By Chris Lingebach

The Nationals have announced their NLDS Game 1 lineup vs. the Cubs, with one big ole heaping surprise near the top.

After months of Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier harrumphing and even outright begging on the air for Harper — or any of Washington’s better hitters — to bat second in the order, as opposed to, say, Ryan Raburn or Wilmer Difo…

Related: Rizzo Addresses Batting Order

Months of Paulsen persistently tweeting through it, questioning daily lineup decisions, and then grumbling about it the next morning on his radio show, demanding justice be served in the name of Lineup Optimization: “I want more at-bats for my best hitters!”

Related: Grant Paulsen Is Over This

Being so befuddled about it all, Paulsen eventually walked over to Nats Park to question Dusty Baker in person about it, which led to some awkward on-air infighting and a heavy accusation that Paulsen made the story about himself.

(My personal opinion, not that you asked: all that griping actually introduced a blooming generation of Nats fans to nuanced baseball discussions, discussions they may not have otherwise considered, which in the end is a win.)

In the end, when it matters most, Dusty Baker goes with Bryce Harper hitting second.

Dusty always laughs last.

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter

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