Top 3 Stories From The Washington Nationals' 13th Spring Loss.

1. Drew Storen's Got Plus Plus Toughness...

Hours after he'd been told he was being sent to Minor League camp along with his fellow '09 1st Round pick Stephen Strasburg, (and then to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he'll pitch for the Double-AA Senators for a month or two before getting a call up to the nation's capital, where both pitchers are expected to debut at some point in late May or June), the 22-year-old former Stanford Cardinal closer Drew Storen was called upon to pitch an inning of relief for the Washington Nationals in their Spring Training game against the visiting Florida Marlins, and Storen pitched a quick 1-2-3 inning, retiring infielder Donnie Murphy, who flew out to left, first baseman Logan Morrison who K'd swinging, and outfielder Bryan Petersen, who popped up to first...That's what you want from a future (flat-brimmed?) closer...that and the 96 mph fastball MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling says he was throwing...

2.  Tyler Walker Proves He Can Work Scoreless.

Alright, technically, it was the second scoreless inning the Nationals' reliever's thrown this Spring, but in his other 3.2 IP, the 33-year-old right-handed former Mets, Giants, Rays and Phillies' reliever's given up 17 hits and 12 ER...(that's a 19.06 ERA)...though he's recorded 5 K's. Walker's got $530,000 reasons to try to make the Nationals' Opening Day bullpen. The 1-year/$650,000 dollar deal he signed with DC on January 18th, is a "split contract" which will pay him $120,000 in the minors...

3. The Nationals' got their first look at Cristian Guzman's arm in a

pressure situation...

...And it got the entirety of NatsTown talking. MLB.com's Bill Ladson twittered during the game that he was, "...alarmed by the throw #Nats SS Cristian Guzman made in the second inning. The arm is not strong for tough plays," and Mr. Ladson followed up on the Tweet with a blog post entitled, "Nats' Guzman gets first test vs Marlins", wherein he quoted Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman's thoughts on the play, a grounder to Guzman's right by the Marlins' Donnie Murphy, which Guzman fielded and fired wide of first, pulling Nats' 1B Adam Dunn off the bag: 

"'The ball to his right, it looked like Guzman was thinking, 'I'm not going to air this ball out.' For whatever reason, he didn't want to let it go and the result was not a good throw,' manager Jim Riggleman said."

MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling wrote in his own post-game report entitled, "Nats vs Marlins: Post-game thoughts", that, "Guzman's shoulder is the big takeaway from the game," and he quoted Mr. Riggleman as well, who says that, "...he doesn't envision any scenario in which Guzman isn't with the Nationals come Opening Day," but promises that the veteran infielder's shoulder is going to have to be tested in the upcoming weeks as Guzman and underdog shortstop candidate Ian Desmond do battle for the starting job come Opening Day...But don't tell Guzman he's in a fight for the starting SS job...

Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore's post-game article on the status of Guzman's surgically-repaired shoulder entitled, "The trouble with Cristian Guzman's arm", features a defiant 32-on-Sunday-Happy Birthday-Guz!!! infielder who says, (as Mr. Kilgore writes), that though Riggleman and Desmond might believe there's a competition for the SS role, "Guzman...still feels the job is his to lose," and to illustrate Guzman's thinking, Mr. Kilgore writes that, "...when asked if he needed to win the job," Guzman responded, "'No...It doesn't matter. I'm not in competition with him.'" 

• Can someone show Guzman Desmond's stats from the last season and this Spring?

• The Nationals lost, 5-3, they play the Marlins again on Sunday.

• Check out Saturday's GameThread.

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