|Photo by USA Today|
Stuck in a losing streak with a lineup gone especially cold over the last four games, Nationals manager Davey Johnson made changes for the second consecutive day in attempt to resuscitate his stagnant offense. In goes Steve Lombardozzi at third base and batting second, with Jayson Werth moving back into the cleanup spot and Adam LaRoche at fifth.
Johnson said Lombardozzi had essentially played his way into the mix after batting .345 through his first 14 games. That, and Werth only has four hits in his last 26 ABs and is more useful later in the order with Ryan Zimmerman still on the disabled list.
“With Zimm out it kind of changes our dynamics,” Johnson said. “I like the lefty/righty thing and [Werth] was looking for a change. I was going to move him out of the two-hole and probably the next best on-base guy I got is Lombo who did a lot of hitting one or two last year. I wanted to get him in a game.”
Johnson could have gone in another direction and given Danny Espinosa a rest. The second baseman is batting a paltry .155/.197/.293, but Thursday was a special day for him. It was his birthday, no one wants to be demoted on their birthday.