Notes: Nats can be part of history
Acta plans to pitch to Bonds in series beginning Monday
WASHINGTON -- Giants left fielder Barry Bonds will get the chance to break Hank Aaron's all-time home run record against the Nationals, as manager Manny Acta plans to have his team pitch to Bonds during the four-game series that begins on Monday night in San Francisco.
"We are not going to do anything differently," Acta said. "We are going to pitch to him like we pitch to any of the great hitters in the game. If the game is on the line and the bases are occupied, we are going to walk him."
Left-hander John Lannan will get the first crack at Bonds in the series opener. Lannan said on Thursday that he wasn't thinking about Bonds, because the game was five days away. Sunday was a different story, however. Lannan now is thinking about the possibility of being a part of history. At the same time, his top priority is getting the entire team out.
"Every at-bat is going to be different," Lannan said. "We have a game plan -- go out there and throw strikes. If Barry comes up, if I have a chance to pitch to him, I will. If the opportunity calls to pitch around him, I will. We are just going to see what happens.
"You don't really think about the one-on-one matchup. You think about the whole game itself -- how we are hitting and how we are playing the field and all that kind of stuff. It's not that much of an individual thing."
Lannan recently looked at videotape of Bonds, with left-hander Ray King giving him advice. Of all the pitchers on the Nationals' roster, King has faced Bonds the most, with Bonds going 1-for-16 against him, but that one hit was a home run.
King said that Lannan has been fortunate enough to face tough left-handed hitters in the two starts of his career. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Ken Griffey Jr. are a combined 2-for 7 against Lannan.
"I told Lannan that he has to go out there and pitch his game," King said. "Every time I face Bonds, I do the same thing -- sinker in, sliders down and away. The tough thing for Lannan is, will he have the momentum going? Let's say he gets the first two guys out; he is going to have to stop and change [baseballs]. That's the only thing that is going to be different. Like I told him, when they stop and change balls and when Barry gets into the batter's box, you step off the mound, make Barry wait for you. You don't wait for Barry."
Tracking Bonds: If Bonds does not break the career home run record by Tuesday, Hall of Famer Frank Robinson will represent Commissioner Bud Selig on Wednesday and possibly Thursday.
Robinson, who works in the Commissioner's office, managed the Nationals/Expos from 2002 to 2006.
Jimmie Lee Solomon, the executive vice president of baseball operations, will represent the Commissioner on Monday and Tuesday.
Quote of the day: "We are just looking at the next series. We are going to try and take three out of four games. We are not worried about the media spectacle that's going to be there because a guy is chasing history. Whoop-de-woo." -- Dmitri Young, on facing the Giants
Injury report: Right-hander Shawn Hill (right elbow and left shoulder) will make one more rehab start for Triple-A Columbus on Thursday. He is expected to be taken off the disabled list not too long after that.
Stat of the day: Ryan Zimmerman has a team-leading 12 game-winning RBIs this season.
Did you know? After his two-base hit in the second inning on Sunday, left-fielder Ryan Church ranks fourth in the National League in doubles, with 34.
Coming up: The Nationals travel to San Francisco to play a four-game series against the Giants starting Monday at 10:15 p.m. ET. Last season the Nationals took five out of six games from the Giants. Lannan will oppose San Francisco right-hander Tim Lincecum.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.