VIERA, Fla. - Back from the Nationals clubhouse, where Livan Hernandez, Ross Detwiler and Danny Espinosa were all ready to talk to the media before the conclusion of this game (it's 5-1 Nationals in the eighth, by the way). Here are a few snippets from each of them:
* Hernandez said he left a couple sinkers over the plate on the hits he gave up - he had a few pitches run back over the plate. But he was happy with his outing overall. "This is what we're here for," Hernandez said. "You try to throw everything in the count. The (regular) season isn't going to be like that."
* Detwiler said his curveball wasn't as sharp as it could be, but he was happy he could throw the pitch for a strike this early in camp, as well as locate his fastball. He's been working on his mechanics all winter, and was able to pitch today without paying much mind to the nuts and bolts of his delivery. "The thing I'm happiest about is not trying to feel for mechanics and not trying to make them smooth," Detwiler said. "I think they were smooth. I haven't seen any video yet." The Nationals only have one walk today, too, after walking only one batter yesterday. Both Detwiler and Hernandez said pitching coach Steve McCatty has made cutting down on walks an early point of emphasis. The Nationals had the ninth-best staff in baseball in walks per nine innings last year, but McCatty believes they can still do better. "That's 'Cat,'" Detwiler said. "He says if you don't walk somebody, and you make them earn a base, the game's going to go a lot quicker."
* Espinosa's homer came on an inside fastball, and he said he squared it up well. He also was pleased with the way the Nationals have come out in their first two spring games. "You have to set the tempo now, I believe," Espinosa said. "You can't just go through the motions here and expect to, when you get out there during the season, turn the switch on and play at a level you're not used to."
One note: Corey Brown rolled his left ankle while sliding into home on a fielder's choice on Bryce Harper's second at-bat of the day. He was examined by trainer Lee Kuntz, and was dragging his ankle when he came off. We'll have more after the game on what he did to it.