• Today's Top 5:
5. Morse 15 for 29, 0 for 14: Michael Morse's hot start in Grapefruit League action this Spring saw the big right-hander hit in 15 of his first 29 at bats with three doubles and five HR's. It was an impressive enough stretch that the Nats publically conceded that the 28-going-on-29-year-old outfielder would be the starting left fielder when the 2011 season began. Morse entered today's game in an 0-14 slump, however, as he'd quickly cooled and yesterday went 0 for 4 with two double play grounders, two K's and five left on base in a particularly bad outing for the one-time White Sox and Mariners' prospect. After going 0 for 2 this afternoon against Mets' starter Chris Capuano, Morse broke what was then an 0 for 16 streak with Mets' reliever Pedro Beato on the mound. Morse bounced a ground-rule double over the right field wall then scored on a Jeff Frazier HR off left-hander Oliver Perez that made it 7-3 Mets in the seventh. Morse ends the afternoon 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored.
4. Des-E: Ground ball to short by Jose Reyes to start the bottom of the first. Ian Desmond fields and throws... by Alberto Gonzalez at first. E on Desmond's throw, and one batter later 1-0 Mets as Reyes scores on an RBI single by Daniel Murphy, who gets the green light on a 3-0 pitch from Nats' starter Jason Marquis and hits an RBI single through the middle of the infield. Desmond threw to second for a force on what could have been a DP grounder off David Wright's bat in the next at bat, but Danny Espinosa hesitated a moment too long so the throw to first was late. A one-out walk to Jason Bay and a single to right by Scott Hairston that fell in front of Rick Ankiel loaded the bases so that a one-out walk to Lucas Duda forced in a run. 2-0 Mets and 4-0 on a two-run double off the center field wall by Nick Evans. Duda gets picked off going too far around third on the play and Rick Ankiel nails Nick Evans at home on a single to right by the next batter, Josh Thole. Three outs. 4-0 NY after one.
3. Hairston vs Hairston: Bases loaded two down in the bottom of the fourth after Tyler Clippard walks Jason Bay in the first AB after he replaces Jason Marquis, who'd allowed a one-out single to Jose Reyes and a two-out single to David Wright. Scott Hairston steps in and lines to left center. Nats' center fielder Jerry Hairston dives...and comes up empty. Base-clearing triple, three runs score, 7-0 Mets. "If anybody knew how deep to play Scott Hairston you would think it would be his brother," the Mets' radio announcers joke.
2. The Nats Help Mets Fans Rid Themselves Of Ollie: A ground-rule double by Michael Morse and a one-out walk to Rick Ankiel chase Pedro Beato from the game in favor of much-maligned left-hander Oliver Perez who's greeted by a resounding chorus of boos from the Digital Domain Park crowd, and it only gets worse as first Jeff Frazier and then Brian Bixler hit back-to-back HR's to pull the Nats' within three at 7-4 NY. Frazier's is a three-run blast, Bixler's then is of course a solo shot. Perez retires two batters, then walks Roger Bernadina before an infield single by Danny Espinosa ends the beleaguered left-hander's outing and maybe his tenure in NY.
1. The Good News: Nats' 2010 Rule 5 pick Brian Broderick threw another scoreless inning in relief this afternoon, and when he's done he has a 0.84 ERA in seven games and 10.2 IP in which the 24-year-old former Cardinals' prospect has given up just four hits, two walks and one earned run while recording four K's. Any chance Broderick doesn't make the bullpen? And what about Collin Balester who struck out two in 2.0 scoreless innings today? Balester's K'd eight, walked two and surrendered six hit and three runs, two earned in 6.1 IP. Left-hander Doug Slaten threw a scoreless frame too after Marquis had allowed nine hits, three walks and six earned runs in 3.2 IP. Nats drop their sixth straight ST game. 7-4 final.