Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals are finally back home tonight against the Marlins.
The Marlins, of course, have been nemesis No. 1 for the Nats in recent years, though the matchup has been far more even so far this season (Florida has won five of nine). The Nationals also catch something of a break this week in avoiding Josh Johnson (DL) and Anibal Sanchez. They do have to deal tonight with Ricky Nolasco (career 8-3 vs. the franchise).
With everyone rested and refreshed following an off-day, Davey Johnson goes with his regular lineup: Roger Bernadina leading off and in center field, Jayson Werth batting fifth, Laynce Nix batting sixth and Wilson Ramos behind the plate. Jordan Zimmermann takes the mound, trying to bounce back from his worst outing of the season (six runs allowed in five innings).
Plenty of updates to come...
MARLINS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Sunny, 90 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to CF
STARTING LINEUPS5:30 p.m. -- Lineup change for the Marlins: Gaby Sanchez has been scratched with a tight hamstring. Greg Dobbs will now bat third and play first base.
CF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse
RF Jayson Werth
LF Laynce Nix
C Wilson Ramos
SS Ian Desmond
P Jordan Zimmermann
3B Emilio Bonifacio
2B Omar Infante
Gaby SanchezGreg Dobbs
SS Hanley Ramirez
LF Logan Morrison
RF Mike Stanton
CF Mike Cameron
C John Buck
P Ricky Nolasco
5:39 p.m. -- One procedural roster note to pass along: Chien-Ming Wang will come off the DL later today, but the Nationals don't need to add him to the active roster until Friday, when he makes his first start in two seasons. So that buys the club a couple of days before another player must be removed from the roster. As for the rotation moving forward, Davey Johnson said Wang will be taking Tom Gorzelanny's spot on Friday. That said, Gorzelanny will continue to prepare as though he's going to start, just in case something happens. If he's not needed Friday -- and if there's no other move that removes someone else from the equation (ie. Jason Marquis traded) -- Gorzelanny will be available out of the bullpen for the time being.
7:00 p.m. -- We've got a trade: The Nationals have acquired outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Reds in exchange for minor-league outfielder Bill Rhinehart and left-hander Chris Manno. Full story coming soon...
7:14 p.m. -- By the way, this game is underway and the Marlins have already taken a 1-0 lead thanks to Omar Infante's triple and Greg Dobbs' RBI groundout. I'll start posting game updates shortly, but in the meantime, here's a quick story on the Gomes acquisition.
7:40 p.m. -- Two innings down, and the Nats are trailing 1-0. Jordan Zimmermann bounced back from that shaky top of the first to retire the Marlins in the second inning without allowing another run (though he did plunk No. 8 hitter John Buck). At the plate, though, they've done nothing against Ricky Nolasco. Michael Morse and Jayson Werth each struck out in the bottom of the second, and though Laynce Nix drew a two-out walk, Wilson Ramos immediately grounded out to third.
7:48 p.m. -- Spoke too soon. Zimmermann looks awful out there. He just got tagged by Logan Morrison for a two-run homer in the top of the third, giving the Marlins a 4-0 lead. He's allowed five hits, has hit two Florida batters and just generally doesn't look right.
8:08 p.m. -- If you want to keep track of such things, the Nationals have now gone 11 innings without recording a hit. Not since the first inning Sunday in Los Angeles. Yikes.
8:25 p.m. -- And there's a solo homer by Greg Dobbs on an 0-2 meatball from Zimmermann. It's now 5-0 Marlins in the fifth and getting uglier by the minute.
8:33 p.m. -- OK, Laynce Nix takes care of business, sending a solo homer just over the right-field fence to lead off the bottom of the fifth. It's 5-1 and there's no chance of a no-hitter here tonight. That's not the case, however, in the Bronx, where CC Sabathia has a perfect game going through five innings against the wretched Mariners ... only to have the game now delayed by rain!
9:05 p.m. -- Well, they've cut the deficit to 5-2 thanks to back-to-back hits from Zimmerman and Morse in the sixth. That knocked Nolasco out of the game, but lefty Mike Dunn entered and got Nix looking at a borderline strike to end the inning with a runner in scoring position.
9:25 p.m. -- Sorry, it's been an eventful night here, much of it having nothing to do with the game. Mike Rizzo spoke about the Jonny Gomes trade; you can read my updated story here. Also, director of player development Doug Harris issued a statement clarifying the remarks he made in Sports Illustrated comparing Bryce Harper to Jackie Robinson. Read that story here. Meanwhile, the Nats are now trailing 6-2 in the seventh.
9:56 p.m. -- It is getting really painful watching Henry Rodriguez pitch. He's brought this game to a grinding halt, prolonging his recent troubles. Over his last 7 2/3 innings, he's allowed an astounding 10 earned runs on 10 hits, eight walks and a hit batter. U-G-L-Y. It's still the top of the ninth, there's only one out and Rodriguez is getting the heave-ho from Davey Johnson. Oh yeah, the score is 11-2.
10:15 p.m. -- This game, mercifully, is over. Final: 11-2. The Nationals are now in last place.