Apr 2, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT
|USA Today Sports Images|
After a dominant afternoon by Stephen Strasburg, a two-homer day by Bryce Harper, and a scoreless eighth inning by Tyler Clippard, it was time for prized free agent closer Rafael Soriano to take the mound and do what the Nationals paid him all that money for.
Soriano entered Monday’s game with a two-run lead in the ninth and the Marlins’ top of the order on deck. And despite a rough spring that may have raised questions, he emerged with the save after just 11 pitches, a closeout as textbook as they come.
Soriano allowed six earned runs in 6 2/3 innings during spring training, but as far as the Nats are concerned, that’s in the past.
“Obviously, spring training’s overrated,” manager Davey Johnson said. “He certainly turned it up a notch. Made nothing but quality pitches. He did outstanding.”Read more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
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.
Follow us on Twitter
- Nats' Zimmerman takes significant step in recovery
- Nationals aim for team record 10th straight win vs. D-Backs
- Nationals' 9-game win streak is "absolutely epic"
- Are Nationals finally playing to full potential? (VIDEO)
- Mo'ne Davis and company have one more chance
- Young guns bat, slide Nationals to ninth-straight win
- Matt Williams projects when Ryan Zimmerman will return
- Span tabs Nats teammate & rival to do ice bucket challenge
- Williams debates keeping streak alive or long term health
- VIDEO: Bryce Harper's hair is on fire and he plays the ukulele