After his team’s eighth loss in its last 11 games, 2-0 to the Cardinals, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said there would be lineup changes in an effort to boost the sagging offense. The most significant for Wednesday’s afternoon game is Tyler Moore at first base and in the cleanup spot for Adam LaRoche, who went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts Tuesday night, stranding six base runners.
LaRoche is hitless in his last 10 at bats, with seven strikeouts, his average falling to .172 with three home runs and eight RBI. LaRoche, 33, is coming off his best season in the majors – 33 home runs, 100 RBI, and a .271 average. He got off to a better start last season, hitting .333 with three home runs and 16 RBI through the Nats’ first 20 games.
With St. Louis (12-8) pitching left-hander Jaime Garcia (1-1, 3.22), the Nats will have another right-handed hitter in the lineup in Moore, who is hitting .158 in 19 at-bats with four RBI.
Another change in today’s lineup for the Nats has more to do with the workload of a catcher. Jhonatan Solano will get his first start, subbing for Kurt Suzuki, who was 1-for-3 last night and is hitting .250.
Stephen Strasburg (1-3, 2.96) starts today for the Nats trying to snap his three-game losing streak, which matches the longest of his career. He dropped consecutive starts last June/July at Colorado, at Atlanta, and at home to the Rockies, but rebounded by going 6-2 the rest of the way.