Spring Training Game #9 on MASN

We are at the midway point today in Spring Training camp, and only at the ninth game. In exactly three weeks, the Grapefruit League portion of Spring Training will wrap up, and the Washington Nationals will fly to Washington, D.C. after their game with the Mets that day in Port St. Lucie. Today, the Nats welcome in a road crew from the Marlins. Zach Davies makes his second start for the Nationals in a game broadcasted on MASN.

Yesterday’s game was overshadowed by the Daylen Lile injury after he chased a flyball and went up and over the outfield wall in an attempt to catch the ball. He was taken off on a stretcher with his neck in a brace, and gave a thumbs up. He was able to move his arms and legs, and was taken to a local hospital. After the game, manager Dave Martinez called it a lower back injury as he was set to take a CT scan. More to follow on that.


Baseball is a game, and certainly takes a back seat to a player’s health. Lile’s teammates huddled in the shallow outfield saying their prayers, and after a 15-minute stoppage in play, the umpires gave the Nats the option of stopping the game. For Lile, a player who missed all of the 2022 season for UCL surgery on his throwing elbow, he roared back in 2023 to climb the prospect charts into Top-10 rankings — this is the cruelty of sports when injuries happen. Hopefully Lile is going to have a speedy recovery. The game went on with few highlights, and the Nats lost 4-2.

In the game, the Nats offense only managed to amass four hits, and three walks. Riley Adams had two of the hits, and James Wood two of the walks. All of the top prospects got into the game, but there were not enough baserunners to get to four plate appearances at the eight-spot in the batting order. Robert Hassell III never got an at-bat as the game ended on a strikeout of Elijah Green in his only at-bat, and in Green’s defense, the ball was low and outside. It seemed, given the Lile situation, that the homeplate umpire might have been trying to speed up the game.

For Josiah Gray, he got in 3.0 innings of work at 48 pitches (27 strikes) and gave up his first run of Spring Training. Unfortunately, he struggled some with control and surrendered two walks, and made some adjustments. He was pleased with his outing.

“I went to sort of an abbreviated stretch delivery, and I think focusing on the start of the delivery has allowed me to stay more stacked — stay more stable throughout the delivery, and really give myself a chance to throw strikes.”

“I think there were times last year where I’d be pitching well out of the stretch, and then go back to the windup and throw four balls in a row.
I think putting in that work with the abbreviated delivery has been successful so far.”

— Gray said after his outing

Gray said he has also been having better bullpen sessions and feels strong from his offseason workouts. His fastball was hitting 95 mph on the radar gun which showed that he was well ahead of where he was last year. He said he leaned on his breaking balls too much last year and wants to establish his fastball, and work on his changeup a lot, and mix in the cutter that was a new pitch for him last year. Gray acknowledged that “there’s always more work to be done.”

Today’s first pitch is at 1:05 pm at the CACTI Park of the Palm Beaches.

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