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Game 1: Nats at Mets

Mar 31, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

NEW YORK — As I write this at 9:30 a.m., the tarp is on the field here. The temperature is 36 degrees. There’s a light rain — and even a couple of icy-looking things — falling from the sky. And yet … let’s play ball!

Yes, it’s Opening Day, and they are expected to play today at Citi Field, where the weather is supposed to clear out before first pitch at 1:10 p.m. Stephen Strasburg makes his third straight Opening Day start; he allowed one run over 14 total innings the last two years. Dillon Gee gets the nod for the Mets, taking over the ace role with Matt Harvey and Jonathan Niese injured. Second baseman Daniel Murphy also won’t be in the lineup today, having left the team to be with his wife, who is due to give birth.

The Nats’ lineup, meanwhile, has some serious wrinkles to it. Matt Williams tried all kinds of different looks out this spring. He decided to try something completely different today. Ryan Zimmerman hits second. Wilson Ramos hits cleanup! Bryce Harper hits fifth. Adam LaRoche hits seventh. (Oh, and Anthony Rendon is the starting second baseman, not that anyone is surprised by that.)

Lots of updates to come, so please check back often…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at NEW YORK METS
Where:
Citi Field
Gametime: 1:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, MLB.com
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 46 degrees, Wind 18 mph in from LF

NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Jayson Werth
C Wilson Ramos
LF Bryce Harper
SS Ian Desmond
1B Adam LaRoche
2B Anthony Rendon
RHP Stephen Strasburg

METS
2B Eric Young Jr.
CF Juan Lagares
3B David Wright
RF Curtis Granderson
LF Andrew Brown
1B Ike Davis
C Travis d’Arnaud
SS Ruben Tejada
RHP Dillon Gee

1:13 p.m. — The sun is shining, the temperature is up to 44 degrees and the 2014 season is underway! Dillon Gee fires a fastball low to Denard Span for ball one.

1:22 p.m. — Well, here’s the good, the bad and the ugly of this new-look lineup. The good: Ryan Zimmerman drilled a 1-out single to left to get things going. The bad: Jayson Werth struck out and Wilson Ramos tapped a weak grounder to third to end the inning. The ugly: Bryce Harper will now lead off the top of the second, with nobody on base. Oh well, here’s Stephen Strasburg taking the mound.

1:37 p.m. — Wow, that was unexpected. Strasburg put himself in a jam after allowing one-out singles to Juan Lagares and David Wright, but then he froze Curtis Granderson with a 2-2 fastball at the knees. All that stood between Strasburg and a scoreless first inning was Andrew Brown, a late replacement for the ill Chris Young in left field. So what happened? Well, Strasburg grooved a 2-2 fastball, and Brown absolutely destroyed it. The ball sailed way over the wall in deep left-center, into a stiff wind. Shocking. The Nats trail 3-0 after one, and Strasburg has already thrown 25 pitches.

1:50 p.m. — Man oh man, what an eventful start to the season. And what a potentially devastating moment when Harper went hard into second base and wound up getting Eric Young’s knee to the side of his head. Harper went down in a heap and stayed down on the ground for a good minute as Matt Williams and Lee Kuntz raced out to check on him. Harper sat up as Kuntz examined him, then walked off the field under his own power. Moments later, Adam LaRoche destroyed a 2-2 fastball from Gee onto the concourse in deep right-center. So just like that, the Nats trimmed the lead to 3-2. As for Harper … he stayed in the game and re-took his position in left field for the bottom of the second. I’m sure the Nats conducted concussion tests before letting Harper stay in the game. But, wow. That was scary.

1:59 p.m. — Meanwhile, Strasburg is laboring. He walked d’Arnaud to lead off the bottom of the second, and that came back to haunt him when d’Arnaud scored on Young’s sac fly. So make it 4-2 Mets after two wild innings.

2:18 p.m. — Strasburg hasn’t been himself so far today, but he still does have the ability to take over a game all by himself. He did so in the bottom of the third, striking out Granderson, Brown and d’Arnaud, giving him six for the afternoon. He also has allowed five hits and two walks. With his pitch count at 61, the question now becomes how far the Nats ace can go today. Still 4-2 Mets after three.

2:26 p.m. — Gee has settled down himself. He’s now retired eight straight since the LaRoche homer in the top of the second. Harper flied out to left in his first at-bat since the collision. We move to the bottom of the fourth, still 4-2 Mets.

2:32 p.m. — A 9-pitch bottom of the fourth for Strasburg, which is exactly what he needed. He’s got eight K’s now through four, his pitch count at 70.

2:37 p.m. — Make it 11 in a row retired by Gee since the LaRoche homer. The Nats have only two hits through five innings. No matter how Strasburg was pitching, that would be tough to overcome. Onto the bottom of the fifth.

2:45 p.m. — Strasburg has finally settled down. He’s retired seven in a row and is through five innings with nine strikeouts, including another one on a slider to David Wright just now. He’s at 82 pitches through five. The Nats, meanwhile, have the top of the lineup due up in the sixth. Would seem to be a golden opportunity to get back in this thing.

3:02 p.m. — Say this for Strasburg: He struggled early, but he finished strong. He retired 10 in a row and finished with 10 strikeouts. If nothing else, he has given his teammates a chance to rally late. It’s still 4-2 as we go to the seventh.

3:37 p.m. – It’s Chase here taking over as Mark gets started on the Instant Analysis. The top of the seventh brought a good deal of action for the Nats on offense as they tied the game with two outs. The frame began with Ramos striking out before Harper reached on an infield single. Harper was then forced out at second on an infield grounder by Desmond, who reached first safely. LaRoche walked after that to set up two men on with Rendon due up. Rendon curved a RBI double down the right field line into foul territory to score Desmond. A pinch-hitting Nate McLouth drew a walk on Carlos Torres to load the bases, and then Mets’ reliever Scott Rice walked Span to score the tying run. Eight straight balls between Torres and Rice knotted the game at 4-4. Tejada, Duda, and Young, Jr. are due up next for the Mets in the bottom of the seventh.

3:44 p.m. – Drew Storen replaced Strasburg in the bottom of the seventh and got out of it 1-2-3. Tejada struck out looking, Duda flew out in foul territory, and Young struck out swinging. Jose Lobaton replaced Ramos at the start of the frame, by the way, so keep an eye out for that. He was due up second in the next inning. Whether it is an injury or not, we’ll see.

3:48 p.m. – Nothing going for the Nats in the top of the eighth as Werth, Lobaton and Harper all went down quickly. Werth and Harper struck out while Lobaton flew out to center field. Tyler Clippard will now take over for Storen. Up next for New York are Lagares, Wright and Granderson.

4:00 p.m. – This game is no longer tied as the Mets jumped back on top thanks to a solo home run by Lagares. He took a 0-2 pitch from Tyler Clippard over the left field fence. Clip went 1-2-3 with the next three batters, but the Nats are down to their final three outs. It will be Desmond, LaRoche and Rendon.

4:08 p.m. – And we’re back to being tied thanks to a clutch RBI double by Span. Desmond led off with a single before two quick outs brought a pinch-hitting Danny Espinosa to the plate. Espinosa began the count down 1-2 on Bobby Parnell, but then worked a walk. Span came up and doubled to left-center to bring home Desmond and put two men in scoring position. At 5-5 Zimmerman flew out to center field to end the frame. Aaron Barrett is now in to make his MLB debut.

4:25 p.m. – It was a tough initial test for Barrett in his first ever appearance, but he passed with flying colors. He got both Quintanilla and Tejada to strike out swinging, and d’Arnaud to fly out to right field. On to the 10th inning we go with Werth, Lobaton and Harper due up next.

4:43 p.m. – The seesaw that is this game tipped back towards the Nationals who are now up 6-5 in the top of the 10th. Desmond hit a sac fly to center field to score Werth for the go-ahead run. Werth led off with a single and was followed by Lobaton who also reached on a base hit. Both runners moved into scoring position on a passed ball thrown by Jeurys Familia. John Lannan will now take over with two outs.

4:48 p.m. – It is a close game no more. Rendon smacked a three-run bomb off Lannan to left field and it’s now 9-5 Nats. Mets fans are heading for the exits and screaming not-so-nice things at the former Nationals lefty on their way out.

4:58 p.m. – Jerry Blevins gave up a two-run home run to David Wright with two outs, but the Nats held on for their first win of the 2014 season. 9-7 is your final score.

406 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Hiram Hover - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Opening day – just win, baby!

  2. MicheleS - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    I am almost to NYC! Look for Nats fans in Section 506!

    • rabbit433 - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      506….don’t fall!!!

      • naterialguy - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:23 PM

        Be safe have fun and root root root for the away team

  3. janebeard - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Happy Opening Day Mark! And happy opening day to all my imaginary friends here!

    How FUN to read, “Game 1″
    I’m glad to see Desi in the 6 hole.
    Michelle, may you woohoo for all of us!
    GYFNG!

  4. MicheleS - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Sounds like the Mets are having FLU issues too!

  5. rabbit433 - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Looks like a great lineup! The weakest link that I see is Adam LaRoche and that ain’t bad! Hit the ball guys. No strike outs! (I know, I know, always some) Wow, what a season this is going to be. GO NATIONALS!

  6. smatt1001 - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Going to the game as well. Really looking forward to it as I probably won’t be able to see the Nats at home this year.

  7. adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    With a RHP, I’d prefer to see Harper further up in the order. I wouldn’t put three right-handed-batters right in front of him.

    • deftndumb - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      I think it’s all about getting Ramos in at cleanup.

      • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        I’d put Harper 2d or 3d for today, perhaps drop RZ down to 5th.

        Odds are greater than half that Harper will get one less plate appearance batting fifth instead of second or third, and if I’m Williams, I want Harper to see the batter’s box as much as feasible. Again: especially against a RHP. (I’m ok with Harper 5th against a LHP)

      • deftndumb - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        Wonk: I have to believe Harper will end up higher in the order as the season evolves; but this lineup tells me they think Ramos is a monster coming out of ST, and they want to experiment with him batting 4th, matchups be damned.

      • deftndumb - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        Oops: I should have also added that Harper’s potential pop at 5 protects Ramos at 4. They’re experimenting, and they love Ramos.

      • deftndumb - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        Oops: I should have also added that Harper’s potential pop at 5 protects Ramos at 4. They’re experimenting, and they love Ramos.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      Agreed! I was thinking the same thing looking at the lineup. Anyways, just excited to see some baseball.

      • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        Boswell mentioned something in today’s Q&A that was the first reason I’ve read that makes sense to me: “One reason the Nats have put Harper at No. 5 is to take some pressure/spotlight off him. They don’t put it that way. But a couple of vets, who love Harper, think it’s a good spot for him so he can relax a bit ”

        Well, it sort of makes sense. If he’s up with men on base all the time, is that taking pressure off of him?

        But, whatever, perhaps the feeling of #5 will reduce pressure.

        More importantly, I understand he’s only 21, and that if it _does_ take pressure off of him, then I’m all for it!

  8. sunshinebobby - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    And so it begins! MichelleS and all the other NI’ers up there, have a ball. Be thinking of you. And stay dry!

    And, first one of the season:

    GYFNG!!

  9. Danny - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    For the Mets, Murphy and Chris Young are out.

  10. adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    I hadn’t realized this: Span led the majors in triples last year.

  11. dhamm6500 - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Ah…best day of the year! Here we go….!

    • ehay2k - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:49 AM

      Yes, I am not even watching the NCAA tournament. And as usual, I will be in the air for most of the game. :(

      But I should be able to catch first pitch at Dulles before my flight takes off. :)

      GYFNG!

  12. Theo - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    All I can say is GYFNG!!!

  13. Section 222 - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Sounds like the weather is going to clear just in time. Chilly, but sunny. Not bad for 3/31.

    Sweet lineup. You go Matt! Sooner or later Harper will force himself into the 3 or 4 hole, but I think this lineup is a winner!

  14. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    So psyched!

  15. Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

    • Hiram Hover - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      How appropriate to pick a song with snow in the lyrics!

      • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        nice catch!

  16. Section 222 - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Exactly right Deft. Late in the game, you gonna walk Ramos to get to Harper? Nope. If Ramos can produce like he did in ST, I like this move. Out of the box.

  17. Doc - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Zim bating 2nd makes more sense than Williams’ having Desi in that spot.

    Dropping ALR in the lineup is something that Davey didn’t have cojones to do.

    ARen in the 8th spot, protects ALR and gives the top of the order something with which to work.

    Rendon is not your average 8th hitter, but then this is not your average lineup!

    • Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Say what you want, but I don’t think that Davey was ever lacking in cojones.

      • Doc - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        When it came to moving ALR down in the lineup, he was Seams!

  18. snerdblurter - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    LOVE the line-up. Or at least, I love what it represents. Hot bats will be rewarded. Don’t be afraid to mix things up. Figure out what works, go with it, but adapt as needed.

    That said, I think we’d all like to see Harper a little further up against an RHP, but I’m not sure Dickey would be considered your typical RHP. Would love to see us finally get to him early. Ramos 2-run HR in the first inning would be nice…

    • Section 222 - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      Dickey? Did the Mets trade to get him back? :-)

      • snerdblurter - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        Oof, guess that makes a little bit of a difference. Thanks 222 – still early out here on the left coast.

      • Section 222 - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        Coffee cures all maladies. Even though he’s not as fearsome as he once was, I’m very glad we don’t have to face Dickey anymore.

    • zmunchkin - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      Not me. Harper earlier in the order means he will get pitched around. 5 or 4 (if Ramos does not work as 4) is the ideal spot for him at this point in his career.

      I really don’t understand why everyone wants more ABs for Harper vs. more productive ABs for the team.

  19. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    MLB needs to plan fewer north games this early. I feel like they could have avoided some north series.

  20. jonnynats14 - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    OH MY GOODNESS!

    Happy Opening Day, GYFNG!

  21. scnatsfan - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    Lets hope this is the start of THE magical season. It has to be someone who wins it all… why not us???

    Start the season strong boys.

  22. texnat1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    Interesting lineup to have Ramos above Harper, especially against a RHP.

    Lets hope that it is the cure to Gee’s evil anti-Nat voodoo.

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      I am also a bit traumatized re: Gee, but someone pointed out recently that we got to him a few times during the second half last year…let’s hope that continues!

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      PS – In case you’re interested, I replied to your accusation a few articles back that I was trolling re: Rendon/Espi… please do me a favor in the future and don’t post such accusations where I might miss them.

      • texnat1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:03 PM

        I see that now. Didn’t mean to catch you off guard, wasn’t paying attention to whether there was a new thread.

        Let’s just hope that whoever plays 2b plays it well.

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        I’m with you there! And, fair enough re: not noticing the new thread.

        Please know that it is exceptionally rare for me to post with the intention of raising hackles or getting people fired up. Even when I do engage in such things, I’m very up front about my intentions.

        All my posts about Espi and Rendon have been 100% sincere and my only goal was to learn what drives others’ and the media’s point of view: i.e., I was only looking for conversation and hoping to learn something.

      • texnat1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        Fair enough. I apologize if I was unduly harsh.

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:16 PM

        It’s all good, and I apologize for dragging this into a game thread…I just wanted to address it and this is the first time since that I’ve seen you post while I’ve also been online.

  23. jonnynats14 - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Yeah, I’m thinking silver slugger SS desi needs more ab’s than sixth, but I’m ok with this lineup as a start.

    • deftndumb - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      Desmond seems to get his best numbers batting sixth. The plate discipline was never the same when he batted 2nd.

      • deftndumb - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:42 AM

        Ugh: edit function. His “lack” of plate discipline…

      • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        However — he doesn’t need plate discipline. He hits extremely well when he swings on first pitches.

        If what you were saying was: we need a guy who will take more pitches batting second, then I’m in agreement with you.

  24. jonnynats14 - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Yeah I agree Desi has too much power for 2nd, but he is much improved from a couple of years ago. I was thinking at least 5. Potentially this is a killer lineup, especially if Larouchie gets it going. But let’s see how they actually swing the bats.

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      We have the potential of six consecutive batters in that line up that could hit 20+ HR’s!

  25. Theophilus T.S. - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    (NOT “Theo.” Get another name, bud.)

    Don’t believe this lineup is an “experiment.” Williams believes every player should come to the park knowing where he will bat in the lineup. When you start the season you want to be “hot,” not experimenting. This is the day-to-day lineup he wants to work. With four .275 or better hitters in front of him Harper will have plenty ABs. Sixth is “Desmond’s spot,” and has been for two seasons. The guy that’s getting screwed is Zimmerman, who now has to protect and advance Span. Hopefully Span steals second a lot of times.

    “Experiments” are when things aren’t working. This lineup becomes an “experiment” only if Zimmerman, Ramos or Harper flails.

    • texnat1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      Well, I’ll reserve judgment. But at first glance, choosing to bat Harper 5th (and in the process putting three right handed hitters together in the heart of your line up) is absolutely bizarre. I hope it works.

      • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        Noted above: Boswell wrote today that: “One reason the Nats have put Harper at No. 5 is to take some pressure/spotlight off him. They don’t put it that way. But a couple of vets, who love Harper, think it’s a good spot for him so he can relax a bit…”

    • Theophilus T.S. - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      Replying to myself, it occurs to me that Zimmerman will have to start swinging at some of those called third strikes.

  26. veejh - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Opening day! Finally! Here’s to another season of Nats baseball! Woohoo!

  27. knoxvillenat - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Off topic (regards today’s lineup) but still relevant to the game…..Mark….why no mention of the game being on XM radio today?

  28. David Proctor - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Aaron Gleeman ‏@AaronGleeman 3s
    Kurt Suzuki, who had a .290 on-base percentage last season and a .299 OBP from 2009-2013, is batting second for the Twins on Opening Day.

    • texnat1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      Kind of gives you perspective on the “problems” with trying to put together a Nationals lineup, doesn’t it?

      • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        +1 !

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        Suzuki when he’s fresh can hit as we saw the beginning of last year -or- maybe the Twins know (no) something.

  29. jonnynats14 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Hmm, I thought I heard FP say that Williams would use lots of different lineups according to situations, ie righty vs lefty, the players avg against a particular guy or in a certain park, but, I’ll take this lineup, and I love to see Ramos getting some recognition.

  30. Section 222 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    I agree this is only an experiment in the sense that we’ve never seen it before. But Matt seems very serious about the 5th spot being a good place for Harper. I’m certainly willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on that. I remember seeing something once that said the your best hitters should bat 2nd, 4th, and 5th. 4th and 5th were favored over 3rd, I think, because of the chances they will come up with men on base outweighed the small number of additional ABs over the season.

    I’m just glad to see Zim at No. 2, Desi not batting No. 2, ALR down in the order, and Rendon 8th where his plate discipline and batting eye will play well.

    • masterfishkeeper - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      I agree, Section 222. I’d be happier with Harper batting 3 or 4, or even Span being moved down to 8 or 9, but those aspects are less important than Desi not hitting 2 and Laroche being moved down.

  31. Theophilus T.S. - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    If you’re building your lineup according to lefty-righty matchups, it doesn’t make much sense to hit Zimmerman, Werth and Ramos one after another.

  32. micksback1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    I can’t believe its here at last! another opening day! I will only post before and after games, I am following Coach’s advice this season. No matter how good or bad a game goes, I will only post after or before. Let’s play ball!!!!!

    Mick’s predictions on 3/31/2014, Nats win East 93-69. Roark and Jordan win 17 games combined and gain valuable playing time while Fister rests. I am not sure if Fister will ever be 100% so his injury would have been a blessing in disguise in that Roark and Jordan were the Nats 4th and 5th pitchers all along. Bryce will hit 40 with about 100RBI’s Our BP will be above average and our offense will average about 4.6 runs per game. Nats will get to WS before losing to Tigers in 6 or 7 games

    • nats106 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      If it wasn’t for the fact that I’d like to have some hot weather I’d say we should just fast forward to October.

      Hope we are all feeling the same a month from now. Given the soft schedule and the plethora of home games in April, I think anything less than 18-10 would be a disappointment. 20-8 would be preferred, with a sweep of Atlanta at home and winning 2 of 3 there.

  33. deftndumb - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Wonk @12:12
    That’s exactly what meant. Thank you. I’m new to this, and trying to do it on my phone. Much is getting lost.

  34. deftndumb - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Wonk @12:12
    That’s exactly what I meant. Thank you. I’m new to this, and trying to do it on my phone. Much is getting lost.

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      Got it!

      (Oy, Natsinsider via phone — that’s a tough one! (for me at least))

  35. deftndumb - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    And duplicated.

    • breakbad1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      Anyone having trouble in Fairfax County finding game on MASN2? I searched and searched and could not find it.

      • waddueyeno - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        hey all. good to see you again. and great to only a few minutes away from gametime.
        masn, and Angeloser, have orioles classics on one channel now, and no pregame for nats game . at least on directv.
        the guide sez pregame should have started at 1230 and the game at 1.

        someone get the TV deal done! please! just say no to Angelos!

        meanwhile, it’s great to hear charlie and dave.

        all you insiders in nyc – shout it loud!

        gyfng!

      • erocks33 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        Fios switched MASN2 a couple weeks back. It’s no longer on Channel 1/501. I think it’s on Channel 579 now.

  36. RickH - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    GO NATS! Can’t wait.

    • waddueyeno - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      on directv its only in SD. the scum

  37. Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Happy Opening Day to everyone!

    • erocks33 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      Welcome back, Ghost!

    • natsjackinfl - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      Welcome old friend. Good to see your posts.

    • janebeard - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      Happy Opening Day to YOU, Ghost!

    • Section 222 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      Ghost is back! And not as Ghost of Ghost. Cool. Welcome.

    • knoxvillenat - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      Nice to have you back!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        Now its time for a Nats rally! That would be a nice welcome back!

  38. adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Relax. We got this.

    (ducks and runs . . . . ;-) )

  39. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Longtime lurker, posting for first time (couldn’t log in until I switched from Firefox to Safari… is that typical?)

    My first Opening Day was April 18, 1960. My dad and I sat about two rows from the back of the bleachers. I remember trying unsuccessfully to imagine Mickey Mantle’s famous home run going over my head. Also remember that Pascual beat the Red Sox and Ted Williams, but it’s sure fun to be able to go back and revisit the long lost details on the web.

    Eisenhower threw out the first ball… how old does that make a guy feel?

    • nats106 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      Well, if you were 3 years old then, my age. Remember 57 is the new mid life crisis time.

      • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        I guess I’m safe, then. I was seven.

      • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        Hey, I’ll be 57 in a month, too!

        Trivia: more babies born in US in 1957 than any other year in all of US history.

    • RickH - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      I use Firefox without any problems logging in.

  40. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    1st base hit of the season goes to Zimm!!!

  41. adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Repeating a comment I made in other thread about batting order and Harper batting 5th:

    “If there are two outs and Ramos is up, the odds are less than half that Harper gets into the batters box, right?”

    No, I’m not going to make comments like that all season (sample of size of one) — but I just wanted to illustrate my point to those who may not have gotten it.

  42. nats106 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    Damn-happy advance birthday! Didn’t think of this before, but all born in 1957 will be 57 this year. Old guys rule!

    • RickH - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      Yep. I’ll hit 57 in September! Something symmetrical about the “double 57.”

      • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        I have a co-worker who raves about the specialness of “57”

        Everything from ’57 Chevy’s and ’57 Cadillacs to 57 ingredients! ;-)

    • Section 222 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      Hey! I resemble that remark!

  43. swang30 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    At least according to gameday, both Gee and Stras are getting squeezed. This ump has a strikezone the size of a pinhole…

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      Assuming gameday is accurate, Stras’ third pitch of the game was squarely in the lower third of the strike zone…and called a ball.

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        I believe Charlie and Dave just said that K pitch to Granderson was inside at the knees…gameday showed it smack dab in the middle of the strikezone…interesting.

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:33 PM

        inside corner at the knees, that is.

  44. waddueyeno - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    K#1

  45. Mrsb loves the Nats - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Sup everyone… Ive missed my peeps… Gosh, baseball season took forever to get here…

    40 degrees and they are playing… so glad its them and not me! :)

  46. Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Nice pitch by Strasburg and great frame job by Ramos on that K of Granderson.

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      Did it happen to appear to be on the inside corner, lower third of the zone? Gameday had it right down the middle…

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        Eric, up high and over the middle. Strasburg apparently decided to announce his presence with authority.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:42 PM

        Oh, wait, you meant the fastball to Granderson. It was inside and down in the zone.
        The 3-run HR was right over the plate.

  47. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Yikes…3-0 Mets.

  48. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Pppffftt!

  49. scnatsfan - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    We waited all winter for this???

    Grrrrr……………

    Cmon boys its the darn Mets

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:37 PM

      Haha… I share your sentiments but I have an issue the Mets will be a thorn in the side this year.. Not sure if they will be overwhelming better but they will cause problems…

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      Had it been Granderson who popped one no one would be that shocked.

  50. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    This will be a good opportunity to see if Strasburg can collect himself after getting his nose bloodied and keep his team in the game. I don’t think three runs is going to win it.

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      I hope so . . . . Gee ain’t chopped liver.

      OTOH, the Met’s set-up men are one of their weakest links.

  51. tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    0-3 to start – yicks

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      … and he was one strike away from getting out of the inning . . .

      That’s baseball!

  52. Theophilus T.S. - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    I take back everything nice I said about Strasburg in the previous post. He didn’t learn a damn thing over the winter. “Hey, let’s get three runs behind in the first inning, throw a lot of pitches, stress the bullpen and see if my guys can score four or more.” Another 8-9 season looms.

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      You are kidding, right?

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      THANK YOU ADAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Man.

      Stras gives up a three-run dinger.

      Harper hurt (hopefully not concussed)

      THANK YOU ADAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I really needed that.

  53. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Nice on Rendon getting to it and nice play by ALR .

  54. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    If a bunch of folks are going to give up on the season after one inning, I ain’t gonna hang around long.

  55. Section 222 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    So Stras’s ERA after an inning is 27.00? Nowhere to go but down I guess…

  56. Section 222 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    So Stras’s ERA after an inning is 27.00? Nowhere to go but down I guess…

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      Now there’s a “glass half full” guy for ya’ !! ;-)

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      Down to 21.60 after two!

      • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        And 13.50 after three!

  57. RickH - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    Wow! Glad Bryce walked off on his own power.

  58. blovy8 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    At least pretend you’re gonna run

  59. RickH - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    ALR!!!

  60. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Well, whaddya know?

  61. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    ARGH! Stupid WordPress…sorry for the repost:

    THANK YOU ADAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Man.

    Stras gives up a three-run dinger.

    Harper hurt (hopefully not concussed)

    THANK YOU ADAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I really needed that.

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      Yes, 222, I went against my last-name basis tendency here ;)

  62. scnatsfan - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    ALR! Must have learned something from twitter

    • knoxvillenat - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      Or perhaps from Willie Robertson!

  63. nats106 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Harper get hurt?

  64. jonnynats14 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Shift this!!! lol

  65. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Woo hoo!!! WTG Adam!!

  66. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Please let Harper take the field and only because he’s truly OK.

    Please.

  67. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Great start for Adam!

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      Funny. I was just reminding my Wonkling that ALR, even in his best years, has terrible April’s.

      And then it occurred to me: it’s not April yet!! ;-)

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:07 PM

        Good catch!

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        Zing!

  68. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Just saw the video of the homer Stras gave up….he missed his spot by more than a foot. Ramos set up low and away, ball was middle-in and belt high…deserved to be crushed.

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      Gee’s pitch to LaRoche was a mirror image.

  69. adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    For those who are following on GameDay (like me): please elaborate on what’s up with Harper!

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      Went hard into second to break up the double play and took Young’s shin right across the noggin. However, he’s back on the field.

      • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        thanks

  70. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    He’s on the field apparently OK (as per Charlie and Dave).

    A buddy who’s watching says it didn’t look too bad.

  71. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Harp still in. He did a great job breaking up the double play. He doesn’t break it up then it wouldn’t be 3-2 right now.

  72. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Come on, Stephen!

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      Seriously…sheesh…

  73. David Proctor - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Stasburg’s velo is way down.

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      Ugh…so much stress for day 1.

      • nats106 - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        Don’t stress it’s only baseball. Now if you’re Ukrainian, feel free to stress.

    • Steady Eddie - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      His FBs to d’Arnaud on the BB were 93, but it may be hard to get loose in 44 degree, damp weather with a 16 mph wind blowing in off LI Sound. Not an excuse, just maybe some of an explanation.

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        Here’s hoping that’s all it is.

      • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        (and add: for a guy from San Diego ;-) )

  74. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    EY Jr. destroyer of key players. Myabe he does it intentionally!

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      Boo! That needs a snark tag.

  75. texnat1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    The dreaded 8 pitch inning. Reminds me too much of last year.

  76. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Royals go up on Verlander, 2-1 in the top of the fourth.

  77. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Wow…4 change ups to Granderson…

  78. scnatsfan - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    If – IF – MLB.com is correct then SS velocity is way down as stated above

  79. nats106 - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Maybe he’s still pitching to contact?

  80. David Proctor - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Strasburg throwing all offspeed now

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      That actually makes me think it’s not something that would send him to the numbered-days list that shall remain nameless…seems like breaking balls would be the last thing you’d turn to in that situation. Yes?

      • David Proctor - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:23 PM

        I never meant to suggest Strasburg was hurt when I mentioned his diminished velocity. Just something to keep an eye on moving forward

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        Oh I know, my mind just went there immediately given all that’s happened this spring w/pitchers.

  81. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Who’s first out of the bullpen for the Nats, do we think?

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      Detwiler as a long man?

      • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        That’s my guess.

  82. Steady Eddie - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    For anyone watching on TV, is Stras getting as badly and erratically squeezed esp. At the bottom of the zone, as it looks on GameDay? Ball 2 to Davis looked fully in the zone at the bottom.

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      Also: are his 4-seamers 93 mph?

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        Charlie and Dave just confirmed that it is indeed topping out at 93 – 94 mph.

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      FWIW, at one point GameDay showed a called strike as having been located right in the middle of the zone, but Charlie and Dave said it was at the knees on the inside corner.

  83. ratiocinational - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Bryce tweeted this today.

    Who's ready for some baseball? Opening Day is finally here! Things just got real! Let's go big kid!! #MLB pic.twitter.com/3ulks9kwvT— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) March 31, 2014

    Don’t think that’s the kind of “special kick” he was expecting!

  84. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    And if Gameday’s locations are accurate, Stras is getting royally squeezed. Nothing over the outer third is being called a strike. I’ll compare it to what Gee is getting in this inning

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      It does seem they’re both having the same problem. Charlie and Dave haven’t commented on the zone or Stras’ velocity that I’ve heard…just his FB location being all over the place in the zone.

  85. breakbad1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    So I went to a bar in Falls Church and asked if they could pull up the Nats on MASN2. No luck. The place had Cox. They found the O’s “classic,” and of course the Pirates, but no Nats.

    So I went to work and signed up for the MLB Premium deal, where they promise you every single game, home and away TV stations, your choice. And I try MASN2 and I’m told sorry, it’s blacked out, and then I try the Mets network, and again I’m gold it’s blacked out.

    It sucks.

  86. scnatsfan - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Have to love Gameday on opening day
    “Dillon Gee is trying to tie up Wilson Ramos with fastballs inside; Ramos is hitting .000 on pitches in that location compared to .000 overall.”

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      This has been another edition of “Small Sample Size Series.”

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        I especially like that Stras’ ERA is twice the sum of the total runs scored by both teams so far today ;).

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      A classic!!!

  87. David Proctor - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    That Strasburg fastball to Gee was 90.

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      Have to assume that both pitchers are having some trouble with “feel” in this weather. Gee missed his target to LaRoche by as much as Stras missed his to Brown.

      8 K’s in 4 innings for Stras, if anyone’s looking for silver linings.

  88. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    I saw that too, SC, gave me a good laugh in an otherwise annoying inning.

  89. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    8 Ks for Stras.

    Amazing that they have 4 runs to show for it.

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Is this the first game-day drink owed? ;-)

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        Ha! I won’t turn it down ;)

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Earl Weaverball.

      • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        Reminds me of the time Steve Carleton set the (then) record for 19 K’s in a 9 inning game (at the time nobody else had done it) against the Mets.

        But the Mets won 4-3 on two 2-run homers by Ron Swoboda. It was during that “Amazing Mets” 1969 magical season (from 9th place in ’68 to WS winner in ’69).

  90. adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    OTOH — 8 K’s in 4 IP for Stras.

  91. RickH - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Nice inning for Stras, finally.

    • texnat1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      Another low pitch count inning for Gee. I wish they would work the count a little at least to get to the bullpen (Rendon looking at you).

  92. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Salvador Perez has been wearing out Verlander today… two crushed doubles and a single.

  93. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Wow…Stras is LOVING his changeup today.

    • RickH - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      And his new slider!

  94. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Finally Stras seems to have settled in…

  95. Steady Eddie - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Weird. GameDay on the computer showed ball 1 to Granderson as being clearly a strike near the bottom of the zone. GameDay on my iPhone showed it way below the bottom of the zone.

    Schizophrenic program?

  96. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    So much for working the count, Span. TWO pitches???

  97. thenatom - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Interested to see how long MW decides to leave Stras in for and who his first reliever will be.

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      Also will be interesting to see when he’ll get people working in the bullpen.

  98. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    WTF is it about Dillon Gee? Dude doesn’t even spell his first name right!

    I think the early swings (Span, Rendon) are because he’s throwing a lot of strikes and things don’t seem to get easier as the count progresses.

  99. lphboston - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Is this Groundhog Day?

  100. veejh - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Nats love making Gee look like an ace. That dude owns us.

  101. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Okay, who had Aaron Barrett in the “first up in the bullpen” pool? Come on down and collect your money!

  102. tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    We need to get to the Mets pen!

  103. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    Stras approaching 100 pitches and velocity the same as when he started…I’m wondering if he’s just not pitching at maximum effort due to the cold temps and if that maybe messed up his ability to locate his FB.

  104. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    OK bats, AWAKE! Get Stras off the hook.

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      Assuming he’s done, of course…which I have to think he is.

  105. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Would love to see us string together some hits to be able to pinch hit for Stras and make Matt’s decision that much easier. He’s at 102 pitches in crappy weather, but through 6 innings. There’s still 161 games to go, let the bullpen finish it up.

  106. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Rangers’ Tanner Scheppers not missing many Phillies bats.

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Likewise Cliff Lee.

      • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        3 run HR for Rios, 7-6 Rangers in the bottom of the third.

  107. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Rendon.

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      I feel much the same way about Rendon as I did about Desmond 3 or 4 years ago.

      • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        In a good way. :-)

  108. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Nice job, Anthony

  109. Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    That’s what I’m talking about! Rendon!

  110. adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Rendon! On Gee’s 100th (?) pitch!

  111. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Interesting…Frandsen, not McLouth as first PH

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Didn’t see that coming, either.

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      McLouth standing in following pitching change…

      Fingers crossed…

  112. tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    You have to pitch hit for Stras with two guys in scoring position!!!

  113. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Rendon! Woo! Too bad it was LaRoche on first ;).

    Whomever bats for Stras needs to hang LaRoche and Rendon on Gee’s ERA.

  114. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Okay, it’s McLouth!

  115. texnat1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    So what is the book on that? Was it too early in the game to pinch run for Laroche?

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      7th inning, down by two, and, probably , most importantly, not the lead runner . . . yeah, I don’t think that runner gets replaced very often.

      • texnat1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        Yeah, I guess that is a little early. Though its the runner that matters the most. But I agree with you.

      • adcwonk - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:53 AM

        And “the early” part of that argument is really two arguments: (a) it’s still early enough if you’re only one run behind; and (b) might need extra players for switches, PH, etc, and you don’t want to run out.

        It turned out both were relevant. By the end of the game, the Nats had only one non-pitcher (Hairston) left on the bench!

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Saving McLouth for the batters box?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Tough call on that one. Once LaRoche got on I wondered the same.

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      I think so, although the presence of Frandsen, who can play first, makes it a legit question. That way you don’t have to burn two players.

  116. tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Nice – Gee out of the game…

  117. nats106 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Let’s see some of that Mets bullpen magic.

  118. Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Bases loaded. Span against the lefty.

  119. tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Come on SPAN!

  120. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Aha….a little trickeration from ol’ Matty

  121. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    I’m calling it now: triple steal! ;)

  122. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    So now a lefty in to face Span. Does Matty pinch hit with McLouth now in the game? He’s got that hairy-chested Hairston who kills lefties, but had a horrendous spring….and he’s got Espi, who is much better swinging right handed….I hereby announce I’m glad I’m not a manager :)

  123. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    So…is Frandsen burned for this game, or would have have had to register a PA or AB?

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      Yes, he’s gone.

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:25 PM

        Tnx

    • RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      He’s done. Once announced, that’s it, whether he ever stepped in the batter’s box or not

  124. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    I said earlier that three runs wasn’t gonna win it. Have not yet taken a position on four. Hope not.

  125. tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    WALK HIM!

    • tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      YES!

  126. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Denard Span.

  127. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Mets’ bullpen is bull poop.

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      As I wrote up above (1:38) — their big weakness is that they have no set up men.

  128. adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Great time for a lead-off guy to draw a walk, eh?

    Just like they drew it up! Hah!

  129. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    WOO HOOO!!! And Stras is off the hook!! Now let’s get the lead, Zim!!

  130. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    OMG

    You gotta be kidding me. Woo hoo!

  131. Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Span just picks up any of that “shoulda” on a pinch runner for LaRoche as he scores on the walk!

  132. nats106 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    That bullpen finds more ways to blow a lead. My favorite was July 2012 when the Nats won on a walk off wild pitch. Over 100 degrees that day.

  133. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    OK, Zim, hang Gee out to dry.

  134. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Harper breaking up the double play earlier actually had an effect on this inning, as the guy was afraid to stand in there and turn it this inning.

  135. texnat1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    I don’t think I have ever seen that before. 4 straight balls from two different pitchers?

  136. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Jose Valverde… boy, that’s rolling the dice.

  137. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Ok, 161 games to go. Buying stock in whoever produces Maalox, Tums, Mylanta, etc.

    And stocking_up_on bourbon :)

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      I may be ready for another Two-Hearted Ale.

      • nats106 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:34 PM

        Woodford reserve Friday! who’s in?

  138. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Zim, just get a base hit, man!

  139. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman …sigh.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      Looks like Ryan swung at ball 4. That hurts. Mets on the ropes but nice to tie it up.

  140. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Still gonna be Barrett coming in for the seventh?

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      Nope. Storen.

      • tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        I hope he has two more outs in him. Storen scares me.

  141. tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Okay 4-4, our ‘pen vs. the Mets ‘pen. I’ll take that.

    • RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      Actually, what’s left of the Mets’ pen. They’ve already used three relievers, though Valverde could come back in the 8th since he only faced one batter.

  142. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Lovely, K on ball four. Thanks Mr. Zimmerman.

  143. TimDz - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Hey…if it comes down to a battle of bullpen arms, I like our chances…

  144. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    James Wagner ‏@JamesWagnerWP 16s

    Jose Valverde strikes out Ryan Zimmerman with the bases loaded and celebrates like he won Game 7 of the World Series.

  145. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    And let me just say how much a LOATHE watching this on Gameday. The time between pitches is interminable.

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      First World Problems. If you can’t watch on TV or listen on radio, what’s your preferred alternative.

      Remember following Werth’s walk-off at-bat in Game 4 2012 on GameDay. It’s its own kind of excitement.

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:41 PM

        I love taking in games on the radio. $20 gets you that for the full season via GameDay on your computer and mobile device. Well worth it, imo.

        Of course the Comcast 1-year deal for Digital Preferred (~200 channels) for only $13/month more than Limited Basic (10 channels) was a deal that I could not refuse yesterday ;)

  146. Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Gee tagged for 4 Earned Runs. That in itself is impressive.

  147. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Well, no “L” for Strasburg, but if Ryan could’ve just not swung at that pitch.

    Now, was Storen’s spring irrelevant? We’ll see.

    Ramos hurt?

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      Dave and Charlie seemed to feel the last pitch was too close to take…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        Interesting opinion from the radio gentlemen. I thought it was quite inside and will know when Brooks f/x posts the pitch track.

      • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        High and tight on a 3-2 count. How do you “take” on that pitch… it’s not like you can wait and see where it’s headed.

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      Seems like he got dinged. Good to have a day off tomorrow, I guess.

  148. natinalsgo - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    What’s up with Ramos? I know he took the foul tip off his left side.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      Hope it didn’t clip that rib.

    • tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Bad job by Williams, he would have been better off double switching and either have Storen (or someone like Zimmermann sac) or a pitch hitter.

  149. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Wow, Lobaton in for Ramos….

  150. breakbad1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Well I don’t know how this game is going to end, of course, but I’m really happy the guys rallied and kept Strasburg from losing this game. As we all know, they’ve stranded him in terms of run support so many times the last couple of years.

    Rallying to win the game outright would send a clear message that the Nats are back in 2014.

  151. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    The Camptown ladies sing this song
    Doo-da, doo-da

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      Duda? Duda?

  152. Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Lobaton with a nice frame on that Storen slider and then the next pitch is a K. Impressive inning by Storen!!!

    • tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      I think Storen needed that, hopefully we can count on him now.

    • Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Agreed, Steve.

  153. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Great job, DREW!

  154. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Good Drew iz good.

  155. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Nice inning, Drew. I guess Spring Training really DOES mean nothing

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      It means something. Just ask Aaron Barrett.

      • tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        I assume Barrett would have come in if they were losing by a run?

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:48 PM

        +1

        I suspect Storen and Barrett had vastly different agendas this spring.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:49 PM

        Not the right spot in a tie game just yet for young Mr. Barrett

  156. Mrsb loves the Nats - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Drew has the stuff to be our closer… Really hoping he has an awesome year…

  157. philipd763 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Please, no Soriano today!

    • tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      I’m fine with Soriano, it will mean we have the lead. This game is on the road.

      I assume Clip is next.

  158. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Fantastic to see that from Storen.

    Agreed that it is excellent to see the offense get Stras off the hook…and that it would be great to see the full comeback.

    Really hope it’s nothing serious with Ramos…sheesh…way too much drama for game 1.

  159. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    If we get the lead, you will get Soriano. Get used to it.

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      No question.

  160. Mrsb loves the Nats - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Didn’t think that 3rd pitch to Bryce was a strike…

  161. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Uff-da.

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      On 0-2. Oy.

  162. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Argh!

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      Wow, doesn’t even look like it was that bad of a pitch from Clip…

      • RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        Actually, in looking at the video, if Stras missed his spot by a foot on the Brown homer, Clip missed his spot by TWO feet to Lagares.

  163. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    pfffttt

  164. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Crap

  165. Mrsb loves the Nats - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Should have taken advantage of the 7th more… although I thought I was a good at bat by Zimm that didn’t go our way…

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      Sounded that way…bit of a battle with a pitch to protect against to close it out.

  166. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Span!!!

    • Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      He sure makes it look easy.

  167. tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Get the rally caps ready!

  168. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Thomas Boswell ‏@ThomasBoswellWP 1m

    Legares homers (crushed to LF) on 0-2 fastball down pipe from Clippard. (That probably breaks 7 or 8 rules of pitching.) Mets 5-4.

    • tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      Boswell is as wise as Yoda

  169. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Desi, LaRoche, Rendon… PH (Espi?)

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      Come on, Danny.

  170. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Lovely, our last hope is Espi batting left handed.

  171. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Espi’s first ’14 at bat is as the leading run with 1 out left. Talk about a good test of his new approach!

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      I’m already impressed…I feel like he would’ve managed to strike out on the second pitch in this situation last year ;).

  172. tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    1-2 Come on, Danny.

  173. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Wow…Danny! Keep it up…patience…breeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeathe…

  174. tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Great job Danny! Come on Span!

  175. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    WOW!!!! Espi! What an amazing at bat for him.

  176. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Man… I’ve NEVER seen Espinosa with as good an at bat as that one.

  177. texnat1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Good work by Espi!

  178. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Amazing patience by Danny….wow

  179. janebeard - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Great AB Danny!

  180. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!!!!!!!

  181. unkyd59 - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Sounded like a nice AB, for Spinner…

  182. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Woot!

  183. unkyd59 - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    SPIN SPAN!!!

  184. tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    WOW!!!! Shades of 2012

  185. texnat1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Span!

  186. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    OK Zim, redeem thyself.

    Espi with the CRUCIAL at bat to turn the inning around. Just amazing.

  187. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Span haters unite! ……And get the hell out of here!

    • adcwonk - Mar 31, 2014 at 7:39 PM

      Remember “he’s just another Nyjer” ? ;-)

  188. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Ok, I’ve now tripled my bourbon order. Now let’s see if Zim can make up for the earlier K.

    • janebeard - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      I’m about to join you. But I need my shot of Maalox first.

  189. janebeard - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Nothing but clutch PLEASE!

  190. tcostant - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Zim can make up for the 8th right here.

  191. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Some very good AB’s in this game, but none better than Espinosa’s!

  192. janebeard - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Welcome to the bigs, Aaron!

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      +1!

  193. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Matt, DO NOT bring in Soriano in a tie game. Ever.

  194. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Well, at least he didn’t whiff…

    And at least there’s a bottom of the 9th

    And at least Espi’s first at bat of ’14 was the polar opposite of anything he ever did in ’13. Best moment of the game so far, imo.

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      Oh, and at least I’m loving this game now, whereas I was really not through the middle innings.

  195. texnat1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Did they just take Zim out for a defensive replacement? That’s what gamecast is showing. That would be quite a change from previous years.

    • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      Double switch to make sure Barrett bats last.

      • texnat1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        Yeah, but that’s still a huge move to pull on the FoF. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that Williams has the guts to do it. But I don’t think I remember them doing that to Zim before. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      • masterfishkeeper - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        Well, they pulled the FoF when they were down to one bench players, and didn’t want to have to use pinch hitters, so they did a double switch. That’s the right move.

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        Can’t say that I do, but my awareness only goes back to the early August 2012 slump. Prior to that I was mostly just a fan of the idea of baseball in DC.

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      TV guys haven’t said, but it looks like Espi stays in at second and Rendon shifts to third. Good catch!

  196. snerdblurter - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Wow, all the 2013 disappointments coming up big today. Anybody check the clubhouse to see if Chad Tracy is warming up to PH in the 10th?

  197. Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Anyone else really nervous about Ramos?

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      I assume that it started to stiffen up where he got hit. As long as it isn’t the legs, I’m not sweating it.

      • Eric - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:28 PM

        I feel like with his luck, it’s a bruised or cracked rib or something ridiculous.

  198. RPrecupjr - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    No matter the outcome of this game, we’ve scored five runs.

    Cubs and Pirates scoreless into the 10th. Apparently all the runs are in Texas, where it’s 11-8 Phillies in the top of the 6th.

    • stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:24 PM

      Total goat rodeo. Been keeping one eye on it, for laughs.

  199. Joe Seamhead - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    Wow! Aaron!

  200. stoatva - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    That IS one brutal slider there, son.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
OCT. 7: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

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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