The Least You Should Know:
- Shaun Marcum started for New York, tossed two innings, and surrendered three runs.
- Zack Wheeler limited the Nationals to one hit and one walk over two innings. He struck out two.
- Ruben Tejada slugged a two-run home run in the first inning off Stephen Strasburg.
- Jordany Valdespin drove in a run with an RBI single in the fourth.
- Collin Cowgill doubled in the eventual winning run, then scored from second base on an error by first baseman Micah Owings.
- Darin Gorski and Cory Mazzoni each threw two scoreless innings.
Wheeler looked like he may have been overthrowing at the onset, but he really settled in nicely. The stadium gun clocked Wheeler's fastball as high as 98, and from where I was behind home plate, you could see the big break on a few of his off speed pitches. It's merely the opening sentence on the first page of the initial chapter in Wheeler's story, but consider obstacle number one cleared.
Prior to The Wheeler Show, Marcum allowed an RBI double to Chris Marrero and a two-run bomb to Chris Synder in the second. Marcum was simply working on his fastball and change today -- he didn't throw any sliders -- so there's no cause for alarm yet. But as we get deeper into Spring Training, it'll be interesting to see how his command comes along.
We've heard about the hustle Cowgill brings to the table, and it was fully on display when he scored the team's fifth run. If this team is going to exceed expectations, they'll need a grinder or two (along with a ton of above average production), and it looks like Cowgill could provide that spark.
Interesting to see Bobby Parnell pitch the ninth. As Gary noted on the telecast, this early in spring, the closer usually throws earlier in the game. But if Parnell is going to take the job and run with it, Terry may want him to adjust to the feel for the onset. So far, so good, as Parnell worked around an error and an infield single to post a scoreless frame.
Tomorrow, the Mets will divvy up for split squad action. The first group will travel to Kissimmee to take on the Houston Astros, while the rest will remain in Port St. Lucie to square off against the University of Michigan.