Stephen Strasburg struck out five batters in his 2016 Grapefruit League debut, but it was one of those "if not for that one pitch" outings. Washington's 27-year-old right-handed starter left a first-pitch curve up for Detroit catcher Bryan Holaday, who hit a two-run blast out to left in the second for the only runs Strasburg allowed.
Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker talked after the outing about what he saw from the Nats' '09 no.1 overall pick.
"He just made one pitch that got jumped, you know what I mean," Baker said. "He had them eating out of his hand when he was throwing that first pitch breaking ball, and then -- you can't do it all the time -- but then maybe he didn't think the kid was going to be swinging at first pitches, and that's the only bad pitch he made. He threw some electric pitches out there, I mean easy. Sometimes you get jumped."
"I threw a lot of really good pitches," Strasburg told reporters, "and just one pitch, but that's to be expected. Just going to keep working on the selection, keep working on fine-tuning everything.
"Kind of struggled throwing in to righties a little bit, kind of yanking it a tad, but curveball felt really good, fastball I was throwing good as well."
Strasburg gave up a leadoff single and a one-out walk this afternoon in the first innings of his second Spring start, but New York Mets' DH Dominic Smith sent a grounder to short to start and inning-ending 6-3 DP.
A 1-2-3 second inning gave the Nationals' righty two quick, scoreless frames, but the third inning started with a line drive double to right by old friend Roger Bernadina.
Bernadina took third one out later, when Alejandro De Aza grounded out to second, and scored on a two-out RBI single to center to make it 1-0 Mets.
Strasburg worked around a two-out walk to Wilmer Flores and stranded two in his final inning of work.
Strasburg's Line: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 54 P, 35 S.
• 20/20 BUFFALO!!: Wilson Ramos made his Grapefruit League debut this afternoon after having LASIK surgery last week. A routine test revealed an issue which the veteran backstop quickly remedied and after some time off to recover he was back in the lineup this afternoon catching Stephen Strasburg. He went 0 for 2 with two LOB before he was out.
• #ICYMI: If you didn't see it today, you should definitely check out Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes' profile of Nationals' bullpen coach Dan Firova:
Nationals bullpen coach Dan Firova, renowned Mexican League manager, and his serendipitous journey back to the bigs: https://t.co/o5fpHKMzf1— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) March 11, 2016
• #CHOMP: Did you know that former Nationals' outfielder Roger Bernadina signed a minor league deal with the Mets this winter? He was in right field for New York this afternoon. He doubled off Strasburg to start the third.
• Danny Espinosa walked and stole second in the Nats' third, (still hitless though, not that it matters, etc.)
• Scott Sizemore loaded the bases with a single off Mets' lefty Steven Matz in the Nats' third, improving to 7 for 12 on the Spring as he tries to earn himself a spot on the Nationals' bench.
Brian Goodwin, the Nationals' 2011 1st Round pick, followed with an RBI single that tied things up at 1-1. Chris Heisey drove in two more with a single off Antonio Bastardo as the Nats jumped out to a 3-1 lead.
• Oliver Perez tossed a quick, 1-2-3 frame after taking over for Strasburg in the fourth.
• Michael Brady, the "other pitcher" in the Trevor Gott/Yunel Escobar deal, is destined to become a force in the Nats' bullpen because that's how Rizzo and Co. work. He worked around a one-out single by Ruben Tejada for a scoreless frame.
• Felipe Rivero, the "other pitcher" in the Jose Lobaton/Nate Karns deal, worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless sixth inning. Rafael Martin worked a scoreless seventh inning.
• Back-to-back-to-back singles by Scott Sizemore, Tony Campana and Jason Martinson loaded the bases in front of Logan Schafer in the Nationals' seventh, and a groundout brought Sizemore in to make it 4-1 Washington.
• After Nick Lee worked a scoreless eighth, retiring the Mets in order, Trea Turner walked with one down, stole second after almost getting picked off, then scored on an RBI double by Chris Bostick, 5-1. Bostick and Reed Johnson scored on a two-run single by Tony Campana to make it 7-1. Campana scored on a double to center by Jason Martinson, 8-1 Martinson scored on an RBI double by Logan Schafer... hold on while I go edit the eleven places that I have to retype the score. Stupld Mets...
• Jonathan Papelbon took the mound to a "smattering" of boos from "10%" of the crowd according to reports on Twitter from the Nationals beat writers. A walk, single and walk later the bases were loaded with no one out. A sac fly brought in the Mets' second run, 9-2. Another walk reloaded the bases and two runs scored on a single to right by John Mora, 9-4. That was it for Pap. The crowd cheered when Dusty Baker came out to get him. Time to change the score again...
• Tyler Mapes got what should have been an inning-ending groundout to short, but an error by Trea Turner let run no.4 of the ninth score. 9-5 final.