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Game 25: Padres at Nats

Apr 26, 2014, 11:35 AM EST

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

Let’s get right to the most-significant news of the morning: Bryce Harper is not in the Nationals’ lineup after jamming his left thumb sliding into third base last night. Harper’s thumb remains swollen, and though X-rays were negative, he is scheduled to be examined by a hand specialist today. Manager Matt Williams still doesn’t believe the injury is serious, though, and said the 21-year-old outfielder should be available off the bench if needed.

In a bit of a surprise, it’s Kevin Frandsen in left field today instead of Nate McLouth, who has struggled this season but reached base twice in three plate appearances after replacing Harper last night. Frandsen, if you’re wondering, is 1-for-4 in his career against Padres starter Andrew Cashner. McLouth is 0-for-3.

Tanner Roark gets the start for the Nationals, looking build off a strong outing last time out, during which he shut out the Angels over 6 2/3 innings. Updates to come…

 Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, Ch. 9,
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183,
Weather: Partly cloudy, 70 degrees, Wind 11 mph out to RF

CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
LF Kevin Frandsen
C Sandy Leon
RHP Tanner Roark

SS Everth Cabrera
LF Chris Denorfia
RF Will Venable
2B Jedd Gyorko
1B Yonder Alonso
CF Alexi Amarista
3B Jace Peterson
C Rene Rivera
RHP Andrew Cashner

HP Doug Eddings
1B Marvin Hudson
2B Cory Blaser
3B Jim Joyce (cc)

1:05 p.m. — We are underway on a spectacular Saturday afternoon in the District. Tanner Roark gets Everth Cabrera to ground out to second on the game’s first pitch.

1:10 p.m. — That was quick. Roark retires the side on nine pitches (seven strikes), getting a couple of groundballs and then striking out Will Venable on a curveball. Tanner has now thrown 10 consecutive scoreless innings, dating back to his start 10 days ago in Miami.

1:25 p.m. — Wow, the Nats strike early and often yet again. They plated three runs off ace Andrew Cashner, taking advantage of a couple of Padres errors but also getting an RBI single from Adam LaRoche, an RBI double from Ian Desmond and a sac fly from Danny Espinosa. They’re 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position to start the afternoon. And get this: LaRoche’s stats from April 2012: .329/.415/.549, 4 HR, 17 RBI. LaRoche’s stats from April 2014 (so far): .329/.433/.524, 4 HR, 15 RBI. This by no means guarantees he’ll duplicate his Silver Slugger season, but he’s certainly off to a comparable start. Nats lead 3-0 after one.

1:36 p.m. — Not a great start to this game for the Padres. Cashner is getting lit up, their infield has already been charged with three errors through the game’s first 10 batters and their lineup has done nothing against Roark, who has retired all six batters he’s faced and barely broken a sweat doing it. Still 3-0 after two.

2:07 p.m. — Man oh man, Roark is locked in today. He’s faced 15 batters through five innings and has retired all 15, needing only 53 pitches to do it. He’s throwing strikes, he’s working fast and he’s looking downright dominant. Still 3-0 in the middle of the fifth.

2:21 p.m. — Matt Williams with his second successful challenge in three days. He got the umps to overturn Jayson Werth being called out trying to advance to second on the Padres’ fourth error of the game. He’s now 2-for-6 on the season, and this one nearly paid big dividends, because the Nats wound up loading the bases with two outs after the overturned call. But Espinosa sent a flyball to left to end the inning, with the Nats still ahead 3-0 as Roark heads to the mound for the sixth having yet to put a man on base.

2:31 p.m. — Well, so much for history today at the ballpark. Rene Rivera lined a solid single up the middle with one out in the sixth to break up Roark’s bid at a perfect game. He wound up having to pitch out of a jam after LaRoche was charged with a sloppy error on a bunt attempt. But Tanner calmly got Cabrera to foul out to left and Denorfia to fly out to center. So he’s still got a shutout intact through six innings, having thrown only 69 pitches.

2:42 p.m. — Span has looked uncomfortable at the plate all day against Cashner, but give him credit for battling his way through a big at-bat just now. He fouled off several two-strike pitches and then sent an RBI single to left, scoring Frandsen. It’s 4-0 Nats after six.

2:50 p.m. — Seven scoreless in the books for Roark.

3:05 p.m. — Eight scoreless, after Roark got a 6-4-3 double play to end the eighth. He’s at 90 pitches, and it certainly looks like he’ll get a chance to finish this one off.

3:13 p.m. — A standing ovation for Roark as he came up to bat in the bottom of the eighth. So here we go. He’s never thrown 9 innings as a professional, majors or minors.

3:25 p.m. — There it is: Tanner Roark goes the distance, tossing a 3-hitter for his first career shutout and his first complete game as a professional pitcher. Nats win 4-0.

  1. dcwx61 - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    Did they not like what they saw in Walters in LF

  2. Eugene in Oregon - Apr 26, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    My watching and listening will be disjointed this morning, but hoping for some runs scored early and often. GYFNG!

  3. dcwx61 - Apr 26, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    And let’s not be all thumbs today

  4. dcwx61 - Apr 26, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Harper joins Zimm on the All Thumbs Team (ATT)…ouch

  5. snerdblurter - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    In response to some of the posts from yesterday, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with head-first slides. Diving headfirst makes it easier to avoid the tag because you have more control and range of motion with your hands/arms than your legs/feet. For example, if you go headfirst, you can aim your slide to the opposite side of the bag from the fielder and reach in whereas you cant really do this if you go feet-first.

    And with regards to injuries, these are just freak occurrences and nothing more. Besides, don’t hand injuries (wrist sprains/jammed fingers) generally take less time to recover from than injuries to the foot and ankle? Not putting weight on it, etc, etc?

  6. manassasnatsfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    Roark 9 pitches 7 strike first inning.

  7. manassasnatsfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    Anyone else having problems with MASN? About every 3 minutes the audio stops. I flipped channels and back and audio is back. Only chamber
    Nnel it is happening with. So it not my TV.

  8. dcwx61 - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    MASN looking good on Verizon. I have to leave soon ;(

    but someone could write a book on the building of a francise. How Washington started with no minor league system and little else to build this 2014 team.
    Zimmerman led the way early on. Soon followed by Desmond and Espinosa from the farm. the steal of Ramos from Minnesota. The amazing drafts of Strasburg and Harper. Joining the big league free agent market with Werth’s signing in 2010. The trade for Clippard. Another draft of Storen and Zimm. The big Gio trade. Signing LaRoche to replace a series of mediocre 1st basemen. Do we need another closer ?, maybe so while the others grow (Soriano) We need a leadoff man, we get a leadoff man with Span….and culminating risky draft of Anthony Rendon paying dividends before our eyes.
    And there is Stammen, Soriano
    Quite a timeline for making something risky but moves that gel in a moments of perfection like last night.
    And more who have or will join this magnificant parade.

  9. manassasnatsfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    2 for 3 RISP with a sac fly.

    Good to see Desi hitting to right pitches on the outside. When he pulls outside pitches he is in the middle of the slump.

  10. manassasnatsfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Brendon nice play

  11. manassasnatsfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Damn auto correct. I turn it off and it turns itself back on. Never gets Rendon saved though I save it.

  12. MicheleS - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Tanner Roark, love this.

  13. Danny - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Right when they change the transfer rule it works against us.

  14. manassasnatsfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Rendon looking great.

  15. manassasnatsfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    6 pitch inning.

  16. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Tanner Roark is sending/making a clear message about that 5th spot… When Fister returns..

    • Steady Eddie - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      We were already there before this game, but I take your point.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:21 PM

        Yeah, most definitely think he won it last game… It this one sends a clear message if folks got questions… :-)

  17. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Surprised that replay took that long… Clearly, he was safe…

  18. smatt1001 - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Williams won a challenge! Woohoo

  19. Section 222 - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Oh no, did Carp just say that Roark is “perfect through five”? :-)

  20. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Where is DCwonk… *grrr, hate first pitch swinging* lol

  21. Section 222 - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Hey MNF, how do you like replay now that MW is winning his challenges?

    • manassasnatsfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      I have never had a problem with it. I had a problem with the umps in New York refusing to call it right.

      New York has finally started calling them better. At first they were refusing to overrule most.

      No manage should be challenge unless it is wrong.

      I always supported the replay. Hared the umps in NY

  22. manassasnatsfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    They give us an easy out and we refuse to accept it.

  23. Section 222 - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Carp jinxed it!

  24. manassasnatsfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    MLB Network also jinxed it.

  25. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Nice clutch hit Denard and nice to have an add-on run!

  26. manassasnatsfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    As shallow as left fielder was no way I thought Fransen I thought would be safe. Taking outside pitch to left was good.

    Finally Rendon didn’t have a hard out. One soft out every few games is OK.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      2 outs you send the runner otherwise you hold him. That was a worthwhile chance as a good throw gets him and a bad throw won’t.

      • nats128 - Apr 26, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        “Smart agressive” is progressive.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 26, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        That’s what it’s about as you factor in situation and approach and scouting. You run in Juan Pierre and Nyjer Morgan if it’s 1 out with a medium fast runner.

      • manassasnatsfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:12 PM

        I was not surprised he went, that is the right call. I am surprised left fielder’s throw was so far off.

  27. Section 222 - Apr 26, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    I can do without Nats moments in history that involve hearing Rob Dibble.

  28. nats128 - Apr 26, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    The new trivia question will be “who has had the best pitching performance in 2014 for the Nats”? Hint: Name rhymes with Fanner!

  29. nats128 - Apr 26, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Im just wondering where all the Doom and Gloom people are. Thats right, they bandwagoned over to the Wizards and after they lost last night are hating on them.

  30. natsjackinfl - Apr 26, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    OK. Let’s see if the kid can close the deal. I have to get Gator to the airport by 5:00.

  31. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 26, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    I’m giving a standing ovation to Roark. Great performance with a shutout CG, great defense and the whole bullpen gets to rest.

    That’s the pitching trifecta!

  32. smatt1001 - Apr 26, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Now that was sweet!! Woohoo!!





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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