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Nats (ss) vs. Astros, Nats (ss) vs. Braves — 3/12/14

Mar 12, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT

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It’s another split-squad day for the Nationals, with both games on the road this afternoon. In Kissimmee, Tanner Roark takes the mound to face the Astros, with mostly backups (except for Ian Desmond) behind him in the field. Most notable about this game: It’s the first time the Nats are playing a game with instant replay technology. Look for Matt Williams to challenge at least one call at some point. Also notable: Jerome Williams is starting for Houston. You may (or may not) remember him as a member of the Nats’ Opening Day rotation in 2007 … who was released after going 0-5 with a 7.20 ERA in six ghastly starts.

Just up the road in Lake Buena Vista, Chris Young gets the start against the Braves, with most of the Nats lineup regulars on that trip. The lone exception: Ryan Zimmerman, who stayed back in Viera due to what Williams told reporters was “general soreness.” What exactly does that mean? Your guess is as good as mine.

You can watch (or listen) to the game vs. the Astros online (or, even better, stay up til 4 a.m. to watch the replay on MLB Network!) and you can listen to the game vs. the Braves online as well. Plenty to keep the conversation going here today…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS (ss) vs. HOUSTON ASTROS
Where: Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MLB.tv (Astros’ feed), MLB Network (tape delayed, 4 a.m. EDT)
Radio: MLB.com (Astros’ feed)
Weather: Chance of storms, 75 degrees, Wind 13 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (ss)
CF Nate McLouth
3B Will Rhymes
SS Ian Desmond
C Jose Lobaton
1B Tyler Moore
DH Chris Snyder
LF Scott Hairston
CF Eury Perez
2B Mike Fontenot
(RHP Tanner Roark)

ASTROS
CF Dexter Fowler
2B Jose Altuve
C Jason Castro
DH Marc Krauss
1B Chris Carter
3B Matt Dominguez
RF L.J. Hoes
LF Robbie Grossman
SS Jonathan Villar
(RHP Jerome Williams)

WASHINGTON NATIONALS (ss) vs. ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Disney’s Wide World of Sports, Lake Buena Vista
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: None
Radio: MLB.com (Braves’ feed)
Weather: Chance of storms, 77 degrees, Wind 13 mph RF to LF

NATIONALS (ss)
CF Denard Span
SS Danny Espinosa
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
3B Anthony Rendon
1B Adam LaRoche
2B Zach Walters
DH Brock Peterson
C Sandy Leon
(RHP Chris Young)

BRAVES
DH Jason Heyward
CF Matt Lipka
1B Freddie Freeman
LF Ryan Doumit
2B Dan Uggla
C Gerald Laird
3B Edward Salcedo
RF Mark Hamilton
SS Elmer Reyes
(LHP Alex Wood)

104 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. natsfan1a - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    hmmm…guess I’ll listen to the Houston game via Gameday, at least to start out, seeing as how they’re rolling out the replay technology. Can’t watch the replay because we no longer have MLB Network in our package (moment of silence).

    Speaking of replays, was at the gym this am. and ESPN was showing highlights from the various ST games. Sadly, they didn’t show McCann’s, er, rear-over-teakettle maneuver. :-)

    • Section 222 - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      I saw the McCann tumble yesterday. Didn’t hear anyone comment on how he caused it by tossing his mask in the baseline. The 3B tripped right over it. I guess the sheriff isn’t perfect after all.

      • thelatencn - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:20 PM

        You are acorrect, Deuces. I was at the game and saw the whole thing And not only did McCann throw his mask, he also was on his knees, right under the ball, so he couldn’t have gotten out of the way of the 34d Baseman, who was calling for the ball, and should have had priority, which goes to the infielder in such a situation.

  2. natsfan1a - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    (Yeah, I could have worded that better. I do realize that the replay technology being rolled out in today’s game isn’t a full game replay.)

  3. Jb - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    General soreness = baby not sleeping through the night yet.

  4. David Proctor - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Espinosa gets HBP again. Third time this spring. Helping that OBP

  5. Section 222 - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Assuming it’s not a typo, kind of interesting that Espi is playing SS and Walters 2B.

  6. Theophilus T.S. - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Hard to conceive of Jerome Williams being on a major league roster.

  7. wearenationals - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Rain delay in Kissimmee. Meanwhile, former Nat P Nate Karns making his ST debut with the Rays vs Jays.

  8. David Proctor - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Walters lets a high fly ball about 8 feet behind second base fall. Apparently makes no effort to go after it. Werth had to run 100 feet to try to get it, but couldn’t get there. Turns into a double.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      That’s strange.

  9. natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    There you saw the problem with base stealing attempts. Span thrown out easily at 2nd with no outs. Yes, hard to get a good jump on a LHP. The smart alternative is if you can’t get a good jump then don’t go! Span just hasn’t been a smart baserunner.

  10. natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Am I the only one nervous with RZim’s general soreness? His entire career the small stuff has usually become bigger stuff. This offense is only as good as Ryan’s production as he is the catalyst.

    • David Proctor - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      Meh. Guys get days off all the time in Spring so not really. If it were regular season, I’d be more worried.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        I just would have liked more info. What is general soreness? Very vague. Busting hoping he has a completely healthy season from start to finish.

      • Sec3MySofa - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        “General soreness” is probably what the BBC announcers used to refer to when they said a player “looks tired.” They meant he was so hung over he couldn’t walk straight.

      • Sec3MySofa - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        Oh, just kidding. They weren’t even specific about where he was sore, or what from.

        I’d better stop speculating now.

    • Eric - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      Not anymore nervous than I was/am about Fister’s sore elbow, which is to say probably more nervous than I need to be, unless it turns out that I’m not nearly nervous enough ;)

      • natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        That’s how I feel Eric. I’m nervous about Strasburg’s use of Icy Hot too close to the manly parts. Hope it’s nothing to worry about.

      • Eric - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        lol…what?

  11. DaveB - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    Freddie Freeman on fire this ST … I guess maybe he is motivated to justify the big contract extension.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      Freeman, Heyward and Uggla are getting it done for them in ST.

  12. natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Aggressive baserunning on Bryce trying to take 3rd with no outs costs the Nats.

    This is where old school baseball discretion has to take precedence. Can’t be the 1st or last out at 3rd.

  13. NatsLady - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    So, this is what GameDay told me.

    Bryce Harper singles on a line drive to left fielder Ryan Doumit. Bryce Harper advances to 3rd, on a fielding error by left fielder Ryan Doumit. Bryce Harper out at 3rd, center fielder Matt Lipka to shortstop Elmer Reyes to third baseman Edward Salcedo.

    Run ’til they tag you?

  14. NatsLady - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    It’s foggy for the Houston game. Desi a last minute scratch, Houston announcers didn’t give a reason. Low visibility?

    • Eric - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      Maybe Desi and Zim had too much fun last night.

  15. Eric - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Span triple! Nice. Just put some seeing eyes on that ball, Espi.

  16. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    it is the astros, roark.

    • NatsLady - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:34 PM

      Two walks and a hit, but he got out of it with only one run. Visibility is about a foot…

  17. NatsLady - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Minor league game now against the Barves. Go, fellas, rescue the big boys!

    • jd - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      What’s the difference?

  18. natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Desi took a foul ball off his finger. Scratched for precautions.

  19. natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Carroll with a stand up triple that split the gap.

  20. natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    A rare HR given up by Roark and supposedly on a breaking ball.

    Stammen warming up.

  21. jd - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    Roark is hurting his cause for the 5th spot. no?

    • David Proctor - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      I can’t watch the game, but Kilgore says that Roark was victimized by the wind.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        Roark in the 1st inning was a victim of a wind blown double. The HR didn’t sound wind blown.

  22. natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    “@masnKolko: Tanner Roark hangs a curveball, and Jason Castro smokes it over the right field wall. Two-run shot. 3-2 Astros in the 3rd.”

    • natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      David, that tweet from Kolko doesn’t sound wind aided and the Houston announcers said the batter just got all of it.

      • David Proctor - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        Fair enough, I didn’t see it. Kilgore tweeted:

        Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP 41m
        Some good, some bad for Tanner Roark through three. Victimized twice by a strong wind to right, first on a pop-up that fell and by a homer.

        Was just going off that.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        I read that also. Listening on the radio and saw Kolko tweet and both thought he squared up a mistake pitch. I’m sure the wind didn’t hurt the distance.

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

    Yeah, it’s spring training and these are meaningless games. Nonetheless, I am compelled to say this: Booo, Braves! There, I feel better now. :-)

  24. Sec3MySofa - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    “Also notable: Jerome Williams is starting for Houston. “

    Out of Jerome Williams, John Patterson, Matt Chico, and Shawn Hill, who’d’a thunk, then, that Williams would be the one still pitching in 2014?

  25. David Proctor - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Nate McLouth 2 run homer

  26. natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Mark needs to remove McLouth and Fontenot from his list ;)

  27. NatsLady - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Didn’t Hairston get a hit also? Playing the Astros…

    • natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      He did. He got a double.

    • David Proctor - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      He had a solid single and a double (against a righty!). One of them was even a major leaguer.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        Yes, 2-2 batting .190 Wooo Hooo. Ok I’m probably getting a little carried away now.

  28. sjm308 - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Just back from the gym where I had to suffer through Braves announcers. I am now going to whine/rant and between the lines praise Charlie & Dave!

    Those guys were terrible!! If I heard the words “lemmer” once, I heard it 60 times. Mark Lemke has to find a new nickname. He wasn’t too bad actually and at times tried to praise our lads but the other guy was having none of that. Every Braves ball was smoked, every nationals hit was lucky. Buck (I think that was his name) called Harper out for “maturity” issues as Lemke was praising him as a 5 tool guy, comparing him to Heywood. The only guy who got a break was LaRoche who I am guessing Lemke played with on the Braves. Once the subs came in, they made no attempt to identify any National players except for the pitcher. It was ground ball to the SS or fly ball to CF but no names. They were calling names I have never heard of and when I got home, I had to check to see that Kobernus was who scored the run to tie it up. Of course they made no mention of his terrific speed and thought he would have been out at the plate if the regulars (read Upton) had been in the game. “Buck” or whatever his name was went on and on about the Braves pitching and when “lemmer” tried to mention that the Nationals had a pretty nice pitching staff as well he was basically dismissed. They praised Braves front office for moving quickly on Santana and wondered out loud how that must make the rest of the NL East feel since they now won’t miss a beat if repeating as NL East Champs!! Gag Me!!! For some reason they also started hitting on the Mets about not being competitive. Once again Lemke tried to say something nice about the Mets pitching but Buck would have none of it and said they were years away.

    I will repeat again what a great value this MLB at bat app is. I can listen to two national games on the same day even though both will be with the oppositions announcers. Astro guys appear to know a little bit more about our guys and are discussing Stammen’s ground ball rate and just now praised Tyler Moore’s work at first. About the only thing the Braves guy praised was Jason Werth’s hair.

    OK – rant over but please be aware that I feel we have two of the finest working for us.

    Go Nats!!

    • natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      I turned to the Houston broadcast in the split squad game. Everything you said like LEMMER drove me crazy.

      • sjm308 - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:07 PM

        If I never hear that “L” word again it will be fine with me (ha,ha) seriously bad.

    • NatsLady - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:59 PM

      Agree on the Astros announcers. I remember from last year they were respectful and informative.

  29. David Proctor - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Eury Perez has a ball go off his glove. He was sitting under it and just dropped it.

  30. NatsLady - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Eury Perez not doing himself any favors, either. Just dropped a ball right out of his glove.

  31. letswin3 - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    So Walters is starting a heck of a lot of games recently …. and playing short, 3rd and 2nd. I like the guy and think that a case can be made for him serving as the utility infielder … even his questionable discipline at the plate looks to be improving. Plus he’s been raking all ST, and he’s a switch-hitter. Could something be up? Showcasing or getting reps? Maybe a trade involving him or Danny?

  32. NatsLady - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    We definitely have the best. Yesterday, I am watching the Dodgers game, Dan Haren is pitching and the announcers (not Vin Scully but some other guys), and they are TOTALLY making stuff up about Haren. They talk about how poor his performance was before he went on the DL, and how good he was after. OK.

    They definitely had a couple of facts (DL stint, performance before/after) and then they filled out the narrative, right down to how Haren was regularly “receiving treatment from the trainers” and how the Nats were “monitoring” his shoulder and how he tried to pitch through it until it got to be too much and then they put him on the DL. And how “when you have performance that bad you know there is an underlying physical problem…” And then when he went on the DL the trainers did what they needed to do and he got healed.

    It was weird, like when they film a show set in a particular locale and you can absolutely tell it’s not in that place because you live there. (House of Cards, I’m looking at you.)

    • David Proctor - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      It’s especially funny since Haren repeatedly has said himself that his DL stint was more of a mental health break.

      • NatsLady - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        Yeah, and when he was informed he was on the DL for his shoulder, he blurted out “which shoulder?” One of the amusing moments in a not-so-amusing season.

  33. David Proctor - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    Aaron Barrett just made a really good prospect in George Springer look silly.

  34. natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    Oh Nats in the 9th look silly losing to the Astros.

  35. David Proctor - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    Cedeno coughs up a 2 run lead to blow the save and lose the game. Cedeno should really NEVER face right-handers.

  36. pchuck69 - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    Did anyone watching on MLB.tv actually see the ending? It cut out on me.

    • NatsLady - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      It was cutting in and out all afternoon, I think there was something wrong with the Houston feed. I only saw the ending on GameDay, didn’t hear or see it “live.”

    • adcwonk - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      thanks for posting!

  37. Theophilus T.S. - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    M. Gonzalez moves two steps closer to the major league roster without even pitching in a game.

    • Joe Seamhead - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:25 PM

      You might be right!

  38. Joe Seamhead - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    That’s it. I want my money back for my 2014 tickets. We lost to the Barves 3-2 in the 9th with our ace reliever R. Benicasa on the mound and lost to the Astros with a split squad.

    LOL!

    Welcome back Eric! And Gonat, too!

    • Eric - Mar 12, 2014 at 7:09 PM

      Thanks!

      • natinalsgo - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:00 PM

        Thanks. Fun to be back. Been a long time. I still enjoy Tweeting during the game except the limit on words is restrictive to what I can write.

  39. rmoore446 - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    I was at the Braves game. Yes,Harper did his thing.of trying for the extra base when an outfielder seemed to be loading. Didn’t bother me for him to send that message in the spring. It did cost a run. Espinoza looked great on the bases but only there when he was hit by a two strike pitch. He struck out badly next time up. Best at bat was last when he got good wood on the ball before going.
    Not ready to give up on him yet.

    • Eric - Mar 12, 2014 at 7:12 PM

      Me either. I don’t know what it is but I really want Espinosa to pull it together and be a part of the regular crew.

  40. Theophilus T.S. - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    Off any topic: Is Syracuse mgr. Billy Gardner, Jr., related to the old Orioles infielder, Billy Gardner?

    • sjm308 - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      Yep, that’s his dad

    • nats128 - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      Great to read that news! Having Fister at 100% makes any moving around of the rotation a moot point.

      • Eric - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:29 PM

        Agreed, but then you read this and you really hope they don’t rush him…

  41. ehay2k - Mar 12, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    Medlen said he felt pain in his arm and then threw two more pitches? Ouch! I hope those two weren’t what did the final damage, or that they didn’t make it worse. I feel for him: two TJ surgeries is a lot for any guy, even one from a rival team.

    But he threw two more pitches? Yet another reason why young guys get pulled at the first sign of trouble (are you reading this Rob Dibble?)

  42. veejh - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    It appears the Braves should have gone the Stras and JZimm route with Medlen.

    • sjm308 - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:27 PM

      please remember back to when the Nationals were getting pummeled by almost everyone in the media and baseball as well for shutting down SS and the example used most of the time was the Braves and Medlen. I am sorry the young man is hurt but you know we will not get any apology or recognition of actually putting the player first.

      • veejh - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:49 PM

        Si.

  43. Candide - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    Just wondering… will the way the Nats took care of their prize pitchers after TJ surgery – Stras and JZimm – have any effect on Zimmermann’s price when it comes time for a long-term contract?

    I know the conventional wisdom is that he’s unlikely to give a home team discount. But I wonder if he places a dollar value on how the Nats protected his career.

    Just a thought.

    • veejh - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:18 PM

      Hmmmmmmm….I just think he’s trying to get paid. In lieu of Medlen’s recent breakdown, I’m sure he’ll appreciate how the Nats have handled him, but that’s about as far as that will go. Maybe I’m wrong.

    • Eric - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:23 PM

      And an interesting one at that…

    • nats128 - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      Candide, you would hope so but I doubt it. The Nats really treat there players well. They protect them as if they were there own kids.

      • Candide - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:09 PM

        Well, that’s kinda my point. Does JZ figure the Nats’ careful nurturing of him might, in the long run, add a couple of years – and, therefore, tens of millions of dollars in earnings – to his career, as well as burnish his career stats when Mark and the other HoF writers start looking at the list of eligible players five years after his retirement?

  44. Section 222 - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Ok, we need a little setting the record straight here. The Braves didn’t turn Medlen loose to pitch all year in 2012. He was on an innings limit too. They just handled it differently. I’m enjoying this moment of Shadenfreude as much as the next guy, but there’s no evidence that the Braves’ decision to let Medlen pitch later in the season after using him as a reliever until June led to the re-injury. Let’s just hope that Stras avoids Medlen’s fate. Not to mention JZnn, Solis, and Giolito.

    • nats128 - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:48 PM

      The Barves do have a history of pushing there pitchers hard. Look at Venters and OFlaherty. Hard to say on Medlen. Theres so many factors. I would be more concerned on Kimbrel the way he has been used given his age and his velocity and curveballs.

    • veejh - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      Handled differently, nonetheless. I’m still a bit annoyed about Braves fans blathering on about how stupid the Nats were to shut down Stras. Any vindication for the preceding events makes me feel better.

      • nats128 - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:01 PM

        +1 They were also celebrating Bryces injury hitting the wall and Teheran plunking Bryce. Who does that????

      • veejh - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:05 PM

        Classless, yes. Trash thrown on the field…..applauding injuries of opposing teams players…a general arrogance that needs to be squashed with one Nats World Series victory.

      • Eric - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:33 AM

        I, too, have encountered some asinine behavior on the part of some Braves fans, but I agree with Section222 that there’s no way to know if the Braves made a worse decision than the Nats, and that the same fate won’t tragically befall out own TJ “recoverees.”

        If there’s any good I *do* hope to see come of Medlen’s reinjury, it’s that the media and other owners back off of criticizing a protective approach as pitchers are brought back online. It will be interesting to see how Matt Harvey’s return is managed and how the media reacts to the plan.

      • Eric - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:35 AM

        Oh… But one thing that would be revealing is whether the doctor that did the surgery ever suggested that the approach with Medlen was contraindicated…

    • zmunchkin - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:21 PM

      I think part of the point is that Medlen was a starter and being a starter is different than a reliever. Starters have more time to prepare and warm up. They had him do something upon his return that was not what he was used to, in order to save him innings for later in the year. So the question is whether that was a good idea.

      • zmunchkin - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:26 PM

        My bad. I thought he had already been converted to a starter before his first TJ. I decided to check and discovered that the TJ happened the year he was being converted. So his prior experience was indeed primarily as a reliever.

      • Section 222 - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:43 PM

        Well, that’s not really true. Medlen was a reliever for the Braves in 2009 and much of 2010 before he got hurt and had his first surgery. Besides, plenty of starters do relief work. David Price started as a reliever with the Rays in 2008, for example, even though they planned to use him as a starter. I don’t see anything wrong with easing a guy back in after TJ surgery as a reliever. It’s just a different strategy, and if the Braves had gone deep into the postseason, it might have proved to be a good strategy. Medlen actually pitched only 138 total innings in 2012, less than Stras did, so are we really going to say that because he pitched through September and one game in October he was more susceptible to reinjury? That just seems far fetched to me.

        Of course, he also pitched 197 innings last year, compared to 183 for Stras. Was that the difference? Who knows? And besides, there’s no way of predicting whether Stras will go down again as well. Knock on wood.

      • Section 222 - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:54 PM

        Sorry zm, didn’t see your second post. I was too busy checking B-R to see what Medlen’s history was. As you say, it looks like they converted him to starter in mid- 2010, and then he got hurt and had his TJ. He only had two short appearances in at the very end of 2011, unlike Stras who made five starts. Interestingly, Medlen had his surgery two weeks earlier than Stras did.

        As much as we think we know about recoveries from TJ surgery, we don’t really know anything.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:58 AM

        Pitching at the velocity elite pitchers achieve creates an unnatural motion to the arm. The torque put on the UC ligament is violent.

        It’s rare for a tear to reoccur within 5 years of the first occurrence. Isn’t Christian Garcia a pitcher stricken twice by TJ? It happens and the future is even more uncertain.

      • nats128 - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:24 AM

        natinalsgo, you are correct. CGar is a 2 time TJ survivor and this story could give you some clarity.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/christian-garcia-could-be-a-call-up-after-overcoming-two-tommy-john-surgeries/2012/08/31/b82a2bde-f373-11e1-a612-3cfc842a6d89_story.html

  45. ehay2k - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    My thinking on the differing approaches is that Medlen threw not just more innings, but more pitches, since as a reliever he appeared in more games, thus he warmed up more times, with less time to rest between appearances. I also have to believe that pitching in the playoffs puts an additional load on one’sarm, if only from the adrenaline. In addition, he threw later in the year, meaning his arm took the damage over a longer continuum, with a shorter break before ST began. Maybe his arm never had enough time to heal?

    Stras threw a few less innings, but fewer games and always with 5 days or more between starts ( mother nature loves to rain him out!), then shut down to heal from Sept. to Feb. Just seems safer all the way around, unless constant pitching can strengthen everything.

    • adcwonk - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:46 AM

      Great points, ehay2k. To clarify to others, when you write: “he threw later in the year” means: he threw for a month longer than Strasburg.

      Also, even if we didn’t care about pitchers’ arms at all: the Braves’ strategy partly helped them end up in 2d place, where they had to play a crap-shoot one-and-done wildcard game. That didn’t work out well for them, either.

    • zmunchkin - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      Ditto on the great points ehay2k. You made the point I was trying to make (above) much more clearly.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 83 18.5
x-Clinched NL East title

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
LOS ANGELES 87 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 85 68 3.5
-----------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 68 4.0 +2.0
PITTSBURGH 82 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 74 9.5 3.5
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 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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