Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
Laynce Nix was a triple shy of the cycle when he came to the plate in the seventh inning Tuesday night. A single to complete Nix's first 4-for-4 night, his first in six years, was the end of his workday. His sore right Achilles tightened up and Nix was pulled when he reached first base.
Updates on Bryce Harper's left thumb, Rick Ankiel's left intercostal and Chien-Ming Wang's next rehab start.
On his second day as the Nationals manager, Davey Johnson made a few things clear about the way he puts together the lineup. He prefers consistency, he's not a huge fan of platoons and he does not like the idea of hitting the pitcher eighth.
In his introductory press conference Monday, Davey Johnson said he prefers to use a set lineup. Consistency, he said, is liked among both players and managers. He proved that in a small way Tuesday afternoon, posting the exact same lineup as he did on Monday. He did leave himself a little leeway to change things, noting that the Nationals have a stable of young players who are still discovering what kind of hitters they're going to be -- and that could affect where they hit in the lineup.
Davey Johnson slipped on a uniform with No. 5 on the back Monday afternoon, taking the number once designated for manager Jim Riggleman and Giants manager Bruce Bochy has now also officially replaced Riggleman on the National League All-Star staff.
The Nationals were down to to their last out Monday night when Danny Espinosa turned on the first pitch he saw from closer Jordan Walden down the right field line and into the seats at Angels Stadium. Suddenly the Nationals found themselves in a tie game, even though they'd eventually lose in the 10th. It was the 15th home run of the season for the second baseman -- the most by a rookie second baseman before the All-Star break in baseball history -- and perhaps even more remarkably, it was his ninth of the season that has come when the Nationals are within a run. It was also his fourth of the season on the first pitch.
The Nationals entered Monday knowing they'd have a short bullpen with Drew Storen away from the team to attend his grandmother's funeral. It got even shorter when Tyler Clippard told pitching coach Steve McCatty before the game that his arm was feeling tired.
Monday night in Hagerstown, while Chien-Ming Wang was making his first minor league rehab start of the year, Bryce Harper was not playing. He was, however, coaching first base for the Suns.
There will be plenty up on the main sports page soon about new Nationals manager Davey Johnson -- and plenty more in the coming days -- but before the Nationals and Angels get set to open a three-game series, let's talk about Johnson's managerial style. Or rather, let's hear him talk about it.
Davey Johnson was in uniform and standing behind the cage early Monday afternoon at Angels Stadium, wasting no time involved with his new club. Johnson stood and watched several of his players take early swings with Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, Danny Espinosa, Michael Morse, Matt Stairs, Brian Bixler and even Jason Marquis coming out to hit.
In the last four days the Nationals have proven a lot of things but the main one is this: they're nothing if not interesting. A few observations as the Nationals leave behind a wild weekend in Chicago:
When the Nationals were in Florida in early May to play the Marlins, bench coach John McLaren made a promise to his manager, Jim Riggleman: If you go, I go. "He looked like he was an island all by himself," McLaren said. "I just told him, 'Jim, I'm all in with you. If you leave, I'm going to leave.'"
The Nationals made official what had been rumored almost from the moment former manager Jim Riggleman tendered his resignation Thursday afternoon: Davey Johnson will be the team's new manager. Johnson will manage the team through the remainder of the 2011 season but has signed a three-year consulting contract and will participate in the hiring of his successor. The Nationals will work in the offseason to "evaluate management needs for 2012."
As the Nationals prepare to wrap up a three-game set in Chicago -- and potentially win their fifth straight series -- Roger Bernadina will bat leadoff and Ian Desmond will get a day off. This will be John McLaren's final day as the team's interim manager with Davey Johnson set to take over tomorrow when the team heads to Anaheim. Here are the full lineups:
The Nationals are still expected to announce that Davey Johnson has agreed to be the team's new manager a some point soon but that announcement has not come and the Nationals are minutes from the first pitch in Chicago this afternoon. In the meantime, here are a few notes from the clubhouse:
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution