Michael Morse will serve as the Nationals’ designated hitter tonight, a role he was wholly indifferent about. “Same stuff,” Morse said. “Nothing different. It’s a spot in the lineup.”Morse has appeared in 15 games as a DH in his career, 14 with the Seattle Mariners, hitting .279/.319/.349.
With Morse out of the outfield mix and the Nationals facing a lefty, Tyler Moore will play left field with Xavier Nady in right. Moore has only been outfield since this spring, but Johnson had no qualms about sticking him in front of Fenway’s Wall.
“Not at all,” Johnson said. “I broke him in on the outfield when he came up but since he went back down he played a little bit more out there. He did a good job while he was with us out there and he’s fresher now. He’s been hitting the ball really good, so rather than sitting around I put him right in the lineup and I have no concern about defensively out there. It won’t be a long throw, whatever throw he makes out there from left field.”
Johnson stuck to his pattern of sitting leadoff hitter Steve Lombardozzi against left-handed starters, even though Lombardozzi is a switch-hitter. His splits look like the opposite of Danny Espinosa’s: Against lefties, he’s 2 for 19, but against right-handers he is hitting .324 with a .384 on-base percentage.
“I told Lombo before the game, I said, ‘Look don’t take it as an insult, because I still remember you hitting that bomb off of [CC] Sabathia in spring training,’ ” Johnson said. “I know you can hit left-handed pitching. But this is an opportunity for me to give a young guy who just got back with the club a chance to play and get him some at-bats, too.”
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