VIERA, Fla., Feb. 27 -- There were no fans in the stands and all the players stood in the same dugout. But the players involved in the Washington Nationals' first intrasquad scrimmage of the spring understood that even if the stats didn't count, the evaluations did.
"That's a game situation right there," right-hander Jason Bergmann said. "There's a little more work involved, a little more adrenaline."
For the record, the Nationals tied themselves Tuesday, 4-4. Right-hander Joel Hanrahan pitched the first two innings for one side and allowed a run, and highly touted left-hander Matt Chico pitched the first two for the other side and gave up two runs, a run-scoring double to Ryan Zimmerman and a solo homer to outfielder Michael Restovich, who is trying to win a job as a reserve.
Hanrahan, who has spent his entire career in the Los Angeles Dodgers system, said he was well aware of the stakes for each pitcher competing for a spot in the rotation. "They're going to watch everything you do," he said.
Infielder Ronnie Belliard hit a two-run homer off right-hander Beltran Perez, who struggled early but made an adjustment and pitched better. Manager Manny Acta, who will stage another of these games Wednesday, said, "We saw what we wanted to see."
Nats on TVThe Mid-Atlantic Sports Network announced Tuesday that it will carry 99 Nationals games on the primary MASN cable station and 62 on the new MASN2 network. The schedule gives the Nationals the same number of games on MASN as the Baltimore Orioles, whose owner, Peter Angelos, also owns the network. The Nationals also have one game, July 21 against Colorado, on Fox. Thirty of the MASN-produced games, all on weekends, will appear on WDCA (Channel 20) in the Washington market. Those games will appear on MASN in outlying markets such as Baltimore and Richmond.
Nothing to AnnounceTom Ward, the Nationals' senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said Tuesday that no decision had been made as to who the club's public address announcer at RFK Stadium would be. Sources have said that Jim Clarke, who served in that capacity in 2005 and '06, would not return. Clarke, who was considered a candidate for the job, did not go through a formal audition, as other candidates did.
"He did not need to audition," Ward said. "Everybody knows what he can do. He's been doing it for two years. But we're looking at everything. Jim knows that. He was told that. And we still haven't made a decision."
But It's Early
Shortstop Cristian Guzman, he of the .219 batting average in 2005, got a hit in his first at-bat in the intrasquad scrimmage, in which he served as a designated hitter because he is recovering from shoulder surgery. He later struck out and continued to say he will be ready for Opening Day.
vs. Dodgers at Vero Beach, 1:05 p.m.