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Game 124: Padres at Nats

Aug 25, 2015, 3:37 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

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…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
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

PADRES (61-63)
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.

  1. natsjackinfl - Aug 25, 2015 at 3:45 PM

    Folks, your 2015 Washington Nationals starting 8 plus Stephen Strasburg, finally.

    • hokiepokster92 - Aug 25, 2015 at 4:37 PM


    • natsfan1a - Aug 25, 2015 at 6:44 PM


      The other day at the game, I was waiting at the top the aisle for an at-bat to end. The Nats had just scored some runs, and the usher said something like, “This is the team were supposed to have.” I said something like, “It almost is. Nothing against Taylor, but we could use Span at the top of the lineup.” He agreed, and now we have him. Welcome back, Denard, and go NATS!!

      • natsfan1a - Aug 25, 2015 at 6:46 PM

        Okay, I left out a few words, but they weren’t that important anyway (“of” and “we”). There you go. I’m going to go eat something now… 🙂

    • alexva6 - Aug 25, 2015 at 7:05 PM

      is that the way you would have lined them up?

    • knoxvillenat - Aug 25, 2015 at 7:09 PM

      Just curious, had we been able to put this starting 8 into the opening lineup, would the batting order look any different?

      I’m thinking Rendon and Escobar would have switched positions, Werth would be batting third, Zimmerman fifth and Escobar/Desmond 6th or 7th (could be switched either way) and Tony two bags in the two hole.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 25, 2015 at 7:28 PM

        I think you’ve come mighty close; Ian Desmond would likely have been hitting 6th.

  2. zmunchkin - Aug 25, 2015 at 3:48 PM

    Looking forward to the first game with the projected starting position players. 🙂

  3. scmargenau - Aug 25, 2015 at 4:05 PM

    whos going tonight? what time do gates open for gnomes? ill be sect 135 with some friends…

  4. thewerthwhisperer - Aug 25, 2015 at 4:18 PM

    I”ll be there, biking to the park from Friendship Heights – lovely ride home after a win! I’m in section 112.
    I think gates open at 5:30. Giveaways always available a little later right field entrance near the bike lot.
    Go Nats – let’s get a win and maybe tonight the Phillies can hold a 5 run lead (not likely with Jerome Williams on the mound, they’d be better off pitching Serena, or even Robin or Ted Williams of blessed memory!

  5. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 25, 2015 at 5:05 PM


  6. coop202 - Aug 25, 2015 at 5:13 PM

    Go Nats! Go… Not Mets!

    • ArVAFan - Aug 25, 2015 at 6:05 PM


  7. npb99 - Aug 25, 2015 at 6:16 PM

    I was planning on going tonight but the tickets on stubhub were far more expensive than tomorrow. Why? The gnome effect, I believe…

  8. Nats Fan Zee - Aug 25, 2015 at 7:15 PM

    Cepedas HR … 2-0 Mets … That was quick!

    • scmargenau - Aug 25, 2015 at 7:29 PM

      2-0 pads – just as quick

  9. scmargenau - Aug 25, 2015 at 7:27 PM

    222 winner!!

    • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 25, 2015 at 7:29 PM


    • Section 222 - Aug 25, 2015 at 11:28 PM

      I’m glad someone noticed. That was pretty funny. Of course if they are giving the whole section the prize every night, it can’t be worth much. Free buffet at the casino or something?

  10. manassasnatsfan - Aug 25, 2015 at 7:40 PM

    Sitting in section 217

  11. manassasnatsfan - Aug 25, 2015 at 7:42 PM

    Horns raised

  12. scnatsfan - Aug 25, 2015 at 7:46 PM

    Happy for Wilson but for a ball that cleared the fence by a yard he walked out of the box. Again.

    • veejh - Aug 25, 2015 at 7:52 PM

      oh poo poo. just be happy.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 25, 2015 at 8:10 PM

      Hey, at least that one got out.

  13. alexva6 - Aug 25, 2015 at 7:47 PM

    nice answer!

    gets the crowd right back in it

  14. alexva6 - Aug 25, 2015 at 8:07 PM

    Escobar trying to win Bryce over to his side

  15. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 25, 2015 at 8:21 PM

    I’m starting to think Shields really is getting squeezed.No idea where some of the pitches to Span in the 4th are missing.

  16. alexva6 - Aug 25, 2015 at 8:51 PM

    some serious two out production tonight!

  17. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 25, 2015 at 9:30 PM

    Can we fax a couple of those extra runs to the Phillies?

  18. abqnatsfan - Aug 25, 2015 at 9:34 PM

    Janssen looking pumped up to keep this lead big. Nice body language.

  19. abqnatsfan - Aug 25, 2015 at 9:36 PM

    Ha! I guess body language don’t always tell the tale. Still room.

  20. abqnatsfan - Aug 25, 2015 at 9:42 PM

    Yikes! Melvin hit that one far! Ok, let’s get six more in a row.

  21. raleighnat - Aug 25, 2015 at 9:58 PM

    This game feels like “what coulda been”.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 25, 2015 at 10:05 PM


    • abqnatsfan - Aug 25, 2015 at 10:11 PM

      Let’s hope we aren’t saying “coulda, woulda, shoulda” in October.

  22. abqnatsfan - Aug 25, 2015 at 10:15 PM

    Nice to see the “starting day” lineup together for the first time this season. And a good, solid win. That can be a mood changer.

  23. conatsguy - Aug 25, 2015 at 10:15 PM

    Nice effort boys. Let’s keep it up.

    Chocolate syrup for RZ with MASN Dan?





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 Click here for past audio clips.

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