Dusty Baker has tried different things as the Washington Nationals have lost four, then five and now six in a row on their West Coast and Midwest swing.
Baker tried switching things up in the lineup, dropping struggling first baseman Ryan Zimmerman another spot to sixth for the Nats' last two games, after he'd previously moved Zim from fourth to fifth in the order, flipping spots with Daniel Murphy, and he's also made some in-game moves to try to spark something.
He talked about the decision to move Zimmermann while the Nats were still playing the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I’ve been thinking about it probably for a couple weeks now," Baker said before the series finale in LA, as quoted by Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes, "the same way I was thinking about moving Murph.
"It takes a long time of successes and failures for you to just change your lineup. I called Zim in before. I said man, you know, I got the first and the second or third hitter in the league batting back to back."
After the Nationals lost the third straight in Dodger Stadium and fifth straight overall, he talked about mixing things up in the game as well.
"I tinkered a little bit with the lineup, and you try the hit-and-run, and it didn't work," he explained.
"You're going through periods like this, not a whole bunch works. So you've just got to battle through it and battle through it and hopefully we can score some more runs and take some pressure off our pitchers."
After battling back from an early 2-0 deficit last night to take a 3-2 lead, the Nationals' offense struggled to cash in opportunities again last night, going 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position and 11 left on base in the 5-3 loss.
Washington put runners on second and third with no one out in the eighth and loaded the bases with one out before they stranded all three, and they got the potential go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth in the form of Wilson Ramos, who was 4 for 4 before he stepped up, after a hit-by-pitch on Ben Revere and a two-out single to left by Murphy.
Ramos fell behind 1-2 and K'd swinging at an over-the-top curve from Brewers' closer Jeremy Jeffress.
"We had the right man up there at the end of the game," Baker said.
"Ramos has been one of the best, he's been one of the league's best. That's why I have him and Murph back-to-back.
"And they did what they have been doing and Ramos even did more tonight. I mean, that was a hanging breaking ball that didn't break, that ball just stayed inside, probably backed up on him, but again, like I said, we had bases loaded in the eighth and then we had an opportunity to win the game or tie the game in the ninth."
"Boy, that was tough," Baker said. "Especially after the night that Ramos had, and Murph, those guys are swinging the bat so we've got to carry it throughout the lineup."
The Nationals try to avoid loss No. 7 this afternoon in the second of three in Milwaukee.
Here's the lineup that Baker is sending out in Miller Park: