Game #18 at the Joker for the #Nats

Photo by John Caulfield for TalkNats

For the previous thirteen seasons of the Washington Nationals existence, road trips were always long bus rides of at least an hour which is why the move to West Palm Beach was a necessity. Today is reminiscent of the Viera days of yesteryear as the buses will be loading as the sun is rising. It will feel earlier like 6am when the players start loading the buses as daylight savings time just kicked in and bodies have not adjusted. The destination is Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida which is situated between Orlando and Tampa near Route 4.

When the buses leave the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, it will be a 3+ hour trip to face the Detroit Tigers. The 171 mile journey is the longest of the Grapefruit League schedule for the Nationals, and the good news is that after this trip, the Nationals only have four remaining road games on the Grapefruit schedule. There will be three games in Palm Beach County in Jupiter and just one road trip to Port St. Lucie (47 miles away) on March 22nd for a night game against the Mets. All the other games are home games.

This game against the Tigers already had a scratch of A.J. Cole who is sick, but our source said that he has a sinus infection. Dave Martinez told the media it is a stomach bug. Who knows, the stomach bug is certainly going around the Nats clubhouse. Edwin Jackson will get the spot start for the Nationals in place of Cole for this 1:05 PM game.

A minimum of four players who were regulars on the previous year’s Major League team or who were platooned on the previous year’s Major League team on a regular basis, or who have a reasonable chance to be regulars on the Major League Club’s squad during the upcoming season should make road trips. Each of those regulars, excluding pitchers, must play a minimum of three complete innings.

This line-up will meet the MLB rules and a h/t to Don H. for providing the fine print, but don’t expect any starters. There was a time when Dusty Baker brought his “A team” to Joker Marchant in 2016 with a starting line-up of Ben Revere CF, Daniel Murphy 2B, Bryce Harper RF, Ryan Zimmerman 1B, Jayson Werth LF, Anthony Rendon 3B, Wilson Ramos C and Danny Espinosa SS.  In that game, Bryce Harper hit a ball over the batter’s eye in centerfield causing Al Kaline to drop his jaw in amazement of what he witnessed.

This is where Bryce Harper’s home run was hit above the tall batter’s eye:

Brcye Harper HR at Joker Marchant Capture+_2016-03-20-15-46-25

Here we are fast forwarding back to today, and we have yet to see one line-up this entire Spring Training that resembles an Opening Day line-up. Possibly tomorrow night we will see the most complete line-up as we expect Adam Eaton will return.

For today’s game, the Tigers will be providing television and radio coverage so we can watch and/or listen to this one.

Washington Nationals vs. Detroit Tigers
Stadium:  Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland, Florida
1st Pitch: 1:05 pm EDT
TV: Tigers feed via MLB app, MLB Network
Nats Radio: Tigers feed via MLB app

Line-ups subject to change without notice:

  1. Brian Goodwin CF
  2. Wilmer Difo 2B
  3. Victor Robles RF
  4. Matt Adams 1B
  5. Moises Sierra DH
  6. Andrew Stevenson LF
  7. Pedro Severino C
  8. Reid Brignac SS
  9. Matt Reynolds 3B

Edwin Jackson RHP

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