END 9: Jeremy Accardo allowed a run and two base runners before striking out the final batter to preserve the 8-7 win. Today’s highlights: Chris Young debuted; Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman are swinging the bat well; Craig Stammen’s first blemish and a handful of relievers threw well, too.
END 8: Apologies for the lapse in updates; reporters were down in the clubhouse talking to Chris Young. Zach Walters demolished a pitch to deep right-center — the power alley today. At first glance, it seemed harder-hit and further the homers of Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman to the same part of the field. Carlos Rivero added an RBI single to give the Nationals a larger lead. No ties today! Hopefully.
Erik Davis pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 innings, as did Ryan Perry over two innings. Lefty Fernando Abad rebounded from his worst outing well, notching a scoreless seventh inning. Nationals lead, 8-6.
END 5: Bryce Harper demolished a ball off lefty Brad Hand over the right-center fence and ads above it. Ryan Zimmerman did the same, sending a ball over the same fence. It tied the game after Craig Stammen struggled in the fourth by allowing three runs on four hits and notching only two outs. Tie game, 6-6.
END 3: Chris Young is done after three innings. His line: three hits, three earned runs, three walks and two strikeouts. He threw 52 pitches, 26 of them for strikes — not exactly a good percentage. But it was, at least, an encouraging start. Danny Espinosa smacked an RBI single to center right-handed. Nationals lead, 4-3.
MID 3: Chris Young allowed a two-run home run to Joe Mahoney, a fastball over the plate. Kyle Jensen smacked another ball to deep left-center but Denard Span tracked it, jumped at wall and pulled it back to save another home run.
Steve Lomardozzi drove in two runs with a slap single to right field in the bottom of the second inning. Marlins starter Alex Sanabia struggled with command that inning, walking Danny Espinosa and hitting Kurt Suzuki in the back with a pitch. Nationals trail, 3-2.
MID 2: Chris Young is working smoothly and solidly. He struck out Kyle Jensen and Chris Coghlan looking. (Coghlan was fooled by a low, dead-center fastball.) He walked one batter but Jayson Werth nabbed the final out with a running catch in right. Tie game, 0-0.
END 1: Chris Young, making his first start, is a big dude. Imagine facing a 6-10 pitcher plus another near-foot of the mound. The ball is released so high and comes down from a sharp angle. Young started the game with five straight balls. (The crowd applauded when he threw Marlins two-hole hitter Chone Figgins a strike.) He then induced a 5-4-3 double play ball and a comebacker which he stopped and tossed to first. We’ll check on his velocity later in the game. Tie game, 0-0.