Nationals 2, Cardinals 1
With spring training winding down, Mike Matheny has a positive
outlook for his St. Louis Cardinals.
”I think the guys are right where we should be,” the
Cardinals’ first-year manager said. ”I believe that spring
training can drag. It hasn’t for me because there has been a lot
going on. It’s interesting talking to these guys, too, because
usually you get to this point and they are like, Let’s just get out
of here. I had a couple of them say it went really fast, too.”
Mark DeRosa’s ninth-inning single to right field scored Danny
Espinosa on a close play at the plate and gave the Washington
Nationals a 2-1 win over the Cardinals on Sunday.
Matheny came out of the dugout to argue the play, a rarity in
Matheny said home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn said Espinosa had
already touched the plate by the time catcher Tony Cruz applied the
”I just didn’t see how that was physically possible,” Matheny
said. ”Every game is the same for me. I don’t try to put more
weight on one or the other, but this was today and right now I
don’t like it, especially how it went down.”
The Cardinals had an opportunity to tie the game or win it in
the bottom of the ninth, putting runners on the corners with two
outs, but Ryan Mattheus struck out Matt Carpenter to end the
Jaime Garcia cruised through the first 5 2/3 innings, allowing
only four hits. Espinoza got the Nationals’ offense going with an
opposite-field home run.
Garcia retired the next batter before heading to the clubhouse.
He shares Matheny’s view that the rotation is primed to start the
”Everybody is healthy, everybody is ready to go,” Garcia said.
”Hopefully we can carry that momentum into the season.”
Washington starter Gio Gonzalez rebounded after two tough
outings by allowing one run and three hits and a walk while
striking out seven in five innings. He retired the Cardinals in
order the first time through the lineup.
St. Louis scored on back-to-back doubles by Tyler Greene and
Carlos Beltran to lead off the fourth.
NOTES: Mike Matheny has selected Kyle Lohse as the opening day
starter. Three players (Chris Carpenter, Allen Craig and Skip
Schumaker) will be placed on the disabled list. … Adam Wainwright
will throw live batting practice to minor league hitters on Monday.
… Washington manager Davey Johnson expects closer Drew Storen
stills need a couple more bullpen sessions before facing live
hitters. Storen will start the season on the DL. … Rick Ankiel
took batting practice with the team in Jupiter on Sunday, but was
not in the lineup. The Nationals’ outfielder has been slowed by a
sore quadriceps injury and has only 15 at-bats this spring.