Dusty Baker spoke with reporters before the series opener about the lineups he’s been penciling in over the last few weeks as one injury after another has hit the Washington Nationals’ roster.
“I’m glad that the Commissioner’s Office ain’t calling me to tell me that I don’t have four major leaguers, like in Spring Training,” Baker joked.
It’s “next man up,” for the Nationals, however, as Baker has a couple times said over the last few weeks.
“That’s part of a season,” Ryan Zimmerman told reporters on Thursday.
“I think [Mike Rizzo] says it all the time. It takes way more than 25 guys to complete a major league season. The depth that we have here is one of the reasons why we’ve been able to continue to kind of move forward even though we’ve had a good amount of injuries. But, that’s kind of part of it. You learn how to deal with it, and we have plenty of guys that are capable to fill in and hopefully those guys will come back energized with however long they get a break and kind of give us a boost in this last month and a half and into the playoffs hopefully.”
Zimmerman, who hit a go-ahead home run out to right in the eighth inning last night, in what ended up a 2-1 win, has hit three doubles and five homers in his last 15 games, with a .269/.367/.615 line over his last 60 plate appearances.
“We’re kind of banged up offensively now,” Zimmerman told MASN’s Dan Kolko after last night’s win, “we’re kind of scratching and clawing to score runs.”
Luckily the Nationals, they’ve been getting solid pitching over the last few weeks, with a combined 3.59 ERA (3rd lowest in the NL), 3.92 FIP (3rd lowest), and a .227 BAA from their starters, which is the lowest in the National League so far in August.
Max Scherzer starts for the Nats tonight against the Padres, coming off a back-to-back seven-inning outings over which he’s walked three, struck out 19, and given up 10 hits and four earned runs total (2.57 ERA).
Scherzer gets the ball tonight. Zimmerman gets a night off.