Game No. 3: Washington Nationals (1-1) at New York Mets (1-1), 7:10 pm;
ESPN MASN, WTWP, XM 183
- Tonight's starter for the Nats, Ramon Ortiz, drew comparisons to tonight's starter for the Mets, Pedro Martinez, when Ortiz first came up with the Angels in 1999; Ortiz, like Martinez, was a small-framed native of the Dominican Republic with an electric fastball. Those comparisons haven't panned out, in part because his fastball had surprisingly little life, in part because he magically aged three years, and in part because he's been an uneven pitcher. Now, the comparison is a punchline. Ortiz gets his first shot to turn it around in a Nationals' uniform; it's his third in three years.
- As for the genuine article, Martinez has been hobbled by "a troublesome toe on his right foot." Martinez was supposed to be assigned to a minor league tune-up start but refused, stating, ""I have no business in a Minor League game." He says he can make the necessary adjustments on-the-job. I wouldn't doubt him, for one.
- We followed the Nats' budget all offseason, and they broke camp with an Opening Day payroll of $63 million and change, up $15 million from last season. The Mets have a payroll of just over $100 million. The Mets rank fifth; the Nats rank twentieth.