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Washington Nationals’ lineup for series opener with New York Mets: Dusty Baker’s youngsters start again...

After a late night flight from Atlanta, the Washington Nationals are sending a youngster-filled lineup out against the New York Mets...

Washington Nationals v New York Mets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Jayson Werth started the series finale win Atlanta with good career numbers against Braves’ knuckler R.A. Dickey (13 for 29, .448/.543/.759, 3 2B, 2 HRs, 6 BB, 4 Ks), but he had a rough night at the plate in SunTrust Park, going 0 for 3 with two Ks against the knuckleballer and 0 for 4 with three Ks overall.

Dusty Baker told reporters, after what ended up a 3-2 loss, that he didn’t really read too much into the veteran outfielder’s bad night, which ended with a third strikeout against reliever Arodys Vizcaino.

“Just tonight it doesn’t really count,” Baker said. “The knuckleballer really doesn’t count, because there are certain guys I know they don’t even play when a knuckleballer — the great Joe Morgan, he’s in the Hall of Fame, he didn’t play when Phil Niekro was pitching because he didn’t want to mess up his stroke.

“And so we’re trying to get Jayson’s endurance up, get his legs right, so he’ll be fine just as long as he keeps getting at bats and as long as he feels well.”

In the 16 games since he’s returned from a 75-game stint on the Disabled List with a fractured bone in his left foot, Werth is 7 for 57 (.123/.190/.228) with three doubles and a home run in 63 plate appearances, drawing five walks and striking out 16 times.

Werth still has 10 games to get things going at the plate before the start of the NLDS.

Well, nine, or however many he plays down the stretch, but he and the other veterans are getting the night off tonight to rest up after last night’s late night flight from Atlanta to New York for the start of the three-game set in Citi Field this weekend.

“Our guys have been busting it,” Baker said after what he acknowledged was a sloppy loss to the Braves, “and you can see a lot of times when you’re not crisp that you’re a little off mentally, so that’s why I’m going to give all these guys a day off tomorrow, because these guys have been busting it, and that late get-in, which we’re used to but you still don’t like it.”