Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nats beat Yankees 6-5 in walk-off style

As Capitol Baseball leaves Space Coast Stadium for the last time this spring, there's a lot of stuff to glean from the Nats 6-5 victory over the Yankees on Saturday. Let's look into the highlights and lowlights.

-As expected, the Space Coast was run over by Yankees fans that came and were as obnoxious as you'd expect. There seemed to be mass confusion by the lack of Derek Jeter in the line up, as there were several "look at that throw by Jeter" comments in our section.

-John Lannan looked pretty Lannan-esque. He went 4 1/3 innings, walked 3, struck out 3, and gave up 4 earned runs. Today, we saw the Lannan we saw to start 2010, not to end it. With some really successful springs from guys like Ross Detwiler, one has to wonder about about how guaranteed Lannan's spot is in the Opening Day rotation.

-Roger Bernadina has seen better days, and that's the understatement of the century. Bernie earned the silver sombrero (3 strikeouts in one game) and had a nasty fielding error on a fly ball to center field that appeared to just miss his glove. If he was looking to put himself in front of Nyjer for the CF job, he didn't do himself any favors.

-Yunesky Maya pitched 4 average innings. He gave up 2 hits but walked 3. He gave up just 2 runs. He continues to make a push for the rotation, but it still seems unlikely he'd be in the rotation on Opening Day.

-Derek Norris ended the game with a walk-off single to deep left center with the bases loaded and one out. Norris continues to make huge strides this spring offensively, and it's been easy to see why he's the #2 prospect in the Nats organization as ranked by Baseball America.

-It was a big bomb sort of day at Space Coast. The Nats hit 3 homers (Morse, Nix, Ankiel).

-Bryce Harper got hit by a pitch up and in during his only at-bat of the game. He took it in what looked to be the shoulder, and he was hurting on the way to first.

(Edit: - We almost forgot. Justin Maxwell was in the line up for the Yankees today in left. He went 0 for 2 with two walks and helped the Nats greatly in the 8th by grounding into a 6-4-3 double play. Thanks Justin!)

-The number #1 star of the game was, without a doubt, Michael Morse. Morse continued to be the catalyst for the Nationals offense, going 2 for 3 with a 2-run home run in the 2nd inning. Earlier in the day, both Manager Jim Riggleman and GM Mike Rizzo said Morse is the front runner for the left field job. Now that Morse is 14 for 28 (.500) on the Spring, with 5 home runs, you have to wonder if that's become a guarantee.

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