It is snowing. I can’t believe it is snowing. We are nearly 24 hours away from departing to Florida and Nationals Spring Training and it is snowing. It seems odd packing shorts, flowered shirts and rum into the bags as Old Man Winter takes a complete dump on us.
The Nationals played the first two Spring Training games of their 2012 campaign, both against the Houston Astros and both didn’t really end up like anyone expected. Houston beat the Nats on Saturday in Kissimmee 3-1. Bryce Harper recorded his first hit of the Spring against former Nationals pitcher Livan Hernandez. Then Stephen Strasburg took the mound on Sunday and the Nats got a Spring spanking 10-2. Much of that comes thanks in part to reliever Tom Gorzelanny who took over for Strasburg in the third-inning and proceeded to give up seven runs in one inning, including giving up two three-run home runs.
Manager Davey “Peanut Butter Mouth” Johnson acted cute and took responsibility for Gorzo’s less than craptacular outing, but that is just smokescreen for the fact that Gorzo absolutely sucks and is more than likely the weakest link in the bullpen. The guy just cannot not give up home runs. It was the same story last Spring Training: Gorzo entered the game and must have given up at least a two-run home run in nearly every one of his outings.
It is Spring Training, that is fine, pitchers work on things, but then it followed him into the regular season. Three Nationals pitchers gave up more than 12 home runs in 2011. One of those pitchers is gone (Livan Hernandez, 16), another is possibly on the way out (John Lannan, 15) and one, Gorzo, should probably be kicked to the curb as well (he gave up 15 in 2011).
So is the NQ making Gorzo the first player officially on the 2012 “Bum Watch?” Yes, we are. The amount of jacks he gives up is just unacceptable. His stats show the more games he is a part of the more home runs he gives up– which are a lot. His job is to support his starter, get guys out and get out of the inning, not give away free souvenirs.
As mentioned before, the NQ leaves for Viera Tuesday. We’ll be there ready to do the blog the next day so prepare yourselves for a big blitz on the blog sometime late Wednesday. Photos, bullet point recaps,stories, weirdness– the usual staples of our Spring Training coverage. It is that time of year again.