Mar 102012
 

The Nats offseason was largely spent bolstering the pitching, with the implication that the offense would come later with a healthy Zimmerman, a comeback by Jayson Werth, and the addition of some kid from the minors.

It may be early, but the worry that the hitting won’t support the pitching wasn’t put to rest on Friday night as the Marlins blanked the Nationals, 3-0.

Stephen Strasburg was charged with the loss, giving up two runs in a sloppy third inning that began when he knocked down a grounder by Bryan Petersen and let it slip from his grip for an infield single. Two batters later, Jose Reyes launched a triple to center to plate Peterson and Emilio Bonifacio singled Reyes in for a 2-0 lead. Strasburg next hit Hanley Ramirez but then settled down to retire the next two batters.

Just four Nationals hit safely and no one reached base via the walk. Three of the four hits came from the minor-leaguers as Steve Lombardozzi went 1-for-3, Tyler Moore went 1-for-2 and Corey Brown went 1-for-2. Incumbents Ian Desmond, Roger Bernadina combined to go 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, while backup catcher Jesus Flores was the only other National to hit safely (1-for-2).

Anthony Rendon started at 3B but went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and made a putout and an assist in his four innings of play. Carlos Rivero replaced him and made an assist while going hitless in his one at-bat. Jhonatan Solano was also a defensive replacement and went 0-for-1 in the field.

It’s a busy day today as the Nats split the squad to visit the Tigers while the rest stay home to host the Mets. Lombardozzi, Brown, Solano and Eury Perez are expected to start on the road in Lakeland. Both games are at 1 p.m. can be heard on MLB Audio.

  5 Responses to “Nats Blanked, 3-0”

  1. Hard to really tell about the offense based on that game since virtually no regulars played. Other than Desmond continuing to cause angst about whether he will completely bomb this season, of course.

    • The Nats have only scored more than four runs twice in six games and have been held to three or less the other four games. I’ll admit that once the regular season starts, my focus on the parent club goes from sniper vision to something slightly better than Mr. Magoo, but even Stevie Wonder can see that this a trend that’s carrying over from last season.

  2. Folks — Way too early to draw any conclusions. Based on career norms, the offense should be better, but not too much better this year. With Lombo and Rendon in the fold, Desmond won’t get a whole season to fail like last year. If he can’t get OBP above .320 by 15 June, expect Espinosa to slide to SS (where he is FABULOUS!) and Lombo to cover 2B. If Lombo can’t hit any better than Desmond, he will move to a utility role and Rendon will get reps at 2B by 15 July.

    Regardless of all this, the Nats will sink or swim on their pitching.

    • Rendon is not coming to DC before September. That you can take to the bank. The Bowden era is over.

      • I agree. After the last two years, he needs at least 500-600 AB’s in the minors before he’s ready for much of anything.

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