Today's rubber match concludes the series between the Nats and Marlins. Josh Beckett will take the hill against the Nationals' John Patterson, as Beckett hopes to continue the excellence he showed earlier this week on opening day.
Today's game is a big one for at least two reasons. One, the Marlins have a chance to win their first series of the year, and frankly - series against the Nationals are just ones you have to win in order to stay in the race for the division title.
The second reason is to watch what happens with Juan Pierre. Last night's game was the first since Pierre joined the Fish for the 2003 season that he didn't start. In fact, going into the game he'd played in nearly 1,800 consecutive innings - dating back to the 2003 campaign.
So last night's game (he did get in late as part of a double switch) might have been Jack McKeon's way of just giving a team leader an early breather or it may have been a hint that Pierre's calf-woes are more significant than we've previously been led to believe.