Aug 25, 2015, 3:37 PM EDT
After a day off following a series win over the Brewers, the Nationals are back at it tonight, now opening a 3-game series with the Padres, still with very little margin for error in the big picture.
The Nats, however, will have their expected Opening Day lineup on the field for the first time this season. Denard Span has been activated off the disabled list and is batting leadoff. Yunel Escobar is also back in the lineup after missing most of the weekend with a hyperextended neck.
Stephen Strasburg takes the mound, looking to continue his dominant stretch since returning from his initial DL stint. Over his last six starts, the right-hander is 4-1 with a 1.26 ERA, 43 strikeouts and six walks. Not bad at all.
Lots of updates to come, so please check back…
SAN DIEGO PADRES 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: Clear, 82 degrees, Wind 6 mph LF to RF
CF Denard Span
LF Jayson Werth
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
3B Yunel Escobar
1B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Stephen Strasburg
3B Yangervis Solarte
2B Cory Spangenberg
RF Matt Kemp
LF Justin Upton
1B Yonder Alonso
SS Jedd Gyorko
C Derek Norris
RHP James Shields
CF Travis Jankowski
HP David Rackley
1B Bob Davidson
2B Hunter Wendelstedt (cc)
3B Marvin Hudson
7:06 p.m. — We’re underway on a gorgeous 82-degree night, and Stephen Strasburg already has recorded an out on one pitch. Yangervis Solarte popped up to Wilson Ramos. Denard Span, meanwhile, got a huge ovation when he took the field for the first time since the All-Star break.
7:25 p.m. — Scoreless first inning in the books. Strasburg was pretty jacked up, striking out a pair, including Justin Upton on a 98-mph fastball. Span got another long, loud ovation when he came up to bat for the first time before grounding out to short. Jayson Werth drew a walk, but Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper each sent drives to the outfield that were caught to end the inning.
7:47 p.m. — A couple of big blasts in the second inning has left this game tied 2-2. First, it was Jed Gyorko mashing a first-pitch fastball to left field for a 2-run homer, putting the Padres up. Then it was Wilson Ramos hooking a pitch from James Shields just down the left-field line for his own 2-run homer, his second straight game with a homer. It’s 2-2 after two.
8:03 p.m. — The Nats take a 3-2 lead thanks to another big 2-out hit. This one came from Yunel Escobar, who somehow turned on an inside fastball from Shields and lined it to left field, bringing Rendon home all the way from first base. Strasburg, meanwhile, has six strikeouts through three innings, really his only mistake the Gyorko homer.
8:32 p.m. — They didn’t end up with anything to show for it, but the Nats really made Shields work in the bottom of the fourth. Span, Werth and Rendon all put together long at-bats, driving his pitch count up to 81. Strasburg, meanwhile, is cruising along, with seven strikeouts through four innings and nine in a row retired since the Gyorko homer. Still 3-2 Nats after four.
8:53 p.m. — The Nats collectively have put together some of their best at-bats of the season tonight. Everybody’s working the count and several are then delivering. That includes Ian Desmond, who very nicely poked a 3-2 pitch from Shields into right field for a 2-out RBI hustle double in the bottom of the fifth. That makes it 4-2 Nats, with every member of the lineup having now reached base tonight. Shields is up to a whopping 110 pitches.
Chase here taking over for Mark while he writes his game story
9:35 p.m. — The Nats broke this one open in the sixth inning thanks to the fifth grand slam of Zimmerman’s career. It was a two-out rally that began with Rendon reaching on an infield single. He smacked a groundball off of Shields’ leg. Sheilds then left the game, as Marc Rzepczynksi came in to face Harper. Harper was able to draw a walk and Escobar followed with a walk of his own. Zim then smoked a line drive over the fence in right-center to make it 8-2. Casey Janssen will now pitch the seventh.
9:52 p.m. — The Padres got a run back in the seventh inning on Gyorko’s second homer of the night. He smacked one to deep left field off Janssen. Matt Thornton will take over to pitch the eighth.
10:10 p.m. — The game remains at 8-3 after eight innings. Blake Treinen replaced Thornton with one out in the eighth, and he’ll go back out there to pitch the ninth.
10:25 p.m. — Nats win, 8-3.
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.
*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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