Aug 28, 2010, 8:15 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Livan Hernandez faces Kyle Lohse tonight at Nationals Park.
Ever since Josh Willingham's lingering knee injury brought a premature end to his season, Jim Riggleman has struggled to get consistent production from the middle of his lineup. He's tried several different replacements for Willingham in the 5-hole (Roger Bernadina, Michael Morse, Ivan Rodriguez, Ian Desmond) but the Nationals still have been held to zero or one run in four of their last eight games. In their last 10 losses, they've scored a total of 13 runs. Last night, they stranded 14 men on base.
So Riggleman will try another new look tonight against the Cardinals. For the first time this season, both Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn are in the lineup … without either batting third. That spot will be held by Roger Bernadina, with Zimmerman batting fourth and Dunn batting fifth for the first time. Nyjer Morgan, meanwhile, gets bumped all the way down to the eighth spot for the first time.
Livan Hernandez starts, looking to get his record back to .500 after falling to 8-9 with a labored, 121-pitch performance Monday against the Cubs. Kyle Lohse starts for the Cardinals.
I won't be covering the rest of this weekend's series; taking a couple days off before embarking on next week's road trip to Florida and Pittsburgh. Please continue the conversation with each other…
CARDINALS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Sunny, 82 degrees, Wind 6 mph RF to LF
2B Adam Kennedy
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
NL EAST STANDINGS
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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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