Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’

Nats @ Marlins pregame

Just got to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter….a few comments before Vazquez v. Marquis:

-Roger Bernadina starts again in center.  He’s the only challenger for the center field position who’s hitting above .200 (at .313).  He leads off.
-Laynce Nix opens in right field.  He’s 4-for-9 as he fights to stick in the Nats outfield.  If he doesn’t, good news for the Chiefs:  In his last two full minor-league seasons (Nashville ’07/’08), he’s hit a combined 47 homers with 134 RBI
-Marquis’ second start.  In his first appearance, Jason Marquis–off a season in 2010 which saw floating debris appear in his elbow–allowed just one hit in three innings (Mar. 4 against the Braves).  He’s one of roughly 10 starters aiming to have one of the five starting spots in the Nats rotation.
Chatted with Chiefs manager Randy Knorr earlier.  Check it out on out Inside Pitch podcast at
For in-game updates, follow us @ChiefsRadio on Twitter.

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.

Monday in Viera

High of 76 today.  Snow unlikely.

A few notes about today’s starting lineups for the Nats and Astros.
-Former Chief Yunesky Maya is pitching for the Nats…..Jim Riggleman was impressed with him last time out.  Found his fastball again in winter ball.  One of maybe five guys who could be either a starter with the Nats or a starter in Syracuse.
–Roger Bernadina leading off.  He’s in a mess of outfielders with Rick Ankiel, Michael Morse and a bunch of others….
-….including Jeff Frazier, an IL All-Star last year who’s seemingly made a positive impression on the Nats so far this summer.
-The Nats have chosen to use the DH today, despite in being an NL game vs Houston.  We’ve seen Yunesky Maya bat once.  That’s likely enough.
-On the subject of the Astros, their starting third baseman is Chris Johnson, the son of former PawSox manager Ron Johnson.  Here’s a nice story on RJ from NESN:
More as the game progresses here and on Twitter @ChiefsRadio.  Check out Inside Pitch postgame for interviews…..

Off to spring training

The closest airport to my offseason home in North Carolina is Greensboro’s Piedmont Triad International.  It is one of those airports which offers a flight to Toronto once every six months and, thus, labels itself “international.”  It has slightly less true overseas verve than Outback Steakhouse.  

I normally have better luck flying direct out of Raleigh or Charlotte, each about an hour and a half door-to-door from Winston-Salem.  To fly to spring training today, I chose Charlotte and a 10:21 direct flight to Orlando.  So, I got in my car this morning and began my Sunday drive to CLT.  It rapidly became apparent that today was, indeed, Sunday.   The first four stations I clicked to on the radio (including an NPR station) provided me religious music.  The fifth station offered “Don’t Fear the Reaper.”  There’s something faintly symmetrical there.

The final destination is Viera, Florida, the spring training home of the Nationals.  As of this writing, the Chiefs’ parent club is 4-2 this Grapefruit League season, which gives the Nats exactly four more wins than they had in their first 11 games last March. 

Keep an eye on the blog and our Inside Pitch podcast for news and notes from Viera along with interviews with former and soon-to-be-Chiefs all week.  Also, once Kevin joins me on Thursday, we’ll be filling our YouTube page with video updates from Florida.  Drop me an email at and let me know who you’d like to hear from.  If you’re nice, I think I can probably take your suggestion and run with it.

Here’s hoping my flight this morning is significantly less turbulent than DePaul’s basketball season.  


Stories from above–precocious edition

Ever wonder what it was like to watch Mozart play the piano at age six?

Stephen Strasburg tossed some pretty memorable pitches today (just ask the radar gun ).  He threw two scoreless innings and struck a couple of batters out–Miguel Cabrera on a fastball at 98 and Brent Dlugach on a lethal curveball.

Strasburg did allow two hits, the first of which came from an ’09 Toledo Mud Hen, Don Kelly.  The young man from Tony Gwynn’s San Diego State program, though, was generally confounding to both Tigers and electronics.

Clubhouse highlight of the day:  A reporter from the Far East asked Strasburg after his start, “What do you think of your new teammate, Chien-Ming Wang?”  Collectively lacking a nose for symmetry, the horde of reporters neglected to rush to Wang to ask his opinion of his young comrade from America.

On a personal note, I have eaten dinner at two separate locations so far–with many still yet unexplored.  I’m heartened that this city stands by its motto.

Persona non grata of the day:  This guy.  Remember who came after The Beatles on Ed Sullivan?  Me neither.

Check out Inside Pitch for a conversation with Tim Foli and postgame comments from Stephen Strasburg and our YouTube page for video coverage .

Sat with Justin Maxwell’s better half during the ninth inning.  They’re expecting another child (a girl) in April.  Congrats to them.

Will Dogen come back to life tonight?  Is Kate dead?  Do any of you embrace Lost like I do?

J. Benetti

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