The Washington Times - September 21, 2011, 07:16PM

PHILADELPHIA — Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth was not in the starting lineup on Wednesday and Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he doesn’t expect Werth to play Thursday, either, in the Nationals’ season finale with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Werth was hit with a snap throw from Carlos Ruiz as a runner on third base in the seventh inning Tuesday night. He scored on the errant throw but was immediately escorted into the clubhouse by Nationals trainer Lee Kuntz and was diagnosed as having a right elbow contusion. It wasn’t any big surprise to see his name missing from the Nationals’ lineup on Wednesday but Johnson was hoping he’d be able to play this weekend against the Atlanta Braves.

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The Braves are currently leading a tight race for the National League Wild Card and Johnson has made no secret that he’ll enjoy his team playing the role of potential spoiler.

“I hope he’s ready for the Atlanta series,” Johnson said. “Because we want to be spoilers.”

– The Nationals’ pitching through the end of the season is set, for the most part, with Brad Peacock pitching the finale in Philadelphia on Thursday, Stephen Strasburg throwing Friday against Atlanta, Chien-Ming Wang on Saturday and Ross Detwiler on Sunday.

The final series in Florida will start with Tommy Milone on Monday, John Lannan on Tuesday and, if Johnson has his way, Strasburg in the season’s final game.

“I’d like to bring him back on Wednesday against the Marlins,” Johnson said. “If I don’t get anybody fighting me too hard, I’ll bring him back.”

Starting the final game would give Strasburg five major league starts this season. If Johnson gets any push back, though, from the Nationals medical staff or elsewhere, he said he’ll have to settle for four starts for Strasburg and will give Peacock the start in front of a (somewhat) hometown crowd for the West Palm Beach, Fla., native.