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Nats vs. Astros – 3/5/13

Mar 5, 2013, 4:27 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images
The Nats face the Astros today at Space Coast Stadium.

There are a couple of notable debuts for the Nationals in their game today against the Astros. First off, look who's starting behind the plate for the first time in 10 months? Yes, Wilson Ramos will catch for the first time since tearing his ACL. He got a couple of at-bats the other day and smoked the ball. Now we'll see how he does calling a game, blocking pitches and throwing to bases.

Not listed in the lineup below but listed among the relievers scheduled to pitch today is Rafael Soriano. This will be the new closer's first appearance of the spring, his Nats debut delayed both by his late arrival to camp and the fact he told Davey Johnson he only needs 8-to-10 innings of work before Opening Day.

Johnson has a full lineup of regulars out there today, and I suspect the batting order we see here is how it will look on April 1 (with Ryan Zimmerman obviously at third base instead of DH and Kurt Suzuki behind the plate instead of Ramos). He'll be going up today against an old friend and protege, Bo Porter, who brings his new, American League Astros to Viera for the first time. It's going to be a challenging season (or two, or three) for Bo, but it sounds like he's got the full support of ownership, which understands it's embarking on a long-term rebuilding program.

Enjoy the game the conversation…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. HOUSTON ASTROS
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
TV: None
Radio: Astros radio via MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Mostly sunny, 73 degrees, Wind 10 mph in from RF

NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
DH Ryan Zimmerman

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  1. sjb - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Yes it does seem that Davey's starting a near-regular season lineup is as much a sing of regard for Bo as anything else (helps that the Nats are home of course). Also seems the Astros are starting close to what passes for them as a regular lineup (including an old friend, Justin Maxwell, who it actually looks like will be in the Astros starting outfield.)

  2. ExposedinDC - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Love Bo's attitude……different situation but I think he would have made an excellent replacement for Davey, when that day comes.

  3. SCNatsFan - Mar 5, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    As an aside, anyone know of any Nats players who are on instagram? I know Gio is but couldn't find any others.

  4. UnkyD - Mar 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    (Sigh…) no homeboy radio…again…

  5. timeless46 - Mar 5, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    would have liked to have seen Ankiel start. He seems to be having a good spring for Houston.

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 5, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    UnkyD, these Houston radio guys aren't horrible and they also aren't drunk. Already made the connection from Justin Maxwell to Washington DC and past US Presidents and they seem to be prepared on some of the Nats bio's.

  7. UnkyD - Mar 5, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Glad to hear it, Ghost… Not much chance to listen, anyway…:)

  8. JaneB - Mar 5, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    I am happy for Bo, but I wanted him for our future Skipper, too. He made a huge difference in turning our team around. So this is one instance where, if we don't win I won't be unhappy. As long as no one gets hurt.

  9. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 5, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    UnkyD, they did just say Espinosa is expected to have a big year and is healthy for the first time in years and acknowledged he did rehab his shoulder.They may have mixed up their notes on that one although Danny is certainly primed to step up his game this year.

  10. baseballswami - Mar 5, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Peacock is pitching! Now we need Ank in the game for a true Nats reunion.

  11. NatsLady - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    If we have a snow day tomorrow, I'm going to do some more work on the first pitch post. A blogger in Detroit did a great analysis that I'd like to use as a model, but I can't figure out where he obtained all the data–plus getting the tables to line up is a b****. Any thoughts on what you all would like to see, put it in the comments.

  12. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    NL, can you please give that Detroit blogger link also?thanks.Nice article btw.

  13. natsfan1a - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    Audio game update, Nats are up 7-1 through 7 innings.

  14. natsfan1a - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    btw, I tuned in after it took place, but Soriano had a 1-2-3 7th. Clippard is on the mound now for the Nats.

  15. natsfan1a - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. natsfan1a - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. natsfan1a - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    Eh, looking at the PBP, Soriano allowed a single, but the runner was then caught stealing.Clip had a traditional 1-2-3 top of the 8th. :-)

  18. Steady Eddie - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    1a — I noticed that too about Soriano's inning — which I love, that his motion doesn't give runners enough time to steal. That does also require a good catcher like Zuke to be able to throw them out, but as we all know painfully well, you steal off the pitcher….

  19. natsfan1a - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    For sure on the stealing, Eddie. Hope that this year will be better in that regard.Game over, Nats win 7-1. Agree with Ghost that the Astros guys are not a horrible listen. Actually, they were lulling me to sleep. :-)

  20. NatsNut - Mar 5, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    Well, that answers my Beltway Baseball question… =)"…I suspect the batting order we see here is how it will look on April 1…Kurt Suzuki behind the plate instead of Ramos)."

  21. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Mar 5, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    So how'd Haren look?

  22. natsfan1a - Mar 5, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Unfortunately, I can't even tell you how he sounded, as I didn't tune in the audio until the bottom of the 7th.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 43 --
ATLANTA 54 46 2.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
NEW YORK 47 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 13.0
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
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