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Washington Nationals vs Houston Astros and at Miami Marlins: Grapefruit League GameThreads

Sunday baseball. Kind of the best thing in the world. And the Nationals are playing two games today in Florida, but if you want to follow along, it’s radio only this afternoon...

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Washington Nationals Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we hope you enjoyed that two innings of baseball you got last night before the rains came and eventually wiped out the Washington Nationals’ Grapefruit League opener. And unfortunately, last night’s game was the only one this weekend that was set to be on TV. It wasn’t what anyone was hoping for, but if you’re looking for some consolation, one of the two games the Nationals are playing this afternoon (at home vs the Houston Astros while a split squad travels to Jupiter to take on the Miami Marlins) is available on the radio in the nation’s capital, and Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler have the call for you from Florida.

At home in West Palm Beach, Austin Voth will start for the defending World Series champs against the Astros in their shared Spring Training home, while Erick Fedde, who’s battling with Voth and Joe Ross for the fifth spot in the Nationals’ rotation starts on the road against the Miami Marlins in Roger Dean Stadium.

Voth, 27, is out of options and coming off a 2019 campaign which saw the right-hander put up a 3.30 ERA, a 3.79 FIP, 13 walks (2.68 BB/9), 44 strikeouts (9.07 K/9), and a .212/.287/.397 line against in 41 1⁄3 IP in his eight starts in the majors.

Going into the 2020 campaign, Voth told reporters he knows he has something to prove, and now is the time to do it.

“I’m 27, out of options, and at this point it’s really time to show the front office and coaches what you can do for them,” Voth said last week, as quoted by Washington Post writer Jesse Dougherty.

Fedde, 26, finished 2019 with a 4.50 ERA, a 5.34 FIP, 33 walks (3.81 BB/9), 41 strikeouts (4.73 K/9), and a .297/.369/.491 line against in 60 1⁄3 IP as a starter, with a stingy .197/.286/.295 line against in 17 2⁄3 IP as a reliever. He’s in a difficult spot this Spring, as the only of of the three on the rotation bubble who has an option remaining.

Fedde said last week that he knows one thing for sure, if you pitch well enough, you can force your club to make tough decisions.

“If there’s anything I’ve learned,” Fedde told reporters, including MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, “... if you pitch well - especially on a team that wants to win - you’ll keep your spot.”

Each starter gets another opportunity to make a first impression of the Spring today in their respective starts.

Which one will you be following, assuming you’re planning on an afternoon of listening to baseball on the radio?