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Davey won't tell La Russa how to pitch his guys


Davey won't tell La Russa how to pitch his guys

The Nationals are sending their two best pitchers to Tuesdays MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City, Gio Gonzalez who has participated in the game before and Stephen Strasburg who will make his first appearance. Both pitchers are important to the team this year and beyond, but things are more complicated with Strasburg given his injury history and expected innings limit for this season. Davey Johnson said on Saturday, however, he has no plans to talk to National League manager Tony La Russa to tell him how to use his guys.

The prudent thing is, the way I look at it is, give the guys with the most rest the most work, he said. Tony is a Hall of Fame manager, Im sure he will be doing that.

Johnson was unaware of the rules of the game as far as pitching, whether starting on a certain day excludes a pitcher from being used. He was also unsure of the amount of pitchers on the N.L. roster, a clear sign he wasnt too worried about his players being called on in the game.

The N.L. team in fact holds 13 total pitchers, eight of them starters and five of them relievers. Pitchers generally pitch one inning at a time, so it is possible that one or both of Washingtons All-Star arms will not play. With Strasburg starting Friday he will have three days of rest and after Gonzalez starts Saturday he will have two.

Johnson himself managed the N.L. roster at the 1987 All-Star game and La Russa was on the American League staff as a member of the Oakland Athletics. Back then, however, the team carried only eight pitchers and the 1987 game went 13 innings. Because of the games length Johnson had to use Chicago Cubs closer Lee Smith three innings, a move that likely wouldnt fly in todays game.

However La Russa decides to use Strasburg and Gonzalez, Johnson will be watching the game from afar. He plans to go down south for the break.

Im going to Florida, Im going where its hotter, he said. Ive got a couple of golf games set up.

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Nationals baffled by Dickey's knuckleball in Braves' 3-2 win


Nationals baffled by Dickey's knuckleball in Braves' 3-2 win

ATLANTA  -- R.A. Dickey frustrated Washington with his knuckleball for eight innings, Ozzie Albies had three hits and the Atlanta Braves beat the Nationals 3-2 on Thursday night.

After Ryan Zimmerman's leadoff homer in the second inning, the 42-year-old Dickey gave up only one hit -- a two-out single by Trea Turner in the third -- over the next five innings. Turner was picked off first base.

Dickey (10-10) gave up two runs, four hits and no walks. He made a strong case that the Braves should pick up his $8 million club option for 2018.

Zimmerman lined his homer into the left-field seats, tying the game at 1. He set a career high with his 34th homer, his fourth off Dickey this season.

Arodys Vizcaino struck out the side in a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 15 chances. It was a strong return to form after Vizcaino walked all three batters he faced in a blown save Wednesday night.

The Braves scored two runs in the fourth off Tanner Roark (13-10). Albies singled, moved to third on catcher Matt Wieters' wild pickoff attempt and scored the go-ahead run on Freddie Freeman's fly ball to deep left field. Nick Markakis doubled past Zimmerman at first base and scored on Johan Camargo's single up the middle.

The Nationals trimmed the Braves' lead to one in the eighth. Anthony Rendon doubled to left field and scored on Wieters' two-out single.

Ender Inciarte continued his push for 200 hits when he led off the first with a triple to right field. It was his 191st hit, the third-highest total in the majors. Inciarte scored on Albies' single.

The game was delayed several minutes in the middle of the eighth. There was confusion as Nationals manager Dusty Baker attempted to make several defensive changes and had to go over the changes with home plate umpire Nic Lentz, who also took questions from Braves manager Brian Snitker.

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Ryan Zimmerman sets career high in homers vs. Braves

Ryan Zimmerman sets career high in homers vs. Braves

Ryan Zimmerman's resurgent season continues to get more and more impressive. 

Zimmerman hit his 34th home run of the season on Thursday night, setting a new career high. 

His previous career high was set in 2009, when he hit 33 while slashing .292/.364/.525 with a .888 OPS. 

He didn't get cheated on it, either: