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Team Report - WASHINGTON NATIONALS

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INSIDE PITCH

MIAMI -- Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is still at least two weeks away from returning from his hamstring injury, manager Matt Williams said Tuesday.

The Nationals are lucky they have Anthony Rendon, who can shift easily from second to third base.

Still, making that move weakens the Nats at second base, where they are getting little production from Danny Espinosa and the others they have tried there.

Zimmerman went on the disabled list July 23 with his second serious injury of the season. He missed 44 games between April 13 and June 3 due to a fractured right thumb, and now he is dealing with a right hamstring strain.

When he started at third base or left field this season, the Nationals are 32-17. Without him, they are 25-30.

Zimmerman, who combined to hit 51 homers the past two seasons, has just five long balls this year, but that is what happens when a player misses significant action.

His .802 on-base-plus-slugging percentage is only slightly down from his career number, .828. The Nationals need him in their lineup on a consistent basis.

NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 57-47

STREAK: Lost two

NEXT: Nationals (RHP Tanner Roark, 10-6, 2.82 ERA) at Marlins (LHP Brad Hand, 2-2, 4.19 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RHP Tanner Roark, who will pitch Wednesday in the series finale against the Marlins, is 12-7 with a 2.67 ERA in 24 career starts. That qualifies Roark, 27, as one of baseball's most underrated pitchers. The Illinois native entered pro ball as a 25th-round pick in 2008 and has exceeded expectations since making his big league debut last summer as a reliever. He is 1-1 with a 2.42 ERA in five career games vs. the Marlins. Roark has been especially good in the second half -- 9-1 with a 1.46 ERA. He also is one of the better road pitchers in the game: 9-3, 3.15 ERA.

--RHP Stephen Strasburg (7-9) pitched well Tuesday in a tough-luck loss to the Marlins. He threw seven innings, allowing four hits, two walks and one run. Strasburg has more wins against the Marlins -- seven -- than against any other team, but he could not add to his total on this night.

--RF Jayson Werth did not start Tuesday's game due to a swollen right ankle. However, he was used as a pinch hitter in the ninth, flying out to right field. Werth, who hopes to start Wednesday, has been hot this month, hitting .360 with 10 multi-hit games. He looked like a bust in 2011, when he signed a seven-year, $126 million deal with Washington. He played poorly that first year and was hurt most of the second season. However last year, he had a career high .931 OPS. This year, his OPS is .821, which is in line with his .836 career number. But, at age 35, it remains to be seen if he can continue to go strong through the end of the 2017 season, when his contract ends.

--3B Ryan Zimmerman is still at least two weeks away from returning. Zimmerman, who went on the disabled list July 23, has been seriously injured twice already this season. He missed 44 games between April 13 and June 3 due to a fractured right thumb, and now he is dealing with a right hamstring strain. When he started at third base or left field this season, the Nationals are 32-17. Without him, they are 25-30.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "They have the ability to roll off wins -- it starts with their pitching. It's up to us to win that one (on Wednesday)." -- Manager Matt Williams, on the Marlins, after the Nationals dropped the first two games of a three-game series in Miami.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--RF Jayson Werth (swollen right ankle) left the July 28 game. He appeared as a pinch hitter July 29, and he hopes to start July 30.

--3B Ryan Zimmerman (right hamstring strain) went on the 15-day disabled list July 23. He won't return before mid-August.

--RHP Ross Ohlendorf (right back strain) went on the 15-day disabled list March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on March 26. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac on May 14. He aggravated the injury May 25.

--RHP Erik Davis (Tommy John surgery in April 2014) went on the 60-day disabled list Feb. 13. He will miss the entire season.

--LHP Matt Purke (Tommy John surgery in May 2014) was called up from Double-A Harrisburg on July 25 and placed on the 60-day disabled list. He is out for the season.

ROTATION:

RHP Stephen Strasburg

RHP Jordan Zimmermann

RHP Tanner Roark

RHP Doug Fister

LHP Gio Gonzalez

BULLPEN:

RHP Rafael Soriano (closer)

RHP Tyler Clippard

RHP Drew Storen

RHP Craig Stammen

RHP Aaron Barrett

LHP Jerry Blevins

LHP Ross Detwiler

CATCHERS:

Wilson Ramos

Jose Lobaton

INFIELDERS:

1B Adam LaRoche

2B Danny Espinosa

SS Ian Desmond

3B Anthony Rendon

INF Kevin Frandsen

INF Zach Walters

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Bryce Harper

CF Denard Span

RF Jayson Werth

OF Nate McLouth

OF Scott Hairston

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