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Pitching, pitching, pitching

Mar 6, 2010, 11:03 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
John Lannan allowed two of the Mets' 14 runs during today's latest spring loss.

VIERA, Fla. — OK, let's get this disclaimer out of the way right off the bat: It's the first week of the Grapefruit League. None of these results matter. They're not a true indication of how a team will perform once the green light comes on April 5.

Having said that … the Nationals are not exactly playing like a ballclub intent on avoiding a third-straight 100-loss season. They've now played four official exhibition games over three days. They've lost all four by a combined score of 50-23. They've allowed 67 hits, 10 of them home runs. They could give up 12 runs to the Mets tomorrow in Port St. Lucie and still see their team ERA go down.

"We really just have to say, OK, you've got that one behind you," manager Jim Riggleman said. "The first time through, everybody kind of struggled, didn't really throw strikes. We'll just give everybody the benefit of the doubt and look for better outings next time through."

With the exception of starters Jason Marquis and Matt Chico (who both pitch tomorrow), Scott Olsen (Monday), Stephen Strasburg (Tuesday) and Livan Hernandez (first appearance still TBA), everyone on the staff has appeared in a game so far. It's one thing if the guysRead more »

  1. Dave Nichols - Mar 6, 2010 at 11:37 PM

    no panic. but a good dose of reality. there's been an awful lot of "happy talk" so far, from fans to the front office, about the improvement over the off-season. there's still a lot of work to do.

  2. Anonymous - Mar 6, 2010 at 11:40 PM

    I don't know why anyone would panic, Kasten has said that we will be competitive in 2011, so not only doesn't spring training matter, the whole season doesn't matter either.PowerBoater

  3. peric - Mar 6, 2010 at 11:57 PM

    Kasten is too busy trying to get the Winter Classic. And sign the entire Cuban National team.

  4. habsProf - Mar 7, 2010 at 12:04 AM

    If we're going to complain about the negative, let's at least point out the positive: this team can score runs. With 23 runs in 4 games, we have an offense. Yes, I know 23 runs scored doesn't overcome 50 runs yielded. My point is just that there are some positives to build on.And what are you going to believe: John Lannon's record amassed over 423 innings pitched in a little over 2 seasons or John Lannon's record pitched in his first two innings of grapefruit baseball?

  5. peric - Mar 7, 2010 at 1:26 AM

    As Riggleman himself stated (paraphrased): too many pitches thrown, not enough strikes thrown, too many walks. He seemed a bit perturbed by it. Not so much by the home runs. He basically said you get this one time through now you had better fix it. Sure Lannan makes the team and Marquis. But how patient will they be even with them after 2 100 loss seasons. That has to stick in Rizzo's craw as well as Riggleman's.

  6. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2010 at 2:36 AM

    Nothing is ever said about Thompson. Is he a non-factor ?

  7. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 7, 2010 at 2:39 AM

    I wouldn't say Thompson's a non-factor. He's just not ready for prime time quite yet. Never pitched above Class AA. Check back in September; wouldn't be surprised if we see him in D.C. around then.

  8. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2010 at 2:40 AM

    And basically all of this bad karma can go away with a start by a certain someone early this week. If our insurance turns out to be garbage, that's totally fine. I'm cheered by solid work from Desmond, Storen, Mock and Clippard especially. It's just got to be disheartening to watch all of this mess.–souldrummer

  9. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2010 at 5:11 AM

    4 games in…THE SKY IS FALLING PEOPLEthe nats will never win again. 0 and 162 here we come.

  10. JayB - Mar 7, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    The sky fell back in 2008…it just has not been fixed yet.

  11. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    No pressure, Jason and Matt, but we could use a curly W right about now. :-)

  12. WSHNats - Mar 7, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    What do you expect when we look like a slow pitch softball team. Put the blue caps on and blue undershirts and blue socks. If you look bad in uniform it carriers over. Looking nice helps give you pride in your appearance and play. Jimmy

  13. Leslie - Mar 24, 2010 at 4:38 AM

    No panic…Nats can go nowhere but only better and better.Just wait and see…





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