Live blog: Nationals at Yankees, Steinbrenner Field, Tampa

Dave Sheinin
Copyright 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011; 4:11 PM

End 9, 4:10: Adam Carr gets the save with a 1-2-3 ninth, wrapping up a 10-8 win for the Nationals. End 8, 3:57: Nationals lefty Sean Burnett just pitched a scoreless eighth (it's still 10-8, Nationals), and was helped when Bryce Harper started a 9-4-5 relay that nailed Austin Romine trying to stretch a double into a triple. Top 8, 3:45: Bryce Harper just ripped an RBI single off Romulo Sanchez for his first RBI of the spring. He also never stopped running, and advanced easily to second when the right fielder bobbled the ball. It's 10-8, Nationals. End 7, 3:35: That was a nice 1-2-3 inning for Severino, and we move to the eighth with the Nationals leading, 9-8. Bryce Harper is due up fourth for the Nationals, who will be facing Yankees right-hander Romulo Sanchez. Mid 7, 3:28: The Nationals just took a 9-8 lead with a pair of runs against Daniel Turpen. Mike Morse doubled, Jesus Flores was hit by a pitch, Matt Stairs smashed a ground-rule double to right, and Kevin Barker reached on an error that allowed the second run to score. Now pitching for the Nationals: (wait as I check the spelling on the Nationals' roster) Atahualpa Severino. Top 7, 3:20: Bryce Harper just grounded out to first against Yankees right-hander Daniel Turpen (whom the Yankees picked in the Rule 5 draft). Harper, who got a nice ovation from the crowd as his name was announced, is now 1 for 9 (.111) this spring, though he could get one more plate appearance today. End 6, 3:15: Craig Stammen survived a leadoff single to retire the Yankees in the sixth. Included in the inning was a nice 3-2 slider to Justin Maxwell, who swung and missed as the pitch darted into the opposite batter's box. Yeah, I think we've seen that from Maxwell a time or two before. Mid 6, 3:06: Robert Fish just retired the Nationals in order in the sixth -- a nice outing by the 23-year-old lefty -- so Bryce Harper will lead off the seventh. Craig Stammen back to the hill for a second inning of work, and Jesus Flores into the game at catcher, replacing Ivan Rodriguez. Paid attendance today: 10,835. End 5, 3:00: Craig Stammen gave up a walk and a single, but escaped the fifth with a 6-4-3 double-play off the bat of Eduardo Nunez. Still 8-7, Yankees. Bryce Harper is due to bat fourth in this inning. (That's the third spot in the order, as Michael Morse moved from right field to third base.) Also of note, ex-Nat Justin Maxwell is now in the game for the Yankees, playing left field. Mid 5, 2:52: Here's what this game needed: Robert Fish. The Yankees' lefty pitched a quick, scoreless fifth, giving up a leadoff walk to Derek Norris but erasing him by inducing a 5-4-3 double-play by Jeff Frazier. Still 8-7, Yankees, with Craig Stammen coming in to pitch for the Nationals, and Bryce Harper heading out to right field. End 4, 2:43: Yes, the fourth inning is mercifully over, but not before the Yankees scored eight runs to take an 8-7 lead. Poor Josh Wilkie was victimized for four hits (the Yankees came a homer shy of hitting for the cycle against him) and was charged with three of the runs. Only a pair of nice plays at first base by Chris Marrero -- a tough stop of a hard smash with the infield playing in, and a nice grab of a bad-hop grounder -- prevented more damage. I think the fourth inning, officially, took 13 hours and 43 minutes to play. Bottom 4, 2:29: Now the pitching/defensive ugliness has shifted over to the Nationals' side, and we have our third mid-inning pitching change (this is an outrage!) in the last two innings. Gaudin failed to retire a batter in the fourth, giving up two hits and a walk. He also was victimized by a botched grounder by second baseman Brian Bixler, who let one go through his legs, and Gaudin himself made a throwing error on a comebacker. The Yankees have closed to within 7-3, and Josh Wilkie is on to pitch for the Nationals. Mid 4, 2:18: David Robertson struck out Ivan Rodriguez to end the top of the fourth. And here's a quick mid-game look at the box score: Hairston is 2 for 3 with an RBI and two runs; Desmond is 2 for 2 with two RBI and two runs; Zimmerman is 2 for 2 with two doubles; Frazier is 2 for 2 with a homer and a double. And Gaudin is back out to pitch the fourth. Top 4, 2:12: Another mid-inning pitching change (which, if I were commissioner, would be banned, at least during spring training games) for the Yankees, as Joba Chamberlain can't make it out of the fourth. The Nationals have scored two more, after Jeff ("Babe Ruth") Frazier doubled and eventually scored on Jerry Hairston's ground out, and Ryan Zimmerman doubled home Ian Desmond (walk). So it's 7-0, Nationals, and David Robertson is on to pitch for the Yankees. End 3, 1:58: Yet another strong inning from Chad Gaudin. Eduardo Nunez flied weakly to right (the only ball so far to leave the infield against Gaudin), Jorge Vazquez struck out badly on a curve ball, and Ramiro Pena grounded to first. (By the way, here was CC Sabathia's pitching line: 2 2/3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 W, 1K, 1 HR. He threw 53 pitches, 28 for strikes.) Mid 3, 1:51: Chamberlain retired Chris Marrero on a force-out at second. Gaudin back to the mound for his third inning or work. Top 3, 1:47: Sabathia is now out of the game, having failed to complete the third, and the Nationals are up 5-0, after Ryan Zimmerman doubled to left, scoring Jerry Hairston, and Michael Morse hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Ian Desmond. Sabathia had absolutely no command of his fastball today, and he's still responsible for runners at first and second with two outs. Joba Chamberlain now pitching for the Yankees. (BONUS NOTE! If you're wondering who the heck Jeff Frazier is, here is a down-and-dirty bio, straight out of the Nationals' media guide: 28 years old; third-round draft pick by Detroit in 2004; spent nearly seven years in minors before getting called up by Detroit in Sept. 2010; hit .306-26-75 last year for Class AAA Toledo; signed by Nationals as a minor-league free agent; brother of Reds shortstop prospect Todd Frazier.) Top 3, 1:40: Yeah, we're still in the top of the third, and Sabathia still hasn't recorded an out. Following Frazier's homer, he went walk (to Brian Bixler), single (Jerry Hairston), RBI single (Ian Desmond). It's 3-0, Nationals. Top 3, 1:35: We interrupt this half-inning to bring you this breaking news flash: Jeff Frazier, the Nationals' left fielder today, just went deep to left-center field against CC Sabathia. It's 2-0, Nationals. End 2, 1:32: That's a tidy 1-2-3 inning for Gaudin, who still hasn't allowed a ball to leave the infield. Jorge Posada popped up to third base, Eric Chavez struck out looking, and Jesus Montero grounded weakly to short. Mid 2, 1:25: Sabathia retired the side in order in the second, getting Ivan Rodriguez on a line out to shortstop, Derek Norris on a grounder to third and Chris Marrero on a swinging strikeout. Still 1-0, Nationals. End 1, 1:17: A nice first inning for Gaudin, and for the Nationals' defense. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman made a nice diving stab of Nick Swisher's broken-bat grounder, but first baseman Chris Marrero couldn't make the scoop (the play was ruled an infield single). But Marrero redeemed himself by fielding Curtis Granderson's hot smash to his right and starting a 3-6-3 double-play to end the inning. Mid 1, 1:10: The Nationals scored quickly against Sabathia, with ex-Yankee Jerry Hairston smashing a double into the left field corner (past Yankees third baseman Eric Chavez [!]), and Ian Desmond sneaking a dribbler up the middle and into center field to score him. It's 1-0, Nationals. Gaudin is getting ready to face a diluted Yankees lineup -- apparently Manager Joe Girardi is giving some regulars a day off. Here's their lineup: Gardner LF, Swisher RF, Granderson CF, Posada DH, Chavez 3B, Montero C, Nunez 2B, Vazquez 1B, Pena SS. Original post: Let's dispense with the formalities. We're about to be underway here, with CC Sabathia facing off against Chad Gaudin. (Oh, and since I piggybacked this post on top of the one from three minutes ago, make sure you don't miss my notes below about Nyjer Morgan, Elvin Ramirez and Bryce Harper.)

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