Aug 21, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT
Well, here’s one way for the Nationals to open a critical homestand: With a surprise promotion of top prospect Trea Turner from Class AAA Syracuse. That move was not expected, at least not until rosters expand on Sept. 1, but obviously Mike Rizzo felt it was time to do something that might inject some life in this club.
We’re still waiting for tonight’s lineup, so we really can’t say yet how Turner will be used, whether he’ll be displacing somebody on a regular basis or whether he’s just here to come off the bench. One word of caution: There was a lot made initially of the Nats’ promotion of Wilmer Difo to the big leagues earlier this summer, and he barely played at all. Not saying that’ll be the case with Turner, but we simply don’t know yet. [UPDATE: Turner is not in the lineup tonight.]
Meanwhile, Gio Gonzalez starts tonight’s game against the Brewers on the heels of a ragged outing in San Francisco last week. The good news: Gonzalez is 5-1 with a 2.60 ERA in nine starts at home this season.
It’s great to be back at the park after a long road trip by the Nats. Check back for updates throughout, and as always your comments are welcome…
MILWAUKEE BREWERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 184
Weather: Partly cloudy, 82 degrees, Wind 7 mph LF to RF
LF Jayson Werth
2B Danny Espinosa
RF Bryce Harper
3B Yunel Escobar
1B Clint Robinson
SS Ian Desmond
C Jose Lobaton
CF Michael Taylor
LHP Gio Gonzalez
SS Jean Segura
C Jonathan Lucroy
RF Ryan Braun
1B Adam Lind
LF Khris Davis
CF Domingo Santana
3B Hernan Perez
2B Elian Herrera
RHP Jimmy Nelson
HP Joe West (cc)
1B Clint Fagan
2B Rob Drake
3B D.J. Reyburn
7:04 p.m. — We are underway, a minute early! And Gio Gonzalez got Jean Segura to flyout to right on his first pitch of the night. Good omens?
7:25 p.m. — Well, that was an eventful top of the first. Nobody scored, but Yunel Escobar did get injured trying to catch Ryan Braun’s foul popup down the third base line. Escobar slammed against both the short wall down the line and a fan seated in the front row, left dazed by the collision. He had to come out of the game, with Anthony Rendon moving to third base and Danny Espinosa taking over at second base. It’s a scoreless first inning, but a negative inning for the Nats from an injury standpoint.
7:44 p.m. — It’s not scoreless anymore. The Nats take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second thanks to Ian Desmond and Jose Lobaton. Desmond drew a 2-out walk, then stole second with a huge jump on Jimmy Nelson. That put him in position to score on Lobaton’s opposite-field single to left. Nice job of manufacturing a run there, giving the Nats a lead.
8:10 p.m. — An ugly third inning now has the Nats trailing 2-1. It included an infield single by Segura on a chopper Rendon could’ve caught and made the play on, then a stolen base, then a misplay by Werth in left field (he took a step in on Lucroy’s liner over his head, turning it into an RBI double), then a passed ball after Gonzalez and Lobaton got crossed up on a pitch, which put Lucroy in position to score on Braun’s sac fly to right (though Harper nearly threw him out from 319 feet away). So after all that, it’s 2-1 Milwaukee after three.
8:33 p.m. — Still 2-1 after four. The Nats had a chance in the bottom of the inning after Robinson drew a 2-out walk and Desmond singled to left. But Lobaton popped up to shallow left field, so that killed that potential rally. The Nats have put five men on base in four innings, but four of those men didn’t reach until there were already two outs.
8:55 p.m. — And it’s getting uglier. The Brewers just extended the lead to 5-1 in the fifth. They got hits from Lucroy and Lind, then a sac fly by Davis, followed by a crushed 2-run homer by Domingo Santana, just called up from the minors earlier today. Gio Gonzalez is done after five innings, and to add insult to injury he was pinch-hit for by Max Scherzer. The Nats only have a 4-man bench these days, and they’ve already used one guy because of Escobar’s injury. So it’s 5-1 after five as Doug Fister enters for mop-up duties.
Chase here taking over for Mark while he works on his gamestory
9:22 p.m. — The Nats got a run back against the Brewers to make it 5-2 in the sixth, but they should have had more. Harper hit a solo homer with one out – his 31st of the season – to give the Nats their run. But then Espinosa singled and stole second. That brought up Ryan Zimmerman, who pinch-hit for Robinson, and he struck out. Desmond followed with another strikeout to end the inning. Fister let Herrera get all the way to third, but kept the Brewers off the board. Fister will go back out there to pitch the seventh.
10:00 p.m. — Well, that was a disaster. The Brewers scored five more runs in the seventh to make this a 10-3 game. The Nats got their run on a solo homer by Taylor in the bottom of the seventh. The top of the seventh got out of control quickly as Fister allowed a leadoff walk to Braun and followed that with two singles by Lind and Davis. Scooter Gennett then pinch-hit and singled home a run and Herrera responded with another RBI hit. Shane Peterson then pinch-hit and reached on a catcher’s interference, as Lobaton’s glove clipped his bat. Segura then hit a sac fly to right field that scored one run and another came home on a throwing error by Harper to home plate. Yeesh. This one got out of hand quickly. The seventh did, however, have one good moment for the Nats: Trea Turner’s MLB debut. Once the runs started pouring in, Williams replaced Desmond with Turner at shortstop. Turner then got his first MLB at-bat later in the inning, a groundout to the shortstop.
10:18 p.m. — We are still at 10-3 after eight. Roark overcame an error by Rendon to pitch a scoreless frame. And the Nats couldn’t capitalize on walks by Harper and Zimmerman. On to the ninth, where Felipe Rivero will take over.
10:32 p.m. — Turner grounds out to 2B and the Nats lose an ugly one, 10-3, to the 53-70 Brewers.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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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)...
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