VIERA, Fla. - We've played three innings at Space Coast Stadium, and if yesterday's win over the Mets was a good sample of the way the Nats are hoping to win games this year, today's start has not been.
The Nationals have run into two outs on the bases, with Michael Morse getting thrown out stealing second and Chris Marrero's belated attempt to advance on a grounder turning into a routine 5-3-5 double play. Nyjer Morgan also popped up a bunt in the third inning after Marrero's leadoff single - the second time in two days he's failed bunt effectively.
There have been a couple nice plays on defense, though; Morgan made a run-saving catch at the end of the second when he dove to grab Fernando Martinez's sinking liner, and Marrero - who still needs to show improvement in his defense - made a nice grab of a foul ball along the Nationals' dugout railing at the end of the third.
Don't read too much into any of this yet. But especially for Morgan, it's important to show something at the plate. A National League scout said before the game he suspects the Nationals could have a different center fielder if Morgan has a poor spring.
Livan Hernandez allowed a run on three hits in three innings, and Ross Detwiler has his first strikeout of the spring on a nice-looking curveball. Detwiler's fastball has some good life already, too. I'll have more on him later.