Nats Implode In 6th, Lose 7-2 To Braves

March 13, 2013 Viera, FL
Via @SyracuseChiefs On Twitter
With three weeks to go before Opening Day, the good news is that Stephen Strasburg breezed through the first five innings on slightly more than 50 pitches. The bad news: A six-run sixth inning by the Braves broke the 0-0 tie as the Nationals ultimately fell, 7-2.

Strasburg was charged with four runs on four hits and two walks over five and a 1/3rd innings, though two of the runs were let in by Zach Duke as the first man out of the ‘pen.

The 24-year-old ace struck out five on an unofficial pitch count of 76 pitches, 53 for strikes per Patrick Reddington of Federal Baseball.

Following Duke, who took the brunt of the Atlanta rally with three hits and two runs of his own given up in just 2/3rds of an inning, Rafael Soriano cruised through a scoreless 7th, setting them down in order with a popup, strikeout, and a flyout.

The fight for the final bullpen spot continues to be less like the UFC and more like the Little Rascals as neither Henry Rodriguez nor Fernando Abad were particularly effective in the 8th, with the former putting on two in 2/3rds of an inning (one single, one HBP) and the latter giving up a leadoff hit for the seventh and final Braves run while getting the last out in the 8th.

Tyler Clippard matched Soriano with a three up and three down 9th, also striking out one.

The Nats broke up the shutout bid with a rally from the reserves in the bottom of the 8th. Carlos Maldonado drew a leadoff walk, took second on Steve Lombardozzi’s groundout, waddled to third on a single by Corey Brown and finally came in on an RBI groundout to third by Carlos Rivero.

Tyler Moore’s solo shot into the wind in the last of the 9th completed Washington’s scoring.

A rundown of how the notable minor-leaguers fared:
• CF Brown 1-1
• PR-RF Rivero 0-1, RBI
• LF Owings 0-1
• PH-DH Marrero 0-1
• SS Walters 0-1

Tomorrow is the second of three scheduled off days for the Nats’ 2013 Spring Training. It’s a pair of split-squad games against the Mets in Viera and the Astros in Kissimmee on Wednesday. beat writer Bill “The Rocket” Ladson is reporting that the next round of cuts will come after those games.

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.

3 thoughts on “Nats Implode In 6th, Lose 7-2 To Braves”

  1. Standard spring timing. First 2 SS games followed by Cuts. .
    Brawn Moore. Hr into wind.
    8 th IP slot like a broadway audition.

  2. One of the interesting, minor back stories going into this ST was what to do with Carlos Rivero.
    It seems like he had a good enough season last year that he probably could have been traded over the winter. It seemed logical, in retrospect, however, that the Nats would want to keep him through ST to make sure Danny’s shoulder is healthy enough.
    So … now that we are more than halfway through, where does it go from here? He hasn’t done anything this spring to improve his trade value, and I’m not sure whether the Nats helped or hurt that value by mostly playing him out of his natural position in the OF. At this point, do we think the Nats try to “sneak” him through waivers as all of the teams are trying to cut down to their active rosters? or do they try to trade him for some minor asset with control?

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