Time was, if Stephen Strasburg gave up a home run in the first inning of the first game of spring training, the rest of the Nationals dugout would have been ready to brace for impact.

"I think last year at this time, if he would've done what he did in that first inning, we would have seen gloves flying, cups flying," shortstop Ian Desmond said. "He was pretty fairly composed today."

Consider it another important step in Strasburg's progression as a big-league pitcher. After getting roughed up by the Mets for two runs on three hits in the first inning this afternoon, the fourth-year right-hander composed himself and cruised through a 1-2-3 second inning, ending his first game appearance since last September's shutdown on a high note.

As he's come to learn with experience, results in late-February don't mean squat.