Johnson explains Moore's lack of playing time (Strasburg touched up)

A seemingly large segment of the fan base has questioned - rather vocally, I might add - manager Davey Johnson's decision to play Chad Tracy and Xavier Nady, among others, over power-hitting rookie Tyler Moore.

For what it's worth, handful of beat writers that cover the team have wondered why Moore hasn't gotten more playing time since his promotion to the big leagues Sunday, as well.

Today, Johnson discussed his rationale for sitting Moore (who has just four at-bats since making his major league debut) even with Adam LaRoche out because of an oblique injury.

"I like the heck out of Tyler Moore," Johnson said. "He can flat-out hit. But he's a rookie and the other guy (LaRoche) is going to be out a few days. This is not the time to be trying to break a young phenom into a position that the owner's going to come back real soon.

"(LaRoche's) not going to be out long. I'm going to get the guys (playing time) that are going to be here and need the at-bats."

Not only will Tracy continue to start at first base over Moore with LaRoche out, but Johnson said he would probably put Nady above Moore on the proverbial depth chart at this point.

"I would think long and hard about Nady after Tracy (at first)," Johnson said. "As much as I love young talent, and I think (Moore's) a good one ... and also, too, it's not something he'd be used to. It'd not really be fair to him. He hasn't played in five, six days or something. He's not used to that role."

Moore has one hit in his four at-bats since his call-up, while Tracy and Nady have both really struggled at the plate this season.

Tracy has hit just .120 (3-for-25) while Nady is batting .123 (7-for-57) this year.

Update: Stephen Strasburg is human.

The reigning National League Pitcher of the Month for April just allowed a two-run homer to Phillies right fielder Hunter Pence, marking the first home run he's given up since Aug. 15, 2010. Even more remarkably, it's also just the second longball Strasburg has ever given up to a right-handed hitter and the eighth homer the Nats, as a team, have given up all season.

It's 2-0 Phillies in the fourth.

Update II: Chad Tracy's solo homer in the bottom half of the fourth has cut the Nats' deficit in half.

It was just Tracy's fourth hit this season and his first major league homer since Sept. 6, 2010.

The Nats had a chance to tack on more in the fourth, but stranded runners at the corners. They've left seven on base tonight, five of which were courtesy of Jayson Werth.

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