Tracy replaces LaRoche in Nats lineup

The good thing about the Nationals having a 1:10 p.m. first pitch today is that last night’s 15-0 drubbing at the hands of the Reds is quickly pushed into the background.

No need to stew on that one through the afternoon. The Nats will get back out there in just a few hours and will start fresh.

There’s one change to manager Davey Johnson’s lineup outside of the normal catcher swap and Ross Detwiler being inserted into the pitcher’s spot for the first time this season.

Adam LaRoche will get today off, with Chad Tracy taking his place at first base and in the No. 5 spot in the batting order.

Johnson told reporters in Cincinnati last night that LaRoche is dealing with some back tightness, and with a day game after a night game, Johnson has decided to rest LaRoche today.

The cold temperatures over the last few days, both in D.C. and Cincinnati, probably haven’t helped LaRoche’s back loosen up. The 33-year-old battled some back issues last season, although he was able to play through the discomfort.

LaRoche will get a day to let his body recover today, and Tracy will get his first start of the year.

The Nats will face Reds right-hander Mike Leake, who is 3-2 with a 5.13 ERA in six career starts against Washington.

Detwiler faced Cincinnati once last season, allowing five runs (only one of which was earned) over five innings in an 8-5 Reds win on April 15.

For the Nats:

CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Chad Tracy
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos
LHP Ross Detwiler

For the Reds:

CF Shin-Soo Choo
LF Chris Heisey
1B Joey Votto
2B Brandon Phillips
RF Jay Bruce
3B Todd Frazier
SS Zack Cozart
C Devin Mesoraco
RHP Mike Leake

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