Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats face the Marlins today at Space Coast Stadium.
But that's now old news, so let's move forward. Ian Desmond, who will hit leadoff on Opening Day, is in the top spot in the lineup today. It's not entirely the Opening Day lineup, because Adam LaRoche is still resting his sore shoulder (he's scheduled to return tomorrow). Also, Wilson Ramos is behind the plate. (Ivan Rodriguez will be there Thursday.)
Ross Detwiler gets one last chance to pitch in a big-league game this spring before getting optioned to Class AAA Syracuse. The Nationals didn't want John Lannan to face a division rival this close to the start the year, so Lannan is throwing in a minor-league game today. In other rotation news, minor-leaguer Tom Milone will get to start tomorrow against the Braves, spacing things out so Jordan Zimmermann can get on a proper schedule and start Tuesday's Grapefruit League finale.
Updates to come...
MARLINS at NATIONALS
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM)
Weather: Mostly sunny, 86 degrees, Wind 14 mph RF to LF
STARTING LINEUPS1:09 p.m. -- We're underway with a strike from Ross Detwiler to Chris Coghlan.
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
CF Rick Ankiel
LF Michael Morse
C Wilson Ramos
2B Danny Espinosa
1B Alex Cora
P Ross Detwiler
CF Chris Coghlan
2B Emilio Bonifacio
LF Greg Dobbs
1B Wes Helms
3B Donnie Murphy
RF Scott Cousins
C Brad Davis
SS Osvaldo Martinez
P Adalberto Mendez
1:11 p.m. -- Nice top of the first for Detwiler. He struck out Coghlan with a high fastball, gave up a soft single to Emilio Bonifacio and then got Greg Dobbs to ground into a 4-6-3 double play.
2:14 p.m. -- Sorry for the delay in updates. I just spent the last hour trying to upload video I shot of Jim Riggleman discussing the Nyjer Morgan trade to the folks at CSN so they can use it on TV this evening. Assuming it worked, they should be able to post the video online in a little while, and I'll be sure to include it here. ... As for the game, it's currently 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Ross Detwiler has allowed four hits through four and will get a chance to come back out for the fifth. Jayson Werth provided the Nats' lone run via a sac fly.
2:33 p.m. -- Detwiler's day is done. He goes five innings, allowing one run on five hits, walking none and striking out two (though he did hit a batter). Sixty-five pitches, 44 strikes. He'll be sent to Syracuse soon, but you've got to believe he'll be the first starter the Nats call up when they need someone. Brian Broderick, trying to earn the last bullpen spot over Collin Balester now on to pitch the sixth.
2:40 p.m. -- And another 1-2-3 inning from Broderick, who now sports a cool 0.61 ERA this spring. You gotta think the Nats are going to keep the Rule 5 pick. At the very least, they'll try to work out a trade with the Cardinals to keep him in the organization.
2:45 p.m. -- Ladies and gentlemen: Michael Morse with his ninth homer of the spring, a bomb to right-center. That's nine homers and 18 RBI in 20 games. Not too shabby. What was shabby, however, was the Space Coast Stadium pa guy's response: "From downtown!" he blared over the loudspeakers. Actually makes you miss Jerome's relatively subtlety back at Nationals Park.
2:52 p.m. -- Make it 3-1 Nats in the sixth after Danny Espinosa singles, steals second, steals third without a throw and then scores on a wild pitch. Nice hustle.
3:04 p.m. -- Uh, I may have spoken too soon about Broderick. He came back out for the seventh and just allowed five straight batters to reach, with four of them scoring, and none of them making an out. Got yanked after serving up a bases-loaded triple triple. And that 0.61 ERA? Well, it's up to 3.07 all of a sudden. Marlins lead 5-3 as Doug Slaten enters to try to clean up the mess.
3:27 p.m. -- It's now 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh, the Marlins having scored another run while we were down in the clubhouse talking to Ross Detwiler. Detwiler was pretty happy with his performance this spring; he finishes with a 2.65 ERA and 13-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. "I had to go out there and prove to myself first that I could compete here and I belong here," he said. "That was the first step. Now the next one is to prove it to everyone else." Detwiler knows he's about to be optioned to Syracuse, not because of his performance but because he's got options and Tom Gorzelanny doesn't. "There's five spots and six people," he said. "I can do the math. I know it's not a perfect game. Not everyone's going to finish the season as you'd like they would. I'll get my opportunity when it comes."
3:48 p.m. -- We go to the ninth, the Nats still trailing 6-3 and in serious danger of snapping their five-game winning streak. Drew Storen is on to pitch in a decidedly non-save situation. We'll see if he picks up where he left off his last two times out.
3:55 p.m. -- Storen allowed a two-out single to Greg Dobbs, but otherwise was very efficient. He needed only seven pitches (six strikes) to get through the ninth unscathed. That's three straight good outings for him. Last chance for the Nats coming up. They trail by three runs.
4:01 p.m. -- And the deficit is down to two after Alberto Gonzalez crushes an RBI double to left-center. Gonzo entered today hitting .365. (Have we mentioned he's available?) Showcasing!
4:03 p.m. -- That'll do it. No dramatic rally today. I've finally seen the Nats lose in person this spring. Final score: Marlins 6, Nationals 4.