Apr. 11, 2012; Flushing, NY, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) on the mound during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson told reporters before last night's loss that he had spent a good deal of time thinking about his lineup, and what he might be able to do to get his team going and scoring runs. As NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) wrote on Twitter after a right-hand heavy lineup was announced to counter Pittsburgh Pirates' left-hander Erik Bedard, Johnson considered several possibilities before settling on the lineup he went with in the second game of the Nats' three-game visit to PNC Park. "'Believe me,'" the 69-year-old skipper was quoted stating, "'I had 4-5 lineups I was going through at 1:30 in the morning. I'm taking any kind of input, even from writers.'"
After a strikeout filled 4-2 loss, the Nats' third-straight, which Johnson said he found "especially frustrating," the manager ended his post game press conference last night by telling reporters he wasn't sure what he was going to do, or if he needed to shake things up. "I don't know," a frustrated Johnson said, "I'm getting over this one before I think about tomorrow." Would Johnson replace the struggling Danny Espinosa with 23-year-old infielder Steve Lombardozzi? Would Tyler Moore, who got the start yesterday, get time in left to see if the power he's displayed in the minors could help out the offense? Anyone expecting big changes will likely be disappointed with the lineup announced for tonight's game:
Tonight's lineup: Desmond, ss; Bernadina, lf; Zimmerman, 3b; LaRoche, 1b; Harper, rf; Espinosa, 2b; Ankiel, cf; Flores, c; Strasburg, p— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) May 10, 2012
Roger Bernadina, who's being given another chance to prove himself in the outfield, finds himself in the two-spot tonight, but other than that, there's not much difference. Having Bryce Harper behind Adam LaRoche might make the Pirates think twice about pitching around the Nats' left-handed hitting first baseman? Can Stephen Strasburg and the Nats stop the three-game slide tonight and salvage one in the series finale?