MILWAUKEE -- As far as Davey Johnson is concerned, he can't go wrong filling out the fourth and fifth spots of his lineup card.
Adam LaRoche has started at the cleanup spot 63 times this season, including Thursday's series opener against the Brewers at Miller Park. But Michael Morse has seen 27 starts in the fourth spot, including five of Washington's last six games. LaRoche and Morse have switched back and forth between batting cleanup and fifth since Morse came off the disabled list at the beginning of June.
"Either way I go, I can't make a mistake," Johnson said. "They're two big threats right there."
Johnson said who he bats cleanup behind third baseman Ryan Zimmerman depends partially on how many left-handed relievers the opposing club carries, as well as how those lefties attack hitters. But there's another reason, too, related to the .276/.327/.484 batting line the Nationals' five-hole hitters have put together this season.
"Sometimes, I just think I'll swap them out because the guy in the five-hole was the one doing all the hitting for a long time, and I wanted to give the other guy a chance to be in that hot spot," Johnson said. "That was the one that was doing all the bashing."