Nationals vs. Yankees – Saturday, March 12th

4:01 (End 9th): Derek Norris has ended this game with a walkoff 380-foot single to left center…Nats win it 6 to 5.  More to come…

3:57 (Bottom 9th): Yankees lefthander Robert Fish goes to 3-1 on Gonzalez and then throws him an intentional ball four…bases loaded, one out, for pinch hitter Derek Norris.  Bernadina came out on deck but Norris pinch-hit, and now Fish is giving way for a right-hander to get the matchup back in the Yankees’ favor.  Into the game now: Daniel Turpen.

3:55 (Bottom 9th): …and he gets plunked on an 0-2 pitch after two gigantic swings.  1st and 3rd, one out for Alberto Gonzalez…outfield is way in, infield at DP depth.

3:54 (Bottom 9th): Ankiel gets the bunt down…Bryce Harper up with the winning run on third and one out…

3:50 (Bottom 9th): Just back from the MASN broadcast booth…only one run’s been scored since then on a Rick Ankiel solo home run.  We’re 5-5 and Jesus Flores just reached second base on a throwing error by Eduardo Nunez to start the 9th…Nyjer Morgan’s pinch running as the potential winning run.

2:52 (Bottom 6th): Sorry for the suspense there, went to talk to AJ Burnett post-start (very amusing guy)…Vazquez was hit and Pena drove in the run with a sac fly.  But the Nats just got it back…Desmond and Zimmerman single and walk, respectively, with one out, and…wait for it…wait for it…Michael Morse! singles to left-center to drive in another run.  Morse is removed for a pinch-runner, Jerry Hairston Jr. with 2 on and 2 out…Nats down 5-4 with Ramos up…

2:34 (Top 6th): Maya absolutely pulls the string on a 3-2 curve to Montero for the K.  The Nats infield is in with pinch-runner Doug Bernier on third and one out.  Jorge Vazquez, who’s driven in 3 of the 4 runs, awaits…

2:31 (Top 6th): Cano greets Maya rudely with a long fly ball to deep center field…but Roger Bernadina just plain drops it at the warning track, right where the shadows and sunshine intersect.  Official ruling a triple, which I have to disagree with – Roger got his glove on it and should have made the play.  Let the center field “battle” continue…

2:29 (End 5th): Laynce Nix just sent a rocket into orbit here at Space Coast…high fastball 
from righthander Hector Noesi that he turned on and clobbered way over the right field fence.  4-3 after five…the mystifying Yunesky Maya on for the Nats.

2:14 (Top 5th): Lannan gets Gardner to start the 5th on a pop out, and his day is down.  Time for lefty Sean Burnett to show his stuff.

2:10 (End 4th): A.J. Burnett has reeled off 9 straight outs since Mike Morse’s home run…4-2 after four.  Burnett has looked fairly sharp with 4 strikeouts and just 2 hits allowed.

2:02 (Top 4th): On our Inside Pitch podcast, Justin Maxwell told us that Alex Rodriguez has been the biggest veteran influence on him with the Yankees so far.  It shows – Maxwell’s stance looks like it’s certainly borrowed some elements from A-Rod.  He grounds out to shortstop though, and Lannan strikes out Mesa to end the frame.  It’s been a rough 4 innings for the southpaw – 4-2 Yankees.

2:00 (Top 4th): Jorge Vazquez is not a fan of John Lannan’s pitches.  After a scorcher of an RBI single in the first, he serves a bomb over the left-centerfield wall for a 2-run home run.  4-2 Yankees, Vazquez has driven in three.  He’s well over .400 with 3 HR and 8 rBi for the spring…still, expect to see him in Scranton this year.

1:53 (Bottom 3rd): When A.J. Burnett is on, his stuff is just filthy to watch.  He froze Roger Bernadina on a 2-2 breaking ball right on the outside corner – Roger had no chance and struck out for the second time.

1:46 (Top 3rd): It is legitimately hard to find an empty seat in this place.  Good luck finding a much bigger crowd than this for a spring training game.  And good luck finding a better two innings than John Lannan just threw…two groundouts and a strikeout of Cano give him his first 1-2-3 frame.

1:37 (Bottom 2nd): Michael Morse is hotter than a pistol in Texas in the middle of July.  Wrapped in a hot blanket.  He hit what looked like a lazy fly ball to right field that just kept going…and going…and going…and ended up over the fence for a 2-run blast.  Manager Jim Riggleman and GM Mike Rizzo both called Morse the clear front-runner for the LF job this morning…he’s now at an even .500 in ST, 13 for 26.  2-2 here in the second.

1:32 (Middle 2nd): Much stronger second for Lannan…a leadoff walk to former Nat Justin Maxwell erased by a first pitch ground ball DP off the bat of Melky Mesa and a 4-pitch strikeout of Brett Gardner faces it off.  Ks don’t come easy for Lannan, who’s struck out just 287 in 566 1/3 career innings.

1:26 (End 1st): A.J. Burnett has to work for his strikeouts, but he sure gets his strikeouts…18 pitches to 3 batters, but rings up Bernadina, Desmond, and Zimmerman to end the first.

1:21 (Bottom 1st): High comedy right off the top of the inning!  Roger Bernadina half-swung at a seemingly inside fastball and got rung up by home plate umpire Ed Hickox…but Roger thought he walked, tossed off his shin guard and took a few steps toward first before both the crowd and the ump let him know what happened.  Good try though.

1:17 (Middle 1st): John Lannan’s getting roughed up by some guys who didn’t have much success against the Chiefs last year.  Eduardo Nunez (6-51, .118) walked and scored on a Robinson Cano single, Jesus Montero (11-41, .268) singled, and Jorge Vazquez (5-22, .227) drove in a run.  It’s 2-0 Yanks after a half inning…now time for the A.J. Burnett show.

Kevin here…Absolutely gorgeous day here at Space Coast Stadium for what looks to be the biggest crowd we’ve had since Jason or I have been here for the Nats and the Yankees.  It’s a very watered-down Yankees roster – A.J. Burnett’s starting with Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner and Russell Martin in the lineup, but there’s no one else who’s likely to be a roster regular.  In fact, the vast majority of this travel roster won’t start in the bigs.

One guy to watch is former Chief Justin Maxwell, who’s starting in left field and hitting 8th today. Jason chatted with both Justin and current National Michael Morse pregame – stay tuned to our twitter @ChiefsRadio and the Chiefs Inside Pitch podcast (http://syracusechiefsinsidepitch.mypodcast.com/) to listen to those.
Here are today’s starting lineups - 
Yankees
CF Brett Gardner
SS Eduardo Nunez
C Russell Martin
2B Robinson Cano
DH Jesus Montero
1B Jorge Vazquez
3B Ramiro Pena
LF Justin Maxwell
RF Melky Mesa
SP A.J. Burnett
In other words, quite a few players who we could certainly see in Scranton this year.
Nationals
CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse (.480, 4
HR, 7 RBI)
C Wilson Ramos
DH Rick Ankiel
RF Laynce Nix
2B Danny Espinosa (.407, 2 HR, 11 RBI)
SP John Lannan

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