Nationals Spring Training Report: Recap of Games from 3/24-3/27, Plus Nats Name Opening Day Starter

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Photo: @MLB

By Michael Marzzacco

Here are some recent highlights from Spring Training action as the Nats continue to prepare for Opening Day. Dusty Baker announced on Monday that Stephen Strasburg will be the Opening Day starting pitcher. Strasburg will make his fourth career Opening Day start on Monday April 3rd vs. the Marlins at Nationals Park

3/24: Split squad vs. Cardinals L 1-3 

Dusty Baker challenged closer candidate Koda Glover by sending him out in the top of the sixth for relief but was hit hard by the Cardinals bats, giving up a spring high three runs in 1 2/3 innings with one strikeout. Jeremy Guthrie started on the mound for the Nationals and went 4 1/3 innings without allowing a hit while walking two and striking out two. The Nats scored their lone run in the sixth on an RBI single by Jayson Werth that scored Corban Joseph.

Split squad at Marlins L 0-3

The Nationals fell to the Marlins 3-0 in Jupiter. In the loss, Clint Robinson went 2-for-3 with a double and a single.

3/25: at Astros W 4-1

Tanner Roark and Daniel Murphy returned from the World Baseball classic, where Team USA took home the title. Roark got the start and held the Astros to one run and three hits while striking out five batters over the course of 5 1/3 innings.

The Nats got on the board when Jayson Werth hit a sacrifice fly in the third to center field that scored Murphy. Washington added to their lead in the fourth when Trea Turner made it to first after second baseman Jose Altuve tried to test the speed of Ryan Zimmerman from third base. Zimmerman beat Astros catcher Brian McCann‘s tag and went around him to slap his hand on the plate.

Murphy would follow with a double into right field to score Matt Wieters and Turner.

3/26: vs. Astros L 1-5

Gio Gonzalez had a rough outing on the mound, giving up five runs on six hits over five innings of work. He threw 91 pitches, 58 of which were strikes. The Nats lone run came in the first inning, where they took a 1-0 lead. Trea Turner led off with a double and advanced to third on a fly out by Daniel Murphy. Bryce Harper drove him home with a sacrifice fly into center field.

3/27: at Mets W 6-0

Max Scherzer had a solid outing on the mound in his latest spring start. He went five innings, striking out seven while walking three. He didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning, finishing the afternoon allowing just two hits.

Scherzer struck out Tim Tebow twice. The first strikeout came on three pitches.

The Nats began their 6-0 rout of the Mets in the top of the third. Trea Turner homered over the left field wall. In the fourth, Bryce Harper homered into the berm in right field and Ryan Zimmerman doubled home Stephen Drew with a base hit into left field. In the fifth, Turner hit his second homer of the afternoon into left field. In the eighth, Harper hit his Spring-leading eighth homer of the season, a two run bomb with Jayson Werth over the right field wall. Here is video of both of Harper’s homers:

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