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NATS LOSE GAME, MAYBE MORE

[March 10th] -- The Nationals continue to stretch the old axiom that spring traning games just don't matter. Their record now stands at 1-9-1, even though manager Frank Robinson is now playing his regulars more and more. Before you looking for a bridge to jump off of, don't take the record too seriously. The world champion Chicago White Sox are in last place in the American League, and the recently eviscerated Florida Marlins are in first in the National League with a stellar 9-1 record.

Jon Rauch game up a grand slam home run to Charlton Jimerton and the Astros withstood a Daryle Ward led 9th inning comeback, beating Washington 8-6.

Charlton Jimerton? C'mon, John!

There were a few good signs. Brandon Watson got another three hits, though Frank was peeved as his swinging at the first pitch in the 5th inning. At this point, I'd have to guess that the team's opening day outfield will be Ryan Church, Brandon Watson and Jose Guillen (if healthy). Matt LeCroy got another couple of hits as well.

On to other news. Shortstop Cristian Guzman will be sidelined for the next week or so with inflamation and bursitis in his shoulder. He got a cortisone injection for the pain today. Now, the Nationals have been a little like the old Soviet Union lately when providing information to the press. A "bump" is really a broken bone. A "sore wrist" is really damaged ligaments and tendons. So when the team says he'll be out " five to seven days," I just have to wonder. What, a few weeks maybe? The team doesn't seem to worried now that Royce Clayton is this year's Jamey Carroll, and this year's Cristian Guzman just might be the same as last years.


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