July 2011

Sunday’s lineups for Nats, Mets

Mets
Reyes – SS
Harris – 2B
Murphy – 1B
Wright – 3B
Pagan – CF
Bay – LF
Duda – RF
Thole – C
Niese – P

Nationals
Bixler – CF
Desmond – SS
Zimmerman – 3B
Morse – 1B
Werth – RF
Espinosa – 2B
Gomes – LF
Flores – C
Zimmermann – P

Johnson wants Clippard, Storen to stay with Nats

After watching his team shutout the Mets, 3-0, on Saturday night, Nationals manager Davey Johnson made it clear that he wants relievers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard to remain on the team past the non-waiver Trade Deadline, which is Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.

In a recent close-door meeting, Storen told Johnson that he didn’t want to be traded. Reports have surfaced that Storen could be traded to the Twins for outfielder Denard Span. Johnson told Storen that he wanted him around.

“You can’t take anything for granted. I don’t,” Johnson told the media. “I didn’t think [Jerry] Hairston was going anywhere. … Anything could happen.”

In his first full season with the Nats, Storen has 26 saves with a 2.63 ERA in 49 games.

“This is where I want to be. That’s the reason I signed quickly,” Storen said. “I wanted to join the organization because I want to be part of turning this thing around.

“I’ve only been here for a year and half, but emotionally I feel like I’ve invested a lot into this. I want to turn this team around. But at the same time, I understand that [general manager] Mike [Rizzo] has a job to do himself. So I can understand the business side of things, too.”

Johnson said definitively that Clippard is going nowhere before the deadline. Clippard is clearly the best reliever on the Nationals, going 1-0 with a 1.66 ERA in 47 games.

“Tyler ain’t going anywhere. I’m going with him,” Johnson said. “I don’t where we would be without Tyler.”

Johnson wants to make changes to rotation

Nationals manager Davey Johnson sees his starting rotation continue to struggle, but he is also well aware of the young arms — Tom Milone and Brad Peacock — impressing with at Triple-A Syracuse, and he wants to see them in Washington soon.

The Nationals’ starters have a combined 5.97 ERA in 13 games since the All-Star break, and Johnson is ready for some changes.

“We have a couple of guys that are knocking on the door, pitchers in particular,” Johnson said. “Depending on what happens the next couple of days we might be seeing a new, young arm up here. Right now with the starting pitching, we have to have some improvement there.”

Milone, a left-hander, spent the entire season in Syracuse, where he is 8-6 with a 3.62 ERA in 19 starts. The 10th-round pick in 2008 out of Southern California threw 117 innings with 120 strikeouts and only 10 walks.

Peacock made it to the 2011 XM All-Star Futures Game after a dominant first half with Double-A Harrisburg and got the call to Triple-A while in Phoenix. In just his third Triple-A start he threw a one-hitter over seven innings.

“Those are the guys I’d like to get some experience up here,” Johnson said.

– Steven Miller

Wednesday’s lineups for Nats, Marlins

Marlins
Bonifacio–3B
Infante–2B
Dobbs–1B
Ramirez–SS
Morrison–LF
Stanton–RF
Cameron–CF
Buck–C
Vazquez–P

Nationals
Hairston–LF
Cora–SS
Zimmerman–3B
Morse–1B
Nix–RF
Espinosa–2B
Ankiel–CF
Flores–C
Hernandez–P

Gomes added to roster, Stairs designated for assignment

The Nationals added outfielder Jonny Gomes to their 25-man roster and designated first baseman Matt Stairs for assignment.

On Tuesday, Gomes was acquired along with cash considerations from the Reds in exchange for outfielder Bill Rhinehart and left-handed pitcher Chris Manno.

Gomes, 30, was hitting .211 with 11 home runs and 31 RBIs this season with Cincinnati. His best season came last year, when he drove in a career-high 86 runs for the Reds.

Gomes is looked upon as a right-handed power hitter off the bench. He will also platoon with Laynce Nix in left field. He has a career .281 batting average against left-handers.

As for Stairs, he hit .154 with two RBIs in 56 games this season with Washington. He really didn’t receive any significant amount of playing time until Davey Johnson took over as manager in late June.

The Nationals have 10 days to trade Stairs, reassign him to the Minor Leagues or release him.

Burnett gets job done for Nats on Friday

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he will continue to rely on reliever Sean Burnett in close games even though the latter is having a disappointing season. Entering Saturday’s action, Burnett is 3-5 with a 5.40 ERA.

In Friday’s 7-2 victory over the Dodgers, Johnson showed how much faith he had in Burnett. With Washington leading, 3-2, in the bottom of the seventh inning, Johnson took starter John Lannan out of the game after Aaron Miles doubled with one out.

Burnett entered the game and was able to get Tony Gwynn Jr. to ground out and strike out Rafael Furcal to end the inning.

“I talked to Bernie and I said, ‘I have all the confidence in the world in you. I’m going to use you in tough situations.’ He was outstanding,” Johnson said.

Burnett said he is grateful the Nationals still believe in him.

“That’s what I expect. That’s what we talked about. My role hasn’t changed,” said Burnett, who is one of Washington’s setup men. “The hardest part was, I was getting put in the games, they were close and I wasn’t getting the job done. [Former manager Jim] Riggleman did it when he was here and Davey has done it. They kept throwing me in the fire. Eventually, I had to start pitching better. The last couple of outings have been better and, hopefully, I can get on a roll.”

Gaudin no longer with Nationals

The Nationals unconditionally released right-hander Chad Gaudin on Thursday. The news comes two days after he was designated for assignment.

Before being designated, Gaudin, 28, had been on the disabled list for almost three months because of right shoulder inflammation. He was 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA in 10 relief appearances this season for Washington.

Gaudin went a combined 0-2 with a 3.52 ERA in eight games during his rehab assignment with Class A Potomac, Class A Hagerstown and Triple A Syracuse.

Wednesday’s lineup for Nats, Astros

Nationals
Bernadina, lf
Espinosa, 2b
Zimmerman, 3b
Morse, 1b
Werth, rf
Ankiel, cf
Flores, c
Cora, ss
Hernandez, rhp

ASTROS
Bourn, cf
Altuve, 2b
Pence, rf
Lee, lf
Wallace, 1b
Johnson, 3b
Barmes, ss
Quintero, c
Myers, rhp

Gaudin designated for assignment

Nationals right-hander Chad Gaudin has been reinstated from the 15-day disabled list and then designated for assignment.

Gaudin, 28, has been on the DL since April 27 because of right shoulder inflammation. He was 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA in 10 relief appearances this season for Washington.

Gaudin went a combined 0-2 with a 3.52 ERA in eight games during his rehab assignment with Class A Potomac, Class A Hagerstown and Triple A Syracuse.

Tuesday’s lineup for Nats, Astros

NATIONALS
Espinosa, 2b
Desmond, ss
Zimmerman, 3b
Morse, 1b
Werth, rf
Ramos, c
Bernadina, cf
Hairston Jr., lf
Zimmermann, rhp

ASTROS
Bourn, cf
Keppinger, 2b
Wallace, 1b
Pence, rf
Lee, lf
Johnson, 3b
Barmes, ss
Quintero, c
Happ, lhp

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