Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Though there was a threat of rain this morning, today's game shouldn't be disrupted.
No, this isn't your ordinary, run-of-the-mill Tuesday in Viera.
Check back throughout the afternoon for updates from Strasburgmania...
TIGERS AT NATIONALS
Space Coast Stadium, Viera, Fla.
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV/Radio: MASN/MLB Network/WFED-1500 AM
Weather: Cloudy, 71 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from CF
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Cristian Guzman
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Josh Willingham
2B Adam Kennedy
RF Ian Desmond
1B Chris Duncan
DH Josh Whitesell
C Wil Nieves
(P Stephen Strasburg)
CF Austin Jackson
LF Clete Thomas
RF Magglio Ordonez
1B Miguel Cabrera
DH Carlos Guillen
3B Don Kelly
C Alex Avila
2B Brent Dlugach
SS Ramon Santiago
(P Rick Porcello)
11:36 a.m. -- Nats pitchers following Strasburg today: Miguel Batista, Tyler Walker, Aaron Thompson, Victor Garate, Atahualpa Severino. Drew Storen won't be throwing today after all. He's slated to go tomorrow against the Cardinals. As for Batista, though he's pitching in relief, the Nats are still stretching him out to be a starter. He'll go three innings today.
11:41 a.m. -- Spoke to Scott Olsen a few minutes ago in the clubhouse. He says his arm feels "great" today, no unusual day-after effects.
11:48 a.m. -- For those wondering ... Garrett Mock is scheduled to start tomorrow in Jupiter, with J.D. Martin right behind him. Livan Hernandez will stay in Viera and throw a simulated game. John Lannan starts Thursday against the Astros, with Craig Stammen relieving him.
12:16 p.m. -- Lineup change ... for the Tigers. (Sorry, didn't mean to scare you.) Brent Dlugach now starting at second base and batting eighth. Scott Sizemore was scratched, adding to his bad luck. Sizemore was supposed to face Strasburg in the Arizona Fall League but before getting to bat broke his ankle when Danny Espinosa slid hard into him at second base.
12:32 p.m. -- The ballpark is maybe half-full at this point, but there's a huge pack of fans lined up along the railing down the right-field line, overlooking the Nats' bullpen. Wonder what's going on over there right now.
12:50 p.m. -- Big roar from the crowd as the PA announcer reveals today's starting pitcher. Doesn't look like it's going to be a sell-out, but it's definitely a larger-than-normal crowd for a Tuesday afternoon in Viera.
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg fires to the plate in the second inning.
1:43 p.m. -- Oh, is there a game going on here today? Miguel Batista keeps the shutout going, though it took a nice catch by RIGHT FIELDER Ian Desmond charging in and to his right to record the third out of the third inning. Still scoreless here at Space Coast.
2:05 p.m. -- Tigers lead 2-0 after four innings. Batista allowed both runs in the top of the inning on an RBI double by Nat-killer Don Kelly and an RBI single by Brent Dlugach. Nats hitters didn't do anything with Rick Porcello (who ain't too shabby himself).
2:19 p.m. -- Tyler Walker, not making a very strong impression so far. Gave up a three-run homer to Ordonez to deep RF. And future Hall-of-Famer Don Kelly doubled off the top of the wall in CF, making him 3-for-3. Walker has now allowed eight runs and 10 hits in two innings this spring. Tigers lead 5-0 in the fifth.
2:37 p.m. -- How secure is Tyler Walker's spot in the bullpen? Just gave up another homer, to Austin Jackson, followed by a triple to Clete Thomas and an RBI single to some guy named Brennan Boesch. That's 10 runs and 13 hits allowed in 2 2/3 innings for Walker.
2:41 p.m. -- Spoke too soon. Another RBI double by Cabrera off Walker, who has now allowed 11 runs and 14 hits in 2 2/3 innings. Tigers lead 8-0, by the way.
3:35 p.m. -- Just spent the last inning interviewing Stephen Strasburg and Wil Nieves in the Nats' clubhouse. Plenty of material from both that I'll include in a full Strasburg analysis story later today. But for what it's worth, Nieves said most of those fastballs today were two-seamers. Yeah, 97 mph two-seamers. Only threw a couple of four-seamers, probably the ones that hit 98 mph.
3:39 p.m. -- And for those still paying attention to this game, the Nats have come to life in the bottom of the eighth. An Ian Desmond double and a Chris Duncan single (among other things) have helped produce four runs and leave the Nationals trailing 8-4 heading to the ninth.
4:07 p.m. -- Final score: Tigers 9, Nats 4. Washington falls to 0-7 in the Grapefruit League, having surrendered 76 runs, 105 hits and 14 homers in the process. Time to panic? Sounds like many of you are.