- The Washington Times - Friday, April 20, 2007

There’s a nice new touch inside the visitors clubhouse here: framed photos of several of the opposing team’s top players. When the Nationals walked in yesterday afternoon, they were greeted by pictures of Ryan Zimmerman, John Patterson and Nick Johnson.

But could the Marlins have known those photos would be used for instructional purposes? In Patterson’s case, they were. The right-hander and pitching coach Randy St. Claire spent several minutes examining the still shot of him in mid-windup and noted how his mechanics aren’t the same anymore. As Patterson later pointed out, his left foot, knee, shoulder and chin were all in alignment in the photo, allowing him to throw more “over the top” and get more life on his fastball.

Patterson, who is 0-3 with a 7.00 ERA in four starts this season, now will try to make his mechanics mirror those in the photo.

Hey, whatever works to get him back on track.

BY THE NUMBERS

121 Games the Nationals have gone without hitting a grand slam, the longest drought in the majors. Alfonso Soriano hit the team’s last one June 4, 2006, in Milwaukee.

TODAY’S GAME

Nationals LHP Matt Chico (1-1, 5.27) at Marlins RHP Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 4.32), 7:05 p.m., Ch. 20, MASN2, AM-1500, FM-107.7.

Mark Zuckerman

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