
2B Jamey Carroll
(RHP Tanner Roark)

ASTROS
CF Robbie Grossman
2B Jose Altuve
1B Marc Krauss
DH Chris Carter
LF Jesus Guzman
RF George Springer
C Carlos Corporan
3B Marwin Gonzalez
SS Jonathan Villar
LHP Brett Oberholtzer

104 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Sec3MySofa - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Wait, what? “Inflammation in his right elbow”?

    Oh, I don’t like the sound of that. At. All.

  2. NatsLady - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    So hitters are behind the pitchers? Well, not Desi.

  3. Sec3MySofa - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    And neither is Bryce, apparently.

  4. NatsLady - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    Nor Wilson, apparently. Poor Jayson, he actually swung at a pitch and didn’t get one of them there hits.

  5. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Wait, where’s the submarine horn? I thought I heard it during a prior ST broadcast. Must have been something else.

    • Sec3MySofa - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      I think that was the Loud Beer Guy. I heard he has a cold.

      • natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        Now that you mention it, it *was* more like a fog horn.

  6. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Speaking of sounds, evidently the fans are still working on the Werth at-bat “woo.”

    • natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      As well, good thing my cat is asleep in down the hall instead of in here, as I don’t think he’d appreciate the mad cat and rhino commercials.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      That stinks on many levels.

      • NatsLady - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:27 PM

        Well, since I never assume anyone is telling the truth on these matters, I’m hardly disappointed. I just hope these guys are honest with the trainers and manager.

  7. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    That would be a real bummer if she said “no,” but Charlie and Dave should know that we *never* leave a game early. :-)

  8. Section 222 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Following up on Mark’s lovely post this morning about Dr. Frank Jobe, the LA Times’ obit indicates that the HoF honored him this past summer. That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a permanent marker, of course, but it’s nice they did something for him while he was alive. The whole piece is well worth reading.

    http://www.latimes.com/obituaries/la-me-frank-jobe-20140307,0,7968857.story#axzz2vImPm51v

    Apparently, Tommy John’s first surgery irritated the ulnar nerve, and a second surgery was done three months later. And the first surgery actually used a tendon from John’s right arm, rather than something from the leg or an animal which is how it’s now done. Also, Jobe pioneered a shoulder surgery that saved the career of Orel Hersheiser. And then there’s this anecdote, which I think I’ve heard before, but is worth repeating:

    “[The surgery] worked so well that Pete Rose, then a player with the Cincinnati Reds, quipped: ‘I know they had to give Tommy John a new arm. But did they have to give him [Sandy] Koufax’s?’ “

  9. natinalsgo - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    2 in a row past a diving LaRoche. I hope those were both balls no 1st baseman would get versus further deterioration of his range.

    • NatsLady - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      I expect he was holding the runner. Hard to judge. Also you don’t know how Span came to drop a ball. Wish we had video.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        All correct. LaRoche was not reaching hard grounders last year like he routinely got to in 2012. Confirmed in UZR which I’m not a fan of but it backed up what I was seeing.

        Think what giving up a double means when an average fielder turns that into an out. This team has to get better corner defense.

        Those 2 hits could have been not close but “past a diving” corner infielder had to set a record last year. Not good.

      • Section 222 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        Hopefully corner infield defense will improve this year as Zim plays back further, since his shoulder is now recovered.

        Or is it? Hmmm.

      • Steady Eddie - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        I’m at the game. Those were both pretty clean hits past Laroche. And the ball that Span dropped was getting blown around the Outfield by a pretty fierce wind (25-30 mph) at the time. Span may also have been a little distracted by Harper peeling off the ball pretty late (not close to a collision, but in the neighborhood). Still span had the ball in his glove.

      • Section 222 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        Thanks for the firsthand report Steady. Awesome that you’re down there.

      • Steady Eddie - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:15 PM

        Thanks. Had a great chat with NatsJack. Even with his seasoned eye and being on the scene, he was as unclear as we are about who will make the back end of the bullpen and of the bench.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        Steady Eddie, of course those were clean hits past LaRoche but when someone dives, it usually means they were close. Would a good 1st baseman had better range to get either of those? That’s the point and the unknown.

        We know last year LaRoche had poor range. Williams can’t afford another year of that as his offense won’t make up for it.

      • therealjohnc - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        nationalsgo, you’re really clinging to the narrative in the face of eyewitness accounts that, whatever ALR’s range issues, it had no effect at all on the two hits in question. A description of “clean hit” means that a normal first baseman does not make the play, and may even be interpreted as “no first baseman makes that play.” I don’t disagree that the team could use better first base defense then ALR provided last year, although they did all right with a statue playing 1b for much of 2012. I also expect that ALR’s offense will likely be better than it was last year although no likely to be quite up to his career averages.

  10. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    do we know the date of Clip’s bobblehead game?

  11. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    September 27.

    I was kinda feeling sorry for the Astros early in the game. Now, not so much.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      thanks 1a. this year I am gonna get all of them, even if I have to be there 3 hours before game time.

      • NatsLady - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        You will have to be there 12 hours before game time to get Harper’s.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        haha, I am down for that. Who cares about a day’s pay.

  12. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Woah am I missing something?

    http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/schedule/promotions.jsp?c_id=was

    we have so many bobbleheads?

    • tcostant - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      One of the Washington Post blogs talked about this a month or two with some quotes from the Nats. There goal was to increase the number per game, because they have more people going to the park now (a little slow to react – good). The wanted to add some weekday Bobbleheads to increase attendance and give people who go after a work a better chace at getting some. Lastly, they did not want to have less on weekend (kids), so they made sure that the number of weekend Bobbleheads did not go down.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:52 PM

        nice!! all good ideas!

      • Section 222 - Mar 8, 2014 at 7:45 AM

        Shorter version: “Bobbleheads draw fans so let’s have more.” Or, hey, let’s see if we can sell out a Monday night game by offering a Bryce bobblehead.”

    • tcostant - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      Here is the link to the article I mentioned. I wrote before I re-read, so hopefully I remember correctly:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2014/02/05/why-the-nats-are-giving-away-175000-bobbleheads/

  13. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Definitely a big year for bobbleheads.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      one each month. I don’t think this has been done before.

      • natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        Yes, I think they’ve not had that many in a season.

    • Section 222 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      And don’t forget the Werth Garden Gnome!

      • ArVAFan - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        I want that. If that doesn’t scare the birds out of my tomatoes, nothing will.

      • natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        I’m holding out for the P-Nats Wolf-a-Rine.

      • NatsLady - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        I bet it will scare my kitties, but I don’t care. And, yes, I’ll take a day off work for Clipp’s bobble. And if it’s a Saturday (it is) that’s big $$. Maybe ebay?

      • natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        My cat would probably, er, mark it.

      • NatsNut - Mar 7, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        LOL ArVAFan!

  14. Sec3MySofa - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    That sounds like some underworld argot–“scare the birds out of her tomatoes.”

  15. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    The legend of Zach Walters continues… :-)

    • natinalsgo - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      The sample size is getting larger and the chorus of doubters could get smaller.

      • NatsLady - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        Also, they said he made a nice leaping grab.

      • bowdenball - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        While it’s obviously true that the sample size is getting larger, I’m not sure that 9 plate appearances is a valid sample size. For that matter 90 plate appearances isn’t a valid sample size. Not when you’ve got a sample size of 1,840 plate appearances in the minors with an OBP of .322, or a sample size of 521 plate appearances at AAA last season with an OBP of .286.

        Like you all I hope spring training is the dawn of a new Zach Walters era and he turns into a major league contributor. After all he’s still young and has a ton of room to grow. But generally guys who strike out a ton against AAA pitching don’t do well against major league pitching unless they make some significant adjustments. Exhibit A: Tyler Moore in 2013.

  16. sjm308 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    With Walters, he has to be excited about this start, and of course so are most of us. I am wondering, I read comments about possibly bringing both Espinosa and Carroll north but why not Walters over Carroll (or Espinosa for that matter). I am not sure what value it would be to have him back at AAA when he is obviously winning a job with his work so far. I realize there are weeks to go but he certainly has to have caught Williams eye.

    How great is it to hear Charlie & Dave!!

    Go Nats!

    • natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      It is wonderful to hear them!

    • therealjohnc - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:08 PM

      Just remember: spring training stats are meaningless. They are not in any meaningful way correlated with actual big league success. They are not only a small sample size, they are a small sample size compiled under artificial conditions (minor league pitchers, major league pitchers who are working on stuff rather than trying to get outs, a lack of detailed scouting by opposing batteries on the hitters, etc).

      Besides all that, Walters needs to play every day to work on his defense and his plate approach to hopefully keep the power while decreasing strikeouts and increasing walks. He’s not going to do that sitting on the bench and playing once or twice a week.

  17. jd - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    natsinaisgo,

    The sample size isn’t likely to reach a significant level this spring. I think it would be good for Walters to produce at excellent levels on a full time basis in the minors (AAA?) before we can come up with any reasonable conclusions.

    • Hiram Hover - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      +1.

      I get that most of us lack confidence and/or excitement about the other backup middle IF options and are likely to get excited by anything out of Walters.

      While it’s encouraging that he’s doing well in ST–it beats a sharp stick in the eye, or even doing poorly in ST–it’s too small a sample size, and against too weak a competition, to support any firm judgments.

      • sjm308 - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        I agree with all of that but he had a pretty good year, power-wise last year so what more would you need to see from him? I guess the defense can always need work but to me, if we bring him north, it would be more for his bat then defense. This is assuming a couple of things.
        1. Espinosa is also on the 25 for his glove
        2. Someone finally realizes that Hairston and Moore are redundant and one of them is not on the roster

        This is about the only position race that is left along with a couple of back end bullpen picks and that 5th starter. Should be a great couple of weeks but I can’t wait for April!!

        Stay healthy lads

        Go Nats!!

  18. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    so about Garcia possibly joining the bullpen? it is looking less and less likely.
    Soriano is off to his rocky spring standards I believe.

  19. Section 222 - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    Not sure that Walters has much left to prove at AAA, at least offensively. He had 521 PAs last year, and his slashline was .253/.286.517/.803. But he’s only 23 and might benefit from regular playing time there, especially since it sounds like his defense is questionable. He also hasn’t played much 2B.

    On the other hand, Espi might benefit from playing (i.e., hitting) regularly if he hasn’t shown that he has turned the corner. My preference for bench players who can hit is a broken record around here. If Rizzo and Williams decide that Walters is more likely to produce or that Carroll is a better bet as a pinch hitter and spot starter to not be a black hole offensively, then I’d have no problem with Espi starting the season at AAA.

    To bring north more than one of Espi, Walters, and Carroll would require either Ty-Mo or Hairston to be left behind. That doesn’t seem likely.

    • Hiram Hover - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      Is that a slash line or an international phone number?

    • Hiram Hover - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      More seriously – Walters could certainly use work cutting down his Ks (134, vs 123 hits), and on his D.

    • sjm308 - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      Dueces – I will now head over to the website and add a virtual beer to your name as I did not read all the posts. It is pretty amazing that we almost said exactly the same thing (I just wrote 20 min. later then you)

      • Section 222 - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        ha! While I appreciate the virtual beer, this is one of the reasons I preferred the old blog where people didn’t embed replies. I probably would never have seen your 4:24 post since I don’t like to go back and read through all the comments to see if something new has been added. That’s progress I guess.

      • Hiram Hover - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        There are things to be encouraged about with Walters, no doubt.

        But his 26% K rate in AAA could turn into something really ugly vs major league pitching (shades of Danny).

        Where is he better off working on that – batting every now and then in the majors, or every day in the minors?

    • jd - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:36 PM

      And that .286 OBP is not what you need either. There’s still some room for improvement and he’s still young.

  20. sjm308 - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    I know, I know, it doesn’t mean anything but tell me its not better to be winning these games! Maybe the professionals just take it one day at a time but as a fan, I just feel much happier after a win, even in spring training.

    Matt Williams will probably face a losing streak or two this year but it also has to help reinforce the work he has done early in the spring with more wins than loses. Just a thought and of course I have no proof of any of that.
    I do know that I wanted some schools on my schedule in the beginning of the season that were cupcakes and tried to schedule the ACC portion later in the year. Winning begats winning in my opinion.

    Go Nats!!

    • therealjohnc - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      Meaningless wins > meaningless losses!

      • NatsNut - Mar 7, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        +1

  21. tcostant - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    Mark is on 980am right now – I’m scared about Fister now!

    • sjm308 - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      How bad does it sound?

    • natinalsgo - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      Why, what’s changed from the diagnosis of MILD inflammation. They didn’t even say inflammation as Rizzo called it mild inflammation.

      What’s changed ?

  22. Candide - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    Cunegonde and I made it to Orlando this morning. Got the rental car and after finding out the dolphin and manatee spotting boat rides don’t start until March 14, we decided to go have lunch at one of the places Mark recommended – Maggie O’Malley’s in Melbourne. Good Irish food – had a Smithwick’s and St. Patrick’s Pie, Cunegonde had a sampler lunch that could have fed both of us by itself, and a Harp.

    Wandered around the touristy section of Melbourne, and she bought some earrings and we both had some ice cream. Then checked into the Days Inn.

    Don’t know what we’re doing tonight – I’ll let her decide. But tomorrow it’s Nats vs. Barves. Question – is there any activity going on on the workout fields before the game that would make it worthwhile getting there 3-4 hours early?

    Not looking this Foster news :-(

    • Candide - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:31 PM

      LIKING!!!

      Damned auto-correct…

      • natinalsgo - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        Foster is Fister I presume.

    • Candide - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      FISTER!!!

      😬😠

    • knoxvillenat - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:14 PM

      Candide,

      One tip for you in regards to the Melbourne area, my friend and I were at STa couple of years ago and the local law enforcement is very aggressive towards tourists. After a night game against the Cards we went to O’Malleys for a late night dinner and some basketball. When we left about 11:30 that evening we were stopped by a local officer within a block or two of a parking garage that we had used. The officer told us that she pulled us over as drivers were only allowed to make a right turn coming out of the garage exit. My friend, who was driving, politely and patiently explained to the officer that we had in fact made a right turn just as the sign at the exit instructed. The officer stepped back away from our vehicle,looked back towards the garage and said, “Yes, so you did. Have a good evening and be careful.” We are convinced to this day that we were pulled over for no other reason than she wanted to check for drunk driving even though my friend had given her no reason to suspect the same, nor was he in any way drunk having consumed but 1 alcoholic beverage.

      A year or two later I was telling this story to another Nationals fan after he had been to Melbourne for ST and he said that he and his party had a similar experience.

      Be safe my friend.

  23. jd - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    Candide,

    The minor leaguers are practicing on the side fields pretty much until game time and some of the coaches are friendly and we’ll engage you in conversation if you are so inclined. There is lots of fielding, situational and hitting practice on all fields which would be interesting to a baseball purist but would be boring to most casual fans.

    We won’t get access to the major league players unless you have ST season tickets in which case they let you in much earlier than everyone else. We went last year and had a good time but really don’t feel the need to go again. We were especially disappointed in the lack of access to the major league players.

    • Candide - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:10 PM

      Thanks, JD- genuinely useful information. Looks like Cunegonde’s up for doing that in exchange for agreeing to go see “Frozen” tonight. She loves her Disney flicks.

  24. NatsNut - Mar 7, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    About Fister, I doubt a guy is getting pulled for “mild” anything. If he’s pulled to “rest” my bet is that it hurts like hell. I’m guessing either bone chips or Tommy John and he doesn’t make it through the whole season. Whatever, who’s next in line? Not that it doesn’t bum me out that he’s hurt, of course and I’m still keeping my fingers crossed.

    As for lying, it would be naive to think they don’t lie through their teeth about their medical stuff, but I have a lot less angst about it now that I’ve come to accept that Really, there’s absolutely no benefit to the team, the players, or the manager to give US a full and honest account of an injury so why get all torn up in knots about it?

    • David Proctor - Mar 7, 2014 at 7:58 PM

      Last year, Zack Greinke had elbow soreness in the Spring. He got a platelet-rich plasma injected, missed some time in ST, but was ready for Opening Day and pitched the whole season without issue. Guys get pulled for mild everything in the Spring. If this were the regular season, I’d be way more inclined to agree with you.

      Of course, there are examples of guys blowing out their arm too. My point is that we just don’t know. It’s useless to make any guesses about what will happen.

      • NatsNut - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:27 PM

        Good example and I definitely agree that we don’t know anything about anything.

        However, guesses may be useless but they’re fun and also what make up about 99.47% of the comments here. ;)

      • dgourds - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:42 PM

        You don’t put a guy in an MRI unless you are concerned about the injury. And the only purpose of the forum is useless speculation ;-)

    • Sonny G 10 - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      +1

  25. scnatsfan - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    This day comes down to one thing – is Fister ok or not

  26. Joe Seamhead - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Somehow I’m not too worried about Fister…yet. Nor am I too concerned about Soriano…yet. Nor am I gushing over Blevins …yet.

    But even though I said I’d give it a rest regarding Billy Burns? I’m sorry, I lied. Everyday there is another gushing account of Burns coming from the Bay area.This one sums up a lot of why I wasn’t too thrilled about trading him:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/oakland-athletics-billy-burns-leads-all-players-in-stolen-bases-this-spring?ymd=20140307&content_id=68889982&vkey=news_mlb

  27. David Proctor - Mar 7, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Jordan Zimmermann’s arm was sore last Spring, too. He was getting treatment on it. That was on March 8. This is March 7. It’s pretty normal for pitchers to be sore this time of year.

  28. scnatsfan - Mar 7, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    You look at Taylor and you realize Burns had no opportunity here

    • Joe Seamhead - Mar 8, 2014 at 5:53 AM

      I understand what you’re saying,scnatsfan, but have you watched Taylor’s swing? At least at this point it’s a clone of Maxwell’s long, looping swing. I like Taylor’s upside, as I value great defensive outfielders. The one I’m not sold on is Goodwin. His “progress” has been painfully slow.I also understand that Rizzo and Beene made the trade based on each organization’s strengths and weaknesses. They had a LHR that didn’t fit in with their plan any more and we had a surplus OF that didn’t fit in ours, even if he is one of the 2 or 3 fastest guys in all of baseball. We got a good, but not great, LHR in Blevins who had dropped precipitously on the A’s depth chart due to them having guys that were better. He’s said to be a great locker room guy and a bullpen leader. I hope that he works out for us.

  29. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 8, 2014 at 6:41 AM

    I am about to sign it and I would really appreciate it getting through. I don’t have to take off from work to watch our team play, even if it on tv not at stadium.

      • sjm308 - Mar 8, 2014 at 7:34 AM

        Faraz – hoping they don’t check up on us old retired guys who have off anyway but I signed so my son won’t have to take off as well – it won’t pass but its fun to at least get them to look. I say you could easily get rid of Columbus Day for this!!

        Go Baseball!!

        Go Nats!

      • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        Good job, sjm. I don’t think they are ever worried who votes for what.

        https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petitions/popular/0/2/0

      • Section 222 - Mar 8, 2014 at 7:55 AM

        Columbus Day for Opening Day sounds like a very fair trade to me. Besides, it falls in the federal holiday dead zone between Presidents Day and Memorial Day, so I’d vote for it for that reason alone. On the other hand, while this year it’s on a Monday, that isn’t always the case is it? The only federal holidays that fall on the actual dates are Xmas, New Year’s and July 4. Going to be hard to raise Opening Day to that level.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 8, 2014 at 7:59 AM

        If White House can make opening day a holiday, MLB should arrange it so that it falls on a Monday every season.

      • Section 222 - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:43 AM

        Good point. Just to be clear, Congress would have to do this, not the WH. Don’t get your hopes up. :-)

      • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        What about the executive order? :P

    • natsfan1a - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:04 AM

      Eh, whatever. I’m not big on opening day. Plus, was it started by a Cards fan? :-)

      “creator
      A. B.
      Saint Louis, MO
      February 24, 2014
      Signature # 1″

      • natsfan1a - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:06 AM

        I’ll be watching, of course. Just not big on being there for it. After all, I’ve got the whole rest of the season.

      • NatsLady - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:25 AM

        I’m going to the home opener this year, because it’s on a Friday, a light day for me work-wise. You get the free cap and the excitement… if it’s not, y’know, SNOWING.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:56 AM

        in this case, they come under baseball fans so it is all good for me.

  30. ArVAFan - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    A laugh for Saturday a.m.: the Marlins complained that the Red Sox only sent one player who was likely to make the opening day roster to their spring training game. OK, the rules are that you’re supposed to send at least four, but the RS said they were “dealing with injuries and working on things” and the Red Sox apologized to Loria.

    But the second-string (or lower) Red Sox out-hit the Marlins 7-2 and the game ended in a scoreless tie.

    As many of the other bloggers have said, the apology should have been by the Marlins to their fans, not from the Red Sox to Marlins, for putting a AAA team on the field.

  31. Joe Seamhead - Mar 8, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    Tyler Moore didn’t do much to help himself yesterday with 3 K’s.I know, I know, it’s only spring training, but I think the book is out on how to pitch to him. The guy will crush a fastball in the strike zone with great consistency, but will flail and miss at any 2 strike off speed pitch out of the zone with even greater consistency.

    For purely selfish reasons I’m not all in on the Opening Day Fed Holiday idea.It’s hard enough getting tix for the home opener as it is already.

    • sjm308 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      Seam – would you keep Hairston or Moore? I still can’t understand the concept of keeping them both but I obviously am not running the show. Moore is still young enough that he might turn it around and figure out how to hit major league pitching. I think Hairston has pretty well shown what he can do and to me, its not that much.
      I have been impressed with the early results of Skole but realize he will start in the minors. I think he might actually be given a strong shot next year at first.

      My bench has McClouth, Lobaton, Espinosa (sorry to all the haters), Walters/Carroll (I would prefer the youth but I understand he might do better by playing every day in AAA for one more year) and Moore.
      McClouth is obviously getting the most playing time as the #4 outfielder but can also enter a game as a pinch runner if needed.
      Espinosa can handle all 3 infield positions or you can move Rendon to 3rd on days LaRoche is rested and Danny can also pinch run
      Carroll would be your late inning pinch hitter as would Moore who can also handle first base if you want to keep Ryan at 3rd.
      I think this gives us more flexibility than having both Hairston and Moore but obviously we are losing that power bat if you put Carroll on the bench in place of Hairston.

      Would like to hear more news on Fister but you know they are going to keep that quiet for some time.

      Go Nats!

  32. Joe Seamhead - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    sjm308, i am with, some regrets, with you on Espy as the utility guy.At 40 years old I have no use for Carroll. I never understood the Hairston move to begin with. At 27 Moore isn’t that young for what he has shown. The guy is a lummox with no position, in my opinion. Skole needs more time, but he may end up being better suited to play 1B than 3rd. The guy that should be most ready to move up is Goodwin. Honestly, I wish that Hairston didn’t have a guaranteed contract. I’d take Eury Perez over him, yet I see Perez as more the fringe player the Nats resorted to in the earlier years, but so is Scott Hairston. Perez is a better outfielder and a better baserunner than Hairston is. For that matter, so is Goodwin.
    I think that all of us tend to forget how bankrupt of talent that this team was as recently as 3 years ago. Rizzo has done an overall great job in building a very good team, but there are still a few more holes to fill. It’s getting very close.

    • nats128 - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      Im a +1 on Hairston with you and sjm. Its a repitition of the mistake with Stairs and Tracy and the difference is they were lefthanded and naturally get more opportunities in a dominant right-handed world.

      There is no other team in the NL that has a player I can see like Hairston. Poor defense and cant hit righty pitchers and is slow. Heres the problem, Tyler Moore isnt much better.

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)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
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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)...

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