3:41, END 9: The Nats lose, 6-2, after scoring a run in the ninth. Brad Lidge pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with a strikeout, giving him 11 Ks and zero walks this spring in 10 innings.
2:44, BOT 6: Chad Tracy put the Nationals on the board with a solo homer deep to right. Espinosa smoked a line drive, but it sailed right into Matt Carpenter’s glove at third. Jayson Werth drew a walk. Tracy has both of the Nationals’ hits today. 6-1, Cards.
2:37, MID 6: This has become anawfully ragged game for the Nats. Balls bouncing off gloves, relay throws sailing wide, no offense, etc. The Cards scored three in the sixth off Lannan, making it 6-0. The Nats have one hit, a single by Chad Tracy.
2:05, MID 4: Strasburg is probably done for the day. He struck out Matt Carpenter, allowed a single to Tony Cruz and retired the next two batters with a flyout and a grounder. He’s thrown 67 pithces, so he’s probably done for the day. His line: 4 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 K
1:49, MID 3: Despite a four-pitch walk to Carlos Beltran, Strasburg made it through the third with only nine pitches thanks a 4-6-3 double play turned by Lombardozzi and Espinosa. He’s thrown 50 pitches, 31 strikes. I take back what I said earlier: The Nats are actually giving him 60-70 pitches.
1:37, MID 2: Strasburg labored in the second, allowing three runs while throwing 25 pitches. Having thrown 41 already, he may be done for the day. Strasburg allowed two singles to start the inning, and then got an out only after a nine-pitch at-bat against Erik Komatsu, whom the Cardinals acquired from the Nats in the Rule 5 draft. Daniel Descaslo smoked a two-run double after Strasburg fell behind him 2-0, and he scampered to third when Strasburg did not backup home plate and Espinosa made an inaccurate throw. Strasburg to a weak groundball by Jake Westbrook. Lombardozzi charged and threw home, but a wild throw forced Jesus Flores to catch the ball to his right and throw to first for the out, not tagging Descalso. It’s 3-0, Cards.
1:21, END 1: Good news: Danny Espinosa made contract. Bad news: He grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Quick inning for the Nats.
1:16, MID 1: Stephen Strasburg allowed an infield single in the first, which included an awkward play by him. Jon Jay hit a weak grounder down the line. Adam LaRoche made the play behind the base, but Strasburg started late to cover first. LaRoche’s throw sailed high and Strasburg leaped to catch it. With Jay sliding in, a lot could have gone wrong, but Strasburg seemed to come away without issue.
Otherwise, Strasburg struck out Rafael Furcal and Carlos Beltran, both swinging at changeups. He threw 11 strikes in 16 pitches.
1:03, PREGAME: Stephen Strasburg will make his last start of the spring training, a tuneup for opening day in which he’ll throw only 40 to 50 pitches. After today, next stop, Wrigley. The Nationals are facing Jake Westbook. The Cardinals brought Rafael Furcal, Carlos Beltran and Lance Berkman, among a few other regulaers. It’s also the final game of the year at Space Coast Stadium.