Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Chien-Ming Wang's velocity was better today, but his command was off.
Chien-Ming Wang faced live hitters for the first time this spring, and the results were mixed. Wang's velocity appeared to be better than it had been in recent bullpen sessions, but his command was all over the place.
That's probably not all that surprising when you consider that Wang hadn't faced live batters since the instructional league in October, but it's further evidence the right-hander still has a ways to go before he's ready to pitch in actual game competition.
When Wang did find the strike zone, he was hit a few times. Ian Desmond tagged a one-hopper to the left-field fence on his first swing. ...
Power met power when Bryce Harper faced Cole Kimball in one of the live BP sessions that drew plenty of interest from team officials and media members alike.
Harper got a hold of a pair of Kimball heaters. One short-hopped the fence in center field. The other cleared the fence in right-center, a laser of a home run that drew a few oohs and aahs from the assembled masses. ...
The highlight of the day, though, came when Drew Storen squared off against Jayson Werth. There's a back story, of course, with these two: Werth clubbed a walk-off
The two had joked about it since Werth signed with the Nationals, but Storen had been waiting for this first head-to-head battle since the
Werth nodded his head at Storen and called out: "Now we're even."
Storen's reply: "Can't let you get too comfortable up there."
When the session was over, Werth walked past Storen and said: "I don't know if I would've respected you if you hadn't thrown that first one in there."
Nice moment between two former competitors who are now teammates. Shortly after Werth signed with the Nats, the two guys talked about their big confrontation in Philly.
"Oh yeah. It was like one of the first things we talked about," Storen said. "He asked me: 'Why'd you throw a fastball there?' It was good. It was good closure for me.
"It was interesting to hear his perspective on it, because obviously I've played it out in my head and what I thought he was looking for. I thought I could get a fastball by him there. I told him our scouting reports are a little different on what he likes to do late in counts. He was pretty funny. He asked why I didn't just throw a slider again. So he actually ended up giving me more confidence in my slider.
"In all seriousness, that's a big learning thing for me. You get a guy like that who's a big-time hitter like that, and you know what he's looking for late in the game? That's all part of the learning process. That was huge for me."