Tonight’s game was delayed 16 minutes - not because of rain, but because the umpires were stuck in traffic.
C’mon, fellas. Plan ahead here.
In Adam Dunn’s return to Nationals Park, Bryce Harper crushed a home run to the seats that Dunn used to visit on a consistent basis.
Leading off the bottom of the fourth, Harper took the first pitch he saw from White Sox starter Gavin Floyd - an 86 mph cutter - and smoked it into the second deck in right field.
The solo shot was Harper’s fourth home run of the season and it tied tonight’s game at 1-1.
Harper demolished a ball in batting practice before today’s game, hitting it off the facade of the third deck right next to the Jackie Robinson lettering.
This homer off Floyd wasn’t far from that monster blast during BP. It might’ve come up 10-15 feet short of that mark.
Harper is now batting .387 on the season with six RBIs in eight games.
Three batters after Harper’s homer, Ian Desmond doubled to right-center, his second double in as many at-bats tonight. He then came around on Danny Espinosa’s two-strike, two-out single to right.
Jordan Zimmermann will take the mound in the fifth with a 2-1 lead.
Zimmermann allowed a run in the first on Dunn’s RBI groundout, but has been pretty solid overall. He’s thrown just 53 pitches through four frames and has shown good life on his fastball, pumping it in at 94-96 mph.
Dunn, by the way, got a mild round of applause in his first at-bat tonight. “The Big Donkey” is playing in his first game in D.C. since the end of the 2010 season.
Update: Three straight singles from Jayson Werth, Harper and Ryan Zimmerman plated another run for the Nats in the fifth.
Harper’s single came on a broken bat. The result still somehow managed to be a hard-hit ball up the middle. Unreal.
It’s 3-1 Nats after five.
Update II: Chicago got a run in the sixth on Alex Rios’ RBI groundout, but the Nats responded with two more in the bottom half of the inning to make it a 5-2 Washington lead.
Desmond tripled leading off the sixth, his third extra-base hit of the game and seventh in his last five contests, and Danny Espinosa immediately brought him in, sending the next pitch down the right field line for an RBI double.
Three batters later, Denard Span brought in Espinosa with a hot-shot infield single past shortstop Alexei Ramirez to give the Nats a three-run cushion.
Zimmermann is still in, having thrown 74 pitches through six.
Update III: Despite having thrown 90 pitches through seven strong innings, Zimmermann is done for the night. Davey Johnson has gone to his bullpen with the Nats up 5-2 heading to the eighth, and Drew Storen trots to the mound.
Zimmermann is in line for his second win in as many starts this season. He allowed seven hits over his seven frames but was able to limit the damage the few times he got into trouble.
His final line: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 Ks, 90 pitches, 60 strikes.