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By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Topic - Gonzalez
In Mark's latest feature from Nationals' spring training he talks with the team's rotation about the expectations they face heading into this year.
New Nationals right-hander Doug Fister is starting to get acclimated to his new surroundings and the star-studded rotation he joins in D.C.
Doug Fister had to turn right instead of left while leaving the Orlando airport. His spring training home is no longer in Lakeland with the Detroit Tigers to the west, but rather eastward near the Atlantic Ocean with the Washington Nationals.
Doug Fister has been a part of some star-studded rotation, but the right-hander thinks the Nationals' starting five could top them all.
No quiet acquittal can undo the damage from the left-hander's name being dragged through the scandal's sludge of human-growth hormone and pink cream and injections by self-proclaimed doctor Anthony Bosch.
Facing prized New York Mets prospect Zack Wheeler, the Nationals pounded the Mets with 13 hits — 10 of which went for extra-bases — as every starting position player in the lineup had at least one hit and drove in at least one run.
With the Nationals below .500 after 75 games, revisiting my preseason projections seemed like a good idea. Well, that's if your idea of a good idea is one where you get proven wrong repeatedly.
The Baltimore starter, who entered with a 5.37 ERA, pitched eight innings, allowed only two runs and needed just 107 pitches to do it. He walked none and struck out eight.
Over the course of the three-game sweep, the Nationals were outscored 18-5. In the series' final 26 innings, they mustered a single, solitary run.
Ross Detwiler turned in a superb four-inning relief outing Saturday night to help Team USA beat Italy in the first round of the World Baseball Classic. "It's a dream come true to play for your country," he said.
Many big-name pitchers found reason to say no to the World Baseball Classic. R.A. Dickey was an automatic yes.
Caution over rules for the World Baseball Classic limited Gio Gonzalez to 42 pitches Thursday afternoon in his final Washington Nationals start before joining Team USA.
Haren, 32, says he isn't coming in with the intent of being anyone's mentor. But that figures to happen anyway, even if he never says a word. With as much experience as the others combined, he can likely help the Nats as much off the mound as he can on it.
With 40 percent of their starting rotation now committed to Team USA, the Nationals' attention to the tournament has become much more personal.
Gonzalez has twice been brought up unprompted by manager Davey Johnson as one of the pitchers who has impressed most early. That's good news for the Nationals, who will lose him to Team USA after his third start of the spring.
"It's not like they're destroying us and doing big damage," said Gonzalez, who allowed the first two batters of the game to score but nothing more to go seven strong, badly needed innings. "They're just playing small ball and finding their hits. That was us last year. Now we see it from the other side."