4:09, END: The Nats snap their 0-10-1 stretch by winning, 12-0, and lashing 17 hits.
3:12, END 5: Strasburg is finished. Despite giving up no runs, it wasn’t a great appearance — he threw a lot of balls against a largely minor league lineup. His line: 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 5 K, 84 pitches, 46 pitches. Chad Durbin now on the mound.
2:57, MID 5: Strasburg gave himself an easy, 1-2-3 inning, striking out Mike Baxter to end up. His pitch count (83) after going to many three-ball counts probably won’t let him pitch a sixth inning, but we’ll see.
2:40, MID 4: Strasburg had to work a little again in the fourth, allowing a hit and a walk. (Gary Cedarstrom has a tight zone today.) He added another strikeout, though, and kept his shutout going. Strasburg has given up five hits and a walk, striking out four.
2:29, END 3: The Nats added two more runs in the third inning, upping their hit total to 12. Danny Espinosa is 3 for 3 with three runs. All nine Nats starters have reached base. It’s 10-0.
2:11, MID 3: Strasburg faced a jam with two men in scoring position with no outs, but he escaped with his shutout intact. Hampson singled on a chopper that died over the mound and Tejada poked a double to right-center. Daniel Murphy flied to center, and Bernadina’s strong throw home kept Hampson at third. Strasburg drilled Jason Bay on the hand (Bay later left the game) to load the bases. Strasburg got Davis to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. Still 8-0, Nats.
2:00, BOT 2: The Mets pulled Harvey in favor of Justin Hampson, who hasn’t fared much better. Espinosa singled and Hampson struck out Zimmerman and Werth, but then issued three straight walks to DeRosa, Flores and Bernadina to force in a run. Lombardozzi struck out swinging, but the wild pitch got away from catcher Lucas May, who air-mailed the throw to first, bringing in two more runs. Nats up, 8-0.
1:45, MID 2: Strasburg turned it up against three minor league batters, striking out Adam Loewen and Lucas May in a 1-2-3 inning. Roger Bernadina made a nice diving catch in left-center to start the inning. 5-0, Nats.
1:35, END 1: The damage continued until Strasburg rolled a single through the right side, making him 2 for 2 this spring. Desmond struck out looking to end the inning. Strasburg takes a 5-0 lead to the mound in the second.
1:29, BOT 1: Even if it’s against Matt Harvey, a right-hander likely to begin the year in Class AA, the Nationals have snapped out of their offensive funk. Zimmerman drove in Espinosa with a double into the right field corner. Then Jayson Werth took perhaps his best swing as a National. He obliterated a home run clear out of Space Coast Stadium. Three batters later, Roger Bernadina added the third homer of the inning with a wind-aided blast to left. It’s 5-0.
1:21, BOT 1: Here’s an excellent sign for the Nats: Ian Desmond led off the first with a homer to left field off Matt Harvey, and Danny Espinosa followed, batting left-handed, by smoking a double into the right field corner. The Nats’ first two hitters have been improving as the spring has worn on. It’s 1-0, still none out.
1:13, MID 1: Stephen Strasburg is making his second-to-last start of the spring, his first since the Nationals anointed him the opening day starter. Ruben Tejada and Jason Bay both his soft opposite-field singles, but Strasburg got out of the inning unscathed. Ike Davis swung over a changeup before he struck out looking at a four-seamer on the outside corner. Vinny Rottino lined out to right to end the inning.