VIERA, Fla. - The sun has fought its way through the clouds here in Viera, and the Nationals’ bats have fought their way out of a lengthy slump.
The Nationals batted around in the first inning today, scoring five runs on seven hits. Three of those hits left Space Coast Stadium, with Ian Desmond, Jayson Werth and Roger Bernadina providing the big flies.
Werth’s homer was absolutely crushed - crushed - out to left, clearing an entire section of bleachers beyond the left field fence and nearly reaching Stadium Parkway.
Did I mention Werth got a hold of that one?
Even Stephen Strasburg got in on the act in the first inning, singling to right field to keep his spring average at 1.000.
Bryce Harper, who?
The Nats chased Mets starter Matt Harvey after just the one inning of work, forcing Harvey to throw 43 pitches in the frame and knocking him from the game.
Harvey’s a minor leaguer - albeit a very promising one - so we shouldn’t read all that much into today’s early offensive fireworks, but still, after the Nats had scored a total of six runs in their last 45 innings, that opening frame today had to feel good.
Strasburg has now worked two innings, and after allowing two singles in a scoreless first, the righty bounced back to retire the Mets in order with two strikeouts in the second.
Update: Can we get a mercy rule instituted here, please?
The Nats lead the Mets 10-0 after three innings, and don’t appear ready to slow up anytime soon. They tacked on three runs in the second inning on a single, three straight walks (one of which plated a run) and a two-base error, which came after Steve Lombardozzi struck out but catcher Lucas May airmailed the ball down the first base line. Two Nats scored on the play.
In the third, the Nats got singles by Espinosa, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark DeRosa and Bernadina, and added two more runs.
Espinosa is now 3-for-3 through three innings, while Bernadina is 2-for-2 with a walk.