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Posted at 04:54 PM ET, 04/16/2012

Today’s Nationals-Astros lineups: Danny Espinosa gets a day off, one might be coming for Ryan Zimmerman

(Patrick McDermott - GETTY IMAGES)
Davey Johnson started Stephen Lombardozzi today at second base to give Danny Espinosa a “mental break,” he said. Johnson also told Chad Tracy to take some groundballs at third base in case he wanted to do to the same for Ryan Zimmerman, who is hitting .179 despite several hard line drives.

“I see [Espinosa] mentally pressing a little bit,” Johnson said. “He’s not alone. Zim is in that category. I’ve been thinking about giving him a blow. Guys that have a lot of makeup are really trying to do too much, trying to make it happen. What happens, you end up expanding the zone, getting yourself out more than you should.”

Johnson said he would not give Zimmerman a day off at home because he recognizes the connection Washington fans have with Zimmerman. Also, “I don’t want the fans to lynch me,” he said.

Here’s the full Nationals lineup:


1. Ian Desmond, SS

2. Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Adam LaRoche, 1B

5. Jayson Werth, RF

6. Xavier Nady, LF

7. Rick Ankiel, CF

8. Wilson Ramos, C

9. Stephen Strasburg, SP

And the Astros:

1. Jordan Schaffer, CF

2. Jed Lowrie, SS

3. J.D. Martinez, LF

4. Carlos Lee, 1B

5. Travis Buck, RF

6. Chris Johnson, 3B

7. Jason Castro, C

8. Jose Altuve, 2B

9. Kyle Weiland, SP

By  |  04:54 PM ET, 04/16/2012

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