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Matt Capps's rough spring and morning links

Each time Matt Capps seemed poised to let his pitching announce him ready for the season and the Nationals' closer role, along came an outing like yesterday. He allowed three runs on three hits and two walks in one inning. In 10 2/3 innings, Capps has allowed 10 runs, 16 hits and seven walks. Whenever the struggles seemed to be left behind, they came back.

"I felt great," Capps said yesterday. "It was a mechanical thing. I couldn't make that adjustment when I was out there, for whatever reason. Really, the last four or five times out I feel I've gotten where I wanted to get. Today was just a mechanical thing. As far as being ready for the season, I feel like I'm there."

The Nationals play twice more in Florida and once at Nationals Park before the regular season begins April 5. Capps says he feels physically ready, but he hasn't strung together many outings in which he's been able to keep the ball out of the fat part of the strike zone.

"I think he's as prepared as he can be," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "He didn't get the ball down today. He threw the ball in the wheelhouse to some really good hitters, and they made him pay for it. His velocity has picked up. He seems to be throwing the ball very well. Major league hitters are going to make you pay if it's in that thigh to belt range.

In the dead-tree edition, you can read about the steadiness Josh Willingham brings to the Nationals. Elsewhere, Nyjer Morgan answered questions from fans. Tom Verducci is looking forward to watching the Nationals draft and Stephen Strasburg pitch. With the year's opening series four days away, you can catch up on the Phillies here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 1, 2010; 9:40 AM ET
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Next: To start in right field, it's going to be Willie and Willy


Will Strasburg be making a start in minor league camp today?

Posted by: cassander | April 1, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Since nothing has been written can we assume Olsen is still with the team and his contract kicks in?

Posted by: SCNatsFan | April 1, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@SC: Official website had a blurb about it and he is scheduled to pitch Friday, so I guess that would mean they're keeping him. The blurb stated the team has not said exactly WHERE he'll start the year (DC or Syr).

Posted by: TimDz | April 1, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Capps is "as prepared as he can be"??? Oicks, dat don't sound too good, given his shakiness. Let's hope once the regular season starts it's all a distant dream.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | April 1, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Tim

Posted by: SCNatsFan | April 1, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

dead-tree edition should be referred to as "Fish Wrap" or "Homeless Wrap"

Posted by: estuartj | April 1, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Matt Capps appears to be a reclamation project,yeah i know he wasn't injured but those spring training numbers......... yikes! Mike MacDougal may yet end up as closer by default until Drew Storen is ready to assume that role. Right Field is going to be a challenge the whole year,like most of you i was hoping Maxwell(not the singer)would have stepped up anyone know whether Dukes was picked up? great weekend weather for DC as well as here in the A-T-L opening day is on the way, YEEESSSS!!!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 1, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

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