Interesting lineup change
So this could cause a stir, no?
Langerhans -- 8
Belliard -- 4
Zimmerman -- 5
Young -- 3
Kearns -- 9
Church -- 7
Lopez -- 6
Schneider -- 2
Chico -- 1
You gotta admit: It makes sense. Belliard's OBP is .330. Not spectacular, but solid. He can (cliche alert) handle the bat. The problem is Lopez. He's .238/.287(!)/.339. He leads the team with 62 strikeouts. So down he goes, to seventh. It'll be interesting to see how he takes it, and interesting to see how long Manny Acta plans to stick with it.
It's also worth pointing out that Schneider (.248) now has a higher batting average than Zimmerman (.245), whose OBP is down to .296(!). I really, really thought he was going to walk more this year. So far, no go (as I believe I've mentioned).
Also: I keep forgetting to put this in the paper, but after the all-star break, the Nationals will get to Florida on Thursday afternoon and work out on Thursday evening at 7:15 p.m. at Dolphin Stadium to get loose and ready for the second half, which starts Friday, July 13. Last year, the club didn't play on the Thursday after the break, either, but there was no workout. Make of that what you will.
Also: I would imagine, with lefties going Saturday and Sunday for Pittsburgh, Nook Logan will get back-to-back starts over the weekend. Release the hounds!
Really enjoyed the discussion about Nats killers. Some mentioned Jason Bay. Good point. Career numbers in 15 games: .327/.433/.582, with three homers and 12 RBI. Not bad.
Post clubhouse access updates:
Talked to both Acta and Lopez about the lineup switch. "I can't do nothing about it," Lopez said. "He's the manager." He basically said he wasn't happy about it, but his only response would be to hit. "I'm not a .230 hitter," he said.
Acta: "Basically, we're trying to create something, some way to improve the offense." He knows there are more problems, and he said that if Lopez starts hitting, he'd be up at the top of the order quickly -- leading off. He also said he wants one of either Logan or Langerhans to seize the center field job so he can drop the platoon.
Also: In a miscommunication among Acta, we beat writers and the club's P.R. department, the probable starters for this series were mislabeled. It'll be Jason Bergmann tomorrow, taking his regular turn on the fifth day. Simontacchi will pitch on Monday against the Cubs.
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