After leading since the second inning, he Nats saw the Mets come back to tie Tuesday’s game at three in the eighth on a home run off the bat of Cory Vaughn, the son of former Brewer (among other allegiances) Greg Vaughn. But, the Nats grabbed the win on an RBI double in the tenth from Laynce Nix against former Durham Bull Dale Thayer (not to be confused with former Colorado State head coach Dale Layer). Some thoughts about the game:
-Brian Bixler’s power. With the Nats up 2-1 in the seventh, Bixler smashed a 2-1 pitch from Jason Isringhausen over the left field wall. It was Bixler’s second career Spring Training home run and his first since 2007. After the game, Bixler told me the first one came off of former Braves pitcher Oscar Villareal. Bixler, who spent his offseason in his home state of Ohio, is now 6-for-10 this spring.
-Rule (V) of thumb. Right-hander Brian Broderick relieved Jordan Zimmermann in the fourth and threw two clean frames. The, in the sixth, he coerced a Willie Harris groundout and struck David Wright out looking. Then, Daniel Murphy doubled to left. Nick Evans followed and swatted a single to left. Michael Morse’s one-hope throw was on target, but Derek Norris couldn’t tag Murphy and hold the ball. Moral of the story: Broderick’s line was good but could have been great. That run’s the only one he’s coughed up this spring in three outings. Poached from the Cardinals this offseason in the Rule V Draft, Broderick won 11 AA games last year asa starter. He attacked hitters all day today.
-Michael Morse loves New York. Morse has three homers this spring, all against the Mets. His second-inning bomb prompted one Mets staffer in the press box to exclaim, “This guy kills us.” Here’s hoping Morse stays healthy and does what he’s wanted to do for a long time: be an everyday starter in the majors.
-I can be centerfield. Nyjer Morgan DH’d today, but stole a couple of bags, bunted on and walked twice. Rick Ankiel, starting in center, flagged a couple of high-difficulty balls down. Roger Bernadina played very well yesterday. An above-average AAA center fielder will start for the Chiefs April 7 Opening Day in Buffalo.
Check out the Inside Pitch podcast for a chat with Josh Wilkie who is a major-league-camp invitee for the first time in his career. And follow us on Twitter @ChiefsRadio for live updates from spring training.
To Jupiter in the AM for the Nats and Marlins. Insert planetary joke here.