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Nats vs. Astros — 3/19/14

Mar 19, 2014, 1:32 PM EST

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

VIERA, Fla. — Ah, it’s good to be back…

I just arrived in town after taking a morning flight down from D.C., and let me tell you it sure is nice to see sunshine and temperatures in the 70s. And, of course, it’ll be nice to see some baseball with my own eyes tonight, with the Nationals hosting the Astros here at Space Coast Stadium.

Taylor Jordan gets the start, and each start now is big for the guys competing for the No. 5 starter’s job. Ross Detwiler, meanwhile, is slated to pitch an inning out of the bullpen as the lefty begins the transformation from starter to reliever.

Plenty of updates to come, so please check back…


Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 6:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: (Astros’ feed)
Weather: Partly cloudy, 69 degrees, Wind 5 mph LF to RF

CF Denard Span
SS Ian Desmond
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
1B Adam LaRoche
2B Anthony Rendon
(RHP Taylor Jordan)

CF Dexter Fowler
2B Jose Altuve
C Jason Castro
LF Marc Krauss
1B Jon Singleton
RF L.J. Hoes
3B Marwin Gonzalez
SS Jonathan Villar
RHP Jarred Cosart

6:06 p.m. — And we are underway on a gorgeous Wednesday night here in Viera. Taylor Jordan starts off Dexter Fowler with a sinker for strike one.

6:15 p.m. — Kind of a wild top of the first for Jordan and the Nats. He started things off really well, striking out Fowler with a slider. But then things got weird. Ryan Zimmerman made a nice diving stop of Jose Altuve’s smash to his left, hopped to his feet and then threw wild to first base. It was ruled an error, though that was later changed to a base hit by the official scorer. Either way, it was both a tough play for Zim but also a not-so-great-looking throw. Compounding matters, Jordan had Altuve breaking for second too soon but then fired wildly to second base for a 2-base error. An RBI groundout, a walk and a base hit to right brought one run and prolonged the inning. It finally ended with the Astros on top 1-0, but it wasn’t a thing of beauty.

6:23 p.m. — And then a super-quick bottom of the first for Jarred Cosart, who got Span and Zimmerman to tap comebackers to the mound and also struck out Desmond. Zim’s bat was completely shattered by the right-hander.

6:37 p.m. — Make it 6 up, 6 down for Cosart, who just struck out Werth and Ramos in the bottom of the second. The Astros are high on this young right-hander, and you can certainly see why. Nats still down 1-0 after two.

6:42 p.m. — Jordan has done a nice job settling down after that ragged first inning. He’s retired five in a row, four of them on groundballs, and is through the third inning with the score still 1-0.

6:53 p.m. — Jarred Cosart, ladies and gentlemen. Nine up, nine down, six strikeouts. Man oh man.

6:58 pm. — Jordan continues to settle into a nice groove. He has now retired eight in a row, six of them on groundballs and the two others on strikeouts. That’s exactly what you want from a sinkerballer. Still 1-0 as we go to the bottom of the fourth.

7:14 p.m. — That’ll probably be it for Jordan, who has completed five innings. His line will be: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 68 pitches, 44 strikes. Of his 15 outs, nine came via groundballs. All in all, a solid outing for the young right-hander. The Nats still trail 1-0 and are still seeking their first hit off Cosart.

7:19 p.m. — Cosart: 15 up, 15 down, 9 strikeouts. Mighty, mighty impressive. Meanwhile, here’s Ross Detwiler making his first relief appearance of the spring.

7:29 p.m. — Perfectly effective job by Detwiler in the sixth. He issued a two-out walk to Marc Krauss but struck out Jason Castro on a nifty offspeed pitch down and in, and got a pair of groundballs to complete a scoreless inning of relief. And good news for the Nats: Cosart is done after five perfect innings. They’ll now try to notch their first hit of the night against lefty Raul Valdes.

7:43 p.m. — And there goes the no-hitter. Anthony Rendon scoots a single through the right side of the infield with one out in the sixth. The Nats wound up loading the bases with two outs, but Valdes got Zimmerman to fly out to right to kill the rally. So it remains 1-0 after six. Here’s Rafael Soriano out of the pen.

7:52 p.m. — A 1-2-3 seventh for Soriano, which is always a good thing. Still 1-0 Astros at the stretch.

8:01 p.m. — Golden opportunity for the Nats in the bottom of the seventh after base hits by Werth and Ramos. But LaRoche lined out hard to center and Rendon struck out swinging to end the inning and leave the Nats scoreless for the night. Tyler Clippard on for the top of the eighth.

8:14 p.m. — Make it 2-0 Astros as Clippard serves up a towering homer to Jesus Guzman, who cleared both fences in right field. Worse, Clippard drilled top prospect Carlos Correa in, I believe, the left wrist with a fastball. Correa went down in a heap and was helped off by a trainer. Clippard certainly hopes it wasn’t anything serious.

8:42 p.m. — That’s your ballgame. Nats lose 2-0.

  1. David Proctor - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    • natinalsgo - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      That’s one down and it was the humane thing to do instead of mid next week.

      Truthfully he was given every opportunity and he couldn’t get the job done. It will be interesting to see if anyone else gives him a spot on the active roster.

    • DaveB - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      OK … I’m pretty surprised … not so much because I was sure he was gonna get the slot (although I was leaning toward him more than anyone), but more because he would already be crossed off the list enough to ask for release.
      It appears to me that the team is closer to having made all of the decisions (even tho some are not yet announced) than I realized, and now is shifting to the mode of getting the final roster players ready for the season, I think fairly quickly we will be able to observe from the games what the decisions are … just like the decision about Ross came out first because one of the beat reporters noticed that he was slotted into today’s game as a reliever.
      I was leaning toward Ayala mostly based on his strong finish for Atlanta last year and his experience … given that he is now out already, I think I’ll swing to betting that the team is putting most weight on current results, and so I now think Barrett will the surprise choice for that final BP slot if he can keep up his great results for a couple more games.

      • therealjohnc - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        With Detwiler in the bullpen for now, my guess is that Ayala counted noses, saw which way the wind was blowing and went to the team and said “no, really, what are my chances?” The brain trust said something like “honestly? not much” and agreed to let him go to give him a couple of weeks to catch on somewhere else.

        This was the right move all around. I love what Ayala did setting up for the Chief in 2005 – but that was a long time ago. Ayala had a respectable ERA last year, but his peripherals were not good (his WHIP, K/BB, BB/9, etc) and at age 35 he’s much closer to the end than the beginning.

  2. tcostant - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Off Topic. Has anyone else have issues moving tickets on the Access site to other partners cards??? I can email tixs, but can’t see the calander with games under “Share Seats” under My Games. Help. Is it just me. My partner are all set up and I see that each have a green check mark, that they are up correctly.

    Has anyone out there been able to move games to a partners access card???

    • dhamm6500 - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      I was having the same problem that you are describing. All of the partners needed to go on the Access site and reactivate their account for this year.

      All of my partners who have done that, I am now able to allocate tickets to them.

      • dhamm6500 - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        Sorry, I meant to add before I posted…

        My partners had green check marks by thier names but were not showing up in the drop down box to be able to allocate seats to them.

        My ticket rep told me they needed to reactivate their accounts for this year. Not everyone in my group has done so, but those that have are now showing up in the drop down box for allocation.

      • tcostant - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        Strange. All my partners have green check marks. Two from last year and the rest new this year. I can’t even see a calander – can you see that???

      • dhamm6500 - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        Interesting thing about not being able to see the calendar…. I did experience that when i was trying to accesss with Internet Explorer. When I loaded it using Chrome, the calendar loaded just fine.

      • tcostant - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        I did change to firefox to move the email ones…

      • tcostant - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        THANK YOU :)

        This is another reason I love this blog. I loaded Chrome and it worked!!! Thanks for the heads up on how to use too.

    • zmunchkin - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      There are browser issues/problems. So you might want to try a different browser.

      And my partners had a red X before the activated for this year. And a couple who have not are still showing as Xs.

      And the user interface is far from intuitive. Instead of clicking on the red box with the game, you have to click on the dots below it, select a partner, and then select the share seats buttons. The dots under the game are not that obvious and it took me a few minutes to realize that is how to select which partner.

    • janebeard - Mar 19, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      Yep. It’s been a real Thing.

  3. Doc - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Mark, how about an interview with Det, or is that in the plans?

    • habs3 - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      Prefer an interview with Williams to explain his decision. Secondly can someone comment on Det’s new pitches?

      • Hiram Hover - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        I think management told us all we need to know about his 2dry pitches when they moved him to the BP.

  4. natinalsgo - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Taylor Jordan gets to face a Houston lineup that resembles what looks to be close to what Bo Porter will write on his OD lineup card.

    • David Proctor - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      Ours is very similar. Span, Desmond, Zimmerman, Werth, Harper, Ramos, LaRoche, Rendon.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        Good point and that looks like that order Matty talked about with Harp in the 5.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        I really dislike (hate is a strong word) Desmond hitting #2. This is the lineup MW has been touting. If he makes it work, genius but your #1 and #2 aren’t big OBP guys TBT.

      • David Proctor - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        I still think Rendon should be #2. And I think he will be before long. Remember just because this might be the Opening Day lineup doesn’t mean it’ll stick all year.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        Better Werth IMHO but I’d take Rendon rather than Desi or even RZim who did well in the 2 last year with Harp behind him.

        While Matty talked about separating Span and Harp to work the lefties in the other teams bullpen he now has ALR and Harp bunched up in the 5 & 7.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:10 PM

        yeah, I don’t like that much.

  5. therealjohnc - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    That lineup, ladies and gentlemen, is (barring injury, knock on wood) your starting 8 for Opening Day. I’d move them around a bit – I’d put Rendon in the #2 spot for OBP and patience purposes (to give Span a chance to steal). Desmond is hacking from the on deck circle. But I think that hitting LaRoche #7 against a RHP is interesting – I wonder if it foreshadows a 1b platoon from Day One. If LaRoche can’t hit higher than #7 against a RHP, does he stay in the lineup at all versus a LHP? We’ll find out.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      So you’re really saying 6 out of 8 if you switch 2 not “that lineup, ladies and gentlemen is”

      I do wonder about the LaRoche in the #7 against a RHP until you know which LaRoche you have but Matty may not want to wait around to find out.

      • therealjohnc - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        That lineup is composed of your starting 8, order TBD. I stand by my original post :-)

      • natinalsgo - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        Yes sir, I hear you loud and clear TBD! Starting 8 sure, order possibly not.

  6. David Proctor - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    Mark Zuckerman ‏@ZuckermanCSN 4m
    Doug Fister will start Sat. vs. Marlins in Viera. 3 innings, 45 pitches, per Matt Williams.

    • David Proctor - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      This would line him up to pitch Sunday, April 6 against the Braves. He could pitch Saturday, then Thursday and then pitch a simulated game or some such on April 1.

      • therealjohnc - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        Interesting. That’s doable, but would put Joark in line for the home opener if you presume Stras-Gio-JZ for the opening series in NY. Then the Braves series would be Joark-Stras-Fister.

      • David Proctor - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:25 PM

        Well Joark both pitched well against the Braves last year. The sample was obviously microscopic, but it’s early enough in the season where I don’t think any book on them would be more developed than it was last year.

  7. Eric - Mar 19, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    This line up says more to me regarding Rendon v. Espi than anything else so far this spring. Every other position player is a surefire regular, and the second half was the half when Williams said he’d start ramping up the regulars’ playing time.

    Of course, tomorrow he’ll probably field the same line up, but with Espi and no Rendon 😉

  8. Section 222 - Mar 19, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    If you move Desi down to 5th and move Zim, Werth, and Harper up one spot, that’s the lineup I’d like to see. For those who wonder about ALR 7th against a righty, who would you like to see hitting after him? Desi? Ramos? Harper? Not me. Until he shows he’s a middle of the order bat against righties or lefties, which Desi, Ramos, and our big 3 have done, 7th or 8th is where he belongs.

  9. thelatencn - Mar 19, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    I’d still prefer:
    Span (obvious)
    Zim (worked great last year)
    Harper (where else would you put a guy who’s going to hit .330 w/ 40 hrs?)
    Werth (best protection for the MVP candidate)
    Desi (his best lineup position statistically, I think)
    LAR (spreads the lefties)
    Ramos (how great to have a guy this good hitting 7th?)
    Rendon (has done well in that position)

    But nobody’s paying me to make those decisions.

  10. David Proctor - Mar 19, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    Apparently MASN was too cheap to hire a sideline reporter this year. Dan Kolko will be doing it

  11. David Proctor - Mar 19, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    Oh lord, wild throw by Zim. Help us all.

    • veejh - Mar 19, 2014 at 6:10 PM

      Make it stop

      • therealjohnc - Mar 19, 2014 at 6:44 PM

        Well, that throw was wild, but it was on a diving play to his left and a fast runner. I will note that Zim seems to be playing deeper than last year, which tells me more about his shoulder than any one individual throw.

      • nats128 - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:09 PM

        I love all the talk about Zim was playing shallow last year. When did you figure that out?

  12. veejh - Mar 19, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    Zim just threw a f’ing rainbow to 1st that pulled LaRoche off the bag. Noooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Eric - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:08 PM

      How was his throw for out #2 last inning?

  13. Eric - Mar 19, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    Wow… Fuuuuuuugly first time through our potent OD lineup 😉

  14. Danny - Mar 19, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    This game reminds me of last Spring.

    • Eric - Mar 19, 2014 at 6:57 PM


  15. David Proctor - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    So much for offense?

  16. veejh - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Time to panic. LOL

    • Eric - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:07 PM


  17. Danny - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    Apparently Nolan Ryan decided to toe the bump this Spring.

  18. nats128 - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Laroche with some better legs under him on that last out. Hoping his range improves.

  19. nats128 - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    That RZ non-play in the 1st that went on the official scorer from error to hit now makes that a earned run. Here this guy is fighting for the 5th starter spot and he needs those plays made.

    • Eric - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:22 PM

      Didn’t Jordan’s error on the throw to second make it unearned?

      • David Proctor - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:26 PM

        That’s what I thought too.

      • veejh - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:26 PM

        hmmmm….thought they said they changed it earned.

      • Eric - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:41 PM

        Yeah heard that on the Angles feed after posting… I guess a pitcher can’t save himself in that fashion 😉

      • nats128 - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:39 PM

        I agree with you however the reason was the Official Scorer gave Altuve a steal.

        Poor official scoring.

      • Eric - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:44 PM

        Er, Astro’s feed, duh

  20. veejh - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    Seriously…..being no hit by the Stros in a ST game? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • therealjohnc - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:37 PM

      You forgot the: “OH NOES!!11!!1!!1!1!”

  21. veejh - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    Thank you, Anthony.

  22. veejh - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    Another killer season from Captain Caveman would be quite nice.

  23. nats128 - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    I hope Jarred Cosart has a great career for Houston. Remember he was once a big time prospect for the Phillies and they traded him for Hunter Pence. That will add to the Phoolies misery. Jonathan Singleton was in that trade to.

  24. veejh - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    We might have to dub Wilson Ramos “Mr. RBI”, or “Rake” or something if he keeps this up.

  25. Eric - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    I’m way too frustrated for game -9 of the season.

  26. nats128 - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    Bullpen continues to frustrate and disappoint.

    • Eric - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:33 PM

      Soriano and Det were pretty money, no?

      • nats128 - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:44 PM

        Det’s 1st outing was good. Soriano looked better.

      • nats128 - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:46 PM

        Eric, this is an overall observation that as a group they havent been all that great. Just hoping they are all working in to form.

    • NatsLady - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:36 PM

      Huh? Bullpen gave up 1 run in 4 innings, and that was Clip.

  27. Jacob Rasch - Mar 19, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    Here’s our quick recap (a little less quickly than usual):

  28. Jerry - Mar 19, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    I think i was on your flight this morning as i arrived at MCO at 9:20 this morning. I was at the game this evening. Will be there tomorrow at 1 also.





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