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.”


get on a roll maybe?

good luck Sean. Nats need a dependable left arm in the bullpen.

Per Sunday’s game (and the entire road trip generally). Maybe Rizzo should have given Riggleman his extension on his contract. Johnson apparantly is not the man he was. This group is getting sloppy in the field again and are now 3 games below .500 because of it. What’s needed is another strict disciplinarian, not a player’s pal. I never thought I would say something like that about Johnson who has been almost a miracle worker with far less talented teams. But that was in the past I am sorry to say.

Burnett did not help his cause in Tuesday’s game against the “Fish”. Johnson’s half season at Manager is beginning to look like an embarrassment. Burnett needs to be demoted or traded if they can get something for him. Somebody please, at this stage of the season, tell me why we continue with Rick Ekstein as a hitting coach?

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