|Photo by USA Today|
The Nats' lineup for the first game is, well, interesting. Jeff Kobernus is your center fielder and leadoff hitter with Denard Span out with a sore right foot. Fellow second baseman Steve Lombardozzi is slotted in left field and batting second. Chris Marrero is also up as the team's 26th player for the doubleheader, so you may see him today as well.
Fortunate for the Nats, considering their makeshift lineup, is the fact Jordan Zimmermann is on the mound. The right-hander will take his 8-3 record and 2.16 ERA up against a Twins lineup that is not exactly imposing.
Please check back for updates, and enjoy the game...
MINNESOTA TWINS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500)
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 82 degrees
CF Jeff Kobernus
LF Steve Lombardozzi
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Anthony Rendon
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
3B Eduardo Escobar
LF Clete Thomas
C Ryan Doumit
1B Justin Morneau
RF Chris Parmelee
CF Aaron Hicks
2B Brian Dozier
SS Pedro Florimon
LHP Scott Diamond
HP Chris Conroy
1B David Rackley
2B Scott Barry
3B Tim Welke (cc)
12:45 p.m. -- The tarp was rolled out on the field as rain was coming down, but that has since cleared up and the tarp is off. We should be good to go here for the 1:35 p.m. start. Also, there is one other note I should pass along from our pregame conversation with Mike Rizzo. He said Chris Marrero is up for the doubleheader and that a roster decision will be made after the game. Either he will be sent back down, or someone else will. Stay tuned for that.
1:41 p.m. -- Jordan Zimmermann got through the first three outs on just 13 pitches. He got Escobar and Doumit to ground out, and got Thomas to fly out to Kobernus in center.
1:48 p.m. -- The Nats' new-look lineup did not get off to a great start in the bottom of the first. Both Kobernus and Lombardozzi were retired on weak pop-ups to the outfield and then Zimmerman grounded out to Florimon at short. Diamond needed just ten pitches (8 strikes) to make it through one.
2:00 p.m. -- Another 1-2-3 inning for Zimmermann, though the Twins made him work for this one. Zimmermann needed 23 pitches to get out of the frame after allowing a one-out walk to Parmelee. He got all three outs by strikeout and now has 36 pitches (25 strikes) on the day.
2:12 p.m. -- The Nats got two men on as both Werth and Desmond singled, but got nothing of real substance going. Rendon made it interesting with a deep flyout to the wall in left field and Suzuki then grounded out to end the inning. Diamond is through two scoreless with 28 pitches thrown. Desmond's hit extends his hitting streak to 11 games, matching a career-high.
2:25 p.m. -- Another inning with no runs scored for Zimmermann, although matters were made interesting by an error by Rendon. Zimmermann struck out the first two batters, then walked Escobar. Thomas popped up to Rendon who muffed the catch, apparently losing the ball in the sun. Zimmermann then struck out Doumit for his sixth K of the day through three innings. He's thrown 64 pitches (45 strikes).
2:32 p.m. -- Kobernus reached first on a grounder to third base, an infield single for his first major league hit. But with one out, Kobernus mistakenly ran on a flyout by Lombardozzi and was forced out at first for an inning ending double play. A rookie mistake. Still 0-0 as he head to the fourth inning. Diamond has thrown only 40 pitches (27 strikes).
2:39 p.m. -- Though he allowed his first hit of the afternoon, Zimmermann needed just five pitches to get through the top of the fourth. He is now at 69 on the day and that frame should help him go a little bit deeper in this game. Still 0-0.
2:50 p.m. -- Finally, some runs. Werth and LaRoche got things started with one out singles. Desmond then singled to left field and Werth was sent home. A perfect throw by Thomas beat Werth to bring Rendon up with two men on and two outs. He promptly smacked a hard grounder to Florimon at shortstop and Florimon made a throwing error to first to allow both baserunners to come home. Rendon comes through and the Nats lead 2-0.
3:00 p.m. -- Zimmermann put in another strong inning. He struck out Florimon to lead off, but then saw a runner reach base on another Ryan Zimmerman throwing error. It was Zim's 11th error of the season and his tenth of the throwing variety. Zimmermann then got Escobar and Thomas out to end the inning. Would have been over soon if it weren't for the miscue, but Zimmermann is at 84 pitches through five.
3:21 p.m. -- Finally, a lot of runs. The Nats put five more on the board in the fifth to take a 7-0 lead. LaRoche came up with two outs and the bases loaded and got the first one across with a hard grounder to Dozier at second. Desmond then singled to score Zimmerman and Werth. Rendon then doubled off relief pitcher Brian Pressly to culminate the five runs. The Nats have scored seven on the day which is their highest output since May 28 and as much as they scored in their last three games combined.
3:45 p.m. -- Zimmermann got through the top of the sixth despite allowing a two-out double to Parmelee. He is at 98 pitches and looks to be headed out for the seventh. The Nats got none across in the bottom of the frame as we are still at 7-0.
4:03 p.m. -- Ian Krol in to replace Zimmermann for the eighth inning as the Nats are still up 7-0. Sorry for the lack of updates, I'm having major internet issues at the stadium.
4:14 p.m. -- Zimmermann left the game after seven innings with no runs allowed, two hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts. Ian Krol then pitched a scoreless top of the eighth to set the Nats up well heading into the bottom of the inning.
4:16 p.m. -- Top of the ninth up next with LHP Xavier Cedeno making his Nats debut. Kobernus had his first MLB hit today and Chris Marrero made his first appearance of the season as well.
4:23 p.m. -- Cedeno gets through the ninth and the Nats take the first of this doubleheader by the final score of 7-0.