Aug 26, 2010, 7:35 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Bryce Harper takes his first round of BP at Nationals Park.
There's a game to be played tonight, and there's a pretty important storyline to it with Jordan Zimmermann returning to the mound 12 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery. But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention what's taking place on the field right now.
Bryce Harper, who will be formally introduced in a couple of hours, is taking his first round of batting practice at Nationals Park. And I've got to say, it's quite a show. The 17-year-old laid down a couple of token bunts to get started, then intentionally struck several line drives toward center and left-center fields. Then he finally attempted to pull the ball for the first time … and reached the third deck down the right-field line. Yeah, that's right. Harper has hit about five other home runs during five rounds so far. Impressive.
Anyways, we'll have more on Harper later. As for tonight's game, Zimmermann's return is obviously the big story. If the 24-year-old needs any evidence of what he can do in the wake of Tommy John surgery, he needs only look at the right-hander who will oppose him tonight: Chris Carpenter. The Cardinals ace had the same surgery in 2007. Since then, he's 31-9 with a 2.52 ERA.
The slumping Nats lineup gets a shakeup tonight. Ian Desmond, one of the few hot hitters right now, will bat fifth for the first time. Nyjer Morgan gets bumped down to the 2-hole, with Adam Kennedy leading off. Interesting.
Check back throughout the evening for updates…
CARDINALS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Mostly sunny, 82 degrees, Wind 6 mph in from LF
2B Adam Kennedy
CF Nyjer Morgan
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
NL EAST STANDINGS
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Nationals' 9-game win streak is "absolutely epic"
- Are Nationals finally playing to full potential? (VIDEO)
- Mo'ne Davis and company have one more chance
- Young guns bat, slide Nationals to ninth-straight win
- Matt Williams projects when Ryan Zimmerman will return
- Span tabs Nats teammate & rival to do ice bucket challenge
- Williams debates keeping streak alive or long term health
- VIDEO: Bryce Harper's hair is on fire and he plays the ukulele
- Asdrubal Cabrera fitting in with Nats in first few weeks since trade
- Phillies' A.J. Burnett will 'probably' retire after this season