In his first start of the year in left field last night, Steve Lombardozzi was 0 for 4 with a K. JOHN TUMANE!!! Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson apparently was comfortable enough with what he saw from Lombardozzi out there on Sunday and last season that he has the Nats' utility man back out there tonight. Jayson Werth's still six days away from returning, so the Nationals have to make due with their bench options until the right fielder's back in the lineup. Roger Bernadina's still available. Tyler Moore is struggling at the plate, and could probably use some consistent at bats. Eury Perez, who's played three games in left in the majors, and 24 in left in the minors, is available as well. Davey Johnson talked about the young outfielder after he was called up to take Werth's place on the roster this past weekend.
"He's a complete player," Johnson told reporters, "I really like all his talent. Good defensively. Good at throwing to bases. He can bunt. He can hit to all fields. He knows his strike zone better. I thought last year at times he felt a little out over his skis. And that's inexperience." How much more major league experience Perez will get over the next week is unclear. But given his options tonight, Johnson turned to Lombardozzi once again in the outfield.
Johnson is also turning to Kurt Suzuki for the second-straight start tonight after he guided Gio Gonzalez through seven scoreless yesterday against Chicago. Suzuki has been behind the plate for all but one of Zimmermann's starts this year, guiding the Nats' 26-year-old starter to a (5-1) record, a 1.60 ERA and .159/.199/.223 line against. Of course, Zimmermann allowed just eight hits and one earned run in 6.0 IP in the one start Wilson Ramos caught. Zimmermann's pretty good either way, but there seems to be a pattern of matching him up with Suzuki developing.
Zimmermann talked about the relationship he and Suzuki have developed after beating the Atlanta Braves back on May 1st. "'Zuki and I have been on the same page pretty much every start," Zimmermann told reporters, "And everything he put down tonight I was thinking about throwing before he even put the fingers down, so it's definitely easy when you're on the same page."
Can they continue their run of success together tonight in LA? Here's the rest of the Nats' lineup for tonight's game with the Dodgers:
Tonight's lineup: Span, CF; Lombardozzi, LF; Harper, RF; Zimmerman, 3B; LaRoche, 1B; Desmond, SS; Espinosa, 2B; Suzuki, C; Zimmermann, P— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) May 13, 2013