For those who forgot to spring forward with daylight savings time, you need to change your clocks now or just tune into the Washington Nationals game at 12:05 pm this afternoon. For those veterans who played in last night’s game, they get the morning off, but the coaching staff has a quick turn to get back to the park as the road team. The good news is the Nats are the road team at their home ballpark because the Nats face their neighbor Houston Astros in the their shared stadium at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
Today’s starting pitchers are Jeremy Hellickson for the Nats and Wade Miley for the Astros. It was Miley who was rumored the last two years as a Nats target, and he ended up signing a deal with the Astros as a free agent. After his stellar post-season with the Brewers where he turned in the best pitching performance of any pitcher in October with a 1.23 ERA, Miley had pitched the regular season with a 2.57 ERA in 2018. For Hellickson, he was a 3.45 ERA last year and along with Anibal Sanchez (2.83 ERA) and Miley, that trio was three of the best to have bounceback seasons as starting pitchers in 2018. The difference between Sanchez and Miley was their post-season performances. Sanchez was one and done for his 2018 Braves in the NLDS while Miley led his Brewers into the NLCS and close to beating the Dodgers to advance to the World Series. Miley signed for only $4.5 million with the Astros for this season with no incentives. For Mike Rizzo, we hope he made the right choice in passing on Miley.
As manager Dave Martinez pencils up his line-up for today, he better hope that it is better than last night where the Marlins had a perfect game going into the 8th inning against the Nationals. Luckily Carter Kieboom ended the shutout by hitting a 9th inning home run. It was his second smash to the wall in the game after his first flyball was caught high on the left-centerfield wall.
Today’s game marks the halfway mark of days remaining in the spring training schedule. With two-split squad games there are 16 games remaining but only 14 days of baseball before the regular season begins on March 28th.
Washington Nationals vs. Houston Astros
Stadium: FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, West Palm Beach, Florida
1st Pitch: 1:05 pm EDT
TV: Houston feed; MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice:
Victor Robles CF
Wilmer Difo 3B
Matt Adams 1B
Carter Kieboom 2B
Andrew Stevenson RF
Adrián Sanchez LF
Matt Reynolds DH
Luis Garcia SS
Spencer Kieboom C
Jeremy Hellickson RHP