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You can't count on this the whole game. Really, you can't.

Top 3: Jason Simontacchi on the hill. Pitched in Australia. Pitched in Italy. Pitched in independent ball. Now adds intrasquad thriller to his resume. 1-2-3 inning getting Castro and Escobar on pop-ups and Belliard on a grounder. To short. (No more details.)

Bottom 3: Lefty Mike Bacsik on the hill. Went 11-0 for Diamondbacks' Class AAA last year. Told me a week or so ago that after he was cut by the Nationals (he was here last spring), he thought he might be out of baseball. So when given the next chance, he wasn't going to waste it.

Allows leadoff double to left by Felipe Lopez. (Have I mentioned how beautiful it is here today? Light breeze. Sun. What's it like there?) Guzman chops a ball to third, no play for Belliard, infield single raising his Intrasquad average to .750, which is 521 points higher than his 2005 average.

Zimmerman pops to catcher. Upset. Kearns pulls one just foul of the Space Shuttle Columbia (which serves as the foul pole in left) and then waves at a low-and-away pitch to strike out for the second time on the day. Two down, bringing up Church. Church rips a single to right (2 for 2 on the day) but Frank Diaz throws out Lopez at the plate.

Still: Nationals 1, Nationals 0

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 28, 2007; 11:44 AM ET
 
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