It's been a slow, rainy day here at Nationals Park. But the tarp is coming off the field, and the forecast looks manageable for game time, so we should get this one in between the Nationals and Rockies.
Just a couple pregame notes:
--Pudge Rodriguez has the night off; he told manager Jim Riggleman he wanted to stay with Livan Hernandez, since the right-hander has thrown 16 shutout innings with Rodriguez behind the plate. But Riggleman wouldn't come close to entertaining the idea that Rodriguez will be Hernandez's personal catcher - or that any pitcher, for that matter, would get a personal catcher. "I have great disdain for that," Riggleman said. "I don't like that, and I guess, I've got great respect for a lot of pitchers that have had their own catcher. But I just don't believe in it. My mentor, idol, Whitey Herzog, somebody wanted to throw to a particular catcher, and to paraphrase Whitey, he said, 'It'll be a cold day in hell when I have somebody tell me who's going to catch.'' Nonetheless, the Rodriguez-Hernandez pairing will continue on Thursday, even if it's not precedent-setting.
--Riggleman said he's playing his three middle infielders - Adam Kennedy, Ian Desmond and Cristian Guzman - "almost on a rotation." Guzman is playing shortstop tonight with Kennedy at second base. All three are playing well, and Riggleman doesn't want to change much about that approach right now. "I'm just trying to keep all those guys playing a lot," he said. "All three guys are playing so well, that I'm not going to let any of them sit there for three days and not play." Guzman will play against most lefties, Riggleman said.
I've got to run downstairs for an appearance on "Nats Xtra" to discuss Matt Capps' early success; if you're interested, you can tune into that at 6:30. But I'll have a post on Stephen Strasburg shortly after that, and the live thread will be ready to go by gametime.