Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
J.D. Martin faces Fausto Carmona tonight at Progressive Field.
Nine years later, Martin will finally get the chance. Wearing a Nationals uniform.
Having never made it with the Indians, in part because of arm injuries, Martin caught on with Washington last season, made the first 15 starts of his big-league career and has since returned to make two more starts this year. Tonight, the 27-year-old right-hander returns to the mound, and this time he'll do it against his former franchise. (There's just all kinds of intriguing Nats-Indians history in this series, isn't there?)
Fausto Carmona, a 19-game winner in 2009 who has battled injuries and inconsistencies since then, starts for Cleveland.
Check back for updates throughout...
NATIONALS at INDIANS
Where: Progressive Field
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 83 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to RF
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Cristian Guzman
1B Adam Dunn
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Josh Willingham
DH Willie Harris
RF Roger Bernadina
2B Adam Kennedy
C Wil Nieves
(P J.D. Martin)
CF Trevor Crowe
RF Shin-Soo Choo
C Carlos Santana
DH Travis Hafner
LF Austin Kearns
1B Russell Branyan
3B Jhonny Peralta
2B Luis Valbuena
SS Jason Donald
(P Fausto Carmona)
5:35 p.m. -- It's turn-back-the-clock night here in Cleveland, circa the 1920s. The scoreboard is only being shown in black and white. Ushers are wearing bowler hats. The Indians will wear 1920 throwbacks. The Nats will wear 1924 Senators throwbacks. Navy blue caps with a block, white W. Very simple gray uniforms -- only a navy blue W on the left sleeve and the number on the back.
5:53 p.m. -- Some of you are curious about tonight's lineup. A couple of points: Ivan Rodriguez is not in there because Jim Riggleman wants him catching Stephen Strasburg tomorrow. And since he's coming off that back injury, Pudge won't be allowed to catch three or four games in a row very often. "It's not going to fall where he catches Stephen Strasburg every time," Riggleman said. "But these first couple of times, we are doing that. If he caught tonight and tomorrow, that would be four in a row, a day game after a night game. With what's going on with Pudge's back, he would have had either today or tomorrow off, so we just made it tonight. He'll catch Stephen tomorrow." ... As for Willie Harris and Adam Kennedy starting for the second straight night, Riggleman said he feels like he's been leaving those two out of the mix too much lately, and it's adversely affecting their performances. "Two guys who we really need to help this ballclub are Kennedy and Harris, and it's just been a situation where I haven't been able to give them enough work," the manager said. "I think it's shown up in their game a little bit. We've just got to get them in there. We've just got to use Desmond's spot in the lineup to get Kennedy in there and use the DH spot to get Harris in there, and let them see pitches three or four consecutive at-bats so that when we call on them to pinch-hit, they'll have something to draw from. They'll be sharper."
7:07 p.m. -- With a strike from Fausto Carmona to Nyjer Morgan, we are underway.
7:12 p.m. -- Not an impressive top of the first from the Senators...er the Nationals, who looked mighty feeble against Carmona. Morgan tapped a weak grounder to first. Cristian Guzman struck out looking. And Adam Dunn (who probably looks more ridiculous in those short pants than anyone else on the roster) grounded right into the teeth of the Indians' shift for the third out.
7:24 p.m. -- All of you who were aghast at Adam Kennedy starting at second base again tonight just got some more ammunition for your argument. He made a bad throw to second on a potential double-play grounder that would have gotten J.D. Martin out of the first inning unscathed. Instead, that runner came around to score on Travis Hafner's sac fly. That's now four errors by Kennedy in his last five starts at second base. Indians lead 1-0 after one.
7:50 p.m. -- Well, this one's off to a rousing start. The Indians have exploded out to a 5-0 lead after two innings. They strung together four runs and five hits off Martin in the second, the biggest of them a two-out, two-run double by rookie catcher Carlos Santana (who received starting ovation for the first hit of his big-league career). Martin was victimized by the Kennedy error in the first, but he was tagged by Cleveland's lineup in the second, not an encouraging development.
8:08 p.m. -- The Nationals have sent 12 men to the plate in four innings against Fausto Carmona, and all 12 have been retired in one form or another. It's not a no-hitter -- Adam Kennedy did single up the middle in the third. But Kennedy was promptly retired on a 5-4-3 double play on a grounder hit by Wil Nieves. That's the extent of the Nats' offense so far. They still trail 5-0, and more and more, it's looking like Stephen Strasburg will have to play the role of stopper tomorrow afternoon lest the Nationals get swept by Manny Acta and the Tribe.
8:17 p.m. -- Fausto Carmona doing his best Stephen Strasburg imitation tonight. He's recorded four straight strikeouts and has still faced the minimum through five innings. Zimmerman, Willingham and Harris had no chance in the fifth; all struck out swinging.
8:21 p.m. -- And now Santana has hit his first career home run. Crushed a 1-1 fastball down the middle from Martin into the right-field bleachers to make it 6-0 in the fifth. Absolute domination from the Indians tonight.
8:30 p.m. -- Another hit surrendered by Carmona, but another double-play grounder. So he's still faced the minimum through six.
8:51 p.m. -- The Nationals will send more than 27 batters to the plate tonight after all. Ryan Zimmerman clubs a solo homer to left to lead off the eighth. So it's 6-1, though Carmona continues to cruise. Amazingly, Martin is still in this game. He's allowed one run on two hits over his last five innings. The damage, though, was done earlier.
9:10 p.m. -- And it's over. Nats lose 7-1, as Carmona goes the distance and faces only one batter over the minimum. At least it was quick. Time of game: 2 hours and 3 minutes.