Game 1 lineups: Nats vs. Braves

The day has arrived. At last. It required four postponements, four positive tests for COVID-19, nine other players and staff members placed into quarantine and three straight days of negative tests for everyone else, but the Nationals are finally going to open their 2021 season this afternoon.

They will do so not against the Mets, but the Braves, who already are 0-3 after a rough weekend in Philadelphia. And they will do so not with the lineup anybody anticipated a week ago, but with a batting order cobbled together by Davey Martinez and featuring the best players he had available to him.

What that looks like: The top half of the lineup doesn't look all that unusual, with Victor Robles leading off, followed by Trea Turner (who apparently was cleared to play late Monday), Juan Soto, Ryan Zimmerman and Starlin Castro. The bottom half of the lineup features some lesser-known names: Hernán Pérez at second base, Andrew Stevenson in left field and newly signed Jonathan Lucroy behind the plate.

"It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be," Martinez said when asked about the process of coming up with his batting order.

Thumbnail image for Scherzer-Fires-White-Opener-Sidebar.jpgHere's one person who is exactly where he was supposed to be all along: Max Scherzer on the mound making the sixth opening day start of his career. The right-hander is going to be extra-amped up after waiting around an extra five days to pitch, and he's going to have to harness that adrenaline, especially in the top of the first against a tenacious Braves lineup.

We don't know what to expect from the Nationals lineup, and to a lesser extent the bullpen, today. But their best path to victory is obvious: An outstanding start by Scherzer, making life easier on the rest of the reconfigured Nats.

You, of course, can watch it all live on MASN2, including the pregame ceremony that will include player introductions, the presentation of Soto's various 2020 awards and the re-raising of the 2019 World Series championship flag. Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m.

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB Network (outside D.C. market),
Radio: 106.7 FM,
Weather: Mostly sunny, 73 degrees, wind 6 mph in from left field

CF Victor Robles
SS Trea Turner
RF Juan Soto
1B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Starlin Castro
2B Hernán Pérez
LF Andrew Stevenson
C Jonathan Lucroy
RHP Max Scherzer

RF Ronald Acuña Jr.
2B Ozzie Albies
1B Freddie Freeman
LF Marcell Ozuna
C Travis d'Arnaud
SS Dansby Swanson
3B Austin Riley
CF Cristian Pache
LHP Drew Smyly

Turner cleared to play, nine veterans placed on IL
Nationals announce roster moves

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