Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
It'll be John Lannan vs. Brad Lincoln in Game 2 of the doubleheader.
John Lannan takes the mound for the Nats, looking to bounce back from a ragged outing in Anaheim where he surrendered 11 hits in only 5 2/3 innings. Right-hander Brad Lincoln, summoned by the Pirates from the minors just for this game, gets to make a spot start.
Unlike Game 1, this one will be televised by MASN2 beginning at 7 p.m. Of course, I'll still be posting updates throughout, so please stick around...
PIRATES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Partly cloudy, 87 degrees, Wind 4 mph out to LF
STARTING LINEUPS6:57 p.m. -- You'll notice some lineup changes for Game 2. Davey Johnson has bumped Danny Espinosa up to the No. 2 spot and Jayson Werth down to the 5-hole. We'll have to see if this is a one-time thing or a more permanent move. My hunch, based on the way Davey's been talking the last few days, is that this could be permanent.
LF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse
RF Jayson Werth
CF Rick Ankiel
C Wilson Ramos
SS Ian Desmond
P John Lannan
LF Alex Presley
SS Chase d'Arnaud
CF Andrew McCutchen
1B Garrett Jones
RF Matt Diaz
2B Neil Walker
3B Josh Harrison
C Eric Fryer
P Brad Lincoln
7:15 p.m. -- Game 2 is underway with a fouled bunt attempt from Alex Presley on a John Lannan fastball. It's 88 degrees at first pitch, and there's still a good-sized crowd here. It'll probably end up announced at more than 30,000 for the twinbill, though there probably will never have been that many in the park at one time.
7:22 p.m. -- Not writing a full recap of Game 1 (I'll do one combined article at the end of the night wrapping everything up) but I wanted to share a couple of quotes from Davey Johnson and Livan Hernandez. (Those were the only two people made available for interviews after Game 1.) First up, Davey on Sean Burnett: "That's got to be his spot, left-handers coming up. We know Clip can do it. But I can't burn Clippard all the way out. Sean's got to get better, and I feel confident he can." ... Davey on Roger Bernadina's baserunning blunder: "He had to think it wasn't going to be caught. Obviously he didn't, because he never slowed down." And finally, Livo on the adjustment he made after the shaky first inning: "We talked. I talked to Pudge, and we started moving the ball a little more, in and out."
7:26 p.m. -- Nothing goin' on in the first inning for either team, aside from an Andrew McCutchen triple. (By the way, what a player he is, huh?) The new-look Nats lineup went down in order in the bottom of the first against Brad Lincoln, with Roger Bernadina striking out and Danny Espinosa and Ryan Zimmerman grounding out to the right side. Scoreless after one.
7:47 p.m. -- And the Nats are on the board first. Jayson Werth drew a one-out walk, then advanced to third on Rick Ankiel's single to right -- Ankiel is now 4-for-4 since coming off the DL -- and then scored on Wilson Ramos' slow roller to short. It's 1-0 after two.
8:00 p.m. -- And the Pirates tie it back up 1-1 in the top of the third on Eric Fryer's first career hit and Chase d'Arnaud's first career RBI. And then take a 2-1 lead when Werth can't haul in McCutchen's drive to the right-field wall. He did need to jump a bit at the fence, but the ball hit his glove. Wouldn't have been the most difficult play he's ever made.
8:06 p.m. -- An update from Potomac, where Chien-Ming Wang tonight made his second rehab start: He tossed four scoreless innings, allowing one hit and two walks while striking out two. Got five outs on the ground, only one in the air. So far, so good for the recovering right-hander.
8:09 p.m. -- OK, some TV viewers inform me that ball to right field hit the wall above Werth's glove. I only saw one quick replay on a small TV screen, so I thought it hit his glove first. Wasn't saying he butchered it or anything. Just saying it was a play he might have been able to make.
8:12 p.m. -- The Nats catch a break in the bottom of the third. Just when it looked like Zimmerman had grounded into an inning-ending double play, the throw to first just pulled Garrett Jones off first base. Or at least, that's what umpire Adrian Johnson ruled. Right call or wrong call, the Nats have tied the game 2-2 after three.
8:51 p.m. -- Sorry for the delay. I was down in the stands visiting some friends in attendance. It's still 2-2, now through six innings as both starters have settled in. Nats had a chance in the fifth after Espinosa doubled with one out. But Zimmerman's smoked line drive to left wasn't quite deep enough, and Morse grounded out to end that rally. Lannan, meanwhile, has cruised along, retiring 10 in a row and is heading back to the mound for the seventh. Exactly what Davey Johnson needed out of his starter.
9:00 p.m. -- And the Pirates retake the lead in the top of the seventh. Back-to-back singles by Diaz and Walker put runners on the corners with nobody out. And even though Lannan got the double-play grounder he wanted, it still allowed the go-ahead run to score. Nats now trail 3-2 at the stretch.
9:13 p.m. -- Today's/tonight's paid attendance: 39,638. That's a near-sellout, though it counts for only one date despite there being two games. Still, impressive total.
9:17 p.m. -- Another squandered opportunity for one of the Nats' big boys at the plate. With two on and two out in the seventh, Zimmerman came up in a big spot. But after getting ahead in the count 2-0, he swung and missed at a Daniel McCutchen fastball, then took another fastball, then watched a slider cross the plate for strike three. To say Zim looks lost at the plate right now is putting it mildly. Just not feeling it at all. On the bright side, Roger Bernadina has drawn four walks today/tonight. Maybe he's trying to send a message to Davey Johnson he can be the leadoff guy. Nats still trail 3-2 after seven.
9:31 p.m. -- Six outs left for the Nats. It'll be Morse, Werth and Ankiel to face Chris Resop (who was lights-out last night) in the bottom of the eighth.
9:46 p.m. -- Now THERE'S a rally. A hit batter. Two walks. A double steal and a throwing error on the catcher. That's JuggerNats ball right there, and because of it, the game is tied 3-3. The bad news, though, is that Morse had to leave the game after taking a fastball off his forearm. Nice-sized lump visible on TV.
9:56 p.m. -- Pudge to the rescue! Sent up to pinch-hit with two outs and two on, he fell behind in the count 0-2 to Tony Watson, then delivered a sharp single to right. Xavier Paul made a pretty good throw to the plate, but Eric Fryer couldn't hang onto it, so Rick Ankiel slid in safely with the go-ahead run. Nats take a 4-3 lead after eight, and now Drew Storen is on to try to save it.
10:05 p.m. -- Ballgame. Nats win 4-3 thanks to the big eighth-inning rally. Ryan Mattheus gets his first career win. Drew Storen gets his 20th save. And after splitting this doubleheader, the Nats are back to .500.