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Updates: Nationals vs. Marlins

I'll provide periodic updates throughout the game. ...

4:05: The Nationals, after a quiet end of the game and a two-walk, no-run inning from Brian Bruney, have to moved to 0-6 after an 11-2 loss to a split-squad crew of the Marlins.

3:38: The Nationals are back on track to allowing double digits. Tyler Clippard had another strong inning, striking out the side, but the Marlins have struck in eighth against Eddie Guardado, who, doomed by two errors by second baseman Alberto Gonzalez, has allowed four runs. It's 11-2. The Nationals have allowed 67 runs on 91 hits in six games. Also, Ryan ZImmerman hit a home run for the Nationals second run.

2:36: The Nationals actually sent Balester back out for another inning, his third of the day. He allowed two singles, a triple and a walk with a strikeout mixed in before Steve McCatty called on Jesse English. The Marlins lead, 6-1.

2:14: Colin Balester is pitching in the top fourth, his second inning. He allowed no runs in the third but he's got men on first and third with one run already scored. He managed to walk pitcher Ricky Nolasco to lead off the fourth. *UPDATE* Balester got out of it with a 5-4-3 double play, with an impossibly smooth start by Ryan Zimmerman at third.

The Nationals couldn't score in the third, but Nyjer Morgan made an outstanding hustle play. He grounded a routine single to right and bolted out of the batter's box. As Mike Stanton tracked down the ball, Morgan bolted to second and slid in headfirst -- which he shouldn't be doing -- safe for a double.

1:52: Josh Willingham blasted a home run well over the leftfield fence in his first at-bat of the spring to make it 3-1 Marlins. Elijah Dukes roped a two-out double on a curve from Nolasco, but Willie Harris, who had singled, was thrown out at the plate. It's spring training for third base coach Pat Listach, too.

1:41: The Nationals went in order in the first against Ricky Nolasco, with Nyjer Morgan and Ryan Zimmerman striking out. Scott Olsen rebounded with a better, but not great, second inning. He allowed an infield single to Nolasco (the Marlins aren't using a DH) to lead off. Chris Coghlan ripped a single to right. After Nyjer Morgan tracked down a fly to the warning track, Mike Stanton grounded to short. It was a tailor-made double play ball, and yet Cristian Guzman threw home to nab Nolasco. The got the out, but it was a bone-headed play. Jorge Cantu popped behind first base, and Elijah Dukes nearly decapitated Pete Orr in catching the ball. Olsen allowed three runs and seven hits.

1:21: Making his first start of the spring, Scott Olsen got tuned up in the first inning. With one out, he allowed a bloop single, a line-drive single, and a three-run home run Jorge Cantu launched to left. Olsen surrendered two more singles, one of them a blooper, but allowed only those first three runs. His pitches touched the low-to-mid 80s accoring to the stadium radar gun, which may be spotty; it clocked one pitch at 55.

By Adam Kilgore  |  March 8, 2010; 1:21 PM ET
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Next: Some runs, but no concerns for Scott Olsen


Permission to start freaking out?

Posted by: Kev29 | March 8, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

this is not looking good

Posted by: arcassells | March 8, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Permission not granted. April lies.

Posted by: Section506 | March 8, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

This is March. March lies, April sighs.

However, there is absolutely no reason to panic. If they are still blowing up on their third appearances, then you can start to get anxious. On their fourth appearance you should be really concerned. On their fifth and final appearnaces, you should go back to being unconcerned. On April 4th you have full permissin to panic.

Posted by: natbiscuits | March 8, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for talking me off the ledge, guys.

Home run for the Hammer!! 3-1

Posted by: Kev29 | March 8, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

yeah, we're still on the first appearance for the potential starters, Livo will get his first shot soon and will probably be rocked as well, the starters will settle themselves out by their 3rd appearance, whoever's not settled by then is in trouble and will probably lose their spot... the rest of the pitchers scheduled for today aren't our best either, could be another long day

Posted by: destewar | March 8, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Sweet, a Livo start!

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
H 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0

Posted by: Section506 | March 8, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Sad to say... but I can place little confidence in pitchers coming back from shoulder injuries. We see guys come back from knee surgeries, elbow surgeries, broken wrists and ankles... but when it is a major body part or joint like shoulder, back or hip, the results usually are not as promising for a return to form.

I sadly would not expect much, if any, production from Olsen or Wang this year (or any year)... I hope I'm wrong... but, like Chad Cordero and many more before them have learned, they will have to beat the odds to come back from shoulder problems to pitch like they used to... and I could see the Nats dumping Olsen out right to save the salary before spring training ends..

Posted by: Ghost7 | March 8, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Say Wang had a groin pull. Do you think he could come back from that, Ghost7?

Posted by: TBCTBC | March 8, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

If Wang had a groin pull, he would come back with a smile on his face... no doubt...

Posted by: Ghost7 | March 8, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Panic is prohibited on March 8th. Hockey and college basketball fans can panic this time of year but not baseball. 2nd or 3rd time going will tell us much more.

Favorite line today is that AK pointed out that Dukes roped a single OFF A CURVE! Great stuff. Exactly what I wanted to know.

Posted by: Avar | March 8, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Zimm homer - nothing but positives from me till April...

Posted by: Kev29 | March 8, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

No panic, but this was a big test for Olsen and he failed. The hope coming into ST was that Olsen would be a reasonably solid number 3. It's not just that he got roughed up, it's the velocity. He does not have the stuff to be successful at 85 mph.

Periculum, I hear you already, and you're right.
We need another pitcher, and waiting till June and hoping for Wang and Detwiler is not a good enough plan.

OK. Maybe I am panicking.

Posted by: Sunderland | March 8, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The pitching staff as a whole is starting to freak me out. Someone has to want to make this team.

Posted by: Tom8 | March 8, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Anyone notice we haven't won a game since AK came on board? Maybe we should get Cerrano to sacrifice a chicken to change our luck.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | March 8, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

>The pitching staff as a whole is starting to freak me out. Someone has to want to make this team.

Posted by: Tom8

This is where the problems come in, because most teams have at least 4 starters already penciled in unless somebody throws really well in spring training. It's the opposite with this team - they don't really have anyone penciled in except Lannan and Marquis, and they're HOPING that the other three (whoever they are) will step up. If the first tier bombs out, there surely isn't another three that are worthy of wearing a big league uniform. I mean, what do they have? Stammen (surgery, doesn't throw more than 90), Olsen - who was still long-tossing when camp opened and had no idea what kind of velocity he could recover - now it's obvious he's in the low-mid 80's, Livan - seems like he was finished at least two years ago/lying about his real age, JD Martin - throws mid-80's, Detwiler - injured, Wang - injured, Strasburg - will be held back until he's no longer a super-two. I just don't understand what they were thinking with this staff. I don't see ANYONE throwing hard, either. Bullpen's gonna get worn out.

Posted by: Brue | March 8, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

This is confirming a lot of what we already know about pitchers for our team. The runs are coming from exactly where we thought they might. The question to ask is: is this indicative of their level, or is there a good reason for it?

Posted by: Section506 | March 8, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I am not certain, but I believe we are the only MLB team to have not won a ST game. I have not taken the time to see if we are surrendering the most points, but I would bet we are. I know what month it is, but this is really bad baseball we are playing. I know, because I have avidly watched this team since it came to town so, sadly, I know bad baseball when I see it. If all goes well with the healing process for all our walking wounded pitchers this could change quickly, but it is ugly now.

Posted by: NatsFly | March 8, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I am not certain, but I believe we are the only MLB team to have not won a ST game.

Posted by: NatsFly | March 8, 2010 3:46 PM

We're the only winless team in the Grapefruit League. Reds and Angels are both 0-2 out in Arizona, fwiw (not much).

Posted by: Kev29 | March 8, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"It's spring training for third base coach Pat Listach, too."

AK, I cannot believe that Listach sent him as that guy seemingly held every runner last year in every close play situation. I told people that Listach was actually Lithuanian for "hold the runner".

Posted by: dfh21 | March 8, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

It is early but, we are getting smashed in every game right now, giving up double digits every time out. That is troubling no matter how early it is.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 8, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Closing in on 70 runs in 6 games, that my friends is just plain bad.

But don't worry Phil Wood says we are all crazy to be concerned with March records. Thanks Phil I'm not on the payroll but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

No one can throw stikes, hold leads, keep the ball down, balh, blah,blah. Funny thing if this keeps up they know deep down that they will have to bring SS and Storen north. With that first 42 game killer schedule the 2010 season will be over by Tax Day!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | March 8, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

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