In a back-and-forth contest in lovely Jupiter, FL, the Washington Nationals defeated the Florida Marlins 9-7 today from Roger Dean Stadium.

John Lannan threw five effective innings, Adam Kennedy had three RBIs, and Jesse English picked up the save and is quietly forcing himself into the talk to make the bullpen on Opening Day.


Winner:  John Lannan.  5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks.  He's just going about his business getting ready for opening day.  Numbers would have even been better had SS Ian Desmond come up with an over the shoulder catch of a pop-up that went inexplicably for an E-6.

Loser:  Jason Bergmann.  1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  Not.  Good.

Winner: Rest of the bullpen.  Tyler Clippard, Luis Atilano and Jesse English combined for three scoreless innings.

Loser:  Justin Maxwell.  0-for-3 with a K.  He's now hitting .111 this spring.  Not the way you win a wide-open job competition.

Winner:  Ian Desmond.  2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.

Loser:  Ian Desmond.  Two fielding errors, but the first one was a tough play that even had the Florida radio guys perplexed on the error call.

Winner:  Eric Bruntlett.  2-for-4 with tow runs and two RBIs.  Versitle fielder that had changed his approach at bat this spring.

Loser:  Alberto Gonzalez and Pete Orr.  Someone missed a sign on a rally-killing baserunning play.  This team is only taking one backup middle infielder, and it's looking more like Bruntlett every day.

The Nats host the Mets tomorrow as Opening Day is only two weeks away.  Expect some more cuts sometime tomorrow too, as the battle for playing time--and a roster spot--tightens.