The last time Edwin Jackson took the mound for the Nationals ... well, he gave up five times as many runs in the top of the first as the last four members of the rotation have given up in total. Think about that. Jackson gave up five runs in that disastrous first inning against the Astros, then Ross Detwiler, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann collectively gave up one run the next four games.
Jackson certainly doesn't want to be perceived as the weak link in the majors' best rotation, so you've got to believe he's motivated to come out tonight and show the Padres who's boss. San Diego sends right-hander Edinson Volquez, the former Reds ace, to the hill. He'll face a Nationals lineup that once again is without Ryan Zimmerman and will feature Chad Tracy at third base and in the No. 3 hole.
A victory tonight for the Nationals would be historic: No D.C. baseball club has ever opened a season 15-4. They have a chance to do just that and sweep the Padres in the process. Enjoy the game and the late-night conversation...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at SAN DIEGO PADRES
Where: Petco Park
Gametime: 10:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WFED (1500 AM), WNEW (1580 AM), XM 184
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 63 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from LF
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Chad Tracy
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Jayson Werth
CF Rick Ankiel
LF Xavier Nady
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Edwin Jackson
RF Will Venable
LF Chris Denorfia
3B Chase Headley
C Nick Hundley
1B Yonder Alonso
2B Orlando Hudson
CF Cameron Maybin
SS Jason Bartlett
RHP Edinson Volquez
HP Scott Barry, 1B Gary Darling (cc), 2B Lance Barrett, 3B Paul Emmel
The Nationals missed out on a major trade target when news broke this afternoon that the White Sox had traded ace Chris Sale to the Red Sox.
The report comes from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Washington had been the frontrunner to land Sale as recently as this morning. And as recently as 30 minutes ago, the Nationals vs. Red Sox contest seemed like it could go either way.
But apparently the Nats couldn't match Boston's offer of Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech plus two minor leaguers, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Now, the dream rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Sale won't happen.
The trade for Sale was so close, it could impact other potential deals for the Nationals. The team reportedly explored trading Gio Gonzalez to the Yankees if Sale indeed ended up in Washington.
MORE NATIONALS: Report: Nats exploring trading Gio to Yankees
Here's an interesting report for Nationals fans to keep an eye on: If Washington lands White Sox ace Chris Sale, they may trade left Gio Gonazlez to the Yankees.
From Rich Mancuso of New York Sports Day:
A reliable National League source early this morning at the 2016 Baseball Winter Meetings confirmed that the Washington Nationals are close to a deal with the New York Yankees that would send lefthander Gio Gonzalez to the Bronx. In return the Yankees would send the Nationals two minor league prospects and maybe another player.
Mancuso stipulates that the trade agreement, which is not yet official, would be contingent upon the Nationals acquiring Sale.
Gonzalez, 31, is in the last year of his contact with Washington after arriving in 2012 from Oakland. He finished the 2016 season with an 11-11 record, 4.57 ERA and 171 strikeouts.
UPDATE 1:34 p.m.: The Nationals lost on out Sale, who was instead traded to the Red Sox.
MORE NATIONALS: Syndergaard already tired of Sale to Nationals hype