Feb 23, 2013, 9:11 PM EDT
USA Today Sports Images
Stephen Strasburg allowed two runs and three hits in the first inning.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Time was, if Stephen Strasburg gave up a home run in the first inning of the first game of spring training, the rest of the Nationals dugout would have been ready to brace for impact.
“I think last year at this time, if he would’ve done what he did in that first inning, we would have seen gloves flying, cups flying,” shortstop Ian Desmond said. “He was pretty fairly composed today.”
Consider it another important step in Strasburg’s progression as a big-league pitcher. After getting roughed up by the Mets for two runs on three hits in the first inning this afternoon, the fourth-year right-hander composed himself and cruised through a 1-2-3 second inning, ending his first game appearance since last September’s shutdown on a high note.
As he’s come to learn with experience, results in late-February don’t mean squat.
“I remember, like my first couple spring trainings, I was coming in there, I threw a lot more beforehand,” he said. “I was in-season, ready to go, when spring training started. I’ve slowly started to
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.
- Nationals respond to Williams' challenge, beat Cards
- Nats strike early on Wacha, beat Cardinals 3-1
- Span plays three innings for Hagerstown in second rehab game
- Ramos takes first swings since breaking left hand
- Denard Span on track to return to Nats this weekend
- Nats call up Xavier Cedeno, send Blake Treinen to Syracuse
- Nationals need a bounce-back vs. Cardinals
- Errors cost Nationals in ugly loss to Cardinals
- The Baseball Show: How can Strasburg turn it around?
- Bryce Harper travels through time in new ad (VIDEO)