With six games remaining in the regular season after Monday, the strategy narrows Harper’s possible number of at-bats before the playoffs begin even further.
Asked how many at-bats he’d like Harper to accumulate before Game 1 of the National League Division Series, Baker said he wasn’t sure.
The 38-year-old will bat fifth as the Nationals employ a shorthanded lineup without Daniel Murphy or Anthony Rendon in it.
NATIONALS (94-61) Trea Turner SS Wilmer Difo 3B Ryan Zimmerman 1B Adam Lind LF Jayson Werth RF Michael A. Taylor CF Matt Wieters C Adrian Sanchez 2B A.J.
PHILLIES (62-94) Cesar Hernandez 2B Freddy Galvis SS Nick Williams RF Rhys Hoskins 1B Aaron Altherr LF Odubel Herrera CF Maikel Franco 3B Andrew Knapp C Aaron Nola RHP
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