After Gio Gonzalez's start today, the talk did not center on Gonzalez's seven strikeouts in five innings, the performance that made him feel "95 percent" ready for his first Nationals regular season in six days. No, it centered on the single he flared into shallow center field, Gonzalez's first hit since high school.

Gonzalez started joking about his impotence as a hitter all spring, having come from the American League's Oakland A's. And he had shown no flashes of competence at the plate all spring. When he got his first hit today, he ran to first and rooted his right foot on the corner.