Nats’ opening day lineup plus notes from Chicago

CHICAGO - Hello from the Windy City, which actually isn’t that windy at all today.

It’s a beautiful 55 degrees here and for someone who hasn’t seen the city before (the one-day trip with my dad to see a game at Wrigley when I was 13 doesn’t really count in my mind), the cab ride in along the water provided a nice little mini-tour.

I look forward to a getting a taste of Chicago (literally) when a few of the other beat reporters and I head out to grab some deep-dish pizza sometime over these next few days.

Also, for what it’s worth, tomorrow’s opening day forecast calls for a high of 51 degrees with sunny skies throughout the afternoon.

On to matters of much more importance. Manager Davey Johnson has settled on his lineup for tomorrow’s opening day contest against the Cubs, and the top eight spots in the order look very similar to what Johnson put out for yesterday’s exhibition against the Red Sox.

You’ll notice Johnson’s decision to hit Adam LaRoche cleanup, which will allow him to break up the right-handed hitters in the middle of his order.

The Nationals will oppose Cubs righty Ryan Dempster, who’s a whopping 9-1 with a 2.87 ERA in 23 career games against Washington.

Ryan Zimmerman has hit .375 in 16 career at-bats against Dempster, while LaRoche (.231 with five strikeouts in 13 at-bats) and Jayson Werth (.167 with five strikeouts in 12 at-bats) have struggled against the Cubs’ opening day starter.

Here’s the Nats’ lineup for tomorrow’s opener here in Chicago:

SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Jayson Werth
LF Mark DeRosa
CF Roger Bernadina
C Wilson Ramos
P Stephen Strasburg

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