Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats make their first appearance at Marlins Park this afternoon.
Perhaps it's a good thing the Nationals are a bit loopy this morning after their short turnaround from last night's game in Atlanta. Said Davey Johnson: "I feel like I flew from Beijing to Miami." Guys are in a good mood, though, helped by the fact they just swept the Braves.
There's a new face in the clubhouse as well. Outfielder Corey Brown had his contract purchased from Class AAA Syracuse (where he led the team with 12 homers, five of them over his last five games). Chad Tracy, meanwhile, has been placed on the 15-day DL with a groin injury; he'll fly to Philadelphia tomorrow to be examined but could miss significant time. To make room on the 40-man roster for Brown, Jayson Werth has been transferred to the 60-day DL. Jesus Flores, meanwhile, says his right hamstring feels much better, and he hopes to be able to catch tomorrow night.
It's Jordan Zimmermann vs. Carlos Zambrano on this Memorial Day. Live updates and analysis to come...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at MIAMI MARLINS
Where: Marlins Park
Gametime: 1:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 186
LF Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
C Carlos Maldonado
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
SS Jose Reyes
2B Omar Infante
3B Hanley Ramirez
RF Giancarlo Stanton
1B Logan Morrison
CF Bryan Petersen
C John Buck
LF Chris Coghlan
RHP Carlos Zambrano
HP Jim Reynolds, 1B Dan Iassogna, 2B James Hoye, 3B Jim Joyce (cc)
12:45 p.m. -- Plenty of pregame news and notes. Here's the article on Chad Tracy going on the DL and Corey Brown joining the roster. And here's the latest on Jesus Flores and Michael Morse.
1:10 p.m. -- And we are underway on Memorial Day from Miami. A very comfortable 78 degrees indoors, 86 degrees outside.
1:17 p.m. -- It should've been a 1-2-3 top of the first for Carlos Zambrano ... if not for Hanley Ramirez's hideous, two-base error on Ryan Zimmerman's routine grounder to third. And Ramirez just stood there with his hand on hip like it wasn't his fault. The Nats couldn't take advantage of the mistake, though, because Adam LaRoche grounded out to end the inning.
1:25 p.m. -- Jordan Zimmermann did allow a two-out single to Hanley, but can't find fault with anything else he did in the bottom of the first. Twelve of 13 pitches for strikes. That's efficiency.
1:41 p.m. -- A bit of a ragged bottom of the second for Zimmermann. He allowed a two-out single to John Buck (who had been hitless in his last 26 at-bats), then watched as Zimmerman booted Chris Coghlan's routine grounder to prolong the inning. But with the very dangerous Zambrano at the plate, Zimmermann induced a groundball to second, ending the inning. It remains scoreless through two.
1:52 p.m. -- So, you thought Stephen Strasburg had impressive power? How about Jordan Zimmermann! Put a 2-2 curveball into the Clevelander bar beyond the left-field fence. Hopefully he didn't take out any dancing girls. That's Zimmermann's first career homer, and it's the second homer by a Nats pitcher in eight days (following, of course, Strasburg's blast against the Orioles). The Nats take a 1-0 lead in the third.
2:11 p.m. -- A chance for some more damage in the top of the fourth after LaRoche drew a leadoff walk. But Desmond struck out, Espinosa grounded into a fielder's choice and then after Ankiel singled to put runners on the corners, Maldonado grounded out to third, with Hanley able to quintuple clutch and still throw out the slow-footed catcher by about three steps. Still 1-0 in the middle of the fourth.
2:17 p.m. -- Light that monstrosity up! Logan Morrison puts one into the right-field bleachers, and look at it go! We've got bright lights. We've got spinning dolphins. We've got shooting water. I think this also means Morrison just won a giant, stuffed animal. Anyways, it's now 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth.
2:32 p.m. -- You figured it would only be a matter of time before Ryan Zimmerman got hot at the plate. Sure enough, it's happening. With a two-run double off the left-center field fence, Zim put the Nats up 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth. And he's now hitting .326 with nine RBI over his last nine-plus games.
2:44 p.m. -- Wait, what the !@ was that just now? It kind of looked like the Presidents Race, except it was run by four giant sea creatures. There was an octopus, a sea horse, a shark and ... something else I can't remember. Anyways, it's still 3-1 in the sixth.
3:01 p.m. -- You know, there's nothing theoretically wrong with throwing a 3-1 slider to Giancarlo Stanton. But if you do, you might not want to hang it right over the heart of the strike zone like Zimmermann just did. Two-run bomb to left ties this game 3-3. And then it gets worse as Jordan gives up a double to Morrison and a single to Petersen. He almost got out of it, but Coghlan's line drive to left was able to score Morrison. That's the downside to playing Lombardozzi in left. He made a nice play on the ball, but he just doesn't have enough mustard in his arm to make that throw. The Marlins take a 4-3 lead as we go to the seventh.
3:23 p.m. -- Golden opportunity for the Nats to re-tie the game in the top of the seventh when Roger Bernadina walked and Lombardozzi singled to knock Zambrano out. But lefty Dan Jennings got Harper to loft a flyball down the left-field line, and Chris Coghlan ran a loooong way to track it down. Then right-hander Edward Mujica got Zimmerman to ground into a 6-4-3 double play on his first pitch. Rally killed. Inning over. The Nats still trail 4-3 at the stretch.
3:36 p.m. -- Make it 5-3 Marlins, and give all the credit to Jose Reyes. He turned a bloop single to center into a double. Then he took third base on a grounder to Zimmerman. Then he scored on a Ramirez's sac fly to shallow center field. It's rare that Ankiel doesn't at least try to throw out a runner at the plate, and it looked like he'd have a good shot there. But replays showed him struggling to get a grip on the ball as he pulled it out of the glove, so he never even bothered with the throw. Just like that, the Nats are down two and down to their last six outs.
3:43 p.m. -- And now they're down to their last three outs as Mujica retires the side in the eighth on a groundball and a pair of strikeouts. The Nats look a little sluggish out there. That short night might finally be catching up to them.
3:50 p.m. -- OK, last chance here. And heeeeere's Heath Bell out of the Miami bullpen. So, it's not over yet.
4:00 p.m. -- It's over. Marlins win 5-3.