May 28, 2014, 3:27 PM EST
And we’re back at Nationals Park, hoping the weather cooperates tonight and allows the Nationals and Marlins to wrap up their abbreviated, rain-shortened series and at least get two games in. The forecast once again doesn’t look great, with storms expected to roll through here at some point this afternoon/evening. After postponing last night’s game at 7:15 p.m., I would imagine they’ll wait much longer tonight before making a call.
Matt Williams decided to change his starting pitcher for this game. Jordan Zimmermann, who was supposed to start tonight’s series finale, will remain on regular rest and face the Marlins. Blake Treinen, whose start got washed out last night, will be available out of the bullpen for a couple of days and then return to the rotation next week. Miami manager Mike Redmond took the opposite approach, pushing everyone back. So Henderson Alvarez, who would’ve started last night, will start tonight.
Both managers are, however, sticking with their starting lineups. So for the Nats, that means Kevin Frandsen at second base instead of Danny Espinosa.
Updates to come, so please check back…
MIAMI MARLINS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 186, MLB.com
Weather: Thunderstorms, 77 degrees, Wind 10 mph in from LF
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
C Wilson Ramos
SS Ian Desmond
2B Kevin Frandsen
LF Nate McLouth
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
LF Christian Yelich
2B Derek Dietrich
RF Giancarlo Stanton
3B Casey McGehee
1B Garret Jones
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
CF Marcell Ozuna
SS Adeiny Hechavarria
RHP Henderson Alvarez
HP Seth Buckminster
1B Jim Reynolds
2B Brian Knight
3B Fieldin Culbreth (cc)
7:06 p.m. — Hey, we’ve got real, live baseball being played in the District! The rain has held off (so far) and Jordan Zimmermann has thrown strike one to Christian Yelich to get this one started.
7:13 p.m. — Zimmermann wasn’t exactly in top form there in the top of the first, allowing a leadoff double to Yelich and a sharp single up the middle to (who else?) Giancarlo Stanton. But he got two groundballs to short, and Ian Desmond took care of the rest. Desmond made a heads-up play to get Yelich trying to advance to third on Derek Dietrich’s grounder. He then started a nice-looking, 6-4-3 double play off Casey McGehee’s bat to end a scoreless inning.
7:25 p.m. — The Nats hit three balls well right back up the middle in the bottom of the first. Unfortunately, only two of them (by Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche) went through for singles. Anthony Rendon, who hit the ball harder than anybody in the inning, wound up smoking the ball off Henderson Alvarez and right to Dietrich at second base. So the Nats come away with nothing in the first inning, though the fact they squared up several balls against Alvarez should bode well.
7:41 p.m. — Another couple of well-struck balls in the bottom of the second, and still nothing to show for it. That’s in part because Desmond ventured too far off first base on Kevin Frandsen’s sinking liner to right-center. Stanton wound up catching the ball and then doubled up Desmond to kill a potential rally. Making matters even worse: Nate McLouth immediately followed with a single to center that would’ve advanced Desmond. So despite three hits, a walk and some other hard-hit balls, the Nats have yet to even advance a runner to third base so far. Scoreless through two.
7:46 p.m. — Seven in a row retired by Zimmermann, who has looked great since getting that double play to end the top of the first. He needed only eight pitches to retire the side in the third, not letting a ball leave the infield.
8:06 p.m. — So much for that. Zimmermann just experienced an UGLY top of the fourth. It included five singles, a walk, an error by Jayson Werth that allowed a run to score and a whole lotta hittable pitches thrown by Zimmermann. The damage could’ve been even worse if not for a baserunning blunder by the Marlins, with Stanton getting in a rundown between second and third and McGehee failing to advance behind him. It’s 4-0 Marlins. Not good.
8:28 p.m. — Wow, after a 1-out single by McLouth in the bottom of the fifth, Zimmermann was pulled back from the on-deck circle in favor of Tyler Moore. So Jordan’s night is done. His line: 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 80 pitches. Four starts ago, he sported a 2.97 ERA. He has since given up 16 runs and 33 hits in 22 2/3 innings, seeing his season ERA skyrocket to 4.07.
8:38 p.m. — It’s Chase here taking over as Mark gets started on his game story. Ross Detwiler just replaced Zimmermann to pitch the top of the sixth inning and left with no runs allowed despite giving up a leadoff single to McGehee. The Nats remain down 4-0 with the bottom of the inning up next. Werth, LaRoche and Ramos are due up.
9:06 p.m. — The Nationals got three runs in the sixth, two thanks to one an unlikely source, and another thanks to an error on the Marlins. The rally got started with a one-out single by LaRoche, a dribbler down the third base line that behaved like a perfectly placed bunt. Ramos then singled to right field and Desmond walked to load the bases. One batter later, with two outs, McLouth doubled to right field to score the first two runs. The RBI were his second and third of the season in 44 games. Danny Espinosa then pinch-hit for Detwiler and walked to reload the bases. The next batter, Span, hit a groundball to first base that took Jones off the bag. He turned and made a terrible throw to the pitcher, Dan Jennings, allowing Span to reach safely and Desmond to score. It’s now a 4-3 game.
9:12 p.m. — Drew Storen came in and pitched a perfect top of the seventh. It’s still 4-3 with Werth set to leadoff.
9:26 p.m. — The Nationals got another one in the seventh, this a Ramos solo shot into the visitors bullpen. The homer was the catcher’s first of the season and tied the game at 4-4. Tyler Clippard will now come in to pitch the eighth.
9:40 p.m. — The top of the seventh sure took a while, but Clippard was able to get out of a mini-jam to keep the game tied at four. Stanton walked with one out and McGehee quickly joined him with a single to right field. One out later, with Saltalamacchia batting, Ramos picked McGehee off at first to end the inning. Ramos threw a laser that was low and perfectly placed for LaRoche to make the tag. McLouth – who is 3-for-3 – is up next.
10:05 p.m. — The Nationals left the bottom of the eighth with a huge waste of an opportunity. McLouth and Hairston led off with walks, and Span safely bunted to load the bases with zero outs. Despite that fortune, however, they would come away with no runs. Rendon struck out swinging, Werth popped up in the infield and LaRoche grounded out to first. Three baserunners and 35 pitches thrown by Mike Dunn, yet no runs for the home team. Still 4-4.
10:11 p.m. — Rafael Soriano came in and pitched a perfect ninth to keep the game at 4-4 and give the Nats a chance for a walkoff win. Ramos, Desmond and Frandsen will look to be the heroes.
10:22 p.m. — Another inning, more missed opportunities for the Nats. The Nats had runners on the corners with two outs – Frandsen and McLouth who singled – before a pinch-hitting Greg Dobbs promptly popped out to first base. Jerry Blevins will now take over.
10:43 p.m. — Well, this one got out of hand. Blevins loaded the bases with one out – Lucas singled, Yelich walked and Stanton was intentionally walked – before Aaron Barrett came in to take his place. Barrett promptly served up a RBI single to McGehee and then a two RBI double to Reed Johnson. Donovan Solano then knocked in another run to make it an 8-4 game. The Nationals will now come up looking to overcome a four-run deficit with three outs to go against Steve Cishek.
10:56 p.m. — Nats got a run on a sac fly, but fall 8-5 in 10 innings. 25-27 is their record now.
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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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