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Posted at 07:58 PM ET, 05/27/2011

Game 50 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Padres

Before we get going here, an update on Ryan Zimmerman: Manager Jim Riggleman spoke with Zimmerman yesterday, and Riggleman said, “He’s making progress. He’s feeling good about his work down there. He’s started baseball activities. He’s feeling better. He’s got a ways to go yet, though.”

Currently in Florida, Zimmerman has only just begun swinging a bat, Riggleman said, but he’s running, taking batting practice off a tee, playing soft toss and fielding groundballs. The Nationals have anticipated a mid-June return for Zimmerman, and that remains the case. They have yet to map out a rehab game schedule for him yet.

As for tonight’s game, the Nationals will try to improve on their 18-23 record with Zimmerman and snap a brutal 1-7 stretch. They are 11-9 at home this season, and they’re playing the Padres, one of the few teams with a less-productive offense and a worse record. So it’s a good time for a much-needed win.

Even among that rough stretch, Ian Desmond’s defense emerged as a bright spot. He’s made only one error in his past 24 games.

John Lannan vs. Clayton Richard, two lefties. Talk about the game right here.

UPDATE, 8:00: The Nats and Padres are in a rain delay after a sudden bolt of lightning, coupled with rain and severe wind, quickly halted the game. In the top of the fourth, the teams are tied at 0, and John Lannan has retired 10 batters without the need for an outfielder. He’s struck out three while inducing six grounders and a pop up to second baseman Danny Espinosa.

The storm is supposed to be quick, and I’ll keep you posted with any updates here.

UPDATE, 8:21: The grounds crew is out removing the tarp. The game should be restrared around 8:35.

By  |  07:58 PM ET, 05/27/2011

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