Game 124: Braves at Nationals

Mike Fiammetta here, helping out Bill Ladson on the blog. As always, check out Nationals.com for in-game updates.

Outside of some pregame rain showers that forced the players off the field and the tarp on, not much going on before tonight’s series finale with the Braves. At this point, with three rain delays in as many days, the weather isn’t even much of a surprise.

In his pregame session with the media, Davey Johnson said that once Stephen Strasburg is shut down, the team will probably face two or three starts without him. That figure comes after Johnson’s discussions with general manager Mike Rizzo, and it falls in line with what’s been widely expected.

“I don’t think the innings number is cut in stone,” Johnson said. “The science is not that exact.”

–Johnson said the Nationals expect add five or six players when rosters expand to 40 players on Sept. 1. The majority of the players, Johnson said, will have spent time with the Nats in the big league this season, with the exception of perhaps one — who was with the team in the spring.

–After Jesus Flores’ big fifth-inning home run last night, Johnson said the Nats’ catcher is benefiting from a relaxed mental approach at the plate.

“No doubt about it, but that’s a work in progress,” Johnson said. “He’s tried just about a different stance a day, different thought a day, different approach a day. [Hitting coach Rick Eckstein’s] just trying to get him to not keep trying so many different things.”

As always, Bill will have more in the notebook. Here are tonight’s lineups:

Nationals (77-46)

  1. Jayson Werth RF
  2. Bryce Harper CF
  3. Ryan Zimmerman 3B
  4. Michael Morse LF
  5. Adam LaRoche 1B
  6. Ian Desmond SS
  7. Danny Espinosa 2B
  8. Kurt Suzuki C
  9. Ross Detwiler LHP

Braves (70-53)

  1. Martin Prado LF
  2. Reed Johnson CF
  3. Jason Heyward RF
  4. Chipper Jones 3B
  5. Freddie Freeman 1B
  6. David Ross C
  7. Tyler Pastornicky 2B
  8. Paul Janish SS
  9. Kris Medlen RHP

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