Mar 062012
 

Solo HRs by Jayson Werth and Mark DeRosa coupled with solid relief pitching paced the Nats past the Braves for a 5-2 win this afternoon.

Gio Gonzalez turned in three scoreless innings in his spring debut, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out two.

Michael Morse was a lat(e) scratch, which gave Bryce Harper his fourth start in five days. The 19-year-old went 1-for-4 with a strikeout but ran into a double play trying to advance from first to third on a grounder to third.

Running down the notable minor-leaguer lines from the box score:

  • Anthony Rendon got his first hit for the spring, an opposite-field double to right in the 8th inning. He played 3B but had no defensive chances.
  • Eury Perez went 0-for-2 and played CF, registering a putout.
  • Tyler Moore drove in the 5th Nationals run with a sacrifice fly and played error-free at 1B.
  • Sandy Leon went 1-for-2 while subbing in at catcher for Wilson Ramos.
  • Atahualpa Severino started the sixth but gave up a single and a walk before getting a strikeout on former Myrtle Beach Pelican Ernesto “Ole” Mejia.
  • Austin Bibens-Dirkx let in one of the two runners he inherited from Severino before striking out Jason Heyward to end the 6th.

Tomorrow afternoon, the Nats return to Viera to host the defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Jordan Zimmermann is scheduled to start for the Nats, while Shelby Miller is slated for the Cards. The game will not be televised or broadcast on radio, home or away.

Mar 052012
 

In a game that featured a lot of hustle, but not much flow, the Nats made just a few more plays than the Mets for a 3-1 win tonight.

The two teams combined for eight stolen base attempts, multiple hit-and-run plays, and players trying to extend singles into doubles. Despite all the running, just four runs crossed the plate.

John Lannan got the start and turned in a workmanlike effort of one run allowed on three hits and a walk over three innings with a single strikeout. Four relievers followed, with Craig Stammen getting the win on Mark Teahen’s sacrifice fly that broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth.

Bryce Harper reached base three times with single up the middle, a full-count walk, and an infield hit to third. On defense, he was much more conservative, keeping his feet beneath him while playing error-free in right field.

Steve Lombardozzi went 1-for-3 on offense, and looked sharp on defense, turning an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the first to kill an early New York rally. He finished with three assists in four innings.

Other notable minor-leaguer lines:

  • Eury Perez pinch-ran and scored the second run of the game, then doubled in his only at-bat
  • Carlos Rivero went 0-for-2 and left two runners on
  • Tyler Moore went 0-for-1 but played solid defense at first
  • Corey Brown went 1-for-1 but committed the cardinal sin of making the final out of an inning at 3B
  • Jhonatan Solano drove in the 3rd Nats run with a 7th-inning groundout but caught just one of four Mets that ran on him
  • Anthony Rendon struck out and drew a walk as PH for the DH to remain hitless in spring training
  • Zach Walters also struck out in his AB, but snared a grounder up the middle for one the game’s best plays on defense

Gio Gonzalez makes his spring debut tomorrow afternoon as the Nats head to the House of the Mouse (Lake Buena Vista) to take on the Atlanta Braves, with the prospects (including Harper) coming off the bench.

Mar 042012
 

The Astros lit up Tom Gorzelanny with a pair of three-run HRs as Houston sent the Nationals to their second loss in Grapefruit League play by a 10-2 count.

Gorzelanny was charged with seven earned runs while retiring three batters over the third and fourth innings, letting in an inherited run, hitting a batter, and walking four in the 11 batters he faced. Stephen Strasburg took the loss with two runs allowed on three hits, including a solo HR in the third.

For the second consecutive game, the Nats outhit their opponent (10-8) but were slightly better in the clutch, going 3-for-11 with nine men left on base.

Bryce Harper came off the bench for this one, going 1-for-2 with a an infield single and a strikeout (looking).

Anthony Rendon saw his first action at shortstop, subbing in for Ian Desmond, who committed two errors in three defensive chances. Rendon made an assist on the first and only ball hit to him. He went 0-for-2 at the plate.

Other notable minor-leaguer lines from the box score:

  • Corey Brown pinch-ran, scored a run, and went 1-for-2 with a single to center. He played LF and made four putouts
  • Eury Perez went 1-for-2 with a single (liner to left-center) and had no defensive chances while playing CF
  • Tyler Moore got sawed off and popped to short while pinch-hitting for DH Michael Morse

The loss drops the Nats to 0-2 in the Grapefruit League. They visit Port St. Lucie tomorrow night to take on the N.Y. Mets, with the game televised on the MLB Network and broadcast on WJFK 106.7 FM and its affiliates. John Lannan is slated to start the game for the Nationals, opposed by Dillon Gee for the Mets.

Mar 032012
 

The Nationals PR staff touted the 8-5 margin in the “H” column, but the Astros took the “R” column by a 3-1 count in the 2012 Grapefruit League opener.

Like yesterday, just one National was successful with a man on second or third, as Jesus Flores followed Roger Bernadina’s leadoff double with one of his own for the single run scored (by pinch-runner Corey Brown). Washington went 1-for-7 with RISP and left six men on for the game.

Edwin Jackson got the start and walked two in his two innings of work, including the first runner of the game, but was unscathed as the infield turned a 4-6-3 DP in each inning. Ross Detwiler followed him and took the loss on a two-run HR in the fourth. Atahualpa Severino gave up the third Houston run in the seventh, surrendering a leadoff triple and hitting a batter, but working around a Carlos Rivero error and inducing the third twin-killing to escape a 1st-and-3rd one-out jam.

Boxscore lines from the minor-leaguers:

  • Bryce Harper went 1-for-3, singling off former National Livan Hernandez
  • Tyler Moore struck out in two ABs
  • Steve Lombardozzi went 0-for-1, but helped turn the third DP
  • Anthony Rendon went 0-for-2 as the substitute DH
  • Rivero went 0-for-2 and played 3B
  • Jhonatan Solano went 0-for-1 and recorded three putouts, but was unsuccessful trying to throw out a runner in the 7th

Tomorrow, the two teams switch venues as the Nationals play host in Viera. The game will be televised live on MASN at 1:05 p.m.

Mar 022012
 

Five Nationals pitchers combined to shut out the Georgetown Hoyas for a 3-0 win this afternoon.

None of the Nats runs were earned, as the Nationals pushed across runs in the first, fourth and sixth innings but only drove in one via a base hit. Brett Carroll got the Homer Simpson RBI with a HBP for the first run, as a Xavier Paul single, a walk to Bryce Error and fielding error loaded the bases with one out.

Eury Perez scored the second run in the fourth on a Sandy Leon sac fly. Perez had pinch-run for Corey Brown and took third on a steal and an error. He would score again in the sixth as the Hoyas committed their fourth error on the Dominican centerfielder’s would-be groundout to third, which advanced him to second. Zach Walters cashed in the mistake for the lone hit with RISP, as the Nationals were a woeful 1-for-12 for the game.

Matt Purke got the win with three innings of one-hit ball. According to the beat writers at the game, the former TCU southpaw touched 91-93 on the gun while walking one and striking out three.

Rafael Martin and Waldis Joaquin each tossed two innings and allowed one hit after Purke left the game. Austin Bibens-Dirkx struck out the side in a 1-2-3 eighth inning while Jeff Fulchino allowed the fourth and final Hoya safety while closing out the game in the ninth.

The five pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts and walked none.

Other highlights from the boxscore:

  • Jeff Kobernus went 1-for-1 with a walk
  • Tyler Moore went 1-for-2 with a double
  • Destin Hood and Justin Bloxom both drew walks in their two PA off the bench

The official start of the Grapefruit League begins tomorrow, with the Nationals visiting the Houston Astros in Kissimmee. Bryce Harper is expected to start in right field again, with Edwin Jackson getting the start, and Sean Burnett, Ross Detwiler, Chad Durbin, and Ryan Perry the announced pitchers to follow. The game will be broadcast on 106.7FM, while MASN is set to televise the game on Sunday, for which Steven Strasburg is the announced starting pitcher.

Mar 022012
 

It’s a shame that today’s game, albeit an exhibition against a NCAA D-I powderpuff, isn’t broadcast on radio or TV because it’s right in our sweet spot, a lineup of minor-leaguers and non-roster invitees:

Lombardozzi, 2B Paul, LF Moore, 1B Harper, RF Carroll, DH
Rendon, 3B Brown, CF Blanco, SS Leon, C

LHP Matt Purke is slated to start, followed by Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Rafael Martin, Waldis Joaquin, Jeff Fulchino and Atahualpa Severino (not necessarily in that order).

Bill “The Rocket” Ladson is reporting that Justin Bloxom, Destin Hood, Jeff Kobernus, Michael Taylor, and Zach Walters will come off the bench.

For the real geeks diehards, check to see if MLB will be warming up its interns with a GameDay broadcast at noon. As mentioned in the comments, @NatsJack will be tweeting from the game, which should include some pics.