Harper getting a mental break (with lineups)

Davey Johnson suggested last night that he would probably give Bryce Harper a day off today, and that's what he's done.

Mired in a slump, which has seen him hit just .176 since the All-Star break, Harper is not in the Nationals lineup today. The rookie outfielder also made an ill-advised throw in the ninth inning last night, allowing the Astros to put the potential game-winning run in scoring position.

It was after that play that Johnson said he decided Harper could use a breather, or a mental break of sorts.

He'll get that tonight, with Roger Bernadina getting the start in center field.

The Nats will take on Astros starter Lucas Harrell (9-7, 3.98 ERA) tonight. Harrell allowed just one run over 6 2/3 innings in a start against the Nationals back on April 18.

For the Nats:

2B Steve Lombardozzi
CF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse
RF Jayson Werth
SS Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
P Jordan Zimmermann

For the Astros:
2B Jose Altuve
SS Marwin Gonzalez
RF Steve Pearce
CF Justin Maxwell
3B Brett Wallace
LF J.D. Martinez
1B Scott Moore
C Chris Snyder
P Lucas Harrell

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