The Washington Times - May 1, 2011, 10:35AM

Before everyone gets up in arms about the Nationals’ lineup today, just remember that there are a lot of factors at work here.

First, a look at the lineups:

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Nationals: 

 Jerry Hairston Jr. 3B
Rick Ankiel CF
Jayson Werth RF
Laynce Nix LF
Adam LaRoche 1B
Ian Desmond SS
Ivan Rodriguez C
Alex Cora 2B
Jordan Zimmermann P

Giants:

Aaron Rowand CF
Freddy Sanchez 2B
Buster Posey C
Pat Burrell LF
Aubrey Huff 1B
Miguel Tejada 3B
Mike Fontenot SS
Nate Schierholtz RF
Matt Cain P 

Now, keep in mind that today is a day game after a semi-night game on Saturday so chances were slim that Wilson Ramos would make two consecutive starts with that in mind. That’s an easy one to figure out.

Next, scroll down and take a look at Laynce Nix’s career numbers against Matt Cain. They’re outrageously good and it makes sense to get Nix another start given both the way he’s been hitting lately and his track record against Cain, a right-hander.

It is surprising to see Danny Espinosa’s name not in the lineup but that’s mostly because it’s been rare when he isn’t. This is just the second time all season Espinosa hasn’t been in the starting lineup and don’t forget that he was hit in the left knee with a pitch on Saturday. It could just be a day off, it could be to let him rest the knee.

Obviously this isn’t the usual Nationals’ lineup but after their performance offensively on Saturday I think it’s safe to say that a change was needed — even if only to shake things up.

Here are the Nationals’ career numbers against SF Giants right-hander Matt Cain:

Jerry Hairston Jr.: 3-for-7 (.429), 1 2B, 1 RBI, 3 BB, .600 OBP, 2 K

Rick Ankiel: 3-for-11 (.273), 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, .333 OBP, 3K

Jayson Werth: 1-for-5 (.200), 1 BB, 2 K

Laynce Nix: 7-for-13 (.538), 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, .538 OBP, .856 SLG, 1 K

Adam LaRoche: 4-for-22 (.182), 3 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, .250 OBP, 7 K

Ian Desmond: Never faced

Ivan Rodriguez: 0-for-3, 1 K

Alex Cora: 1-for-7 (.143), 1 2B

Jordan Zimmermann: 0-for-1

Others:

Danny Espinosa: Never faced

Michael Morse: Never faced

Wilson Ramos: Never faced

Brian Bixler: 0-for-3, 2 K

Matt Stairs: 1-for-2 (.500), 1 HR, 1 RBI