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Nationals' Wednesday night lineup vs Mets + Bryce Harper notes

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Washington Nationals' infielder Danny Espinosa is back in the lineup tonight in the second game of three with the New York Mets in D.C. + Nats' skipper Matt Williams talked about Bryce Harper grinding to get back on track at the plate.

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Photo © Ed Chigliak/
Photo © Ed Chigliak/

Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams is giving Asdrubal Cabrera a day off to get "Right Side" Danny Espinosa in against New York Mets' lefty Jon Niese tonight.

Cabrera has a .235/.270/.379 line in 141 plate appearances vs LHPs so far in 2014, to go along with his .249/.321/.385 line in 296 PAs vs RHPs.

Espinosa has a .309/.385/.494 line in 91 PAs vs LHPs and a .185/.244/.295 line in 217 PAs vs RHPs.

Is this a sign of a strict platoon to come to take advantage of Espinosa's numbers vs lefties...? Yes, it is a small sample size...

Espinosa's also 5 for 12 (.417/.500/.917) with a double and three Ks in 13 PAs vs Niese in their respective careers.

• Here's the Nationals' lineup for the second game of three with the Mets tonight:

• Harper's struggles: Bryce Harper was 0 for 4 with three Ks in last night's game against the Mets, leaving the 21-year-old left-handed hitting outfielder 3 for 20 (.150/.227/.150) with 9 Ks on the current homestand.

Since returning from the DL after 57 games out of the lineup while he recovered from surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb, Harper is 21 for 98 (.214/.319/.306) with three doubles, two home runs, 15 walks (three intentional) and 35 Ks in 30 games and 114 PAs.

Nats' skipper Matt Williams was asked about Harper's rough night and obvious frustration when he flew out to deep left field last night in the third of his four at bats and slammed his helmet at first.

"I'm okay with it," Williams said. "We've all been there. We've all been in that position where it looks like someone is throwing an aspirin up there. But it can turn quickly too and some days it just looks like a beach ball as well. So, I'm fine with him. He's working hard. He works hard every day. He's one of the first guys here to work and he's working through it. I'm good with it. He's grinding up there."

Harper's back in the lineup tonight, against left-hander Jon Niese, against whom he's 2 for 6 with two walks...

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