Hoping to find a reason why shortstop Cristian Guzman was hitting .187, the Washington Nationals brought in team executive, and former Cincinnati Reds star, Barry Larkin to work with him. Last night, before the game, they huddled in the home clubhouse for several minutes.
"You get in a funk, I know there were plenty of times in my career when I was hitting .180 in May," Larkin said. "I told him 'Shoot, we won and you're hitting .180 and we're four [actually three] games over .500, you're not going to hit .180 the rest of the year. You're still playing great defense.' "
Larkin said he has noticed a few things that Guzman is doing wrong at the plate but would not divulge them. He added that he wants to work on Guzman's approach both on the field and in the clubhouse.
"He's inconsistent," Larkin said. "He's thinking the right things, it's just a matter of getting the mental and physical right. It's a matter of repetitiously doing the right thing."
Whatever Larkin said, Guzman went 2 for 3 with a walk last night.
Wilkerson Rests, Mostly
Center fielder Brad Wilkerson is not expected to start again until Tuesday because of forearm pain. He played an inning last night as a defensive replacement. He hopes rest will make the pain tolerable. To cure the problem, he said, he would have to miss five weeks.