The Nationals could have had Dustin Ackley if not for the last weekend of 2008. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

In the fall of 2008, the Nationals and Mariners, who were led by interim manager Jim Riggleman, fought for the worst record in the league and, therefore, the first overall pick in the 2009 draft. Heading into the final weekend, the Mariners had the upper hand. They were 58-101, and the Nationals were 59-99. The Mariners won their final two games of the season, and the Nationals lost three straight to surpass the Mariners into MLB’s basement.

And so, next June, the Mariners picked second and took Dustin Ackely. With the first pick, the Nationals selected Stephen Strasburg. Tonight, Strasburg will face the Mariners for the first time with Ackley, a key part of Seattle’s young core, playing left field.

The Mariners will start left-hander Roenis Elias. After he served as the DH last night, Jayson Werth is back in right field, and Wilson Ramos — fresh off two homers last night — will be the designated hitter. Jose Lobaton has more or less become Strasburg’s personal catcher. His last four starts have coincided with Strasburg’s.


1. Denard Span, CF

2. Anthony Rendon, 3B

3. Jayson Werth, RF

4. Adam LaRoche, 1B

5.  Ian Desmond, SS

6. Bryce Harper, LF

7. Wilson Ramos, DH

8. Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B

9. Jose Lobaton, C

— Stephen Strasburg, SP


1. Austin Jackson, CF

2. Dustin Ackley, LF

3. Robinson Cano, 2B

4. Kendrys Morales, DH

5. Kyle Seager, 3B

6. Logan Morrison, 1B

7. Chris Taylor, SS

8. James Jones, RF

9. Jesus Sucre, C

— Roenis Elias, SP