Good evening from Nationals Park, where the Nationals are getting ready to take on the Phillies (and two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay) in the second of three games. A couple pregame notes before we get started:
* Adam LaRoche, who is back in the Nationals’ lineup tonight, was originally going to sit out another day. But the first baseman, who strained his left groin while sliding into second base on Sunday, convinced manager Jim Riggleman he’s healthy enough to play. The manager and first baseman had the same discussion yesterday, and after losing the first round, LaRoche evened his record at 1-1, so to speak.
* Michael Morse is out of the lineup for a second straight night with the flu, but Riggleman said Morse is feeling better than he did yesterday. He’s available to pinch hit again, and the Nationals would hope to have him back by tomorrow night.
* Officially, the Nationals are still splitting the closer’s role between Sean Burnett and Drew Storen; Riggleman said before the game the team hasn’t settled on one closer, though Burnett has all three of the Nationals’ saves this year and got his third one last night, entering the game with a five-run lead and recording four outs while Storen didn’t pitch. But Riggleman, at least publicly, said the team is still using both pitchers in the closer’s role.
Check back here throughout the night for additional updates and analysis from the game.