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Washington Nationals’ lineup for 2nd of 3 vs St. Louis Cardinals in Busch Stadium

Dusty Baker’s Nationals look to bounce back from an 8-1 loss to the Cardinals in last night’s series opener.

Washington Nationals v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

In 68 games and 315 plate appearances this season, Trea Turner had a 279/.324/.422 line, 13 doubles, four triples, seven home runs, 53 runs scored and 35 stolen bases.

In spite of the fact that he missed ten games on the DL with a hamstring issue, the 23-year-old infielder has the third-most plate appearances on the team, behind only Nats’ second baseman Daniel Murphy (324 in 74 games) and Bryce Harper (328 in 73) in the middle of the Nationals’ order.

Dusty Baker talked before last night’s series opener in St. Louis about the amount of at bats a leadoff hitter gets per game as part of a discussion about which player would bat first with Turner (fractured right wrist) on the DL for the next two months or so.

“Trea was out igniter,” Baker said, “and as he went, our offense usually followed closely behind him, so we’ve just got to find out which guys can handle in the leadoff spot, cause that’s such a very important spot, so I’ll probably mix and match, depends on who’s on the mound, if the guy is better right/left, and what their bullpen consists of, because at the top of the order you’re going to get four or five at bats, so we need those guys to get on so the middle of our lineup can continue to thrive.”

Last night, Brian Goodwin got the leadoff spot in Baker’s lineup, but as he said, he’s going to mix and match, and he told reporters that he spoke to Goodwin and one of the other options he plans to use, Michael A. Taylor, about what he expects from the two of them should they be penciled in atop the lineup.

His message?

“I just want you to do what you’ve been doing, don’t try to take a lot of pitches or cause you’re here and there, you just play ball, like you’ve been,” Baker explained.

“I had a talk with them last night, so like I said, one day it will be Michael, one day it would be Goodwin and so I just want them to just be themselves and just play.”

Today it’s ??? atop the lineup for the second of three with the Cardinals in St. Louis.