Apr 8, 2012, 3:25 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals go for the three-game sweep this afternoon at Wrigley Field.
CHICAGO — It's been four years since the Nationals last opened a season 3-0. (We'll ignore for now the part where that 2008 club proceeded to 56-102 the rest of the way.) Today, Davey Johnson's team has a chance to complete a sweep of the Cubs, which would certainly be a nice way to open a season in which expectations are far greater than they were back in 2008.
Johnson has one tweak to his lineup for this one: Xavier Nady is starting in left field, with Mark DeRosa returning to the bench. Interestingly enough, Wilson Ramos is behind the plate for his third straight game. I'll be curious to see how often Davey gives Ramos a breather and puts Jesus Flores back there.
Jordan Zimmermann makes his season debut on the mound, hoping to duplicate his stellar start in this very ballpark last summer … well, except for the last two batters he faced. On that August afternoon, Zimmermann was cruising along until he served up back-to-back homers to Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena with two outs in the seventh.
Plenty of updates to come on another gorgeous afternoon at the Friendly Confines…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at CHICAGO CUBS
Where: Wrigley Field
Gametime: 2:20 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, Ch. 50, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 61 degrees, Wind 17 mph LF to RF
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
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.
- Gio Gonzalez starts strong, but Astros top Nationals
- Bryce Harper repping new eye black company
- Gonzalez faces Astros under the lights in Viera
- Should Desmond be the Nationals' No. 2 hitter?
- Strasburg settles down, Nats rout Cardinals 11-1
- Strasburg leads Nationals against Cardinals
- Skole among first round of cuts at Nats camp
- Rosenthal pain-free, Wacha pitches well for Cards
- Zimmerman, LaRoche homers lift Nationals over Atlanta
- Nationals split-squads face Braves, Cardinals