Rough Openers in Grapefruit League Play

Posted by Dave Nichols | Thursday, March 04, 2010 | , | 0 comments »

The Washington Nationals were pounded in two split squad games today in the team's opening games of Grapefruit League play.

In Kissimmee, the Nats fell to Houston 15-5.  Garrett Mock started and threw pretty well.  He went two scoreless innings, giving up three hits and no walks.  Most of the rest of the staff struggled.  Shairon Martis allowed six hits and six runs in an inning and a third.  Matt Capps made his Nats debut and was roughed up for three hits and two runs in one inning. Eddie Guardado allowed three runs and four hits in one inning.

Drew Storen, the No. 10 overall pick in the 2009 draft, pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout.  Eight of his nine pitches in the inning were for strikes.

The offensive highlight came from DH Josh Whitesell, who went two-for-two with a walk.

In Jupiter, the Marlins beat the Nats 10-4.  J.D. Martin threw two perfect innings with a strikeout.  Collin Balester gave up a solo home run in two innings, giving up two hits and walking two in the process.  Brian Bruney struggled, allowing two runs on two hits with a walk in the fifth inning. And non-roster invitee Ron Villone gave up three runs in a third of an inning, on one hit and three walks.

At the plate, Ian Desmond went two-for-three with a walk, splitting his time between short and right field.  Jerry Owens went two-for-three with an RBI.  Kevin Mench, coming over from the minor league side, hit a homer in the ninth inning.

The wind was blowing hard in central Florida today, not helping the cause.  And it's fairly useless to parse spring training stats, especially from the first outing. 

But what we can take away today is that two of the young pitchers fighting for the fifth spot in the rotation came out and got their work done in an efficient manner, Ian Desmond wants to be a big leaguer, and a first round draft pick (not named Strasburg) continues to pound the strike zone and impress.