Apr 30, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT
The Nationals tonight go for a sweep of this brief, 2-game series in Houston, and they’ll do so with a lineup stacked with right-handed hitters against Astros lefty Brett Oberholtzer. Denard Span is the only left-handed bat in Matt Williams’ starting nine, which means the red-hot Adam LaRoche gets a rare day off. (UPDATE: LaRoche told reporters in Houston he’s still dealing with a sore quad, but he expects to play Friday in Philadelphia.)
So, it’s Tyler Moore at first base, Kevin Frandsen again in left field, Jayson Werth again DH’ing and Steven Souza Jr. in right field making his first career start. The 25-year-old, who is 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout off the bench so far, is highly touted within the organization after a breakthrough 2013. Tonight we’ll get our first chance to see what he can do over a full game, both at the plate and in the field.
Jordan Zimmermann, meanwhile, is on the mound for the Nationals, seeking his fourth consecutive quality start. Enjoy the conversation here, and be sure to check back for Instant Analysis as soon as the game is over…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at HOUSTON ASTROS
Where: Minute Maid Park
Gametime: 8:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 869, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 74 degrees, Wind 13 mph in from CF
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
DH Jayson Werth
SS Ian Desmond
1B Tyler Moore
LF Kevin Frandsen
2B Danny Espinosa
C Sandy Leon
RF Steven Souza Jr.
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
2B Jose Altuve
CF Dexter Fowler
C Jason Castro
RF George Springer
1B Jesus Guzman
LF Alex Presley
DH Chris Carter
3B Matt Dominguez
SS Jonathan Villar
(LHP Brett Oberholtzer)
HP Paul Schrieber
1B Will Little
2B Mark Carlson
3B Ted Barrett (cc)
NL EAST STANDINGS
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.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 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.
Follow us on Twitter
- Power Rankings: Which MLB stadium is the best?
- MLB Power Rankings: Nats trending up after big week
- 'Baseball in the District' - Bob Nightengale and Matt Skole
- Nationals Stock Watch: Strasburg's road struggles continue
- Aaron Barrett wins patriotic staring contest before Nats-Rockies game
- Depleted lineup can't complete sweep over Rockies in 6-4 loss
- Zimmerman placed on DL with hamstring strain
- Kevin Durant channels Werth, LaRoche in 'beard gang' photo
- Strasburg tries to pitch depleted Nats to sweep
- Nationals have to deal with latest Zimmerman injury