(Adam Kilgore / The Washington Post) (Adam Kilgore / The Washington Post)

Nationals Park welcomed the Nationals to the second half with a splotchy, yellow-green center field. Paul McCartney played a concert at the stadium while the Nationals were on the road, and he left behind patches of dry, dead grass. The groundskeepers probably already had enough trouble maintaining the field in the wicked heat.

Davey Johnson made some interesting choices for the first game after the break. Adam LaRoche is out of the lineup in favor of Chad Tracy. We’ll find out if LaRoche has some nagging injury or if something else is afoot. Denard Span moved back to the leadoff spot, and Bryce Harper is at cleanup after a one-game cameo leading off.

The Nationals will face Ricky Nolasco, who bedeviled them for years when he pitched for the Marlins. He pitches for the Dodgers now after a midseason trade. Stephen Strasburg will take the mound trying to bounce back from his brutal start in Miami to finish the break.


1. Denard Span, CF

2. Anthony Rendon, 2B

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Bryce Harper, LF

5. Jayson Werth, RF

6. Ian Desmond, SS

7. Chad Tracy, 1B

8. Wilson Ramos, C

9. Stephen Strasburg, SP


1. Carl Crawford, LF

2. Yasiel Puig, RF

3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

4. Hanley Ramirez, SS

5. Andre Ethier, CF

6. A.J. Ellis, C

7. Juan Uribe, 3B

8. Mark Ellis, 2B

9. Ricky Nolasco, SP