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Game 3: Nats at Mets

Apr 3, 2014, 12:10 PM EST

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

NEW YORK — Well, this wasn’t quite the scenario anyone expected today, with Tanner Roark starting the Nationals’ third game of the season. But with Jordan Zimmermann severely under the weather — he has a fever, was up all night vomiting and is receiving fluids now to combat dehydration — Matt Williams had to call an audible and gave the ball to Roark for this series finale at Citi Field.

Fortunately, Roark is on normal rest. He was supposed to start Saturday’s exhibition game against the Tigers, then wound up throwing an extended bullpen session after that game was rained out. Knowing Tanner, he seems like the type who won’t be fazed by this last-minute switch one bit.

Williams has a couple of lineup changes against Mets flamethrower Zack Wheeler. Bryce Harper, who hit seventh last night, is bumped all the way up the 2-spot today. And Danny Espinosa and Sandy Leon get their first opportunities to start. As has been stated here several times the last few weeks, Espinosa is going to get regular starts at both second base and shortstop, even if that means sitting Anthony Rendon on occasion.

“That’s the biggest challenge,” Williams said this morning. “They both played really well in spring training, and they both earned the right to play. We want to try to make sure that we get both of them opportunities. Anthony’s played really well. Danny’s played really well. He had a great at-bat the other day. We want to make sure that our bench guys have adequate at-bats as well during the course of the season, so they’re fresh and their timing is good. That’s all it is. We feel very confident in Danny and his ability. That’s why he’s starting today.”

Updates to come, so please check back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at NEW YORK METS
Where:
Citi Field
Gametime: 1:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, 1580 AM, XM 185, MLB.com
Weather: Mostly sunny, 52 degrees, Wind 3 mph in from LF

NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
LF Bryce Harper
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
3B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Sandy Leon
RHP Tanner Roark

METS
LF Eric Young Jr.
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
RF Curtis Granderson
1B Lucas Duda
CF Juan Lagares
C Travis d’Arnaud
SS Ruben Tejada
RHP Zack Wheeler

1:11 p.m. — And we’re underway with ball one from Zack Wheeler to Denard Span. Turned into a gorgeous April afternoon here in Flushing, 58 degrees at first pitch.

1:26 p.m. — If nothing else, the Nationals made Wheeler work in the top of the first. He threw 19 pitches to four batters, with Span and Adam LaRoche working the count full. Span’s leadoff walk, though, was the only actual damage inflicted. Bryce Harper and LaRoche each struck out on changeups, so it’s a scoreless inning for the Nats as Tanner Roark takes the mound.

1:43 p.m. — Not a good bottom of the first for Roark. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk. Worse, he needed 31 pitches to do it. On a day in which the Nats desperately need innings out of Roark, with Ross Detwiler likely unavailable out of the bullpen because Matt Williams might need him to start tomorrow. Now, in Roark’s defense, he got David Wright to loft a routine flyball to center … only to watch in horror as Span lost the ball in the sun. That might have changed the inning entirely, but still this was not a good way to get the afternoon started. It’s 2-0 Mets after one.

1:54 p.m. — And there goes Ryan Zimmerman’s first homer of the season. An absolute bomb deep into the left-field bleachers. And then a few minutes later, Danny Espinosa drilled a laser beam off the left-field wall for a double. Yes, an opposite-field line drive while batting from the left side of the plate. That’s the approach Danny showed all spring, folks, and it’s why Matt Williams and others are so encouraged about him. Espinosa for the season now: 1-for-1 with a double and an 8-pitch walk in a key spot. It’s 2-1 Mets as we go to the bottom of the second.

2:02 p.m. — That’s more like it, as Roark needs only eight pitches to get through the second inning. He’s at 39 pitches total, which is much more manageable.

2:24 p.m. — Even better from Roark in the third, which he completed on seven pitches. So after that 31-pitch first inning, he’s now at a very manageable 46 through three. Meanwhile, Espinosa struck another ball well to the opposite field in the top of the fourth, though this one was caught to end the inning. It remains 2-1 Mets as we head to the bottom of the fourth.

2:48 p.m. — Here come the Nats! Span delivers another clutch hit in the top of the fifth, singling in Leon to tie the game. He is now 4 for his last 5 with a walk, a single, a double and a triple. Hmm, is there such a thing as hitting for the “wraparound cycle?” Then Werth delivers his own RBI single to score Span, giving the Nats a 3-2 lead. So that’s three straight games now in which they’ve put themselves in an early hole and then have come back to take the lead. They obviously won the first two games. We’ll see whether they can hang on here today. 3-2 in the fifth.

3:02 p.m. — Boy, what a nice job by Roark. He just escaped a jam in the bottom of the fifth, getting a double play grounder out of Wright and then striking out Duda with the tying runner in scoring position. That preserves the Nats’ 3-2 lead as we head to the sixth.

3:13 p.m. — Danny Espinosa, ladies and gentlemen. Another rocket of a double to left-center, his second of the day. He’s now 2-for-3 with two doubles and a well-struck flyout to left-center.

3:23 p.m. — Tanner Roark, ladies and gentlemen. He finished his day with a flourish, striking out the final four batters he faced. After that shaky first inning, he was outstanding, finishing with a pitching line of: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 95 pitches, 62 strikes. A standout job by Roark today, given the circumstances. Still 3-2 Nats after six.

3:44 p.m. — Insurance. Times four. The Nats have been taking it out on the Mets bullpen all week, and the story is no different today. LaRoche hit a two-run single off Jeurys Familia. Zimmerman added another RBI single. And another Daniel Murphy error brought home another run. It’s 7-2 at the stretch, and in comes Ross Detwiler from the pen. Interesting, you’ve got to wonder if Matt Williams knows that Jordan Zimmermann is good to go tomorrow. Otherwise, why waste Detwiler in this situation?

4:08 p.m. — Good lord, is the Mets bullpen bad or what? Carlos Torres just walked Werth to load the bases, then walked LaRoche to force in a run. It’s 8-2 Nats now, going to the bottom of the eighth.

4:18 p.m. — Two scoreless innings of relief for Detwiler. A nice bullpen debut for him.

4:30 p.m. — That’s your ballgame. Rafael Soriano closes out an 8-2 Nats victory, completing a season-opening, 3-game sweep of the Mets.

219 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Ah, the “flu,” AKA, a gastrointestinal infection, not the “flu,” AKA a nasty chest cold.

    It would be awesome if it’s a 24 hour “flu,” but even then it seems unlikely he’ll be sufficiently recovered to start tomorrow, especially with the Nats’ allegedly horrible medical staff on the case ;).

    Seriously, though, if he pitches tomorrow, I call shenanigans (but I make no claim that I’m the first to do so ;) ).

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      I was not-first first.

      • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        OK. I’ll remember this reply of yours in 2 years if we’re wrong; I’ll remember my lead off post if we’re right, but will conveniently forget my parenthetical epilogue.

        This is not a statement.

        Is it game time yet?

      • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        Well, that ironic comment makes me sound like a total dbag when detached from the original context…

        Thanks WordPress!

      • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        Crickey, I just don’t feel right being sarcastic without my trusty:
        ;)

    • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      There’s been a nasty GI thing going around DC, and sometimes it lasts a couple of days (it did for me). I hope JZ doesn’t have _that_ version!

  2. dgourds - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Let’s step on their throat and sweep ‘em. Tanner is so calm and collected, he’ll do great today. We hit Wheeler pretty well late in his last Spring Training start against us. He seemed to get gassed about the 5th inning. Hopefully we’ll get to their bullpen early.

    • tcostant - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      On that note, back in the day I use to bring a broom to a Mets game when it was the last game of the series when they could sweep. Then when there was two outs in the ninth we use to all (at leat 100 people whould do the same thing) hold the brooms up for the sweep. It was fun.

      Now I see the Nationals do not allow brooms. I looked at this first in 2012 when we started to have a bunch of games we might sweep, but the policy is still in place.

      So I’ll ask you, would you want to bring a broom to a game when a sweep is in order???

      Details from Access Card Site:

      PROHIBITED ITEMS AND CONDUCT: Hard coolers, ice chests, backpacks and bags exceeding 16″ x 16″ x 8″; non-collapsible umbrellas that will not fit in such containers; brooms, poles and staffs; weapons, fireworks and other illegal substances; camera lenses larger than 8″, tripods and monopods; animals (except service animals); beach balls and other inflatable items; laser pens and laser pointers; baseball bats (other than purchased miniatures); metal, plastic or glass containers, excepting clear, factory-sealed plastic water bottles no larger than 1 liter, juice boxes, insulin containers and baby food; food items, excepting those contained in single-serving bags within a soft-sided container or cooler no larger than 16″ x 16″ x 8″; alcohol not purchased at the ballpark; noisemakers not provided by the Nationals; skateboards; and any other item deemed dangerous, inappropriate, or in violation of the Guest Conduct Policy. The use of foul or abusive language or obscene or threatening gestures, fighting, attempts to enter the field or to cause objects to enter the field, and irresponsible or underage consumption of alcoholic beverages, and any other action deemed dangerous, inappropriate, or in violation of the Guest Conduct Policy may result in the guest being ejected without refund and arrested, or refused initial admission.

  3. letswin3 - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    I know it’s a game and a half sample, but Lobaton has done nothing to reduce my opinion of him as an above average backup catcher. Gio said he seemed to put down all the right fingers for him last night, his bat looked as good in the game as it did in ST and, most importantly, he hung onto that one-hopper from Harper and made the tag ….. the catch of an outfielder throw home isn’t always a sure thing for catchers. And, in framing pitches, he doesn’t seem to snatch it back in the zone, but instead looks to maybe move his entire body to the needed spot … I’ll have to see more of him to figure that out, but so far it looks great. I’m a Ramos lover … just complimenting Lobaton for a good start to his Nationals years.

    • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      After all, the dude did play 100 games for the Rays, who won more games in a tougher division than than the Nats last year.

      Obviously, that’s due to a lot of other players, too, but he clearly ain’t chopped liver!

  4. Nats128 - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Lame answers on sitting Rendon.

    • Candide - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      Crash Davis: “It’s time to work on your interviews.”

      Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: “My interviews? What do I gotta do?”

      Crash Davis: “You’re gonna have to learn your clichés. You’re gonna have to study them, you’re gonna have to know them. They’re your friends. Write this down: ‘We gotta play it one day at a time.’”

      Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: “Got to play… it’s pretty boring.”

      Crash Davis: “‘Course it’s boring, that’s the point. Write it down.”

      Managers gotta know how to give non-answers, too. Why on earth would you let the whole world know what your strategy for this evening’s game is? It’s my understanding that some other managers know how to read.

      • natsfan1a - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:34 PM

        Excellent points, other than the fact that it’s an afternoon game. ;-)

      • naterialguy - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:35 PM

        uh btw – It’s an afternoon game

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        Wow, that sneaky Matty! Let ‘em know what you’re plan is for the night game when there isn’t one!

      • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        +1 (to Sofa’s comment!)

    • snerdblurter - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      Agreed – but on the other hand, it should be a boost to Espi’s confidence to know that Matty has faith in him and that he really is going to get a lot of starts. Would be really nice to see him post a strong April so this is a good chance for him to get on track.

      And if you’re gonna get him in the lineup, better to do it against the Mets and have Rendon in there for all three games of the ATL series…

      • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        I think those are good points. This is part of “it’s a marathon”. It’s not that Rendon needs rest, it’s that MW thinks Espi should not sit on the bench too long if he’s going to be a productive member of the team this year.

    • letswin3 - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      Zackly. Spotlight is now on Danny ….. not worried at all about his defense though.

    • JW - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      I’m expecting Espinosa to get one start in every 3 game series. One time it will be for Rendon’s day off, next time for Desmond’s, then for Zimmerman’s. Same will probably be true for McLouth once they get past this blip of having to fit in Leon because Ramos got hurt.

      • David Proctor - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        Especially when you’ve already won the series.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        It seems unlikely all three of them get a game off during every series, no?

      • JW - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        That’s not what I said. Rendon, Desmond and Zimmerman will each get a day off every third series.

      • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        I’m expecting Espinosa to get one start in every 3 game series. One time it will be for Rendon’s day off, next time for Desmond’s, then for Zimmerman’s.

        Interesting. So, under that plan, after every 9 games, we have Rendon play 8, Zimm play 8, Ian play 8, and Espi play 3.

        Intriguing.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        I stand corrected.

        That’s about 3 games a month off, each, plus whatever other off days they might get, not including days Zim is at first, if any, or about 9 starts a month for Danny on that basis alone. So maybe that’s not so much.

  5. naterialguy - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    I’ve got my broom ready

    • tcostant - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      See my note above about brooms at Nationals Park – banned right now.

      • natsfan1a - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        Two words: Whisk broom. (Reminds me of the day back in aught 5 when natsfan1c and I were going to bring our whisk brooms to RFK for the sweep. We ended up leaving them at home, though. Good thing we did, as we’d forgotten that it was a four-game rather than a three-game series. But I digress…)

  6. letswin3 - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Last night some reasoned that Harper was moved down in the order to reflect his lack of hitting all spring. So today, Williams moves him to the 2 hole …… what’s up? Frankly I like him hitting third, but I always want to see him get as many at bats as possible ……. I’m convinced that he and Rendon will one day fight it out for the team batting title ,,,, maybe even this year. I mean no disrespect to Mr Werth, Mr Zimmerman, Mr Ramos, Mr Desmond, Mr Span or Mr LaRoche in proffering this possibility.

    • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      Perhaps it’s done this way:

      Put Span first, catcher and pitcher 8th and 9th — and draw lots for the other 6 spots? ;-)

  7. nattyboh1 - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    It’s simply not possible for Zimmermann to have been up all night vomiting – I have it on good authority this is all a conspiracy. Surely nobody knows better than the readers of this blog.

    • NatsNut - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      Exactly! ;)

    • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      I read it here first, all the time.

      “Here” being the comments section and “it” being any of multiple incompatible theories about the same fact or set of facts. Good times!

  8. jd - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    I think Williams planned all along to play Espinosa 1 game this series. Going forward he will spell Des mind and Zimmerman as well. It’s not about sitting Rendon. It’s about giving the bench players regular playing time so when you need them they aren’t stale. I think we will see similar substitutions for McLouth and to a lesser degree Franzen and Hairston.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      I don’t either… Last year, a lot of the bench guys ‘complained’ or made mention how it is hard coming off the bench so sporadically…

      Keep them fresh, and yes I realize that it is only game 3 but even so still…

      I have no issue with the move.

  9. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Flu-like symptons, eh… well then, get well soon Jordan… seeya tomorrow… :)

  10. Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    I dunno, it seems like they wouldn’t need to go into so much detail, just flat out lie, if this were all a way to juggle the rotation, merely. He may pitch tomorrow anyway, and pitch well–he’s a tough guy–but I believe he’s really sick.

    • NatsNut - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      Yea, this is much more detail than the “flu or flu-like symptoms” we first heard:

      “Jordan Zimmermann severely under the weather — he has a fever, was up all night vomiting and is receiving fluids now to combat dehydration”

      Still, can’t be worse than pitching with a broken jaw, so I still say he’s in the game tomorrow. (with fingers crossed, just to make sure) ;)

      • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        One can pitch with a broken jaw. Pitching when low on fluids (kills the stamina and strength) is much harder.

  11. davecydell - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Was that JZim that first greeted Gio as he returned to the dugout from his HR, and then sneezed into his arm?

    • davecydell - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      or was it Williams,[the bug carrier] ?

  12. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Groan.

    Can somebody spell “productive out” ?

  13. NatsLady - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Hmmmm, big strike zone for ALR. Seemed high to me.

  14. Dave - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    Espi is going to have to start sometime. Matt said that he would. He can’t say that and then make Danny sit around for two weeks.

    The Nats have already taken this series, so it just makes sense to give Danny a run.

    I will concede that I, like others, am waiting on pins and needles to see whether Espinosa can hit or get on base this season. But the fact that he drew a walk is a very good sign, IMO.

  15. Dave - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    In other words, what jd said up above.

  16. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    As niether Young, nor Granderson, nor Duda has a hit yet — the Mets welcome back Murphy to their lineup.

  17. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    cut down on their hits, walks, and errors and we should be fine.

  18. NatsLady - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Sun Monster. But, bad throw. Span needed to keep his cool there.

    • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      For those following on gameday . . . what happened?

      • NatsLady - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        Span lost a ball in the sun. Then he had trouble finding it in the grass, when he might have had the runner in a force at second base.

      • NatsLady - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    • Nats128 - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      Nice inning Tanner.

  19. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Wow…guess the Mets really needed Murphy back!

    Is Roark rushing?

  20. veejh - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Span should have pretended he was going to catch that, then thrown out Murph at 2nd.

  21. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    The Nats have been outscored 6-0 this season in the first inning.

    Sheesh, if it weren’t for the first inning, the Nats would be 2-0 already.

    Oh, wait . . .

  22. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Zimm! Woo!

  23. smatt1001 - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    That looked amazing. Go Zimm!

  24. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    are we gonna lose today? :(

    • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      I’m guessing you’re unaware of the Zimm homer and Espi 1-out double?

      • Faraz Shaikh - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        Yep, is that really danny? not rendon in espinosa’s skin?

    • NatsLady - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      Sheesh, FS, ya wanna wait a few innings at least???

    • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      Wha?! Dude, we’re undefeated when we’re behind after one inning. Look it up!

    • Section 222 - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      I can confidently predict that we will not go undefeated this season.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        what? I have bet all my savings on that. :(

  25. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Espi with a double! Nice! This “competition” is epic so far!

  26. NatsLady - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Great hit, Danny! Not missing Rendon right this minute ;). That is some power infield we got there!

    • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      MW’s IQ just went up, eh? ;-)

  27. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Mets seem to have read the book on Roark…

    • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      Although, to be fair, I suppose the first would’ve been much different if not for the sun monster…

      • NatsLady - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        Their reading comprehension failed them in the next two innings. Strange how that works.

      • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        And then suddenly comes back!

        No, but seriously, sounds like Roark might well be a victim of angry BABIP gods.

  28. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat’s better.

  29. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    come on werth you homered off this guy last time.

  30. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Repeating myself . . .

    Can anyone on the team spell “productive out” ?

    • Nats128 - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      Yes, just not today.

  31. Nats128 - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Roark pitching great. Just a shame about 2 runs scoring on the sun.

  32. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Just need to get Wheeler’s pitch count up — and feast on the Mets bullpen

  33. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Can anybody spell . . . ahh, never mind . . .

    • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:42 PM

      OK — Roark knows how to make a productive out!

      Show ‘em how it’s done, Tanner!!

  34. natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Roark with more bad luck. Guy is pitching great. It changes Roarks approach with batter #2 in the inning and he pitches very carefully to dArnaud.

  35. David Proctor - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    This is just one of those games. Nothing going our way. Ball falling in for the other team

    • natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      Time for the Nats to make their own luck. It won’t happen striking out.

  36. davecydell - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    span’s crap play in Cf pissed me off, but Espinosa’s crap play really wired me.

    • natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      Espinosa goes for it until he’s called off. Did Werth call him off? Werth certainly distracted him. Only cost Roark extra pitches.

      • davecydell - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        “Espinosa goes for it until he’s called off.” thinking like that, 2b should go after a ball off the wall.

      • natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        Sorry if you don’t understand how it works.

    • natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      Span was close to 2nd as far as he came in. Did he let panic set in and cause the runner to know he lost the ball. Tough call and it was costly.

  37. NatsLady - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Come on guys, get Tanner some runs, he’s pitching his butt off.

    • natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:38 PM

      Leon, Roark, Span.

      • NatsLady - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        Just like they planned it. Walk, bunt, hit.

      • natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        Manufactured with the bunt. Smart ball at its best.

      • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        And, of course, that’s the inning where we get the tying run, right?!

  38. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Nice! Run factory is online.

  39. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Wheeler’s up to 85 pitches…

    Work it, Werth…

    • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      Nice. Wheeler ought to be the toughest pitcher we face today.

  40. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    YES!!!

  41. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Two productive outs that inning — each one followed by an RBI single.

    That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

  42. Drew - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Roark gets the bunt down, Span and Werth come through and Wheeler’s up to 89 pitches.

    GYFNG!!!

  43. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Have I told you I detest lead-off walks given to the other team.

  44. scnatsfan - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Issuing a leadoff walk with Wright coming to bat seems like a very stupid move

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      Yes, worked out. Lucky.

      • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        Phew!

  45. scnatsfan - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Even with those results I stand by my statement :)

  46. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    An aside, if Desi isn’t cheating up the middle for a doubleplay, I bet Wright sneaks that by for a single. It’s funny how baseball works out. Wright gets a gift sun-up single then hits into a tailor-made GIDP on a smashed grounder.

    • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:02 PM

      The sun giveth and the Ian takes it away? Or something like that.

  47. Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    But a nice pitch to Duda for the ponche to end the fifth!

  48. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    I feel like last year the Nats would’ve fallen apart three innings ago with all our bad luck and all their good luck.

    Instead, we they put their heads down and gritted it out.

    Love it!

  49. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    I signed on to make 1 observation that can’t be overlooked which is Roark’s bunt and how that changed that inning and it was a flashback to 2009 to 2010 where pitchers couldn’t do the little things like bunting. Lannan was a horrific bunter and I remember how he cost himself a few times. When Lannan got to the Phoolies last year he was bunting.

    I give Matt Williams credit for doing those pitcher bucket drills. Just paid dividends in a large way.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      True dat.

  50. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Let’s get Wheeler over 100 pitches this inning

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

      Desmond’s looking like he wants to get him over 200 pitches in this AB

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

        and as soon as I hit post he rolls one over to short. What a bum. Move him to center field!

    • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      … and despite Ian swinging at the first pitch, it ends up being an 11 pitch at bat. (But, ughh, his second GIDP — the only two the Nats have this year)

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        Really nice swing from Espinosa! Now we see Desi should have sat with Espi playing SS ;)

  51. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    “Ghost of Steve M. – Apr 3, 2014 at 10:25 AM
    Now my hope of course is that RZim goes 4 for 4 since Matty is looking smarter than Keith Law.”

    Get me another hit Ryan.

  52. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    This should be Wheelers last inning.

  53. NatsLady - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    I wonder what the attendance is.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      Danny Doubles!

  54. NatsLady - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    Wheeler is gassed.

    • NatsLady - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      But able to get the backup catcher. That’s got to be it for him, and we get three innings of the Mets’ bullpen.

  55. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    Man! Espi!

  56. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    OK, armchair managers:

    Assuming Roark gets pinch hit for next inning, and we use relief pitchers in the 7th 8th and 9th:

    Who do you bring in?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Storen, Barrett and Soriano?

      • NatsLady - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        Blevens if there are LH batters, Barrett and Soriano.

      • David Proctor - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:15 PM

        Yeah. Even if it’s not a save situation, I suspect Soriano pitches because he hasn’t gotten any work yet. You want him to get some work in before the Braves series.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      Assuming the score stays the same, and Roark gets the bottom of the order here?

      Probably want to save Blevins for tomorrow if Detwiler is starting, and Stammen finished last night, so I’m thinking Barrett, either Clippard or Storen, whichever one is up first today, and Soriano. Clipp may say he needs the work.

      • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        RIghties are due up, I’m thinking Barrett, too . . .

        But 8th inning: Clip or Store? I dunno. Did Clip throw a lot more pitches than Storen last night?

  57. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    Really nice swing from Espinosa! Now we see Desi should have sat with Espi playing SS and Rendon at 2nd ;)

  58. naterialguy - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Detwiler warming in bullpen? does this mean Jordan will be good to go tomorrow?

    • natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      Is he? Didn’t expect that.

    • texnat1 - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      It would mean he is good to go either tomorrow or the next day.

      Or maybe they would just skip that spot and turn the rotation back over, so it might not mean anything.

      • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        Yeah Roark!

      • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        Argh…WordPress comments really driving me crazy…

        Note to UI developers: the comment should show up where the comment box is displaying upon submission!

        Comments should also not move all over the dayum place hours after they are posted.

        Sheesh.

    • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      Either that or Williams likes Stammen against the Braves…he certainly pulled his weight when Stras went down last season…

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Just getting some work in, and maybe getting into Fredi’s head a little?

    • cayucosbaseballconservancy - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      Might also mean Rizzo might be involved with a move in mind. You never know with run silent run deep Rizzo.

  59. natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    How’s about the job Sandy Leon is doing today! Roark and Leon are having a day!

    • natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Bob Carpenter, are you reading my posts again?

  60. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Wow. According to Gamday, Roark threw three offspeeds, including a 71 mph curve, before finishing him off with a 92 mph fastball.

    • texnat1 - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      I’ll take 30 more starts like that from Roark, please!

      • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        Well done, Mr. Roark! Particularly after that first inning.

        Nice pitching staff we got ourselves here, eh?!?

  61. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Yeah Roark!

  62. Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Geez, he looks like he could go back out for the 7th if they didn’t have to hit for him.

    • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      He’s up first, I believe.

      • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:24 PM

        Oh, nm, I gotcha.

  63. natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Roark threw the best of all the starters in this series. His stats won’t be as great as Gio’s and that’s how it goes some times.

  64. natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Hairston in New York! Good job!

  65. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Scott “I ain’t over the hill yet” Hairston . . .

  66. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    There we go, now! Productive outs, sacs, etc.

    Set up for the big guys — yes, I’m looking at you Harper and Werth!

  67. natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    This is where Kobernus as a pinch runner would be enormous.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      I’ll give you “useful,” maybe not “enormous.”

      • natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:33 PM

        Speed kills.

  68. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    As we are were saying . . . get past Wheeler, and there’s the potential of feasting.

    Let’s take advantage guys!

  69. natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Now its up to LaRoche to blow this game open.

  70. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Yeah LaRoche!

  71. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Now stick a fork in ‘em, Zim.

  72. Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    There’s your cleanup hitter!

    OK, Ghost, here’s your shot, Zim in a sac situation, though…

    • natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      OMG, he called it 4-4! Thats off the hook.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      The Summoner is In. The. House. and in mid-season form!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        Have fun! No sac there. I needed that 4th hit.

  73. natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    This is feeling like a pick your poison lineup in how the other team uses their bullpen. Manager pulls the lefty for the righty to face Werth and then LaRoche pounces on the righty.

  74. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Yeah Zim! 4/4 baby.

    • natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      Look at Ghosts post this morning. He called 4-4 for RZ.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        Aww, 4 for 5. Missed it by this much.

  75. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Man — it must really suck to have to manage a team that has a bullpen like the Mets.

  76. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    This is gameday’s description.

    Can anyone explain the plays to me better? Especially the first one?

    Bryce Harper singles on a ground ball to catcher Travis d’Arnaud, deflected by pitcher Scott Rice.

    Adam LaRoche singles on a ground ball to second baseman Daniel Murphy, deflected by first baseman Lucas Duda.

    • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      I’m guessing d’Arnaud retrieved the ball after it deflected into foul territory on the third base side.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Harper hit a hard grounder off the pitcher’s shin, which rebounded across the left side foul line, and the catcher picked it up.

      LaRoche hit a hard grounder into the shift that Duda almost got to, off his glove into right, and the second baseman picked it up.

    • sjm308 - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      Harper smoked a ball that was headed for CF until the pitcher stuck his foot out – it caromed all the way into foul territory and the catcher picked it up

      LaRoche smashed a ball that the diving 1st baseman deflected into short right field.

      Both balls were crushed

      • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        Thanks, guys! ‘Perciate it!

  77. smatt1001 - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Wow Desi was so close to three DPs there…

  78. tcostant - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    That how you break a game open! 6-2 as of now.

    • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      7-2!

  79. smatt1001 - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    adcwonk,

    Harper had a little squib single that hit the pitcher in the side of the leg and it bounced back to d’Arnaud.

    LaLoche’s single bounced out of the heel of Duda’s glove and murphy was in position to catch it.

    • sjm308 - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      one man’s squib is another mans hard hit ball

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        Well, it was hard enough to ricochet some 60 feet or so.

    • tcostant - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      They all look like froxen ropes in the box score. Sometime you hit a line drive right at someone, that’s baseball. That is why putting the ball in play is always HUGE.

      • sjm308 - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:52 PM

        agreed – also love how well our pitchers (and Span) are bunting which has been mentioned earlier

  80. Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    So Det goes for the 3-inning save?

  81. nattyboh1 - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Does bringing Detwiler in mean they feel pretty good about Zimmermann for tomorrow?

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      I’m pretty sure it means Detwiler isn’t starting tomorrow, especially if he finishes this game to save the bullpen for the next series. They could still go all-bullpen, tho I can’t say I’d be happy about it myself.

      • sjm308 - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        I don’t need to see him but wouldn’t it make sense to throw Soriano an inning? Or do you keep him rested for a true save situation? I realize he is not a favorite on here but the reality is, he is our closer for right now.

      • nattyboh1 - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:14 PM

        Yes, I assumed it meant he wouldn’t be starting. I guess Stammen is the other long guy, but was thinking that you’d want both him and Detwiler rested and ready to go several innings if you’re not feeling good about Zimmermann.

        Just thinking it’s probably a good sign for Zimmermann tomorrow.

  82. sjm308 - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Love how this new manager is driving all the commentors here nuts.

    Lets see – 3 different line ups in 3 games with players hitting in places that they usually don’t
    Playing Espinosa over Rendon
    Using Det when everyone thinks he will be starting tomorrow if JZimmnn is truly sick

    Going to be a long long year but many is it fun – not just to watch us hit and pitch so well but to read what we think will or will not happen. Love this game and how it can humble not just the players but the fan as well.

    ps: Mets are not very good but we sure are!!!

  83. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    wait what? I had this down as a loss after first inning.

    • sjm308 - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      you crack me up – I am not going back to read the early stuff but this game will drive you crazy won’t it.

    • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      Then we must be 0-3 according to you! ;-)

  84. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Nice REndon!

  85. sjm308 - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    What I totally forget is that when you are resting one of your stars, he is now available for what Rendon just did.

    This club is loaded.

    I think McClouth is the only position player without a hit.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      I think Roark is the only starter without a hit, so far.

      • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:02 PM

        (Desmond and Leon don’t have hits, either, today)

        Yesterday, 8 of 9 starters got a hit (Harper was the odd man out)

    • sjm308 - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      Wonk – i was talking about for the season

  86. Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Werth, work that average back up to .500. This sub .500 BA will NOT stand!

  87. unkyd59 - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    Love Span’s defense, but were gonna have to find a f’real lead off batter… ;-)

    • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      Indeed. His SLG is way too high for lead off ;-)

    • natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      Come on, your are going to upset the Span haters. They went away with the Desmond haters. ;)

  88. smatt1001 - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Second time a run has been walked in this series.

  89. Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Awww, man. Zim goes 4 for FIVE. Take back the Summoner medal for this one. ; )

    • natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      He didn’t say what would happen after the 4-4.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:33 PM

        Fair enough.

    • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      He _was_ 4-4. For a while, at least ;-)

  90. adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    OK, managers:

    Detwiler comes up in the 8th. Bat him and let him go for the three inning save?

    Or PH and bring in who for the 9th?

    (I know, “who” usually plays first base ;-) )

    • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      No save as we’re up by 6, right?

      • adcwonk - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        I dunno. He came in we were up by one. And there’s a special rule of some sort if you pitch the last three innings (but I can’t remember details)

      • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        Interesting…look forward to hearing about it!

      • Rick - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:21 PM

        Size of the lead doesn’t matter if you pitch the last 3 innings.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:32 PM

        No save for Soriano. If Detwiler had stayed in and finished, he would have gotten the save for pitching the last 3.

      • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        Got it, thanks!

    • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      PS – if they PH for Det, I bet Blevins comes in in the 9th.

      • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        Nope…sounds like Sori’s up…guess they want him to keep the rust off.

  91. nats2005 - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    JZ has to start tomorrow. TJ isn’t available and Det isn’t either anymore.

    And you can’t start Chris Young on our home opener!

    Diz

    • Eric - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      My guess is it’ll be Stammen if Zinn is unable to pitch…he did great in his spot start against the Braves when Stras went down last year.

    • natinalsgo - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      Chris Young is with the Mariners so good luck with that!

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:34 PM

        Well, he did say they couldn’t. Which is true.

      • cayucosbaseballconservancy - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        That doesn’t exclude the (albeit very remote) possibility of someone else coming up from the minors to pitch. Rivero and Purke are both on the 40-man roster.

  92. Section 222 - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    Oh no. Did Soriano let a guy get on base? That bum!

  93. Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    Woooooo Hoooooo.
    TM Michele

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