Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos will be uniform for the series finale at Sun Life Stadium.
The bigger surprise, though, is that Ryan Zimmerman is not in the Nationals' lineup. Zim has been given a very rare day off, something Jim Riggleman has talked about doing and did with Adam Dunn not long ago.
No Danny Espinosa or Wilson Ramos in the lineup tonight, either. I would suspect Espinosa will start Friday night in Pittsburgh, and I would suspect Ramos will get a start sometime during that weekend series as well.
Check back for updates throughout the evening...
NATIONALS at MARLINS
Where: Sun Life Stadium
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 85 degrees, Wind 17 mph in from RF
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
1B Adam Dunn
RF Michael Morse
2B Adam Kennedy
3B Alberto Gonzalez
C Wil Nieves
P Scott Olsen
CF Cameron Maybin
LF Logan Morrison
SS Hanley Ramirez
1B Gaby Sanchez
2B Donnie Murphy
3B Wes Helms
RF Mike Stanton
C Brad Davis
P Chris Volstad
7:01 p.m. -- Real quick before we get started, Ryan Zimmerman is not in the lineup tonight because of a nagging injury to his right side, according to Jim Riggleman. Zimmerman tried to convince Riggleman to let him play, but the manager decided to give him a breather today, plus tomorrow's off-day, to fully recover.
7:12 p.m. -- So much for fireworks. Chris Volstad didn't come close to plunking Nyjer Morgan to start the game. Instead, the Marlins starter struck out the Nats' leadoff man. Major letdown.
7:18 p.m. -- On the bright side, the Nats did take a 1-0 lead thanks to a two-out RBI single by Michael Morse, bringing Ian Desmond home.
7:25 p.m. -- FYI: Brett Hayes, the catcher Nyjer Morgan bowled over last night, has been diagnosed with a separated left shoulder. He's likely done for the season.
7:37 p.m. -- Terrible first inning for Scott Olsen against his former team. He allowed five of the first six Marlins he faced to reach safely and served up RBI doubles to Hanley Ramirez and Wes Helms. Backup catcher Brad Davis also doubled in a run, giving the Marlins a 5-1 lead. For what it's worth, Yunesky Maya is making his final start at Syracuse tonight and would slide perfectly into Olsen's spot in the Nationals' rotation.
7:47 p.m. -- The Nats storm right back and score twice in the second behind RBI hits from Morgan and Desmond, cutting the lead to 5-3.
7:59 p.m. -- That's it for Scott Olsen. Terrible start for the lefty. He faced 15 batters, 10 of which reached safely. His line: 1.2 ip, 8 h, 8 er, 2 bb, 1 k. And he's still responsible for one more man on base. Might this be the last time we see Olsen on the mound this season? Might this be the last time we see him in a Nats uniform ever?
8:03 p.m. -- Craig Stammen's third pitch is blasted over the left field scoreboard by Mike Stanton. Marlins lead 10-3 in the second, nine of those runs charged to Olsen.
8:12 p.m. -- So Chris Volstad has now hit both Wil Nieves and Alberto Gonzalez in the game's first three innings. It appears his plan is to plunk everyone not named Nyjer Morgan.
8:25 p.m. -- It's now 13-3 Marlins in the third. Good opportunity to see how good Ray Knight is at keeping a terrible game interesting.
8:27 p.m. -- 14-3 IN THE THIRD INNING.
8:33 p.m. -- And there's the retaliation. Volstad plunks Morgan in the ribs with one out in the fourth. Nyjer trots down to first, doesn't say anything. Then he steals second. Down 11 runs. Then he steals third. Down 11 runs. And then he scores by tagging up on a pop-up behind second in which Donnie Murphy fell over and injured his right arm trying to brace his fall. Didn't look good at all. Murphy was helped off the field by a trainer.
8:52 p.m. -- 15-5 now as we head to the bottom of the fifth. If you were wondering (and I know you were) the most runs ever allowed by the Nats is 18 (on June 7, 2006) vs. Marlins. Plenty of time to break that record tonight.
8:53 p.m. -- Danny Espinosa making his big-league debut at second base, with Kennedy sliding over to first base and Dunn removed.
9:18 p.m. -- So I ventured down to the stands for the top of the sixth, thinking with Nyjer Morgan due up second that something might happen. Did it ever. Volstad threw his first pitch behind Morgan's back. Nyjer paused for a second, then stormed the mound, setting off a bench-clearing brawl. Morgan was out of control. By the time he was escorted off by bullpen catcher Nilson Robledo, his shirt was unbuttoned and he was screaming at fans, arms raised. A total embarrassment. Both Morgan and Vostad were ejected, plus Marlins reliever Jose Veras. Pat Listach, meanwhile, could face punishment for his role leaping into the pile and trying to corral Volstad. Total brouhaha. There will be plenty of residual fallback from this, I can assure you.
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Nyjer Morgan gestures toward fans after getting ejected.
9:28 p.m. -- Here's another question: Had Rob Dibble been broadcasting this game, would he have jumped out of the booth and joined the brawl?
9:35 p.m. -- Oh. My. God. Wil Nieves just hit one into the upper deck. It's 15-9 in the seventh.
9:39 p.m. -- It's now 15-10 after Willie Harris singles home Justin Maxwell. You think Jim Riggleman might regret pulling Adam Dunn in the fifth when his team was down 10 runs?
9:57 p.m. -- Another ejection: Doug Slaten hits Gaby Sanchez in the and gets tossed. His reaction suggested it wasn't intentional.
10:00 p.m. -- Riggleman was tossed, too.
10:14 p.m. -- We go to the bottom of the eighth of what is now a 16-10 game.
10:30 p.m. -- The wildest, craziest ballgame of the season is over. Nats lose 16-10, but the final score almost seems secondary to everything else that took place over the last 3 hours and 22 minutes. Plenty of reaction from the clubhouse to come...
For those who weren't watching the game on TV, here's video of the brawl on MLB.com.