The last game of Spring Training is equally both exciting and annoying. It is exciting because usually the last game involves majority if not all of your team’s starting line-up so you get a sneak-peek at the product that has taken almost 30 days to build. It is annoying because there is a feeling of tiredness about it. Twenty-nine long days of competition in the raging, hot Florida sun has taken its toll on both team and fans. Even the stadium itself, the concrete stairs stained with spills and used bubblegum, looks tired and looking forward to regurgitating that final home crowd from its seats. Fans just want to get this one over with and get down to business. With Opening Day days away, it is time for some serious business– but only after this ONE more.
And what a doozy it was. Nationals drop their Spring finale to the New York Mets (much to delight of Rich The Mets Fan who was in fine annoying form) 8-2. The sun was especially excruciating with little breeze and the pitching on the mound was equally brutal.
Gads, I’m not even in the mood to put more creative spin on it. Lets get to the NQ highlights and lowlights of this last game–
– There was a reason the NQ wasn’t about to name Jordan Zimmermann the next Moses after a great last go around and this game is that reason: Zimmermann was shelled within an inch of his pitching life early in the game. Three innings, seven hits, four earned runs. Extremely hittable, not as much confidence. In the second inning, where he self-destructed, he got into a bases loaded, no out jam and then gave up a three-run double to the pitcher, THE PITCHER. Damnable offense. He seems unable to string together back-to-back golden performances right now. It is going to be a long season.
– Michael Morse played a fly ball relatively lazy and let it drop in. Then on the very next at-bat he made a spectacular grab at the wall. Who does this guy think he is? A see-saw?
– It took 45 minutes to finish the top of the second inning. A lot of that is because of Zimmermann stinker, but also because Danny Espinosa who blooped a ball at second. A run scored, extended the inning.
– Third base coach Bo Porter cost two Nats runs by holding back runners at third when they could have made it easily home. Ridiculous. The guy was like a walking, talking stop sign. Perhaps he was holding them back because it was Spring Training and he didn’t want to risk injury, but saying that is letting him off the hook. Bad decisions made at third.
– Pudge Rodriguez had two opportunities to do major damage with bases loaded and either no outs or one out and he stranded all six ducks on the pond. In fact, he shot them first and then dipped the corpses in concrete so they would stay on the pond.
– The only two positives to this game: Adam LaRoche hit a solo homerun and reliever Brian Broderick seems to be back on his game.
– Drew Storen came in for some relief and sadly he didn’t offer any. 0.2 innings, seven hits and four earned runs– still not ready, but he is going to North. It is going to be an adventure every time he comes to the mound, like Indiana Jones running from a giant boulder adventure. Sadly, he might get get squashed more often than not.
There was a group of kids up in the right field bleachers during the game and I believe they broke out into a “Let’s Go Mets!” chant. At least that is what I think it was. Nats, Mets, sounds similar traveling on the wind, but if it was Mets then what a horrible chant to leave Viera to.
On to Opening Day I guess. Keep your fingers crossed if they aren’t over your eyes.
By the way, there is no Nats Spring Leftovers Part 1. That is just me being stupefying. Yeah, what else is new?