Derek Lowe shuts down the Nats

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Derek Lowe was absolutely dominant last night, retiring every batter he faced save one who reached on an error, striking out six and inducing five groundouts. This (a) gives me hope that his little toe blister problem is past him; and (b) bolsters my belief that he’s poised for a bounce back season. Then I realize that the performance came against a Nats team that is now 0-11 in spring training play and that optimism is tempered somewhat.

I wish someone could tell me which spring training stats matter and which ones don’t.  I’m gettin’ all itchy for the results of baseball games to matter again.

Puig takes swing at Hundley, both ejected as benches clear

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig took a swing at San Francisco Giants catcher Nick Hundley and both players were ejected during a benches-clearing scrap in the seventh inning Tuesday night.

Puig swatted his bat in frustration after fouling off a pitch from Tony Watson, and Hundley said something to the mercurial slugger while still in his crouch. Puig turned around and walked toward Hundley, the catcher stood up, and they stood face to face and argued for a moment before Puig shoved Hundley twice.

That brought players out of the benches and bullpens. Puig and Hundley were momentarily separated, but Puig ducked around teammates, coaches and manager Dave Roberts before reaching back to hit Hundley. He smacked Hundley with an open hand across the front of his catcher’s mask.

The players were then separated again for good. After discussing with both managers, the umpires ejected both Puig and Hundley.

It was the fourth career ejection for Puig, who had also got into a skirmish with Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner in 2014.