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Nats vs. Cardinals — 3/26/14

Mar 26, 2014, 12:12 PM EST

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

JUPITER, Fla. — Stop me if you’ve seen this game before: Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals face Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals. Yes, it happened on that fateful October night in 2012. It has happened several times in spring training since. Shoot, it happened five days ago, right here in this very ballpark. But that’s the schedule, so here we go yet again this afternoon.

Gonzalez is making his final start of the spring, hoping to find the strike zone with a bit more consistency than he did on Friday. He’s slated for five or six innings, building his pitch count up past 80 in anticipation of his first start of the season one week from today at Citi Field.

Most of the regulars made the trip today, the notable exceptions being Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche. Those guys are both slated to play in a minor-league game in Viera, getting a bunch of at-bats.

As an added bonus, today is the first of two straight games being televised by ESPN. Steve Levy, Doug Glanville and Eduardo Perez are here for the call today and will be in Port St. Lucie tomorrow. As always, though, you can get updates and analysis right here throughout…

Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: (Cardinals’ feed)
Weather: Partly cloudy, 63 degrees, Wind 17 mph in from LF

3B Anthony Rendon
CF Nate McLouth
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Jose Lobaton
1B Justin Bloxom
LHP Gio Gonzalez

3B Matt Carpenter
SS Jhonny Peralta
LF Matt Holliday
RF Allen Craig
C Yadier Molina
1B Matt Adams
2B Mark Ellis
CF Jon Jay
RHP Adam Wainwright

1:08 p.m. — And we’re underway with Anthony Rendon digging in to face Adam Wainwright.

1:14 p.m. — Nothing happening in the top of the first, aside from Jayson Werth reaching on a two-out error by Jhonny Peralta, who couldn’t handle a grounder to his left. Bryce Harper struck out looking at a curveball from Wainwright, a pitch that appeared a tad high and/or outside. Harper gave a look back at plate umpire Angel Hernandez but didn’t appear to say much of anything.

1:28 p.m. — The good news: Gio Gonzalez found the plate in the bottom of the first. He threw 17-of-21 pitches for strikes. The bad news: He was finding too much of the plate. The Cards smoked three singles against him, producing two runs and taking an early 2-0 lead.

1:43 p.m. — If Gio’s mission today was to throw strikes, he’s got to be ecstatic. Through two innings, he has thrown 23-of-27 pitches for strikes. The Cards have four total hits, all singles, but that might be less of a concern to the lefty. Still 2-0 after two.

1:52 p.m. — More good news/bad news: The Nats have recorded a hit off Wainwright. Anthony Rendon singled up the middle in the top of the third. They still haven’t scored a run off him, though. You may remember he tossed eight scoreless innings against them last week, so that’s 11 straight innings now without the Nats scoring off Wainwright.

2:01 p.m. — It hasn’t been a stellar afternoon so far for the Nationals in the field. They were charged with their second error in three innings when Ian Desmond’s throw on an attempted turn of a double play got past fill-in first baseman Justin Bloxom. That put a runner in scoring position for the Cardinals, and he came around to cross the plate on Yadier Molina’s second RBI single of the day, with Jayson Werth’s throw to the plate sailing well wide. It’s 3-0 St. Louis against a Washington club that kind of looks like it would rather be somewhere else today.

2:16 p.m. — Chaos here in Jupiter. Bryce Harper was thrown out at first base on a bang-bang play, yelled something at umpire Jeff Gosney and was immediately ejected. Can’t say I’ve seen many guys ejected from a spring training game. Then, as Harper was gathering all his stuff and walking to the clubhouse down the left-field line, with fans hanging over the railing asking for his autograph, Matt Williams and third base ump C.B. Bucknor were screaming at each other. Seriously, is it Opening Day yet?

2:35 p.m. — Now Gonzalez gets drilled in the left arm by a Wainwright pitch (a curveball) in the top of the fifth. Gio was talking to Wainwright as he walked to first base, but he appeared to be smiling. So much for an uneventful afternoon here in Jupiter, huh?

2:55 p.m. — That’s it for Gio’s spring. He goes five innings today, allowing three runs (two earned). He finishes with a 2.94 ERA over 18 1/3 innings. Next up: April 2 at Citi Field. Still 3-0 Cardinals as Ross Detwiler enters.

3:05 p.m. — A scoreless sixth from Detwiler, who retired the side with a strikeout. It’s been a scoreless game for the Nats lineup, which wasn’t able to do anything in five innings against Wainwright and hasn’t done anything the last two innings against the Cardinals bullpen. Still 3-0 at the stretch.

3:36 p.m. — Here come the Nats. They scored two in the top of the eighth, with Caleb Ramsey delivering the big, two-out single. Moments before that, though, Danny Espinosa struck out on a mighty, left-handed swing, stranding the bases loaded with one out. For the first time in awhile, Danny looked like the 2013 version of himself there. 3-2 Cards, going to the bottom of the eighth.

3:43 p.m. — Another scoreless inning for Aaron Barrett. That’s 10 2/3 scoreless for the spring now. Hey, Aaron: You already made the team. You can ease up a little now, OK?

3:50 p.m. — Game over. Nats lose 3-2.

  1. originalnatsfan - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    thanks for the ESPN heads up, Mark

    • nats128 - Mar 26, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      I missed it totally.

    • Sonny G 10 - Mar 26, 2014 at 7:23 PM

      Yes, thanks for the heads up. I had to leave to take my dog to the vet in Winchester, but I set the DVR before I left. I’ll watch it tonight.

  2. thelatencn - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Is Span playing in the minor league game with Zim and ALR, or just getting a day off after his fine game yesterday?

    • thelatencn - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      And what’s with two days in a row off for Ramos?

  3. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Wainwright vs Gio again? Hopefully harper continues to pad his number against Waino.

  4. Section 222 - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    The Cards are playing close to their O.D. lineup too it seems. Good final tuneup for Gio. Actual baseball is right around the corner. Woo hoo!!

  5. David Proctor - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Ohlendorf on the 60 day DL. That clears the roster spot.

  6. philipd763 - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    The Nationals have never been able to hit Wainright.

    • Eric - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Didn’t we rock his socks off in Game 5?

    • Section 222 - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Nobody could hit Wainwright last year.

    • David Proctor - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Harper has hit him pretty well

  7. philipd763 - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Who is Justin Bloxom? Instead, why not give Tyler Moore a shot at Wainright before he heads off the the tundra of Syracuse. Speaking of Syracuse, it’s a terrible place weather-wise to have a Triple A team. The city gets 6 weeks of summer weather at best.

  8. philipd763 - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Eric, I will rephrase my comment. The Nats have not been able to hit Wainright since he has fully recovered from TJ surgery.

    • Brookstoor - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      You’d still be wrong, Phillip. Game 5 was post TJS for waino.

      • Eric - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        From 8/3/2012:
        He made it back to the mound at the start of this season, and struggled at first. Things took a turn for the better in late May, starting with a four-hit shutout of the Padres on May 22. In his past 13 starts, he’s been pitching like the Wainwright of old, striking out 83 batters, walking just 17 and yielding just four homers over 85⅔ innings.

        Game 5 was two months later, though, and I was *just* getting into baseball in a big way as the Nats slumped through early August. Did he have any setbacks in in his recovery between August 5 and early October?

    • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      wow, come on son!

  9. David Proctor - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Strasburg said yesterday that he approached the Mets differently knowing he faces them in 5 days. We play the Cardinals early in the season, too. Curious if Gio attacks hitters differently.

  10. Danny - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    0-2 Cards. They really enjoy constantly taking our lunch money.

    • David Proctor - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      Gio was exclusively fastball/changeup that inning. He only threw 1 curve.

    • iconicwoodencap - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      So funny! I don’t think we beat the Cards even once last year, right? I’ll definitely believe this is an improved team if we can hold our own against them.

      • Section 222 - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        Nice screenname!

  11. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    I hope we don’t let Gio and JZ face off against Cards this season!

  12. Danny - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Last season, out record against the Cards, Braves, Dodgers was brutal. Need to improve on that for sure this year.

    • David Proctor - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      0-6 against the Cardinals, 1-5 against the Dodgers and we all know about the Braves. Pretty unbelievable when you think about it.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        Here are the scores:
        3-2, 2-0, 4-2, 4-3, 2-0, 4-1

        not exactly as dominating as the record implies. yeah a win is a win no matter what but I think we should be able to hold our own this time around.

      • nats128 - Mar 26, 2014 at 2:35 PM

        It goes back to Davey’s strategy. He waited for the big innings and I count 2 innings of the 54 innings total vs the Cardinals in which the Nats had more than 1 run scored and those were done in 2 two-run innings. The big innings never materialized. You can see by the scores Faraz put up that if the Nats manufactured runs they ould have pieced something together possibly.

  13. philipd763 - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Cardinals are a big draw in Viera, yet they only played one game in Space Coast this year while the Nationals played the Cardinals three times in Jupiter. Too much Mets, not enough Cardinals!

  14. philipd763 - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Eric, Wainright had his worst season in 2012 because he wasn’t “fully recovered” from TJ surgery. His ERA was up 1.50 from his previous pitching season of 2010. He missed the 2011 season. I used the term fully recovered which I consider to be 2013 onward. I think if you check the record, the Nats couldn’t hit Wainwright in the 2007-2010 period either. Today is just more of the same.

    • jd - Mar 26, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      No shame in that. Wainright is a top 5 pitcher in the NL every year.

    • David Proctor - Mar 26, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      “I think if you check the record, the Nats couldn’t hit Wainwright in the 2007-2010 period either.”

      We couldn’t hit anybody then.

  15. David Proctor - Mar 26, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Gio gives up another run after he should’ve been out of the inning with a double play ball. Can’t give the Cardinals extra outs.

  16. David Proctor - Mar 26, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    Harper got tossed for that? Are you serious?

    • nats128 - Mar 26, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      Gosney the rookie ump. Come on

    • Candide - Mar 26, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      Teddy Cullinane: [broadcasting on the radio] “I’ve never seen Crash so angry. And frankly, sports fans, he used a word that’s a no-no with umpires.”

      Millie: [Annie snaps off the radio] “Crash must’ve called the guy a cocksucker.”

      Annie: “Mmmmm. How romantic.”

      From my favorite baseball movie ever.

  17. snerdblurter - Mar 26, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    I keep forgetting how much I hate listening to other teams’ broadcasts….. Barves and Cards have to be the worst (outside of a certain team in the AL central, of course)

    • nats128 - Mar 26, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      I just noticed it was on TV. The raspy voiced drunk on Cardinals radio is awful. Laughs at everything. Radio off, ESPN TV on!

  18. David Proctor - Mar 26, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    @thisisdspan: Just turned on the game……….. Smh lol #hegone

  19. nats128 - Mar 26, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Just saw ESPN TV. I was listening to that drunk fool on Cardinals radio!

  20. nats128 - Mar 26, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Espi in at SS and makes a nice play. Good to see him laying out for balls.

  21. nats128 - Mar 26, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Matty Williams on ESPN: “Bryce got thrown out and part of my job is going to defend him” Music to my ears

    • Candide - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Still learning; Earl Weaver said his job was to get thrown out so his star players didn’t.

      Of course, when your star gets thrown out before you can even react…

      • nats128 - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        Thats a great quote Candide!

    • janebeard - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      mmmm…someone must have seen that he WAS out, or why wouldn’t they have used the replay rule? Bryce would have been found safe and they would have preserved a second time to ask for a replay. Sounds funny to me,

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

        He was out. But this isn’t a replay game anyway.

  22. David Proctor - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    ESPN is saying the Marlins could win the division because they have chemistry

    • Candide - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      They could, if ESPN is using “chemistry” as a euphemism for “PEDs.”

    • natinalsgo - Mar 26, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      Chemistry? Giancarlo Stanton wanted a new team. Maybe he likes his 2014 team better. Marisnick looks like a player.

  23. jd - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    That’s funny David. They will also need Physics, Biology and Math.

  24. natinalsgo - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    For anyone watching, how bad were those 3 swing & miss on Espi’s K in that bases loaded AB. I’m listening on the radio.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      Thanks Mark for the description in your in-game.

  25. natinalsgo - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Cardinals radio guys love Barretts curveball.

  26. David Proctor - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Barrett with another 1-2-3 inning, with a K.

  27. jd - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Barrett certainly aced ST. Let’s see how he does when the bell rings.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      Probably low stress innings to begin with.

  28. Jacob Rasch - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Quick recap, complete with GIFs of Harper’s ejection, here:

  29. letswin3 - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    Just a couple of quick observations about todays game (others may have noted the same earlier): 1) Nate McLouth’s 4th inning grab of that tailing liner to right-center gave me a warm feeling about the depth now in place for center field. 2) Barrett’s late inning of relief was like he was in a rocking chair (regardless of who the late inning hitters were), and 3) that at bat for Danny in the 7th (or was it the 8th?) was not what we have been hoping for … first two strikes looked like an American League starting pitcher just weakly waving at anything, and the third strike swing was a mighty uppercut directly from the Espinosa hitting playbook of 2012.

    • tcostant - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:54 PM


    • tcostant - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:54 PM


      • tcostant - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        Barrett is the Nationals closer by June 1st

      • letswin3 - Mar 26, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        You can sure convince me …. if he is needed. He looks like he belongs, his stuff looks confusing to the hitters and the stuff that they aren’t confused by seems to be tough to hit. I was even impressed by how confidently he covered first base on the grounders to the first baseman. Someone is sure to say that it’s a “small sample”, but he sure looks like the real deal so far.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 26, 2014 at 5:09 PM

        Let him play real games before he’s annointed. Krol was lights out and turned to mediocre quickly. That’s why there’s scouts. Lets see how Barrett adjusts.





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