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Top 4: Tigers 3, Nats 2

You can group Washington's remaining spring training roster into two groups -- those for whom stats matter, and those for whom stats mean nothing. For a good month now, Manny Acta has dismissed any ugly averages or ERAs from the guaranteed-to-make-the-roster group by saying, in essence, "Who really cares?" Ryan Zimmerman fits into this group. It might bother some folks around here, but so does Lastings Milledge.

"The stats, for the guys that are on the team, really don't matter at all," Acta said. (And that was in response to a question earlier today about Milledge's struggles this spring.)

With that caveat, I mention that Zimmerman began the day with a .196 average and no home runs in 46 at bats. He had 5 RBI and a .269 on-base percentage.

So it was just a little encouraging to see him drive a 0-1 pitch from Detroit starter Armando Galarraga to the opposite field in the first inning, sending it over the right-center field fence. It was a two-run shot, and gave the Nats an early lead.

But Shairon Martis, in his first start since being named as Washington's No. 4 starter, is laboring. You could tell from the get-go he wasn't so sharp. He went to at least three balls on the first three hitters of the game. Though he retired the side in the second, the Tigers hit a few balls real hard -- and real far -- in the third. Ryan Rayburn led off with a home run to left, and one hit later, Clete Thomas yanked a home run to right-center.

Martis is now on to start the top of the fourth.

His three earned runs today equal the total he'd allowed in his previous 19 innings. And yes, those stats mattered.

By Chico Harlan  |  March 30, 2009; 1:58 PM ET
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Next: The Misadventures Of Willie Harris


Ok. So with the 4-man rotation in place, does that mean we have Cabrera on the mound for the home opener?

Posted by: softballgirl | March 30, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

has he hit the dreaded "dead arm" period? I haven't seen any being described this way yet this spring.

Posted by: 1of9000 | March 30, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse



It might bother some folks around here, but so does Lastings Milledge.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 30, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 30, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Carried over from the last thread, but why do people do:

"Both are RBI men and both -- despite Dunn's avalanche of K's -- are very picky hitters."


I regularly see people express surprise at a guy's good eye seeing as the guy also has high strikeout totals. Why don't people recognize that the too are very well correlated? Many hitters, like Dunn, have high strikeout totals because they have good eyes, because they go deep into counts where the chance of a strikeout increases. There are ridiculously undisciplined free-swingers with high strikeout totals like Wily Mo, but he's not really typical of high strikeout guys these days.

Posted by: JhonnyBheGhood | March 30, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Guzman's also an undisciplined free-swinger. Apparently he's been kinda good at it lately, but there's a reason his AVG was higher than his OBP for a while last year.

Posted by: Section406 | March 30, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Cy Martis can't be on all the time. Better now than when he starts at Turner Field against the Braves 4/10.

Posted by: cokedispatch | March 30, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Martis final line is still encouraging... 1 BB vs 5 Ks... 4 hits allowed in 4.1 IPs... if it wasn't for the long balls....

Posted by: rumbly45 | March 30, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

soon stats won't matter because we will be playing for wins.

Posted by: longterm | March 30, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Nice day for the bullpen!

Posted by: usmc53 | March 30, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Our boys need to start hitting.
3 hits? It doesn't matter how well our young starting pitchers play if all we're going to muster is 3 hits.

Posted by: usmc53 | March 30, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Kearns is so bad.

Posted by: RickFelt | March 30, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

>His three earned runs today equal the total he'd allowed in his previous 19 innings. And yes, those stats mattered.

They all matter, Cheeks, they just don't count.

Posted by: Brue | March 30, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

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