Monday aftermath–Nats and Astros

Hope you all caught me at 4:45 “On The Block” with Brent Axe on our new flagship, The Score 1260.  I shared some of these thoughts from the Nats’ 14-9 win today with Brent….

-Bryce Harper’s second double literally quieted his critics.  Harper came up twice in the eighth and doubled to right both times.  Prior to the 1-2 pitch which he mauled in his second at-bat, a few fans seated down the first-base side started a grassroots “overrated” chant.  Not 30 seconds later, Harper’s torpedo clanged into the right-field corner.  The chant stopped.  He’s now 4-for-13 with three RBI for the spring.
-Cole Kimball, outlier.  Five Nats pitchers took the mound today and Kimball was the only one not to surrender a run.  The would-be AAA rookie (and MLB rookie for that matter) flashed good downward movement through the zone and struck three out in two innings.  The only hit he allowed was an infield single for Rick Ankiel-contemporary Brian Bogusevic.
-Danny Espinosa makes the simple look simpler and the difficult look simple.  The Astros hit two ground balls Espinosa’s way in the second inning.  On one, he sprawled, knocked the ball down and zipped an on-target throw Adam LaRoche’s way to retire J.D. Martinez.  The second ball was a bleeder to the left of first-base.  Espinosa casually pursued it nearly directly behind the bag, scooped and bettered catcher Carlos Corporan by a step-and-a-half.  That play didn’t look sensational, but it was likely the sturdier of the two plays.
-Roger Bernadina is bigger, but not slower.  Pictures of Bernadina as he arrived in camp rendered him muscularly-unrecognizable.  The Washington Post reported that he put on more than ten pounds during the offseason.  Today, he bunted on in the first, stole second and reached third on a wild pitch.  He also walked in the second.  We’ll see Nyjer Morgan soon, but Bernadina is 5-for-14 this spring….
-Brian Bixler’s bat.  Last year, he played with three AAA teams.  This year, he’s 5-for-7 in the spring with three doubles, including a bases-clearing, game-tying right-center field double in the 8th today.
Be on the lookout for a quick chat with Drew Storen in our Inside Pitch podcast.  More to come tomorrow.  Follow us @ChiefsRadio on Twitter for updates from Viera, FL.

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