Today, the Nationals traveled to Lakeland, Florida to take on new manager Brad Ausmus and his Detroit Tigers. Rotation hopeful Taylor Jordan faced Rick Porcello in today’s contest. The Tigers sported a lineup which may be close to the one they have opening day, while the Nationals lineup was mixed with regulars, bench players, and minor leaguers. The Nationals and Tigers combined to hit for 32 hits today, as the Tigers took home the victory, 12-6. Here are the good, bad, and ugly from today’s game.
Tyler Moore finally showed off his power swing today, hitting a line shot over the left field wall in the fourth inning to score Nate McLouth, shrinking the Nationals deficit to one run. Moore also singled in his other at bat today, improving his Spring batting average to .286.
Along with Moore, Scott Hariston crushed a home run in today’s game. Hariston’s solo home run help the Nationals pull within three of the Tigers in the sixth inning.
Nate McLouth had himself a good game today, going 2-3 with an RBI double in the first to put the Nationals on the board. Jamey Carroll hit his second triple in as many games, scoring Zach Walters in the process.
Jose Lobaton continues to struggle with the bat, going 0-3 today with a strike out. This lowered his average to a measly .056 on the Spring, with his only hit coming in his first at bat.
The entire pitching staff had an off day, with only one Nationals’ pitcher not allowing a run to score in their appearance. Taylor Jordan, today’s starting pitcher, began his first two innings strong, only allowing two hits and striking out two, including Triple Crown Winner Miguel Cabrera. However, the outing went sour in the third inning, as Jordan gave up 5 hits on 4 Tiger runs. Luis Ayala then came in in the fourth, and turned a tight contest into a blowout. After retiring his first batter, Ayala gave up hits to Ian Kinsler, Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Alex Avila, before getting Austin Jackson to ground into a force out for the second out. After Ayala another hit to Nick Castellanos, scoring another run, Matt Williams decided to pull him — Ayala gave up 4 runs on 6 hits. After Drew Storen pitched a scoreless 5th, Blake Treinen came in for the next two innings, giving up 1 run on 4 hits, without a strikeout. In the eighth inning, Mike Gonzalez made his spring debut, with hopes of making the Nationals out of camp. But Gonzalez had a rough performance, giving up 2 runs against the Tigers backups in an inning of work. Gonzalez did manage to hit 92 MPH on the stadium gun, a positive sign out of a poor outing.
The Nationals face the Split Squad Miami Marlins tomorrow at 1 PM, in a marquee match up between Stpehen Strasburg and Jose Fernandez. Unfortunately, the game will not be televised, but can be heard on Marlins radio through MLB.com or the MLB At Bat app.