Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Space Coast Stadium hosts its final game of the spring today.
All the regulars will get one or two at-bats today, Davey Johnson said, except for Jayson Werth, who is sitting this one out after getting hit with a pitch in the funny bone yesterday. He's fine and should play tomorrow against the Yankees in D.C., but they figured no sense taking a chance today. Bryce Harper's thumb also appears to be fine, and he is in the lineup today, hoping not to get jammed too badly on any pitches.
Gio Gonzalez is on the mound for the Nationals, his final tune-up before he faces the Marlins for real on Wednesday. He's opposed today by somebody named Domingo Tapia. Your guess is as good as mine.
ESPN has today's game on the air, and it is available in the Washington area. I'll, of course, have plenty of updates here as well...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
Weather: Sunny, 65 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to CF
CF Denard Span
RF Roger Bernadina
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
LHP Gio Gonzalez
LF Collin Cowgill
2B Daniel Murphy
1B Lucas Duda
RF Mike Baxter
3B Zach Lutz
CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
C Anthony Recker
SS Omar Quintanilla
RHP Domingo Tapia
1:08 p.m. -- And we're underway on a beautiful, 67-degree afternoon in Viera. You know what will be even more beautiful, though? Nationals Park on Monday.
1:17 p.m. -- Kind of an eventful first inning for Gio Gonzalez, though the end result was a zero on the board. He struck out both Collin Cowgill and Zach Lutz but in between allowed a broken-bat single to Daniel Murphy, a long flyball to Lucas Duda and a walk to Mike Baxter. There were also several borderline pitches called balls by plate umpire Paul Nauert, which drew the ire of the fans here. After all that, it's still scoreless.
1:30 p.m. -- That swollen thumb sure doesn't seem to be affecting Bryce Harper, huh? He just singled again in the bottom of the first, the 11th straight time he's reached base (10 hits, 1 walk). Ho-hum.
2:03 p.m. -- Adam LaRoche hasn't had a great spring, but he's certainly gotten hot over the last week or so. He just belted his fourth homer, a towering blast to right to put the Nats up 1-0 in the bottom of the second. Moments later, Danny Espinosa continued his torrid spring with his own blast to right-center. That puts the Nats up 2-0. ... Wait, make it 3-0 as Denard Span scores Kurt Suzuki with a base hit to left. ... Wait, make it 4-0 as Harper drives in Gonzalez with a sac fly (though that ends his streak at 11). The Nats are really fileting Tapia today, huh?
2:17 p.m. -- It looks like all the Nats starters (other than Gonzalez and Suzuki) are done for the day after three innings and two at-bats. Next stop: Washington, D.C. Still 4-0 as we go to the fourth.
2:27 p.m. -- And now Gio is done for the day (and the spring). His final line: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 66 pitches, 39 strikes. Good stuff from the lefty. And with that, I am outta here. I need to head to Orlando to tape tonight's debut episode of "The Baseball Show" on Comcast SportsNet. More details coming on the blog later this afternoon, but be sure to tune in at 11 p.m. tonight and every Thursday night this season to watch the show. It's been a blast -- talk to you all from Washington!