The Washington Times - September 12, 2013, 10:28AM

NEW YORK — Davey Johnson arrived at Citi Field on Thursday morning for what may well be the final game he ever manages in the city that witnessed his rise to managerial stardom and he was greeted with an unwelcome surprise. Again the back pain that has plagued him on-and-off cropped up.

Johnson took to the field to do some laps, an effort to heat his muscles and alleviate the pain. He walked around on a brilliantly sunny, humid day, with 17 games remaining in the regular season. The Nationals, now 7-2 on this road trip, are in position to sweep the New York Mets in the four-game set with Tanner Roark on the mound.


The back pain did nothing to sway Johnson’s focus from that fact.

“It’d really make my day if we sweep ‘em,” he said. “Make my year.”

The Nationals will use the same lineup as Wednesday in an effort to do that. They’ll face Aaron Harang, who was released during an abysmal year for the Seattle Mariners, and signed recently by the Mets, who were in need of an arm. 

Ryan Zimmerman, who clubbed his seventh home run in nine games and made two sparkling defensive plays in the Nationals’ 3-0 victory, was back in the lineup despite being hit in the back with a throw on a stolen base attempt late in Wednesday’s game.

Wilson Ramos will catch his 20th consecutive game, too. 

Here are the full lineups:


Denard Span CF
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Jayson Werth RF
Bryce Harper LF
Ian Desmond SS
Adam LaRoche 1B
Wilson Ramos C
Anthony Rendon 2B
Tanner Roark P


Eric Young Jr. LF
Juan Lagares CF
Daniel Murphy 2B
Lucas Duda 1B
Josh Satin 3B
Mike Baxter RF
Anthony Recker C
Ruben Tejada SS
Aaron Harang RHP