Game 154 lineups: Nats vs. Mets (updated)

The Nationals could be eliminated from the National League East race tonight. That’s not a scenario anyone anticipated back in February (or April or June or maybe even July or August, for that matter) but it’s the reality of the situation. The Nats are eight games back of the Braves in the division with nine to play. That means the elimination number is two, which means a Washington loss and an Atlanta win make it official. (The elimination number for the NL wild card race, for what it’s worth, is three, so that can’t happen tonight.)

What can the Nationals do tonight to delay the inevitable? Beat Jacob deGrom. Good luck with that. The Mets ace enters with a 1.78 ERA and 0.950 WHIP, and though he currently owns a losing record at 8-9, consensus opinion is that he’s currently ahead of Max Scherzer in the Cy Young Award race. So a big performance by the Nats lineup tonight would also help Scherzer’s case, if it comes to that.

Ross-Throws-Red-Sidebar.jpgJoe Ross, meanwhile, makes his second official start and third actual start back from Tommy John surgery. That first one, which lasted only two innings because of rain, didn’t count and won’t show up anywhere. But the right-hander of course did throw those 25 pitches, and looked impressive doing it. He looked strong again last week against the Cubs, allowing two runs over five innings.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. NEW YORK METS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 77 degrees, wind 10 mph out to left field

NATIONALS
CF Victor Robles
SS Trea Turner
RF Bryce Harper
3B Anthony Rendon
LF Juan Soto
1B Ryan Zimmerman
2B Wilmer Difo
C Spencer Kieboom
RHP Joe Ross

METS
SS Amed Rosario
2B Jeff McNeil
LF Michael Conforto
RF Jay Bruce
CF Brandon Nimmo
1B Dominic Smith
3B Todd Frazier
C Devin Mesoraco
RHP Jacob deGrom

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