WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals fired hitting coach Rick Eckstein on Monday, a move manager Davey Johnson called "a shocker" in spite of the teams offensive woes this season. Washington entered Monday nights game against the Pittsburgh Pirates stuck in a three-game losing streak and with a disappointing 48-50 record. The team is tied for 28th overall in runs and ranks 27th in batting average. But Johnson was obviously upset with the decision by general manager Mike Rizzo. "Ive experienced a lot of things in my career -- Ive been traded, Ive been released, Ive been sold, Ive been fired. But today is arguably the toughest day Ive had in baseball," said Johnson, his voice cracking with emotion. "I respect Rick Eckstein. I think hes a great coach, one of the best hitting instructors in baseball. And hes just a great gentleman. So it hurts." Eckstein was hired as the Nationals batting coach before the 2009 season. He was the longest-tenured hitting coach in the NL East. And now hes out of a job. "Davey and I have a great respect for each other. This was a general managers decision," Rizzo said. "I respect Davey to the point where I run everything that we do by him. There are certain things that we may not agree on and this was one of them. I thought we needed a change, and so I made the change." Eckstein was replaced by Rick Schu, who for the past four years has been the teams minor league hitting co-ordinator. Schu was not expected to arrive in Washington until Tuesday. Schu will be asked to turn around an offence that produced only five runs over the weekend while being swept at home by the Los Angeles Dodgers. "Theres no one solution," third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. "Everyone just needs to play like theyre capable of playing. No coach is going to come in here and turn someone into a .300 hitter whos not a .300 hitter. You are what you are. If we play like were supposed to play, then well score runs." Rizzo knows this. But he felt the move was necessary anyway. "Rick Eckstein is a fine hitting coach. A lot of this falls on the players," he said. "The players are paid to perform and they havent. The voice of that and the guy whos in charge of that, I thought we needed a different perspective. A different way of doing things." Johnson told Eckstein of the switch on Monday afternoon. "I felt like I had to be the one to tell him. I owed him that much," the manager said. Hours later, Johnson still hadnt fully absorbed the move. "I tell you, it was a shocker," said Johnson, who tried his best to convince Rizzo to change his mind. "In my discussions about firing Rick, I said theres other options," Johnson said. "You can do it with me if you want to change the scenery or change the philosophy." Rizzo wouldnt dream of it. "Were not going to fire Davey Johnson, one of the best managers to have ever managed," Rizzo said. "Daveys a pro, has been through a lot of this stuff before, and you know, were not worried about our manager. Hes one of the best in baseball and I trust him." Johnson was the only one in the clubhouse disappointed over the move. Catcher Wilson Ramos said, "He helped me a lot with my swing, you know, so thats bad news for me. ... I saw everybody right now walking around the clubhouse with a face, you know, not happy. I tell you, we dont feel good right now." Schu has 16 years of coaching experience. Before coming to the Nationals, Schu spent parts of four seasons as Arizonas hitting coach. During that time, he worked with current Washington infielder Chad Tracy. "I had Rick years ago in Arizona, and Ive always felt very highly of him," Tracy said. "Great personality, brings a lot of life and energy to the clubhouse. Hes going to bring the same kind of hard-working attitude he had in Arizona. Hopefully, a new face around here will spark something new in us. I think thats what management is looking for." Sometimes, its just easier to fire the hitting coach than dump players or the manager. "The hitting coach position is the most volatile position in Major League Baseball right now," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "And if you dont believe me, just go look it up and check the industry out for the changes that have been made in the last five years. Right before I left Colorado, I had to fire a hitting coach and then hire a new one, so yeah, I think its the most challenged position." Cheap Football Jerseys Authentic .C. - The Carolina Hurricanes have placed backup goalie Anton Khudobin on injured reserve with an unspecified lower-body injury. Football Jerseys China . Paul Pierce couldnt believe he missed at the end. Young scored a season-high 26 points to spark a huge effort from the leagues most productive bench, and Los Angeles beat the Brooklyn Nets 99-94 on Wednesday night after blowing a 27-point lead. http://www.cheapfootballjerseysfreeshipping.com/ . After taking two big hits this week -- losing at home and dropping back-to-back games for the first time all season -- Indiana struck back by playing its most complete game of the year. Cheap Soccer Jerseys . LOUIS -- St. Soccer Wholesale Jerseys . Thousands of fans at Mosaic Stadium will be cozying up to each other in an effort to stay warm in chilly temperatures and block the Prairie wind that locals say can knock your socks off. NEW ORLEANS -- If Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams keep scoring like this, opponents are going to have trouble matching up with Los Angeles second unit this season.Clarkson scored 23 points, Williams added 21, and the Lakers won for the fifth time in six games, beating the New Orleans Pelicans 126-99 on Saturday night.Me and Lou are going to be real aggressive coming in. Were trying to do a good job of leading this second group, bringing the energy, scoring the ball, pushing the pace, Clarkson said. Coach (Luke Walton) gave that to us. Thats our role and thats what were going to do.DAngelo Russell scored 22 and Nick Young added 15 points for the Lakers, who shot 55.3 percent (52 of 94) overall and made 16 of 30 3-pointers.Combined, Lakers guards scored 84 points.It just shows how much firepower weve got and how deep we can go, Clarkson said. Weve got so many options, its crazy.Anthony Davis scored 34 for New Orleans, but left the game for a pivotal stretch with lower back pain after his layup had cut Los Angeles lead to 63-62 in the third quarter. Davis, who crumpled to the court after his shot fell, went to the locker room and was out of the game for four-plus minutes while the Lakers went on a 14-0 run.It just locked up on me, Davis said of his back. I hate being out, so I tried to do whatever I could to come back.Davis added nine more points after he returned, but New Orleans never recovered, losing for the ninth time in its first 10 games and dropping to 0-5 at home.New Orleans has been without three top players -- guards Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans, and forward Quincy Pondexter -- so far this season. The lack of depth caused by those absences stuck out against a Lakers second unit that has demonstrated exceptional chemistry lately.Their bench totally dominated the game, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. We couldnt get Lou stopped. I thought Clarkson pretty much scored at will.Rookie Buddy Hield scored 18 points and Langston Galloway added 12 for the Pelicans.Young was 5 for 7 from 3-point range, while Clarkson went 4 of 6 and Russell 4 of 7..ddddddddddddRookie Brandon Ingram scored 10 points for the Lakers. He left the game in the second half with what team officials said was a sprained left ankle, but Ingram said he might have returned if his team hadnt built such a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter.TIP-INSLakers: Julius Randle had 11 rebounds to go with eight points. ... Williams entered the game as one of the top scorers in the NBA in a reserve role, averaging 15.9 points. He scored 14 in the first half, hitting six of his first 10 shots, including a 3-pointer. His 21 points tied a season high. ... Young, who entered the game 22 of 22 on free throws this season, did not attempt a foul shot -- nor did any Lakers starter. ... The Lakers 53.3 percent shooting from 3-point range was their best since hitting 14 of 25 (56 percent) in a 111-103 win over Denver on Dec. 30, 2014.Pelicans: Davis reached 30 points for the seventh time in 10 games this season. ... Hield reached double digits in scoring for the fourth time in six games, scoring no fewer than nine points in a game during that span and as many as 18 twice.REMINISCINGWalton and Gentry hugged in the hallway outside the locker rooms before the game. They also reminisced about their time as assistants on the same staff with Golden State during the 2014-15 season, when the Warriors were NBA champions. Gentry said he was not at all surprised to see Waltons early success as a first-year head coach of a young team that won only 17 games last season.Hes got a great feel for the game, but I think more so than that, hes got a great feel for people. He can relate to anyone, Gentry said.Gentry also alluded to a couple of Lakers players whove said they would run through a wall for Walton. In our profession, Gentry began, laughing as he spoke, youve accomplished a lot when an NBA player says something like that about his coach.UP NEXTLakers: Visit Minnesota on Sunday night.Pelicans: Host Boston on Monday night. China NFL Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Online Stitched Hockey Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys Football Jerseys Outlet College Jerseys For Sale Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys For Sale Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '