You know that old adage about pitchers being ahead of hitters early in the spring? Well, the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves chucked that right out of the window Saturday, as the Nats topped the Braves 16-15 at the Nats home spring opener in Viera.
The Braves pounded out 25 hits and the Nats had 12, though neither team homered in the affair. The Braves scattered seven doubles in their arsenal, the Nats four.
The best news about this one was that Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann was unscathed by the offensive fireworks. The 2013 All-Star went two innings and allowed one hit and no walks, striking out one. Zimmermann faced six batters and induced four ground ball outs in the process.
The rest? Not as good. Prospect Matt Purke was clobbered in 1.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits and two walks. He struck out one in his spring debut. Blake Treinen followed and was worse. In 1.0 IP, he gave up six earned runs on six hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out two. Veteran reliever Josh Roenicke was next in line and he didn’t stem the bleeding, allowing four earned runs on six his in two-third of an inning. He didn’t walk or strike out a batter.
On the offensive ledger, Denard Span went 2 for 3 with a run and Brian Goodwin walked twice and scored three runs. Mike Fontenot had four RBIs, Tyler Moore went 1 for 2 with three RBIs, Brock Peterson drove in two and scored twice and Chris Snyder did the same.
The Nats had their problems on defense as well, with five errors in the game. Anthony Rendon and Fontenot both had a throwing error, as did Sandy Leon. Prospect Michael Taylor had a drop and throwing error in centerfield.