|Photo by USA Today|
Chase here filling in for Mark. The Nationals are finally back home in Washington and ready to get the 2013 season started. But while they have returned from Florida, one more exhibition game stands in their way. In town are the Yankees with their injury-riddled roster and Andy Pettite on the mound. We'll see if Bryce Harper can finally get a hit off the New York lefty. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against Pettite last season.
Davey Johnson said before the game that we should expect to learn of the final bullpen spot some time this evening. As for the Opening Day catcher, he will decide on Sunday. Wilson Ramos is starting today and coming off of a good week. If he has another great day at the plate it may help his cause.
Anyways, here are the lineups...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. NEW YORK YANKEES
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 2:05 p.m. EST
Weather: Cloudy, 52 degrees
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos
DH Steve Lombardozzi
(RHP Jordan Zimmermann)
CF Brett Gardner
RF Ichiro Suzuki
2B Robinson Cano
3B Kevin Youkilis
DH Travis Hafner
LF Vernon Wells
1B Lyle Overbay
SS Eduardo Nunez
C Chris Stewart
(LHP Andy Pettite)
2:14 p.m. -- We are underway here at Nationals Park. Jordan Zimmermann took out the first two Yankees batters with no problem, but Cano then launched a double off the wall with two outs and Youkilis walked. Espinosa made a fantastic sliding stop in shallow right and got Hafner out at first to end the frame.
2:21 p.m. -- Nats went scoreless in the bottom of the first, but Harper of course did get on. At this point it's more of a surprise if he gets out. This time, however, it was against Pettite who I noted earlier gave him major troubles last summer.
2:29 p.m. -- Zimmermann got out of the second after allowing a single to Nunez. He has now thrown 34 pitches.
2:35 p.m. -- No one on for the Nats in the bottom of the second as Danny Espinosa lines out. Can Harper hit for everybody?
2:41 p.m. -- Zimmermann gets out of the third without allowing a hit. Cano again didn't make thing easy by fouling off several pitches before flying out. Someone tell him this is an exhibition game.
2:51 p.m. -- The Nats again go scoreless in the bottom of the third. Ramos broke his bat on a groundout and it almost hit Pettite who ducked out of the way. Lombardozzi then struck out before Span got on with a single. He hit a shallow floater that dropped in left field, something the Nats will love to see often this year. Werth struck out to end the inning on a pitch right down the middle.
3:04 p.m. -- Okay, so things got interesting in the top of the fourth. Youkilis hit a homer off Zimmermann to lead off, then Hafner got on because of a poor throw from Zimm at third. (looked off balance, but either way it was short). Vernon Wells then hit a double to left-center to get two men on with no outs. A Nunez double brought both runners home to put the Yankees up 3-0. Nunez then came on on a Chris Stewart hit. Zimmermann now out, Duke comes in. 4-0 New York.
3:11 p.m. -- Duke got the final two outs of the inning on groundouts, he looked sharp. Even took a comebacker from Ichiro in stride with no problem. Zimmermann final line: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, BB, 2 SO, 69 pitches (49 strikes)
3:20 p.m. -- Ryan Zimmerman got on with one out because of a throwing error by Youkilis at third base. Desmond then sent him home with a grounder up the middle. 4-1 Yankees.
3:36 p.m. -- Duke got out of the 5th with no runs allowed after allowing singles to Cano and Wells. He got things done, but it took him a while. He's already thrown 33 pitches.
3:44 p.m. -- Andy Pettite sets the Nats down in order, capping off the inning by striking out Denard Span. Pettite has been solid with only three hits allowed through five. Henry Rodriguez now in to pitch with Kurt Suzuki now behind the plate.
3:55 p.m. -- Henry allowed a walk to Brett Gardner, but was otherwise solid. On to the bottom of the sixth with Pettite still on the mound.
4:01 p.m. -- The Nats got another run on the board in the bottom of the sixth as Zimmerman doubled with one out and LaRoche knocked him home. 4-2 Yankees. Ryan Mattheus now in to start the top of the seventh.
4:12 p.m. -- One, two, three for Mattheus who looks as sharp as he did last season. Now in to pitch for the Yankees is Joba Chamberlain. 4-2 New York still.
4:16 p.m. -- Nats were set down in order by Joba, now Tyler Clippard takes the mound to start the eighth.
4:23 p.m. -- Clippard gets out of the top of the eighth without allowing anyone on base. Another good inning for the Nats bullpen. Duke, Rodriguez, Mattheus, and Clippard all looked good today. Also, 38,161 announced attendance for those who are interested.
4:42 p.m. -- Drew Storen came in to pitch the top of the ninth, the first time he graced the mound at Nats Park since last October in Game 5. He allowed a single to Melky Mesa and needed 21 pitches, but got through the inning otherwise unscathed. On to the top bottom of the ninth.
4:44 p.m. -- Oh, and some dude named Mariano Rivera is coming in to pitch. Someone told me he is pretty good.
4:48 p.m. -- And that's the ball game, Rivera closed it out for a final score of 4 to 2.