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Simontacchi, Redding ... and Wally Pipp?

So Manny Acta said this afternoon that it was imperative that Jason Simontacchi make his next start -- scheduled for Sunday -- if he's going to make the rotation at the beginning of the year. He's supposed to pitch a side session on Friday, but because of his strained groin, he's not even sure if he'll be able to do that.

Would Simontacchi be assured of a rotation spot after he got better? Acta: "You remember the name Wally Pipp? There's nothing guaranteed for anybody here other than John Patterson right now, and perhaps Shawn Hill. If you're not here, and the guys are pitching good, what are we going to do?"

So that brings us to tonight's pitcher, Tim Redding. He has allowed eight earned runs in 5-2/3 Grapefruit League innings coming into tonight. And what does he do? Walk the first batter. The rest of the first inning: strikeout, double to Francoeur to score one run, two-run monster bomb by Andruw Jones just to the right of straightaway center, error on Felipe Lopez, hard liner snared by Zimmerman, groundout. Braves had a 3-0 lead before Washington came to bat.

Nationals got one back against Mark Redman -- who the Nationals pursued, but the Braves landed a couple of weeks ago -- in the bottom of the first on Kearns's RBI double. But with one out and the bases loaded in the second, Lopez grounded into an inning-ending double play.

And it could have been worse in the third. Redding walked Andruw Jones to lead off the inning, got Pena on a hard liner to left, induced a popup, then gave up a two-out single to Orr that went to left field. Jones came chugging around third, and Chris Snelling came up throwing. He tumbled to the ground after unleashing the toss, and catcher Robert Fick did a nice job of going to get the throw and then making the tag.

Redding, for now (not sure if he's coming back out): 3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Of course, anyone who's interested in all this can watch it on MASN, so I believe that'll be it for me tonight. We're going to have some cuts after the game. I'm thinking they could be significant.

And please go down to the post two below this one to continue offering your favorite storylines. It's pretty interesting stuff.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 21, 2007; 7:49 PM ET
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Next: It's spring training for ... MASN


"Of course, anyone who's interested in all this can watch it on MASN"

Uh, that would be anyone who is not a Dish Network subscriber, right?

Posted by: tomterp | March 21, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Umm, some of us poor schlubs still don't have cable tv, believe it or not.


Of course, anyone who's interested in all this can watch it on MASN, so I believe that'll be it for me tonight.

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 21, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

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