Denard Span is sitting tonight against Clayton Kershaw simply because Manager Davey Johnson wanted to give him a day off. Span is just fine. Johnson also wanted to give Eury Perez, who is in the majors only to replace Jayson Werth as he heals a hamstring strain on the disabled list, the first big league start of his career.
“I thought this was a good time,” Johnson said.
With Harper out, too, the Nationals were left with the unique outfield of Steve Lombardozzi, Perez and Tyler Moore. Had Johnson ever considered using that lineup? “Not really,” he said. Against Kershaw, though, Johnson didn’t mind using an out-of-the-box lineup.
“Against a pitcher of this caliber, a lot of times I throw guys in off the bench,” Johnson said.
The Nationals will face another high-caliber pitcher tomorrow night. Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly announced Zack Greinke will come off the disabled list and make his first start since April 11, the night he rammed himself into Carlos Quentin during a brawl and separated his left shoulder.