After struggling in the third inning of an early Grapefruit League outing this Spring, Washington Nationals' right-hander Dan Haren joked about how pitchers talked after their Spring Training starts. "'In spring training, if you do good, you feel great. If you do bad, you’re just working on stuff,'" Haren told reporters including the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, "'I was just working on things in the third inning, you know.'" After the 32-year-old starter surrendered six hits, two walks and five runs in his last start against the St. Louis Cardinals, Haren didn't make any jokes about the way he pitched that day. "'That was just one of those days, man,'" Haren told the WaPost's Mr. Kilgore, "'I felt like I was throwing a weighted ball out there.'" Haren's velocity was down according to scouts quoted in the Washington Post piece and Davey Johnson even joked that he was thinking about picking up a bat after seeing the way his pitcher was throwing.
In four starts and 14.0 IP this Spring, the Nationals' right-hander has allowed 15 hits, three walks and nine runs, all earned, while striking out 10 batters and holding opponents to a .263 BAA. Haren takes the hill tonight in the Atlanta Braves' Spring home, Champion Stadium at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the Walt Disney World Resort to make his fifth start with the Nats. As the Nationals did yesterday for their game on the road in Jupiter's Roger Dean Stadium against the Miami Marlins, they're bringing their Opening Day lineup with them for tonight's game against their NL East rivals from Atlanta.
Here's the Nationals' lineup for tonight's game:
Tonight's #Nationals lineup at ATL: Span 8, Werth 9, Harper 7, Zimmerman 5, LaRoche 3, Desmond 6, Espinosa 4, Ramos 2, Haren 1.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) March 21, 2013
Tonight's game is being shown on the MLB Network in the D.C. area, and it's available on MLB.tv with Gameday Audio available as well, though that and the tv feed are both from the Braves. 6:05 pm EST. Dan Haren vs Tim Hudson on the mound. The Nats' Opening Day lineup on the field and according to reports from Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Nats' catcher Wilson Ramos is scheduled to go nine full innings for the first time this Spring as he works his way back from last season's knee surgeries. Who's Watching the Nationals?