The moment the ball hit his bat, Wilson Ramos knew.
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
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The "Nationals Park" signage that usually resides atop the Nationals' main center field video board was covered up on Friday.
Injury updates: Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche & why Tyler Moore doesn't figure to start in LaRoche's absence
Ryan Zimmerman took 20 swings at about 60-75 percent Friday, hitting off a tee and doing his first batting work since being put on the disabled list last Saturday. Zimmerman was encouraged by the absence of pain during the work but said Saturday, when the Nationals' third baseman hits balls flipped to him by a coach and hits a moving ball, would be more indicative.
The Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies will kick off their season series tonight at Nationals Park with Stephen Strasburg getting the start against the Phillies' Kyle Kendrick. Old friend Laynce Nix is back at Nationals Park for his first visit.
Forget about who is filling the stands. Forget about the ticket initiatives and the slogans and the attendance counts. The Philadelphia Phillies come to Washington for three games that start tonight, and for the first time since the opening weekend of the 2008 season, the Nationals are the team in first place when the two meet.
Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche was scratched from the starting lineup during batting practice Thursday, dealing with right oblique soreness. LaRoche, who missed most of the 2011 season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder and most of this past spring with a bone bruise in his foot, said he thought he injured himself diving for a ball Wednesday night.
The first time Bryce Harper took a look at the lineup card Thursday morning, one of the Nationals' coaches stood nearby watching. Harper's eyes widened when he saw his own name, hitting third.
It took Bryce Harper all of four major league games to not only convince Nationals manager Davey Johnson to hit him third in the lineup -- the spot generally reserved for the team's best hitter -- but to hit him third while going against the manager's left-right-left-right ideal in the lineup.
As of early this week, the Nationals weren't sold out for any of the three "Our Park" games against the Philadelphia Phillies this weekend.
Last July, after he played in the Futures Game in Phoenix, Bryce Harper stood in the clubhouse at Chase Field and was asked about a ferocious throw he'd unfurled during the game. It was a bit off target but a rope from left field to home plate. Harper, all of 18 years old then, shrugged. Just showing off the arm a little, he said. He'd played in more than one showcase before. He knew what they were about.
As much as Bryce Harper and Harpermania seem to have taken over the Washington Nationals the past few days, it's important to remember that the original reason for Harper's call-up on Saturday was because of injury. As was the call-up of Tyler Moore, and that of Ryan Perry. Needless to say, the Nationals have been hit with a rash of injuries lately. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Tuesday the injuries have not forced any urgency for the Nationals to look outside the organization for offensive or bullpen help. "We just need to get healthy," he said.
Washington Nationals right-hander Brad Lidge underwent successful surgery to repair a hernia Tuesday morning in Philadelphia. Lidge was told that he'll be able to begin throwing in three weeks, according to his agent, Rex Gary.
The Washington Nationals' extended injury list got longer Monday night. Right-handed reliever Brad Lidge will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a hernia.
The Washington Nationals promoted slugging prospect Tyler Moore to the major leagues Sunday morning, preparing to place veteran Mark DeRosa on the disabled list to clear room for Moore.
Right-hander Brad Lidge is headed to the disabled list with an abdominal wall strain. Reliever Ryan Perry has been recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to take Lidge's spot in the Nationals' bullpen.