Sep 17, 2015, 3:30 PM EST
Hard to believe it, but this is the Nationals’ final homestand of the season. It’s a long one, to be sure — 11 games against the Marlins, Orioles, Phillies and Reds — but we have officially reached the home stretch of 2015.
It begins against the Marlins, who actually have been playing well of late, winning five straight series (including two against the Nats and Mets). Tanner Roark gets the start for the Nationals, trying to reach the sixth inning for the first time since rejoining the rotation. Jarred Cosart starts for Miami.
Updates to come, so please check back…
MIAMI MARLINS 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, 85 degrees, Wind 6 mph RF to LF
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Bryce Harper
LF Jayson Werth
1B Clint Robinson
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
CF Michael Taylor
RHP Tanner Roark
2B Dee Gordon
CF Christian Yelich
3B Martin Prado
1B Justin Bour
RF Marcell Ozuna
LF Derek Dietrich
C Jeff Mathis
SS Miguel Rojas
RHP Jarred Cosart
HP Angel Hernandez
1B Chris Conroy
2B Ted Barrett (cc)
3B Adam Hamari
7:05 p.m. — We are underway, in front of a sparse gathering here at Nationals Park. The home team may still be alive, but this town doesn’t seem to exactly have pennant fever right now.
7:24 p.m. — Not a good start to this one by Tanner Roark. He surrendered a leadoff single to Dee Gordon. Then two batters later, he served up a 2-run homer to Martin Prado that just cleared the fence in front of the Red Porch. New York reviewed it to see if a fan reached over the fence trying to catch the ball, but he didn’t, so the call stood. Prado remains a major Nats nemesis. He’s 19-for-57 against them this season and owns a career .309 batting average with 10 homers and .860 OPS in 114 games against them over the years. 2-0 Marlins after one.
7:43 p.m. — Ian Desmond to the rescue. He launched a hanging curveball from Jarred Cosart off the top of the left-field fence and into the visitors’ bullpen for a game-tying, 2-run homer. That’s Desmond’s 18th of the season, but his first in 18 games. He’s still got a good shot at his fourth consecutive 20-homer season. 2-2 after two.
8:08 p.m. — Roark has settled in nicely since the first inning. He pitched his way out of a jam in the top of the third, stranding Gordon on third by getting the fearsome Prado to ground out and then striking out Justin Bour. Still 2-2 after three.
8:20 p.m. — Make it 9-of-10 retired by Roark. Though Cosart has retired 8 of the last 9 he’s faced. To the fifth we go, still 2-2.
8:40 p.m. — It’s not 2-2 anymore, and Justin Bour was more responsible for that than anybody else. The Westfield High and George Mason alum launched a 3-run homer off Roark in the top of the fifth. Bour has really turned into quite a productive masher for the Marlins. He’s got 18 homers now in only 351 at-bats. It’s 6-2 Miami after five, and Roark once again couldn’t reach the sixth inning.
Chase here taking over for Mark while he writes his game story
9:08 p.m. — The game remains at 6-2 after six, though the Nats did threaten in the bottom half of the inning. Harper reached on a 300 ft. bloop single to left field to beat a shift with one out. Werth then singled to right field to push Harper to third. Harper was first called out on a throw by Ozuna, but it was overturned after a crew chief replay. The Nats couldn’t capitalize on that situation, though. Robinson hit a groundball to first, which got Harper tagged out in a rundown. Desmond then flew out to deep right field to end the frame. On to the seventh where Doug Fister will remain in the game to pitch a second inning.
9:21 p.m. — Still 6-2 after seven. Yelich singled for the Marlins with two outs, but that was it for them. No one reached base for the Nats. Now Matt Grace will come in to pitch the seventh.
10:08 p.m. — The Nats cut the Marlins lead by two in the eighth, but they could have had more. Rendon led off with a single and Harper joined him with a single two batters later. Tyler Moore pinch-hit with two outs for Clint Robinson and walk to load the bases. Desmond then singled to center field to score two and make it 6-4. Ramos would walk to load the bases again, but Taylor struck out on just three pitches when the Marlins brought in their closer, A.J. Ramos. Matt Thornton will now pitch the ninth in a 6-4 game.
10:21 p.m. — Escobar grounds out to end the game with Harper in the on-deck circle. Marlins win this one 6-4.
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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