Game 143 lineups: Nats vs. Braves

And now ... it’s time to play out the string. Or possibly not. The Nationals take the field tonight for the first time as 2017 National League East champs, so technically nothing is at stake. Except for those wacky Dodgers, who have lost 11 in a row and now only lead the Nats by 3 1/2 games for the best record in the league. Which means there may be more at stake over these final 19 games than anyone expected.

Up first, it’s tonight’s opener of a three-game series against the Braves, who did the Nationals a solid late Sunday afternoon by rallying to beat the Marlins in extra innings and put an end to the division race. We’ll see if Dusty Baker puts his regulars out there for this game against Julio Teheran after most of them have enjoyed 48 hours off.

Gio-Gonzalez-throw-white-sidebar.jpgGio Gonzalez will be on the mound, and the first out he records will be an important one. That will get his innings count up to 180, at which point his 2018 option will officially kick in at $12 million. Given how well he’s pitching this season, the Nationals certainly won’t complain when that happens.

ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 186/869, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 73 degrees, wind 6 mph right field to left field

NATIONALS (88-54)
SS Trea Turner
RF Howie Kendrick
2B Daniel Murphy
1B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Anthony Rendon
LF Adam Lind
CF Michael A. Taylor
C Matt Wieters
LHP Gio Gonzalez

BRAVES (64-78)
CF Ender Inciarte
2B Ozzie Albies
1B Freddie Freeman
LF Matt Kemp
RF Nick Markakis
C Kurt Suzuki
3B Johan Camargo
SS Dansby Swanson
RHP Julio Teheran

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