Mar 4, 2012, 5:30 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg will be on the mound today at Space Coast Stadium.
VIERA, Fla. — We've all been blessed so far this spring with beautiful weather, the best I can remember in the eight years the Nationals have trained here. Until today, that is. It was 75 degrees and sunny at 7 a.m. Then Mother Nature unleashed her fury on everyone, doused us with about 2 inches of rain, kicked up some fierce winds and dropped the temperature more than 20 degrees. Seriously, it was 53 degrees on the scoreboard here as Davey Johnson spoke in the dugout at 9:45 a.m.
The skies have cleared, but the wind is still blowing straight out to center field at a vicious rate. In other words, if you hit the ball into the air today, there's a reasonable chance it's going to fly over the fence.
So that's the challenge for Stephen Strasburg as he takes the mound for his first outing of the spring. This won't be nearly as big a deal as the last time the phenom toed the rubber at Space Coast Stadium (during his rookie spring in 2010). Now, it's just about getting his work in and building himself up for a possible Opening Day start at Wrigley Field (Davey Johnson says he'll make that announcement sometime next week).
Strasburg will likely go two innings today, throwing 40-45 pitches. He'll be replaced by Tom Gorzelanny, then Ryan Mattheus, Tyler Clippard, Brad Lidge and Drew Storen. Most of the regulars are in the lineup, the only exceptions being Mark DeRosa at first base and Jason Michaels and Brett Carroll manning the two corner outfield spots.
Plenty of ways to monitor today's game: Bob and F.P. are here for the TV broadcast, Charlie and Dave are back for the call on the radio, and of course I'm here with updates and analysis throughout…
HOUSTON ASTROS vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: MASN (live), MLB Network (delayed at 4 p.m.)
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM)
Weather: Partly cloudy, 58 degrees, Wind 26 mph out to CF
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
DH Michael Morse
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 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.
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