Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals face the Marlins in a Saturday matinee on South Capitol Street.
Ross Detwiler, who now officially becomes the Nats' No. 4 starter, is seeking his 10th win of the season. He'd become the fourth different member of the rotation to reach double-digits in wins, with Edwin Jackson (who starts tomorrow) also one win away.
One lineup change for the Nationals: Kurt Suzuki was initially listed in the starting lineup, but after catching all 10 innings last night, he's been replaced by Jesus Flores. Not an injury situation, just a matter of giving Suzuki a rest.
Updates to come, so please check back. And please check back on the Strasburg story, which I'll be updating with pregame quotes from Mike Rizzo and later postgame quotes from Strasburg and other players...
MIAMI MARLINS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 89
Weather: Scattered storms, 85 degrees, Wind 16 mph out to LF
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
Kurt SuzukiJesus Flores
LHP Ross Detwiler
CF Gorkys Hernandez
2B Donovan Solano
SS Jose Reyes
RF Giancarlo Stanton
1B Carlos Lee
LF Justin Ruggiano
C John Beck
3B Donnie Murphy
LHP Mark Buehrle
HP Todd Tichenor
1B Tony Randazzo
2B Bob Davidson
3B Brian Gorman (cc)
1:07 p.m. -- And we're underway on an 83 degree September afternoon in the nation's capital. Another good crowd on hand as Ross Detwiler delivers his first pitch to Gorkys Hernandez.
1:16 p.m. -- Well, that didn't quite go as planned. Hernandez took Detwiler deep to open the afternoon. Then two batters later, Giancarlo Stanton did it again. This after Detwiler apparently felt he was squeezed on the previous pitch. That led to some barking from the Nats dugout, especially from Gio Gonzalez, who was then ejected by plate umpire Todd Tichenor. Not that there was any chance of Gio appearing in today's game, but ... So, after quite an eventful top of the first, the Marlins lead 2-0.
1:24 p.m. -- And the questionable strike zone continues in the bottom of the first, with Jayson Werth upset about Tichenor giving Mark Buehrle the same outside corner he wouldn't give Detwiler. Ryan Zimmerman wound up drawing a two-out walk, but that's it for the Nats as the first inning comes to an end with the score still 2-0.
1:42 p.m. -- Make it 3-0 as Detwiler gives up two hits and a walk in the top of the second. He hasn't looked comfortble out there at all today, especially when it comes to Tichenor's strike zone. Buehrle, meanwhile, set down the Nats in order in the bottom of the second, getting three groundball outs.
1:58 p.m. -- Jesus Flores gets the Nats on the board with a solo homer just over the left-field fence, his sixth of the season. Flores certainly seems to be more consistently productive at the plate since his playing time was reduced with the acquisition of Kurt Suzuki. That's what the club hoped all along. 3-1 now after three.
2:17 p.m. -- And the Nats cut the lead to 3-2 thanks to a pair of two-out hits from Desmond and Espinosa, the latter scoring Zimmerman from second base. They had a chance to plate the tying and even go-ahead runs, but the Marlins intentionally walked Flores to load the bases for Detwiler, who tapped a weak grounder to third on the first pitch he saw. So we go to the fifth, the Nats now trailing 3-2.
2:30 p.m. -- And the Nats give the Marlins two runs right back in the top of the fifth thanks to some shaky play in the field. LaRoche committed an incredibly rare fielding error when he let a ball get through his legs, allowing one run to score. Morse then had trouble on a sinking liner to left, letting another run to score, though he did a good job getting the ball back into the infield and ultimately throwing another runner out. But it's now 5-2 Marlins.
2:33 p.m. -- Er, make that 5-3 after Harper demolishes a pitch into the second deck in right-center. It's his 18th homer of the season, matching Mel Ott for the second-most ever by a teenager. Only Tony Conigliaro (24) remains ahead of him on the list.
2:41 p.m. -- Craig Stammen enters in place of Detwiler for the top of the sixth and retires the side, though he got some help from Desmond, who made a great diving stop of Hernandez's frozen rope to short.
2:57 p.m. -- Make it 6-3 as Zimmerman throws the ball away to allow a run to score in the seventh. This has not been a particularly well-played game by the Nationals. Though on the bright side, Stammen and Flores did just combine to throw a basestealer out.
3:15 p.m. -- Good stuff again from Christian Garcia during a dominant top of the eighth. It's only three major-league appearances, but so far the right-hander looks really impressive. Still 6-3 heading to the bottom of the eighth. On the bright side, Buehrle is out of the game, so the Nats get to take their hacks against Miami's suspect bullpen.
3:40 p.m. -- Sure enough, that Miami bullpen made this a game again. A.J. Ramos hit Harper, served up a two-run homer to Zimmerman and gave up a single to Morse. Ozzie countered with lefty Mike Dunn to face LaRoche, who then singled to right to keep the rally going. So in came right-hander Ryan Webb to face Desmond, who grounded into a fielder's choice on the very first pitch he saw. Desmond stole second, giving the Nats the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second, but when they needed a simple base hit over a drawn-in infield, they instead saw Espinosa strike out and (after Chad Tracy was intentionally walked) Roger Bernadina strike out. So we move to the ninth, with the Nats now trailing 6-5.
3:55 p.m. -- Onto the bottom of the ninth, but the concern now is a MAJOR storm fast approaching from the west. There are reports of a tornado spotted in this system. If this game doesn't end in about three minutes, we may have a major disaster on our hands.
3:57 p.m. -- And it has arrived. Huge winds, monster rain, everyone running for cover. Game in a delay. Be careful, everyone.
4:27 p.m. -- OK, here's the latest: The rain is easing up, but there's standing water everywhere, especially around the warning track. Most fans are now heading for the Metro, though some are staying. MLB executive Kay Feeney happens to be here today, and I just asked her about the possibility of suspending this game and finishing it before tomorrow's finale. She explained that's not an option and only would be if the Marlins had taken the lead in the top of the inning. So basically, they either have to wait this out and finish the game today/tonight, or else it's called an official game after 8 innings, with the Marlins winning 6-5.
5:00 p.m. -- The latest update: It's still raining, though not very hard. The field looks much better than it did 30 minutes ago, but there's still a lot of standing water and work for the grounds crew to do. But it does look like this game will resume at some point. When it does, a question: Do the Marlins leave Heath Bell in for the bottom of the ninth after he did a full warm-up before the delay? And if you're the Nats, do you want Bell to stay in, or would you rather face Steve Cishek or someone else out of the Miami bullpen?
5:27 p.m. -- And now the tarp is back out covering the field as the rain has picked up again. Who knows how long this will take now?
5:55 p.m. -- The latest: There's no update. The tarp is still covering the field. It's still raining, though not all that hard. But apparently they don't want to resume this game if they feel there's a chance of the rain picking up again and forcing another delay.
6:17 p.m. -- It looks like we're going to have baseball here shortly. The tarp is being rolled up. Players are emerging from the dugouts. The game is expected to resume at 6:30.
6:29 p.m. -- And we're back underway. Heath Bell on the mound. Jayson Werth at the plate. Bryce Harper on deck. Ryan Zimmerman in the hole. Maybe 200 people in the stands. Nats trailing 6-5.
6:33 p.m. -- Werth. Home run. Game tied. Harper up.
6:39 p.m. -- And then Bell strikes out Harper, Zimmerman and Tyler Moore (hitting for Eury Perez) in succession. Hey, let's go to extra innings!
6:49 p.m. -- Drew Storen strikes out the side in the top of the 10th. So here comes Chad Gaudin to face LaRoche, Desmond and Espinosa in the bottom of the inning.
6:59 p.m. -- Nats win. Nats win. Nats win. LaRoche led off with a single to right, then chugged his way around to third on Desmond's single to right. After the Marlins loaded the bases and brought in an extra infielder, Corey Brown delivered the game-winning single off Stanton's glove in right field. The Nats win 7-6 in 10 innings. Unreal.