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Game 2: Nats at Cubs

Apr 7, 2012, 2:25 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
It's a much warmer day at Wrigley Field, where the wind is now blowing out.

CHICAGO — Wow, what a difference a couple of days makes. After a brutally cold and windy Opening Day, the conditions at Wrigley Field have taken a 180-degree turn. Temperatures will be up into the 60s by mid-afternoon, and the breeze has shifted and is now blowing out to left field.

That should mean a little more offense in Game 2 than there was in Game 1. That also puts some added pressure on Gio Gonzalez to keep the ball down in the zone and in the park. The Nats' new No. 2 starter makes his debut, looking to build off a strong spring training performance.

Right-hander Matt Garza is on the mound for the Cubs, and he'll see the exact same lineup Ryan Dempster saw on Opening Day. No changes for Davey Johnson, so that means Adam LaRoche (who, quite frankly, looked terrible striking out in his first three at-bats before drawing a key walk in the eighth inning) is once again hitting cleanup behind Ryan Zimmerman.

Plenty of updates to come all afternoon, so please check back often…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at CHICAGO CUBS
Where: Wrigley Field
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Sunny, 60 degrees, Wind 12 mph out to LF

NATIONALS (1-0)
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

Read more »

285 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    I am nervous in the service, as my dad phrased it.

  2. Mick - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    now that's an inning and I called it, lol

  3. Dave - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    We stupidly tried to see if HD was back on (no) and missed Lombo's RBI. Lots of offense all of a sudden.

  4. Mick - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    lol natsfan1a

  5. Wally - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Mick – I meant it the other way, meaning I am superstitious (and nervous Nellie too). The 'we should win' stuff violates all of my superstitious bones, and makes me even more nervous!

  6. MicheleS - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    All of this with 2 outs.. NO QUIT in these guys!

  7. TimDz - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    THAT was a FUN inning!

  8. JaneB - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    I love to watch Clip march up the mound when he starts.

  9. ehay2k - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Umm — MASN HD is out, even after rebooting my set top box – in the other room, so I wouldn't miss the game ;-)But I think MASN is not showing the game. Instead of the Nats Cubds game, it appears to be an instructional video on how to play moneyball. Just guys taking pitches, then driving the baserunners in.Hope the game comes back on because the Nats were down 4-2 and I think super closer marmol is coming in.

  10. The Fox - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Looks like Davey's got a good idea how to manage this team.

  11. SayNoToClint - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Allright 1a, I'm onboard. Low def until further notice.

  12. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    lol, ehay2k.

  13. JaneB - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    I would go with Lidge too.

  14. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Low-def it is, SayNo. ;-)

  15. Mick - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    forgot about Henry…maybe with 3 run lead go with him?

  16. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Getting MASN HD just fine on mlb.com … ;)

  17. Wally - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    I guess Clip is in both of Davey's A and B bullpens?Stammen was huge today, also. Funny, I thought both Tracy and Stammen would be prime candidates to go when Storen and Ankiel/Morse came back, but not so sure any more.How do you give up Tracy, especially?

  18. Mick - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    this HP ump is TERRIBLE!!!!

  19. Section 222 - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Definitely go with H-Rod. A 3-run save situation is the perfect spot for him.

  20. Dave - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Whoa. Clipp's making me nervous.

  21. baseballswami - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Dave – me, too.

  22. Wally - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Reed Johnson is bugging me.

  23. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    This Reed Johnson person is rather annoying. :-)

  24. JaneB - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    I'd have been a wreck with anyone but Clipp. That sealed it..low def for me.

  25. MicheleS - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    PHEW.. Clip got him swinging.

  26. RickH - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Clippard!!!

  27. Wally - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Hah, you owe me a coke, 1a!

  28. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Atta way, Clip!

  29. SayNoToClint - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    No reason to worry with Clip on the mound. It's only the second game it just took a little longer.

  30. ehay2k - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Nice battle. Glad Clip won it!

  31. JaneB - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Yikes! Henry! I want the spring training, PFB Henry today, please.

  32. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    lol, Wally, will have to get you at a future gathering.

  33. Dave - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Hot Rod for the close.

  34. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    There's a reason people like me and Steve M dissapear during games after scrolling through the angst that occired until the 8th.Yoi guys wear me out.Bring on Henry!!!!

  35. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    How about that bench!!!!

  36. The Fox - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Wally,Clip is in Davey's A,B,and C bullpen.Hopefully his arm won't fall off.

  37. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    uh huh, you're caaaalm as can be. ;-)

  38. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    LaRoche!

  39. baseballswami - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Adam LaRoche – just wow.I surely hope this is the guy we are going to see finally.

  40. UnkyD - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    LaRoche SUCKS!!!! Off to quite the slow start…….heheAnd 3 RBI from our putrid bench…. How 'bout it , JayB?!

  41. The Fox - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    If this is LaRoche's slow start whats he do when he warms up?

  42. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    One from column A, one from column B.

  43. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Werthless may be the worst free agent signing since Barry Zito.

  44. Dave - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    When people want to rag Werth for not hitting, they should think of his game-tying RBI walk Thursday. Plenty of season left.

  45. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    Thursday, or yesterday? Wait, FP has me all confused now.

  46. Jim Webster - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    I must recant my Laroche bashing from Wednesday. Looks like an entirely different guy today. Go Adam.

  47. Smatt1001 - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    settle down MPHrod…

  48. Joe Seamhead - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Mick said…maybe I am paranoid, but I am not a huge Lidge fan, why not have Tyler finish up the last 2We do not want to burn him out the first week of the season. Also, Davey tries very hard to keep every one feeling like they are contributing.

  49. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    HRod is going to make us crazy again – looks like bad Henry today. Hope McCatty has a short leash on him. Is Lidge warming up?

  50. Erik - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    I really wish Ramos would stop backhanding those balls in the dirt.

  51. Wally - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Henry just hit 100. Followed by 99. Then the crazy slider.

  52. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Yeah, Lidge is up. Two out now.

  53. Wally - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Way to go, boys. Great effort. Stammen was huge, picking up Gio.Crazy slider to end the game by Henry.

  54. The Fox - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Jim Webster,This is Adam's walk year (Nat's have an option). That is all the motivation he needs.Also Davey really likes left handed good fielding 1st baseman, see Keith Hernandez and Rafael Palmeiro.Nats WIN!!!!

  55. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Powder River?

  56. Smatt1001 - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    and MPHrod did! Nats win!!

  57. Eugene in Oregon - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Did folks see the batter flinch on that last pitch?

  58. JaneB - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Hen! Ry!Just when I think I can't love these guys anymore…

  59. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    @Anon 3:46…if you don't know these guys, you are not a true Nats fan..wake up and realize you have a competitive team in front of you…I'm sick and tired of all the negativity around here…its a long season, but Rizzo and Co. have put us in the best possible position to contend this year while not screwing up our future. They have done a great job and know what they are doing, the product on the field speaks for itself

  60. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    He gone. Game over.

  61. Section 222 - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    If HRod has it figured out, he is going to be a weapon this year. Wow! High heat, and that last breaking ball was something to behold.

  62. Smatt1001 - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    natsfan1a,I think it was supposed to be "power" river…

  63. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    thanks, that makes more sense

  64. JaneB - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Another PFB Curlie W

  65. Joe Seamhead - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Anonymous said…HRod is going to make us crazy again – looks like bad Henry today. Hope McCatty has a short leash on him. Is Lidge warming up?———————————————–Yeah, right, that was really bad Henry. A real Rizzo "fail" on the Willingham trade.

  66. Erik - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Storen better watch out…that was UNHITTABLE filth!!! Kimbrelesque if you will!!! Great win today and congrats to Stammen for saving the day and to Davey for managing his best game as a Nationals manager.

  67. natsfan1a - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    see y'all later – gotta do some stuff

  68. The Fox - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Yes Eugene that was nice!This is not your nervous 2011 Henry Rodriguez.He had a great Spring and his command is much better. Might be able to take over the closer position if he gains enough confidence.

  69. Section 222 - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    BTWCN GYFNG PFB!

  70. Wally - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Ok, now it is Kristina-time.

  71. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Sorry _ I panicked when he walked someone! Good Henry, Good Henry!!!

  72. ehay2k - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    If that was Bad Henry, I'm OK if we never see Good Henry.That was just flat out nasty stuff. Does anyone else think DJ is a much better manager for guys like HRod and Stammen? They just seem so much less afraid to fail. Riggleman didn't seem to tolerate "youthful mistakes", for lack of a better phrase.

  73. FS - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    OMG 272 comments! How will I ever finish reading it all?Great commentary markZ. Really helpful if you miss a game. Glad to see Nats on top.

  74. baseballswami - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    13 K's??? Our bullpen was outstanding today!

  75. The Fox - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    All you Anon's need to relax there are still 160 games to go. I don't think some of you are going to make it. As for Gio he really didn't pitch that badly. He couldn't throw his fastball for strikes because the ump was not giving the low part of the plate to either team. He pitched more like a AL pitcher he needs to be more aggressive. I bet he goes after the Reds on Thursday.

  76. Cwj - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Go Nats!!I for one did not expect that comeback in the 8th.The Cubs hitters looked helpless against Henry after the walk.

  77. baseballswami - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Seems like our pitchers do better when they pitch to contact and get ground ball outs. Even Stras did that on Thursday. Well, except for Henry, of course. We have certain hitters that need to slap it on the ground, too, instead of swinging for the fences. So, who is still o-fer? DeRosa and Werth?

  78. waddu eye no - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    anon 3:46 – thanks! look y'all! even the anonymi are getting positive!gyfng

  79. waddu eye no - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    oopsi mean anon 4:30 talking about 3:46under the kook aid influence

  80. NatsLady - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Didn't see much of the game, but saw when Davey pulled Gio. Toughest decision–is the pitcher not making it, or is he just about to figure it out? Fortunately, we've got this GREAT bullpen, so Davey has choices…Gio, we still love you. Next time.

  81. Bueno Bryce - Apr 7, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Wow, that ALR dude sure sucks, really wished we had cut him after his poor showing on opening day.

  82. jeffwx - Apr 7, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    back from the pub….Hats off to Nats and all who believe….Gotta Believe

  83. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 8, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    "Powder river." A tough fastball is "powder river."

  84. natsfan1a - Apr 8, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Thanks, sec3. One of the things I love about baseball is the rich lexicon. I'd not heard that one before.

  85. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 8, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    You don't hear that one much anymore. Not sure of the origin.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 57 --
ATLANTA 71 65 7.0
MIAMI 68 68 11.0
NEW YORK 63 73 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 73 15.5
Through Saturday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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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