As is tradition, the Washington Nationals just can't beat the Florida Marlins.  Today's spring training game was no exception, as the Fish beat the Nats 5-3 before 4,237 at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, FL.

Today's biggest news, of course, was the assignment of last year's twin first round draft picks, Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen, to minor league camp. 

Both players aren't expected to be long for the minors, as they just need some seasoning, and of course, reach the point where they will no longer qualify for "Super Two" status, and should join the big league club around Memorial Day.

But there was a game played today, and it was important to several players, including starting pitcher Garrett Mock.  Mock was the first Nat pitcher to go five innings, and he was relatively effective again today. 

He got into some hot water in the second inning, walking catcher John Baker befor egiving up a two-run blast to Marlins 1B Gaby Sanchez.  Mock was "visibly upset" according to radio play-by-play announcer Dave Jaegler, and the Jaegler opined it was more for the walk than the homer.

Mock settled down after that, though, and completed another steady, if unspectacular performance.

The Nats play tomorrow at 1:05 pm against the Marlins in Jupiter.


Winner:  Garrett Mock.  5 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 4 K.  Solid if unspectacular.  Mock has probably moved past Olsen on the depth chart at this point.

Loser:  Shairon Martis.  2 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 0 K.  Martis needed to do something specialto stick around in camp, and he just didn't do it.  He'll probably be inthe next round of cuts.

Winner:  Tyler Walker and Drew Storen.  Both pitched hitless, socreless innings with no walks and a strikeout.

Loser:  Cristian Guzman.  He went 1-for-3 at bat, but had a throwing error, pulling Adam Dunn off the bag, in just the type of play the Nats waned to see him make:  a tough ball in the hole.  He did not make a strong throw, and it could be an indication that his shoulder doesn't have enough strength to start the season.

Oh, and he was caught stealing, too.

Winner:  Ryan Zimmerman.  2-for-3 with another double.  He's hitting .438 this spring.

Loser:  Mike Morse.  1-for-4 and ground into inning-ending double play.

So as the Nats faithful wait patiently for Strasburg and Storen to reach D.C., they can now spend their spring travelling around PA and MD watching the tandem pitch in the minor leagues.  Harrisburg, Altoona, Bowie; here we come!