Desmond not in Nationals lineup

For the first time in 71 games, Ian Desmond will not be at shortstop when the Nationals take the field today.

Desmond and his sore oblique will get the day off, with Danny Espinosa sliding over from second base to play shortstop and Steve Lombardozzi filling in at second.

Interestingly enough, Desmond needs the day off just two games into the second half of the season, after getting four days of rest over the All-Star break.

Desmond started all but one game over the first half, and has played every single inning since April 19.

He didn’t completely look like himself last night, waving at pitches on the outer half of the plate and seeming a tick slow at the plate. He also has attempted two bunts for a base hit over the last two games, which is more than I can remember him laying down over the entire first half of the season.

The Nationals’ shortstop was arguably the team’s MVP in the first half, and he finished yesterday’s game hitting .287 on the season with a team-high 17 homers and 52 RBIs.

Michael Morse gets bumped down a spot in the order today, with Adam LaRoche hitting cleanup.

Here are the lineups for today’s game:

For the Nationals:
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse
SS Danny Espinosa
CF Roger Bernadina
C Jhonatan Solano
P Stephen Strasburg

For the Marlins:
SS Jose Reyes
2B Omar Infante
1B Carlos Lee
LF Logan Morrison
3B Hanley Ramirez
RF Greg Dobbs
CF Emilio Bonifacio
C John Buck
P Ricky Nolasco

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