Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Livan Hernandez faces Javier Vazquez tonight at Nationals Park.
Davey also held a closed-door meeting with his troops before batting practice, letting them know his reasons for some of these changes today, and more importantly, how he intends to try to get more players involved moving forward.
"I basically had a set lineup going on [previously]," Johnson said. "I wanted everybody to know what I thought was the best chance we had to win, and the order they came up in. I also felt like you don't win pennants with 15 guys. You win pennants with 25. And I was going to be doing even more of that."
Livan Hernandez gets the start against former Expos teammate Javier Vazquez. Also, Jonny Gomes is here and in uniform and is available off the bench. Johnson said he'll start tomorrow's series finale.
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: Partly cloudy, 87 degrees, Wind 6 mph LF to RF
STARTING LINEUPS7:09 p.m. -- And we're underway a couple of minutes late on a warm (90 degrees) but pretty pleasant night at Nationals Park.
LF Jerry Hairston
SS Alex Cora
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse
RF Laynce Nix
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
C Jesus Flores
P Livan Hernandez
3B Emilio Bonifacio
2B Omar Infante
1B Greg Dobbs
SS Hanley Ramirez
LF Logan Morrison
RF Mike Stanton
CF Mike Cameron
C John Buck
P Javier Vazquez
7:14 p.m. -- And Livan Hernandez makes quick work of the Marlins in the top of the first. Though he surrendered a two-out single to Greg Dobbs, he made Omar Infante look foolish hacking away at a 64 mph Bugs Bunny curveball, then got Hanley Ramirez on a comebacker, throwing to first base in the kind of dismissive manner only Livo can get away with.
7:32 p.m. -- You probably already know this, but: Man, does Mike Stanton have ridiculous power. He just clubbed a solo homer to right-center off the end of his bat. Didn't even look like solid contact at first, but the ball just kept going. This guy is going to be a star. Marlins lead 1-0 in the second.
7:47 p.m. -- Can't say the Nationals haven't had chances already. They've put a man on third base in each of the game's first two innings ... and failed to bring him home. Laynce Nix grounded out to end the first inning, Jerry Hairston popped out to end the second. Florida still leads 1-0 after two.
8:16 p.m. -- So, what other pitcher in the game would willingly throw a 69-mph curveball with a 3-2 count and the bases loaded ... and strike the guy out looking? That's Livo in a nutshell. Of course, he then immediately surrendered a two-run single to the No. 8 hitter, putting the Marlins up 3-0 in the fourth.
8:22 p.m. -- Wow, Laynce Nix DEEP into the second deck down the right-field line. Haven't seen very many balls land there since this park opened ... at least not in anything other than batting practice. Now 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth.
8:39 p.m. -- And Livo is yanked without recording an out in the fifth inning. Pitch count only at 87, but the Marlins have runners on the corners with nobody out and the heart of the lineup coming up. So it's Ross Detwiler out of the bullpen. Livan, by the way, hasn't reached the seventh inning in any of his last four starts. That's very unusual.
8:53 p.m. -- Some good and some bad from Detwiler in that relief appearance. The lefty started things off by striking out Dobbs on a 94 mph fastball with runners on the corners. Then he immediately served up a run-scoring double to Hanley Ramirez. Another walk to Logan Morrison put the pressure on, but Detwiler responded by getting Mike Stanton to ground into a fielder's choice and then struck out Mike Cameron. Sto it's 4-1 Marlins heading to the bottom of the fifth.
9:03 p.m. -- Since this game is about as uncompelling as it gets ... let's turn our attention to Syracuse, where Brad Peacock hasn't allowed a hit through seven innings against Columbus. Problem is, he's already thrown 106 pitches. How many more will manager Randy Knorr let him throw?
9:13 p.m. -- Well, they let Peacock take the mound for the eighth inning, but he immediately surrendered a double to Beau Mills and was pulled in favor of Collin Balester. So Cleveland Indians fans can rest easy. Only their major-league team will be no-hit today. (By the way, you know who's in that Columbus lineup tonight and is 0-for-3 so far? The one and only Nick Johnson.)
9:21 p.m. -- We head to the seventh inning of this barn-burner, and Todd Coffey is now in to pitch for the Nationals. Detwiler winds up tossing two scoreless innings, allowing three hits, striking out three and walking one. Certainly had his moments. Nats still trail 4-1.
9:39 p.m. -- Great chance for the Nats to get back in this in the bottom of the seventh ... and it's squandered. Alex Cora grounded into a 5-4-3 double play, then Ryan Zimmerman's shot to deep right was caught at the wall by Mike Stanton. It remains 4-1 after seven.
9:56 p.m. -- Emilio Bonifacio now has a 25-game hitting streak. The Marlins now lead 5-1. That's all I got.
10:05 p.m. -- Meanwhile in Atlanta, the Pirates and Braves (who played 19 innings last night and might still be playing if not for Jerry Meals' blown call at the plate) are going to extra innings again. Oh, the Nats are still losing 5-1.
10:15 p.m. -- You know it's been a good night when Mike Cameron has homered twice off you. Just took Drew Storen deep in the top of the ninth, making it 7-1. Sheesh.
10:33 p.m. -- Well, what do you know? The Nats are staging a two-out, ninth-inning rally. They've scored four runs, making it 7-5, and now Laynce Nix is coming to the plate representing the tying run.
10:34 p.m. -- And Nix sends one DEEP to right ... and caught at the warning track. Game over. Final: Marlins 7, Nats 5.