Hairston leading off, playing left in Nats debut

PHILADELPHIA - Not only is Scott Hairston making his Nationals debut tonight in just his second day with the team since coming over in a trade with the Cubs, he's also in the leadoff spot.

I did expect to see Hairston in the lineup tonight. I did not expect him to lead off. Anyone that says they did is probably lying.

Hairston will play left field tonight, bumping Bryce Harper over to center. Denard Span will get the night off.

This is the first start for Harper in center field this season.

Hairston actually has pretty good numbers in his career when he leads off; he has a .288/.344/.553 slash line with 23 home runs in 99 starts atop the batting order.

This season, however, Hairston is batting just .172/.232/.434, which is not the type of line you usually want to see from a leadoff hitter.

He does tear up left-handed pitching and specifically tonight's Phillies starter Cole Hamels, however. Hairston is 12-for-30 with five home runs and five doubles off Hamels in his career.

Span traditionally hit left-handed pitching well, but this season, he's batting .155/.222/.176.

For the Nats:
LF Scott Hairston
SS Ian Desmond
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
2B Anthony Rendon
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Taylor Jordan

For the Phillies
CF Ben Revere
SS Jimmy Rollins
2B Chase Utley
LF Domonic Brown
3B Michael Young
RF Delmon Young
1B Darin Ruf
C Carlos Ruiz
LHP Cole Hamels

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