Nationals vs. Mets in Viera, Fla.
The Nationals return to Space Coast Stadium on Thursday to host the New York Mets in their first home game of the 2016 Grapefruit League schedule. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. and on the mound for the Nats will be their ace, Max Scherzer. Pitching for the Mets will be right-hander Rafael Montero.
It's only a spring game, but this is the first time the two NL East powers will match up in 2016. It is also the first time Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy will face his former team. Murphy played seven seasons there and spent 10 years in the organization. Even Terry Collins said this week it will be "strange" to go against him in a Nationals uniform.
The Nats' lineup is more starter-heavy today with Ben Revere and Murphy at the top. Dusty Baker has Bryce Harper in there hitting third and Anthony Rendon batting cleanup. Danny Espinosa is also in at shortstop, where he could be on Opening Day.
First pitch: 1:05 p.m.
Radio: MLB.com (Mets)
Starting pitchers: Nats - Max Scherzer vs. Rays - Jake Odorizzi
CF Ben Revere
2B Daniel Murphy
RF Bryce Harper
3B Anthony Rendon
1B Clint Robinson
SS Danny Espinosa
LF Reed Johnson
C Jhonatan Solano
DH Jason Martinson
(RHP Max Scherzer)
DH Alejandro De Aza
CF Juan Lagares
LF Michael Conforto
3B Wilmer Flores
C Kevin Plawecki
1B Marc Krauss
RF Eric Campbell
SS Ruben Tejada
2B Dilson Herrera
(RHP Rafael Montero)
It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.
It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.
They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training.
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Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.
Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.
Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.
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We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.
Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:
It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.
Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.