As the Nationals get ready to take on the Phillies tonight, a couple more quick notes, and then I'll have a game thread:
* Jim Riggleman said again today that Sean Burnett, who gave up the go-ahead runs on Monday and has a 5.59 ERA this season, is throwing the ball better than what his results have shown. "The thing about Sean is, he's really done a good job against lefties last year," Riggleman said. "Last year, he did a good job against lefties and he was really good against righties. I think he's going to get back to that." Burnett was ahead 0-2 on Chase Utley in the seventh inning, but gave up a walk, and Ryan Howard slipped a base hit down the first base line. "A great hitter, a great baseball player really worked that at-bat to get that walk," Riggleman said. "The next hitter hit a ground ball. It's a ground ball. And it got through, so it looks like he had a bad day. But the other thing is, he stood in front of you guys and said, 'I didn't get it done.' I admire that. This guy impresses me so much. He is all about the team - 'I let the team down. That's on me.' He took it. That kind of character is going to be rewarded somewhere. I'm just really proud of him, the way he's gone through this year."
* The Nationals have Roger Bernadina back at the top of their lineup tonight, but their search for a center fielder continues. A National League source said today the team is still in the market for a center fielder and leadoff hitter, and has had talks with the Astros about Michael Bourn, though those discussions didn't lead anywhere. But the team's holes in center field and at the top of its lineup have been there almost since it came to Washington; the Nationals tried to force Lastings Milledge into center field and the leadoff spot in 2009, and when that quickly backfired, they traded for Nyjer Morgan, only to ship him out before this season. They'd have to pay dearly for a player like Bourn, who was an All-Star last year and is due to become a free agent in 2013. But with such a big need, they might be willing to do it.