Starters showing signs they’re set (plus today’s lineup)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Good morning from Fort Myers, where I spent the night last night ahead of today’s Nationals spring training finale against the Red Sox.

Unfortunately, the Nationals had to make the nearly two-hour drive back from Jupiter to Viera following yesterday’s game against the Cardinals, and then leave their Space Coast Stadium complex at around 7 a.m. this morning in order to head all the way across the state to make it here.

Yeah, I bet all those guys are ready to head north to D.C. already.

The Nats will fly out of Fort Myers following today’s game and will get back to Washington for Tuesday’s exhibition against the Red Sox at Nationals Park. That game will be followed by yet another plane ride - this one out to Chicago for opening day.

Before I pass along today’s lineup, I wanted to just note the impressive pitching lines for the Nationals’ starters of late.

All of these guys have battled overthrowing issues at times this camp, and their spring numbers haven’t always been stellar, but they’ve really started to hit a groove lately with the regular season closing in on us. Here are the lines from the Nats’ opening day starting five in their last starts:

Gio Gonzalez: 5 innings pitched, 3 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts (April 1 vs. Cardinals)
Stephen Strasburg: 4 innings pitched, 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts (March 31 vs. Cardinals)
Edwin Jackson: 6 innings pitched, 2 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts (March 29 vs. Braves)
Jordan Zimmermann: 6 innings pitched, 2 hits, 0 earned runs, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts (March 28 vs. Mets)
John Lannan: 5 innings pitched, 2 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts (March 26 vs. Astros)

(Lannan allowed three runs in three innings in his most recent appearance, but that outing came in relief.)

Toss in Ross Detwiler’s start against the Marlins on Friday, in which he allowed just one run on three hits over five strong innings, and you can see why the Nationals are excited about where their starters might be able to take them this season.

Here’s today’s Nats lineup for the Grapefruit League finale:

CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Xavier Nady
LF Chad Tracy
DH Wilson Ramos
C Jesus Flores
3B Steve Lombardozzi
P Jordan Zimmermann

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