Aug 4, 2015, 3:27 PM EDT
It’s been quite an interesting 24 hours around town. If nothing else, I guess the emotions on display all over the place confirm that D.C. is indeed becoming a baseball town. (You’d think the season ended last night.) The beauty of baseball, though, is that there’s always another game to be played the next night (at least until October) and so the Nationals are back at it tonight, hoping to reverse their fortunes and give people something positive to discuss tomorrow.
Max Scherzer gets the ball for this one against the Diamondbacks, on the heels of a dominant start in Miami last week. Lefty Patrick Corbin starts for Arizona.
No real changes to the Nats lineup, aside from Jayson Werth returning from a night off. He’ll bat fifth, behind Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman.
Updates to come…
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183
Weather: Partly cloudy, 86 degrees, Wind 7 mph out to CF
3B Yunel Escobar
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Jayson Werth
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
CF Michael Taylor
RHP Max Scherzer
RF Ender Inciarte
CF A.J. Pollack
1B Paul Goldschmidt
LF David Peralta
3B Jake Lamb
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
2B Chris Owings
SS Nick Ahmed
LHP Patrick Corbin
HP Mark Carlson
1B Gabe Morales
2B Tripp Gibson
3B Brian Gorman (cc)
6:35 p.m. — Ugh, they just announced the start of tonight’s game will be delayed due to weather in the area. It hasn’t actually rained yet, and at the moment the sun is out, the grounds crew is preparing the field and the tarp is rolled up and covered along the first-base line. But there has been rain around the region, and somebody must think there’s a decent chance it’s going to hit us at some point soon. Stay tuned.
6:50 p.m. — First pitch at 7:35 p.m., the Nats say. It never did rain.
7:35 p.m. — And we are underway at last, following a 30-minute delay. Max Scherzer fires ball one to Ender Inciarte.
8:04 p.m. — Well, that was quite a first inning. After Scherzer cruised through an 11-pitch frame, the Nats lineup exploded against Patrick Corbin. Yunel Escobar led off with a blast over the center-field fence. Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman all followed with base hits. By the time it was all done, the Nats had sent all nine men to the plate, totaling three runs on five hits and driving Corbin’s pitch count up to 36. It’s 3-0 Nats after one. How about that?
8:28 p.m. — Man, Corbin had nothing tonight. The Diamondbacks are monitoring him closely, because he’s coming back from Tommy John surgery, and so Chip Hale took the ball from him after only 12 batters and 54 pitches. Enter Josh Collmenter, who threw 76 pitches on Saturday but now is being asked to chew up more innings tonight. He responded by getting Zimmerman to ground into an inning-ending double play on his second pitch. So it’s still 3-0 Nats after two.
8:48 p.m. — We’ll just ignore the fact Scherzer walked Collmenter in the top of the third, OK? Otherwise, he has been fantastic, through thee scoreless innings so far, the only hit a bunt single by Inciarte to open the game. Still 3-0 after three.
9:22 p.m. — It’s not 3-0 anymore, not after the D’backs bats broke out against Scherzer in the top of the fourth. Five straight batters reached base, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Chris Owings delivering the run-scoring hits. Just like that, it’s a 3-3 game and Scherzer’s pitch count is a whopping 81 after only four innings. Yikes.
9:39 p.m. — Scherzer battled back with a nice, 1-2-3 top of the fifth that included his third strikeout of Goldschmidt tonight, all on sliders. The Nats haven’t been able to do anything against Collmenter, though, so it’s still 3-3 after five.
Chase here taking over while Mark writes his game story
9:59 p.m. — The game is stuck at 3-3 after six innings, as both lineups went down in 1-2-3. Scherzer had a clean top of the sixth and finished with 114 pitches. That will do it for him, as he was pinch-hit for by Dan Uggla. Casey Janssen will now take over to pitch the top of the seventh.
10:09 p.m. — Janssen pitched a clean seventh and now has a line of: 8.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K in his last nine appearances. Not bad. Escobar walked to lead off, but Rendon lined into a double play at first base. Harper then flew out to deep center field. It’s still 3-3 with Drew Storen running in to start the ninth inning.
10:37 p.m. — Storen cruised through the eighth and the Nats brought their bats out in the bottom half of the inning. Zimmerman led off with a walk and moved to third on a double by Werth. Ramos lofted a single to right field two batters later and scored both runners. It’s now 5-3 as Jonathan Papelbon will take over looking for the save.
10:49 p.m. — Pennington grounds out to end this one. Nats win 5-4 to snap a 4-game losing streak. Win No. 55.
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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