Apr 22, 2010, 5:05 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals look to take three of four from the Rockies.
There may not be a better pitching matchup all season in the major leagues than the one we'll see this afternoon at Nationals Park.
OK, that may be a bit of a stretch, because few would consider Livan Hernandez vs. Ubaldo Jimenez the best matchup of the year. But let's give these two right-handers their due respect. Hernandez has an 0.00 ERA this season and is coming off a four-hit shutout of the Brewers. Jimenez, meanwhile, is coming off a no-hitter against the Braves.
You know how many times in the last 90 years a pitcher coming off a no-hitter faced an opponent coming off a shutout? How about once. That was May 17, 1996, when the Marlins' Al Leiter (coming off a no-hitter) faced the Cubs' Jim Bullinger (coming off a 2-hit shutout). And you know who was manager of the Cubs for that game? Why, none other than Jim Riggleman. (All info there courtesy Nats PR, via the Elias Sports Bureau.)
So Jimenez will be attempting to duplicate Johnny Vander Meer's back-to-back no-hitters from 1938, still the only pitcher in baseball history to do that. (And, in my opinion, the one record that absolutely will never be broken. Seriously, who's going to throw THREE no-hitters in a row?)
The Nats won't exactly be fielding their best lineup against Jimenez. Ryan Zimmerman is out with his right hamstring injury. Josh Willingham has the day off as well.
Check back for updates throughout the game…
ROCKIES AT NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:35 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 73 degrees, Wind 12 mph out to RF
CF Nyjer Morgan
RF Cristian Guzman
LF Willie Harris
1B Adam Dunn
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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