Danny Espinosa will move into the leadoff spot for this afternoon’s 4:05 p.m. game against the Pirates, and Roger Bernadina will play center with Span out.
Span had a bandage on his right ankle, directly above the top of his foot, after last night’s game. He played all nine innings last night but looked to be favoring the ankle a bit after the game.
Jayson Werth will miss his second straight game for the Nats today with left hamstring tightness. Tyler Moore will play right field again today, leaving Bryce Harper (who is battling a bruise on his left side) as the only normal starting outfielder in the Nats’ lineup this afternoon.
Espinosa has a .213 on-base percentage this season, less than ideal from your leadoff hitter, to say the least. In 64 career games hitting out of the leadoff spot, Espinosa has a slash line of .204/.268/.374.
But Bernadina is just 1-for-22 this season, and manager Davey Johnson doesn’t really have many other options at the top of his batting order.
Stephen Strasburg will get the start for the Nats this afternoon, his first outing since feeling some forearm tightness in a start against the Braves on Monday. Strasburg is 1-4 with a 3.13 ERA this season and hasn’t recorded a win since his start against the Marlins on opening day.
All eyes will be on him this afternoon at PNC Park to see how he responds from a bit of an off game his last time out.
Jeff Locke, a 25-year-old left-hander, will go for the Pirates. Locke is 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA this season. He’s allowed just five hits and no runs in his last two outings.
For the Nats
2B Danny Espinosa
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Tyler Moore
C Wilson Ramos
CF Roger Bernadina
RHP Stephen Strasburg