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Game 101: Pirates at Nats

Jul 24, 2013, 7:22 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

Davey Johnson hasn't been given his regulars very many days off lately, certainly not with the Nationals struggling so mightily to score runs. But there's no question a few guys could probably use a breather, so tonight two of the biggest names from the lineup are sitting: Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond.

We'll find out Davey's reasoning in each case. It's not all that surprising to see Harper get a day off against a tough left-hander in Francisco Liriano. But it is surprising to see Desmond sitting against this pitcher. Again, we'll see what the reason is in each case.

The benching of those two leads to some other changes, most notably Anthony Rendon sliding over to shortstop for his first career start at that position. Steve Lombardozzi will be at second base. Scott Hairston, meanwhile will be leading off and playing left field.

Oh yeah, and Stephen Strasburg is on the mound, trying to stop this five-game losing streak. Updates to come, so please check back…

PITTSBURGH PIRATES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 186
Weather: Partly cloudy, 81 degrees, Wind 10 mph in from LF

NATIONALS (48-52)
LF Scott Hairston
SS Anthony Rendon
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Jayson Werth

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NL EAST STANDINGS

WLGB
WASHINGTON2718
NEW YORK25212.5
ATLANTA22224.5
PHILADELPHIA19289.0
MIAMI18289.5
*Through Monday's games

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