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Grapefruit League GameThread: Nationals vs Tigers from Joker Marchant

Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals travel to Lakeland, Florida's Joker Marchant Stadium this afternoon where they take on Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers in Grapefruit League action at 1:05 PM EST. "New Mechanics" Gio!

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If you're looking at the lineup included below and thinking, "Wow, that is a lot of regulars for a Spring Training road game," you are not alone in having that thought.

New Washington Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker brought a number of everyday regulars with him to Lakeland, FL's Joker Marchant Stadium for this afternoon's Grapefruit League matchup with the Detroit Tigers which features Nats' lefty Gio Gonzalez on the mound against Justin Verlander at 1:05 PM EST.

Gonzalez is making his second start of the Spring after throwing two scoreless against the Miami Marlins last week.

No more looking down as he begins his delivery for the Nats' lefty this season now that he and new pitching coach Mike Maddux are tinkering with his mechanics. Gonzalez has his eye on the target throughout his delivery.

Once he was done with his outing against the Fish, he hung around to have a look at veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo on the advice of his pitching coach.

"Mike [Maddux] had me sit down and watch Bronson throw a little bit," Gonzalez said, "and the whole time Bronson was picking up his target, staying on track and I think he had what? First twelve pitches were all strikes, then his first ball was in the second inning, so that's something that you can watch and learn from a guy where he's pounding the strike zone and being aggressive."

Backing him up are six regulars... [ed. note - "Maybe seven, depending on how far to the right you are on the Ryan Zimmerman-Doom meter."]

Jayson Werth, Ben Revere and Bryce Harper left-to-right around the outfield with Anthony Rendon, Danny Espinosa, Daniel Murphy and Clint Robinson around the infield.

Behind the plate for the Nationals is Spencer Kieboom, who's impressed Baker with his game calling behind the plate early this Spring.

Here's the Nationals' lineup courtesy of's Bill Ladson:

Game Time: 1:05 PM EST from Jupiter, FL's Joker Marchant Stadium.

Listen: Today's game is available via's At Bat app, though it's the Tigers' feed from WXYT 1270.