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REPEAT AFTER ME: IT'S STILL EARLY .... IT'S STILL EARLY ....

[March 4th] -- Yes, it's still early, but a win would be nice anytime now. Yes, the games are meaningless, but a win would be nice anytime now.

I'm afraid there were fewer positives to consider this game. Ryan Zimmerman went 2-2 and is now batting .800 for the spring. He also - perhaps - will have a long term deal by this afternoon. Jesus Flores got another hit, and Kory Casto got his first hit of the year. But Mike Restovich looked bad striking out, as did Larry Broadway, who swung at a pitch so far outside that it took a good play by the catcher to snare it.

John Patterson pitched well, allowing a run in 2 innings of work (though the 3 hits he gave up weren't hit very hard). By the way, I like his clean shaven look this spring compared to his "shaggy" appearance for much of last season. Saul Rivera, Jon Rauch, Ray King and Billy Traber combined to pitch 5.2 innings of shutout ball. Ryan Wagner didn't look too sharp in the 9th, and Joel Hanrahan looked downright horrid in his 1/3rd of an inning, giving up 3 hits and 5 runs. I don't care if it was only the second game of the spring ... an ERA of 135.00 is hard to explain away.

I wonder how Hanrahan must have felt after leaving the mound yesterday afternoon. He signs as a free agent last winter and was promised a fair shot at making the starting rotation. He works out all winter, prepares the best he can, and is given his chance in just the team's second game.

And then he blows it. Big time. I don't see how he can be feeling "okay" this morning. With a dozen hopefuls for four slots, his chances had to go from slim to almost none.


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