4:41, END 10: It’s a tie. The Nats rallied in the 10th, but couldn’t break the 2-2 score. Eury Perez hit a one-out single. Matt Skole ripped another up the middle, but Perez was thrown out trying to go first-to-third. Corey Brown hit a dribbler halfway to the mound, but Marlins pitcher Raudel Lazo fired into the dirt at first base. Skole scampered to third. Carlos Rivero flied out to the warning track in center to end it.
4:22, BOT 9: Drew Storen made his spring debut in the ninth and could not hold a one-run lead. The Marlins’ reserves — all wearing numbers in the 60s or higher — greeted him with two ropes for singles. Storen eventually gave up an RBI grounder and escaped with no further damage. It’s tied at two.
3:41, MID 7: Yuni Maya making it look easy. Three scoreless innings for the crafty Cuban. Nats still up, 2-1.
3:22, BOT 5: Well, the rain delay lasted a little longer than we expected. And Anthony Rendon is having a day. The Nats’ top prospect belted a two-run opposite field homer off Ryan Webb, a right-handed reliever who had a 4.03 ERA last year. Davey Johnson let Rendon go off on a high note, subbing in Matt Skole for him at third base. Nats lead, 2-1, with Yunesky Maya on the mound.
2:00, BOT 4: A friendly scout passed along some good info Jordan Zimmermann’s start. He hit 93-95 miles per hour with his fastball, and his change came in at 83-84. He wants his change to be around 85-86 mph, so that’s actually an even disparity. Zimmermann threw four changeups out of his 43 pitches. Considering he threw changeups on 2.2 percent of his pitches last year, that was clearly an emphasis.
1:58, BOT 4: A sudden rain storm delayed the game. Bryce Harper smoked a groundball single up the middle, making him 3 for 5 on the spring. Make your best “midseason form” quip. It looks like this rain won’t last more than a few minutes — the rain may stop before they get the tarp on the field.
1:50, MID 4: Easy inning for Zach Duke. He struck out Kearns flailing at a big, backdoor curve. Brantly flied to shallow center, and Downs flared a soft liner to second. His curve was really sharp, especially for the first time out.
1:43, END 3: Denard Span is on the board — he smacked a two-out single past drawn-in Figgins at third. Kurt Suzuki also singled in his first at-bat of the spring, a liner to left. Lombardozzi grounded into a double play, and Anthony Rendon stung a one-hopper right at the shortstop. 1-0, Fish.
1:37, MID 3: Jordan Zimmermann is done for the day. His third inning didn’t go as smooth as his excellent first two. Chris Valaika roped a leadoff double over Tyler Moore’s head in right field. Zimmermann then walked Bryan Petersen, which clearly upset him. Chone Figgins dropped a sac bunt to third — Anthony Rendon made a nifty, barehand scoop and a strong throw to nail him at first. Chris Coghlan rolled an RBI grounder to first, and Zimmermann got out of the inning with another grounder. He threw 43 pitches. Zach Duke on next.
1:26, END 2: Henderson Alvarez is awfully impressive. Weak groundouts from Chad Tracy and Danny Espinosa, and Ian Desmond struck out looking at a fastball outside on the black. Still 0-0.
1:22, MID 2: Jordan Zimmermann had a dominant second inning. Rob Brantly hit a high chopper up the middle, and Ian Desmond made a tremendous play, charging the ball and snagging it on a tricky short hop before making a quick, strong throw.
Scott Matt Downs struck out swinging at a 2-2 pitch, which looked to be a changeup — a good development if so. Nick Green hit a tapper back to Zimmermann. He’s only thrown 23 pitches, so he should be back out for a third inning.
1:15, END 1: Nothing doing for the Nats. Denard Span struck out looking against Henderson Alvarez. Anthony Rendon popped to center. Bryce Harper smoked a single through the right side, making him 2 for 3 this spring. Tyler Moore flied to deep center.
1:08, MID 1: A very smooth start for Jordan Zimmermann. Greg Dobbs flared a two-out single to center field, which Denard Span mishandled a little, but without penalty. Otherwise, Zimmermann got weak groundouts from Chone Figgins, Chris Coghland and Austin Kearns. That’s cleanup hitter Austin Kearns. Twelve pitches, eight strikes for Zimmermann.
PREGAME: Mayor Vincent C. Gray is among the crowd at Space Coast Stadium for the Nationals’ Grapefruit League home opener. He hit on a few topics, including the ability of Nationals Park to hold an All-Star Game even without enhanced development around the stadium: “I think it’s already a facility that should attract the All-Star Game.” Gray also expressed excitement about the youth baseball academy set to open in Ward 7 this fall.
We’ll have updates from Jordan Zimmermann’s spring debut in this space. You can listen to Charlie and Dave on 106.7. And here is this morning’s coverage: Strasburg returns to work I Lineups I Garcia shut down I Bray working on mechanics