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Updates: Nationals vs. Mets

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

4:06: The Nationals entered today with a 12.75 ERA, and that has gone up. Sean Burnett blew up in the ninth inning. The Mets greeted him with a single and a double for one run. Burnett gave up three more hits and another three runs. The Mets lead, 14-6, and Burnett is coming out of the game with two outs. Andrew Kown, this is your moment.

The troubling part: Three pitchers with either a definite lock or a strong certainty to make the roster -- John Lannan, Tyler Walker and Burnett -- pitched today. They combined to allow 10 runs on 13 hits, two walks and a hit batter in three innings. The Nationals have allowed 50 runs and 67 hits in four games.

Unless something crazy happens in the ninth inning, consider this the last in-game update of the afternoon. Back afterward.

3:27: The wheels have once again come flying off for the Nationals pitching staff. Tyler Walker went on to yield five runs in the seventh, giving the Mets a 10-6 lead. The Nationals have allowed at least 10 runs in all four of their games and 46 overall to go with 61 hits. And there's two innings left.

3:13: Tyler Walker surrendered a pair of home runs in the top of the seventh to Fernando Martinez and Mike Jacobs, giving the Mets a 7-6 lead. The Nationals had pulled ahead when Cristian Guzman scored Alberto Gonzalez with an RBI single in the sixth.

2:52: Mike Morse, continuing his strong push to make the Nationals bench, tied the game at five with an opposite-field, solo home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth off of Eric Niesen. The Mets had taken a lead by scoring one off of Josh Wilkie.

2:10: It's 4-4 after Shawn Estes allowed two runs in his only inning, including a solo home run to the first batter he faced, Fernando Martinez. The Nationals went quietly in their half, and now Josh Wilkie, who had a strong first outing Thursday, is in. Estes probably is not long for Nationals camp.

1:41: Eric Bruntlett smashed a three-run home run to score Wil Nieves and Alberto Gonzalez who both singled up the middle. That's what you call an explosive bottom of the order just making things happen. Cristian Guzman hit a rocket off of Mike Pelfrey's shin, but Pelfrey is staying in the game. The Nationals lead, 4-2, and already have six hits.

1:35: The Nationals trail, 2-1, in the bottom of the second with John Lannan having pitched his two innings. The Mets ripped two singles off of him to go with a walk and a hit batter in the first, but Lannan settled in the second. He struck out Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Ruben Tejada, then induced a weak grounder from Angel Pagan. Adam Dunn drove in the Nationals run with an RBI single off of Mike Pelfrey that scored Cristian Guzman, who reached on an error.

By Adam Kilgore  |  March 6, 2010; 1:31 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Jesus Flores's shoulder and Jason Marquis's bat
Next: Jason Marquis's turn


In case you were wondering:

Nieves 597AB .234/.282/.293
Marquis 522AB .202/.223/.295

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | March 6, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Bruntlett hits a 3-run HR; Did the earth just reverse polarity?

Posted by: BinM | March 6, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@CapP: Point taken, but wouldn't you rather burn somebody like Marquis as a PH early, than send up Nieves & risk putting either Morse/Willingham/Orr behind the plate to finish a game.

Posted by: BinM | March 6, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Getting Wilkie in is a shift away from the LH-skewed staff that was posted earlier (Lannan, Estes, Thompson, Severino, Burkett + Walker & Kown). Hopefully, this could be a good thing.

Posted by: BinM | March 6, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse


Sure. Agree it's nice to have someone of comparable hitting ability who can PH in certain situations. Wonder if Riggs will use Marquis as PR as some teams have; clearly he's an athlete, which should minimize chance of injury.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | March 6, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Blind stab in the dark; Shawn Estes is among the first group DFA'd.

Even this team's bottom-of-the-barrel searches has its limits.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | March 6, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

CapP, I'd think so. He has 'baseball smarts', and is a pretty good athlete as well; I seem to recall that Acta used Martis that way once or twice as well, before he became the scripted, robotic image of a Manager that the team ended up with.
Estes, along with some others will probably be "re-assigned to minor-league camp" over the next 10-or-so days, & will either decline the re-assignment (& become FA's), or quietly retire.

Posted by: BinM | March 6, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Two tidy innings from Thompson, with an assist from Morgan cleaning up Pagan at 3rd. Hope to see either Walker or Kown next.

Posted by: BinM | March 6, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Ugh - Walker, 2HR surrendered, bring the team total to 10 in 3+games. I know it's still early, but might it be time to look toward a 'sea change' to some younger arms at the MR slots, rather than the retreads?

Posted by: BinM | March 6, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

NOW, I start worrying. I'm worried that losing becomes a habit and this team is going to pull a 6-and-36 start when the bell rings. C'mon, Riggs, light a fire...

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | March 6, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Ok so I know this is only the fourth game of spring training - but these stats are rediculous: 50 runs and 67 hits. When do we start to get worried here?

Posted by: dls5kk | March 6, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

And the worldwide humiliation that is Nats fandom continues.

Posted by: shepdave | March 6, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

It is only the 4th ST game, but these stats are troubling. Too soon to panic, a sense of disquiet grows...

Posted by: NatsFly | March 6, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Wilkie's multiple appearances does make one wonder ... why did we sign all of these batting practice veteran pitchers again?

Posted by: periculum | March 6, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

This start is 'lipstick on a pig' ugly. The only LH bullpen arm to escape clean has been Severino; The rest have been horrible. Mike, I think I'll take 'LH-Relief pitchers' for $2M as a category, and the question is "Who is Joe Beimel?".

Posted by: BinM | March 6, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Sean Burnett apparently said (to Goessling) after the game that he and maybe others were pumped up for their first appearance and trying to throw the ball through a brick wall. This meant they got fastballs up and, in windy conditions like they have mostly had, that resutls in homers.
Excuse? Maybe. Bootom line though, is that none of these guys has had more than one appearance yet, and you need more than one to judge.

Posted by: sjberke | March 6, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Another clobbering. Is this season already over before it even begins?

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | March 6, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

sjberke: I'd normally accept that answer from a pitcher who is trying to make "the show" for the 1st time, but when it's being thrown out there by guys who have been been here before, not so much.

Burnett, Guardado, Peralta, Villone, & Walker have been here before, but they all threw like dog crap in their first outings; That's both unacceptable & inexcusable, imo.

Posted by: BinM | March 6, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

ON a bright note, we're scoring some runs. Looks like we'll need every one of them this season.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | March 6, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

peric: Wilkie was the 1st pitcher put to use for the 2nd time (last seen on 3/4), because the 1st bullpen rotation was pretty much complete. As the Nationals work through the remainder of their SP candidates, we should see most of the bullpen arms a 2nd time before Rizzo & Riggleman start thinking about the 'first cuts'.

Posted by: BinM | March 6, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

BTW, there are 6 more SP's still in-line for their 1st appearance - Marquis & Chico (both scheduled for 3/7), with Hernandez, Jaime, Olsen (3/8), & Strasburg (3/9) in the wings. Let's hope for better than we've seen to date.

Posted by: BinM | March 6, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Nice. And this is just the beginning. Its still only game 5 ST but let's hope it turns around sooner rather than later. On a brighter note, I like this Wilkie.

Posted by: DCnats1 | March 6, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

This is pathetic folks. The Nats are lucky that most if not all of the local media is barely paying attention. However that luck is only going to run for so long. If they continue with this putrid effort the usual suspects are going to be crowing from the rooftops and StanK will have to resort to going on WIP and inviting the City of Philadelphia to come to opening day just to fill up the stadium. This is no joke folks, there is nothing here that says this is what it is, but the pathology of losing is ingrained with this team. Be worried and why not!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | March 6, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

For those interested, Strasburg's CBS Evening News video is here:;lst;1

Posted by: BangZoom | March 6, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it time to bring in Psychologist Frank Carpenter.

Losing is a Disease, as Contagious a Polio

Losing is a disease, as contagious a bubonic plague

Oh heck with it Roy Hobbs couldn't help this team... He doesn't pitch!

Posted by: PNatsFan | March 6, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Please, folks, it's four games (one a split squad) into spring training. Talk to me two weeks from now, and even then, remember that the expansion Nats finished first once in the Grapefruit League (lotta good it did 'em) and the late '50s, early '60s Yankees were often near the bottom. It doesn't really matter, unless somebody gets hurt. Guys work on stuff. It just doesn't count. Period.

Posted by: nats24 | March 7, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Yes, yes, yes, I know it is ONLY spring training but.....this pitching staff - so far - is really funny!! The only pitcher I feel is worth much is a rookie who isn't in the majors. And, we all know who that is.

Posted by: Pete433 | March 7, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

I think I may have stepped right into the middle of someone's agenda with my little proofreading heads up the other day. Didn't mean to start anything, and apologies if I did.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 7, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Yea, the pitching is stinking up the place, we'll see what they're like by the end of this week...

Posted by: bromisky | March 7, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Everyone relax. It's not even "early" yet. It's pre-early.

I'm not worried. The F.O. has made moves to make the team better, and they'll continue to do so. We're headed in the right direction.

Posted by: usmc53 | March 7, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

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