Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Nationals finish interleague play with a three-game weekend series against the Orioles. A couple pregame news items:
—Nick Johnson is in the lineup, playing first base and batting second. Manny Acta said the Nationals wanted to make sure Johnson could play in the field before putting him at first; otherwise, he would have DHed tonight. But he’s good to go. Johnson said the swelling in his left shin, where he got hit with a pitch last night in the first inning, went down overnight with some icing. So rest easy, Nats fans. All your Nick Johnson fears are allayed for now.
—No news on Scott Olsen coming off the DL yet, but Acta said the left-hander will likely pitch in Florida, and indications are he’ll probably make his next scheduled start on Monday. Craig Stammen is supposed to pitch that day (though the Nationals have not announced their starters for the Marlins series, preferring not to tip their hand on the Olsen move). But if the Nats pushed Olsen back two days, they could swap him out for Ross Detwiler.
—It’s too soon to say if there’s anything to read into this, but Austin Kearns was taking grounders at third with Ryan Zimmerman before the game. Can’t imagine the Nats would use Kearns to play infield, but you never know.
Oh, and the pregame mix in the Nationals clubhouse today was, as you might expect, an iPod with a long montage of Michael Jackson songs. No moonwalking, but Ronnie Belliard busted out a couple moves from the “Beat It” video, and players young and old were humming along and tapping their feet to what will likely become a timeless collection of songs, if they’re not already.
Here are the lineups for tonight: