PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - The Nationals are up 3-1 in the seventh inning here, and they've had a handful of solid performances today. But if you look deeper than the box score, there's plenty for the team to improve upon.
The Nationals have made two errors today, and now have nine in the last four games. They also allowed their first run when Derek Norris didn't completely block the plate, missing a tag on Daniel Murphy after receiving a good throw from Michael Morse.
If there's good news in the errors, as Jim Riggleman said this morning, it's that most of them aren't being committed by regulars. Ian Desmond made one today, but the other one came from Jeff Frazier, who let a ball bounce out of his glove in right field.
Jordan Zimmermann talked to reporters a few minutes ago, and said he saw progress in his second outing of the spring. Zimmermann finished the day with three shutout innings, allowing two hits and two walks but striking out four. He got squeezed a few times in the third inning, in which he threw 27 pitches, and finished his day with some extra work in the bullpen instead of a fourth inning. But he said his off-speed pitches felt better today than they have been the rest of the spring.
"The breaking pitches, I had a lot better feel today," Zimmermann said. "The slider, sometimes it's there, sometimes I'm cutting it a little bit. But all in all, they're coming around pretty well."