CSN’s Mark Zuckerman just reported that Stephen Strasburg is on a 45 pitch limit today, and is currently at 31 after the first inning. Strasburg came out of the gate gunning, hitting as high as 97 against the very first batter he faced. The key for Strasburg will be letting that home run go, remembering that it’s still just the first game of the Spring and that the wind is also a big factor in today’s game.
Continuing with the theme of pitching, Zuckerman also reported that Craig Stammen is in the pen warming up, so he will likely be the next pitcher for Washington.
The Nationals bench players really showed their stuff in that second inning, as a double by Chris Marrero and a homer by non-roster invitee Chris Snyder gave the Nationals the 3-2 lead. Both are unlikely to make the roster, though a good Spring from Marrero could make him a potential trade candidate in March.
Bryce Harper looks like he’s added some weight, and his bat speed still looks top-notch. The key for him will be to build on his outstanding rookie season last year, hopefully bringing that batting average up into the .280-.285 range.