May 5, 2015, 3:29 PM EDT
The Nationals haven’t won four games in a row since last September, but they’ll have a chance to do that tonight when they face the Marlins in the second game of this series, trying to build off last night’s dramatic, come-from-behind victory.
Stephen Strasburg gets the start, still seeking a level of consistency that so far has eluded him in 2015. The right-hander was fantastic against the Phillies 16 days ago, then struggled in Miami 10 days ago, then bounced back from a couple rough innings in New York five days ago to pitch quite effectively against the Mets.
Mat Latos starts for the Marlins, trying to duplicate his performance against the Nats last week in Miami when he held them to two runs over 6 1/3 innings. He’ll face a lineup that is without Jayson Werth tonight. Michael Taylor starts in left field in place of the veteran, who gets a needed day off after hitting .167 with a .203 slugging percentage to date.
Updates to come…
MIAMI MARLINS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, XM 183
Weather: Chance of rain, 81 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to RF
CF Denard Span
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
C Wilson Ramos
SS Ian Desmond
2B Dan Uggla
LF Michael Taylor
RHP Stephen Strasburg
2B Dee Gordon
3B Martin Prado
RF Giancarlo Stanton
CF Marcell Ozuna
1B Justin Bour
C J.T. Realmuto
LF Ichiro Suzuki
SS Adeiny Hechavarria
RHP Mat Latos
HP Dan Iassogna
1B Ryan Blakney
2B Eric Cooper (cc)
3B Lance Barksdale
6:32 p.m. — Weather update: The start of tonight’s game is officially delayed by rain. We haven’t had much precipitation yet, but there’s more coming from the west. Stay tuned for updates.
6:55 p.m. — The Nats say the game should start at 7:30 p.m.
7:33 p.m. — And we’re underway after a 28-minute rain delay that didn’t feature all that much rain, to be honest. Stephen Strasburg starts off Dee Gordon with a fastball for ball one.
7:47 p.m. — A scoreless first inning, though Strasburg did give up a 2-out single to Giancarlo Stanton before walking Marcell Ozuna. He also appeared to wince after throwing a couple of pitches. Not sure what that was about. His velocity is, and he hasn’t shown any other signs of physical problems. Something to keep an eye on, though.
8:06 p.m. — And sure enough, something still didn’t look right about Strasburg in the second inning. He gave up a pair of hits, plunked a batter on a wayward changeup and then bounced a throw to first base on what should’ve been a routine sac bunt play. Two runs wound up scoring and Strasburg got a mound visit from Matt Williams and trainer Lee Kuntz. He stayed in the game and even was able to jam Stanton and induce a flyball to end the inning. But he’s at 48 pitches and just doesn’t look right. 2-0 Marlins.
8:23 p.m. — The Nats got a run back in the bottom of the second, a rally ignited by a great at-bat from Ryan Zimmerman, who fouled off five straight 2-strike pitches before drawing a walk. He took third on Wilson Ramos’ double down the right-field line, then scored on Dan Uggla’s broken-bat dribbler. Michael Taylor, though, couldn’t get Ramos home from third. So it’s 2-1 Miami as Strasburg takes the mound for the third inning with all eyes on him.
8:38 p.m. — Strasburg got through a scoreless third, giving up a groundball single and a walk, but he also struck out Ozuna looking at a 95-mph fastball. But that’s it for him. Doug Fister (?!) pinch-hit for him to start the bottom of the third (and promptly singled to right, of course). Strasburg is done after three innings and 64 pitches. Sammy Solis enters for the top of the fourth, with the Nats trailing 2-1.
8:52 p.m. — A scoreless fourth for Solis, though only by the slimmest of margins. Stanton launched a ball over the foul pole and well back into the left-field bleachers, but it was ever so slightly foul. Crisis averted. Still 2-1 after four.
9:07 p.m. — Two scoreless innings for Solis so far. Unfortunately, the Nats haven’t done anything else against Latos, so it remains 2-1 through the fifth.
9:18 p.m. — Six innings down, and the Nats have managed just one run and two hits off Latos. That’s not going to get it done. Though Solis did his part to keep the deficit at 2-1, retiring 9 of 10 batters he faced during an impressive relief outing. To the seventh we go…
9:55 p.m. — The Nats had a chance in the bottom of the seventh, with a pair of walks issued by Latos and knocking him out of the game. But Nick Masset got Taylor to ground into a fielder’s choice at third, and then Dee Gordon made a nifty backhand diving stop of Clint Robinson’s sharp grounder to second, quashing that rally. Still 2-1 Miami heading to the eighth.
10:16 p.m. — Another scoreless innings in the books for the Nats lineup, which has two hits tonight, none since Fister’s pinch-hit single in the third. It’s been a frustrating night at the plate, to say the least. Heading to the ninth, still 2-1 Marlins.
10:40 p.m. — That’ll do it. The Nats go down in the ninth and lose a really frustrating game, 2-1. The winning streak ends at 3.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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