We’ve reached that point in the spring where several players are dealing with minor tweaks and other ailments. They say these are the kinds of things they’d play through during the regular season, but on March 13 they figure it’s not worth the risk.
So, the Nationals for the moment are without Ryan Zimmerman (sore shoulder) and Ian Desmond (cut finger, illness). Bryce Harper also is under the weather, but he’s playing today. Nothing wrong with Ross Detwiler, who is on the mound and expected to pitch four innings against the Mets.
Daisuke Matsuzaka — yes, the one and only Dice-K — gets the ball for New York, trying to beat out John Lannan for the fifth spot in the Opening Day rotation. (What would the odds of that competition have been a couple of years ago?) The Mets also will send highly touted prospect Noah Syndergaard to the mound later this afternoon.