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Nats vs. Marlins — 3/24/14

Mar 24, 2014, 12:00 PM EST

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

JUPITER, Fla. — Tanner Roark made his final case to win the No. 5 starter’s job yesterday. Today, it’s Taylor Jordan who gets his chance to make one last positive impression on the Nationals before they decide who will open the season as the final member of their starting rotation.

Jordan has had an up-and-down spring, allowing 18 hits in only 13 innings but also posting a staggering 16-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. We certainly saw glimpses of what he could be last summer as a rookie; the question now is whether the Nationals believe he’s ready to do it consistently at the big-league level.

There aren’t a whole lot of regulars on today’s trip, but Denard Span and Wilson Ramos are in the lineup. Danny Espinosa gets another start at shortstop (his ninth of the spring) and the three guys still in the mix for the final spot on the bench (Tyler Moore, Jamey Carroll, Jeff Kobernus) all are here trying to make a final push.

It has been raining off and on all morning, and there’s a chance of more precipitation this afternoon, so we’ll see if the game begins on-time … or at all. Check back for updates…

Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: None
Radio: (Marlins’ feed)
Weather: Chance of storms, 78 degrees, Wind 9 mph in from CF

CF Denard Span
2B Jeff Kobernus
RF Nate McLouth
C Wilson Ramos
SS Danny Espinosa
LF Scott Hairston
1B Tyler Moore
3B Jamey Carroll
RHP Taylor Jordan

LF Jake Marisnick
CF Christian Yelich
RF Giancarlo Stanton
1B Garrett Jones
C Jarrod Saltamacchia
2B Jeff Baker
3B Casey McGehee
SS Adeiny Hechavarria
RHP Tom Koehler

12:38 p.m. — Your weather update: The tarp is off the field, the grounds crew is preparing the infield and Taylor Jordan is beginning to loosen up. Looks like the game will start on-time.

1:07 p.m. — And we are underway, on-time, with a light drizzle falling. Tom Koehler starts off Denard Span with a fastball for strike one.

1:21 p.m. — The good news: The Nationals’ first four batters all reached safely in the top of the first (Span and Jeff Kobernus singled, Nate McLouth doubled down the right-field line and Wilson Ramos drew a walk). The bad news: They only scored one run out of all that, because Span was picked off first base by Koehler. McLouth’s double, though, was an impressive hit, and Kobernus sped around the bases and scored without even drawing a throw, flashing his speed. So it’s 1-0 Nats as Jordan takes the mound.

1:31 p.m. — Giancarlo Stanton, you may have noticed over the years, absolutely owns the Nationals. But not Taylor Jordan today. The fearsome Marlins slugger stepped to the plate with one out and a man on third just now, only to whiff mightily at a pitch from Jordan. Impressive. Despite allowing a leadoff double to Jake Marisnick, the right-hander made it through the inning unscathed, so it remains 1-0 Nats heading to the second.

1:46 p.m. — A 1-2-3 bottom of the second for Jordan, who needed only seven pitches to retire Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jeff Baker on groundballs and Casey McGehee on a flyout to right. 1-0 Nats going to the third.

2:02 p.m. — Jordan allowed a leadoff single to open the third, but then he buckled down and stranded Adeiny Hechavarria in scoring position by striking out Christian Yelich. Three scoreless so far for the young right-hander, who has looked good.

2:21 p.m. — Pitchers’ duel here at Roger Dean Stadium. Jordan has gone four scoreless, allowing only two hits without issuing a walk. Koehler, meanwhile, has settled down since the first inning and has tossed four scoreless since then. Still 1-0 Nats.

2:32 p.m. — Big day for Nate McLouth so far. He doubled in a run in the first, drew a walk in the third and just crushed a homer to right to lead off the sixth. The veteran outfielder has single-handedly given the Nats a 2-0 lead.

2:56 p.m. — Jordan finally started to a hit a wall in the sixth, allowing a single to Yelich and then an RBI double to Stanton. He was pulled after going 5 2/3 innings, allowing only the one run on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts. He finishes the spring with a 3.92 ERA. Honestly, there wasn’t all that much difference between Jordan and Roark this spring. I think the decision comes down to whether the Nats would rather have Roark in the bullpen over the other guys in the mix for that final spot. If so, he goes to the pen and Jordan is the No. 5 starter. If not, Roark is the No. 5 starter, Jordan goes to Syracuse and Aaron Barrett/Xavier Cedeno/Michael Gonzalez is the last man in the bullpen. 2-1 Nats after six.

3:13 p.m. — Make it 3-1 Nats after Tyler Moore ropes a double down the left-field line and later scores on Denard Span’s fielder’s choice. Craig Stammen, meanwhile, is back out to the mound after replacing Jordan in the sixth. Ooh, and guess who has entered the game for the Nats in left field: Will Piwnica-Worms!

3:40 p.m. — A scoreless inning of relief from Ross Detwiler, who is still getting used to the whole bullpen thing. He looked good there in the bottom of the eighth, protecting the Nats’ 4-1 lead.

3:52 p.m. — Nats win. 4-1 final as Aaron Barrett closes it out.

  1. natinalsgo - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Span’s baserunning again hasn’t been good.

    McLouth with a nice RBI double.

  2. natinalsgo - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    Koehler pitches Ramos carefully and walks him.

  3. DaveB - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    OD type lineup from the Marlins …. generally I don’t pay much attention to ST results, but you gotta think this is make or break for TJ (obviously only as regards to going north to DC to start the season … he’ll undoubtedly be back at some point this season regardless) … good luck Taylor!

    • natinalsgo - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      They gave him Hairston in LF and the ball finds him immediately for a double.

      TaylorJ K’s Giancarlo! Nice and he works around a leadoff double. Impressive!!!

  4. David Proctor - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Jordan gives up a leadoff double, but gets out of it with no damage. Groundout, strikeout of Stanton swinging and groundout.

    • knoxvillenat - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:04 PM


      You say “Jordan gives up a leadoff double’ but Gonat ‘s post would seem to imply that Hairston played it into a double. Was it a clean two base hit all the way or did Hairston look bad on the play?

      • David Proctor - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        It was a line drive off the wall, per the Marlins radio broadcast. Not sure what more Hairston could do, but it’s not televised so I don’t know for sure.

      • nats128 - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:17 PM

        I was listening to on the radio. I think the point was that the ball found Hairston right away. Not sure if it was a ball anyone would catch. These Marlins guys are nice guys but call a game with little urgency.

  5. nats128 - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    #Braves apparently going with Schlosser in rotation. Garcia would’ve made $1.25M guaranteed if on OD roster. Frankly, I don’t get this one

    • nats128 - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      That was a Dave O’Brien quote BTW.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      his number at AA are definitely not bad.

  6. ehay2k - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Anytime you can save $1.25M and it only costs you a starting pitcher, you do it!

    • ehay2k - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:22 PM
    • ehay2k - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:22 PM


      • ehay2k - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:23 PM

        Well, I guess you can’t use snark tags here!

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        You might be able to tag it as code; depends on how they set up this template. This is a test.

      • ehay2k - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:10 PM

        I’ll try that next time. Thanks!

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        apparently successful!

  7. Danny - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    1-0 Nats back in action. Would be nice to hear some offense during work.

  8. David Proctor - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Jordan is cruising right now.

  9. David Proctor - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    McLouth homers. He’s 2-2 with an RBI double, a homer, and a walk.

    • Danny - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Ask and you shall recieve!

  10. scnatsfan - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    If – IF – it is Jordan then what is the benefit of keeping Roark when Stammen and Detwiler can be ‘long’ guys, you wonder if he is better served throwing 7 every 5 days in AAA and keeping Gonzo here. Same for Barrett, you think he would be better served staring as the closer in AAA then as a garbage guy here.

    • Danny - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      Is rather see Roark then Storen.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      IF they go with only 2 LHRP, then I don’t think you can count Detwiler as a long man in the usual sense, because that really only leaves Blevins as the “situational” lefty, and they need more than that, especially in this division. OTOH, that may be a good argument for 3 lefties instead of, effectively, 5+1 starters with Roark “in the hold,” to borrow a nautical term.

  11. Drew - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    The next sound you hear will be a broken record of someone beating a dead horse (apologies to our friends in the SPCA.)

    Here’s an idea — keep Kobernus to pinch run, so McLouth can pinch hit.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      No sound, but the NIDO+ glossary has a gif:

  12. Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Great deal! They got Stanton out of the game, and all it cost them was an RBI double. I’ll take that deal every time.

    • Eric - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      Did he get injured?

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        I don’t think the radio guys said anything about why he came out.

  13. David Proctor - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Mike Rizzo does it again. Looking like Chris Young, who was picked up off the scrap heap, may be traded soon.

    • nats128 - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      Someone suggested that this morning as a likely outcome. I will try to find that. I remember reading it.

      • nats128 - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:00 PM

        Here it is:

        natinalsgo – Mar 24, 2014 at 11:04 AM
        For long man? I don’t think so as you still have to make a 40 man spot for him.

        Roark is proven to be effective out of the pen. I think Rizzo tries to trade CYoung and if he can’t gives him the #5 with Roark to the pen and TaylorJ to AAA.

        That gives the team flexibility and if CYoung can’t give results he gets DFA’d and TaylorJ steps in.

      • knoxvillenat - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        NatsJack mentioned this morning that he still thought there was a possibility that Young was our # 5 SP coming out of ST. I don’t recall reading anything this morning from another poster about a possible trade of Young.

      • knoxvillenat - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        I stand corrected!

      • natinalsgo - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        Thanks Nats128. I take no credit. Ghost laid out to me and others a few days ago that Rizzo was trying to trade CYoung as his first choice to control where he went.

        I probably should have credited him this morning but I didn’t because he didn’t tell me to share it with everyone.

      • Section 222 - Mar 24, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        gonats, are you speaking to Ghost? Where the heck is he? :-)

      • natinalsgo - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:04 PM

        222, Ghost is finally answering emails and said he can speak more freely offline. After I put up his email I think he said he’s heard from dozens now including some that never post here but are regular readers.

        He detailed the 25an roster in 3 scenarios for me. It’s awesome.

    • jd - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      It makes a lot of sense. It doesn’t matter what you get in return. This way you can keep him away from teams like Atlanta.

      • masterfishkeeper - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        I think I also suggested it this morning. Maybe in a year or two whoever we get back will be in the big leagues.

  14. nats128 - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    Kobernus with a nice walk. Really worked the pitcher. Lets see if McLouth can continue his big day!

  15. natinalsgo - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Help us out. Who is Will Worms?

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      Will Piwinica-Worms MiLB stats

      (side note: in googling his last name, either there are more Piwinica-Worms than I ever would have guessed, or both his parents, Helen and David, are doctors.)

      • natinalsgo - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        That is great! WPW could be best name in the Majors

      • sjm308 - Mar 24, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        Both his parents are Doctors and Willie-Worms went to Duke

  16. scnatsfan - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Wow a Piwnica-Worms sighting.

    • NatsLady - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      You have a better radio than I do!

      • Hiram Hover - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:38 PM


      • scnatsfan - Mar 24, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        I think it is more fun to imagine what he looks like

  17. David Proctor - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Espinosa with an opposite field double off the wall

  18. Eric - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    1 – 4 with a double, a steal, a run, and no strikes outs. Keep it up, Espi!

  19. David Proctor - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Espinosa steals second and then scores on a sac fly

    • Eric - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      Hrm…I think maybe we owe each other a beer? 😉

    • Eric - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      PS – he stole third

  20. Drew - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Piwnica-Worms is an outfielder out of Duke. He reached high-A last year at 23. Not much pop, middling average, bit of speed.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      Ha, I beatcha by two minutes and a Scullyesque sidenote!

    • natinalsgo - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      Thanks and batting 1.000 for the Spring.

  21. natinalsgo - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Worms batting 1.000

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:07 PM

      Well, I knew it wasn’t me.





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