- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 29, 2007

SEEN AND HEARD AT RFK STADIUM

It has become a daily mid-afternoon ritual: Nick Johnson standing at first base, taking groundballs. The Nationals first baseman, still recovering from his broken right leg, has been doing this for several weeks now, and not much has changed.

He’s able to field balls hit right at him but still is struggling to move around and get to balls hit to either side.

“I’d like to be able to move over at first, not just lug around,” he said yesterday.

Way back in spring training, Johnson threw out June 1 as a potential return date. That’s this Friday. That’s not going to happen, though Nick has given up trying to make predictions.

“I’m not going to throw that out there,” he said. “I’ll stay away from that and worry about getting [the leg] strong.”

OVERHEARD

“It’s not like we’re waiting until we win No. 31 to come out and say, ‘Hey, you people who said we weren’t going to win 30.’ That’s not what we’re all about. We’re just going to keep working and trying to make this team as good as we can.”

— Manager Manny Acta on the Nationals trying to prove preseason predictors wrong

TONIGHT’S GAME

Nationals LHP Mike Bacsik (1-0, 1.98) vs. Dodgers LHP Mark Hendrickson (2-2, 3.62), 7:05 p.m., MASN, AM-1500, FM-107.7.

Mark Zuckerman

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