The Nationals split a pair of 6-5 games, winning the afternoon game versus the Mets in Viera and losing the nightcap against the Astros in Kissimmee.
Prospects saw mainly late-inning defensive action in Viera, as none started and five came off the bench: Eury Perez, Destin Hood, Stephen King, Steve Lombardozzi, and Bryce Harper.
Only Harper came to bat, lofting a flyball to LF after getting hits in four of his last five at-bats. Harper fielded both singles hit to him but had no official chances. Hood committed a 9th inning error to help extend the pain of a four-run late rally by the Mets while King threw out the last batter on a grounder to third to end the game.
In the evening, Danny Espinosa got the start at 2B, then shifted over to SS where he got one defensive chance. Offensively, he was 1-for-5 with an RBI, a stolen base and a strikeout. Wilson Ramos started behind the plate but went 0-for-3 with a walk and threw out one runner.
Other notable prospects…
- Derek Norris was the DH but was hitless in four at-bats.
- Chris Marrero started at 1B and went 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored.
- Eury Perez played both LF and CF but had no defensive chances and went 0-for-1
- Stephen King played 3B and had the same day as Perez
- Jhonatan Solano followed Ramos and snagged two popups but didn’t get an at-bat
- Destin Hood played LF and caught a flyball
- Steve Lombardozzi played one inning at 2B and got a putout on sacrifice bunt play
- Cole Kimball pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one hit, with no walks and no strikeouts
- Atahualpa Severino took the loss on an unearned run (see below) on two hits and two walks over the final 1⅓ innings
Finally, your obligatory Bryce Harper roundup. The phenom played the final three innings and made his mark in three ways. The first was with dazzling catch at the wall in the bottom of the 7th. The second was a legged-out a double on a flare to LF in the top of the 8th. Alas, the third way came as he sailed a throw past both cutoff men on a double to the RF corner to enable the game-winning run, which he had initially stopped by running down the ball, to cross the plate in the bottom of the 9th.
Harper is now hitting .375 (6-for-16) and is still considered a candidate for the second round of cuts, which are expected within the next day or two.
With the split, the Nationals are 8-4 for the Spring and rematch against the Astros in Viera tonight at 6:05 p.m., a game which will be televised by MASN.