Dusty Baker responded somewhat cryptically when asked about Daniel Murphy playing third base for the first time as a Washington National in last night's series opener with the Los Angeles Dodgers when he spoke reporters before the game.
Anthony Rendon was sick with flu-like symptoms and therefore unavailable, but Stephen Drew had seen time at third base, so there were seemingly some other options for the Nationals' skipper.
"I can't tell you everything about it until after the game," Baker said. "Cause -- that's not my lineup of choice, but that's the lineup that we have, that I have to do. I'll tell you after the game. You guys want me to tell you everything so the Dodgers can know who's available and who's not."
As promised, Baker did let reporters know after the Nationals' 8-4 loss in the nation's capital, why he'd been forced to go with Murphy at the so-called "hot corner" in the first game of three with the Dodgers.
"Yeah, [Drew] wasn't available today, he was sick too," Baker explained. "That's what I told you guys earlier in the day.
"He was more sick I think than Anthony. So he had to get IVs and all that stuff, so we just hope that we quarantined him enough to not walk through our club."
As for Murphy's work at third? He committed a throwing error and his range wasn't quite Rendon-esque, but what did Baker think?
"He didn't get a chance to work out much," Baker told reporters, "because he's barely had time to work out at first base and then I asked him and Trea because those were my two options.
"Murph said, 'Yeah, I'll play third base,' because Trea said he hadn't played since his freshman year in college. You've got to admire Murph for biting the bullet for the kid and for us."
Rendon is back today. Murp
Here's the lineup that Dusty Baker is sending out for tonight's game with the Dodgers:
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