Doug Fister's debut as a Washington National took place this afternoon in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium. It lasted the expected two innings, with the 6'8'', 30-year-old right-hander giving up a run on two relatively weak hits that fell in for Miami in the second.
In the first, Fister got a called third strike on Marlins' leadoff man Matt Angle, who took a 1-2 two-seam fastball from the Nationals' starter. A 2-2 sinker that dove down inside got Donovan Solano swinging for out no.2 and then new Fish catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia popped a 1-2 fastball up over the infield to end a quick, 17-pitch, 1-2-3 frame.
Ian Desmond stole his second base of the spring after reaching on a swinging strike three/passed ball that got under and by Saltalamacchia. Desmond, 28, stole 21 bases last season, same as in 2012 after a career-high 25 in 2011. His steal in the first this afternoon led to the Nationals' first run of the game as Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos followed with back-to-back singles that advanced and scored the Nats' shortstop for a 1-0 lead early on Marlins' lefty Brad Hand.
Fister "missed" inside with a 3-2 pitch to Marlins' outfielder Marcell Ozuna, putting the leadoff man on in the top of the second, but he got a sharp, chest-high, one-hop grounder to second baseman Jeff Kobernus out of Jeff Baker and a slickly-turned 4-6-3 DP. Derek Dietrich doubled to right field on a broken bat fly that died in the grass in the corner, and the Marlins' second baseman scored on a bloop single to center by Reed Johnson that fell in between Kobernus and a late-charging Eury Perez. 1-1 after two.
Fister's line: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 30 P, 19 S, only 1 groundout. #WTH.
Marlins' first baseman Ed Lucas hit a towering home run to left field off Nats' right-hander Chris Young in the third, giving the Marlins a 2-1 lead.
Wilson Ramos was 2 for 2 today after drilling a single to center field off Marlins' lefty Brian Flynn in the bottom of the fourth innning.
Adam LaRoche hit a total of three home runs in 142 plate appearances against left-handers last season, putting up a disappointing .198/.254/.313 line vs LHPs after he hit 11 homers in 188 PAs vs left-handed pitchers in 2012 while posting a .268/.319/.506 line. His first home run of the spring went out to deep right field off of Flynn, bringing Ramos in to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead after four innings.
Craig Stammen gave up a run on two hits in the fifth inning, surrendering a leadoff single by Greg Dobbs and a two-out RBI double to by Donovan Solano that Scott Hairston couldn't catch up to, 3-3 in the fifth.
Nate McLouth singled to start the Nationals' half of the fifth, and he was running when Jeff Kobernus lined an RBI triple into the right field corner. Ian Desmond's hard-hit RBI groundout to second brought Kobernus in as the Nats took a 5-3 lead over the Fish.
Sammy Solis was throwing a 91-92 mph fastball (according to MASN's gun). The Nats' 25-year-old, 2010 2nd Round pick used an 80 mph curve to get a fly to center from Derek Dietrich after he surrendered a leadoff single by Jeff Baker. Solis got a 6-4-3 DP out of Reed Johnson to end the top of the sixth with the help of a diving play by Zach Walters, who tossed to Jamey Carroll and on to Brock Peterson.
Solis threw one by first on a weak grounder toward the mound, but with some help from his defense (on a play at the plate), managed to pitch around the error and two singles by the Marlins to complete his second scoreless inning of work in the seventh. Still 5-3 Nationals.
Marlins' lefty Edgar Olmos gave up a one-out single by Zach Walters and back-to-back one-out walks to Koyie Hill and Jhonatan Solano, loading the bases for Brock Peterson in the seventh. A bases-loaded walk forced in a run and Matt Skole drove in two more with a line drive double to center off Edgar Wittgren, who replaced Olmos. 8-3 Nationals, and 9-3 on a sac fly from Michael A. Taylor.
Gabriel Alfaro threw an 84 mph 2-2 slider outside by Marcell Ozuna in Alfaro's first outing of the spring. The 30-year-old right-hander, a one-time Toronto Blue Jays' prospect, signed a minor league deal with the Nats after two seasons pitching for the Guerreros de Oaxaca in the Mexican League, where the 6'3'' pitcher was (10-5) with 52 saves, a 2.58 ERA, 48 walks (3.35 BB/9) and 163 Ks (11.37 K/9) in 110 games and 129 IP.
Alfaro gave up a two-out single by Marlins' prospect Austin Nola in the eighth, but Zach Walters made a diving stop and a strong throw on a grounder to short by Joe Benson to help the right-handed reliever out of a scoreless frame. Still 9-3 Nationals.
Steven Souza, Jr. doubled and scored when Zach Walters tripled to right field. 5 for 5, two doubles and a triple for Walters so far this spring.
Jerry Blevins gave up a single in a scoreless ninth in his own Nationals debut.
10-3 Nationals final.