Washington Nationals allows 29 runs in exhibit loss because ‘everything is just a little bit within reach’

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla – Washington Nationals fans have reason to doubt 2022 will be their year. They have 29 more of them on Wednesday.

Throwers Anibal Sanchez and Cade Cavalli allowed 10 runs each while the Nationals players were beaten 29-8 by the St Louis Cardinals in a spring practice game – a laugh even by standards exhibition.

Washington manager Dave Martinez said: “Things just got a little out of hand. “They’ve had some hits where they have the magic wand today.”

The Cardinals scored 15 goals in the eighth inning, a save starting against Cavalli.

St. Louis has never scored more than 12 runs in an inning in a regular game of the season. The outburst was so painful that when Washington’s Gilbert Lara hit three laps at the end of lap eight, the scoreboard controller quickly handed out the reward to the Cardinals – perhaps due to poor memory.

The home runs of Paul DeJong, Paul Goldschmidt and Yadier Molina were among the 26 hits from St. Louis.

Over 131 years in the National League, the Cardinals’ regular-season record was 28 runs in a game, against Philadelphia in 1929. Records dating back to 1996 show spring practice. Theirs hit 18 runs.

Hopes aren’t particularly high in Washington a year after the franchise traded Max Scherzer, Trea Turner and Kyle Schwarber ahead of the trade deadline. However, no one saw this kind of loss coming.

Sanchez allows 10 runs on 12 hits and one walk in four innings. In the second inning, the 38-year-old threw so many throws that Martinez eliminated him, only to have him back in the game in the second inning.

“I’ve thrown 90 of those, and I’m still healthy,” Sanchez said. “So that’s a good thing right now. I’m just working to get ahead in numbers. I don’t want to be scared of everything that happens today and try to get around the strike zone.”

Cavalli, Washington’s top prospect, tried to stay upbeat after allowing 11 runs, 10 earned, in 2 thirds.

“I went to war and today I lost,” Cavalli said. “I’ll do my best. I’ll learn from it, work and everything will be fine.”

Sanchez and Cavalli are being considered for the final spot in the Washington rotation.

In Sanchez’s only other game at the Grapefruit League, he threw two thirds goalless, two and three without surrendering a shot.

Cavalli, who can also make the team as a pain reliever, allowed three wins in six innings in two spring outings while beating nine.

“Once you see where the game is going, it’s more important to get them up and running, count their pitches and build for their next start,” said Martinez.

Both pitchers are expected to start one more time before Washington splits.

Away from home, there’s good news from Washington’s pitching point of view. Stephen Strasburg held his first bullpen session in what Martinez called “some time” before Wednesday’s game.

Strasburg is returning from surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome.

“We were a bit behind because he felt like his mechanics were off,” says Martinez. “We wanted to back him up a bit so he feels right. But today he played well.”

Strasburg’s next ride will also take place on the cowshed grounds. There is no timetable for right-handers to appear in a game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/33632887/washington-nationals-allow-29-runs-exhibition-loss-things-just-got-little-bit-hand Washington Nationals allows 29 runs in exhibit loss because ‘everything is just a little bit within reach’

Luke Plunkett

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