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Game 82: Brewers at Nats

Jul 1, 2013, 7:32 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

The season's second half begins tonight, and in a sense, the Nationals are starting over again themselves. By sheer coincidence, Game 82 happens to fall on the day Bryce Harper returns from the DL and Davey Johnson assembles a lineup that suddenly looks far more intimidating than it has for the last five weeks.

The big question was who would hit second in front of Harper. The answer: Jayson Werth, who was supposed to bat there all along but was pressed into middle-of-the-order duties with Harper out. That means Anthony Rendon gets bumped all the way down to the 7-hole, though that's not necessarily the worst place for a rookie who after a fantastic debut has cooled off considerably in recent days, carrying a 1-for-18 slump into tonight's game.

It also helps to have Jordan Zimmermann on the mound in search of his NL-leading 12th win. He'll be facing a Brewers club that currently sits in last place in the NL Central, losers of five straight including a 14-inning, rain-delayed game yesterday in Pittsburgh.

Updates to come, so please check back…

MILWAUKEE BREWERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Scattered storms, 79 degrees, Wind 13 mph RF to LF

NATIONALS (41-40)
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman

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ATLANTA47588.0
MIAMI436212.0
PHILADELPHIA416514.5
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