I went to the Nationals vs. Cardinals Spring Training game yesterday in Jupiter, Florida.
Before we left, I checked on MLB.com to see who the Nats pitcher would be in Jupiter because it was a split squad game. In a split squad game, half of the team plays in one city and half of the team goes to another. I saw on MLB.con the picture of Double A Hagerstown Sun pitcher Jordan Taylor. Then, to my right, I saw Jaime Garcia pitching for the Cardinals. WHAAAAT?!?!?!?!?! Advantage alert! It looked like Ross Dewtiler was playing with the big league team in Viera and that the minor leaguers were playing the Cardinals in the game I was seeing.
When I was in the car for the drive up, I tweeted to Washington Times writer Amanda Comak asking her if she knew the lineup down in Jupiter. She responded, saying, “sorry, Matt. Don’t know the lineup. Only minor leaguers heading there.” So we were outnumbered as Nats fans at a Cards home game, and no one on our 40 man roster was playing against the major league Cardinals, who are a very good team. This did not look good. It was like watching a bunch of random guys calling themselves the Nationals and wearing Nats uniforms, but not anyone I ever really knew or heard of (except for Jimmy Van Ostrand, Michael Taylor, and Destin Hood).
The game was stupid ugly. The Cardinals pulled ahead 9-0 in the first three innings. The Nats bunted into a double play. Ouch! Later that inning, they tried to turn a double play. They got the 6-4 part right, but the second baseman threw it away on the throw to first. And by “throw it away,” I mean the second baseman threw the ball past the first baseman over the Cardinals dugout like 10 or 11 rows back into the crowd. Some fan got a really weird souvenir.
I tweeted with F.P. Santangelo during the game because he said he was watching it on TV. He mentioned something that we were discussing ourselves at the same time: that it was good that these minor leaguers were getting playing time against a big league squad and the game was televised. It is a career highlight for them to be playing against guys like Pete K _ _ _ _, Allen Craig and Matt Holliday.
During the game I met Dan Hellie from NBC News in Washington. We sat with him for a few innings to watch the game with his family and friends. We talked baseball and I told him about Matt’s Bats. He seemed very interested.
We left the game early, but the good news is that the big league Nats crushed the big league Braves yesterday 11-2. ONE MORE THING IS THAT I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL MONDAY! I WISH THERE WAS A TIME MACHINE THAT COULD TAKE ME THERE!!!