Mar 032011
 

OK, so maybe I’m a day late on the Dr. Seuss peg, but the Nationals were most definitely a dollar short on Thursday, falling to the St. Louis Cardinals 7-5 for their first Spring Training loss in 2011.

Derek Norris’s solo HR in the top of the 8th was the highlight on the prospect front, taking a bit of the sting off an ugly fourth inning that saw Garrett Mock serve give up five runs in two-thirds of an inning on two hits and three walks.

Danny Espinosa’s error helped prolong the five-run fourth, as he started again at 2B and went 1-for-3 with a stolen base. Wilson Ramos was the DH and went 2-for-3 with a runs scored and an RBI.

Other notable prospects…

  • Bryce Harper went 0-for-2, lowering his batting average to .143
  • Jhonatan Solano went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter for Ramos.

With the loss, the Nats drop to 3-1 for the spring. They return to Viera for a split-squad game against the Braves tomorrow. Over the weekend, the Nats travel to Tampa to visit the Yankees and then rematch against the Braves on Sunday, which will also be the first MASN telecast. The first round of cuts is expected after Saturday’s game, setting up the possibility for Harper to be sent to minor-league camp.

Speaking of which, minor-league pitchers and catchers are due to report tomorrow while position players are scheduled to report on Tuesday.

  6 Responses to “Norris Knock Takes A Little Sting Off Mock Getting Rocked”

  1. I find that I take comfort when the losses can be attributed to players unlikely to make the squad anyway, like Mock. I can deal with Morse making an error at 1st, knowing LaRoche will play there mostly, and be good.

    Until they are a great team, I am afraid I will follow that kind of train of thought.

  2. Grrrr… Mock will turn 28 in late April. When will the Nationals braintrust realize that all that great bullpen stuff in Viera & the occaisional brillant result in the minors amounts to nothing when he is continually unable to find the plate against MLB hitters, or that when he does he gets clubbed like a baby seal?

    It’s been the same since 2006 – Time to cut bait, imo.

    • Well, I’m pretty sure you mean that metaphorically, but I see your point. I think to riff on 1/2 St., it’d be more frustrating if Mock were trotted out there again, ahead of other pitchers who have yet to pitch or those who have pitched previously or better. If nothing else, here’s something to point to when it comes times to make the first cuts.

  3. First cuts have occurred and it’s Bisensius, Martis, and Chico.

    The bad news: they are still going with Mock. The good news?
    Fan favorite Josh Wilkie made it!

    • That’s a little disappointing… I had to use my “first cuts” visual pun on this?! Thanks for the cue…

    • I’m not upset that they are allowing Mock to stick around. Give him one more outing of significance and then it’s off to minor league camp for him. At this point, we know that he should be able to handle minor league hitters. We don’t know whether he can handle a team full of AAA guys or whether he can outperform the other members of the AAA rotation. At bats against MLB hitters help his development. For spring training outings, I’m not judging people unless I get some kind of narrative qualitative analysis to go beyond the statistics.

      That said, wildness and wild pitches is pretty hard to stomach. One more go for him and off to minor league camp I hope. Haven’t given up on Mock, but he’s got to earn it from Syracuse and I doubt we’ll see him in DC this year.

      Are people so down on him that they don’t even want to see him in Syracuse? Who are these other candidates that people are so much more attracted to?

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