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Ryan Zimmerman out of a unique Nationals lineup

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is not in today's starting lineup after leaving last night's game with some kind of cramp/strain in his right hamstring. Zimmerman's absence is only part of a very different Nationals lineup.

Cristian Guzman will start in right field for the first time and Josh Willingham will sit out for the first time this year. Willie Harris is batting third, something he has never done to start a game in 473 career starts. Harris may be hitting .192, but he has a .333 on-base percentage and he's slugging .500. If the Nationals beat Ubaldo Jimenez, who threw a no-hitter his last time out, with this lineup, I'm asking Jim Riggleman for stock tips.

Nationals
1. Nyjer Morgan, CF
2. Cristian Guzman, RF
3. Willie Harris, LF
4. Adam Dunn, 1B
5. Ivan Rodriguez, C
6. Adam Kennedy, 2B
7. Ian Desmond, SS
8. Alberto Gonzalez, 3B
9. Livan Hernandez, SP

Also, this is truly a pitching matchup to get pumped about. Jimenez may be the pitcher currently in the majors whose arsenal most closely resembles that of Stephen Strasburg, and he threw a no-hitter the last time out. Livan Hernadez has a 0.00 ERA. This is the second time in the past 90 seasons that a pitcher coming of a no-hitter opposed a pitcher coming off a shutout.

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 22, 2010; 12:33 PM ET
 
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Next: Ryan Zimmerman out with 'severe cramp'

Comments

I'm heading to the ballpark to this game, but that lineup doesn't necessarily inspire me with confidence.

Especially with Mr. No-no on the mound for the Rox.

Posted by: CapitolWill | April 22, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Reverse lock?

Posted by: mastroj | April 22, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

might as well, mastroj, it's what we've got.
Maybe Livo should be hitting a little higher.

Here's hoping for some easy popups in Section 129.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 22, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if Livo keeps it close, think of the bench they've got to pinch-hit with.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 22, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

With Willingham sitting, I believe Dunn is now the only position player without a day off this season. Why is a player slumping so badly, the only one without a day off?

Posted by: slewis1 | April 22, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Is this really Guzzie's first start in RF? I thought he had started there one time before; I have a vague (possibly mistaken) memory of one of the radio or TV guys mentioning it.

Maybe I'm thinking about his first start at 2B a couple weeks ago...?

Posted by: shepdave2003 | April 22, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Guzzie's played RF, just not started.

Posted by: luxetveritas | April 22, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Willie Harris v. Jimenez in his career; 4 for 6 with a double, a triple and three RBI. Riggleman has been pushing a lot of the correct buttons so far this season. Hopefully having Harris in the three hole will be another one.

Posted by: VaNat | April 22, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Apologies if this has already been pointed out, but if you are a subscriber, Baseball Prospectus has a piece on Bryce Harper that is an eye-opener. Here's what was, for me, the big takeaway:

"It's impossible to find any talent evaluator who isn't blown away by Harper's ability on the field, but it's equally difficult to find one who doesn't genuinely dislike the kid."

Alrighty then.

Posted by: Section220 | April 22, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

@luxetveritas, yeah, I'm sure I'm probably conflating the first start at second with the few substitutions into RF this year so far.

@Section220, wow. I wonder if the Nats are about to draft a very talented young Milton Bradley or something.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | April 22, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Gotta keep Riggs away from the bourbon so early.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 22, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm calling today's line-up "Adventures in Baseball". If I wasn't already concerned about them winning this game, I would be now.

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | April 22, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

This is the small-ball lineup. Bunt, walk and steal. Might not be a bad strategy against a pitcher that was unhitable last time out.

Posted by: wigi | April 22, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Good thing I'm showing up for the pitching today!

Posted by: Kev29 | April 22, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Damn no Zimmerman or Willingham??? There goes my fantasy team.

Posted by: FloresFan | April 22, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Particularly seeing as how that pitcher walked (if memory serves) six during the no-hitter.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 22, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Gotta keep Riggs away from the bourbon so early.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 22, 2010 1:22 PM

On the contrary, that might be the only way to conjure up an above .500 record with this team.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 22, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I looked it up. Yep, he walked six and had a balk.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 22, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The million dollar question, what is Ryan Zimmerman's prognosis?

Is it a pull or a strain or a cramp? Is he out for today, or out longer?

Posted by: dmacman88 | April 22, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

@slewis, Riggleman said he was going to let Dunn hit his way out of this. It's hasn't been that he's tired, and he's got a long history of coming out of slumps eventually, so he's in.

@Kilgore: "This is the second time in the past 90 seasons that a pitcher coming of a no-hitter opposed a pitcher coming off a shutout."
You gonna keep us in suspense? How did that other one turn out?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 22, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

interesting bit of trivia, though. thanks.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 22, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Sec3,

The other game was the Marlins at the Cubs, May 17, 1996. Marlins was coming off a no-hitter, Cubs was coming off a 2-hit shutout. The Cubs came out on top by a score of 3-1. The manager for the Cubs was none other than Riggles.

Posted by: le_hung41 | April 22, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are totally screwed tonight but hey..ill split the series with this rockies team anytime...and who knows, maybe we take a couple from the dogdger...and finish off april at around 500

Posted by: Cartaldo | April 22, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Some days the Nats look good and you feel the team is headed in the right direction, some days you look at this lineup and wonder how this team can't lose 100 again.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | April 22, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

We need a song for Livan.

Every mornin' at the park you could see him arrive
He stood six foot two and weighed 2-45
Kinda broad at the shoulder and padded at the hip
And everybody knew you didn't give no lip to Livan...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 22, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Nice work, le_hung41! Thx
*****************
Sec3,
The other game was the Marlins at the Cubs, May 17, 1996. Marlins was coming off a no-hitter, Cubs was coming off a 2-hit shutout. The Cubs came out on top by a score of 3-1. The manager for the Cubs was none other than Riggles.
Posted by: le_hung41 | April 22, 2010 1:52 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 22, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Sec3,

The other game was the Marlins at the Cubs, May 17, 1996. Marlins was coming off a no-hitter, Cubs was coming off a 2-hit shutout. The Cubs came out on top by a score of 3-1. The manager for the Cubs was none other than Riggles.

Posted by: le_hung41 | April 22, 2010 1:52 PM |


Now that is amazing. Hope the results are the same as in 1996 with Riggles taking the "W"!!!!!!!!

Posted by: dmacman88 | April 22, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Al Leiter no-hit the ... ROCKIES! and that was Livan's call-up year, tho he probably wasn't on the roster at that point.

I love it when a plan comes together!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 22, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Boswell's "trolls under the bridge" are back and swinging from the heels. Hating on the Nats in spite of a winning record and being 1.5 games out of first. Amazing. Go Nats!

Posted by: fpcsteve | April 22, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Gee, Sec3, you gotta wonder if there's many of us here old enough to remember "Big Bad John.'' I still have the 45 -- the flip side was "I Won't Go huntin' with You .. But I'll Go Chasin' Women.''

More info than anybody needed, I'm sure.

Posted by: nats24 | April 22, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

With the risk of sounding like a 7th grade girl: Ben Goessling tweeted that Riggelman said that Zimmerman is available to pinch hit and said that his right hamstring injury is just a "severe cramp".

*******************************************
The million dollar question, what is Ryan Zimmerman's prognosis?

Is it a pull or a strain or a cramp? Is he out for today, or out longer?

Posted by: dmacman88 | April 22, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | April 22, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I remember Big Bad John! Was telling my much younger wife about the Jimmy Dean TV show, then she said "The guy who makes sausages was a singer?" :)

Posted by: poncedeleroy | April 22, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"Somebody said he used to pitch up in Queens
But his stuff was too soft that N.Y. team
Now his roundhouse curve about 59
Shows a bunch of them fellas how to grab some pine. . .
Livan''

Posted by: nats24 | April 22, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Section220, great tip on that Baseball Prospectus article. Here's another damning section: "One scout called him among the worst amateur players he's ever seen from a makeup standpoint, with top-of-the-scale arrogance, a disturbingly large sense of entitlement, and on-field behavior that includes taunting opponents. "He's just a bad, bad guy," said one front-office official. "He's basically the anti-Joe Mauer.""

That has to worry the Nats, at least it should. Being a jerk on the field or in the clubhouse isn't necessarily a bad thing (see Bonds, Barry), although you'd better be really damn good to make it worth putting up with you.

On the other hand, if you're a jerk off the field, that can lead to real, career-changing problems (see Roethlisberger, Ben, or Strawberry, Darryl, or Gooden, Dwight). Or you become Josh Hamilton, who, from all indications, was a decent kid who made bad decisions and wasted years of his career and almost blew it all. How many other Josh Hamiltons never get a second chance at a career?

If his attitude is as bad as reported here, I would be very hesitant to pick him. Maybe we could see some reporting on this from the Post (cough-Sheinin-cough-Boswell).

Posted by: baltova1 | April 22, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Zim available to pinch hit? That means he's not "day to day" right? Whew!

Posted by: Section222 | April 22, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"One scout called him among the worst amateur players he's ever seen from a makeup standpoint, with top-of-the-scale arrogance..."

They'll never draft him. He and Kasten wouldn't be able to fit their egos in the same room together.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | April 22, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I'm late.

He's been throwin' loopy curves since he was only five.
Now forty-two years later he's still got the drive.
Off-season racquetball has kept him in the Bigs,
But his head's too large for silver Elvis wigs.
Livan.

Posted by: Bethesdangit1 | April 22, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"I remember Big Bad John!"

Is he West Coast G-funk or East Coast Bmore Club?

Posted by: Section506 | April 22, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Best post of the day: two way tie for the two verses of Big Bad Livo!

And I wouldn't exactly call the sausage guy a singer, exactly... Not unless you also consider Shaggy a singer.

Posted by: NatsFly | April 22, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

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