Dusty Baker has talked often in his time in the nation’s capital about how his best ideas for his lineups often come to him when he’s restless late at night.
“My wife used to get on me because I had a pen and piece of paper by my bed and turn the light on — and she’d get upset,” Baker told reporters, as quoted in the Washington Post in May 2016.
“Then I’d go to the flashlight. That’s when a lot of my thoughts come to me.”
It happened again this past Saturday night, when Baker came up with a plan to move Anthony Rendon up from the six-spot he’s occupied for most of the season to third in the lineup.
“I just had a premonition, an epiphany I guess last night, in the middle of the night,” he explained, “and I was like, ‘Well, [Daniel Murphy] has been struggling some and Anthony had been going good, and Anthony is deadly on left-hand pitchers especially,’ so I just made the move and it worked.”
Rendon went 0 for 2 against Dodgers’ lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, leaving him at .333/.443/.667 vs left-handed pitchers this season, with a .296/.393/.508 line against right-handers on the year.
Zimmerman went 3 for 4 with two home runs in Washington’s win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night.
“A lot of times guys would be a little upset about moving down in the order,” Baker said when asked about Zimmerman’s reaction to the move, “... but it wasn’t exactly moving down it was Anthony moving up. He came through and made us all look good.”
Tonight in Atlanta, the Nationals are taking on Braves’ lefty Luis Gohara for the second time in a week, after the 21-year-old rookie held the Nats to two runs, one earned, on six hits last week in Washington in his second major league start.
Baker is going with the same lineup tonight in Atlanta.
HERE’S THE NATS’ LINEUP FOR THE SERIES OPENER WITH THE BRAVES:
New #Nats' lineup: Turner SS, Werth RF, Rendon 3B, Zimmerman 1B, Kendrick LF, Difo 2B, Taylor CF, Wieters C, Scherzer P— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) September 19, 2017