- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 5, 2018

When the Washington Nationals take the field against the New York Mets in the first regular season game at Nationals Park of 2018, starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg will be in an unfamiliar place — eighth in the lineup.

The Nationals’ batting order for Thursday’s game lists Strasburg in the eighth spot, ahead of center fielder Michael A. Taylor at nine.

According to baseball-reference.com, Strasburg has only ever batted ninth in the Nationals’ lineup during his nine-year career.

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Strasburg, with 49 career hits and a .151 batting average, isn’t known as a good hitter among National League pitchers, such as Madison Bumgarner, so Thursday’s lineup is likely more a reflection of a slumping Taylor, who is just 3-for-18 with seven strikeouts in 2018.

Taylor has hit ninth in 31 career games and has appeared at the plate at least once in every position of the order over his five-year career.

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