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Nats vs. Astros — 3/10/14

Mar 10, 2014, 3:13 PM EST

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They’ll play under the lights tonight at Space Coast Stadium, where the Nationals host the Astros in a rare, spring training evening game. Gio Gonzalez is on the mound for the Nats, making his second Grapefruit League start after tossing two scoreless innings against the Mets on Wednesday.

We tend to focus on the pitchers during spring training, but it should be noted that most of the Nationals’ lineup regulars have been awful productive at the plate so far. That includes several guys playing tonight, including Denard Span (6-for-15, two stolen bases), Bryce Harper (3-for-11, one homer, .429 OBP), Ryan Zimmerman (6-for-16, one homer), Adam LaRoche (5-for-15, two homers) and Zach Walters (7-for-12, 1.810 OPS).

We’ll see if that production can be sustained over the final 2 1/2 weeks of camp. Enjoy the game tonight and the conversation right here…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. HOUSTON ASTROS
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 6:05 p.m. EST
TV: None
Radio: 1580 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 69 degrees, Wind 8 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
SS Jamey Carroll
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
2B Zach Walters
C Jose Lobaton
DH Jhonatan Solano
RF Steven Souza Jr.
(LHP Gio Gonzalez)

ASTROS
Lineup TBA

  1. naterialguy - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    When will they start paring down the rosters? Anybody have a clue?

    • veejh - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      Think I hey already have. Skole was already sent down.

  2. veejh - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Walters 1.81 OPS? Holy sweet Jesus!

  3. natinalsgo - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Zach Walters at 2nd base!!!! I made that suggestion last week.

    • letswin3 - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      Yep, and he played third yesterday. Plus, he’s getting lots of starts and reps. If indeed there is a deal in the making involving Espinosa, I think Walters could be our utility infielder …. and a switch-hitting late innings pinch hitter. The question of his plate discipline is still valid, but he looks to be making real progress with that, and his hitting (including power hitting) is hard to ignore. It’s late in a game, with a right-hander on the mound, and our pitcher is due up …. who would you rather pinch hit, Danny or Zach? As you can tell, I like the guy.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        I still think if you go with Walters then Carroll is the real utility infielder as he is more sure handed.

        Given Matty’s glowing comments on Rendon this morning on WaPo I’m convinced Rendon is the starter. I also agree with comments that if Danny can’t be traded for value then he’s the backup with Walters going to AAA

    • Doc - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      Until Danny landed in ‘Cuse last year, that’s were Zach played. Thereafter, he played a lot of SS.

  4. adcwonk - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Totally off topic: tix for second week are *cheap*! I just got some for the Nats game against the Marlins on Apr 8 (where, presumably the opening day pitcher — perhaps Stras — would likely start). There are a good number of 300-level tix going for $9 (includes all fees), and even a few for under $8.

    (I splurged and got some $10 tix ;-) )

    • adcwonk - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      Doh! I forgot to mention — the prices quoted above, and the tix I got — are from Stubhub.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      I already bought Harper’s bobblehead game tickets. I feel that the price will go up.

  5. tcostant - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Also the preseason game vs. the Tigers is dirt cheap too. For $7 you can sit in the LF Corner and this game is a Saturday this year. If the waether is nice, should be fun…

  6. knoxvillenat - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Interesting to see Walters playing second base tonight. I was reading earlier today that perhaps the Dodgers and the Brewers could be in the market for a second baseman.

    • letswin3 - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      Quick Rizzo, get on the phone. Tell em you have an inexpensive and experienced second baseman, with speed, a gold glove caliber glove and more than a little pop in his bat when he makes contact….and his name rhymes with lespinosa. Tell em we’ll take an A-ball pitcher, any position prospect in their pipeline ranked between 5 and 10 and fill up our clubhouse Coke machine for a year.

  7. adcwonk - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Yikes! Braves!

    Still no word yet on Medlen’s MRI. Then Beachy left today’s game with forearm tightness in the 2nd inning (!).

    All this leads the Atlanta paper to muse: “do you realize there is a real chance the Braves could begin the season with a five-man rotation that made a total of 51 major league starts in 2013, with 30 of those starts made by Julio Teheran? It could happen, given that Mike Minor still hasn’t faced hitters yet this spring and might start the season on the 15-day DL while he continues to catch up with the other starters.”

    Yowza!

    • veejh - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      I feel badly for Braves fans………uhhhhhhhhhhh, not really.

      • masterfishkeeper - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:34 PM

        Well, I agree, but I do feel badly for Medlen and Beachy. Hate to see anyone get hurt.

      • adcwonk - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:46 PM

        Agreed. Wishing injuries on anybody is bad karma, imho, and a lousy thing to do.

        But, as veejh, noted: feelings about the fans is an entirely different manner.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:05 PM

        When Bryce smashed into the wall they tweeted jokes on it. Here I’m sort of feeling bad for them.

  8. David Proctor - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    Fister is going to throw off flat ground tomorrow and could be back on the mound by the end of the week if all goes well. Let’s cross our fingers.

  9. Doc - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    Onion in the DH spot tonight!

    Good place for ol’ Matty to put some thunder in the lineup!! LOL

  10. DaveB - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Off topic, but I haven’t heard anything about Sammy Solis recently, after he got a bunch of notice early. I wasn’t expecting him to be in the mix to start the season with the Nats, but certainly thought he’d get some outings before getting sent down to get regular innings (kinda like Skole). Did he get hurt, and I missed it?

  11. Drew - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    Maybe the Nats are showcasing Walters, not Espinosa. Just sayin’.

    If Zim, not Skole, is the 2015 1b, then Rendon presumably plays third with Espinosa at second.

    I’d love to see Skole get a shot at 1b, but I imagine they’ll want to keep Espinosa around as a 2b contingency.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:07 PM

      I think both are being showcased. Walters fielding unfortunately will scare many off plus he only has 8 MLB at-bats.

  12. sunshinebobby - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Barves’ Beachy doesn’t exactly sound like he’s headed to the DL. From the AP:

    After pitching two innings instead of a scheduled four, Beachy sounded optimistic.
    “I’m not worried about it at all,” he said. “I’ve seen the doctors and they’ve done everything. My ligament is fine. I’ve got some inflammation in there and it got a little too tight in my bicep. It was just a little unproductive to keep pushing it.”

    • natinalsgo - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:47 PM

      As Beachy throws 85 to 87. Sorry, that’s a problem . Then Chipper tweets Medlen is done for the year.

  13. natinalsgo - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    “@ReaICJ10: Braves aren’t breaking the news but medlen is done for the year. Gonna be tough year for the bravos”

    Isn’t there a protocol that you don’t do this as a player or former player?

    • natinalsgo - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      Hang on, seems that is a hacked Chipper Jones.

  14. natinalsgo - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    As I theorized yesterday immediately after Medlen was hurt I thought the Barves would turn to Ervin Santana. That theory has gained steam last night and now the rumors are ablaze. I wonder if they have the budget to all of a sudden absorb $14 million or thereabouts.

  15. David Proctor - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    On the Mid-Atlantic Sports report, they just picked the 2012 Orioles as the most memorable season in SPORTS HISTORY.

    This channel is a joke.

    • nats128 - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:56 PM

      A complete embarassment. Its like one big info-mercial pushing the Angelos agenda. I guess that kind of makes it like Russian TV in Crimea, a propoganda machine.

  16. sunshinebobby - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    +1, Mr. Proctor

  17. David Proctor - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    Gio strikes out the side in the first.

  18. David Proctor - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    Leadoff double by Span, Carroll moves him over with a groundball to the right side, Harper drives him in with a grounder to the right side. 1-0 Nats

    • nats128 - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:31 PM

      Another reason the ST stats dont mean alot. A can of corn out becomes a HR.

    • nats128 - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:33 PM

      Have to love how Carroll handles a bat. If he doesnt move Span to 3rd then no run scores that inning. Its a out on his BA and stats but as good as a Sac Bunt.

  19. David Proctor - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    Gio strikes out the first 5, then gives up an infield single and a wind-aided homer.

    • nats128 - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      Another reason the ST stats dont mean alot. A can of corn out becomes a HR.

  20. Drew - Mar 10, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    These are the times that are Treinen men’s souls.

  21. David Proctor - Mar 10, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    Soriano is getting killed right now. FWIW, Soriano usually has bad Springs and 3 of the hits were weak (1 was a bunt one Walters should have gotten to and another was off Soriano’s glove). Still, two sharp doubles as well.

  22. David Proctor - Mar 10, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Souza homer. He’s ready, call him up

  23. Candide - Mar 10, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    Cunegonde and I are back from Melbourne/Viera and after searching for our car for an hour at IAD and tipping a tow truck driver a couple of bucks to help me find it, we’re home.

    I have about 65 pictures up at https://www.facebook.com/bernie.gilbert.7/media_set?set=a.835400619818961.1073741849.100000470932702&type=3

    Should be accessible to anyone and everyone; you don’t have to be my Facebook friend to look at them, though I won’t refuse friends request from any NIers (warning – my strong political opinions often show up there…)

  24. ehay2k - Mar 10, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    Any NI folks at the game? I was wondering if in person, it looked like the Nats were really running the bases hard and well. On the radio, it seemed that way. In the 9th, when Tyler Moore advanced to 3rd, was it an easy trek or was he running hard, ready for the play, etc?

  25. Jonny Rasch - Mar 10, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    Here is an instant recap of tonight’s game

    http://seriousjammage.com/2014/03/10/the-good-bad-and-ugly-spring-training-game-12-nats-vs-astros/

  26. philipd763 - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    I have never thought much of Soriano and his lousy attitude and his lousy performance so far this season has done nothing to change my mind. Rizzo should be lining up a new closer.

    • janebeard - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      We have one. His name is Drew.

      • David Proctor - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:36 PM

        Drew was far worse than Soriano last year. 2 games in early March aren’t going to change things.

    • Hiram Hover - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      LOL – “so far this season” – you mean in all 1.2 innings?

      I don’t really like Soriano either, and thought it was a bad use of $$ to sign him at the time. But his ST training #s mean literally nothing. Soriano is notorious for putting up bad #s in ST. His best season in the majors (2010, 1.73 ERA, 45 of 48 saves converted) came after his worst spring training (11.25 ERA in 4 appearances). I think I’d worry more about a reverse jinx if he started putting up good #s.

      By the way, 2010 was also a walk year for him. Say what you will about the man, but he does step it up when it’s time to get paid. Here’s hoping that at least that motivates him in 2014.

      • sjm308 - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:13 PM

        Excellent job of finding those stats on Soriano HH.

        I agree with just about everything here. Not a big favorite of mine, definitely overpaid, and I really like Storen and hope he will figure everything out and end up our closer next year. Reality is, Soriano is going nowhere this year so all those people moaning and complaining will have a long year. Actually, if he is as good as last year we should be just fine and I think he will be just a little better since he is pitching for his next contract.

        I did not see it today but I can just imagine that he treated this just like batting practice and probably grooved most of his pitches.

        My choice here instead of bashing him will be to just hope for the best, hope Matt will give Storen multiple opportunities to close throughout the year (I can’t see Soriano reaching the number set to give him an automatic extention but I also hope Williams knows about that as well), and hope that Soriano ends up with the 2nd most saves in the NL for a 2nd year in a row.

        Seriously though, he pitches twice in the spring and people are already giving up. Lets bench Werth while we are at it since I think he has just one hit so far, and lets start Walters since he will obvioulsy hit around .500 this year. Its a marathon people April-May-June-July-August-September and hopefully OCTOBER!!!

        Go Nats!!

      • zmunchkin - Mar 11, 2014 at 6:25 AM

        +1

  27. realdealnats - Mar 11, 2014 at 12:22 AM

    Regarding previous thread:

    Span
    Werth
    Harper
    Zim
    Desi
    Ramos
    ALR
    Rendon

    Maybe Rendon moves up to 2nd later in the season

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