March 15, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang (40) warms up in the first inning of the spring training game against the New York Yankees at Space Coast Stadium. The Yankees defeated Washington 8 to 5. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE
• Wang Injured: Chien-Ming Wang's known as a sinker-ball pitcher, but the soon-to-turn 32-year-old right-hander broke off a two-strike back door bender that was called strike three in the first at bat of the afternoon, setting the tone for a quick first in which he overpowered the top of New York's order. The unexpected breaking ball caught New York Yankees' outfielder Brett Gardner looking for the first out of the game. One groundout to second later Wang busted NY outfielder Andrew Jones down and in with a sinker and completed a quick 1-2-3, 13-pitch first.
With one down in the second, Wang left a 1-0 sinker up inside that Bill Hall stroked to left for a line drive single. A 1-1 fastball to DeWayne Wise was up too and the journeyman outfielder ripped it through the right side of the infield. Wang jammed Jayson Nix and popped him up for out no.2, but a fastball to Jorge Vazquez got away from him and hit the Yankees' first baseman in the ribs. Bases loaded with two down. Nats' catcher Jhonotan Solano calls for a 1-2 fastball way outside, ball two, and then a 2-2 change up and away for the whiff. 2.0 scoreless...
Wang just missed upstairs with a 1-2 fastball upstairs to Brett Gardner in the third, and he came back with a 2-2 silder in the dirt that was good enough to get the Yankees' leadoff man to bite and K chasing. The next at bat didn't end so well. Yankees' catcher Russell Martin sent a weak grounder toward first which Wang fielded cleanly, but the pitcher stumbled as he made his way across the infield and rolled his ankle as he awkwardly tried to regain his balance and fell toward first, somehow touching the bag as he tumbled into foul territory. Wang was then escorted off the field, under his own power, but noticeably hobbled. Wang's Line: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's, 43 P, 29 S (acc to WTOP's Craig Heist), and the official word from @NationalsPR: "A left hamstring strain forces Chien-Ming Wang from today's home game against the Yankees."
• Power Matchup: Harper vs Pineda - 23-year-old Dominican-born former Seattle Mariners' prospect Michael Pineda shut the Washington Nationals down the one time he faced them during his rookie campaign. The 6'7'', 260 lb right-hander struck out nine and allowed just four hits and one walk over 7.0 scoreless in a June 23rd start against the Nats in Nationals Park. Pineda was traded to the Yankees this winter, he and the Nationals' 19-year-old phenom Bryce Harper met up for the first time in bottom of the third. Harper ripped a first pitch fastball foul, and fouled off an 0-1 breaking ball outside, but he didn't bite on a slider in the dirt though. 1-2 count, and Harper K's chasing a change out of the zone that fades and falls away from his bat. Swinging K.
• Bryce Harper AB no.2: Harper's second at bat of the day was against Yankees' left-hander Clay Rapada. Harper fouled off a first-pitch slider inside. The 0-1 pitch was low and called a ball by the home plate ump. A 1-1 slider missed outside. The side-winding left-hander caught the outside edge with a knee-high 2-1 fastball, then hit the spot again with the 2-2 pitch that caught Harper with his bat on his shoulder. Called strike three. Harper's 0-2, 2 K's.
• Scoring Through Four: After Chien-Ming Wang's injury in the third, Chad Durbin took over on the mound. The veteran reliever issued a two-out walk to Andruw Jones and back-to-back hits by Chris Dickerson (single) and Bill Hall (2 RBI double) that gave the Yankees an early 2-0 lead. Steve Lombardozzi singled off Michael Pineda in the Nats' third, then came around to score on a double to right by Nationals' backstop Jhonatan Solano. 2-1 Yankees. In the top of the fourth, the Nationals tied it up when Chad Tracy singled and scored from first on an RBI double to right-center by Adam LaRoche. 2-2 game.
• Lannan, John Lannan: Everyone was quick to tweet and writer their "Good thing, you didn't trade Lannan"-esque comments as soon as Chien-Ming Wang left today's game. The Nationals' 27-year-old left-hander just went out on the mound and did his work. Lannan dropped a two-strike slider in on Brett Gardner to get a backwards K from the first batter he faced, and after allowing a one-out single by Russell Martin, Lannan got the ground ball he wanted off Andruw Jones' bat and got a 5-4-3 inning-ending DP to end his first inning on the hill. Lannan ended his second inning of work with another two-strike slider, this one got DeWayne Wise looking as the Nats' lefty threw a quick 1-2-3 frame.
• Lombo: Bryce Harper worked the count full, put popped out with two runners on in the sixth in his third at bat of the day. Yankees' lefty Juan Cedeno gave up a leadoff walk to Adam LaRoche and a double to right by Jayson Werth before popping up Harper, but switch-hitting Nats' infielder Steve Lombardozzi came through with a hard-fought at bat and an RBI fly to left that was deep enough to bring LaRoche home and give the Nats the lead. 3-2 after six innings in Space Coast.
• Wrap It Up: John Lannan surrendered five straight single in the top of the seventh as the Yankees scored four runs off the Nats' lefty to take a 6-3 lead after seven. The eighth started with an error by Nationals' shortstop Andres Blanco, and Lannan loaded the bases, giving up a double and a walk before a passed ball got under Jhonatan Solano to let the Yankees' seventh run cross the plate. A sac fly made it 8-3, but a 9-5 double play on a strong throw to third by Brett Carroll after he'd caught the sac fly in right, got Lannan out of the inning. The Nationals added two runs in the eighth with Chad Tracy singling, taking second on a walk to Adam LaRoche and third on a single by Brett Caroll before scoring on a Jason Michaels' sac fly. LaRoche's pinch runner, Tyler Moore, scored on a sac fly by Andres Blanco and it was an 8-5 game after eight. That's how it ended. BOX SCORE.