Apr 12, 2011, 8:27 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
If the rain holds off, Livan Hernandez will face Joe Blanton tonight at Nationals Park.
When you're going up against the four-time defending NL East champions, you'd like to have your best lineup available. Unfortunately, that's not going to be the case for the Nationals tonight. Not only is Ryan Zimmerman on the DL with a strained abdominal muscle, Adam LaRoche is out with a mild groin strain and Michael Morse is out with flu-like symptoms.
So the heart of the Nationals' lineup includes Matt Stairs, Wilson Ramos and Laynce Nix. Jerry Hairston is at third base today, but Jim Riggleman said that will be a revolving door between Hairston, Alex Cora and Morse. Jesus Flores, just called up from Class AAA Syracuse, will be used mostly as a pinch-hitter. Riggleman said Flores will also get some work during batting practice at first base, just in case he's needed there at some point.
The forecast tonight doesn't look good, but it doesn't look bad enough for the Nats to call the game off in advance. In other words, bring your parka and be prepared for some delays.
Updates to come…
PHILLIES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM)
Weather: Chance of rain, 56 degrees, Wind 20 mph in from RF
SS Ian Desmond
CF Rick Ankiel
RF Jayson Werth
1B Matt Stairs
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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