So... and be honest, please: Are you more excited about the grand opening of the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros’ shared Spring home this afternoon or the fact that the first game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is available on MASN at 1:05 PM EST? It’s the MASN part, right? Unless you’re in West Palm Beach.
It’s the latter for us, for sure, since no one thinks there’s any value in sending us to WPB to cover Grapefruit League action.
After Saturday afternoon’s game was televised, and the last two matchups were radio-only broadcasts, baseball returns to the big screen today on MASN in the nation’s capital or on MLB.tv everywhere else.
Jeremy Guthrie, who’s in camp competing for a spot in the Nationals’ bullpen, will get the start this afternoon as the Nats host the Astros. Koda Glover is expected to make his 2017 debut this afternoon as well, so we’ll get a look at one of the potential closer candidates.
Here’s the Nationals’ lineup for the first game in TBotPB (worst acronym ever, I know):
#Nationals vs #Astros at 1:05 PM: Turner SS, Murphy 2B, Harper RF, Werth DH, Drew 3B, Norris C, Eaton CF, Robinson 1B, Lind LF, Guthrie P— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) February 28, 2017
Dusty Baker is mixing things up with the lineup again as he experiments to find the right mix. He talked yesterday about the fact that he might not necessarily go with Trea Turner and Adam Eaton atop the lineup since Eaton second, followed by Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper would mean three straight left-handed batters that could easily be countered by a left-handed pitcher.
“You don’t want to be good just at the top of the lineup,” Baker said, as quoted by Washington Post writer Jorge Castillo.
“You want balance throughout the lineup, so that’s what I’m trying to achieve... Down here in Spring Training, I’ll be experimenting with different lineups and different versus left, different versus right. So let’s not write my lineup out yet, because it’s not set.”
Baker and his coaches have plenty of time to figure things out over the next month-plus.
This afternoon, it’s Turner and Daniel Murphy 1-2 in the Nationals’ lineup. Jayson Werth makes his 2017 Grapefruit League debut as the DH and Adam Lind is in left field, which should be a good test for the bench bat and backup 1B/OF.
It’s baseball. It’s on MASN. 1:05 PM EST first pitch. Enjoy...