WASHINGTON -- In the Nationals' 3-2 victory over the Marlins on Saturday, reliever Brad Lidge entered the game in the ninth inning and was ineffective, allowing a walk to Hanley Ramirez and a game-tying homer to Logan Morrison. Manager Davey Johnson wasn't happy about Ramirez getting the walk, because he was behind in the count, 0-2.
It was Lidge's second blown save of the season, but he will continue to split the closer's role with Henry Rodriguez.
"I still like Brad Lidge," Johnson said. "I didn't much mind the home run, but getting ahead of Ramirez and walking him was the mistake of the inning. You just can't do that. Not in a close ballgame."
Lidge acknowledged that he is not throwing the ball well. It doesn't help, according to the righty, that he doesn't throw his slider as hard as he used to.
"My location is bad," Lidge said. "I'm able to get ahead of guys sometimes and I'm not able to put them away with the slider that I've been used to in the past. That was the case with Hanley.
"To be honest, it was kind of interesting. We threw the fastball in [on Morrison] and it was in, but he was right on it. It was a combination of not executing a lot.
"Sometimes, when I am, they are doing a good job, especially lefties. I'm not really fooling any lefties right now."
Zimmerman improves, eyes Tuesday return
WASHINGTON -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said that his right shoulder is feeling better and he is expected to play against the Padres on Tuesday at Petco Park.
Zimmerman missed his first game of the season on Saturday against the Marlins because of mild right shoulder inflammation.
Zimmerman said the shoulder has been bothering him since he made several diving plays last week. On Saturday, Zimmerman was taking batting practice -- with hitting coach Rick Eckstein observing -- when his shoulder tightened up on him. Zimmerman was scratched 30 minutes before the game started against the Marlins.
"It wasn't bad yesterday by any means," Zimmerman said the shoulder. "It's nice to have a rainout and not a doubleheader [the next day]. Since I'm only going to miss one game instead of two, I don't see any reason why I wouldn't play on Tuesday. So this kind of works out best."
Quote of the day
"This ballclub's going to be pretty good, and they have a chance to be good for a long time. It's a different ballclub. This division is going to be ... an exciting division. They're an underrated team. Nobody talks about them. ... They got a good pitching staff. They've got a lot of speed. They're doing the right thing. They want to kick your [rear end]."
-- Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, on the Nationals
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.