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NATS BATS STILL IN HIBERNATION

[March 8th] -- It's only spring training. Funny, but I keep saying that.

The St. Louis Cardinals, just like the Marlins yesterday, jumped on the Nationals' starting pitcher in the first inning, winning in extra innings, 7-4.

Kyle Denney, one of Jim Bowden's many off-season reclamation projects, gave up a 3-run home run to Brian Daubauch in the first, but settled down and retired the last 10 batters he faced. Steve Watkins continues to be lights out this spring, pitching two innings, giving up only one hit and striking out three.

The problem continues to be the hitting. For the first time in several games, manager Frank Robinson started smany of his starters, including Marlon Byrd, Jose Vidro, Nick Johnson, Ryan Zimmerman and Cristian Guzman.

They went a combined 3-18. Ouch.

Still, the spring is early, and players are sill practicing more than they are playing to win. We can look at the team's 1-6-1 record and not bat an eye. However, Frank needs to start trying to win pretty soon.

WBC NOTES: Gary Majewski came in relief of Al Leiter during Team USA's game against Canada with runners on second and third with one out. He have up a two run single and another base hit before finally retiring the side.


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