Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Willie Harris was called out on a close play at the plate in the second.
Scott Olsen makes his first start of the spring, his first appearance of any kind in a game since undergoing surgery last summer for a torn labrum. The left-hander says he's 100 percent healthy, though he's admittedly a bit rusty and hasn't been sharp every time he's thrown in the bullpen. Now that he's facing real hitters for the first time, the pressure is ratcheted up a tad for a guy who needs not only to show club officials he's healthy but also that he can be effective.
Meanwhile, Cristian Guzman makes his first appearance at shortstop this spring following shoulder surgery in September. Manager Jim Riggleman said he believes Guzman is 100 percent healthy, but he's easing his way into things and may not uncork some throws from deep in the hole quite yet.
Finally, Josh Willingham makes his spring debut, serving as DH today. No health concerns with Willingham. He just was a late arrival to camp following the birth of his son, Ryder, who had a few complications but is doing fine now. Riggleman said Willingham will probably start in left field tomorrow.
Check back throughout for in-game updates...
MARLINS AT NATIONALS
Space Coast Stadium, Viera, Fla.
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV/Radio: WFED-1500 AM
Weather: Mostly sunny, 70 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to CF
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Cristian Guzman
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
DH Josh Willingham
LF Willie Harris
C Ivan Rodriguez
RF Elijah Dukes
2B Pete Orr
(P Scott Olsen)
LF Chris Coghlan
CF Bryan Peterson
RF Mike Stanton
3B Jorge Cantu
C Ronny Paulino
1B Logan Morrison
2B Hector Luna
SS Emilio Bonifacio
P Ricky Nolasco
11:04 a.m. -- The Tigers will be sending a fairly decent roster to Viera tomorrow for GSSSTD, including five members of their projected Opening Day lineup: Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Guillen, Magglio Ordonez, Scott Sizemore and Austin Jackson. Right-hander Rick Porcello is scheduled to start.
11:45 a.m. -- Because this is a split-squad game for the Marlins, Fredi Gonzalez is back in Jupiter. So managing this game up here: Jack McKeon, still looking spry (and still smoking a cigar) at age 79.
12:07 p.m. -- If you're in town and have nothing else to do tomorrow, tickets are still available. Based on the number of media members expected to crash the party -- and the lack of overflow space in the press box -- you might just luck out and get to sit next to one of us in the stands!
12:37 p.m. -- Following Olsen's two innings today, the Nats will send the following pitchers to the mound: Collin Balester, Doug Slaten, Tyler Clippard, Eddie Guardado and Brian Bruney.
12:41 p.m. -- And looking ahead beyond tomorrow's GSSSTD ... Garrett Mock will start Wednesday against the Cardinals in Jupiter, followed by J.D. Martin. At the same time, Livan Hernandez will throw a simulated game back here in Viera. That would seem to be the final step toward working Hernandez into the actual rotation.
1:17 p.m. -- Really ragged first inning for Scott Olsen. He threw five straight strikes to get started and was victimized by a bloop single over Cristian Guzman's head and a broken-bat single off Ryan Zimmerman's glove. But then Jorge Cantu blasted an 81-mph pitch (changeup?) over the left-field wall for a three-run homer. Two more singles gave the Marlins five hits in the frame. Velocity-wise, Olsen was consistently around 86 mph, topping out at 88 mph. Total of 22 pitches, 15 strikes. Marlins jump out to a 3-0 lead, with the Nats now coming to bat.
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Josh Willingham homered in his first at-bat of the spring.
1:59 p.m. -- For the guy who asked about Nyjer Morgan, he just roped a sharp base hit through the right side of the infield and stretched it into a double for his first hit of the spring. Slid headfirst, though, a no-no.
2:14 p.m. -- Collin Balester is getting rocked, but he escaped without suffering any major damage thanks to a nice 5-4-3 double play turned by Zimmerman, Orr and Dunn. Nats still trail 4-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth, having allowed 10 hits already.
2:35 p.m. -- Balester was allowed back out for a third inning. Bad move. He was just yanked after allowing two more runs and retiring only one of five batters faced. Jesse English now on to mop up the mess.
3:09 p.m. -- While we were all talking to Scott Olsen -- who said he felt better today than he has since the surgery -- Ryan Zimmerman apparently blasted a solo homer to left. Marlins currently lead 7-2 in the seventh. I'll have a new post up shortly on Olsen, so check the homepage for that.
3:38 p.m. -- Another double-digit performance from the Nats' pitching staff. With four runs (and counting) in the eighth against Eddie Guardado, the Marlins now lead 11-2. That's now five of six Grapefruit League games in which the opposition has scored at least 10 runs. On the bright side, Ian Desmond (playing center field) made a nice catch on a flyball that required him to turn around and race back and to his left.
3:59 p.m. -- As we head to the bottom of the ninth -- still 11-2 Marlins -- I've got a full analysis of Scott Olsen's start (including quotes from the lefty) up in a new post. Check it out.