Game #11 Nats travel to the Joker!
Photo by John Caulfield for TalkNats
For the first twelve seasons of the Washington Nationals existence, road trips were always long bus rides of at least an hour which is why the move from isolated Viera, Florida to West Palm Beach was a necessity. Today is reminiscent of the Viera days of yesteryear as the buses were loading before the sun was rising. 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 Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, it will be a 3+ hour trip to face the Detroit Tigers. The 171 mile journey is one of the longest of the Grapefruit League schedule for the Nationals, but slightly better than last week’s trip to face the Yankees in Tampa.
The good news is that after this trip, the Nationals only have Grapefruit League travel games remaining in Palm Beach County in Jupiter and the furthest road trip will be to Port St. Lucie (47 miles away) against the Mets.
As we wait for the roster to see who is traveling along with starting pitcher Chad Kuhl
, here are the loose rules on Spring Training rosters:
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.
For fun, we went back five years to see the starting lineup for a game versus the Tigers on the road:
- Brian Goodwin CF
- Wilmer Difo 2B
- Victor Robles RF
- Matt Adams 1B
- Moises Sierra DH
- Andrew Stevenson LF
- Pedro Severino C
- Reid Brignac SS
- Matt Reynolds 3B
Most people who aren’t from the Lakeland, Florida area call it Joker Merchant Stadium and think the stadium was named for a jester character, but it was actually named after a politician of sorts as Marcus “Joker” Marchant was the Director of the Lakeland Parks and Recreation department, and they named the stadium after him.
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
Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland, Florida
1:05 pm EDT
Tigers feed via MLB app, MLB Network
Tigers feed via MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice:
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