Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Dan Haren and the Nationals face the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.
Dan Haren, meanwhile, starts for the Nationals against the franchise that originally drafted him. This will be Haren's fourth outing of the spring, and the veteran right-hander will look to continue the progress he's been making start to start. Not too many big names in the Nats lineup since most of the regulars played the last two days at home. But we will get another look at Micah Owings, whose grand slam yesterday was the latest display of power from the former pitcher.
Today's game is being televised by the Cardinals' broadcast crew and is available to subscribers on MLB.tv. Or, if you're really deranged, you can watch the tape delayed broadcast on MLB Network at the convenient time of 3 a.m. EDT. Better yet, you can check back here for updates throughout...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Where: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MLB.tv (live), MLB Network (delayed at 3 a.m.)
Weather: Partly cloudy, 68 degrees, Wind 12 mph LF to RF
2B Steve Lombardozzi
C Kurt Suzuki
RF Tyler Moore
DH Chad Tracy
1B Chris Marrero
3B Carlos Rivero
CF Corey Brown
LF Micah Owings
SS Zach Walters
(RHP Dan Haren)
CF Jon Jay
2B Daniel Descalso
3B Matt Carpenter
DH Ty Wigginton
1B Matt Adams
RF Shane Robinson
LF Adron Chambers
SS Pete Kozma
C Rob Johnson
(RHP Adam Wainwright)
1:05 p.m. -- We are underway with a strike from Adam Wainwright to Steve Lombardozzi. Prior to that, today's ceremonial first pitch was thrown by ... Joe Namath, who is here for some reason. Nice ovation, as you'd expect, for Broadway Joe, who still has a little oomph in his right arm.
1:09 p.m. -- A fairly simple, 1-2-3 top of the first for Wainwright. Lombardozzi and Tyler Moore each skied flyballs, while Kurt Suzuki struck out swinging. For those wondering why Suzuki is hitting second today, don't worry, there's nothing fishy going on. Davey just wants to ensure he gets a couple at-bats before he comes out of the game after 4 or 5 innings.
1:22 p.m. -- Well, that's a first inning Dan Haren will want to forget. He was torched for four runs on four hits, all scoring on home runs. Jon Jay led things off with a solo shot to right. Matt Adams added a three-run blast later. Haren wound up throwing 16 of 22 pitches for strikes, but the four guys he threw first-pitch balls to all wound up recording hits. Coincidence? I think not. Nats trail 4-0 after one.
1:36 p.m. -- Haren enjoyed better results in the bottom of the second, but he didn't necessarily pitch much better. He only threw 8 of 18 pitches for strikes, walked Matt Carpenter on four pitches and continued to throw his fastball in the 86-89 mph range (if the scoreboard radar gun is to be believed). I'll be interested what Haren has to say afterward. Wonder if he's dealing with any dead arm issues today.
1:40 p.m. -- On the bright side, Micah Owings continues to rake. Just smoked a base hit to left field, so the ex-pitcher is now hitting .400 for the spring (8-for-20).
1:46 p.m. -- A 1-2-3 bottom of the third for Haren, who has now thrown 49 pitches, 29 of them for strikes. His fastball still hasn't topped 89 mph and has more consistently been in the 86-87 mph range. Nats still trail 4-0 heading to the fourth.
2:00 p.m. -- We're through four innings now, and the Cardinals have added another run via -- who else? -- Pete Kozma. The pesky little shortstop drew a leadoff walk, went first-to-third on a groundout to third base and then cored on Jay's sac fly. Haren has now thrown 67 pitches, 39 strikes. No action in the Nats bullpen, so he should be back out for the fifth. Nats now trail 5-0.
2:03 p.m. -- Wainwright, meanwhile, hasn't even broken a sweat through five scoreless innings. He's faced the minimum, allowing only Owings' single and a walk to Tracy. Then again, you have to take into consideration the lineup he's facing today.
2:12 p.m. -- That should do it for Haren today. His final line will read: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 81 pitches, 50 strikes. I'll let you know what he has to say about his arm once we talk to him a few minutes. Still 5-0 Cards as Yunesky Maya warms in the bullpen. My interest level in this game is about to drop by a factor of 17.
2:18 p.m. -- Hey, the Nats are on the board. Owings delivers his second hit of the day -- he's now batting a robust .429 for the spring -- and Zach Walters follows with a base hit preceding a Steve Lombardozzi RBI groundball. So it's 5-1 Cardinals as we go to the bottom of the sixth.
3:02 p.m. -- Just got back from the clubhouse, where Dan Haren was brutally honest about his performance. "Just one of those days," he said. "I felt like I was throwing a weighted ball out there." He believes this was strictly a case of dead arm and insists neither his arm nor anything else in his body is hurt. And he's confident he'll get back on track next time out. Meanwhile, it's still 5-1 Cardinals as they move to the ninth.