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Lannan, Maya and Bernadina

Mar 3, 2011, 4:00 AM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
John Lannan was sharp for two innings before struggling in the third.

VIERA, Fla. — Well, three games into the exhibition season, the Nationals are undefeated. They disposed of the Mets twice and today toppled the Marlins, 8-4, at Space Coast Stadium.

Too soon to start printing up "2011 Grapefruit League champions" T-shirts?

Plenty of individual performances to run through from this latest victory, so let's get right to it…

John Lannan got off to a fantastic start, cruising through his first two innings without allowing a Florida batter to reach base. He even struck out Hanley Ramirez on a high-and-tight fastball, not exactly the kind of pitch the left-hander is known for. Lannan said he wasn't necessarily trying to strike Ramirez out there; he was simply trying to bust him in high-and-tight after throwing his previous pitch low-and-away. "I was just trying to get him to swing and maybe getRead more »

  1. A DC Wonk - Mar 3, 2011 at 4:59 AM

    Lannan busted him in high and tight?!?Finally. I repeatedly complained last year, over and over again (you can look it up in the comments!) that the Nats pitchers almost never did that — which seemed really stupid to me.Maybe somebody finally figured that out?(oh, and this site looks better every day! I like the pale blue color in the middle)

  2. Anonymous - Mar 3, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    <>I missed when we could just pay you to stay down there. To the WaPo I go.

  3. Another_Sam - Mar 3, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Must be spring: Flyballs to the fence [outs] are an omen of good things to come. LOL. I hope so. I've not seen these guys yet, but I'm eager. Until then, grant me a bit of skepticism. Just kidding.

  4. Big Cat - Mar 3, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    I think Lannan was one of our only pitchers to pitch inside. Remember his first big league start when he drilled the Phillies Utley and then plunked Ryan Howard and was ejected. As a matter of fact, I think he broke Utley's wrist. Phillie fans were squealing like the pigs they are

  5. CapPeterson - Mar 3, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Great to hear that Bernie is learning how to drag bunts to the right side. Nyjer, OTOH, continues (with very rare exceptions) to try to push them down the 3B line. This strategy could of course also work if Nyjer could occasionally smash a liner down the line to keep the 3rd baseman honest, but how often did he do that last year–once or twice?

  6. sjm 308 - Mar 3, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Thanks Mark (as always),Will miss you being there but I am hoping you will keep the other Nat's Blogs on the left current as well. It's nice to have one place to check on everything. Can you or one of our gang help me with the time for Nat's Fest? I am one of the lucky ones who can actually go to both that and opening day but I have not found much information on it yet. I think that Maya could be a huge plus for us. Still amazed he came last year and left his family in Cuba. I am guessing they are still there and that has to be tough. If he is sent to the minors to start the season that will also be difficult since I am guessing he hangs with Livan most of the time.Go Nats!

  7. Anonymous8 - Mar 3, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    CapPeterson, bunting for a hit is the element of surprise. Bernadina hits a HR so nobody really expected him to play small ball hence the element of surprise.On the other hand, Nyjer Morgan isn't fooling anyone. He has zero power and needs to work on a slug bunt to place over the 3rd baseman's head for a double in order to get his 3rd base bunt to work.

  8. Anonymous - Mar 3, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Mark, is there any chance Morse could win left and Bernadina could win center if they continue to have a solid spring while Morgan doesn't. I haven't heard any talk of that possibility. Thanks

  9. natscan reduxit - Mar 3, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    … thanx for all you've done in FLA. so far, Mark, and for what you've yet to do. One question (which might have been answered previously): does having a regular gig now with CSN mean you'll be travelling with the team throughout the whole season?Go Nats!!

  10. Doc - Mar 3, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Just really great coverage Mark, since you arrived in Florida. Too bad that you have to head back. Your player contact will be missing, but I'm sure the Blog will continue to be the exceptional piece of sports reporting that it is.

  11. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 3, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    There is no doubt our best lineup would have Morse in left, Bernadina in center and Werth in right. Bernie can lead off and provide power plus speed. He is developing plate discipline through his efforts with Rick Eckstein.And a bench that includes Ankiel and Nix sure sounds strong as well.

  12. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 3, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    sjm 308 said…Can you or one of our gang help me with the time for Nat's Fest? I am one of the lucky ones who can actually go to both that and opening day but I have not found much information on it yet.NatsFest is scheduled to run from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30. The players have a pre-Opening Day workout at some point during that time, which will be open to fans attending.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 45 --
ATLANTA 57 48 1.5
MIAMI 51 53 7.0
NEW YORK 50 55 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 59 12.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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