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Tight lower back sidelines Harper

Jun 10, 2012, 2:29 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper went 0-for-3 with a walk yesterday against the Red Sox.

Updated at 12:52 p.m.

BOSTON — For the first time since he made his major-league debut six weeks ago, Bryce Harper is not in the Nationals' starting lineup.

The 19-year-old outfielder wasn't listed among Davey Johnson's starting nine for today's series finale against the Red Sox, a benching the manager said was due to "tightness or stiffness" in his lower back.

"I don't think it's anything, but it was bothering him a little bit after [Saturday's] game," Johnson said. "[Bench coach] Randy Knorr came in to me and said Bryce is hurt. The trainer came in and said the same thing. I think because of who he is, those guys notice anything that goes on, just like you guys do. But Bryce hasn't said anything to me. We're just being on the safe side."

Harper had started all 37 games since his promotion from Class AAARead more »

  1. Sam - Jun 10, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Puuuuke. Our lineup today boasts 3 average-to-above average Major League hitters. This is not what I was hoping for when I shelled out $220 to go to today's game at Fenway.

  2. Sam - Jun 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Having said that, I will still wear my Zimmermann jersey proudly. And it was great to see the large turnout of Nationals fans at the park yesterday!

  3. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Roger Bernadina in a leftylefty ?

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Flores gets the start over Solano

  5. Scooter - Jun 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    SELL SELL SELL!!!1!!

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    change the rules let JZim hit so Bernadina doesn't have to.,

  7. Grandstander - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    There's only 3 players who can play centerfield and none of them are righties. I guess Davey heard our pleas of playing Bernadina over Ankiel (who has gone 2 for 15 with 7 Ks in his last 4 starts). This lineup really accentuates how big Harper looks in our everyday lineup.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Grandstander, true, and only Bryce hits lefties well. Poor timing to rest Bryce. Good luck Shark.

  9. JT - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    This gives the sweep demons fuel. It looks like another 2 out of 3 series. GO NATS…prove me wrong, please!!

  10. Doc - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    I guess even a 19 yr. old kid with great energy and talent needs a break once in a while.Still he'll be missed. I count on watching him every time I tune in. Maybe he'll come off the bench and do some damage later in the game???

  11. joe9 - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    I thought I saw him wince on a couple of swings in his last, or next to last, at bat yesterday. It may have been frustration at missing the ball or it may have been pain. Let's hope for the former.

  12. joe9 - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Sam, your comment about going to today's game reminds of my birthday two years ago when my wife shelled out big bucks for us to see Stras pitch and instead we saw Miss Iowa. He/she did pitch great though. So, you never know what you'll get.

  13. sjb - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    It's not a bad idea to rest Bryce once in awhile, just like the other regulars. I remember talk on this board not too long ago that LaRoche could use a day off. Of course, Bryce is going to insist he's healthy, right til he goes on the DL (not that I anticpate that happening soon).Generally, our motto should be "In Davey We Trust". The man really hasn't put a foot wrong sonce he took over. Remember how he insisted from Day 1 of spring training that Bryce Harper was ready for the majors? I didn't believe him, you likely didn't believe him, Mark Z didn't believe him, Boz didn't believe him, and apparently neither did Rizzo. If it hadn't been for the injury plague he still might be down there, but Davey was right. If he thinks Bryce now needs a day off, I'm not going to second guess him.

  14. rogieshan - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    I guess Ripken's iron-man streak will have to wait.

  15. mick - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    The boy needs some rest, not a big deal.

  16. SCNatsFan - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    On a bright note at least we have a pinch hitter who isn't Ankiel

  17. Candide - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    As hard as Ban Ban plays, I think it's just good personnel management to sit him down now and then whether he admits to being sore or not.

  18. Candide - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Dam spell checker. It's BAM BAM.

  19. Candide - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    And it's DAMN, not dam.Yeesh…

  20. baseballswami - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    I feel like we always let up when we win the first two or when Jordan is pitching. It's like we throw everything at Strassie and Gio and then take our foot off the gas. But then, who knows? On any given day anything can happen in baseball.

  21. jeffwx - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    The speedy X man batting 2nd. audacious.

  22. djinFl. - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. djinFl. - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    I am hoping for the NI jinx to kick in. Seems the more we dislike a lineup, the better they perform.

  24. NatsLady - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Well, at least we have our good infield. JZ's groundball % is the 2nd among our starters (52.1%), slightly lower than CMW (52.9%–although the sample size for him is small).Although he's given up the most homeruns, he also has the lowest walk rate (1.41 walks per 9 innings) so most of the home runs have been solos.Here are the stats on our rotation from fangraphs:Fangraphs nationals startershttp://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=sta&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2012&month=0&season1=2012&ind=0&team=24&rost=0&age=0&players=0

  25. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    following dj's advice, this lineup sucks. i doubt we put up a run. i bet nady, bernie, and moore go 0-for today.

  26. NatsLady - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Rizzo on the radio said Davey is the master at losing one game so the Nats win the next five. OK, so maybe that's the strategy. Poor Jordan! Surprised he even gets Flores.

  27. MicheleS - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    yup.. sticking with the theme today.. This is a poop stick of a lineup and JZ NEVER gets a chance for run support..That said.. GYNG!!!

  28. NatsLady - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Looking for Gio, but they are running something called "Prime 9" and apparently Baseball Tonight is not coming on until 1:00. Don't have problem skipping Nats Xtra, if in fact that's the case…

  29. MicheleS - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    ESPN NatsLady…

  30. jeffwx - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    That's why this interleague stuff can be messy. NL teams usually carry one less big hitter (rather a bench player) cause they need more in the bullpen. AL have more options for their lineup.

  31. NatsLady - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Oh, Ok, thanks.

  32. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    what's the prime 9 for,NL?

  33. SonnyG10 - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Heeeey, that's a good lineup. All Nats players! :)

  34. MicheleS - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    FS.. Gio is on ESPN2 (sorry NatsLady, the main one has soccer). in about 2 minutes

  35. timeless46 - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    I see a late-inning pinch hit home run. I mean, what else hasn't he done. ……. Get some rest Bryce and …. please … take care of that back …..!!

  36. NatsLady - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    ESPN2 on my cable (soccer on ESPN). There he is!!!

  37. NatsLady - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Prime 9 is baseball history.

  38. NatsLady - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    The oddsmakers agree with you, Boston heavily favored (-155 to -160) to win. Hey, place your bets and let's prove them wrong!!!

  39. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    thanks NatsLady.And MicheleS. Can't watch it though.hope we at least put one run on board.

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