End 9: Tyler Roberston tosses a perfect frame and the Nationals win, 5-4. Matt Williams is 1-0 in spring.
Mid 9: Manny Delcarmen, a long shot candidate to make the bullpen, threw a strong, scoreless eighth inning. The Nationals took a 5-4 lead in the top of the inning when speedy Jeff Kobernus scored on a flyball to deep center that also speedy Michael Taylor turned into a triple. Taylor, known for his defense prowess, rounded the bases well and flew to third. It was impressive.
Mid 8: The Nationals tied the score at 4-4 thanks to two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth. Zach Walters, who replaced Ian Desmond at shortstop, doubled to lead off the seventh and pinch hitter Koyie Hill drove him in. A throwing error by right fielder Cesar Puello after a Steven Souza single plated Hill. An inning later, Walters drove in Matt Skole, who reached on a double aided by a shoddy throw from the outfield.
End 5: A.J. Cole allowed three hits over two innings but managed to escape without allowing a run. His fastball sat around 92 mph on the television broadcast and he struck out two batters on what appeared to be 83 mph change-ups. Wilson Ramos drove in the Nationals’ first run of the year in the fifth inning with a double off the outfield wall that narrowly missed being a home run and scored Ian Desmond. Ramos also took third on a wild pitch and looked good running the bases.
Christian Garcia coughed up four runs in the bottom of the fifth after allowing a two-run double to Cesar Puello and then a two-run home run to Ike Davis. Garcia was making his first spring appearance as a National, as he missed all of last spring with a partially torn tendon in his forearm.
End 2: Taylor Jordan tossed scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and striking out two on wicked change-ups. He tossed 21 pitches, 16 for strikes, and looked fairly shape. A.J. Cole will pitch be on to pitch the third inning. Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos went down in order in the top of the inning.
End 1: To lead off the inning, Nate McLouth flew out to left in his first at-bat as a National. Then, Danny Espinosa grounded out and Ryan Zimmerman struck out looking. In the bottom of the inning, Taylor Jordan allowed a leadoff single to Chris Young but then escaped the inning on 12 pitches. He struck out Ike Davis on a wicked change-up that dove down in the strike zone.
The Nationals‘ Grapefruit League schedule begins Friday afternoon against the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie. Matt Williams will be in the dugout for his first game in a Nationals uniform and as manager. Taylor Jordan will take the mound, for at least two innings, and face right-hander Rafael Montero. It will also be the first game in a Nationals uniform for outfielder Nate McLouth. As Ryan Zimmerman ran towards the batting cages before the game, David Wright yelled: “What are you doing here? Welcome to Port St. Lucie!” We’ll have some updates here throughout the game.
The game can be heard on 1580 AM, and MLB Network will air it at 9 p.m. on Friday night.
1. Nate McLouth, RF
2. Danny Espinosa, 2B
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Adam LaRoche, 1B
5. Ian Desmond, SS
6. Wilson Ramos, C
7. Tyler Moore, DH
8. Scott Hairston, LF
9. Eury Perez, CF