After much hoopla, pomp and glamor it is time for manager Davey Johnson and his Washington Nationals to get down to business. After a wild weekend that saw the Nats lose a manager and then gain one in Johnson, Washington is in the City of Angels to take on the Los Angeles Angels in interleague play. It will be a tough first game for the new skipper, but the players seem ready and willing to impress their new coach as many have taken early batting practice under the hawk-like gaze of Johnson who is wearing a No. 5 on his jersey: the number of his predecessor.
Werth, Morse, Stairs, Marquis, Espinosa, Bixler, Zimmerman -- all out for early BP under watchful eye of Davey Johnson.
Johnson will address the media around 6 P.M. EST in a press conference.
In the meantime, getting mentally and physically ready for Monday's start is lefty John Lannan (5-5, 3.40 ERA) who readies his nasty sinker to hopefully pick up another win. Lannan has been fantastic his past six outings racking up a 3-0 record with a 1.15 ERA. He will face the Angels Ervin Santana (3-8, 4.22 ERA) who has given up 15 home runs in 102 1/3 innings.
Johnson's first line-up as Nationals manager has already sparked a little bit of controversy. While Roger Bernadina will continue to bat lead-off while Jayson Werth bats behind him, Johnson has named Matt Stairs as DH and he will bat eighth. Stairs is having an absolutely atrocious year hitting a measly .116 off the bench and has become a bit of a black spot for GM Mike Rizzo and fans.
First pitch is at 10:05 P.M. EST.
1. Roger Bernadina, CF
2. Jayson Werth, RF
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Laynce Nix, LF
5. Michael Morse, 1B
6. Danny Espinosa, 2B
7. Wilson Ramos, C
8. Matt Stairs, DH
9. Ian Desmond, SS