7:25:The Nationals are targeting an 8 p.m. start.
6:55: Nationals officials do not expect a “terribly long” delay.
The bad news first: Around 6:50, the grounds crew pulled the tarp over the infield at Nationals Park, and this game’s first pitch will be delayed. I’ll post updates here.
Now, before we get to tonight’s game, there’s still one interesting decision left over from last night. In the 10th inning, Albert Pujols came to bat with one out and the bases empty. On Tuesday night, Pujols had come to bat as the go-ahead run, and Manager Jim Riggleman intentionally walked him. Last night, though, he let Sean Burnett pitch to him.
The difference: Unlike Tuesday, Matt Holliday was in the lineup, behind Pujols. Riggleman wanted to keep Burnett, his only lefty, in the game, in order to make Lance Berkman bat right-handed if he came up fourth in the inning. Here’s Riggleman’s insight:
“Holliday being in the lineup had something to do with that,” Riggleman said. “Sometimes, you just kind of feel that this is the thing to do. Holliday looked really comfortable against left-handed pitching up to that point in the game. We did not want to take Burnie out of the game. I just felt like Burnie would be smart with Albert, and he did. That’s not comfortable with Albert, because he can go out of the strike zone and still hurt you. But he made some really good pitches.”
As for tonight, the Nationals will try to match their win their seventh straight with Jason Marquis facing Orioles rookie left-handed Zach Britton. Talk about the game right here.