VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals host the Yankees today for a 1:05 p.m. game, and as promised, Bryce Harper is in the lineup, hitting seventh and playing right field.
And please, no jokes about him secretly trying to slip on a Yankees uniform.
Michael Morse is not in the Nats' lineup again today, but Roger Bernadina is back in there after being scratched from last night's game because of lightheadedness after having a tooth pulled. Bernadina will lead off and play left field.
Here's the Nats' lineup against Yankees starter Michael Pineda:
LF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Chad Tracy
DH Adam LaRoche
CF Jason Werth
RF Bryce Harper
SS Steve Lombardozzi
C Jhonatan Solano
Chien-Ming Wang will start today for the Nats with John Lannan coming on after him.
One play which might have slipped through the cracks last night amidst Bryce Harper's return to the lineup and Stephen Strasburg's postgame comments was the great defensive effort shown by outfielder Eury Perez on a seventh inning fly ball to right off the bat of Joey Terdoslavich.
Perez, then manning right field, circled behind the ball, set his feet and made the catch. The guys in the Nationals dugout shouted for Braves second baseman Drew Sutton to try and test Perez's arm by trying to tag from second to third, and that's what Sutton did.
Perez delivered a frozen rope on one hop, gunning Sutton at third and delighting his teammates.
"That was pretty exciting," said Harper, who certainly can appreciate such a throw. "He just reared back and got him."
Perez has impressed with his speed and defense this spring, leading some to believe he has a legitimate shot to become the Nats' center fielder of the future.
"He's got a lot of talent," Johnson said. "We've got a whole bevy of outfielders with talent and he's one of the top ones."
Reliever Ryan Mattheus had a rough one-inning stint last night, allowing two runs on four hits, one of which was a home run. As was the case with Strasburg last night, manager Davey Johnson said Mattheus was overthrowing.
"Trying to get too much out of it instead of pitching," Johnson said. "You see that time and time again this time of year with good arms."