Apr 17, 2012, 7:38 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Gio Gonzalez takes the mound tonight against the Astros at Nationals Park.
The Nationals faced only one left-handed starter in their first 11 games, Mets ace Johan Santana, so Davey Johnson hasn't had much reason to consider platoons and lefty-righty matchups. Tonight, though, the Astros send Wandy Rodriguez to the hill, so Johnson had some decisions to make before filling out his lineup card.
As planned, Jayson Werth will slide over from right field to center field, sending Rick Ankiel to the bench. Werth also will hit cleanup. Xavier Nady and Mark DeRosa take over the two corner outfield positions. Johnson had planned to sit Adam LaRoche against lefties and use DeRosa at first base, but LaRoche has been so productive at the plate (and has stayed healthy) that Johnson doesn't feel like he needs a breather.
Gio Gonzalez, meanwhile, makes his third start of the season (his second at home) and will look to pitch the first-place Nationals to their seventh win in eight days. Plenty of updates and analysis to come…
HOUSTON ASTROS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Mostly clear, 69 degrees, Wind 9 mph in from LF
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
CF Jayson Werth
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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