Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Gio Gonzalez faces the Cardinals today at Roger Dean Stadium.
But as for today's game, Gio Gonzalez is on the mound facing the World Series champion Cardinals. Not too many regulars in the Nationals lineup. Rick Ankiel is here. So is Wilson Ramos. Otherwise, it's backups and guys trying to make the roster.
Plenty of updates to come right here, so please check back often...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Where: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: MLB.tv (live), MLB Network (tape delayed at 10 p.m.)
Radio: Cardinals radio via XM 186, MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Partly cloudy, 81 degrees, Wind 19 mph RF to LF
STARTING LINEUPS1:07 p.m. -- We're underway with a ball from Jaime Garcia to Steve Lombardozzi.
SS Steve Lombardozzi
CF Rick Ankiel
3B Mark DeRosa
1B Chad Tracy
C Wilson Ramos
LF Roger Bernadina
RF Brett Carroll
2B Andres Blanco
P Gio Gonzalez
2B Tyler Greene
CF Carlos Beltran
LF Matt Holliday
3B David Freese
C Yadier Molina
SS Rafael Furcal
RF Shane Robinson
1B Tony Cruz
P Jaime Garcia
1:12 p.m. -- Nice line-drive single by Rick Ankiel, who turned on a pitch from Garcia and laced it to right field. Nice to see Ankiel do that against a lefty. Otherwise, nothing doin' for the Nats in the top of the first. Garcia struck out both Lombardozzi and Chad Tracy.
1:21 p.m. -- Gio Gonzalez got into a little bit of trouble in the bottom of the first, allowing an infield single to Carlos Beltran and then walking Matt Holliday. But the left-hander battled back to strike out David Freese looking at a great inside fastball, then got Yadier Molina to ground out to third. Through one inning, it's scoreless.
1:32 p.m. -- Kind of a strange second inning for Roger Bernadina. Actually, it was kind of a typical Roger Bernadina inning. He dropped a really nice bunt for a single. Then he nearly was picked off, only to be saved by Garcia's wild throw that allowed Roger to advance all the way to third base. Then he was almost picked off again by Molina. In the end, he was stranded there after Brett Carroll struck out and Andres Blanco lined out.
1:42 p.m. -- Speaking of craziness ... bottom of the second ... runners on the corners ... one out ... the runner on first takes off ... Ramos throws down to second base, at which point the runner on third takes off for the plate ... Lombardozzi had no shot to make the throw home, so he got the trailing runner in a rundown, only to watch as Chad Tracy dropped his throw. Somehow, they still managed to tag him out, but not until after the lead runner scored. Cardinals lead 1-0 after two.
1:49 p.m. -- Gio Gonzalez has been talking about his offensive prowess all spring. I have a hunch he was joking about that, because he didn't look too good striking out to lead off the third. Gio does hit from the right side, unbeknownst to me until just now. We go to the bottom of the third, still 1-0 Cards.
2:06 p.m. -- Tough third inning for Gio. And for Bernadina. Beltran sent a line drive to left, and Bernadina was in position to make a diving catch. Except it glanced off his glove for a double. Gonzalez then walked Holliday. Following a groundball that advanced both runners, Molina stroked a two-run single to left. So the Cardinals now lead 3-0 after three.
2:28 p.m. -- Not a good day for Gio. He just served up a two-run bomb to Tyler Greene, putting the Cardinals up 6-0 in the fourth. Then he allowed another two-run single, making it 8-0. He's allowed 10 hits, walked four and hasn't looked comfortable at all. But the Nats need him to get his pitch count up, so he's staying in to suffer more carnage.
3:02 p.m. -- Just got back from the clubhouse, where Gonzalez spoke about his wretched outing. The good news is he said his arm felt great and he could've continued even after throwing 85 pitches. He credited the Cardinals batters for hitting some good pitches but also acknowledged he could've done a better job with his pitch selection and location. Ultimately, "I'm glad it happened now and not during the season." Meanwhile, it's still 8-0 in the bottom of the sixth, with Ross Detwiler on the mound.
3:15 p.m. -- Make it 9-0 as Detwiler gives up a run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth.
3:30 p.m. -- Not much left to care about in this one. Detwiler wound up pitching only two innings, allowing the one run. Henry Rodriguez just tossed a scoreless seventh. It's still 9-0. The Nats have produced all of three hits, and now they've got mostly minor leaguers in the game.
3:48 p.m. -- It's over. It's all over. Final score: Cardinals 9, Nationals 0. A good time was had by all. Except anyone sitting in the Nationals dugout. Or covering them from the press box.