Game 129 lineups: Nats vs. Athletics

Would you believe the Athletics have never played at Nationals Park before? That’s right, the last time the A’s were in D.C. was June 9, 2005, when Liván Hernández tossed eight strong innings on 127 pitches, Nick Johnson cleared the bases with a three-run double and Chad Cordero pitched the ninth for his 17th save in a 4-3 victory at RFK Stadium. So, yeah, it’s been a while.

These teams finally meet again here owning the two worst records in the majors. In the past, that might’ve actually put some added weight to these games, as something of a battle for the No. 1 draft pick. But Major League Baseball’s new draft lottery gives the teams with the three worst records at season’s end the same odds of landing the No. 1 pick (and it’s still only a 16.5 percent chance). So, there’s no valid reason to be rooting for the Nationals to lose the next three nights, because it won’t make any difference in their draft positioning.

Erick Fedde gets the ball tonight for his second start since returning from shoulder inflammation. The right-hander was really pleased with his outing one week ago in Seattle, when he allowed two runs over five innings, striking out six and showing off a nice curveball that he said felt better than it had in a long time. He’ll look to keep that going tonight and build up his pitch count from the restricted total of 81 he was at last week.

The Nats lineup against A’s left-hander Cole Irvin features Lane Thomas in the leadoff spot and CJ Abrams at the bottom. It’s the first time Abrams has hit ninth since joining the club. Perhaps Davey Martinez is trying to take some pressure off the rookie, who is just 6-for-44 since his promotion from Triple-A Rochester.

Be aware there is a line of thunderstorms approaching from the west. It’s not a question of if it will hit us, it’s only a question of when it’s going to happen. Let's hope it’s early enough to allow the game to begin as scheduled at 7:05 p.m. Stay tuned.

Nationals Park

Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM,
Weather: Thunderstorms, 77 degrees, wind 9 mph out to right field

LF Lane Thomas
RF Joey Meneses
1B Luke Voit
DH Nelson Cruz
C Keibert Ruiz
2B Luis García
3B Ildemaro Vargas
CF Victor Robles
SS CJ Abrams

RHP Erick Fedde

LF Tony Kemp
RF Seth Brown
C Sean Murphy
DH Stephen Vogt
1B Dermis Garcia
3B Vimael Machin
2B Jonah Bride
CF Cal Stevenson
SS Nick Allen

LHP Cole Irvin

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