June 2009

Wednesday's starting lineups at Nats Park

Nationals outfielder Adam Dunn is not in the lineup. I’ll find out why before the game.   

Red Sox:

Pedroia – 2B

Drew – RF

Youkilis – 3B

Bay – LF

Ortiz – 1B

Varitek – C

Ellsbury – CF

Green – SS

Lester – P

 

Nationals:

Harris – CF

Guzman – SS

Zimmerman – 3B

Johnson – 1B

Willingham – LF

Dukes – RF

Hernandez – 2B

Nieves – C

Stammen – P

Clippard promoted to bigs; Wells let go

The Nationals recalled right-hander Tyler Clippard  from Triple-A Syracuse and designated right-hander Kip Wells for assignment.

Clippard is having the best season of his professional career, going 4-1 with a 0.92 ERA in 24 appearances for Syracuse.

Wells was 0-2 with a 6.49 ERA in 23 relief appearances with the Nationals this season. 

I’ll have more later in the day on Nationals.com        

Starting lineups for Tuedsay's game at Nats Park

Red Sox:

Pedroia – 2B

Drew – RF

Youkilis – 1B

Bay – LF

Lowell – 3B

Varitek – C

Ellsbury – CF

Green – SS

Penny – P

 

Nationals:

Guzman – SS

Johnson – 1B

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – LF

Willingham – RF

Bard – C

Harris – CF

Hernandez – 2B

Lannan – P

Zimmerman trying to get out of hitting slump

The month of June has not been a good one for Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Entering Tuesday’s action against the Red Sox, Zimmerman is 14-for-69 [.217] with one home run and eight RBIs.

Even worse, Zimmerman went 0-for-15 against the Blue Jays this weekend.

Manager Manny Acta said on Sunday that Zimmerman looks lost at the plate and is chasing breaking ball on the outside part of the plate.

“He is going out of the zone a little bit and [swinging at] some breaking balls that he was handling when he was hot,” Acta said. “When he was going through that [30-game hitting  streak], he was just locked in.

“But he will be back into it. He works very hard with [hitting coach] Rick [Eckstein]. Right now, Ryan has to go one at-bat at a time and try not to put the slump away with one swing.”

Zimmerman seems to believe that he is not in a serious slump.”

“Three bad games out of how many? I think that’s what’s going on,” Zimmerman said. “It happens to everybody. I will enjoy the day off, I’ll come back and get back to it.” 

Nationals injury report

Nationals manager Manny Acta said right-hander Jesus Colome will be available to pitch on Sunday even though he suffered a right quad strain the day before. It helped that Colome had a bullpen session in front of Acta and acting general manager Mike Rizzo and didn’t feel any pain.    

In fact, Colome entered the game in the sixth inning against the Blue Jays and didn’t allow a run.   

Outfielder Roger Bernadina, on the disabled list because of  a right fractured ankle, is no longer wearing a walking boot and started to playing catch on Saturday.

Rizzo said Bernadina will need a significant amount of at-bats before he returns to the Major Leagues. That return could be sometime in September.      

Nationals playing better baseball

Entering Sunday’s action, the Nationals have found themselves on a four-game winning streak.

Pitching and defense are the reasons they have won back-to-back series against the Yankees and Blue Jays, respectively. The starting pitching and bullpen, for example, had a combined a 1.31 ERA, while position players, such as outfielder Willie Harris, have been spectacular with the glove.

“A few things have come together the last few days. Obviously, we played very good defense against the Yankees,”  manager Manny Acta said. “We went through a long bad period, but now certain things are clicking. Starting pitching has a lot to do with it. You say what you want, but when you have an ERA of 3.00 from your starters for almost a month, that means a lot and it give you more of an opportunity to stay in the game.”

Harris is another reason, the Nationals have stayed in games. He has made three spectacular catches  in as many days. Acta has not ruled out playing Harris more often because of his defense and clutch hitting, but Harris knows what his role is with the team.

“In my heart, I’m an everyday player, but in my contract, I’m a utility guy,” Harris said. “So it’s not my decision, but whenever I’m out there, I’m going to try to put together a professional at-bat and I’m going to play defense hard. I’m going to do everything the right way. I just want to give to the game.”               

Sunday's lineup against Blue Jays

Guzman – SS

Johnson – 1B

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – LF

Kearns – RF

Gonzalez – 2B

Harris – CF

Bard – C

Martis – P

McGeary having tough time in Hagerstown

Left-hander Jack McGeary, one of the Nationals’ top prospects, is having a tough time on the mound. Entering Saturday’s action, McGeary was 0-6 with a 6.79 ERA in 13 starts for Class A Hagerstown. 

Acting general manager Mike Rizzo said McGeary will be demoted to Class A Vermont.
The Nationals plan to have Spin Williams, the team’s pitching coordinator, iron out McGeary mechanics.

McGeary is in his first full season of pro ball. He has spent the last two years splitting time between Stanford University and pro ball.  

Jesus Colome injures right quad

Nationals right-hander Jesus Colome left Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays because of a right quad strain. He is listed as day to day.   

After walking Adam Lind in the 11th inning, Colome walked off the mound in pain. Manager Manny Acta and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz came to his aid. About two minutes later. Colome went into the dugout on his own power.

Colome is expected to go to the hospital to see how serious the injury is. 

“It pinched me a little bit. I think I will be OK tomorrow,” he said.        

Nats not monitoring Pedro Martinez situation

Hoy, a newspaper in the Dominican Republic, reported that right-hander Pedro Martinez threw 75 pitches Friday in Santo Domingo in front of a Nationals representative. However, a baseball source said no one from the Nationals watched Martinez during the tryout.

During Spring Training, Washington was willing to sign Martinez to help the young starting rotation, but he was asking for money that was out of the team’s price range.               

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