As promised, Hardy sits out series finale

With J.J. Hardy getting a break — manager Ken Macha has been forecasting this one for days, so the trade conspiracy theorists can relax — Craig Counsell slides over to shortstop and Wednesday hero Casey McGehee gets the start at third base.

The Brewers need to win behind Yovani Gallardo today to avoid an embarassing series loss, but Gallardo faces a tall task. Milwaukee is 11-22 in day games, with losses in 12 of 13 games and six straight.

The lineups (updated at 12:20 p.m. CT with some Nationals changes):

Nyjer Morgan  CF
Alberto Gonzalez  SS
Nick Johnson 1B
Adam Dunn  LF
Ryan Zimmerman  3B
Willie Harris  RF
Wil Nieves  C
Anderson Hernandez  2B
J.D. Martin  RHP

Felipe Lopez  2B
Craig Counsell SS
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Corey Hart  RF
Mike Cameron  CF
Casey McGehee  3B
Jason Kendall  C
Yovani Gallardo  RHP

One other note: Today’s home plate umpire is “Cowboy Joe” West, who will be working his 4,000th Major League game.He umpired his first National League game on Sept. 14, 1976 and five years later, at 28, he became the youngest NL ump to work a League Championship Series.

West is a man of many endeavors; he released his second album last year, he designed and sells chest protectors and other equipment for umps and plays on a celebrity golf tour.

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