Moore, Moore, Moore: Tyler Moore has no options remaining, and as the 28-year-old, Washington Nationals' 2008 16th Round pick told reporters this winter, he understands that he has to once again earn a spot on the Nats' bench after struggling as a part-time player over the past two seasons.
"I’m out of options," Moore explained. "And obviously they have to make a decision and I feel like I can play for this team and I just want to help us win and like we did last year get back to the playoffs."
"This year’s kind of a crucial year for me and I’m just ready for an opportunity," he continued.
Moore went to the Dominican Winter League after a 2014 campaign spent mostly at Triple-A Syracuse and came into Spring Training swinging a hot bat.
Before this afternoon's Grapefruit League game against the Houston Astros, Moore was 8 for 16 (.444/.450/.944) with four doubles, a triple and a home run in seven games. He hit double no.5 of the Spring off Astros' right-hander Asher Wojciechowski, in his first at bat, going to the right-center gap for an opposite field double.
Moore singled through the left side of the infield the second time up, with two down in the top of the third, 10 for 18, but grounded out in his third and final at bat, 10 for 19.
Scherzer Start No.3: Max Scherzer got one pitch with one out in his first inning of work this afternoon, when Astros' second baseman Jose Altuve flew out to left field. After a swinging K from George Springer, Houston third baseman Luis Valbuena doubled to right on a 2-2 offering from Scherzer, but Jon Singleton popped up to short right to end a quick bottom of the first.
Jed Lowrie lined out to a diving Clint Robinson in left field for the first out of Scherzer's second inning of work. Astros' second baseman Marwin Gonzalez tested Danny Espinosa with a grounder to short for out no.2 and catcher Hank Conger sent a grounder out to Tyler Moore at first to end a quick second inning of work for Scherzer.
Houston's left fielder, Andrew Alpin, drew a leadoff walk from Scherzer in the bottom of the third, and he was running and arrived safe at second when Astros' center fielder Jake Marisnick hit one back to the mound on a hit-and-run. A swinging K on a curve in the dirt got Jose Altuve to chase for a swinging strike three and out no.2 and hard-hitting right fielder George Springer lined out to a leaping Matt Skole at third to end Scherzer's third scoreless inning of work.
Scherzer came back out for a fourth inning of work and popped Luis Valbuena up, struck Jon Singleton out and retired Jed Lowrie on a fly to left to complete his fourth scoreless frame.
Max Scherzer's Line: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 60 P, 29 S.
Scherzer on his four shutout innings, 60 pitches, 29 strikes: "I was real happy."— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) March 15, 2015
1st HR of the Spring: Dan Uggla hit a 1-2 change from Astros' reliever Pat Neshek out to left in the top of the fifth, putting the Nationals ahead 1-0. Houston rallied with two down in the fifth, however, with Andrew Alpin walking and scoring on an RBI triple by Jake Marisnick. Marisnick scored on a double by Jose Altuve and Altuve's pinch runner, Alex Presley, scored on an RBI single by George Springer. 3-1 'Stros.
Casey Janssen, in his third appearance of the Spring in the sixth, gave up a two-out single and a walk, but finished a scoreless inning of work. Taylor Jordan worked a scoreless inning in relief in the seventh and worked around a two-out single in a scoreless eighth.
Derrick Robinson tripled and scored to make it a one-run game in the ninth, 3-2 Astros, but that was as close as the Nats would get. 3-2 Houston final.