The Washington Times - March 16, 2009, 02:26PM

One quick note: Cristian Guzman left after the first inning of the Nationals’ game with the Marlins today after developing a cut on the little toe of his left foot.

Now, for Shawn Hill: He was strikingly effective in his one inning of work, which lasted all of four minutes. He threw 16 pitches, 12 of them strikes, and got a pair of strikeouts – one swinging, one looking – to end the inning.

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Hill is taking anti-inflammatory medication for his right elbow, but said Monday was probably the first time in nearly two years he’s pitched with no pain. He said he threw all of his pitches in an effort to see what he had, and surprised himself with the results.

“I was pleasantly surprised, just not having thrown in a game in however many days,” Hill said. “In the bullpen, I wasn’t all over the place, but it wasn’t pinpoint. Then I got in the game, and it was ‘Boom, boom, boom.’ Why, I don’t know, but I’ll take it. It’s something to build off of.”

Hill said he asked to throw a second inning – “I knew the answer before I asked, but I had to ask,” – and Randy St. Claire quickly shot that idea down. Hill said Manny Acta made fun of him for even raising the idea, and the Nationals told him to not even throw in the bullpen after his inning.

He’ll try it again in five days and see if he can be ready for the season.

Nats lead 3-0 after five innings, by the way. Jordan Zimmermann already has six strikeouts in four innings.