Pregame news and lineups

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Hello from Nationals Park, where the Nationals finish their four-game series against the Brewers with a 4:35 start today — a semi-businessman’s special, if you will. Maybe a business casual special? Anyway…

The Nationals, after some consideration, will keep their rotation for the upcoming series against the Cubs just as they’d planned it — Garrett Mock tomorrow, J.D. Martin on Wednesday and John Lannan on Thursday. They’d kicked around the idea of moving Lannan to Tuesday, since he only threw 43 pitches on Saturday. But interim manager Jim Riggleman said they backed away from that idea.

“We’re not going to do that,” Riggleman said. “We were thinking about getting him out of that routine he was in, shaking it up a little bit, maybe even giving him three days’ rest or five or six days’ rest.”

Even if the Nats aren’t moving Lannan’s start, the fact they were thinking about it shows how concerned they are about their ace-in-training, who’s given up 16 runs in his last 12 innings. For most of the season, a Lannan outing meant almost an automatic quality start, but he’s hit a rough patch that has the Nationals searching for solutions.

“If that wasn’t needed—if we had somebody else available to go on his day—we could back him off a day or two and let (pitching coach) Steve McCatty get a little extra work with him,” Riggleman said. “But that’s kind of overthinking it a little bit. I think John will be fine, and he’ll be ready to go on his normal day.”

Also, Sean Burnett is only available in an emergency today while his bruised left thumb heals. But Riggleman said the Nationals hope the reliever will be able to go tomorrow.

Here are today’s lineups:

Brewers: 

Lopez - 2B

Catalanotto - RF

Braun - LF

Fielder - 1B

McGehee - 3B

Cameron - CF

Kendall - C

Gallardo - P

Escobar - SS

 

Nationals:

Morgan - CF

Guzman - SS

Zimmerman - 3B

Dunn - 1B

Willingham - RF

Harris - LF

Gonzalez - 2B

Nieves - C

Balester - P

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