Miami Marlins' right-hander Jose Fernandez was up to 7 1/3 scoreless innings pitched this spring when he stranded Steven Souza, Jr. at first, pitching around the second walk he issued in the first two frames of this afternoon's Grapefruit League game with the Washington Nationals. Fernandez was up to 18 pitches (acc to Gameday) when Nate McLouth flew to Marcell Ozuna in center to end the top of the second.
Nats' right-hander Stephen Strasburg's third Spring Training start began with a scoreless first inning in which he pitched around a leadoff single by Marlins' shortstop Rafael Furcal. Strasburg pitched around a leadoff walk in the second to match Fernandez through with two scoreless innings in Jupiter, Florida's Roger Dean Stadium.
Reports from the Marlins' spring home said Strasburg was deliberate with runners on, checking the runner and throwing over often to keep the Marlins who reached first base in check.
After issuing leadoff walk (and keeping runner close to 1B with pickoff throws), #Nationals Strasburg sandwiches Ks around F7. 0-0 after 2.— Pete Kerzel (@masnPete) March 15, 2014
After his last start, the Nats' 25-year-old '09 no.1 overall pick explained that working on holding runners as he has all spring has led to it, "... starting to become more second nature.
Fernandez's scoreless inning streak came to an end in the third. Nats' infielder Will Rhymes took the third walk of the game from the Marlins' starter and took third base on a one-out double to left by Danny Espinosa before scoring on Ryan Zimmerman's sac fly. 1-0 Nationals.
Marlins' third baseman Josh Rodriguez singled to left to start the home-half of the third inning, but Strasburg's third scoreless frame ended with back-to-back K's as Donovan Solano took a called strike three and Marlins' catcher Jarod Saltalamacchia went down swinging, stranding Rafael Furcal at first after the Fish shortstop grounded into a force at second in the at bat after Rodriguez's hit.
Jose Fernandez was up to 67 pitches after he pitched around a one-out single by Steven Souza, Jr. in the the top of the fourth inning.
Jose Fernandez gets through four innings, allows one run on two hits, walks four, w/ three strikeouts #Marlins 67 pitches/38 strikes— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) March 15, 2014
Strasburg retired the Marlins in order on three straight groundouts to Danny Espinosa at second in a quick, 1-2-3 bottom of the fourth inning.
Miami lefty Dan Jennings took over for Jose Fernandez in the fifth and gave up the second run of the game on an RBI single by Wilson Ramos, who sent a grounder back up the middle to bring Espinosa in after the Nats' infielder reached on an error and moved into scoring position on a Bryce Harper walk. 2-0 Nationals.
Tyler Clippard took over on the mound in the fifth inning, ending Strasburg's day after four scoreless on 61 pitches...
Strasburg done for the day...4 ip, 2 hits, 1 walk, 4 K's 61/43. Clippard starts the 5th— Craig Heist (@cheistsports) March 15, 2014
Clippard walked one and K'd two in a scoreless fifth and Craig Stammen followed with a 1-2-3 sixth to preserve the Nationals' 2-0 lead.
Anthony Rendon walked for the second time this afternoon in a seventh-inning matchup against Carlos Marmol, but after taking third on a two-out single by Bryce Harper, he was stranded there when Wilson Ramos K'd swinging. Still 2-0 Nationals after six and a half.
Stammen gave up a run in the bottom of the bottom of the seventh, issuing a one-out walk to Marlins' outfielder Marcell Ozuna, then watching him come around to score on an RBI groundout by Alfredo Silverio after Brian Bogusevic's single moved Ozuna around to third. 2-1 Nationals after seven.
Tyler Moore singled to start the eighth and took third one-out later (after a wild pitch) when Jeff Kobernus lined to left for the second hit off Marlins' lefty Mike Dunn. A swinging K and groundout followed, however, and it was still 2-1 Nationals after seven and a half.
Jerry Blevins got two backwards Ks and a fly to right to end a 1-2-3 eighth against the Marlins.
Aaron Barrett came out for the bottom of the ninth. He had a runner (Juancito Martinez) reach on an error by Zach Walters at short, but he finished the Marlins off with Brian Bogusevic striking out to end the game.
2-1 Nationals final.