Morse, Espinosa out of Nats lineup as Lannan takes the hill

Today was originally scheduled to be Stephen Strasburg's final start of the 2012 season.

Those who bought tickets to tonight's Nationals-Mets game at Citi Field hoping to see Strasburg's finale will get John Lannan instead.

Lannan makes his return to the Nationals' rotation tonight as he takes on the Mets in the finale of this three-game series. The veteran left-hander has made two starts with the Nats this season, going 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA over 13 innings.

Those starts were merely fill-in opportunities for Lannan. Tonight, he'll slide into the rotation and take Strasburg's spot for the remainder of the regular season.

It's been a long road for the 27-year-old this season, who spent the vast majority of the summer with Triple-A Syracuse. I'd imagine taking the mound as part of a major league staff again will feel pretty good.

Meanwhile, neither Michael Morse nor Danny Espinosa will be behind Lannan in the field tonight. Both players are out of the Nationals' lineup.

Morse has been dealing with a left wrist injury, while Espinosa has left the team to be with his family after the death of his grandmother.

Espinosa tweeted today that he will rejoin the Nationals in Atlanta tomorrow and will be able to play Friday.

Roger Bernadina will play left field tonight, while Steve Lombardozzi will fill in for Espinosa at second base.

The Nats will face Mets rookie right-hander Matt Harvey, who has gotten his major league career off to a nice start. The 23-year-old is 3-4 with a 3.04 ERA over eight starts.

For the Nats:

RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
C Kurt Suzuki
2B Steve Lombardozzi
P John Lannan

For the Mets:

SS Ruben Tejada
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
RF Scott Hairston
1B Lucas Duda
C Kelly Shoppach
LF Jason Bay
CF Andres Torres
P Matt Harvey

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