It will be up to Washington Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann (5-6, 2.85 ERA) to prevent a sweep of Washington at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night. After absolutely tearing up the competition the past two weeks the Nationals have hit a bit of a cold patch and dropped two consecutive games to the Angels and have yet to claim a victory under new manager Davey Johnson.
Zimmermann looks to break club history Wednesday as he looks for his 11th consecutive quality start which would be a franchise record. The young right hander is 3-0 with a 1.04 ERA in his last five starts. In his last start against the Chicago White Sox Zimmermann went seven innings giving up no runs on six hits in a no-decision. He will be opposed by the Halos' Dan Haren (7-5, 3.05 ERA).
However, the Nationals new skipper is going to attempt something a bit unorthodox Wednesday evening: completely change the line-up. He will be sitting some of the Nationals big guns and impact players to give them rest while they deal with minor injuries. Jayson Werth (knee), Ian Desmond (quad) and Laynce Nix (Achilles’) will get the night off as will catcher Wilson Ramos who played last night and Johnson wants him to rest during the day game of the series.
This pretty much leaves the Nationals bench players as starters: Brian Bixler, Alex Cora, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Matt Stairs will all be starting together. If you need to read that sentence over, I will give you ample time before continuing.
It will be either be work of genius or the work of madman on Johnson's part. Natstown will find out which as the first pitch is delivered at 7:05 P.M. EST.
1. Roger Bernadina, CF
2. Brian Bixler, RF
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Matt Stairs, DH
5. Michael Morse, 1B
6. Danny Espinosa, 2B
7. Jerry Hairston, LF
8. Ivan Rodriguez, C
9. Alex Cora, SS
-Jordan Zimmermann, SP