LAKELAND, Fla. - Nationals manager Davey Johnson saw yesterday's brawl between Canada and Mexico in the World Baseball Classic and like most of us, was a bit shocked that things got to that point.
"We've come close when I was managing the U.S. against Mexico, but we never got that far," Johnson said. "That was a little over the top."
If you haven't seen the video of the brawl yet, here you go. This wasn't like most baseball scuffles in which there's a little pushing and some small talk around home plate. This thing got nasty.
Johnson stayed up to catch most of Ross Detwiler's four-inning WBC outing against Italy, but finally gave in and went to bed before Detwiler's final frame.
"He looked great," Johnson said of Detwiler. "I knew he was going to do good. That was a big shot in the arm for their bullpen."
Detwiler notched a save in Team USA's win, the first of his professional career.
"That's maybe my other left-hander in the 'pen," Johnson quipped.
Team USA will play Canada today at 4 p.m. The Nationals and Tigers will get under way around 1:05 p.m., and Johnson said he's hoping for a quick one today so that he can catch the WBC action after we're done here.
Johnson said that Nathan Karns has had his scheduled side session today pushed back because another round of doctors needs to take a look at the MRI on Karns' right leg.
Karns has been battling tightness in that right leg since an outing on March 2, and while he said yesterday that he doesn't think the injury is anything serious, the Nats want to get another opinion on the MRI.
"We're so much more technical now that we're not leaving it up to the (doctors) that are in-house looking at them and talking to them," Johnson said.
If healthy, Karns would be a candidate to slide into Gio Gonzalez's place in the rotation, should Team USA advance to the second round and Gonzalez ends up pitching for the Americans. Ross Ohlendorf would be another option.
Johnson said that the Nats will skip Gonzalez's next turn in the rotation, however, because Tuesday's off-day will allow them to pitch Jordan Zimmermann on normal rest on March 13.
Here are your lineups for today's game:
For the Nats:
RF Corey Brown
2B Steve Lombardozzi
CF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
LF Tyler Moore
DH Chad Tracy
1B Chris Marrero
3B Matt Skole
SS Anthony Rendon
P Dan Haren
For the Tigers:
CF Austin Jackson
RF Torii Hunter
DH Victor Martinez
1B Prince Fielder
LF Andy Dirks
SS Jhonny Peralta
C Alex Avila
3B Don Kelly
2B Kevin Russo
P Rick Porcello