With a chance to win eight games in a row, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman has made very few tweaks to the lineup that has taken him this far. Jerry Hairston Jr. will again play left field with left-handed pitcher Brian Matusz on the mound for the Orioles and Ivan Rodriguez will catch after Wilson Ramos played in Friday night’s game.
Jayson Werth will again lead off and today’s pitcher, Jordan Zimmermann, will hit eighth — the sixth straight game the Nationals have used that formula. They’ve, obviously, won all six.
Should the Nationals win today, it would be their longest winning streak since August 2009 and would give them a 19-12 record inside the confines of Nationals Park this season — compared to 16-24 on the road.
“Good teams win everywhere,” said Jerry Hairston Jr. “Whether you’re home or on the road. We’ve got guys that don’t get ahead of ourselves. Let’s worry about tomorrow when it comes and go from there.”
In 2010, the Nationals were 41-40 at Nationals Park and an ugly 28-53 on the road, a mark that obviously must be improved if they’re to make any progress as a team.
Anyway, they won’t have to worry about that until next Friday when they travel to Chicago. For now, they can focus on making it eight straight.
Here are the full lineups behind Zimmermann and Matusz:
Jayson Werth RF
Ian Desmond SS
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Michael Morse 1B
Danny Espinosa 2B
Jerry Hairston LF
Ivan Rodriguez C
Jordan Zimmermann P
Roger Bernadina CF