Nats Drop Grapefruit League Opener, 5-3

A two-run sixth by the Mets off non-roster invitee Bill Bray broke a 3-3 tie as the Nationals lost the first game of Spring Training, 5-3.

The first outing for Nats ace Stephen Strasburg was marred by a Ruben Tejada home run in the last of the first with no outs. Strasburg was also touched for a double, but retired five of the last six batters he faced. He finished with two runs allowed on three hits in his two innings, walking none and fanning one.

The Nationals reclaimed the lead in the next half inning. Ian Desmond singled with one out, came around to score on a Chris Marrero double, then Chris Snyder took Mets starer Shane Marcum deep for a brief 3-2 lead.

The Mets tied it up with three singles in the fourth, the last two coming with two outs off the second Nats pitcher, Craig Stammen, who was charged with a blown save. He had pitched a scoreless third, working around an error by Chad Tracy.

There were plenty of minor-leaguers who saw game action. Here’s a rundown of how they did:
• Marrero was 1-for-3 overall as the starting 1B
• Eury Perez went 1-for-3 in CF, taking over for Denard Span
• Corey Brown went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts, following Bryce Harper in LF
• Carlos Rivero made his first appearance in the OF, going 0-for-2 while taking over RF from Tyler Moore
• Matt Skole drew a walk in his sole plate appearance and played 3B after Chad Tracy was done
• Anthony Rendon popped up as a pinch-hitter and left two runners on in the 8th
• Jhonatan Solano went 0-for-2 after Snyder was done catching
• Micah Owings went 1-for-4 as the DH and played 1B after Marrero was done, committing an error
• Fernando Abad walked two and struck out one in his lone inning of work (5th)
• Erik Davis walked one and struck out two in the 7th inning
• Cole Kimball walked one and struck out none in the 8th

The Nationals return to Viera tomorrow afternoon for a game against Miami. The game will be broadcast on the radio with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Rendon is expected to get the start at third base while Sandy Leon will be the first catcher off the bench.

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.

4 thoughts on “Nats Drop Grapefruit League Opener, 5-3”

  1. I really hope Bray improves as the spring goes on. He looked absolutely awful out there. I swear the inning he pitched seemed like is lasted half-an-hour. That said, I like the guy and am glad he is back with the franchise because we really need the LHRP depth.

    1. It’s February. Rendon swung at pitcher’s pitch, most likely in an attempt to foul it off (which he did successfully earlier in his AB); Perez and Brown misread a couple of flyballs. Those are just the mishaps I was able to see while dividing my time between site duties and parental obligations.

      Bray has reportedly had to alter his mechanics as a result of the groin injury, if it helps. Kimball is still barely cracking 90 on the gun, but appeared to me that he’s trying to pace himself somewhat (remember back in ’11 just about everybody remarked about how his max-effort delivery wouldn’t hold up?) Abad actually looked better than I expected, though that’s tantamount to meeting a movie star who’s not short.

  2. For all the veteran seamheads, Clint Everts was signed by the Blue Jays yesterday.
    Everts was the Expos 1st round pick in 2002 (5th overall) and here’s hoping he gets that cup of coffee.

  3. Kilgore’s reporting that Purke will not pitch in any games until May. Just wanting to give him a bit more rehab time before he goes all out? Hopefully it’s nothing more than that.

    Hoping that guys like him and Solis can get themselves healthy enough to see how far they can go.

    Also read that Garcia has been shut down for wrist / forearm tightness.

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