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Washington Nationals' Stephen Strasburg Strong Through Five, Receives No Support, 2-0 New York Mets.

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March 20, 2012; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) during the spring training game against the New York Mets at Digital Domain Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE
March 20, 2012; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) during the spring training game against the New York Mets at Digital Domain Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

• Everyone who watches baseball knows to heed the warnings and accepted wisdom about not trusting September or Spring Training stats. We also now know, after watching Stephen Strasburg's pitch speeds registered on the radar guns used by the stadiums in which Spring Training games take place, that you can't always trust what you see on the Grapefruit League radar guns. Nats' announcer FP Santangelo's expressed skepticism about the readings that have popped up in some of the previous broadcasts of Strasburg's and other pitcher's starts this Spring, and as much as I'd like to believe it and even if former World-Series-winning reliever Brad Lidge thinks the readings are accurate, (as he said in a recent article) it's hard to believe that the 23-year-old right-hander actually hit 103 with his fastball in a recent outing...

Of course, a quick google search of "Stephen Strasburg" and "103 mph" does bring up 1,490,000 results, some of which are from reputable sources, reminding us that the '09 no.1 overall pick has, in fact, topped out at one hundred and three miles an hour in the not-too-distant past. So I guess we'll hold off officially declaring, "Don't trust Grapefruit League radar guns," a new baseball maxim, at least for now since we're working with a small sample size...

• Stephen Strasburg's fourth start...

#Nats' right-hander Stephen Strasburg got a weak grounder to second with a low 94 mph fastball on the second pitch he threw in the first at bat tonight against Mets' leadoff man Andres Torres. One down. The Nats' '09 1st Round pick missed with a 96 mph 3-2 fastball to New York second baseman Danny Murphy, who promptly stole second after walking, but two outs later Strasburg stranded him there after popping up both Jason Bay and Ike Davis to end a scoreless first in which he topped out at around 97 mph.

Strasburg missed with a backdoor 2-2 breaking ball outside to left-handed hitting Mets' outfielder Lucas Duda, then dialed it up to 98 on a full-count fastball which Duda fouled off before Strasburg got a called strike three with a 97 mph heater low and away that caught the outside corner. One down in the second. A sharp lineout to Mark DeRosa at first and a grounder back to the mound follow, and after he avoids the broken barrel of Josh Thole's bat, Strasburg fields and throws to first for a 1-2-3 second and 2.0 scoreless on the board. Mets' shortstop Ruben Tejada sends a high hopper to third and by Steve Lombardozzi in the Mets' third for a double and the first hit off Strasburg tonight. NY starter Dillon Gee gets a two-strike down to move Tejada to third, but Strasburg gets outfielder Adam Loewen looking with a filthy 2-2 bender outside, and 9, 10, 11 pitches later finally gets Danny Murphy to groundout to second to complete the Nats' starter's third scoreless frame. 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K's, 56 pitches 35 strikes for Strasburg according to reports out of Florida.

Up 0-2 after two big looping curves, Strasburg misses with another bender outside and a 97 mph fastball inside, then after Bay fouls off a fastball, he pops one up for the first out of Strasburg's fourth inning on the hill. Ike Davis pops a 1-0 pitch up, down the line in left for Brett Carroll to catch. Strasburg just misses with a 1-2 curve outside, (it was a strike, Ump!) then Lucas Duda goes with a 97 mph 2-2 fastball outside on the next pitch and connectings, pushing it out to left and over the wall for an opposite field blast and a 1-0 Mets' lead. Strasburg gets a groundout to short on the next pitch he throws, but he and the Nats are down a run at 1-0 after the fourth. 70 pitches, 44 strikes, unofficially.

Strasburg came back out for the fifth, got a quick groundout to second from Josh Thole, got Ruben Tejada looking with a 1-2 fastball inside and got a line drive to center from the opposing pitch (Dillon Gee) for out no.3 in a 1-2-3 frame. Strasburg's Line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 K's, 85 pitches, 54 strikes in start no.4 of the Spring.

• Wrap It Up: 1-0 New York after five. The Nationals load the bases with two down in the sixth. Ian Desmond works a walk in a nice at bat against big Mets' right-hander Frank Francisco. Danny Espinosa lines a single to short. Rick Ankiel loads the bases with an infield single, but Wilson Ramos sends a sharp grounder to short that Ruben Tejada handles. Bases left loaded, 1-0 NY in the 6th. 2-0 NY after six when Ryan Mattheus gives up a two-out walk, two-out RBI single and a two-out double before recording the third out of the frame. Henry Rodriguez walked one but completed a scoreless frame in the seventh. Craig Stammen continued his strong Spring with a scoreless eighth, but the Nationals end up getting shut out by the Mets. 2-0 Final. BOX SCORE.