Mar 12, 2013, 9:00 PM EST
USA Today Sports Images
Marlins Park hosts the second round of the World Baseball Classic.
The Nationals are off today, but there's still an important baseball game being played involving at least one member of the Nats. Gio Gonzalez will start tonight for Team USA in its second-round opener against Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.
Gonzalez stayed back in Viera during the tournament's first round, watching the Americans rally late to win Pool D in Phoenix and advance to this round in Miami. He'll be restricted to 80 pitches tonight, so he could go as many or five or six innings depending on his efficiency.
The Puerto Rican lineup features several big-name big-leaguers, headlined by Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltran and Angel Pagan, so Gonzalez will have his work cut out for him. He'll of course have a stacked lineup behind him, with David Wright, Giancarlo Stanton and Co. taking their hacks against Puerto Rico right-hander Mario Santiago, a 28-year-old Dodgers farmhand who has never pitched in the majors.
I'm en route back to Viera for the rest of the spring, but hopefully I'll be able to catch most of the game on TV. In the meantime, enjoy the conversation here…
WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC – SECOND ROUND
UNITED STATES vs. PUERTO RICO
Where: Marlins Park, Miami
Gametime: 8:05 p.m. EST
TV: MLB Network, ESPN Deportes
SS Jimmy Rollins
2B Brandon Phillips
LF Ryan Braun
C Joe Mauer
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2013 schedule (subject to change)...
TUE: 12:45 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
WED: 2:30 p.m.
THU: 4:30 p.m.
FRI: 12:45 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
SAT: 9:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
- Sean Casey: Doug Fister is 'huge for the Nationals'
- Marlins sign Rafael Furcal, what are they up to?
- With Ellsbury & McCann, Yankees could be just getting started
- Report: Nats interested in lefty Scott Downs
- Market is thinning of left-handers
- Does Saltalamacchia show the Marlins are serious for 2014?
- VIDEO: Analysis of Fister trade
- Non-tendered players could interest Nats
- Yankees, Ellsbury near $153M, 7-yr deal
- Fister "excited" about trade to Nationals