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Washington Nationals drop 3-2 decision to Miami Marlins: Tanner Roark faces Fish in Jupiter...

Washington is 0-2 so far in Grapefruit League action. When, oh when, will Nationals’ skipper Dave Martinez get a win?

Washington Nationals v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

This afternoon’s game was a radio-only broadcast from Jupiter, FL’s Roger Dean Stadium, not that we’re complaining about having Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler back on the air in the nation’s capital. It does, however, when combined with GameDay’s less-than-totally-reliable live box score, make it difficult to follow the games.

Here’s what we did pick up from what ended up being a 3-2 loss for the Nationals...

WE ARE DIFO: Wilmer Difo started things off by taking a walk from Marlins’ starter Jacob Turner, and the Nationals’ utility man was on the move when Victor Robles singled in the next at bat. Difo went first-to-third on the hit, then scored on a throwing error when the right fielder, Monte Harrison, made an ill-advised and poorly-executed throw behind the runner, hoping to catch Robles off first.

The throw bounced and ricocheted off new Nationals’ first base coach Tim Bogar’s foot, allowing Difo to score, 1-0.

Roark from “stretch”: Charlie and Dave noted that Roark had an abbreviated delivery when he took the mound for his first Grapefruit League outing this afternoon, and the Nationals’ radio team wondered if the changes might have been inspired by Stephen Strasburg and his decision to ditch the wind-up last season.

Strasburg, of course, noted when Alex Wood of the Dodgers cited him as a model for his own decision to pitch exclusively from the stretch, that he’s hardly the first to make the change.

“I don’t try to set trends,” Strasburg told reporters, as quoted by ESPN.com’s Eddie Matz.

“I don’t think I’ve started anything new. There’s other guys that have done it before me. I did it to try to be more consistent.”

Roark’s first outing of the Spring ended after two scoreless innings in which he gave up one hit, struck out three, and threw 33 pitches total, 18 for strikes.

Realmuto still a Marlin: J.T. Realmuto, oft-mentioned as a potential target for the Nationals this winter, though he remains with the Marlins, got Miami on the board with a solo home run off Edwin Jackson in the home half of the fourth, 1-1.

Sierras Everywhere: Moises Sierra, a non-roster invitee in camp with the Nats this Spring, after playing in the Marlins’ minor league system in 2016-17, singled with one out in the fifth, took second on an error by pitcher Brett Graves, and scored from second, yes, from second, on a sac fly to center by Reid Brignac, when Magnerius Sierra, no relation, made a diving catch but couldn’t throw it back in in time, 2-1 Nationals.

Bullpen Time: Nationals’ relievers Jefry Rodriguez and Bryan Harper gave up two hits and a run each in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively, as the Marlins rallied to tie it up, and take the lead late in the game. For Harper, it was his first live outing since undergoing Tommy John surgery. Trevor Gott tossed a quick, scoreless eighth, but the Nationals came up empty in the top of the ninth. Final Score: 3-2 Marlins.