Since Michael Morse returned from the disabled list last week, Davey Johnson has essentially settled on a regular starting lineup. Unless they're facing a left-hander, the Nationals are pretty much going to stick with this current arrangement, which includes Steve Lombardozzi in left field, Bryce Harper in center field and Morse in right field.
It also includes Jesus Flores behind the plate, which is where Flores will find himself tonight, less than 24 hours after he caught all 12 innings of a 7-6 victory over the Mets. So far, Flores has held up well in his first extended opportunity to play on a daily basis in several years. We'll see how he does over the long haul (though I suspect he'll get tomorrow's matinee off).
Edwin Jackson takes the mound for the Nationals against rookie Jeremy (don't call me Hugh) Hefner, whose time in the New York rotation is probably about to end.
Plenty of updates to come, so please check the Nats Insider live game thread...
NEW YORK METS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Partly cloudy, 72 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to CF
LF Steve Lombardozzi
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Michael Morse
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Jesus Flores
RHP Edwin Jackson
LF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
CF Andres Torres
3B David Wright
RF Lucas Duda
2B Daniel Murphy
1B Ike DavisD
C Josh Thole
SS Omar Quintanilla
RHP Jeremy Hefner
HP Wally Bell, 1B Brian Knight, 2B Mike Winters (cc), 3B Mark Wegner
You can always count on the New York Daily News to run an audacious cover. The tabloid delivered again Friday with an image edited to show two of the league's best young hitters in Yankees pinstripes: Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper and Orioles short stop Manny Machado.
"Bats to the Future" is exactly the headline you'd expect, too.
It's hard to tell what's more odious to Washington and Baltimore fans: the image itself or the suggestion that baseball's new collective bargaining agreement makes it easier for the Yankees to poach their stars.
The premise of that argument comes from sources who say the new CBA contains two changes beneficial to New York: reduced revenue sharing burden (due to tweaks in how sharing is calculated, plus a deduction for the cost of building and running Yankee Stadium) and an increased luxury tax threshold.
Without going into number crunching detail, the Daily News explains how the club could afford Harper and/or Machado when they become free agents after the 2018 season.
The article's tone of inevitability, despite its many assumptions, will rankle fans of all 29 other teams. After all, the Yankees aren't the only franchise interested in Harper and Machado.
The Nationals and Orioles will presumably try to keep their stars. But to do that, they may have to fend off potentially historic money from the Bronx.
MORE BASEBALL: Nats let Ben Revere walk
Ben Revere was brought to Washington in the hopes he could solve the centerfield and lead-off issue that plagued them the previous year. After just one year, the Nationals have decided to move on from Revere as they declined to tender him.
The move makes Revere a free agent after a .217/.260/.300 season that fell way below expectations. Revere tied his career-high with two home runs and added 24 RBI while scoring 44 runs.
Stay tuned for more information!