The Washington Times - July 15, 2011, 03:44PM

ATLANTA — Davey Johnson took over managing the Nationals on June 27 in Anaheim, Calif. and he led them to a 6-8 record into the All-Star break. But for all intents and purposes, Davey’s stewardship — and the Nationals — get a fresh start tonight when they open the second half in Atlanta. 

They’ve had four days to rest the aches and pains that were starting to pile up toward the end of the break and four days for their manager to put a few more things in order as he continues to mold the Nationals the way he sees fit. They could get their second half off to an inauspicious start if they lose just one game to the Braves this weekend, becoming the victim of the franchise’s 10,000th victory, but chances are they’re less concerned about that and more concerned about facing Tim Hudson — he of the 11-3 record, 2.00 ERA in his career against them — followed by Tommy Hansen and Jair Jurrjens.


The Nationals will begin the second half at .500, and will start it much the same way they began the first on the mound with Livan Hernandez taking the ball for his 20th start of the season. Their lineup is also a similar one, with a minor tweak in Laynce Nix dropping down to the No. 5 hole and Michael Morse hitting cleanup. While Morse has hit cleanup plenty this season, Nix has yet to hit fifth when both are in the lineup and this will be just his second start in the fifth spot all season.

Here are the full lineups behind Hernandez and Hudson:


Roger Bernadina CF
Danny Espinonsa 2B
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Michael Morse 1B
Laynce Nix LF
Jayson Werth RF
Wilson Ramos C
Ian Desmond SS
Livan Hernandez P


Jordan Schafer CF
Martin Prado 3B
Jason Heyward RF
Freddie Freeman 1B
Dan Uggla 2B
David Ross C
Nate McLouth LF
Alex Gonzalez SS
Tim Hudson P