Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ross Detwiler tries to pitch the Nats to their ninth straight win today.
Ross Detwiler will be on the mound for this one, looking to continue his strong run since rejoining the rotation nearly two months ago (he's 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA in eight starts). He'll be opposed by fellow left-hander Patrick Corbin, a rookie making his eighth career start in the big leagues.
Jayson Werth is not in the Nationals' lineup this afternoon. Honestly, that's not a huge surprise because he looked a bit tired after patrolling the spacious center field here at Chase Field last night. So Bryce Harper is back in center, with Tyler Moore in left and Michael Morse in right.
Lots of updates to come, so please check back...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Where: Chase Field
Gametime: 4:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
SS Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Tyler Moore
C Kurt Suzuki
2B Steve Lombardozzi
LHP Ross Detwiler
CF Chris Young
2B Aaron Hill
LF Jason Kubel
1B Paul Goldschmidt
RF Justin Upton
C Miguel Montero
3B Chris Johnson
SS John McDonald
LHP Patrick Corbin
HP D.J. Reyburn
1B Mike Muchlinski
2B C.B. Bucknor
3B Dan Iassogna
4:11 p.m. -- We are underway with a strike from Patrick Corbin to Danny Espinosa. It's 106 degrees outside, a comfortable 77 degrees inside.
4:15 p.m. -- Wow, crazy way for Bryce Harper's afternoon to begin. He sent a chopper up the middle and might have been out on a bang-bang play at first, except John McDonald's throw skipped past Paul Goldschmidt and towards the dugout. So Harper turned and started to make a beeline for second base. Except Mike Muchlinski was standing directly in his path and Bryce wound up taking out the umpire with a tackle that would've made James Harrison proud (and probably resulted in a fine from Roger Goodell). So Harper had to retreat to first base, where moments later he was picked off by Corbin. Not the way the rookie wanted his day to begin.
4:23 p.m. -- And the Bryce Harper First Inning concludes with a diving catch to rob Chris Young of extra bases, then a semi-routine flyball out. Ross Detwiler had the audacity to strike out Jason Kubel to end the inning without Harper being involved in any way. So after all that, it's scoreless as we move to the second.
4:42 p.m. -- Sloppy defense gives the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Ryan Zimmerman made a nifty, short-hop scoop of Goldschmidt's grounder to third, then fired a terrible throw to first for a two-base error. As we've often seen over the years, the more time Zim has to make a throw, the more likely he is to throw it away. Making this one even worse, Goldschmidt immediately stole third and scored when Kurt Suzuki's throw sailed into left field. That's two errors, one stolen base and zero hits off Detwiler, yet the D'backs take a 1-0 lead.
5:18 p.m. -- We're into the bottom of the fourth now, the Nats now trailing 3-0 after a shaky third inning by Detwiler. He gave up a couple of doubles and plunked Jason Kubel in the ribs, helping lead to a two-out rally. The Nats, meanwhile, have one hit off Corbin through four, making the rookie throw only 43 pitches.
5:29 p.m. -- Make it five scoreless for Corbin, who has faced the minimum. In fact, the only batter to reach has been Harper on that first-inning infield single (which could have been scored an error). Obviously, there's a long way to go, and we've seen how quickly this lineup can strike. But they've shown no signs of doing it so far today. Still 3-0 D'backs.
5:49 p.m. -- This one got ugly in a hurry. Detwiler couldn't get out of the fifth inning, issuing a one-out walk followed by an RBI double. He saved himself from decapitation by snagging Kubel's comebacker, but that was all Davey needed to see. In came Craig Stammen, who only poured more gasoline on the fire. Three straight hits, two of them doubles, putting the Diamondbacks up 7-0. It would take a fairly remarkable rally at this point for the Nats to keep their winning streak alive.
5:55 p.m. -- Six innings in the books, and Corbin still has faced the minimum. Stammen got to hit for himself with two outs and the Nats trailing by seven. That should tell you what Davey thinks about this game. At this point, it's just about completing the final three innings without anybody getting hurt.
6:20 p.m. -- Well, at least the Nats got a clean base hit. And a couple of runs, as it turns out. Espinosa doubles to right-center to open the seventh, then scores on Zimmerman's RBI single. LaRoche added a sac fly, so it's 7-2 as we reach the seventh-inning stretch.
6:34 p.m. -- Harper is now hitting .249 after a popup to short to end the top of the eighth. That's the lowest his batting average has sat since May 20.
6:52 p.m. -- This one's not over quite yet, folks. Doubles by Zimmerman and Morse a long single by Moore have trimmed the lead to 7-4 with one out in the ninth and forced Kirk Gibson to bring in his closer, J.J. Putz, to finish this off.
7:01 p.m. -- Now it's over. The Nats drop the finale of the series, 7-4, and see their eight-game winning streak come to an end. Hey, nobody said they were perfect.