Apr 10, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
Checking in here at Nationals Park where it is absolutely perfect in terms of weather. The temperature is at about 65 degrees and it should warm up to about 70 before game time.
Today Stephen Strasburg (0-1, 6.10) will make his third start of the 2014 season. It’s been a mixed bag for the right-hander so far. He hasn’t recorded an out in the seventh inning yet, and has allowed at least three earned runs in each start. Perhaps a matchup with the Marlins can help, though he has just a 3.91 ERA against them in 14 career starts.
Pitching for Miami is right-hander Tom Koehler (1-0, 3.00) who will be tasked with avoiding the sweep. Koehler has allowed eight earned runs in two starts (11.0 IP) in his career against the Nats.
The Nationals will travel to Atlanta to play the Braves tomorrow, so a series-closing win today would be nice. They enter the day 6-2 on the year.
Updates to come…
MIAMI MARLINS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 184, MLB.com
Weather: Sunny, 70 degrees, Wind 15 mph LF to RF
CF Nate McLouth
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Bryce Harper
SS Ian Desmond
C Sandy Leon
RHP Stephen Strasburg
LF Christian Yelich
2B Derek Dietrich
RF Giancarlo Stanton
1B Garrett Jones
3B Casey McGehee
CF Marcell Ozuna
SS Adeiny Hechevarria
C Jeff Mathis
RHP Tom Koehler
HP Toby Basner
1B D.J. Reyburn
2B Jeff Kellogg (cc)
3B Dan Bellino
**Minutes before first pitch it was announced Basner and Reyburn would switch spots for today’s game**
4:14 p.m. — No runs for the Marlins in the first, though they did make it a little interesting. Yelich led off with a single to center field, picking up right where he left off last night. He then reached third after stealing second and moving over another base on an error by McLouth in center. McLouth couldn’t corral the ball thrown by Leon that reached the outfield. Strasburg got Yelich out on a Dietrich grounder, struck out Stanton, and then got Jones to fly out to deep center. Strasburg is at 10 pitches (8 strikes)
4:28 p.m. — The Nationals saw McLouth and Rendon get out quickly for the first two outs before both Werth and LaRoche reached on a walk and a single. Then, with Zimmerman up, he nearly loaded the bases on an infield grounder. The ball dribbled to the left of first base and Jones threw Zim out by just a foot or so. On to the second we go with Koehler at 24 pitches.
4:33 p.m. — The second inning was 1-2-3 for Strasburg, though McGehee was retired after smoking a line drive off what looked like Strasburg’s thigh. The training staff came out to check on him, but he waved them off. Strasburg is at an efficient 16 pitches after two.
4:40 p.m. — The Nats left another runner on base in the second after Desmond reached on an infield single with one out. Leon then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Koehler has thrown 34 pitches.
4:46 p.m. — The third inning was another good one for Strasburg who struck out both Mathis and Koehler before getting Yelich to ground out to Rendon. Strasburg is at 29 pitches.
4:59 p.m. — The Nationals broke through in the bottom of the third with a two-run bomb by Werth. Rendon walked with two outs and Werth then took a 3-0 pitch into the seats in front of the Red Porch in left-center field. That’s two homers in as many days for Werth and the ninth game in a row in which Rendon has reached safely. 2-0 Nats.
5:06 p.m. — Three up, three down for the Marlins against Strasburg in the top of the fourth. Stanton grounded out for the second out on perhaps the hardest hit grounder to a shortstop I’ve ever seen, but that was it. Strasburg is cruising, he’s through four at 41 pitches, and has retired 12 straight Marlins batters.
5:17 p.m. – The Nationals had a very good chance to add to their lead in the bottom of the fourth, but came away with nothing. Harper led off with a single to left field and moved to third on a hit-and-run groundball by Desmond. Leon and Strasburg then struck out looking to end the frame. Koehler is through four, but has thrown 77 pitches.
5:28 p.m. – Strasburg continued to baffle the Marlins’ lineup in the top of the fifth, as the only baserunner reached on a fielding error by Desmond. Strasburg got McGehee to groudn out, Ozuna to strike out swinging and Mathis to go down looking on a 95 mph fastball on the black. Hechevarria got on with two outs after Desmond booted his groundball into center field. Strasburg has thrown 60 pitches.
5:34 p.m. — Nothing going for the Nats in the bottom of the fifth, as McLouth, Rendon and Werth all went down quickly. McLouth flew out to left field, Rendon struck out looking and Werth grounded out to Hechevarria. Koehler is at 88 pitches after needing only 11 in that frame.
5:45 p.m. — Strasburg finally ran into minor trouble in the top of the sixth as Koehler reached on an infield single and Dietrich joined him after getting hit on the elbow with a pitch. That brought Stanton up who struck out looking on an inside fastball. Jones then whiffed to end the frame. Strasburg is at 78 pitches through six.
5:51 p.m. — The Nats’ lineup didn’t give Strasburg too much time to rest in the bottom of the sixth, as Koehler got three quick outs to end the inning. LaRoche struck out swinging, and Zimmerman and Harper grounded out.
6:05 p.m. — The Marlins finally struck Strasburg for a run on an Ozuna solo shot to left field. Mathis then walked, which prompted Williams to bring Jerry Blevins in for Strasburg. Blevins then got two quick outs to get out of the top of the seventh.
6:20 p.m. — The bottom of the inning saw a little bit of action for the Nats, but no runs. Danny Espinosa – who entered as part of a double switch involving Blevins, and the removal of Zimmerman – bunted safely down the third base line with two outs. He also stole second, but the frame ended on a Tyler Moore strikeout.
6:31 p.m. — After two strikeouts by Blevins, Williams brought Aaron Barrett in to face Stanton. Barrett struck him out swinging and the Nats will now send Rendon, Werth and LaRoche up in the bottom of the eighth.
7:01 p.m. — The Nats added five more runs in the bottom of the eighth in large part due to a Desmond grand slam. Rafael Soriano closed out the ninth to make it a 7-1 Nats win. Here is the instant analysis:
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
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