According to several reports from Florida this morning, Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson told the press that he made the decision to scratch 20-year-old Nats' outfielder Bryce Harper from today's lineup with swelling in the young slugger's left thumb after he was jammed by Detroit Tigers' lefty Drew Smyly in yesterday's Grapefruit League game in Space Coast Stadium. Today the Nationals are in Tradition Field, the New York Mets' Port St. Lucie, Florida home, where a Harper-less lineup will take on NY.
Gio Gonzalez returns to the mound for the Nationals for the first time since he returned from the World Baseball Classic. As the Nats reported on Twitter earlier this week (@NationalsPR), the 27-year-old left-hander got some work in against the Nationals' minor leaguers last Monday:
This morning, Gio Gonzalez got some work in vs. Harrisburg (AA). He allowed 1 ER on 7 H with 9 Ks in 6 IP. He threw 87 pitches, 59 strikes— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) March 18, 2013
Today it's Gio vs the Mets live from Tradition Field in a game that's available on MLB.tv, WPIX 11 in the NY/NJ area and 106.7 the FAN in D.C. live. The MLB Network will show a delayed broadcast of the game later tonight. Gio Gonzalez will be making his fourth start of the Spring with the Nationals, having given up eight hits, three walks and two earned runs in 8.0 IP in which he's K'd six. Gonzalez's last Grapefruit League outing was back on March 7th, when he threw 3.0 scoreless against the Houston Astros.
Today Gonzalez takes on New York. Here's the updated (Harper-less) lineup (which is not starter-heavy) that is in Port St. Lucie for this afternoon's game:
Revised #Nationals lineup for today: Bernadina, 8 Espinosa, 6 Moore, 3 Tracy, 5 Ramos, 2 Rivero, 7 Lombardozzi, 4 Owings, 9 Gonzalez, 1— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) March 23, 2013
• Gio vs the Mets live from Port St. Lucie, Florida's Tradition Field. 1:05 pm EST. Who's Watching the Nationals?