(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Bryce Harper is back. The Nationals were 15-16 in his absence and 25-18 – a 94-win pace — when he started. Jordan Zimmermann (11-3, 2.28 ERA) is on the mound facing Yovani Gallardo (6-7, 4.20 ERA), who is rumored to be on the trading block. The National begin the actual second half of their season, posting a 41-40 record through the first 81 games of the season. The lineups are here. As always, talk about the game here.

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010, wrote about high school sports across the region for two years and has covered the Nationals since the middle of the 2012 season.