Today, the Nationals played their first out-of-division foe, facing the Yankees at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. This game was full of back ups and minor leaguers, as only one (maybe two) Opening Day starter played for the Nationals. Ross Detwiler, who is competing for the 5 spot in the Nats rotation, made his Spring debut today. Unfortunately, the Yankees handed the Nationals their first loss of the Spring, winning 4-2; here now is the good, the bad, and the ugly from today’s game.
Danny Roesenbaum entered the second inning, in a jam, inheriting runners on the corners with only one out, and Yankee great Derek Jeter up to bat. However, Roesenbaum only needed three pitches to get the Captain to ground into an inning ending double play .
Zach Walters great Spring continued today, as he crushed a home run off of Shawn Kelly in the fifth inning to put the Nationals on the board.
With that home run, Walters is now 6-7 with 4 extra base hits this spring. While he did make a throwing error in the second that allowed a run to score, Walters made several nifty double plays at short.
Tanner Roark is also vying for that fifth spot in the rotation, and today, he didn’t hurt his cause. In two innings, Roark gave up two hits, but still managed to face the minimum batters thanks to some nifty defense by Zach Walters and Tyler Moore (I can’t believe I said that in a sentence!).
Tyler Moore is not guaranteed an Opening Day roster spot. And by the way he is batting, he might be starting the season in Syracuse. Moore went 0-3 with a strikeout and TWO double plays. He did save himself from being ugly with this nice outfield assist
Ross Detwiler‘s first inning was very good, retiring the side with a strike out of Brett Garner on a 94 MPH fastball
and of Brian McCann on a curveball, which is the pitch he has been working on this Spring.
However, he had a lot of trouble recording an out in the second inning, allowing the first 6 batters of the inning to reach base, and allowing 4 runs to score. The good thing about Detwiler’s start is that his fastball velocity was in the mid 90’s and he was able to locate his curveball well in the first inning.
The Nationals offense in innings 1-5 was basically non existent. Besides a home run from Zach Walters, the Nationals were 0-15 with 6 strikeouts. While it doesn’t mean much since this is only the fourth game of the Spring, and the fact that this game features mostly bench players and minor leaguers, it would have been nice to see a little more production out of those players.
The Nationals face Braves tomorrow at Champion Field in Disney World. Stephen Strasburg takes on Kris Medlen, as he makes his first start of the Spring. The game starts at 1:05 and can be heard on the Braves radio broadcast.