Nats (Still) Flat In Viera

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.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

11 thoughts on “Nats (Still) Flat In Viera”

  1. Well, they do call it the low country down there because it after all, well, flat?

    Still early as you know well … 😉 But clearly some guys on the bubble are already feeling the pressure …

    1. Yes, it is early, but typically the hitters are ahead of the pitchers this time of year.

      1. Not with that wind me thinks. Still, Mattheus and Strasburg acquitted themselves well. And Storen was Storen.

      2. Exhibit 1: Julio Teheran’s line from yesterday: 2IP, 6H, 7R, 7ER, 1BB, 1SO, 6HR

        Exhibit 1A: R Delgado’s: 1IP, 2H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 1SO, 1HR

  2. Boy, I’ve been a Desi fan from the beginning, and have stuck up for him when many have berated him. But even I am beginning to have my doubts. Being a fan of his is like living in a ‘groundhog day’ kind of world.
    It’s guys like him, Gorselanny, and to a lesser degree, Lannan who I don’t trust to get the job done. And now I’m beginning to get the same feeling about Werth.
    Sure, I know we’re only two games into spring training, but it’s this negative inkling I get when those players are involved. That being said, I still think Desi and Werth will come through, but…

    1. What the Nats are doing with Michael Taylor is what they should have done with Desmond. It’s frustrating to me because I expect to see a different player than the one I saw in Potomac in 2006-2007. A lot of people latched onto Bowden’s 2005 comparison of Desmond to Derek Jeter, which turned out to be quite apt; well, at least in terms of being good-looking, polarizing, and vastly overrated on defense.

      1. I’m still convinced that Desmond has some seriously compromising photos of Mike Rizzo somewhere.
        How else to explain it.
        The old adage is still true……… the pitchers need 6-7 weeks to get ready and the hitters need 7-10 days. Hasn’t changed in 50 years.

        1. Yes, and didn’t Rizzo surprise us all with the deal for Gio Gonzalez? Noting how much the crafty trader Billy Beane wanted Tommy Milone?

          Its important to try to keep a player’s value high when considering a trade. And looking at the Nats current MI situation someone has to go. My guess is that its Desmond at some point soon. There are just too many MI who will be progressing through AA at this point. And Espinosa is a power hitting switch-hitter.

    2. 3 errors in 4 ST games by Desi would seem to be borderline unacceptable for someone hoping to quash the naysayers in his 3rd full big league season. For me, the errors would be tolerable IF it came with a nice OBP% or SLG%, but those numbers are marginal as well. Hate to call 2012 a ‘make or break’ season for the guy but with the logjam at middle IF, he’d do himself a favor by producing more at the plate.

  3. I always have wondered why the Nats don’t try Desmond in CF. He has a rocket arm, good speed and is an athlete. His defensive liabilities at short are all too apparent and with Lombardozzi, Espinosa, Rendon in the mix, it seems we have some options at short. Thoughts?

    1. An excellent idea. It could turn out to be the answer, and nothing lost if it didn’t work. Now if someone in the Nats’ management would just ask The Wizard for a brain . . .

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