Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
John Lannan faces Josh Beckett in the nightcap of today's doubleheader.
There are two changes to Davey Johnson's lineup: Danny Espinosa and Kurt Suzuki are taking a seat, with Steve Lombardozzi and Jesus Flores taking their spots. In a bit of a surprise, both Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse are back in the lineup after playing in Game 1.
John Lannan, meanwhile, takes the mound for the Nationals, looking to improve to 4-0 and secure what would be quite a milestone victory for the franchise and the District of Columbia.
Plenty of updates to come...
LOS ANGELES DODGERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS (Game 2)
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:45 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), ESPN Radio, XM 185
Weather: Clear, 68 degrees, Wind 6 mph in from CF
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse
SS Ian Desmond
2B Steve Lombardozzi
C Jesus Flores
LHP John Lannan
2B Mark Ellis
LF Shane Victorino
CF Matt Kemp
1B Adrian Gonzalez
SS Hanley Ramirez
RF Andre Ethier
3B Luis Cruz
C Matt Treanor
RHP Josh Beckett
HP Alan Porter
1B Mike Winters (cc)
2B Mark Wegner
3B Clint Fagan
7:47 p.m. -- And we're underway. Again. John Lannan starts off Mark Ellis with a fastball for ball one.
8:15 p.m. -- OK, now that I've had a chance to catch up on things, an actual update on this game: We're through two scoreless innings, with both Lannan and Josh Beckett cruising along. Lannan needed only 26 pitches to get through his first two frames, though the Dodgers do have a couple hard-hit balls, just hit right at fielders. Adam LaRoche has the Nats' lone hit so far, a leadoff single in the second. He, though, was immediately erased when Michael Morse grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. So we go to the third inning, still a 0-0 game.
8:35 p.m. -- How much do two-out walks hurt? A lot. Just ask Lannan, who issued back-to-back free passes in the top of the third to Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez and paid the price for it. Hanley Ramirez roped a two-run single to right (making him now 10-for-22 with six RBI and a 1.185 OPS in his career against Lannan) and then Andre Ethier added an RBI single to make it 3-0. Just like that, the Nats are in a hole early.
9:02 p.m. -- Well that turned ugly in a hurry. Lannan got beat around in the top of the fourth, giving up three hits and plunking Victorino. With the bases loaded, two out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate, Davey Johnson brought out the hook and summoned from the bullpen ... Chien-Ming Wang. Yep, his first big-league appearance in three months. And what did Wang do? Uncorked a run-scoring wild pitch on his very first pitch. He then allowed another run to score on a weird play in which Zimmerman fielded a hot shot to third and somehow managed to tag Gonzalez during a collision between the two. However, plate ump Alan Porter ruled Kemp crossed the plate before that out was recorded (though replays appear to show that not being the case. Regardless, it's now 6-0 Dodgers after four ugly innings.
9:18 p.m. -- Meanwhile, Josh Beckett has faced the minimum through five innings. Thank god for LaRoche's leadoff single in the second. Otherwise, we'd really have a story on our hands tonight, just not the one the Nationals wanted.
9:36 p.m. -- Hey, what do you know? The Nats got another hit off Beckett. Corey Brown, pinch-hitting for Wang, ropes a double to right in the bottom of the sixth. They still haven't scored, though. So it remains 6-0 after six as Zach Duke enters and Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth exit. This just turned into a spring training game.
9:57 p.m. -- I suppose if there's a silver lining to this game, it's that Wang and Duke have combined to throw 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Though I'm not sure how much of that you can attribute to their pitching performance and how much you can attribute to the Dodgers taking their foot off the gas pedal up six runs. Still 6-0 as we go to the bottom of the eighth.
10:25 p.m. -- Well, I have three words for anybody who left the park early tonight, with the Nats trailing by six runs: YOU. BLEW. IT. They just stormed all the way back in the bottom of the eighth. Morse homered. Lombardozzi homered. Harper beat out a slow roller to third. Morse delivered another big hit, a two-run single. Just like that, this game tied 6-6 as we go to the ninth. Unbelievable.
10:29 p.m. -- And just like that, Matt Kemp crushes Tyler Clippard's 0-2 fastball (and the hearts of everyone in attendance) to lead off the top of the ninth. The Dodgers are back on top 7-6, and now the Nats will have to rally again.
10:45 p.m. -- It's over. They lose 7-6 after storming back from six runs down in the eighth. They'll have to wait until tomorrow to go for the playoff clincher.