Game #34 Nats have 80% of the season remaining to do their thing!

All of a sudden the Nationals’ manager is being lauded as a genius by some for moving Bryce Harper into the lead-off spot. Since he moved there in the 9-to-3 configuration with Wilmer Difo in front of him and Trea Turner and Matt Adams after him — the Washington Nationals have gone on a run. The season is now 20% completed with 80% to go in the regular season, and the question is how long Dave Martinez continues with this line-up?

Harper is certainly doing his job since moving to the lead-off spot. In the past four games, this 9-to-3 quartet has produced 23 hits in 56 at-bats (.411) and a .522 OBP with 14 extra base hits of which 10 are home runs. Add to that 23 RBIs and 22 runs scored. Ponder that for a moment, a .522 on-base-percentage from those 4-batters.

This morning Bryce Harper was busy at his “field” dedication. It was quite the event which was attended by Mayor Muriel Bowser and Nationals principal owner Ted Lerner as well as hundreds in attendance including the Nats chief architect Mike Rizzo.

As the team gets ready for this afternoon’s game, Anthony Rendon is expected back from the disabled list with a fractured toe.

Today’s starters are Tanner Roark for the Nationals and righty Vince Velasquez for the Phillies. This string of right-handed opposing starters has allowed Martinez to keep this line-up.  Lefties are smashing Velasquez at a .333 batting average and over 1.000 OPS.

Trea Turner gets his first day-off this season and Michael Taylor also gets a rest day. Ryan Zimmerman was a late scratch with a sore oblique moving Matt Adams to 1st base.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals 
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch:  4:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app

Line-ups subject to change without notice:

  1. Bryce Harper RF
  2. Anthony Rendon 3B
  3. Matt Adams 1B
  4. Howie Kendrick 2B
  5. Andrew Stevenson LF
  6. Pedro Severino C
  7. Rafael Bautista CF
  8. Tanner Roark RHP
  9. Wilmer Difo SS
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