Tag Archives: Denard Span

Our First Baseball Game of the Year: Reds complete weekend sweep of Nationals in Cincinnati

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[Box Score]

An overcast day – the final day on the calendar in May – was as good of a day as any to make our first trip of the year to the ballpark to see a game live.

The Reds didn’t disappoint their home crowd as they have on so many Sunday’s in the past. The Nationals bullpen melted down in the bottom of the 7th inning, allowing six runs that took a 2-2 ballgame to an 8-2 game which was the final score.

As for things we saw at the park today that we’ve never seen before, Joey Votto drew a three-ball walk. We saw it, and had the silent thought ‘hey that was only three’ but Votto dropped his bat and trotted down to first so quickly we thought we were just tired.

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One of the best places to eat at the park these days is Mr. Red’s Smokehouse. When I started making trips to Riverfront Stadium, they had nothing like this. Now the Reds welcome a piece of the menu from every opposing team in baseball. A really cool idea.

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We had the crablegs sandwich for lunch – dubbed the “U.S. Capital Crab”. It was very good but almost too salty with all the damn Old Bay seasoning on it.

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Who says Bryce Harper doesn’t like to sign autographs. He signed for every kid that was doing the Redlegs Run-on. I’m sure each Red liked seeing the Bryce Harper signature on the ball by the time the kid arrived at their spot.

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The Reds have started to do a cool new feature when they announce the staring lineup. Michael Lorenzen hit 8th today. That seems to be a trend all around the National league right now.

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The Reds we know at the core might not be much longer. Granted, there are a few reserve names penciled in there. But several of the guys on this list may not be wearing the uniform much longer. If indeed this was the last time we get to see a Jay Bruce or Brandon Phillips play in a Reds uniform, we wanted to make sure we had this here. You just never know.

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There’s Todd Frazier next to Billy Hatcher in the National anthem. The Toddfather had himself a day. Towering bomb to left to kick off scoring and two other hits.

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Michael Lorenzen had a really nice day. He was throwing the ball well and not missing his spots by much, spotting up the fastball at 92 to 94 MPH. He walked the bases loaded in the top of the seventh which led to the only two Washington runs and was subsequently pulled. But overall, this guy has a nice arm and fluid delivery.

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Draftkings’ advertising is taking over baseball. We cashed in our 50/50 this afternoon at least. My wife asked me if I thought any players played on Draftkings. I had never really thought about it – but they might.

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Harper getting his warm-ups in with Ian Desmond.

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Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa.

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Denard Span is a quality, unheralded player. Really glad I got to see Denard Span play. He ran down a couple deep flies in center field. He has great range and covers a lot of space that you can really appreciate when you’re at a game live.

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Here’s a guy whose name will become a lot more well-known as this blog entry ages: Wilmer Difo. He didn’t play today.

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Harper flew out to left, walked twice, and grounded out. He scored one of the two Washington runs. Pretty neat that in the finest month of his big league career we were able to see him in action.

The Nats were destined to get an Uggla Win

I watched a lot of this one on the side last night, and it was a wild one. You look at the final score of 13-12, and you can venture to guess that some odd things happened.

Washington came in to this game having lost six straight contests (Matt Williams is so terrible), and found themselves in a 9-1 hole in the third inning.

In this game:

  • The Nationals got home runs from Denard Span, Jose Lobaton, and Dan Uggla. The Uggla bomb was the kill shot. I bet Jason Grilli feels like he slept with a Sasquatch woman last evening.
  • Julio Teheran started for the Braves, and highly-regarded Nationals prospect A.J. Cole made his big league debut for the Nats.
  • Luis Avilan and Jason Grilli blew this lead allowing six runs; they were collectively worse than Blake Treinen and Tanner Roark who did everything they could to keep the Nationals on their losing streak.
  • Freddie Freeman and A.J. Pierzynski had four hits each.
  • Look at what Lobaton, Span and freaking Uggla did as far as damage! Thirteen hits, three homers, nine batted in.

So the Nationals are off the schneid. We actually aren’t going to say that this is the win that turns their season around. They’re still in deep shit, and Matt Williams is still their skipper.

But it’s a wild game with an ending that was obviously destined to be ‘Uggla’. I bet Uggla felt good doing that to the team that cast him aside without concern.

Washington Nationals 2015 Team Preview

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We continue the 2015 Team Previews today with baseball’s mightiest team on paper for the upcoming year, the Washington Nationals. We love watching Washington because of all the young talent they’ve drafted and developed into Major League players. The nucleus is ripe, and there are a few new faces that dot a star-studded roster.

Last year’s postseason was a tough pill to swallow if you were pulling for the Nationals to finally get to the World Series. They ended the regular season peaking at the right time, they had their guys at full-health; the stars seemed aligned. And then a lesser team in the Giants promptly dismissed the Nationals in four games. In some ways, maybe it was the best thing that could have happened other than getting to the Fall Classic. They probably don’t go out and sign Max Scherzer if they win it all. Matt Williams needed humbled. Bryce Harper showed just enough dominance that he could be a major force in 2015. They’re arguably a better team today than they were ever in 2014.

This might not be the National’s last chance to win the whole thing, but they’ll arguably never have a better chance. This kind of has to be the year if this group is going to get it done. They’re truly at their peak, in our opinion. The Braves are weak, and the Marlins don’t have the firepower to pull this off quite yet. They should dominate their division and just maybe, they’ll show the world why they’re 7/2 Vegas odds to win the NL Pennant in the upcoming season. Vegas loves these Nats. It’s for good reason.

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It was a Magical Day in Washington D.C. Today

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On the heels of one of the most tragic days ever in the nation’s capital – a day that the Nationals game was rightfully cancelled – the Nationals played a doubleheader that ended up being their most magical day of the season.

They entered the ninth of their afternoon game down 5-3, and with Craig Kimbrel entering the game it looked to be lights out on the game and possibly the entire season. But the sun shined especially bright in the sky, and luck shined on the Nats. A Denard Span bouncer went through the legs of the great-gloved Andrelton Simmons with the Nationals down 5-4. That allowed the Nats to win 6-5.

The Nats then took the nightcap 4-0 with Tanner Roark throwing seven shutout innings. The Nationals are 4.5 games out of the Wildcard race with 11 left to play.

  • Denard Span had hits in both games, extending his hitting streak to an MLB best 28 games on the season.
  • Bryce Harper had a couple of knocks and a couple of runs in the second game.
  • Ryan Zimmerman homered again.
  • The Nationals wore Navy caps during batting practice.
  • It was the first time in his career that Craig Kimbrel had given up three runs in an outing.

I was at the Navy Yards just a few weeks back in my visit to Washington. We walked around near it after the game. It’s a quaint little area that will make for a great living spot for people that want to be around the park in DC in the future. It seemed relatively peaceful. And as horrible as this tragedy that so many are numb today in today’s sick world was unspeakable and cowardly; I feel like it helped bond a city and it’s new team today. The Washington Nationals made the people of that city forget about the ruin that had happened just a day before, even if it was just for a minute.

Good for the Nats. They’re not going to catch anyone, but they’re finally playing like the team they should have been all year.

Stephen Strasburg vs. Johnny Cueto on a Sunday

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[Box Score]

So I went back to the ballpark today and it was a hot one. I came home with a sunburn and a feeling of satisfaction after the Reds worked over one of the finest talents in the game of baseball today.

It was the second time I have seen Strasburg throw live.

Click through the jump to see Strasburg’s bullpen session as well as other photos and commentary.

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Washington Nationals 2013 Season Preview

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Sergeant Gunnery Hartman/Davey Johnson is baseball’s best manager. We only get one more season of him.

Any conversation about baseball’s most-loaded team must begin with their R. Lee Ermey style manager, Davey Johnson. Johnson is baseball’s finest manager, having been perched on dugout top steps since Small Pox was a problem; he’s seen more baseball than any living man has forgotten.

Johnson is a no-nonsense, tough loving, thick skinned son of a gun. He’ll probably live to be 120 years old before crawling off into the woods somewhere and dying alone with his dignity like only the toughest old hombres would do. We actually were lucky enough to obtain footage from the Nationals Spring Training barracks just a few days ago. Let’s take a good look at Johnson addressing his troops during a routine, middle of the night bed check:

If there’s one thing Sergeant Davey hates to find, it’s an unlocked foot locker. How did you like when he went off at Dan Haren there in the video for having a jelly doughnut in his foot locker? In all fairness to the Gunnery Sergeant Davey and Haren; this came after Haren’s most recent troubling spring start.

Biggest Off-Season Moves:

  • Signed Rafael Soriano
  • Signed Denard Span
  • Signed Dan Haren
  • Traded away Mike Morse

The Nationals had an already absolutely loaded roster, even down into their minor leagues before any of these moves were made. Things seemed to line up perfectly for them to add three key veterans in spots that could afford some touching up with the perfect addition.

I have loved everything that this team has done in building it’s organization since General Manager Mike Rizzo took over. Now they’re in a position to really reap the benefits over the next five to seven years. They’ll have a chance to win a World Series every year in that window unless something goes wildly wrong. They’re also in position to trade a highly valued prospect in the farm system; of which there are many, should they need to acquire another Major League ready player to help them in their current run. Times are good right now for the Washington Nationals, and that is putting it lightly.

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The Baseball Show: Throwing Another Log on the MLB Hot Stove

On this week’s edition of The Baseball Show, co-hosts Mike Rosenbaum and M.J. Lloyd along with myself discuss the following:

-Denard Span being traded to the Nationals for Alex Meyer
-Mike profiles Alex Meyer as a prospect
-B.J. Upton to Atlanta
-Possible destinations for Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, Zach Greinke and more players
-Reactions to the Evan Longoria contract extension
-Thoughts on the 2013 Hall of Fame nominees

This was a very quick edition of the podcast but a very fun show with lots of discussion. We hope you enjoy!