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Nats vs. Mets — 3/27/14

Mar 27, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — And so we have arrived at the final day of spring training, with one last Grapefruit League showdown between the Nationals and Mets before they meet for real Monday at Citi Field. Both teams are using regular lineups (the only exception for the Nats is that Ryan Zimmerman, dealing with a stomach bug, is sitting today) and the Nats are sending Jordan Zimmermann to the mound for his final tune-up.

The Mets, on the other hand, are starting right-hander Cory Mazzoni, not a member of their Opening Day rotation. Bartolo Colon is throwing in a minor-league game so the Nats don’t get a preview of the guy they’ll face Wednesday in Flushing.

There’s a slightly different look to the Nationals’ lineup today, with Anthony Rendon leading off and Denard Span batting second. Matt Williams’ explanation: “Just having a look, that’s it. Potentials during the season. You never know. Not too much to read into it other than we want to take a look.”

Just like yesterday, this game is on ESPN. I’ll have plenty of updates myself, so please check back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. NEW YORK METS
Where:
Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie
Gametime: 12:10 p.m. EDT
TV: ESPN, MLB.tv
Radio: None
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 71 degrees, Wind 14 mph out to LF

NATIONALS
3B Anthony Rendon
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
C Wilson Ramos
LF Bryce Harper
SS Ian Desmond
1B Adam LaRoche
2B Danny Espinosa
RHP Jordan Zimmermann

METS
LF Eric Young Jr.
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
RF Curtis Granderson
CF Chris Young
1B Ike Davis
C Travis d’Arnaud
SS Ruben Tejada
RHP Cory Mazzoni

12:10 p.m. — And we’re underway with a ball from Cory Mazzoni to Anthony Rendon. This being getaway day and all, I would expect guys on both sides to be swinging a lot. Jordan Zimmermann might complete six innings on like, 43 pitches.

12:15 p.m. — Sure enough, Mazzoni needed only eight pitches to retire the side. Even Jayson Werth swung at the first two pitches he saw. I think anybody who runs the count full today is going to be fined.

12:28 p.m. — Zimmermann did have to throw 23 pitches in the bottom of the first, but an astounding 19 of them were strikes. Eric Young and Daniel Murphy each singled, with Young barely beating a brilliant play and throw by Danny Espinosa. Espinosa dove all-out to his right to snag the hot shot, then fired nearly underhanded to first base, just a smidge too late. Regardless of the call, it was one of the best plays you’ll ever see from a second baseman. Zimmermann also took a comebacker from David Wright off his, um, posterior region. A trainer came out to look at him, but Jordan laughed him off. Scoreless after one.

12:50 p.m. — Tough second inning for Mazzoni. He gave up three singles and a walk, including an RBI hit to Zimmermann, then had to leave the game holding his right arm. Hopefully it’s nothing serious for a minor-league guy who was getting a chance to pitch in a big-league spring game. It’s 1-0 Nats going to the bottom of the second.

1:22 p.m. — We’re in the middle of the fourth now, the Nats still leading 1-0. Old pal John Lannan replaced the injured Mazzoni and settled things down for the Mets. Zimmermann has thrown 33-of-41 pitches for strikes through three.

1:38 p.m. — Four innings down now, still 1-0 Nats. Wilson Ramos, you may have noticed, departed after only three innings, but that was planned. The Nats say he’s not dealing with any injury.

1:46 p.m. — Make it five scoreless innings for Zimmermann, who did it on 71 pitches. That may be it for him, as Rafael Soriano begins to warm in the pen. Assuming Jordan is done, his final spring pitching line will be: 18 IP, 11 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 15 K. Mercy.

1:53 p.m. — Not a banner 60 seconds for Bryce Harper in the top of the sixth. He was held to a single on a line drive off the left field wall. Then he was picked off trying to steal second. I think he, like everyone else, is ready to start playing in games that count.

2:05 p.m. — Soriano put two men on in the sixth, one via a Rendon error, but he came up big to escape the jam. With runners on second and third and two out, he froze Granderson looking at a slider on the outside corner. That might’ve been Soriano’s best pitch of the spring. Still 1-0 Nats heading to the seventh.

2:13 p.m. — Kevin Frandsen, meanwhile, has made his Nats debut at second base.

2:20 p.m. — And now Frandsen is at first base. Matt Williams noted this morning how much experience he has there. That could change the Nats’ plan to play Ryan Zimmerman at first base as much as originally planned. Read my full story on Zim here.

2:42 p.m. — Just got back from the clubhouse, where Jordan Zimmermann discussed how well his afternoon and his spring overall went. While down there, Frandsen doubled in his first-ever at-bat with the Nats and later scored on Harper’s RBI single. It’s now 3-0 in the eighth.

2:55 p.m. — Well, folks. I’ve got to head out. Driving to Orlando to make my flight home tonight. It’s still 3-0 Nats in the top of the ninth. I’ll trust you all to take this one home for me. Talk to you from D.C.!

111 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. thelatencn - Mar 27, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Only eight players in our lineup. Who’s on first???

  2. thelatencn - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Reposting from last thread.

    Re Frandsen: “He can catch.” — Matt Williams

    Hadn’t heard that before. Does this mean we’re back to the Ramos-can-pinch-hit-on-his-days-off idea?

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      Reposting and consolidating my reply:

      I can’t recall if I read it here or on WaPo, but I believe William’s said he is now the “emergency catcher”. I’m not sure what that means in terms of a greater willingness to DH or PH Ramos, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Frandsen doesn’t ever start when Ramos is benched or DHing.

      It’s kind of amazing how flexible our infield is right now:
      C Ramos, Lobaton, Frandsen
      1B LaRoche, Frandsen, Zim
      2B Rendon, Espi, Frandsen
      SS Desi, Espi, Frandsen
      3B Zim, Rendon, Frandsen
      Reply Report comment

    • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      He never has in a professional game, Minors or Majors. Brought up as a Shortstop by the Giants.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        Darn, need an edit button. Frandsen has never played catcher at any level in the Minors or Majors. The good news is he played all 4 positions in the infield in the Minors and Majors which is valuable if he ever has to play 1st and yes in the Majors has 14 games in the outfield although RF doesn’t look like it went well.

  3. NatsLady - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Chris Young (our Chris Young) to the Mariners. They had to DFA someone, so I assume it’s a major-league deal.

    @TNT_Mariners why do you have to clear space if minor league deal?— Jesse (@Martijes) March 27, 2014

  4. NatsLady - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    I love winning, but it sure is fun watching Danny field. That’s entertainment.

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      I hear that. I hope it makes the GameDay video highlights…sounds like it may…

  5. natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Ramos now batting .395 en fuego

  6. Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Just checking to see if Cory Mazzoni was any relation to Leo (apparently not), but B-R says the Nats drafted him out of high school (didn’t sign) in 2008.

  7. Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Espi with a walk…that’s a decent sign…how were his swings, assuming he took any?

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      Oh, wait, was it an intentional walk?

      • David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        Not intentional, but it was on 4 pitches and none were close.

  8. Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Zinn!!! 2 RBI. Nice!

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      Er, 1 RBI, my bad…

      And, now Lannan is coming in? Strange.

      • NatsLady - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:07 PM

        Lannan doesn’t look injured. Guess Collins didn’t like him coming in yesterday and walking the first two guys.

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        Maybe Collins is just being super cautious and pulling pitchers anytime they seem to be struggling? I have to think managers and pitchers are a little jittery given how many have gone down this spring.

  9. TimDz - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    I’m guessing the Nats won’t be seeing any pitchers from the Mets 25 man roster….

  10. Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Apparently Mazzoni lost it all at once. Mets announcers are speculating he got discombobulated by LaRoche singling through the shift, when a normal defense would have had an easy 4-3 (assuming he hit the same ground ball, which is of course entirely speculative).

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      Weird

  11. Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Zim is out again with a stomach bug? Fire the caterer!

    • Jb - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      Changes diaper. Forgets to wash hands. Do the math.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        There’s that.

        I hope they keep the Strasburg kid out of the rain, in that case.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      It sounds worse than that. Ice on the abdomen.

  12. David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Bryce needs to buy a hat that fits

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      Bryce needs to find a bat that hits.

      badaboom!

      • naterialguy - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        +1

      • RPrecupjr - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        Sofa on fire! Oh wait….

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        Well played, sir!

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        We’re ready to go north!

      • nats106 - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        I’ve only seen Harper swing the bat twice this spring. Is he still doing that high leg kick before he swings? Doesn’t look the same as last 2 years and the results are not terribly positive.

        Anybody seen the offense, or is it going MIA in FLA?

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        nats106, no, he’s not. FP was discussing it the other day (as we were, in here), with comparison videos, when Harper hit that bomb to left center. Overswung a bit on that broken bat off LannEn, but it can be hard to tell when he’s overswinging sometimes, since he normally airs it out pretty good anyway.

      • nats106 - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:20 PM

        Thanks Sofa. I haven’t seen a lot of ST games, and the two times I saw him hit, it really seemed over exaggerated. As I am a terrible homer, I have Harper on my fantasy team and am expecting (hoping) for that huge year that didn’t materialize last year because of injuries.

  13. Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Espi with a single…good to see since the walk sounded kinda cheap.

    • knoxvillenat - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      Eric

      Espinosa took a 2-2 pitch that looked to be on the outer half of the plate, if not the outside corner, right back up the middle. I’m sure that in 2013 he rolls over that pitch and hits a weak tap to the second baseman.

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:33 PM

        Nice, thanks for the visual account…tough sitting here with no video OR audio watching GameDay hobble its way through the game (is it always this slow during ST?).

        Sounds like a good at bat!

    • jd - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      Eric,

      A walk is never cheap since they let you take a base on a walk.

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        I just meant, it sounds like the pitches weren’t close enough to suggest Espi battled to a walk. The context is his bases-loaded whiff yesterday and the alarm bells it set off.

      • jd - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        I get it. Espi has had a good spring though so I wasn’t really concerned about one exhibition at bat. Once the games start counting and the opposing pitchers put more emphasis on getting people out (rather than working on things) we can make a fair evaluation.

  14. Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Whoa…Rendon’s SO rate is 27% this spring…

    • David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      Don’t be concerned about things like that. A lot of guys will take a lot of pitches early just so they can track pitches. When you’re 0-2, you’re probably going to end up striking out.

      • David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        Plus, the sample is also very small.

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        Yeah, I know, just hadn’t ever looked and was surprised.

  15. David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Interesting inning for Bryce. Singles off the wall because he was in his home run trot (wind blew it back in) and then got picked off first.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      A bizarre ST for Bryce. Makes Sportscenter and all the other Sports Networks last night for all the wrong reasons.

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      Espi with a double, nice!

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        Danny Doubles.

        One could have a worse nickname.

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        Argh, the “Espi with a double” comment was aligned at the bottom of the comments when I posted. So weird and annoying.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      Was he trotting? I’m watching on TV and they didn’t show him going to first. He got out of the box OK, afaict.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        I’m not saying Harper isn’t ready to get out of Florida, but in fairness, he was stealing on first move off the lefty, guessed wrong, and maybe left just a hair too soon. A Jayson Werth hair, maybe, but still.

  16. David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Encouraged by that outing by Soriano. Two men got on, but one was a bloop by Young, the other on a bunt and then an error by Rendon. Soriano got David Wright to fly out and Curtis Granderson to strike out. He threw A LOT of sliders. The one to Wright was a hanger that Wright missed, but otherwise, a lot of good sliders. Better than we saw last year.

    Hope it carries over. Hope nothing else about this Spring for Soriano carries over.

  17. natsjackinfl - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    That was a short, sweet stroke on the double by Danny Espinosa.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      Yes it was. That’s what he needs to stick to.

    • NatsNut - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      Like

  18. natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Espinosa looking better today. I can put my extra strength Tylenol away.

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      Ha!

      A walk, a single on a 2-2 pitch on the outer half, and a double certainly amounts to an encouraging day.

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:17 PM

        Not to mention, bouncing back like this from what sounds like a hard core relapse yesterday has to be a good sign.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        He looks like he lost weight from yesterday. I think Matty kicked him in the butt after the game and Espi lost a few LBs.

        This short stroke works. Save those other swings when you make the HR Derby!

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:24 PM

        Indeed, or, at the very least, a first pitch meatball with no outs and no one in scoring position.

  19. NatsNut - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    I said this before but I think Zimmermann will be the first on this team to have a, um, Very Special Game. wink, wink. Not necessarily this year, but if it happens, he’s the first.

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      I wouldn’t be lying if I didn’t say I’m not with you. ;)

    • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      +1

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      I’ve long believed it.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      Gio is still my bet! Not as much faith as I first made this claim but he can do it! heck all four can go back-to-back-to-back-to-back!

      • NatsNut - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        Like

  20. Danny - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Just another good ol’ fashioned 1-0 Nats special so far.

  21. Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Clippard follows up Sori’s solid inning with one of his own…good stuff.

    Is it common for closers to pitch early innings in ST?

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

      Yeah, because they want to get their work in before the regulars come out.

    • natsjackinfl - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      If you want them to face guys that they’ll see during the regular season they do.

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      Thanks to you both, that makes sense.

  22. Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Frandsen off to a good start with the Nats!

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Lobaton with a sac fly. 2-0 Nats. Cheers to late inning production!

  23. natsjackinfl - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    This #90 kid swings a prett good bat.

  24. natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Frandsen decides to get it going early.

  25. Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    Sweet Fancy Moses what a catch by Lagares. He must have run 60 yards to get to that.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

      isn’t he considered best defensive CF?

    • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

      60 yards or 60 feet?

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        OK, probably closer to 40 yards, but he did go a long way across and back into the R-C gap

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        Soon we will have that new TV feature to measure distances and analysis on the routes. I would say 25 to 30 yards by the eye test. That’s a long way to run and a nice play.

  26. NatsLady - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    LOL, Span knew he was catching that, Frandsen didn’t.

  27. Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Harper follows up with an RBI single…good stuff!

  28. kirbs3256 - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    That is how we play!

    • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      And on cue Hairston K’s.

  29. natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    From Mark in the newest post “Zimmerman was not in the Nationals’ lineup for their final spring training game. Williams said he is dealing with stomach soreness, the result not of an injury but of an illness. Zimmerman, who has been wearing an ice pack around both his stomach and right shoulder in recent days…”

    Do people normally wear ice packs on their stomach from a belly ache or stomach virus?

    If so I’ve been doing it wrong when I eat a bad burrito!

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:41 PM

      Yeah, that’s a little concerning, although I will say I have had stomach bugs/food poisoning where I felt like I’d been punched in the gut for about 3 days after the primary symptoms subsided. Just terrible feeling like my whole stomach was bruised. I can imagine ice might have actually helped.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        Ok, [breathing in and out] I’m sending the man bubble wrap with Fragile stickers just in case.

      • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        I’ll double your order…he should be good if we keep him wrapped up between games until late June, right?

      • natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        You are on top of it NatsLady! I like the videos although that headfirst slide, yikes.

  30. Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Has Hairston batted against a lefty once this ST? I know Williams wanted to get him in front of RHPs a lot, but I swear that’s all I’ve seen him hit against so far.

  31. natsjackinfl - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    If Drew Storen throws strikes early in every at bat, he’ll be OK. If he doesn’t, he’s toast.

    • knoxvillenat - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      Had to leave my lunch time bar stool (where I was drinking a non-alcoholic beverage) so I didn’t get to see Storen pitch. How did he look to you?

  32. Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    A’ight, Storen, just hold steady…2 outs one on. You got this.

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      OK…strong innings from Sori, Clip, and Store right in a row…nice to see.

  33. Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Has anyone ever hit for a cycle AND drawn a walk in the same game?

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      Looks like, yes:
      “The last person to accomplish that and draw a walk in the same game was Gary Matthews Jr. of the Texas Rangers on Sept. 14, 2006.”

  34. Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    According to my WordPress feed, Mazzoni had an injured tricep.

    • natsjackinfl - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      The Mets announcers said it was a bicep issue when Lannon came in during the second inning.

  35. David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Span has had a fantastic game. Everything up the middle or the other way. Sharp grounders or liners. No pulling

    • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      “Denard Span grounds out, second baseman Daniel Murphy to first baseman Ike Davis.” :P

  36. natsjackinfl - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    That #90 guy is up again. Strikes out looking like a typical guy wearing#90.

  37. natinalsgo - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    The other Michael Taylor who was a former top prospect with the A’s looks to be getting cut loose.

    Career MLB stats are awful although small sample. He grew up in Maryland. At 28 it could be the end of the line for him.

  38. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    Just saw Lagares play and Harper’s RBI single. Both times bat-meets-ball sound was like music.

  39. Danny - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    Blevins has looked awfully impressive this Spring.

  40. Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Nats score another in the top half of the ninth. Blevins closed it out with a K. That’s your Spring Training. 4-0, Nats. Now, the best 26 head north.

  41. Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Safe travels, Mark and everybody else. Don’t do anything that will require ice on your stomach.

  42. David Proctor - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Fister has lat strain. Elbow is fine, but unlikely to make OD start now.

    • Eric - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      Uuuuuuugh.

  43. NatsNut - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Whew. Finally. Come on up boys. We left the light on for you.

  44. Jacob Rasch - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Here’s our recap of the last game of spring training (thank god):

    http://seriousjammage.com/2014/03/27/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-the-final-spring-training-game-nats-vs-mets/

  45. Jacob Rasch - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Here’s our recap of the last game of spring training (thank god):

    http://seriousjammage.com/2014/03/27/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-the-final-spring-training-game-nats-vs-mets/

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 46 1.0
NEW YORK 48 53 8.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
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