Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Chase Field, site of Tuesday's All-Star Game, and tonight's Futures Game.
There are two members of the Nationals organization in the game. You know Bryce Harper is here. He's starting in left field and batting third for for Team USA. Right-hander Brad Peacock, meanwhile, is slated to pitch the second inning for the Americans.
I'll have thoughts from both Harper and Peacock, as well as Class AA Harrisburg manager Tony Beasley (who is on the Team USA coaching staff), after the game. In the meantime, check back for in-game updates and please share your own impressions if you're watching at home on ESPN2...
ALL-STAR FUTURES GAME: USA vs. WORLD
Where: Chase Field
Gametime: 6:05 p.m.
Radio: XM 89
Weather: Dome (Outside: Partly cloudy, 102 degrees)
STARTING LINEUPS6:08 p.m. -- And we're underway with a foul ball off Starling Marte's bat and nearly into the press box!
2B Jason Kipnis, Cle
SS Manny Machado, Bal
LF Bryce Harper, Wash
1B Paul Goldschmidt, AZ
C Devin Mesorasco, Cin
3B Will Middlebrooks, Bos
DH James Darnell, SD
RF Wil Myers, KC
CF Gary Brown, SF
(P Tyler Skaggs, AZ)
CF Starling Marte, Pit
2B Jose Altuve, Hou
1B Yonder Alonso, Cin
DH Dayan Viciedo, ChW
3B Alex Liddi, Sea
RF Alfredo Silverio, LAD
LF Chih-Hsien Chiang, Bos
C Wilin Rosario, Col
SS Hak-Ju Lee, TB
(P Julio Teheran, Atl)
6:15 p.m. -- Couple of baserunners for the World team in the top of the first, and we quickly got a chance to see Bryce Harper show off his arm. When Jose Altuve's hot smash got past third baseman Will Middlebrooks, Harper came charging in to retrive the ball. Altuve took off for second and Harper made a strong throw that might have beaten the runner but skipped away from second baseman Jason Kipnis. USA starter Tyler Skaggs, though, got out of the inning with no damage. So it's scoreless heading to the bottom of the first, with Harper due up third.
6:26 p.m. -- It's entirely possible Harper has never faced a pitcher as good as Julio Teheran in his life. And it looked like it. Teheran, the top pitching prospect in the Braves' system and one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, just blew away the 18-year-old in the bottom of the first. Harper took a 95 mph fastball for strike one. He took an 82 mph slider for ball one. Then he swung and missed at a nasty, 83 mph slider. And then he took a 95 mph heater on the outside corner for strike three. Pretty impressive stuff from Teheran. Though not too impressive for USA leadoff man Jason Kipnis, who clubbed a homer to right to get things started and give the US team a 1-0 lead.
6:32 p.m. -- Wow, nice job by Brad Peacock in the top of the second. He retired the side on only nine pitches, seven of them strikes. The right-hander struck out Alfredo Silverio with a 91 mph fastball. He got Chih-Hsien Chiang to ground out to first on a 94 mph heater. And then he broke out his offspeed stuff to Wilin Rosario, showing off a 73 mph curveball and and an 81 mph changeup that produced a popout to third. Nicely done by the Nats prospect. USA still leads 1-0 going to the bottom of the second.
6:42 p.m. -- Another new pitcher for Team USA in the third, so Peacock's work is done. This will be Shelby Miller of the Cardinals, taking the mound with the Americans now up 2-0.
6:59 p.m. -- At-bat No. 2 for Harper comes in the bottom of the third against James Paxton. Paxton, 22, is a tall lefty from Canada drafted by the Mariners in the fourth round last year. And like Harper, he opened the season in Class A, only to get promoted to Class AA in the last week. Didn't get to see much of a confrontation there, because Harper swung at Paxton's first pitch (a 96 mph heater) and grounded out to first. Nice, sliding play by the Reds' Yonder Alonso, who scooped up the ball and threw to Paxton covering the bag to retire Harper. Still 2-0 USA after three.
7:19 p.m. -- Man, we're seeing some serious heat from the pitchers out here today so far. Julio Teheran. James Paxton. Carlos Martinez. Matt Moore. Impressive stuff from these kids. USA still leads World, 2-0, going to the bottom of the fifth.
7:32 p.m. -- We've had some mass substitutions for Team USA, but Harper remains in the game. He's taken left field for the top of the sixth, and he's due to lead off the bottom of the inning. Would guess that will be his last AB of the night, though.
7:39 p.m. -- Alfredo Silverio of the Dodgers takes Drew Pomeranz of the Indians deep to left for a two-run shot in the top of the sixth. Harper tried to scale the wall, but he had no chance. That cuts Team USA's lead to 3-2.
7:45 p.m. -- Holy moly, did Harper just show off his arm or what? He tracked down Sebastian Valle's double into the left-field corner, then fired the ball back to the plate, short-hopping the catcher. Yes, it was slightly off-line, and it didn't really have a chance of getting the runner. But still. Man. That was a 325-foot missile.
7:54 p.m. -- Another groundout to first for Harper, who faced Blue Jays right-hander Henderson Alvarez in the bottom of the sixth. Took a pair of fastballs (97 and 94 mph) for balls. Then swung at a 93 mph fastball on 2-0 and rapped another groundball to first. So he's 0-for-3 with a strikeout and two grounders. The World team, by the way, now leads 4-3 after scoring four times in the top of the inning.
8:12 p.m. -- Guess Harper's going to play the full game. He's back out in left field for the top of the eighth. Should get to bat once more; he's due up third in the bottom of the inning.
8:26 p.m. -- And Harper strikes out for the second time tonight. This one was on a 97 mph fastball from right-hander Kelvin Herrera (a Class AA closer in the Royals system). The at-bat came after back-to-back doubles, which tied the game and put the go-ahead runner on second. So, let's see: Harper goes 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and strands the potential winning run in scoring position ... aren't the Nats already paying Jayson Werth a lot of money to do that?
8:30 p.m. -- Fortunately for Harper, his teammates have rallied to score three runs in this inning and now lead 6-4.
8:46 p.m. -- That'll do it. Team USA wins, 6-4, behind the performances of 11 pitchers. Brad Peacock played his part, retiring the side with ease in the second inning. Bryce Harper didn't really contribute, but he certainly got a taste of what it's like to face four really tough pitchers who are close to big-league ready.