Shortly after Stephen Strasburg stood on the mound at Space Coast Stadium Sunday afternoon and held the New York Mets scoreless for five innings, he admitted this start qualified for the "rehearsal stage."
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
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Ian Desmond was first. The Nationals' leadoff man saw one pitch, a ball, from Mets starter and top prospect Matt Harvey on Sunday afternoon before turning on the next one. And with his first home run of the spring deposited safely over the left field wall, he left the gate open for the rest of the Nationals' offense to come stampeding through.
Updates on Michael Morse, Adam LaRoche, Drew Storen, Chien-Ming Wang and Rick Ankiel.
For the better part of a week Nationals manager Davey Johnson has been pointing reporters to Sunday on the calendar. Sunday he'd run his regular lineup out there and let them play nine innings, Sunday would begin the period of the spring when he turns the intensity up for everyone and wants to see where they're at with Opening Day just 10 days away.
Edwin Jackson came out of his 3 2/3 inning outing on Saturday -- an outing in which he allowed 10 runs (seven earned) off 11 hits, two walks (one with the bases loaded) and four strikeouts -- with one prevailing message: Spring training is never his best time of year.
Ian Desmond is Sarasota born and bred. The Washington Nationals' shortstop grew up less than five miles from Ed Smith Stadium, the new spring home of the Baltimore Orioles. He went to high school down the street from the complex and his home now sits less than two miles from it.
Washington Nationals closer Drew Storen won't begin a throwing program until Tuesday or Wednesday of the coming week, leaving open the possibility that he might not have enough time to be fully ready to assume his spot in the Nationals' bullpen by Opening Day.
On the whole, Jordan Zimmermann's line was rather unremarkable on Friday. The right-hander, who'll slot in third in the Nationals' rotation behind Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, went five innings, allowed four earned runs off eight hits and a walk, and struck out three.
As the innings began to pile up Friday and the zeroes on the scoreboard at Osceola County Stadium blared back at Nationals manager Davey Johnson, he turned to Jayson Werth in the dugout and told the right fielder that he'd seen an awful lot of baseball in his lifetime, an awful lot of spring training baseball, too, but he'd never been no-hit in the spring.
Nationals still hoping Michael Morse will be ready by Opening Day, not planning to augment roster greatly in next two weeks
Michael Morse was bouncing around a sparse clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium Friday morning.
Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson plans to start playing his regular lineup more often starting with Sunday's game at home against the New York Mets. And through watching his regulars like Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos go nine innings, Johnson also plans to get a better idea of the five players who'll make up his bench.
Washington Nationals closer Drew Storen was relieved Friday that the results of an MRI taken on his right elbow Thursday showed no structural damage and his ulnar collateral ligament was "completely fine." Storen had been dealing with biceps/triceps soreness and went for further testing as a precaution but the MRI showed just some inflammation in the elbow joint.
Steve Lombardozzi a "comfortable" option in the outfield and other notes from Thursday's 9-0 loss to the Cardinals
Notes on Steve Lombardozzi's foray into the outfield and the Nationals offense to this point.
Thursday was not a good day for Gio Gonzalez. Eighty five pitches were expended for Gonzalez to allow 10 hits, eight earned runs, walk four and strike out three Cardinals in a 9-0 drubbing of the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium.
Injury updates on Drew Storen, Sean Burnett and Adam LaRoche.