Whew, plenty going on here in Miami already today…
In the game, the Marlins have taken a 2-1 lead after three innings. Jordan Zimmermann looked really sharp early on, continuing his recent upward trend. The rookie right-hander cruised through the first 2 2/3 innings, but slipped up after that. Chris Coghlan and Emilio Bonifacio each had two-out singles up the middle. Hanley Ramirez (man, what a Nats killer he is) then sent a soft liner into shallow right field. It probably should have been a single and only plated one run, but Josh Willingham was really slow getting to the ball. Bonifacio sprinted home with the second run, and Ramirez took second.
Zimmermann did produce the Nats’ lone run of the game so far with a two-out RBI single to right off Marlins ace Josh Johnson. That was Zimmermann’s first career hit, though not his first RBI (he grounded into a fielder’s choice June 19 against Toronto). The Nats, though, have wasted some prime opportunities to pounce on Johnson, who doesn’t often give you many chances to do that. They’ve already put seven men on base, yet only scored one run. Willie Harris got caught straying off third base on Nick Johnson’s comebacker in the first and was thrown out. Cristian Guzman struck out with the bases loaded in the second, spoiling another chance. And despite runners on second and third with one out in the third, Josh Willingham popped out and Anderson Hernandez grounded out.
In other news … Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett got to the ballpark about an hour before gametime. It’s been a long day already for both players, who woke up in Pittsburgh at 4 a.m. to catch their flight down here. Morgan’s not in the lineup, but he could be used off the bench later. Manny Acta said Burnett (who last pitched Sunday) will almost certainly come out of the bullpen today.
Both guys unequivocally said they are excited to join the Washington roster. Even though the Nats have baseball’s worst record?
“That doesn’t matter,” Morgan said. “The talent’s here. Mr. Rizzo, he wanted me bad. It feels good when someone wants you real bad. Being in my situation, being a 33rd round [draft pick], I ain’t even supposed to be here. I just think having myself be able to open up some eyes and being able to come to an organization that wants me. That’s really special.”
Yes, Nyjer Morgan is going to be a popular guy around the clubhouse and with the media.
Finally … Ryan Zimmerman is in a real funk in the field right now. He was charged with three errors last night (though one of those was taken away this morning. The play that had been scored a double error was changed to a base hit and a throwing error). But Zim had another bad throw to first today. He’s now committed 13 errors this season, and you’ve got to wonder whether it’s gotten in his head. It certainly looks that way.