Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals face the Marlins today at Roger Dean Stadium.
The Nationals will face the Marlins on Opening Day, and they'll get a preview of Miami today here at Roger Dean Stadium. Dan Haren gets the start, hoping not to be plagued by the dead arm that took him down 10 days ago when he pitched in this same ballpark. Word is that Haren actually drove down from Viera last night to avoid the long bus ride on the morning of his start.
All the regulars are back in the lineup, with Kurt Suzuki catching. Bryce Harper will be looking to record his eighth consecutive base hit.
Updates to come...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. MIAMI MARLINS
Where: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: Marlins radio via MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Partly cloudy, 64 degrees, Wind 14 mph LF to RF
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Dan Haren
LF Juan Pierre
3B Placido Polanco
RF Giancarlo Stanton
1B Greg Dobbs
CF Justin Ruggiano
C Rob Brantly
2B Chris Valaika
SS Adeiny Hechevarria
RHP Henderson Alvarez
1:07 p.m. -- We are underway with a strike from Henderson Alvarez to Denard Span, who thankfully is wearing his correct No. 2 today after forgetting to bring his jersey to Kissimmee last night and being forced to wear a nameless No. 91 uniform.
1:12 p.m. -- Hey, what do you know? Bryce Harper singled up the middle in his first at-bat of the day. That's eight straight at-bats with a hit for him. And a quick check of the updated Bryce-o-Meter now has him at a hefty .468 (and climbing).
1:19 p.m. -- Hey, what do you know? Giancarlo Stanton just homered off a Nationals pitcher. Never seen that before. Though, to be fair to Dan Haren, that was a glorified pop-up to right field, aided by a stiff wind. Haren was fine otherwise in the bottom of the first, but he and the Nats now trail 1-0.
1:31 p.m. -- On the other hand, that homer by Chris Valaika in the bottom of the second actually was crushed off Haren. Solo shot to left puts the Marlins up 2-0. In other news, Ryan Zimmerman successfully made a routine throw to first base without causing anyone to clutch their heart. So there's that.
1:43 p.m. -- Hey, what do you know? Bryce Harper singled to right field. Nine in a row for the young lad, who has now raised the Bryce-o-Meter to .476. Suzuki also collected a base hit and Werth drew a walk, so the Nats have tied this one up, 2-2 in the third.
2:02 p.m. -- Seven in a row retired now by Haren, who has been throwing in the high 80s and has been fairly effective doing it. He even struck out Stanton looking to open the fourth. Still 2-2 as we move to the fifth.
2:18 p.m. -- Stop the presses: Harper drew a four-pitch walk in the fifth, so the hit streak is over. Sort of. He's still reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances. And he's still hitting .476. He also scored one of two runs by the Nats in the inning. They now lead 4-2.
2:25 p.m. -- Haren had retired nine in row, but he came unglued a bit in the fifth. Allowed his third homer of the day, this one a two-run shot to right by Chris Coghlan. It's now 4-4 as we go to the sixth.
3:04 p.m. -- Pretty wild ballgame here today. The Marlins hit four homers off Haren, with Stanton going yard again. Roger Bernadina went deep for the Nats. It's 7-5 Marlins in the bottom of the seventh. Oh yeah, and Carlos Maldonado is playing first base for some reason.
3:30 p.m. -- Nats lose 8-5.