|Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER|
So today's lineup ends up looking exactly like the previous two lineups, aside from Kurt Suzuki catching in place of the red-hot Wilson Ramos, who is getting a well-earned day off. We'll see if this group can once again produce eight runs as it has the last two nights. It will be taking its hacks against an old pal, Jason Marquis, who leads the Padres with nine wins but also leads the NL with 60 walks.
Jordan Zimmermann gets the ball for the Nationals on what could be quite a momentous day for the right-hander. He's not only seeking his league-leading 13th victory, he's also likely to learn he's been named an All-Star for the first time in his career. The selection show airs at 6:30 p.m., so stay tuned for that news later on, and check back right here for game updates...
SAN DIEGO PADRES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 186
Weather: Partly cloudy, 92 degrees, Wind 12 mph out to CF
CF Denard Span
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Jayson Werth
2B Anthony Rendon
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
SS Everth Cabrera
CF Will Venable
LF Carlos Quentin
3B Chase Headley
1B Jesus Guzman
RF Chris Denorfia
2B Logan Forsythe
C Yasmani Grandal
RHP Jason Marquis
HP Bruce Dreckman
1B Quinn Wolcott
2B David Rackley
3B Tim Welke (cc)
4:05 p.m. — And we're underway on a 90-degree Saturday afternoon in the District. Jordan Zimmermann, to the surprise of no one, throws strike one to Everth Cabrera.
4:14 p.m. — Zimmermann did give up a hit — a two-out double into the left-field corner by Carlos Quentin — but otherwise mowed through the Padres in the top of the first. He finished off his 20-pitch, 15-strike inning by catching Chase Headley looking at a 2-2 changeup on the outside corner. Headley didn't think it hit the corner, but only Bryce Dreckman's opinion counts in that situation.
4:20 p.m. — A 1-2-3 first inning for Jason Marquis, thought Bryce Harper did smoke a line drive to the left side in his first at-bat of the day. Unfortunately, Headley was shaded over in that direction, toward the hole, so he made the easy play to end the inning. Harper is now 0-for-19 since his homer on Monday. Scoreless after one.
4:30 p.m. — Two innings down and Zimmermann has already had to pitch his way out of two jams. Each time, he managed to strand a runner in scoring position thanks to a called third strike. He caught Headley looking at a changeup in the first, and he just caught Yasmani Grandal looking at a curveball to end the top of the second. Good stuff from Zimmermann, who keeps this a scoreless game in the middle of the second.
5:09 p.m. — An eventful third inning, not all of it in a positive way. The Nats loaded the bases with one out for Desmond, who grounded to first baseman Jesus Guzman, who immediately threw home for an easy forceout. But on the play, Rendon slid through Yasmani Grandal, and the Padres catcher's right leg got caught underneath him. Grandal immediately began writhing on the ground in agony and his teammates rushed to his side. After several minutes, he was helped off the field, not putting any weight on the leg, clearly having just suffered a major injury. You can only imagine what Wilson Ramos was thinking as he watched that from the Nats dugout. For the record, Rendon's slide appeared to be perfectly clean, no issues there. Grandal just got caught with his leg in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Padres had to recompose themselves, with Nick Hundley taking over at catcher, and perhaps that switch helped contribute to Marquis' bases-loaded walk of Harper, bringing home the day's first run. They still had the bases loaded with two outs, but Marquis struck out Zimmerman on a 2-2 sinker, escaping the jam without allowing any more damage. So after all that, the Nats lead 1-0 heading to the fourth.
5:25 p.m. — Adam LaRoche makes it 2-0, clobbering a 2-0 sinker from Marquis into the right field bullpen. That's LaRoche's 13th homer of the season, and there was no doubt about it.
5:37 p.m. — The Padres get on the board at last, though without benefit of a hit. Logan Forsythe draws a leadoff walk in the fifth, steals second base, takes third on a grounder and then scores on Marquis' groundout to short. Marquis always has been a threat with the bat, and he just got his team to within one run. It's 2-1 Nats in the middle of the fifth.
5:50 p.m. — That'll snap Harper's 0-for-19 slump. He sends an RBI single up the middle in the fifth, giving the Nats a 3-1 lead. He's now got two of the team's three RBI today.
6:05 p.m. — Strange afternoon for Zimmermann. He only allowed five hits and a walk, but he really labored in the heat, throwing 101 pitches in 5 1/3 innings. So, Davey came out with the early hook for the right-hander, and paid the price for it. Ross Ohlendorf entered with two men on and immediately coughed up a 3-run homer to Jesus Guzman. Just like that, Zimmermann's shot at win No. 13 is shot. And just like that, the Nats trail 4-3 in the sixth.
6:26 p.m. — Ohlendorf gets through the top of the seventh, so it's still 4-3 at the stretch as the Padres bullpen enters. A reminder: the All-Star selection show is about to start on Fox.
6:37 p.m. — Breaking news: Bryce Harper has been elected a starter to the All-Star Game. And he's about to step to the plate in a big spot in the bottom of the seventh.
6:42 p.m. — And right on cue, Harper delivers the game-tying sacrifice fly. It's his third RBI of the day, and it makes this a 4-4 game in the seventh.
6:48 p.m. — And Ryan Zimmerman delivers the go-ahead, two-out RBI single to right. It's 5-4 Nats after seven, and here's Drew Storen for the eighth. Big spot for the struggling right-hander.
6:49 p.m. — More breaking news: Jordan Zimmermann has been named an All-Star for the first time in his career.
6:53 p.m. — A 1-2-3 eighth inning for Storen, who certainly needed that. He protects a 5-4 lead.
6:57 p.m. — Ian Desmond did not crack the All-Star roster. He is among the five-man Final Vote competition, but he'll have to beat out Yasiel Puig, Freddie Freeman, Adrian Gonzalez and Hunter Pence. Tough challenge there. Desmond could still make it if Troy Tulowitzki can't play due to injury.
7:03 p.m. — Ninth inning ahead. Rafael Soriano in. Nats still lead 5-4.
7:20 p.m. — Ballgame. Nats win 5-4. They're 3 games over .500 for the first time since May 18.