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Nats (ss) vs. Braves, Nats (ss) vs. Cardinals — 3/8/14

Mar 8, 2014, 10:00 AM EST

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The Nationals experience the first of three split-squad days for the spring, with Matt Williams managing one-half the squad in Viera against the Braves (who also are split up today) and Randy Knorr leading the other half in Jupiter against the Cardinals.

Ross Detwiler gets the start against Atlanta, looking for better results than he got Monday vs. the Yankees. With Doug Fister shelved at least temporarily with elbow inflammation, the Nationals certainly would love for Detwiler to enjoy a smooth spring and not leave himself a question mark at all. Slated to pitch behind Detwiler: Taylor Jordan, who was originally going to start against St. Louis but was kept back because Williams wants to get another look at him in person. Hmm…

That means Chris Young will start the road game against the Cardinals. The big right-hander hasn’t drawn a whole lot of attention so far this spring, but today provides an opportunity (against a really tough lineup) to impress the Nationals’ staff.

Charlie and Dave have the radio call of the home game, while the Cardinals’ crew has the other contest, so get ready to flip back and forth a whole lot this afternoon…

Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
TV: None
Radio: 1500 AM, 1580 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 66 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to RF

CF Denard Span
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
2B Danny Espinosa
C Jose Lobaton
RF Eury Perez
DH Chris Snyder
(LHP Ross Detwiler)

RF Jordan Schafer
SS Andrelton Simmons
1B Freddie Freeman
DH Evan Gattis
3B Chris Johnson
2B Dan Uggla
LF Todd Cunningham
CF Matt Lipka
C Jose Yepez
(RHP David Hale)

Where: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
TV: None
Radio: (Cardinals feed)
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 70 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from CF

2B Anthony Rendon
SS Jamey Carroll
CF Nate McLouth
LF Scott Hairston
1B Tyler Moore
3B Will Rhymes
DH Brock Peterson
C Sandy Leon
RF Steven Souza Jr.
(RHP Chris Young)

3B Matt Carpenter
SS Jhonny Peralta
LF Matt Holliday
RF Allen Craig
C Yadier Molina
1B Matt Adams
2B Mark Ellis
CF Jon Jay
DH Oscar Taveras
(RHP Michael Wacha)

  1. nats128 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    Nats playing Braves and Cardinals. The 2 teams I dislike much. Add the Phoolies and we have a Trifecta!

    • knoxvillenat - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:03 AM


      I can understand your feelings about the Barves and the Phoolies but out of curiosity what is it you don’t like about the Cards? I’ve always thought them to be one of the better franchises in baseball and their fans to be some of the best in the country. I hate losing to them as much as the next person but if I was an owner ( a real dream), I’d want my GM to look at how they do things in running their business model and try to incorporate as much as possible from them into the way we do business.

      • nats128 - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        Great fans and I thought the way the players gloated after Game 5 in 2012 was beyond unprofessional and hard to forget. On top of that, Shannon and the other drunk on there radio coverage are haters.

        Ive gone to road games in St Louis many times and love the passion of there fans. Hopefully the Nats fanbase can grow like that however we are 10 years old and they were established in 1882. Thats multiple generations of fans and 23 pennants where you have a winning franchise helps in keeping the fanbase together.

      • therealjohnc - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        I, too, disliked the Cardinal’s players reactions to the NLDS. That, and I’ve always had a negative feeling about Matt Holiday. So do umpires. As the Nats learned, the Cardinals as a team get a lot of deference from umpires, with borderline calls invariably tilting their way. Except for Holiday, who has managed to annoy umpires so much that he tends to get a bigger strike zone than normal. Understandable (he’s kind of a jerk), but while I don’t officially approve of it I admit from time to time I’ve enjoyed it.

      • therealjohnc - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        Oh, and the Cardinals’ fans as a rule are great, but they’ve taken the mantle of “best fans in baseball” a little too much to heart IMHO. They’ve become the fanbase equivalent of Brian McCann, keepers of the secret flame of baseball who cannot be questioned at all because THEY are TBFIBB. That’s annoying.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        Well said about the Cardinals and John’s analogy to McCann gets you thinking about the chip on the shoulder.

        You build your fanbase with the youth and the Cardinals go to great lengths to work that successfully.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        we would have said similar things if we were in their shows, winners write history and all.

  2. letswin3 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    Thought I read that Roark was going to start one of the games today??

    • sjm308 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      Roark pitched yesterday – did a nice job

      • letswin3 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:43 AM


  3. sjm308 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Will be leaving shortly for the Newseum where Johnny Holiday is giving a talk on the Nationals. I don’t have high expectations on this but it gives me a chance to spend an afternoon with my son if nothing else.

    • nats128 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      That’s the key spending time with the fam and them wanting to spend time with you!

    • thenatom - Mar 8, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      And enjoying Nats baseball with him!

  4. nats128 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Braves injury report:

    I wonder when all those innings on Kimbrel will land him in arm trouble. Both Venters and OFlaherty were used excessively and both had arm issues. Kimbrel has over 209 innings on his arm the last 3 seasons which includes post-season.

    Sure Mariano put up more innings but didnt become a full time closer until 27 and Kimbrel at 23. Kimbrel is a fastball/curveball guy and Mariano was strictly a fasball guy.

    I will be curious to see when Kimbrel hits a decline or injury based on age/use and velocity.

  5. Sonny G 10 - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    Oh, boy. Two games today. I’ll probably chose the Barves game to listen to.

  6. NatsLady - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    Where is Jayson? DId Eury muff that ball in RF?

    • David Proctor - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      Eury is so overrated.

      • Joe Seamhead - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:53 PM

        Not sure what you base that Eury as being over-rated on? I think most here see him as a fringe player.Defensively? I know errors are not an exact science but in 630 minor league games Perez has been charged with a grand total of 24 errors, a very respectable .983 fielding percentage. Michael Taylor, christened the “best defensive outfielder on the planet” in a WP column last week has been charge with 42 errors in 410 games for a mediocre fielding percentage for an outfielder of.962. Perez also has better offensive stats on virtually every metric. I realize Taylor is younger with a lot of up side, but he hasn’t exactly proved anything other than he has potential so far. I don’t see Perez as ever being a starting ML outfielder, but of the 630 minor league games he’s played in only 39 have been in RF. When playing in right, he’s playing out of position. I’ve watched him play CF and he plays it well.

      • thenatom - Mar 8, 2014 at 4:28 PM

        I agree with Joe. Eury is a good defensive CF and a base-stealing threat even at the MLB-level but he just can’t hit. IMO, he would be a useful guy to have in the playoffs when you need to be manufacturing runs over a 4th outfielder type like Hairston and I think Williams will like him in that regard. Obviously, he’s a AAA player but I’m excited to see him in September.

      • Melissa - Mar 8, 2014 at 4:37 PM

        Joe- For what it’s worth, Michael Taylor was drafted as a shortstop, and he switched to the outfield in pro ball. He also had twenty outfield assists last season.

      • Joe Seamhead - Mar 8, 2014 at 6:50 PM

        Melissa, i stand corrected about Taylor, you’re correct. My point was meant to be that i don’t think anybody has “overrated” Eury Perez, and I do think that Michael has a lot of upside, but at this point it’s “potential.” We’ve all seen a lot of potential that was never realized from many other players.

      • Steady Eddie - Mar 8, 2014 at 7:14 PM

        Having been at the game, Perez didn’t muff the catch, but he was a split second late breaking in for it. Was a soft liner with a fair amount of backspin on it but he didn’t get the greatest read on what was a tough hit to read, probably because of his relative unfamiliarity in right. I’m entiry neutral about Perez myself and agree with those who think he’s likely to be a fourth MLB outfielder at best, and that only if he picks up his hitting. I also think they’ll have an awfully hard time keeping Brian Goodwin out of CF at Syracuse this year. Goodwin made a great running catch of a curving liner into deep right-center late in the game today, hit by Todd CunninghAm.

  7. natinalsgo - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Brock Peterson breaks up Wacha’s no-hitter.

  8. David Proctor - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Espinosa with an opposite field double.

  9. David Proctor - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Espinosa scores from second on an infield hit by Span.

    • realdealnats - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      +1 Maybe this will help get him back on the good foot.

  10. realdealnats - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Good work Det. Accent on work.

  11. Steady Eddie - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Nice to see Danny helping his own cause, with his glove with a good first inning stab of Schaeffers sharp grounder, with his bat –aking solid contact and not trying to demolish the ball– and with good baserunning smarts and hustle.

  12. David Proctor - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Taylor Jordan with 3 straight strikeouts.

  13. David Proctor - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Espinosa with a walk and stolen base. Really good game for him today.

  14. Steady Eddie - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Dan email manufacturing two of the Nats’ three runs today.

  15. Steady Eddie - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    “Dan email” out of “Danny”?

  16. David Proctor - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    6 strikeouts in 3 innings for Jordan. Gave up 1 run.

  17. Steady Eddie - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Taylor making a serious case for the number five rotation spot today.

  18. Steady Eddie - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Jordan showing mostly impressive command of his repertoire of pitches and very impressive demeanor out on the mound today — no fidgeting or marching around, just very calmly going about his business.

  19. David Proctor - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Harper singles and Zimmerman homers off Yunesky Maya. Poetic justice.

    • David Proctor - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      And ALR goes back to back. Same old Maya.

  20. Doc - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Hope Williams liked what he saw from Jordan to-day!! He was quoted as saying he wanted to take a look at him.

    6 Ks in 3 innings!

    Meanwhile, Det continues to struggle.

    • David Proctor - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      He didn’t really struggle. He gave up 3 hits in the second inning, but one was a bunt, the other hit the runner which was an out and a base hit and the third was an infield single.

      • Doc - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        Depends what you mean by ‘struggle’ DP.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:22 PM


  21. Section 222 - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    sjm, if you see this, I’d be interested in report of Johnny H’s Newseum speech. Out of the shadow of the Silver Fox?

    • sjm308 - Mar 8, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      Dueces – it was so much better than I would have thought. To be clear, Johnny & I know each other from my years as a coach at Maryland but I have not been a huge fan of his pre & post game shows. He is honestly a legend and his ease in front of a sold out audience at the Newseum was just an enjoyable hour. In q & a he was definitive on Rendon as his choice for 2nd base. He feels Zimm will play fewer games at 1st then reported because he thinks Tyler Moore is going to break out. He was not a big fan of the Soriano signing and felt the nationals did not support Storen well after that loss. He avoided the MASN question & said he does not know the inner workings on that. He loves working with the Silver Fox who called him “Jerry” the first time they met. Their pre & post games are done without a teleprompter which I found interesting. Ray gets a lot more angry with players than he lets on when on TV. He basically answered every question quickly and firmly except one about Maryland’s move to the big ten. He prefaced his answer that he was going to be political and understood money was the driving force. If you read between the lines, he would prefer to stay in the ACC. He told one final story about the end of the 2012 season where he and Ray and the producer were already figuring out travel schedules for the next series and how difficult it was to come on after that loss. He obviously is hoping this is a great year for the nats.

      Again, much better than I had hoped for and I was impressed at how many people were there.

      • Another_Sam - Mar 8, 2014 at 9:08 PM

        thanks for the report, sjm308. i’m quite a JH fan; i agree, he’s a legend here. i like the fox, and their chemistry on the air.

      • sjm308 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:39 PM

        Sam – Johnny said that Ray was the finest partner he had ever worked with in any sport. They have been together for 8 years now. I had forgotten that Johnny at one time had done the Redskins. Hell, he has done just about everything. He was nominated for a Helen Hayes award for local theater and lost to Stacey Keach! Rock & Roll dj, Cleveland Browns football, local radio and the Terps for 35 years!!

    • natinalsgo - Mar 8, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      Make that “typical inflammation”.

  22. Jacob Rasch - Mar 8, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    Our recap of the Nats-Cardinals game, which featured strong performances by A.J. Cole and Chris Young:

  23. Eugene in Oregon - Mar 8, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    From what I can tell from the box scores and write-ups, the tie against the Cardinals was probably more impressive than the win against the Braves.

  24. natsjackinfl - Mar 8, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    Note to Fast Eddie. We do have takers for the tickets to the Cards game tomorrow. Meet us at the Mobil Station at on Fiske Boulevard just past McDonalds at 11:45. Let me know.

    • Candide - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:01 PM

      Also note to Steady Eddie, NatsJack told us today he’d point us out to you Sunday. Well be in section 119. Chime by and say hi!

      • Candide - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:02 PM

        Chime by? Seriously, autocorrect?

        COME by…

      • Sonny G 10 - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:32 PM

        Hey, I kind’a like “chime by” . Has a certain ring to it. :)

      • Steady Eddie - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:20 PM

        Sounds good — we were in 117 today but will be in 103, row 5 tomorrow. Nicer to have the sun on your back down the first base line than in your face, but nice views all around.

        Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow! Hope the game is as good as the last two.

        And chime in does sound appropriately inviting.

    • Steady Eddie - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:13 PM

      NatsJack — we’re going to be at the minor league fields from ~11 on – we could meet you on Stadium blvd? Where are you parking?

  25. Eugene in Oregon - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    Don’t know if folks are following the brouhaha between the Red Sox and Marlins, but the tweet from the Red Sox owner that’s quoted is on-the-mark:

    • Sonny G 10 - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      That was pretty funny!

    • Section 222 - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:17 AM

      Thanks for posting this. See my comment below.

  26. Candide - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    Things I like about Florida:

    Meeting NatsJack at the game – wish he’d been able to bring Harper along😢
    70 mph on I95
    75 degrees at 2:00 pm.
    Senior movie tickets are $5, and senior means 55 or older.
    Parking spaces in lots are HUGE.
    Mark’s dining recommendations. Bonefish Willy’s was great. Cunegonde had the grouper bruschetta that Mark recommended and loved it. I had oysters and Caesar salad.

    Things I don’t like:
    55 degrees at 6:00 pm. How am I supposed to dress for the day?
    Gas is about 10 cents more/gallon than in NoVa.
    Beer at Space Coast Stadium isn’t any cheaper than at Nats Park.
    No matter where you get it, the tap water here has an odd plastic-y taste. Was true at Orlando airport, all restaurants we’ve eaten at, our hotel room. Even the apple juice at the continental breakfast this am had that taste, meaning, of course, that it was reconstituted from concentrate locally.

    Having a great time!

    • sjm308 - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:52 PM

      I love this – where else can you get a play by play on the mundane everyday things going on at spring training.

      Upset with the beer prices and I am not even there.

      Love the big parking spaces.

      Have fun and keep those reports coming!!!

      • Another_Sam - Mar 8, 2014 at 9:05 PM

        for reasons i never know, all parking spaces in Fla seems to be very large

        yes on bonefish willy’s

        see you guys at the parks in a couple of weeks.

      • Steady Eddie - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:22 PM

        Large parking spaces = giving the ancient ones plenty of room. And the many SUVs of course for all that rugged trail road driving up the mountains.

  27. Steady Eddie - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    “Ancient ones” not of course a comment on anyone here — I’m getting uncomfortably up into senior territory myself. (I was talking about the ones who are of the age where they couldn’t pass a driver’s test if their lives literally depended on it.)

  28. Section 222 - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    sjm, thanks for the report on Johnny H at the Newseum. Great stuff, and really nice of you to take the time to write it. Anyone who hasn’t seen it, scroll up to my comment at 3:22 pm and sjm’s reply.

    Thanks again.

  29. Section 222 - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:20 AM

    And thanks to Eugene for the link to the funny retort by the Red Sox GM to the Marlins.

    Of course, the real outrage is trying to make an extra buck off your loyal fans who come to Spring Training games by charging premium prices to see the Red Sox….. IN SPRING TRAINING. Give me a break.

    Well, it is the Marlins and Loria, of course. What would you expect?

    • Eugene in Oregon - Mar 9, 2014 at 1:57 AM

      I was thinking a pox on both their houses — the Marlins for the reasons you cite, the Red Sox for sending a two-bit traveling squad.

      • Section 222 - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:04 AM

        Can’t say the Nats were any better yesterday. Maybe it’s different on split squad days. And we did send Rendon.

  30. nats128 - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    Section 222, probably a few days away from seeing the Opening Day lineup starting a game together. It almost never happens that the starting lineup you finished a season with will be your Opening Day lineup the following season and thats the case here.

    The only changes will be the bench and the back of the rotation and the front of the bullpen. Choosing between Espinosa, Carroll, Walters and Kobernus along with how Tyler Moore can make this team is as exciting to watch unfold to me as the #5 starter.

  31. nats128 - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Nice write-up on Taylor Jordan who was a K machine yesterday. Sounds like his slider is getting the movement he wants.

    • Candide - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      Yes, he looked good out there, but it wasn’t exactly Murderers Row he was facing. Still thinking he’ll start in Syracuse and be in DC at the first sign of trouble.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:07 AM

        I liked reading that Taylor Jordan is getting the feel back on his slider. Many have to remember he’s a Tommy John survivor and last year was year 1.

        His upside is tremendous.

  32. Steady Eddie - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Good article in WaPo Nats Journal this morning re Detwiler working on his off speed pitches yesterday. And I have to admit as impressed as I was by Taylor Jordan’s performance yesterday, that Detwiler did a lot better then in his first appearance against the Yankees. Sure, he gave up six hits in two innings. But one was the soft liner that Perez slightly misplayed and Werth would have gotten, one was the hard grounder that hit the runner and that Danny would have turned into a double play otherwise, and the third was the bunt that Detwiler bobbled. Then you have the hard grounder that Zimmerman gloved nicely but couldn’t find the handle on (admittedly, he saved a double in the process) and two line drive Singles. Hardly a dominating performance, sure, but not exactly getting battered either.

    If Detwiler continues to improve it will be a hard choice to make, and I suspect that it will be Detwiler’s to lose given his full season track record in 2012 — IF he stays healthy. On the other hand, if at the end of spring training there’s still a lot of questions about his consistent command of his offspeed stuff, we could see Detwiler in the bullpen and both giving him a chance to get stretched out and taking a longer look at Jordan. Not a bad problem to have!

    • Candide - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:02 AM

      Eddie, look for Cunegonde and me in 119, row 6 today. NatsJack can point us out, he has a picture on Twitter.

      • Steady Eddie - Mar 9, 2014 at 11:51 AM

        We can find you in 119 — we’re here already(came to watch the MiLB camp like we did yesterday but they had a very abbreviated warmup session and no BP today) so we came in when they opened the gates at 11:30.

  33. nats128 - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    and the best news of the day:





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