8:16, BOT 7: The Nats lead, 3-2, after Craig Stammen allowed one run in two innings of work. Danny Espinosa walked in his fourth at-bat.
7:31, END 5: Detwiler really pounded the zone: 50 strikes in 69 pitches. Danny Espinosa struck out for the third time tonight, giving him 11 strikeouts in his last 21 at-bats.
7:24, MID 5: Ross Detwiler is likely done. He made a nice statement he deserves some starts this year. His line: 5 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K. He threw four 1-2-3 innings, allowing base runners only in the third inning. Nats up, 3-1.
7:13, END 4: After a quick inning by Detwiler, the Nats scored two against Johnson. The first four batters reached base — a walk by Werth and three straight singles by LaRoche, DeRosa and Nady. Wilson Ramos brought home a run with a double play, and Detwiler struck out. 3-1, Nats.
6:59, END 3: Not to harp on Espinosa, but he is really in a bad way right now. He struck out swinging at three pitches, not coming all that close to any of them. Espinosa’s strikeout problem has worsened lately, with 10 whiffs in 20 at-bats. He’s swung and missed a ton.
6:52, MID 3: Detwiler ran into trouble, allowing a run on three hits and a walk, including a hard single up the middle by Johnson. But he did well to limit the damae to one. With the bases loaded and two outs, Stanton popped to foul ground. Espinosa made a long run and a nifty basket catch. He’s not letting his struggles at the plate affect his fielding. It’s 1-1.
6:36, END 2: Danny Espinosa sat next to Davey Johnson for much of the last inning, having what looked like a pretty intense conversation. Espinosa struck out in the first, giving him 21 Ks compared to five walks in 61 spring at-bats. Meanwhile, Mark DeRosa hit a leadoff double and never adanced.
6:30, TOP 2: A really impressive inning from Detwiler. He struck out Giancarlo Stanton with a high fastball, then got two soft fly balls to center. Six up, six down against the full Marlins lineup, with strikeouts of Bonifacio and Stanton.
6:19, BOT 1: Perfect start for the Nats. Ross Detwiler fired a 1-2-3 inning, including one strikeout, and then Ian Desmond unloaded on Josh Johnson’s very first pitch of the game. He ripped a home run to right, making him 14 for his last 33 and upping his spring average above .300. 1-0, Nats. It didn’t stay perfect — Danny Espinosa struck out for the 21st time in 61 spring training at-bats.
6:05, PREGAME: Before the game, Mike Rizzo expressed confidence the Nationals’ current state. “I like where we’re at,” he said. “I think we’re playing our best baseball right now.” They’ll get a test tonight against Marlins ace Josh Johnson. The game can be seen on MASN. Keep it here for occasional updates.