Shippin' up to Boston

For whatever reason, the Nationals have no problem winning games early in series this season.

Ten times this season, they've gone into the series finale with a chance to earn a sweep. Only once (not including a two-game, rain-shortened series win over Miami) have they actually brought out the brooms and finished the job.

Kind of a quirky stat that is tough to explain, but as Ryan Zimmerman said last night, the fact that the Nats have had 10 shots to sweep means they're winning a good amount of games.

They'd love series sweeps. They'll take series wins.

After yet another series win, this time over the Mets, the Nats (and myself) head up to Boston. Davey Johnson's boys will kick off a three-game series against a Red Sox team that really struggled out of the gate but has been playing decent ball the last handful of weeks.

Johnson has managed in Fenway Park before, back when he skippered the Orioles in 1997.

What stands out in his mind about the legendary stadium?

"I remember how old the dugouts are," Johnson said. "They must have had smaller people."

You already know that Michael Morse will likely serve as the DH for the Nationals over this three-game series, which will see the Nats send Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann against Boston's Felix Doubront, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jon Lester.

Johnson said Xavier Nady will likely take over in right field, at least against the two lefties tonight and Sunday.

Poor Steve Lombardozzi, by the way. The guy is still learning left field, having made only 11 career professional starts at the position, and now he has to go roam around in front of the Green Monster and try and get a feel for that ridiculously short porch.

Bryce Harper says he'll be in the lineup tonight after tweaking a sore back, which he vehemently insists is a non-issue, and he'll need to make sure he's backing up Lombardozzi on every ball off the Monster. Those things can take some wicked hops.

See, I'm already starting to talk like I'm in New England.

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