PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Henry Rodriguez is making opposing hitters look silly this spring.
The hard-throwing righty was absolutely filthy during his 1-2-3 ninth inning against the Mets this afternoon, giving him his second save of spring training and keeping his scoreless Grapefruit League campaign alive.
How ridiculous was Rodriguez’s stuff today? He caused a couple Nationals players watching his performance on a clubhouse TV to give a quiet chuckle when he hit triple digits on the stadium radar gun and then shake their heads in amazement when Rodriguez dropped a nasty curve that buckled the knees of Mets first baseman Vinny Rottino.
“Henry’s very special this spring,” manager Davey Johnson said.
Rodriguez has now thrown eight shutout spring innings, and his command continues to be exceptional.
Ian Desmond went 4-for-4 today, raising his spring average to .302 and his on-base percentage to .323.
As opening day approaches, Desmond finds himself getting more locked in.
“I think today was a little bit of a reality check,” Desmond said. “We’re on the bus watching the TV, and there was a real (regular season) game on. It was kind of like, ‘Hey, it’s here.’ So I kind of asked myself, ‘Are you ready?’ Yeah, I’m ready. I’m ready to get out of here and get this thing started.”
Jayson Werth jacked his team-high fourth home run of spring today off Mets lefty Jonathon Niese, and Werth now has eight RBIs this spring, second on the Nats behind only Chad Tracy.
“I feel good,” Werth said. “I’ve felt good ever since I started hitting this winter. Just kept it simple. Fundamentally I feel like I’m right. Just a matter of holding on to it for the next six months.”
Finally, I’ve got some unfortunate news to pass along on Roger Bernadina, whose father passed away recently.
Bernadina will leave the team tomorrow to fly home to Curacao for his father’s funeral, which is scheduled for Friday. The outfielder is expected to be back with the Nationals on Saturday.