May 4, 2013, 4:37 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg is on the mound this afternoon at PNC Park.
PITTSBURGH — Things haven't exactly gone as planned for Stephen Strasburg so far this season. The Nationals' ace hasn't won a game since his Opening Day start against the Marlins, going 0-4 in five starts since. Then there was that little issue of forearm tightness during his last outing in Atlanta, mentioned by Davey Johnson but refuted by Strasburg.
Whatever the case, all eyes will be on Strasburg this afternoon as he faces the Pirates in what kind of amounts to a must-win game for the right-hander. OK, maybe he doesn't need to actually earn the W, but he certainly needs to pitch well and put to rest any questions about the state of his arm.
The Nationals once again are forced to go with a different-looking lineup because of injury. Denard Span is out today after fouling a couple of pitches off his ankle last night. That ankle was taped up after the game, and Span was limping around a bit. We'll get an update on his condition soon. In the meantime, Roger Bernadina takes over in center field and Danny Espinosa gets a rare chance to lead off.
Note the different broadcast circumstances for today's game, both on TV and radio, below. Game updates to come, so please check back…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Where: PNC Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: Fox regional (coverage map here)
Radio: WNEW (99.1 FM), WJFK (106.7 FM, JIP), XM 184
Weather: Partly cloudy, 69 degrees, Wind 14 mph in from CF
2B Danny Espinosa
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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