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Game 31: Nats at Pirates

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 โ€” 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

NATIONALS (15-15)
2B Danny Espinosa
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman

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247 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Dave - May 4, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Howard didn't even try to say Matt's name when he threw it to the studio that time.

  2. Joe Seamhead - May 4, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Yep, I like our third baseman right where he is. Good inning, Stras!

  3. Dave - May 4, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    PS: Howard's name freaks me out a bit. My closest brother's name is Howard. Sounds like our mom calling us in for dinner or something. (We're both in our late 50s.)

  4. Depot Master - May 4, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    I am not understanding this Giancarlo talk – where would you put him? Harper, Werth and Span are fixtures.

  5. NatsJack in Florida - May 4, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Yep. I have to amend my mental toughness comment on Stras. That last inning was nails.

  6. Dave - May 4, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Oh, Howard, Howard, Howard. Steve Grilli Junior? Really?

  7. NatsJack in Florida - May 4, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Some poster early in the threa stated that Stanton would or could be available for our stud, Moore and a couple of starting pitchers. He didn't name the pitchers but I'm guessing Strasberg and Zimmermann.

  8. Depot Master - May 4, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Who else thinks Ramos makes it to first on the Barmes bobble if he's not jogging?

  9. Dave - May 4, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Espinosa takes one for the team. Almost like he hit it. Sorta.

  10. David Proctor - May 4, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    I think he makes it closer, but he's still out. He's not fast.Espinosa definitely leaned into that pitch. Get on base any way you can.

  11. NatsJack in Florida - May 4, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    Finally, two solid at bats for Espinosa in one game.

  12. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    Eep. Today's theme seems to be not taking advantage of opportunities, I guess.

  13. David Proctor - May 4, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    DOUBLE PLAY!

  14. Joe Seamhead - May 4, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    NICE PLAY,CLIPPARD!!!

  15. David Proctor - May 4, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Can we just sit Harper for 3-4 games and let him relax. I feel like this could last for a week or longer if we don't let him relax.

  16. mick - May 4, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    what a time for Bryce to slump, it just figures

  17. peric - May 4, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    If Bryce isn't hitting and Zim hasn't gotten started there is no offense to speak of.Giancarlo Stanton probably makes more sense than one poster gives it credit for. But, it probably wouldn't happen since they are in the same division.

  18. peric - May 4, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    Tyler has left 6 men on so far.

  19. NatsJack in Florida - May 4, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Tyler Moore with one more opportunity to prove his greatness.

  20. Joe Seamhead - May 4, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Well, ALR's BA and OBP goes up today. Ok, Tyler, make up time!

  21. Joe Seamhead - May 4, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    That was worth one of those millions right there. Double steal by Zimm and ALR!

  22. NatsJack in Florida - May 4, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    Huge! LaRoche's speed kills!

  23. NatsJack in Florida - May 4, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Way to come through Tyler.

  24. David Proctor - May 4, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Wow the double steal followed by a sac fly. That is absolutely brilliant. Great smallball.

  25. Drew - May 4, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Way to hang in there Tyler.Good to see LaRoche take better at bats.

  26. EmDash - May 4, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Jesus, that double steal worked?! HOW. Adam LaRoche was one of the runners!

  27. Dave - May 4, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Section 313 doing its thing one more time. Heard it clearly on TV.

  28. Rich P. - May 4, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Where's Ghost of Steve M. anyway? Down in Potomac calculating the size of the batter's box?

  29. Joe Seamhead - May 4, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    That Davey guy sure can't manage, eh?Calling that double steal with those over priced, over the hill veterans was pretty ballsie.

  30. MicheleS - May 4, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    TUCK IN PEOPLE!

  31. Section 222 - May 4, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Cheers Insiders. Too hard to post via phone, but wanted to say hello from PNC . Good tight game in a spectacular venue. Lots of Natitude here. And I am ready to TUCK and then UNTUCK!

  32. Sec. 3, My Comfortability Sofa - May 4, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Tucking it up here, boss!

  33. David Proctor - May 4, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Time to lock it down Soriano. Ready for the UNTUCK

  34. Dave - May 4, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    That play was no problem for Avell-rezz. Stay strong, Howard.

  35. Sec. 3, My Comfortability Sofa - May 4, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    "A gimpy Zimmerman (who was plunked on the left knee by Tony Watson)"For the record, the pitch hit him in the back foot.

  36. peric - May 4, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Three walks by LaRoche that's the way to not add to the strike out total! Much, much better.

  37. Sec. 3, My Comfortability Sofa - May 4, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Hope you're enjoying this HPB-fest, Deuces!

  38. Sec. 3, My Comfortability Sofa - May 4, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    CANDYGRAM FOR MARTIN!

  39. DHamm - May 4, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Landshark!

  40. Sec. 3, My Comfortability Sofa - May 4, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Ponche Soriano!

  41. David Proctor - May 4, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    UNTUCK

  42. MicheleS - May 4, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    WOOOOOO HOOOOOO UNTUCK

  43. Dave - May 4, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    UNTUCK!

  44. Joe Seamhead - May 4, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    3walks, an RBI sac fly, 1 BH, and a steal by Adam.Not a bad day at the office.

  45. Whynat - May 4, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Did anyone catch the Werth untuck?

  46. NatsJack in Florida - May 4, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    That was fun.

  47. NatsJack in Florida - May 4, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Yep I saw Werth untuck.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 92 64 --
ATLANTA 76 81 16.5
NEW YORK 76 81 16.5
MIAMI 75 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 86 21.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Tuesday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (2) 92 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 68 3.5
y-ST. LOUIS 88 70 5.0
-------------------------
y-PITTSBURGH 86 71 --
SAN FRANCISCO 85 71 0.5
MILWAUKEE 80 77 6.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Tuesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
TUE: OFF
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

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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.

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