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End of two

Bergmann walked Iannetta on a 3-2 pitch to lead off the inning, but got out of it on a line-drive double play to short and a strikeout. That's it for him: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. Smoker coming in.

The Nats subbed out all the regulars in the second time through the lineup. Bernadina walked, Willie Harris singled to right to put runners on first and second. Two strikeouts followed -- De Caster and Dubois. Another error from teh third baseman allowed a run to score, and Guzman flew out to center to end the inning.

It is chaos in the press box right now. The announcements for substitutions are almost all wrong. For instance, when Yurendell De Caster came up in place of Zimmerman, the PA guy boomed, "Now batting, Collin Balester."

It's the first home game. And given all the subs in, this'll be the last inning-by-inning update -- unless something drastic happens. Please make sure you see Jon Forsythe's video profile of Matt Chico.

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 28, 2008; 12:11 PM ET
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Next: Spotlight: Jason Bergmann


What can be accomplished by a game such as this? Where the level of competition is so far below that it's tough to make any judgments at all. I mean you can take a look at younger guys, but even then they're still going up against inferior talent, so what's to be gained other than throwing a couple of innings onto a pitcher's arm?

Posted by: SavedByZero | February 28, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

It is basically a favor to Georgetown.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | February 28, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Barry - Please one more live update with some Smoker details? I'll buy ya a Turkey Bacon Bravo in return!

Posted by: MKevin | February 28, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I would like a Smoker update as well!

Posted by: mfnat | February 28, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I enjoy as many updates as possible

Posted by: greg | February 28, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Smoker update if you got them...

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 28, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Definitely a favor to Georgetown, but smart of the Nationals in a marketing/PR sense.

If the ballplayers mingle after the game and the Georgetown guys like what they see, then maybe the Nationals see an uptick in attendance from the GU crowds during the season. Additionally, the Nats will now get multiple free write-ups in the GU papers that they certainly would not have otherwise gotten (leading up to the game, recap, etc.).

Plus it just looks like the club is being friendly to its co-citizens of the DC area by agreeing to something like this. And while Georgetown's baseball program is nothing special to speak of, neither are some AA players, which is who Smoker would be likely pitching against if he weren't up with the big club for the day.

Posted by: faNATic | February 28, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

[cursing the WP wrap-around gremlin yet again]

Posted by: faNATic | February 28, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Smoker has pitched two innings. In the third he gave up a leadoff double before retiring the next three(two Ks). in the fourth he gave up a leadoff single and a walk in the inning, but no runs.

I'm assuming he's done so: 2IP 2H 1BB 3K

Posted by: John | February 28, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Barry - What's the deal if the Rule 5 guys don't make the team out of spring training? Can we trade them, do we pay $25K & give them back to their former teams, do they have to pass waivers & we can stockpile them with our other minor league talent or all/some of the above? It's nice for Our Team to finally have some good back-up talent/bench options. Thanks.

Posted by: The Piper | February 28, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I've just injured myself eating sunflower seeds.

60-day DL here I come.

Posted by: Nick Johnson | February 28, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The deal with the Rule 5 guys is that if they don't stay on our 25 man roster all season long, then they have to be sent back to their original team. We CAN reach an agreement with that team, however, the way we did when we optioned Levale Speigner to AAA last year. Basically we can trade for them, just as we would for any other player.

The difference with these two, is that it's not likely that we'll be able to reach a similar agreement over Whitney. Garret Guzman, maybe, but Whitney is more like Flores - his team was hoping he wouldn't be noticed and picked up.

Posted by: BigNatsFan | February 28, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse


Did they call slaughter (mercy) rule after 9 runs? No more info after 4 1/2.

Also, as a request is there any way that, particularly on days like this with multiple posts, some way can be found to combine responses. Sometimes some of us will be in the middle of a thread that might want to continue, but will suddenly find ourselves 2 posts earlier and the thread is prematurely broken.

Posted by: Catcher50 | February 28, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Just noticed, the Saux are playing a split squad double header against Boston U. & Northeastern.

What a great idea. Split squad against GU & GW. Of course, there could be serious fisticuffs between the GW mascot and George from the Prexy races.

Posted by: Catcher50 | February 28, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

When I'm manning 1st base the 1st baserunner to get on, I'm going to punch and beat him.

Posted by: D. Young | February 28, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Oops, my bad! The updates seem to be slow, we put up another 4 spot in the bottom of 5.

Posted by: Catcher50 | February 28, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

OK, some interesting stuff from over on Nats320. First, this from Pete Orr (responding to the question from SBF):

Knowing how crowded the field is here--did you come here feeling you would get a shot at making the Major League Club? (SBF)

"Kind of, but I think this is a team that is growing up and developing an identity. Many (players) are aware of what's happening here. It would be very nice to be apart of that."

Also, evidently Shawn Hill also reads Nats blogs:

Changing subjects--We (Sohna and I) have been to the new ballpark a few times. (SBF)

"Yeah, I know, I've seen some of your pictures."

You telling me you read the blog? (SBF)

"Yeah, I do. It's a long winter. We have plenty of time."

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 28, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The Braves also played Georgia yesterday, I believe. From the broadcast, it seems like they alternate between Georgia and Georgia Tech each Spring.

Posted by: John in Mpls | February 28, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Through 5 1/2 the nats are up 13-0 on GW. Collin Balester's line is 2.0 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 5 K. Very nice I think.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | February 28, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I hope they call this soon. 6 errors on the Hoyas. Ouch.

Re: Balester -- would like to have less walks from him. Otherwise, 5 of the 6 outs are K's. Even against college hitters, that's not too bad.

Posted by: e | February 28, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Nats must feel pretty good about themselves while beating up on college kids, some who are 1/2 the age of some of the Nat's players.

Posted by: College Ball Player | February 28, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barry,
Let us in on your conversation with Alper. I wonder what ever happened to that lady in Montreal, Katie Hynes. Did she get Allouettes season tix? Or did she take up Canadians hockey?

Posted by: 6th and D | February 28, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey there, Barry,

Just want to throw out an idea that just crossed my mind that I hope you'll consider (if it is at all in your hands).

Even if we lose you as the regular beat writer for the regular season, the goofiness, foibles, and human interest angles of spring training seem particularly suited to your writing style and sense of humor (the previous post had me nearly snorting out my Breadline salad). I wonder if it isn't possible for the Post to send you down to be the Nats spring training guy every year, even after you (sniff!) leave us for football? Just a thought... :)

Posted by: JennX | February 28, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

re: beating up on college ballplayers...

The thing about a MLB training camp... especially this one... is there are a lot of hungry players trying to crack the roster... there's no going easy in spring training...

Posted by: Wigi | February 28, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the O's have to play the "Inner Harbor School of Beauty and Hair" as well.

Posted by: Diz | February 28, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

It's my understanding that this game was not "a favor to Georgetown". Sure, it's nice PR, but more importantly JimBo did not want an off day so early in spring training. He wanted to get the pitchers work and ABs are ABs regardless of who you are facing.

I played in a couple of these type games in college. It's a great thrill for the GU kids regardless of the score. The Twins (Hrbek, Gaetti, Hrbek vintage) put up 24 runs on us one afternoon. Still, it was a great experience.

Posted by: #4 | February 28, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

6th and D

... what's the story on Katie Hynes and the Alouettes you referred to? Have you got a URL link that gives the story?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | February 28, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Soon enough the Nats will be playing against Little League 13-15 year old teams.

Posted by: Fred | February 28, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Nats corrected their earlier release, OD tix will be available March 4:

Tickets for the Washington Nationals 2008 regular season home games at Nationals Park will go on sale Tuesday, March 4 at 9 a.m. ET.

Correction: Opening Night tickets will be available for sale on March 4th.

To purchase tickets to 2008 Nationals home games at the new Nationals Park, visit the schedule and click the link on the game you wish to attend once tickets are on sale at 9 a.m. ET.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 28, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"Nats must feel pretty good about themselves while beating up on college kids, some who are 1/2 the age of some of the Nat's players."

Actually the Nats and the college players' ages are probably not too far apart. There might even be some Nats players that are younger than the GW players.

Posted by: BRothbart | February 28, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the O's have to play the "Inner Harbor School of Beauty and Hair" as well.

Posted by: tee hee | February 28, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Natscan, she was discussed in Barry's book:

... what's the story on Katie Hynes and the Alouettes you referred to? Have you got a URL link that gives the story?

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 28, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Boy the bloggers on this "Insider" don't even come close to matching the constant chit-chatting that goes on over at the "Redskins Insider"

Shoot, an "Orioles Insider" would probably get more chatter than this place.

Posted by: Redskins Insider | February 28, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

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