Matt Williams Pregame Quotes, Notes On Bryce Harper, Home Opener + More

USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals' manager Matt Williams met with reporters before today's game. Here are some of the notes and quotes from that conversation with reporters. Williams talks about the series in NY, Bryce Harper's start and coming back to D.C.

The Washington Nationals swept their season-opening three-game set in Citi Field. Now the Nats are home in the nation's capital for the home opener with the Atlanta Braves. Jordan Zimmermann is set to start today after he was scratched from the series finale in NY.

Check out Matt Williams' comments on Zimmerman here.

Here are some of the other things he talked about this morning:

What stood out from series in Citi Field:

"Just their fight. We had some hiccups early in games, but they came back and they continued to press and continued to have good at bats. So that was good. I liked that a lot. I like the fact that their approach is middle of the diamond. We hit some homers, but we also drove some runs in with guys hitting the ball the other. So overall, it was good. I liked the way we went about it."

Matt Williams on Bryce Harper's spot in the lineup, who's hitting sixth in today's home opener:

"Bryce's timing is a tick off right now. So we put him in the two-hole yesterday and I think his swing is coming." -Matt Williams on Bryce Harper's "slow" start

"Bryce's timing is a tick off right now. So we put him in the two-hole yesterday and I think his swing is coming. He hit a couple of balls hard his last couple of times up yesterday. Again, at any point during the course of a season, Bryce can get hot. And so, today's opportunity for him, we hope is multiple men in scoring position. And he's had an opportunity whether it's five or six. There's a lot that goes into it that I'm not at liberty to share at this point, but he's fine. He'll be fine and he'll drive in the big runs for us."

Does he want a static everyday lineup, rather than changing things up every day?:

"It depends on who's feeling good? Who's swinging good? How it fits within that particular day's plan, attacking that opposing pitcher or that team. But there's movement available too. It would be nice to say, 'Here's your eight guys plus your pitcher and they're going to be in that spot every day.'

"It would be nice to say, 'Here's your eight guys plus your pitcher and they're going to be in that spot every day.' But in today's world of baseball, that's just not possible." - Matt Williams on switching things up in lineup

"But in today's world of baseball, that's just not possible. So we make those adjustments within the game and within the lineup construction every day and go with it. It doesn't mean anything. It doesn't mean anything that Bryce hits sixth.

"It doesn't mean that he's not a fantastic player. It means the same thing when he was hitting second yesterday. So, it's just a question of how we want to attack today's game."

Opening Day/Home Opener:

"It's probably even more magnified, because you've already played and you've experienced that road atmosphere. Today is a nice thing for the guys. They get a chance to come home to their home park. They've played well. So they're excited about it and I think it's even more magnified today. And they feel it even more today. So I think they'll be ready. I think they're excited about it. I think the city is excited about it, to have baseball back for this year. They're ready to go."

Game time: 1:10 pm EDT in the nation's capital. Baseball is back in D.C.

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