LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Jayson Werth smacked the first pitch he saw today on a line over the right field wall, giving the center fielder his first hit of spring and giving the Nationals a 1-0 lead over the Braves.
The ball got out of here quickly, and while it might have been wind-aided, it was definitely struck well.
The hit made Harper 5-for-8 in Grapefruit League action, but any positive chatter about the youngster was quickly muted when Harper made a baserunning gaffe that ended the inning.
Harper tried to go first-to-third on Wilson Ramos’ slow ground ball to third base, but got hung up between second and third. He tried to slam on the breaks and retreat to second, but his feet came out from under him, and Braves third baseman Martin Prado casually walked up to Harper to tag him out.
We’ve lauded Harper for his aggressive baserunning thus far in spring, but this was a case where he was overly aggressive and looked like a 19-year-old in the process.
Update: Chad Tracy’s two-RBI double in the top of the third has given the Nats a 3-0 lead. Tracy crushed one over the head of Braves right fielder Jason Heyward, scoring Brett Carroll and Ryan Zimmerman.
Gio Gonzalez has thrown two scoreless innings, and is now out for his third inning of work.