File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg faces the Rockies tonight at Nationals Park.
Speaking of looking out, Stephen Strasburg will have to be careful dealing with extreme weather conditions yet again. After suffering from hat exhaustion in Atlanta on Saturday, he'll get only a slight reprieve tonight, with the forecast calling for a reading of 97 degrees at first pitch.
Though there are still three games until the All-Star break, tonight marks the official halfway point of the season. A victory would leave the Nats at 49-32, on pace for 98 wins. A loss would leave them at 48-33, still on pace for 96 wins. I would think everyone out there would have taken that on Opening Day, right?
I'm off this weekend; heading out of town for a family event the next two days and then heading to Kansas City on Sunday in advance of the All-Star Game. Never fear, though, because Chase Hughes of CSNwashington.com will be here all weekend and will post updates...
COLORADO ROCKIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Mostly clear, 97 degrees, Wind 5 mph LF to RF
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Tyler Moore
C Jesus Flores
RHP Stephen Strasburg
CF Dexter Fowler
2B Marco Scutaro
LF Carlos Gonzalez
RF Michael Cuddyer
1B Tyler Colvin
3B Jordan Pacheco
C Wil Nieves
SS Jonathan Herrera
LHP Drew Pomeranz
HP Jim Joyce
1B Mike Dimuro
2B Jim Reynolds
3B James Hoye
6:55 p.m. -- Ryan Zimmerman received the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award before the game for his charitable work with the ziMS Foundation and Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Ian Desmond were given their 2012 N.L. All-Star Game jerseys.
7:14 p.m. -- Strasburg sets down the Rockies' 1-2-3 capped by an eight-pitch strikeout of Carlos Gonzalez. Stras through one has thrown 16 pitches (10 strikes).
7:21 p.m. -- Three up, three down for Nats in first inning as Zimmerman flew out to first to end the inning. Pomeranz is touching 95 with his fastball and throwing strikes.
7:27 p.m. -- Tyler Colvin popped up behind the plate but Jesus Flores muffed the catch at his waist for an error. Two pitches later Colvin crushed his 12th homer of the year into the right field upper deck.
7:31 p.m. -- Strasburg strikes out the next two batters (Pacheco, Nieves) to end the top of the second. Pacheco whiffed on a 96 mph fastball and Nieves chased a curve way out of the zone. 1-0 Rockies as the Colvin run goes down as unearned.
7:37 p.m. -- Nats go down in order in the bottom of the second. Through two they are hitless and yet to hit it out of the infield. Pomeranz wasn't quite as sharp commanding the zone in the second, but just as effective overall. He has thrown 22 pitches (15 strikes) so far.
7:56 p.m. -- Jesus Flores reached base on an errant throw with one out in the third inning. Strasburg placed a nice sacrifice bunt to get Flores to second, but a quick fly out to the shortstop by Danny Espinosa sends us to the fourth. Pomeranz has thrown 34 pitches, 24 of them strikes. Strasburg starts the fourth having thrown 49 pitches through three with five strikeouts.
8:07 p.m. -- Tyler Colvin strikes again, this time on a full count and the tenth pitch of the at-bat. Colvin lined a two-run homer (13th of the year) right over the right field scoreboard to make it a 3-0 game. Carlos Gonzalez came in to the score after walking to lead off the inning.
8:18 p.m. -- The Nats go without a run in the fourth, but did get their first hit with a shallow single to center by Bryce Harper. Pomeranz has been strong despite defensive mistakes by his teammates. Through four he has thrown 47 pitches (34 strikes), allowed one hit, and struck out four.
8:31 p.m. -- Strasburg gets through the top of the fifth after two men get one base. Herrera singled to right to lead off and Fowler worked 11 pitches before singling to right with one out. Scutaro then grounded into a double play to end the side. Strasburg has thrown 89 pitches (61 strikes) in five innings of work (5 H, 1 BB, 5 SO).
8:39 p.m. -- After getting Desmond and Moore to quickly fly out, Pomeranz looked shaky in walking Flores on four pitches. He threw two balls to start off against Strasburg, but then settled in with three straight strikes. He got Strasburg to whiff on a 92 mph fastball to end the inning. Still 3-0 Rockies heading into the sixth.
8:52 p.m. -- Three Rockies singles loaded the bases with one out off Strasburg in the sixth as the Nationals' ace eclipsed the 100 pitch mark. He got out of the jam with a double play turned by Ryan Zimmerman and Jesus Flores who got Wil Nieves at first for the inning-ending out. Strasburg with 107 pitches through six (75 strikes). Rough day but still a quality start (2 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 6 SO, 2 HR). 3-0 Rockies in the bottom of the sixth.
9:02 p.m. -- Bryce Harper drew a one out walk in the sixth, but both Zimmerman and Morse flied out deep to end the inning. Tom Gorzelanny is in to replace Strasburg in the 7th.
9:07 p.m. -- Dexter Fowler takes a 2-1 pitch to right-center for a solo home run, his 11th of the year. Rockies now lead 4-0 in the top of the seventh on three total homers in the game.
9:17 p.m. -- Reliever Matt Belisle enters the game for Pomeranz after LaRoche strikes out to lead off. Pomeranz exits after 6.1 with 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO. He threw 81 pitches (53 strikes) in an all-around solid start. He could have had a no-hitter if it weren't for a misplayed fly ball by Herrera in the fourth to let Harper aboard.
9:31 p.m. -- Carlos Gonzalez led off the eighth inning with a blistering double to center field over Bryce Harper's head. Ryan Matheus entered the game and let Gonzalez steal third after noticing him running late. Michael Cuddyer then hit a deep ball to right field to sacrifice Gonzalez home. 5-0 Rockies.
9:46 p.m. -- On to the ninth inning as Henry Rodriguez takes the mound for the Nats. He will face Nieves to lead off.
9:57 p.m. -- Ryan Zimmerman leads off with a 1-1 home run to left field. 5-1 Rockies now.
10:03 p.m. -- Morse doubled to deep right and then LaRoche shanked a single to move Morse to third. Rafael Betancourt enters the game for Colorado in attempt to stop the bleeding here in the ninth. Two men on and no outs, still 5-1 Rockies.
10:11 p.m. -- Ian Desmond strikes out, a pinch-hitting Bernadina lined out, and Flores popped out to end the rally and the game. 5-1 Rockies over the Nationals.