Updates: Nationals at Tigers
I'll provide periodic updates. ...
8:39: The Nationals lost to the Tigers, 6-2. Matt Capps and Sean Burnett each threw scoreless innings, Capps striking out a pair. That's an encouraging performance by Capps, the Nationals opening closer. He previously had a rough spring. The Nationals finished with five hits.
7:59: Ivan Rodriguez pounded an RBI double to right-center to score pinch runner Leonard Davis. The Naitonals trail, 6-2, in the top of the seventh.
7:54: Miguel Batista has settled things down by allowing one hit in 1 2/3 scorless innings. The Nationals still trail 6-1. Their lone hits remain that spasm of four consecutive singles.
7:33: It's getting uglier for Olsen. Gerald Laird blasted an 83-mph pitch (not sure what it was) over the left-field fence. The Nationals trailed, 6-1, in the fifth with one out. Alex Avila followed with a double, and Jim Riggleman ended Olsen's night. He allowed 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings. His HIP (not WHIP, just HIP) this spring is 2.464.
7:28: Brandon Inge took Scott Olsen deep to lead off the fifth, launching an 88-mph fastball over the left-field fence. Miguel Cabrera followed with an infield single, the Tigers' 10th hit in Olsen's four-plus innings. The Nats trail, 4-1, with no outs in the bottom of the fifth. That makes 21 hits allowed for Olsen in this spring in nine-plus.
7:24: The Nationals strung together four straight singles for their first run, some true station-to-station ball. Kevin Mench, Roger Bernadina, and Alberto Gonzalez followed Ivan Rodriguez's lead. Gonzalez's RBI hit was a blooper over first base. The Nationals trail, 3-1, after 4 1/2.
7:19: With one out in the fifth, Ivan Rodriguez delivered the first Nationals' hit, a flared single to center.
7:16: The Nationals remain hitless as the Tigers extended their lead. Olsen allowed a leadoff double to Gerald Laird, who smashed a ball of the wall in left-center. Olsen walked Alex Avila, his first free pass this spring. Scott Sizemore laid down a sacrifice bunt. Adam Everett roped a sac fly to right to score Laird. Austin Jackson doubled to right, scoring Avila and giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead after four innings. Olsen has allowed eight hits today. In his first nine innings of the spring, he's allowed 19 hits.
6:55: My apologies for the delay. The Nationals trail, 1-0, in the top of the fourth here in Lakeland. The Nationals have no hits off of Max Scherzer. Scott Olsen, in a potentially crucial start, has allowed six hits -- one bloop double and five singles -- and one earned run. He's been hitting 89 and 90 mph consistently on the radar, which is a positive sign for him. Olsen has mostly hovered around 88 mph this spring, which Jim Riggleman said is bordering on too slow for Olsen to operate at his best.
"That would probably be about the low end," Riggleman said. "He's probably accustomed to pitching in the 92 range. I understand he pitched to 92 and higher at times. To change your style of pitching because you're off four or five miles, it would be about the limit. If you go down lower than that, you almost need to add another pitch."
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