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Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
Normally, facing Cliff Lee after Roy Halladay would be an incredibly daunting task -- and quite honestly it still is. But the Nationals are stepping in against Lee at what may be a good time, after the left-hander went just 3 1/3 innings in his last start, allowing six earned runs in a 6-3 loss to the Braves. We'll see how he rebounds in a few hours but for now, here's a look at the Nationals' career numbers against him.
A roundup and links to Nationals' news and notes from Wednesday evening.
Onto the lineups, as Adam LaRoche returns to first base and the cleanup spot after missing Tuesday's opener. LaRoche tweaked the left side of his groin Sunday and wasn't pleased to sit.
Does anyone do well against Roy Halladay? The answer to that question might surprise you. The easy answer is no, not really. But when it comes to the Nationals, yes, Ivan Rodriguez and Matt Stairs do.
Livan Hernandez did something entertaining in the fourth inning when he decided on his own to lay down a squeeze bunt with the bases loaded and a force out at home. It could have gone wrong -- with Laynce Nix at third base potentially being thrown out at home or, even worse, the Phillies turning a double play, first getting the force at home and then getting Hernandez at first. But when Hernandez saw Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard playing back at first base, he figured now would be the perfect time to drop one down.
"(Winning) is the only way we're going to (fill the park with Nationals fans)," Jayson Werth said after the Nationals' 7-4 victory over his former team, the Phillies. "We're not going to do it by doing commercials and appearances and charity work. That's not going to get it done. The only way to change the culture here in Washington, D.C., is to win. That was a big win tonight, but we've got to continue to do it."
With Ryan Zimmerman on the disabled list until at least April 24th, Nationals fans can expect a steady diet of Jerry Hairston Jr., Alex Cora and Michael Morse at third base.
The Nationals waited until close to 4 p.m. today to post their lineup and when they did first baseman Adam LaRoche was surprised, to say the least, that he wasn't in it.
In a surprising move, the Nationals have recalled catcher Jesus Flores from Triple-A Syracuse, a source confirmed, to fill the spot on the 25-man roster vacated when Ryan Zimmerman was put on the 15-day disabled list with an abdominal strain.
Not to discredit any of the right-hander's body of work, but with the Nationals facing a three-game series with the Phillies, they have to feel a little lucky to have drawn Joe Blanton as the starting pitcher in the first game. Here are their career numbers against him.
Ryan Zimmerman, who is out with an abdominal strain until at least Sunday, 4/24, is not a replaceable player in the Nationals' lineup. They'll miss his defense, of course, but most likely not nearly as much as they'll miss his .357 average and .486 on-base percentage in the No. 3 slot in the lineup.
Ryan Zimmerman's abdominal strain is bad enough that the third baseman is headed to the 15-day disabled list, according to a club source.
Here's what Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Charlie Manuel and others had to say about Werth's first series against his old team.
The news on Ryan Zimmerman wasn't great Sunday as the third baseman couldn't offer any timetable for how long he thinks he might be sidelined with an abdominal strain, an injury he's been dealing with since spring training but aggravted Saturday night.
Ryan Zimmerman is out of the Nationals lineup today, having re-aggravated an abdominal strain diving head first into second base in the third inning on Saturday night.
By Robert N. Tracci
Congress must use its appropriations power to secure the border
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