Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Space Coast Stadium hosts the Braves this afternoon.
Lannan will have plenty of regulars behind him in the field, with Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth in the Nationals' lineup. No Michael Morse or Adam LaRoche yet, but manager Davey Johnson said both players should be ready to go again beginning Sunday.
It's a cloudy, windy day in Viera with a chance for rain, but this game will start on time. Bob and F.P. have the call on TV, and I'll have updates throughout live from the ballpark...
ATLANTA BRAVES vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: MASN (live), MLB Network (tape delayed at 10 p.m.)
Radio: Braves feed via MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 78 degrees, Wind 20 mph in from CF
STARTING LINEUPS1:05 p.m. -- We're underway with a strike from John Lannan to Michael Bourn.
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Jayson Werth
1B Chad Tracy
LF Jason Michaels
CF Roger Bernadina
C Jesus Flores
P John Lannan
CF Michael Bourn
SS Andrelton Simmons
C Brian McCann
2B Dan Uggla
1B Freddie Freeman
RF Jason Heyward
LF Jordan Parraz
3B Drew Sutton
P Tommy Hanson
1:09 p.m. -- Solid top of the first for the Nats. Lannan got a couple of groundballs to short, then after allowing a two-out single to Brian McCann got Dan Uggla to hit a soft liner to center that Roger Bernadina came charging in to snag. Scoreless as we go to the bottom of the first.
1:17 p.m. -- Pretty quick bottom of the first for Tommy Hanson, who retired the side on three fly balls. The last was well-struck by Ryan Zimmerman to right-center, only to be tracked down by Michael Bourn. Boy, that guy can cover some serious ground in center field. Hmm, I wonder when he's due to become a free agent or who he's represented by...
1:26 p.m. -- Pretty typical Lannan so far. He's given up a couple of singles but has mostly kept the ball on the ground and kept things under control. We're still scoreless heading to the bottom of the second.
1:45 p.m. -- Well, Lannan can thank that 20 mph gale blowing in from left-center for keeping two balls in the park in the third inning. Brian McCann smoked a pitch to right, but the wind pushed it well foul. Then Dan Uggla destroyed a two-out pitch to left, a ball that would have been a sure home run just about any day of the year. Except today. Jason Michaels made the catch at the base of the wall as the crowd gasped in surprise. Still scoreless going to the bottom of the third.
1:58 p.m. -- Stop the presses! Ian Desmond drew another walk! That's two in less than 24 hours! That set up Danny Espinosa with a golden RBI opportunity (two on, two out) but Espinosa's rocket line drive was snagged by Freeman at first base. Tough break. It's still 0-0 after three.
2:06 p.m. -- Desmond's getting a lot of work in the field today. He looked sharp early on in fielding four groundballs hit his way, but he booted a ball in the fourth for an error. Lannan got out of it, though, striking out Drew Sutton to end the inning. Zeroes still on the scoreboard here through 3 1/2.
2:22 p.m. -- The Nats are on the board, though it wasn't exactly an inspiring rally that brought that first run home. Zimmerman was hit by a pitch, took second on Chad Tracy's single, took third on McCann's passed ball and then scored on Michaels' RBI groundout. So it's 1-0 Nats after four, and now look who's taking over in left field: Steve Lombardozzi. Let the grand experiment begin!
2:25 p.m. -- Lannan's done, by the way, replaced by Chad Durbin. His final line: 4 ip, 3 h, 0 r, 1 bb, 2 k, 79 pitches, 50 strikes. He was helped some by the wind, but overall pitched pretty well.
2:29 p.m. -- And, of course, Lombo is tested right away in his first-ever outfield appearance. Tough pop-up to shallow left with the wind blowing in. He made the play. Still 1-0 Nats after 4 1/2.
2:43 p.m. -- Some nice pieces of hitting in the bottom of the fifth by Lombardozzi and Desmond (who each singled) but it went for naught when Espinosa grounded into an inning-ending, 6-4-3 double play.
3:07 p.m. -- Just got back from the clubhouse, where John Lannan talked about his start (he was pleased with how many groundballs he was able to induce) and Gio Gonzalez talked about Stephen Strasburg being named Opening Day starter: "Awesome. He's the right man for the job." Meanwhile, the Nats still lead 1-0 at the seventh-inning stretch.
3:23 p.m. -- A scoreless eighth for Tyler Clippard, though he did plunk Andrelton Simmons. Nice throw by Carlos Maldonado to gun down Simmons trying to steal second, though. The Nats still cling to a 1-0 lead as they head to the bottom of the eighth.
3:43 p.m. -- And Ryan Perry blows the save and the shutout with two outs in the top of the ninth. Gave up an RBI single to Parraz, making it 1-1 and forcing the Nats to bat in the bottom of the inning. I don't think there's anyone in either team's dugout happy about this. I definitely know there's no one in the press box who's happy right now.
3:48 p.m. -- We go to the 10th. Ryan Perry back on the mound. This will be it regardless is anyone scores.
4:03 p.m. -- Rough day for Espinosa. He's 0-for-4, has grounded into a double play, has stranded five men on base and now has committed the error that gave the Braves the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th. A sac fly makes it 3-1 and leaves the Natsdown to their final three outs.
4:17 p.m. -- It's over. The Nats lose a heartbreaker, 3-2 in 10 innings. The final batter: Ryan Perry, who struck out looking. That'll tell you what Davey thinks about the outcomes of these games. Sheesh.