Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg tries to get back on track today at Marlins Park.
The All-Star hurler will try to get back on track today when he faces the Marlins in a matinee under the roof. Shouldn't have to worry at all about heat or humidity inside this facility.
Ricky Nolasco starts for Miami, and he'll face a Nats lineup that is without Ian Desmond for the first time since April 19 but may be without him for several days. Desmond's lingering left oblique strain got worse last night (which is why he was bunting in the ninth inning instead of swinging away). Davey Johnson said this morning he's hopeful Desmond won't need a DL stint, but just in case this lasts multiple days, he's putting Danny Espinosa at shortstop and Steve Lombardozzi at second.
Full story on that situation forthcoming. In the meantime, check back here for live game updates...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at MIAMI MARLINS
Where: Marlins Park
Gametime: 1:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 89
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse
SS Danny Espinosa
CF Roger Bernadina
C Jhonatan Solano
RHP Stephen Strasburg
SS Jose Reyes
2B Omar Infante
1B Carlos Lee
LF Logan Morrison
3B Hanley Ramirez
RF Greg Dobbs
CF Emilio Bonifacio
C John Buck
RHP Ricky Nolasco
HP Marty Foster, 1B D.J. Reyburn, 2B Jeff Kellogg (cc), 3B Eric Cooper
1:05 p.m. -- Before we get started: Here's the full story on Ian Desmond, with thoughts from Davey Johnson and Danny Espinosa.
1:11 p.m. -- And we're underway with a strike from Ricky Nolasco to Steve Lombardozzi. It's Star Wars Day here. May the Force be with you.
1:15 p.m. -- That didn't take long. Nolasco cruises through the top of the first on 10 pitches, getting Lombardozzi to ground out, Bryce Harper to pop out and Ryan Zimmerman to strikeout. Harper really doesn't look comfortable at the plate these days. His front shoulder is flying open, and pitchers are taking advantage of that by feeding him nothing but offspeed stuff on the outside corner. He's just not able to make solid contact on that pitch the way he's swinging right now.
1:23 p.m. -- A dominant first inning for Stephen Strasburg as well. He needed 13 pitches (nine strikes) to retire the side, getting Jose Reyes on a comebacker and Omar Infante on a flyball into the right field corner. He then completely overwhelmed Carlos Lee, dropping a curveball past him for strike two and then a 90 mph changeup past him for strike three. Scoreless after one.
1:41 p.m. -- A little bit of trouble for Strasburg in the bottom of the second. He allowed a leadoff single to Logan Morrison and a one-out single to Greg Dobbs. Sandwiched in between was a nice catch by Bryce Harper of Hanley Ramirez's smash to right. Harper had a chance to double up Morrison, but his throw across the body to first base was wide. The Marlins wound up with runners on second and third when Strasburg was charged with a wild pitch on a low fastball to John Buck. Truth be told, Jhonatan Solano should have been given the passed ball there, because the ball struck his glove. He's got to knock that down. No worries, because Strasburg struck out Buck to end the inning and keep this game scoreless.
1:53 p.m. -- Strasburg, naturally, is the first member of the Nats lineup to reach base today. He now sports a .429 on-base percentage. Davey should lead him off.
2:10 p.m. -- Whew, that was an exhausting bottom of the third. It included a base hit by Nolasco to right field, with Harper totally geared up to throw him out 9-3 before bobbling the ball. It included two more singles by Reyes and Lee, the latter of which should have scored Nolasco except he held up around third as Bernadina's throw sailed all the way to the backstop. Now with the bases loaded and one out, Strasburg had no margin for error. He wound up striking out Morrison on a high-and-tight fastball, then got Ramirez to hit a sharp grounder down the third-base line. Great diving play by Zimmerman to scoop up the ball, then a great stretch at first base from LaRoche to complete the play and bail out Strasburg, who has already thrown 60 pitches and given up five hits in three scoreless innings.
2:17 p.m. -- Four innings down, and Strasburg is the only National to reach base so far against Nolasco. Meanwhile, Ozzie Guillen appeared to be yapping at Bryce Harper during the bottom of the fourth. Not sure what it was all about, but Ozzie was quite animated. Not that he isn't always quite animated. Still 0-0 as we go to the bottom of the fourth.
2:25 p.m. -- More wild stuff in the bottom of the inning, all courtesy Roger Bernadina. First he makes a way off-line throw trying to get Emilio Bonifacio stretching a single into a double. Then seconds later, he makes an incredible catch of John Buck's drive to deep center. This game has been Roger Bernadina's career in a nutshell. Incredible athletic ability ... when he can harness it and use his head.
2:45 p.m. -- Man, is Ozzie Guillen having a bad day or what? In the top of the fifth, he elected to intentionally walk Solano and bring Strasburg to the plate with two outs and a man in scoring position. Apparently he's learned from the Fredi Gonzalez school of managing. And what do you know, Strasburg laces an RBI single to right. He's now hitting .385 with a .448 on-base percentage and a .654 slugging percentage. Guess what, folks? This guy is a good hitter. A really good hitter. Throw in Lombardozzi's RBI single moments later and the Nats have themselves a 2-0 lead.
2:57 p.m. -- He hasn't been at his absolute best today, but Strasburg has been brilliant when he's needed to be brilliant with men in scoring position. Had runners on second and third with two outs in the fifth and struck out Hanley on a 2-2 curveball in the dirt. So he's somehow made it through five scoreless innings, though his pitch count is up to 94. We'll see if Davey lets him back out for the sixth.
3:13 p.m. -- Make it 4-0 Nats as Morse drives in a run in the top of the sixth, then later gets tagged out trying to steal home. Say what? Yes, you read that correctly. Somebody missed a sign, either Bernadina (who swung away but was supposed to bunt) or Morse (who thought the squeeze play was on). Just another weird moment in a weird game. Meanwhile, Strasburg is back out for the bottom of the sixth on 94 pitches.
3:27 p.m. -- And Strasburg cruises through the sixth on nine pitches, perhaps his best inning of the day. His final line: 6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K, 105 pitches. Ryan Mattheus in for the bottom of the seventh, trying to protect a 4-0 lead.
3:39 p.m. -- Mattheus cruises through the seventh, so he's back out for the bottom of the eighth, the Nats now six outs from winning this game.
3:49 p.m. -- Mattheus got the first out, then Davey handed the ball to Sean Burnett, whose elbow appears to be A-OK. He struck out Morrison and got Ramirez to ground out. Sean and the Nats will breathe a sigh of relief over that. We go to the ninth, still 4-0 Nats.
3:54 p.m. -- OK, here we go. Tyler Clippard to pitch the bottom of the ninth in another non-save situation.
4:11 p.m. -- Game over. Nats win, 4-0. But it wasn't easy. Clippard loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth, then escaped Chad Cordero-style.