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It's Simontaaaaaachi, with a flat "a"

You might want to get to know how to pronounce Jason Simontacchi, because my guess is he'll be in your starting rotation come Opening Day. (Keep in mind that before the team even gathered here, Brian Schneider told me that Simontacchi was a sleeper because of his changeup.)

Yes, he gave up two runs in the second. But he retired nine of the last 11 men he faced through the fifth. Over five innings, his line:

5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Keep in mind that "0 BB", because with this rotation, if Simontacchi can be around the plate, that'll be a huge help to the bullpen, which could be overworked. He could give up four runs in six innings, but it's the six-inning outing that might be more important on a given night than the production. This team is really, really in trouble if guys turn in outings of 1-1/3 (see Armas, Tony Jr. and Astacio, Pedro). That would blow up the bullpen, and that would mean the team would have no strength.

Nats score one run on a Schneider single, a couple wild pitches and a Resovich fielder's choice. Going to the bottom of the sixth, it's Cardinals 2, Nationals 1.

Oh, and Guzman just left the game, too. He fielded the two balls hit to him cleanly, throwing one to first for an out and flipping the other to second for a force. He grounded to short his first time up, hit a line drive that Pujols had to jump for in his second at-bat, then hit a groundball single to right in his last time up. All three at-bats were left-handed.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 14, 2007; 1:20 PM ET
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