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Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
The Nationals still have not settled on a closer with both Storen and Burnett producing effective outings and a note about Wilson Ramos getting more playing time against left-handed pitchers and more back-to-back starts as the season progresses in the next few weeks.
Here's today's lineup and their career numbers against Mets right-hander R.A. Dickey.
The Nationals will participate in their second Opening Day of the season later this afternoon when they help open Citi Field for the first time in 2011. They'll do so having escaped Florida with a much-needed victory Thursday night, avoiding the sweep when Adam LaRoche broke a 3-3 tie with a decisive two-run home run in the top of the 11th inning. Before they do, here are a few observations on their play the first six games.
Michael Morse was easily the Nationals' hottest hitter throughout spring training. Even when he scuffled a little, he'd drop his average to something in the upper .300's. So a 2-for-17 skid to open the season wasn't exactly what the Nationals were hoping for out of their left fielder. Morse was out of the Nationals lineup on Thursday night for the first time all season with Laynce Nix getting the start in left field in his place and Wilson Ramos slotting into the No. 5 spot in the lineup.
Following an 0-for-4 performance on Wednesday night and mired in a 2-for-17 slump to begin the season, Michael Morse will sit Thursday night in the Nationals' series finale with the Florida Marlins.
Want to see Harper live in Hagerstown? Tickets on sale tomorrow, plus a look at the minor league rosters
Hagerstown's single game tickets go on sale Friday, and a look at the Nationals' minor league rosters.
The Nationals have added right-handed reliever Henry Rodriguez to the Double-A Harrisburg roster to begin a rehab assignment.
The Nationals are looking to break their first losing streak of the young season and there's no question that task is a tall one considering they'll be trying to do it against right-hander Josh Johnson. Here are the Nationals' numbers against him.
Here's an eye-popping stat for you: Sean Burnett, Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard have put together a 0.93 ERA through the season's first five games. The rest of the Nationals' bullpen? A 15.63 mark.
One day after Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said he was planning to drop the shortstop -- who has gone 0-for-13 to start the season -- to seventh in the order and give second baseman Danny Espinosa a chance to bat leadoff, the manager reversed course and stuck with Desmond.
Despite Nationals manager Jim Riggleman saying Tuesday that when his young double play tandem returned to the lineup today Danny Espinosa would bat leadoff and Ian Desmond would drop down to the seventh slot, Riggleman changed his mind overnight and the Nationals are back to their Opening Day lineup for tonight's game against the Marlins.
The Nationals had scheduled off days after their first two losses of the season, giving them extra time to sit and simmer. But today they have the opportunity to do something about last night's brutal 3-2 extra innings loss to the Marlins. They'll have to do it against Marlins right-hander Chris Volstad, who was 4-0 last season against Washington. Here's how the Nationals starters have done against Volstad.
The Nationals left 12 men on base Tuesday night -- and were just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. That's a figure that has to change if the Nationals want to have any shot of being competitive in the National League East.
Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa both got the day off on Tuesday as Nationals manager Jim Riggleman used the Nationals first road game of the season as a chance to get both Jerry Hairston Jr. and Alex Cora some playing time early in the season. But Wednesday, when both of the Nationals young infielders return to the lineup, they will have switched positions in the batting order with Espinosa slotting in at leadoff and Desmond dropping down to the seventh spot.
Here are the lineups for the Nationals' first road series of the year.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
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