Like an ugly stripper, Washingtion came away with just six singles yesterday afternoon in a 5-0 shutout by Houston, ending a seven-game unbeaten streak.
Once again, Stephen Strasburg was brilliant but left the game early Forrest Gump pause again. The 32-y.o. ace gave up a hit and a walk while getting four of his seven outs by way of the K in his second spring outing.
“Left calf discomfort” was cited by MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato, as the oft-injured pitcher downplayed its significance and claimed he would have pitched through it otherwise.
To paraphrase the philosophers from Linkin Park, and in the end, it didn’t even matter as Lance McCullers Jr. and five Astros relievers kept the Nats bats quiet. Just three batters got into scoring position—twice with one out, once with two outs—and only one reached third base as the Nats stranded seven and went 0-for-7 with RISP.
Three watchlist players came off the bench and one came on in relief:
- Drew Mendoza replaced Yasmany Tomás at 1B in the 8th and took a walk in the top of the 9th
- Second SS Jackson Cluff singled with two outs in the 8th to extend his hit streak to two
- Tres Barrera subbed for Yan Gomes in the 8th and struck out to end the game
- Ben Braymer retired just two of five batters faced in the 8th, with two runs allowed on two walks and a single
Max Scherzer is slated to make his third start of the spring this afternoon as Washington (5-4-3) visits St. Louis (4-5-2) for the second of three games against the Cardinals in Jupiter, FL. The game can be heard on MLB Audio (both teams) or seen on MLB.tv (St. Louis, duh).
Prior to yesterday’s game, the Nats announced the reassignment of twenty players – a paper move of sorts, but a sign that it’s just about time for me to shift gears back to the offseason mode.
Officially, RHP Joan Adon, SS Yasel Antuna, and RZBD* Jake Noll were optioned to AAA Rochester. The rest are assigned to the “minor-league portion” of MLB camp and are still eligible to appear in the “A” games.
* Ryan Zimmerman Body Double
Watchlisters among the cuts were:
C’s – Israel Pineda and Jakson Reetz
IFs – Jackson Cluff and Drew Mendoza
LHPs – Tim Cate and Matt Cronin
RHPs – Cade Cavalli, Jacob Condra-Bogan, Tyler Dyson, Cole Henry, and Jackson Rutledge