VIERA, Fla. - Good thing it’s still spring. Otherwise, it’d be time to start getting a little worried.
Danny Espinosa has struck out in both of his at-bats against Marlins starter Josh Johnson tonight, going down swinging each time.
The Nationals second baseman and No. 2 hitter now has 22 strikeouts in 62 spring at-bats, and if that wasn’t bad enough, he’s gone down on strikes in 10 of his last 20 ABs.
Manager Davey Johnson has said repeatedly that he likes where Espinosa is at this spring, and is pleased with the fact that the 24-year-old has cut the loop out of his swing when he’s hitting from the left side.
But Johnson can’t be a fan of all the strikeouts, especially when he’s planning on having Espinosa hitting directly in front of Ryan Zimmerman.
Oh yeah, Espinosa still has yet to drive in a run this spring, as well.
Meanwhile, the Nats and Marlins are tied 1-1 here in the fourth.
Ian Desmond smoked the first pitch he saw from Marlins righty Josh Johnson in the bottom of the first inning off a light post just beyond the left-center field wall, marking his second home run of spring and giving the Nats an early lead.
Ross Detwiler has allowed one run in four innings of work in his first Grapefruit League start this spring. The lefty allowed three hits and a walk in the third inning, but got through perfect frames in the first, second and fourth.
Update: The Nats scored twice in the fourth inning, with their first four hitters in the frame reaching base.
After a Jayson Werth walk, Adam LaRoche, Mark DeRosa and Xavier Nady all delivered singles, with Nady’s plating Werth from third. LaRoche then scored when Wilson Ramos grounded into a double play.
DeRosa is 2-for-2 today with a double, while Nady now has a hit in each of the three games he’s played with the Nats this spring.
Update II: The Nats beat the Marlins, 3-2, with Henry Rodriguez picking up his third save of spring. Back from the clubhouse in a bit.