Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo talked about the offensive output from the Nats' lineup early this season on 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s The Mike Rizzo Show with Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier. The Nationals got four home runs in last night's win with Ian Desmond, Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche (twice) going deep against the Chicago White Sox' pitchers. Washington's 14 combined HRs in seven games are the second-highest total in the National League so far this year. "There's a lot of power potential on the team," the Nats' GM said, "There [are] several guys on the team that we think can hit 20 HRs or more. The weather warmed up and you could see both teams were swinging the bat pretty loose and free and easy. The weather gets a little warmer, the ball carries a little better here. The park plays pretty neutral, it's not a hitter's park or a pitcher's park, but a pretty neutral park and you could see that yesterday, good pitches are hard to hit, but when you make a mistake these two lineups can make you pay for it."
Davey Johnson told 106.7 The FAN in D.C.'s The Sports Junkies this morning that he felt NL teams have an obvious advantage at home against AL teams. "I tell you what I think," Johnson told the show's hosts, "I think it's harder for an American League club than us. Because it's just kind of business as usual, we don't have to do DH with an American League club, it makes it harder on them because their whole offense is set up behind the DH."
• Here's the Nats' lineup that will take on the White Sox tonight in Nationals Park:
Tonight's #Nationals lineup vs. CWS: Span 8, Werth 9, Harper 7, Zimmerman 5, LaRoche 3, Desmond 6, Espinosa 4, Suzuki 2, Zimmermann 1— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) April 10, 2013
Nats' skipper Davey Johnson continues to alternate catchers. Kurt Suzuki will be behind the plate for Jordan Zimmermann's second start of 2013. Wilson Ramos caught the 26-year-old right-hander the last time out, when Zimmermann gave up eight hits and one earned run in six innings pitched, throwing 89 pitches and inducing 11 ground ball outs from the Miami Marlins.
"Obviously, [Zimmermann] didn't have his greatest stuff," Davey Johnson said after the start against the Fish, "But pitched a heck of a ballgame. Good six innings. Mixed his pitches up and he threw some pretty good changeups."
Zimmermann's made one career start against the White Sox, throwing 6.0 scoreless against Chicago back on June 24, 2011 when he faced them in U.S. Cellular Field. Zimmermann faces the Sox for the second time in his second start of the season at 7:05 pm EST tonight in Nationals Park.