By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
With Jayson Werth dealing with right hamstring tightness for the last week, Harper has shifted from left to right field twice, and was in the lineup there on Wednesday night.
The good news for the Washington Nationals as they trickled into the clubhouse on Tuesday afternoon, was that Jayson Werth was able to test his right hamstring on Monday and felt strong.
The Nationals' slow offensive start has been concerning to some, worrisome to others and downright nerve-fraying to certain factions of the fanbase. For plenty, it's been maddening to watch them strike out, swinging or looking, so often. To see them come up small in large situations. To hit the ball on the screws, and right at a waiting fielder.
The impetus behind a lineup switch, manager Davey Johnson said, came back to the idea that the Nationals are still searching for a lineup that works and has someone who can get on base in front of Bryce Harper in the No. 3 spot. Steve Lombardozzi may be the guy who can do that
Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg may have irritated a nerve in his right arm using an electrical stimulation machine.
The lineup changes Johnson made weren't drastic. They simply placed Steve Lombardozzi, one of the Nationals' highest on-base percentage players near the top spot in the order, and added Jayson Werth, another right-handed bat to the middle of an order that has been missing Ryan Zimmerman since last week.
"We pitch, we don't hit; we hit, we don't pitch," said right fielder Jayson Werth. "They always say you're better lucky than good and we're neither right now."
In the slog that is a 162-game baseball season, the importance of the way a team starts the season often teeters on a high wire. Currently walking that thin line are the Washington Nationals, who lost 2-0 to the New York Mets on Sunday to finish a 3-3 road trip through what is expected to be the two basement teams in their division.
It was news that seemed to affect all who heard it, and words of support began pouring in for the city, the runners and the victims. Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was among those who reflected on the tragedy, tweeting that he was shaking his head at "the craziness of this world."
Late in the Washington Nationals' victory over the Chicago White Sox Tuesday night, as Jayson Werth stepped into the batter's box, Davey Johnson looked up at the scoreboard and noticed something. The Nationals' right fielder, known for his patient approach at the plate, had the same on-base percentage as his batting average.
His range in center has a ripple effect on the Nationals' corner outfielders, allowing Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth to play closer to the foul lines, if they desire, without worrying they need to shade one way or the other based on their fellow outfielders.
In beating the Marlins 6-1 Thursday evening, the Nationals completed their first sweep in a season they hope will be filled with them.
White cinder block walls lead the way. Past the security guard in need of a cup of coffee just after 8 a.m. on a cool March morning. Through the makeshift clubhouse kitchen at Space Coast Stadium where three plug-in griddles serve up pancakes and eggs with toppings stored in plastic containers.
The grease boards, as he calls them, are stored in Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo's office. The markers he uses on them have been worn out, replaced, and worn out again.
The sun beat down on the field at Space Coast Stadium one day this spring as Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson approached his second baseman. Danny Espinosa was busy doing infield work during batting practice, fielding ground balls and practicing his footwork.
"It doesn't matter how you lose 'em, you know?" right fielder Jayson Werth said.
"We still have a chance to win the series," Werth said. "We got one game to play, one game to win. ... Over the 162-game season, we were the best team in baseball. I still feel that way."