Jun 24, 2015, 3:37 PM EDT
What kind of a roll is the Nationals’ rotation on? Well, that group collectively has tossed 26 consecutive scoreless innings over four games now. Not surprisingly, the Nats are 4-0 in those games. We’ve seen Joe Ross, Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg all dominate. Now it’s Jordan Zimmermann’s turn to try to keep the hot streak going.
The Nationals’ lineup faces a stiff challenge in Atlanta right-hander Shelby Miller, who has been fantastic since his offseason trade from St. Louis for outfielder Jason Heyward, a deal that looks better and better from the Braves’ perspective every day. Ian Desmond returns after sitting out last night’s game. Danny Espinosa heads back to the bench, with Clint Robinson getting the start at first base.
After last night’s crazy weather, it’s an absolutely gorgeous day for baseball here on South Capitol Street. If you’re coming out to the park, enjoy. If you’re not, please check back here for updates throughout…
ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183
Weather: Mostly clear, 82 degrees, Wind 6 mph LF to RF
CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
1B Clint Robinson
SS Ian Desmond
LF Michael Taylor
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
2B Jace Peterson
CF Cameron Maybin
RF Nick Markakis
C A.J. Pierzynski
1B Joey Terdoslavich
3B Kelly Johnson
SS Andrelton Simmons
LF Eury Perez
RHP Shelby Miller
HP Ed Hickox
1B Mike Estabrook
2B Dana DeMuth (cc)
3B Sam Holbrook
7:05 p.m. — We are underway.
7:15 p.m. — Good stuff from both starters in the first inning. Jordan Zimmermann allowed a 2-out single to Nick Markakis but that’s all during a 14-pitch frame that included a strikeout of Cameron Maybin on an elevated, 95-mph fastball. Shelby Miller, meanwhile retired the side on nine pitches, with some help from Markakis, who made a sliding, snow-cone catch of Denard Span’s sinking liner to right.
7:31 p.m. — Ian Desmond committed his 16th error of the season in the top of the second, booting a potential 6-4-3 double play grounder. But he immediately made up for it with a nice turn of a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Miller continues to dominate, retiring the side in the bottom of the second with a pair of strikeouts, including a 3-pitch whiff of Bryce Harper, something we haven’t seen too many times this season. Scoreless through two.
7:43 p.m. — Make it 9 up, 9 down for Miller against the Nats. He has been really sharp. Still scoreless through three innings.
8:02 p.m. — Well, the Nats got a hit. Anthony Rendon singled sharply to right field with one out in the fourth, breaking up Miller’s perfect game. But he was immediately wiped out by a double-play grounder off Yunel Escobar’s bat. That’s six straight groundouts (three ending in a double play) by Escobar over the last two nights. Not good. Still 0-0 after four.
8:11 p.m. — And this one is still scoreless after five innings. Zimmermann has been very good. Miller has been even better, facing the minimum. Somebody has to break through eventually, right?
Chase here taking over for Mark while he writes his game story
8:27 p.m. — It is still 0-0, as both pitchers are cruising. Miller has allowed one hit on 69 pitches. Zimmermann has given up 6 hits on 75. The Nationals’ starting rotation has now pitched 32 consecutive scoreless innings.
8:50 p.m. — The Nationals finally broke through on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI single by Harper. The rally began with a leadoff walk by Span, which Rendon followed with a single. A groundball by Escobar resulted in a forceout at second, but left runners on the corners. Harper then lofted a bloop single over Terdoslavich’s head at second to score the run. It’s 1-0, as Miller will now leave the game for a pinch-hitter to begin the 8th.
9:07 p.m. — It’s still 1-0 after eight. Zimmermann set the Braves down 1-2-3. The Nats faced Jim Johnson and got two baserunners on, but no one touched home. Drew Storen will now take the mound looking for save No. 22.
9:30 p.m. — This one is going to extras. Storen blew his second save of the season on a sac fly by Johnson. He brought home Markakis, who led off with a single. The Nats got Escobar on with a leadoff single, but that was it. On to the 10th.
9:58 p.m. — No runs in the 10th for either team, so we’ll now head to the 11th with Felipe Rivero set to pitch for the Nats.
10:18 p.m. — Desmond brings Harper home on a sac fly to LF and this one is over, about an hour after it should have been, but it’s over. Nats win 2-1.
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.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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