Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson was asked once again last night what he could do to shake things up and get his offense going? The 70-year-old skipper admitted he didn't have too many options available. He already tried a few shakeups. With Jayson Werth sidelined with ankle and hamstring issues, however, and with Bryce Harper banged up and Ryan Zimmerman rusty having just come off the DL, what can he do? "There's not a whole of changes I can make," Johnson said, "We're going to see [a left-hander] tomorrow. Jayson Werth? I can't go there. We've got the right guys, we've just got to start doing a better job. It's as simple as that."
When it was mentioned that the Nationals' offense struggled early last season as they are again now, Davey Johnson acknowledged it was a problem. "Guys are more mature," Johnson said, "better hitters, they know what they need to do. A good sign tonight, Danny Espinosa put a good bat -- he knew the guy was pitching him in, he got the bat out and got a base hit and drove in a run." But even when they got runners on the Nats had issues. Mistakes on the basepaths proved costly in a game in which they struck out 14 times total and ran themselves out of some opportunities.
"We had some baserunning errors," Johnson said. Danny Espinosa singled in a run with two on, but Tyler Moore got thrown out at third on the play. Bryce Harper hustled to beat out an infield single a few innings later, then got picked off first by Pirates' starter A.J. Burnett. "Tyler Moore hesitated coming around," Johnson explained. "He shouldn't have ever been caught there and Danny Espinosa should have been on second. So, I mean... and then [Harper] gets picked off, he was running, but. Those things happen. You're never as bad as you look when you lose and you're never as good as you look when you win, simple as that."
Johnson did do what he could to shake things up for today's game with the Pirates. Here's the lineup that will be taking the field at 4:05 pm EST this afternoon in a game that's being broadcast nationally on FOX:
Davey's Lineup, Sat at PIT/G31: Espinosa 2b, Desmond ss, Harper lf, Zimmerman 3b, LaRoche 1b, Moore rf, Ramos c, Bernadina cf, Strasburg rhp— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) May 4, 2013