Tonight's Top 5:
5. Who Was That Guy?: Nyjer Morgan squared to bunt and pulled back as a fastball inside from Detroit starter Rick Porcello missed the plate. A sharp grounder up the middle followed with Morgan beating Jhonny Peralta's throw from behind second to first. A moment later, Morgan breaks for second with Jayson Werth at the plate. Headfirst slide. Stolen base. The Nats' new no.2 sends a broken-bat single over short into left and it's 1-0 Nationals as Morgan rounds third, keeps running and scores. RBI single for Werth.
Morgan K'd looking in his second at bat against Tigers' right-hander Rick Porcello in the third. The Tigers' starter got Morgan to chase a 3-2 change outside that was impossible to reach or lay off for his second K of the game in the fifth, and Joaquin Benoit got Morgan swinging in the seventh for the Nats' outfielder's third K in four at bats, though to be fair Benoit went on to strike out the side. Nyjer Morgan finishes the night 1 for 4 with a run scored, a stolen base and 3 K's. In 16 games and 51 at bats, Morgan's now 12 for 51 (.235/.328/.314) with a double, HR, five walks, six stolen bases and 10 K's.
4. Jayson "Two-Spot" Werth: Nats' Manager Jim Riggleman announced this afternoon that he was going to bat Jayson Werth second to start the season, explaining that he wanted a high OBP batter up in front of Ryan Zimmerman since they lacked a true one or two all last season and continue to. 2-0 Nats in the fifth. One pitch after Rick Porcello gets Nyjer Morgan to chase a change outside for a swinging strike three, the Tigers' 22-year-old '07 1st Round pick starts the Nats' big bat Jayson Werth with the same pitch and sees it launched to left. Werth was waiting for the change and jumped all over it. 3-0 Nats on Werth's first HR of the Spring. Adam LaRoche works a two-out walk out of Porcello to bring Michael Morse up, and the Tigers' right-hander feeds Morse a fastball with the first pitch after a mound visit. Two-run blast to left-center. 5-0 Nationals in the fifth.
3. Jordan Zimmermann And Pudge: Runners on the corners. One down in the the Tigers' third. 1-0 Nationals. Jordan Zimmermann throws a 2-2 slider inside to get a called strike three on Magglio Ordonez. Two down. Groundout to second by Miguel Cabrera, and the Nats' 24-year-old right-hander is through three scoreless with a one-run lead. Tigers' catcher Alex Avila got the same slider inside for a called strike three in the second leaving two stranded as Pudge Rodriguez framed it and punched Avila out as the Ump called strike three.
Victor Martinez and Brennan Boesch single off Zimmermann to start the Tigers' fourth, but the third comeback grounder of the night comes back to the mound off Jhonny Peralta's bat and two more K's have Zimmermann through four scoreless. Zimmermann throws a fastball by Alex Avila for a swinging strike three and busts Brandon Inge inside for a called strike that had the Detroit third baseman completely fooled. Swinging K from Austin Jackson, groundout to first from Will Rhymes, flyout to right from Ordonez, 5.0 scoreless innings pitched for Zimmermann, five hits and one walk, but no runs allowed, and six K's collected for the right-hander who's now (2-1) with 13 K's in 5 GS and 20.0 IP this Spring, having given up 21 hits, six runs, all earned and seven walks.
2. Former Cards: Rick Ankiel went sprinting back to catch a hard hit fly to center off Miguel Cabrera's bat, making the catch as he twisted and turned stretching as he leapt just enough to reach it. After a weak groundout to second by Victor Martinez, former Cardinals' prospect Brian Broderick, a 6'6'' right-handed 2010 Rule 5 pick, gets behind Brennan Boesch 2-0 before surrendering a two-out single to right. Jhonny Peralta grounds out to third to end the sixth, and Broderick's done after one scoreless with 13.2 total IP this Spring in which he's allowed just seven hits two walks and one earned run. Ankiel walked with two down in the first, doubled to lead off the fourth, (scoring from second on Ian Desmond's single to center to make it 2-0), and Ankiel singled on a one-out line drive to center in the eighth to end the night 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.
1. One Week: Washington Nationals win, 5-2 after Todd Coffey gives up two hits and two runs in the ninth. Jayson Werth, Michael Morse, Rick Ankiel and Ian Desmond all end the night 2 for 3, more importantly, it's now less than one week away from Opening Day vs the Atlanta Braves. 3/31/11...