Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
Matt Stairs will be the first person to tell you he's not happy with the way his 2011 season has gone. He entered the Nationals' series finale with the Padres Sunday afternoon -- June 12 -- with just four hits on the season. For one of the best pinch-hitters in the game, pinch-hitting wasn't treating him so well.
an Desmond has been managing the soreness in his left quad since he first felt it act up on May 13. He's gotten a day here and there and, with an off day coming up on Monday, he got another one Sunday so he can rest things for a full two days.
The Nationals will employ their unorthodox lineup for the second straight game with Jayson Werth leading off and the pitcher, this time Jordan Zimermmann, hitting eighth. Alex Cora will bat ninth and play shortstop as Ian Desmond gets a day off to rest some aches and pains.
There's really no other way to present the magnitude of a potential winning multi-city road trip than to state the facts: It hasn't happened for the Nationals in over three years.
Nationals pitcher Jason Marquis dropped the appeal of his five-game suspension for what was deemed to be intentionally throwing at Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton last weekend in Arizona. He'll begin serving the suspension immediately but will not miss a start because of an offday for the team on Monday.
With the worst leadoff on-base percentage in the major leagues, the Nationals offense -- and their lineup -- was prime for a shakeup if they're ever going to click the way they've promised they could. That shakeup came Saturday afternoon when Nationals manager Jim Riggleman unveiled a lineup that featured right fielder Jayson Werth hitting leadoff and the pitcher, John Lannan, batting eighth with Roger Bernadina behind him in the ninth spot.
The Nationals are two games away from the end of a long west coast road trip and with a chance at a .500 record or better on the 11-game swing, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman -- to put it bluntly -- is getting crazy with his lineup. Jayson Werth is leading off and John Lannan, the pitcher, is hitting eighth.
If the Nationals win one of their next two games, they'll finish their 11-game road trip no worse than one-game under .500 on the trip. I don't want to overstate things because their overall record is what it is at 28-36 heading into tonight's game, but that would be a remarkable west coast trip for the Nationals.
Ryan Mattheus started the day with three missed calls from his Triple-A manager, Randy Knorr. Asleep in his apartment in Syracuse until about 10 this morning, Mattheus woke up and returned Knorr's call to hear the words he's been waiting for all his life: "Get out of bed, get your stuff packed, you're going to the big leagues," Knorr told him.
After toiling in the minor leagues for five years, Cole Kimball was elated when his first-ever call to the big leagues came late Friday night, May 13. It was so exciting for the 25-year-old that he didn't say anything about the slight shoulder soreness that had hampered him when getting loose since a cold day in April in Syracuse.
Two days after the one-year anniversary of his electric major league debut, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was back on a mound inside a major league ballpark.
While his team is battling to remain less than 10 games under .500, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is nearing his long-awaited return to the active roster. Zimmerman, who has made four rehab starts with the Nationals' Single-A affiliates, will play for Triple-A Syracuse this weekend and have a scheduled off day on Monday.
The Nationals officially placed right-hander Cole Kimball on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation this afternoon and purchased the contract of right-hander Ryan Mattheus from Triple-A Syracuse. No 40-man roster move was needed because the Nationals had 39 guys on their 40-man.
With a roster move upcoming in their relief corps, the Nationals lineup is still without Jerry Hairston Jr. as he continues to be on the mend from back spasms. If Hairston does not play tonight, it will be the third straight game he's missed. Hairston has been the primary replacement for Ryan Zimmerman at third bas
With the 457th pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, the Nationals selected a shortstop out of Louisburg Junior College in North Carolina named Zach Houchins. In the days since they tabbed him in the 15th round, Houchins' twitter account has been brought to the attention of Nationals officials.
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America