Saturday, October 6, 2012

Let the fun begin

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Crews are preparing Busch Stadium for the NLDS against the Nationals.
ST. LOUIS -- Hello from Busch Stadium, which has something of a familiar feel right now. Weren't we just here? As a matter of fact, yes. The Nationals played here last weekend. The stakes this time are just a bit higher, though, and for proof of that all you need to do is look at the MLB Postseason logos being painted along the first and third base lines as we speak.

The NLDS gets underway tomorrow afternoon, with Gio Gonzalez facing Adam Wainwright. Today, we've got workouts by both the Nationals and Cardinals, press conferences with both managers and starting pitchers and open clubhouses for interviews.

Because they had no way of knowing who they'd be playing in this first round of the postseason, the Nationals waited until today to fly into St. Louis. They took off from Dulles International Airport at noon EDT and landed at Lambert-St. Louis about two hours later.

And they'll appear here at Busch Stadium around 4 p.m. EDT, with their on-field workout scheduled for 5 p.m. after the Cardinals wrap up their session.

We'll have to see what news emerges over the course of the afternoon, but here are a few items to watch for...

-- The revelation of the Nationals' 25-man roster for this series. They aren't actually required to finalize it until tomorrow morning, but Davey Johnson might just go ahead and announce it today. As speculated yesterday, the biggest question likely involves who gets the last spot in the bullpen (with Christian Garcia the odds-on favorite over John Lannan or Zach Duke) and who gets the last spot on the bench (with Tyler Moore a likelier choice than Mark DeRosa or Eury Perez).

-- The revelation of the order of the Nationals' rotation for this series. Because they're facing the right-handed-heavy Cardinals and not the left-handed-heavy Braves, forget about any move to get Lannan in the mix. Gonzalez will start Game 1 tomorrow, with Jordan Zimmermann in Game 2 on Monday. Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler will start Games 3 and 4; it's just a question of in what order. My hunch: Jackson gets Game 3, with Detwiler in Game 4.

-- What, if anything, does Stephen Strasburg have to say? He's not going to be on the active roster, but he did make the trip and will be in the dugout throughout the postseason. While those of us who are around the Nationals on a daily basis have long since moved on from the shutdown story, I can assure you the national media has not. They will absolutely be looking for Strasburg in the clubhouse today, and they're going to want to interview him. How will the right-hander deal with all the attention?

So, be sure to check back for all that and more...

27 comments:

NatsLady said...

Thanks for the report, Mark. I hear it's COLD there. How is the Sun Monster?

peric said...

From Strasmas to Strasgate who knew? Argggghhh ... need to get those other power pitchers up here like Alex Meyer and Lucas Giolito pronto. Take some of the pressure off of Stras.

Section 3, My Playoffs Sofa said...

It might be funny if Strasburg went completely out of character and started screaming like a horror movie at the first mention of shutdown.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Glad you arrived safely, Mark. Must've had the go bag packed. Eagerly await your 25-man report. Your insight on the Jesus story was keen. The national guys will be all over this like they just discovered he was on the Grassy Knoll. What nonsense. Glad he'll be in the dugout. So will DeRosa, even if he's passed over. That's great.

3:07 p.m. Sunday...the time and date I never thought would arrive. I'm celebrating tonight with The Lovely Wife. Dinner and a comedy show. I don't know what else to do. I catch watch the other series. Too nervous to do anything else.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Strasburg will definitely garner much attention and more than Medlen

original Nats Fan said...

tomorrow 1st playoff game,
tomorrow 1st playoff game--if I'm dreaming, please don't wake me up.

peric said...

Stras can be the bonvivant ambassador of the Nats ... that's something out of character ... he can take a page from Gio's book.

DWS said...

Looking forward to 4:07 AST. Going to sit back and enjoy the Nats in the playoffs.

Anna Peregrina said...

8 pm Greenwich Mean Time ... I'll be there!

Section 222 said...

So Gio starts tomorrow against the Cards, with Tommy Milone starting a few hours earlier for Oakland against the Tigers. If there was a way to bet on that before the season started, whoever did it could now retire. Amazing turn of events.

I'll be very surprised if the Nats roster is anything other than the following:

Gio, Znn, E-Jax, Det
8 regular position players

Bullpen
Clip
Storen
Burnett
Mattheus
Stammen
Gorzo
Gonzo
Garcia

Bench
Flores
Lombo
Bernadina
Tracy
Moore

NatsJack in Florida said...

So does this make it official? Stras destined to leave because he won't be pinch hitting?

On another note, GO GATORS!

baseballswami said...

The Nats had me at 98 wins. After that this is just fantasy land. I want to see them play well and not shoot themselves in the foot. I want to see our fans be classy ( unlike some other fans I could name today),loud and supportive. This is just dream-like -- I can't imagine how it is for a 19 year old like Bryce, a long-suffering Nat like Zim, a guy who should have been in AAA like Lombo and a closer who thought he had lost his job like Drew. I wish I could read their thoughts. I hope they manage to keep their feelings in check. St. Louis had an emotional night last night,then they flew home and now have to prepare quickly. Will this give them momentum? Or will there be some let down? At least Lohse is out of the picture for a few days.Motte might be a bit worn down.Somebody pinch me, because this doesn't seem real!

Nats fan in NJ said...

My Natitude playoff shirt arrived today, so the playoffs can now officially begin. I am so nervous...so this must be what October baseball feels like!!

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Section 222 thst is the same line up I listed on the previous thread

baseballswami said...

This TBS coverage is atrocious. Oh, Bob and FP - I miss you already. I don't care if they have been to zero playoff games or 20, or if they are 19 or 37 - there will be butterflies in the stomach. Wonder what the guys are doing tonight?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Stras, Ramos, DeRO and Lannan all are inactive but in uniform tomorrow.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Hope that TBS and The Fan will be close to insync. Or do we get screwed on radio to and not get Dave andCharlie. TV will be bad enough to take radio too it just a double whammy.

baseballswami said...

Ugh on the media. Interesting little factoid I read. The Yankees and Tigers are the only high payroll teams that are in the playoffs. Hasn't that been happening a lot lately? Paying the most money doesn't ensure success? I actually think that a lot of those high payroll teams are handcuffed by old contracts that they can't get rid of for players that are aging.

baseballswami said...

Coco Crisp went yard on Verlander already! The A's are charmed right now.

natsfan1a said...

The Most Interesting Man on the Bench. Stay thirsty, my friends. :-)

peric said...

Stras can be the bonvivant ambassador of the Nats ... that's something out of character ... he can take a page from Gio's book.
October 06, 2012 3:51 PM

natsfan1a said...

Oh, and Woooooooooo! Hoooooooooooooo! (Sorry, Michele, I couldn't help myself.)

MicheleS said...

Go for it 1a

We are in unchartered waters so all celebrations are welcome!

mick said...

I had an interesting thought that maybe someone already touched on but if Braves had won, we would have had a wild Sunday, Nats playing at Braves, Falcons playing at Skins.... would have been crazy!

A DC Wonk said...

we would have had a wild Sunday, Nats playing at Braves, Falcons playing at Skins.... would have been crazy!

... and Neon Deion playing in both games!

Oh, wait . . .

Joe Seamhead said...

Love it, mick, and Wonk!

Oldguy said...

The regular O's announcers were broadcasting yesterday along with ESPN radio (different station.) I suspect the Redskins will have 106.7 but we should be on 1500 or 1580 am.

MicheleS said...

Nats will be on 106.7. Redskins on 980

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