John Lannan out, Yunesky Maya in

VIERA, Fla. - We’re in the fourth inning at Space Coast Stadium, as this game between the Nationals and Marlins continues to crawl along. John Lannan didn’t help the pace of things in the third inning, when he ran into some trouble (he gave up three hits, a walk and hit Dewayne Wise with a pitch). But he only allowed two runs, and the Nationals still lead 5-2.

Yunesky Maya is pitching for the Nationals now, and struck out two batters in a quick first inning of work. His fastball seems to have a little more bite than it had last year, and he was throwing his big-breaking curveball effectively. The Nationals have high hopes for him this season; Maya’s problems mostly came last year when he got behind in counts and had to use his underwhelming fastball. But if he stays in front of hitters and throws his fastball more effectively, he could move closer to the middle-of-the-rotation starter the team expects.

And as I type this, Roger Bernadina just took advantage of an infield playing back and bunted his way on for a hit, one at-bat after his long homer.

Lannan’s final line for the day: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 K, 1 HBP. He threw 46 pitches, 28 of them strikes.