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Ryan Zimmerman becomes the all-time home run leader for the Expos-Nationals franchise

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There is some rare Monday afternoon baseball today, with the Reds and Nationals wrapping up their four-game series. The game has practically ended before it really got going, though, with the Nationals jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning. This following three games in which the Nats outscored Cincinnati 29-11. Not exactly a competitive exercise.

The big blow so far has been a Bryce Harper three-run homer. That was followed up by a Ryan Zimmerman solo shot. Though it counted for two fewer runs, Zimmerman’s homer was historic, as it was his 235th career dinger, all coming with the Nationals. That dinger puts him past Vladimir Guerrero’s 234 and makes Zimmerman the all-time home run leader for the Expos/Nationals franchise. Behind them come Andre Dawson (225), Gary Carter (220) and Tim Wallach (204).

It’s worth remembering that the Expos/Nats did not come into existence until 1969. The leaders for the other franchises which came into existence that year aren’t super gaudy either. The Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers leader is Ryan Braun with 296. The home run king of the Kansas City Royals is George Brett with 317. The leader for the San Diego Padres is Nate Colbert with a paltry 163.

Of course the Seattle Mariners didn’t begin play until 1977, and their leader — Ken Griffey Jr. — had 417 in their colors. The Colorado Rockies didn’t come into existence until 1993 and their homer leader is Todd Helton with 369. But let’s not hold that against Zimmerman, OK?

 

Mookie Betts, Javier Baez leading off the All-Star lineups

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I can’t imagine what it’s like to fill out the lineup card for an All-Star team. Most of the guys are 1-4 hitters on their own teams, but you gotta slot most of them someplace lower. Egos are probably a consideration. Strategic stuff. “Which top of the order or middle of the lineup hitter is batting eighth?” is both a difficult and thankless question.

Dave Roberts and A.J. Hinch have to do it anyway, and today they released the All-Star lineups. Seeing Bryce Harper batting sixth and Manny Machado batting seventh is just not part of the usual baseball experience:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Jose Altuve, 2B
3. Mike Trout, CF
4. J.D. Martinez, DH
5. Jose Ramirez, 3B
6. Aaron Judge, LF
7. Manny Machado, SS
8. Jose Abreu, 1B
9. Salvador Perez, C

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1. Javier Baez, 2B
2. Nolan Arenado, 3B
3. Paul Goldschmidt, DH
4. Freddie Freeman, 1B
5. Matt Kemp, LF
6. Bryce Harper, CF
7. Nick Markakis, RF
8. Brandon Crawford, SS
9. Willson Contreras, C

Not that this is gonna hold for long what with all of the substitutions.