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In the bottom of the sixth ...

Nationals lead 2-1 on Wily Mo Pena's RBI double, driving in Lastings Milledge. Subs now in at every position.

Nick Johnson, on his first game in 17 months: "I was flying pretty high today, all day long," he said after going 0 for 1 with a hit by pitch. "It was like a World Series game a little bit, just that little rush of getting back out there. ... A huge adrenaline rush since last night or this morning."

Anyone who has followed Johnson since he came to Washington knows he's not one to show much emotion. So this was very interesting. And that popup I described earlier? He said it was "dead-on" to the one on which he broke his leg.

"It maybe had a little more air under it," Johnson said. "You go after it. I sure as hell took a peak -- a long peak."

For one guy here, it was an eventful day. For everyone else, it was the beginning of the long grind of a month that leads to the opener.

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 27, 2008; 8:43 PM ET
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Next: Final: Marlins 3, Nationals 3



Sounds like that pop-up was indeed inside Nick's head a bit. At least it's out of the way immediately in the preseason.

Posted by: MKevin | February 27, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks so much Barry - I don't know what we're all going to do in a year from now (much less a few months)....

Posted by: Greg* | February 27, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Religiously following a game full of guys "who'll be bagging groceries in a couple of weeks" (Lou Brown, Major League II)....gosh we're losers. Buuuuuut, losers who would do anything to be wrapped up (ha) in that 40-degree Florida night.

Posted by: Corey | February 27, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Tied it up!

Posted by: hb | February 27, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Barry, you truly ARE king of the human side of the story. I for one am exceedingly happy for Nick, and I hope that even if it's not with the Nats, that guy just gets to PLAY for a few years and get a little enjoyment out of the hard work.

Welcome back to baseball, all!

Posted by: AJ | February 27, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

box stats: Schroeder...struck out side in 8th.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | February 27, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like they lost, but I don't know Spanish.

Posted by: hb | February 27, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

i think it ended tied 3-3, assuming they let ST games end in a tie? (not an expert here)

Posted by: pk | February 27, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

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