Bryce Harper, Ian Desmond return to Nationals lineup [Update]


Bryce Harper. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

Davey Johnson shook his right hand as he sat behind a desk for his daily pregame briefing with reporters. “My hand is sore from signing 100 Japanese bubblegum cards,” he explained. “And followed it up with 75 bobbleheads. It’s hard to sign a bobblehead, let me met tell ya. They wanted me to sign on the hat. I said there’s no chance. The head’s going to be wiggling around. I ain’t going to be doing that. So I signed it on the back.”

So, what’s the deal with the signing all those bobbleheads? The Nationals going to sell them?

“No idea,” Johnson said. “They probably can’t give them away.”

When the team loses six in a run and 11 out of 13, the manager isn’t the most popular person in town. Johnson said he could barely write out today’s card.

[UPDATED, 11:35]

When he did, it again was without shortstop Ian Desmond, who is nursing a ripped blister on his left hand. Anthony Rendon was playing shortstop and batting second, and Steve Lombardozzi was hitting seventh and playing second. Johnson hoped Desmond could return in time for tomorrow’s doubleheader with the Mets.

“Supposedly, he was going to get a magic patch today that was going to miraculously heal it,” Johnson said. “But the pharmacy didn’t come through. So, to be continued.”

Later in the morning, the miracle must have come through. Desmond is now in the lineup, hitting sixth. Lombardozzi (batting .239/.245/.295) will hit second, and Rendon will get the day off.

Bryce Harper was in the lineup all along, returning after Johnson gave his right knee a rest last night. The Nationals will face A.J. Burnett, who has a 3.07 ERA this year.

Here’s the updated Nationals’ lineup.

Nationals

1. Bryce Harper, LF

2. Steve Lombardozzi, 2B

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Adam LaRoche, 1B

5. Jayson Werth, RF

6. Ian Desmond, SS

7. Denard Span, CF

8. Kurt Suzuki, C

9. Gio Gonzalez, SP

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.

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James Wagner · July 25, 2013

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