Game 154 lineups: Nats at Pirates

PITTSBURGH - It has cooled off considerably here in the last 24 hours. It was actually pretty warm and muggy yesterday, but now it's cool and breezy. It almost feels like, you know, fall. Which, of course, it now is.

It also feels like the kind of weather you associate with postseason baseball. So perhaps tonight is the night the Nationals officially ensure they'll be part of the postseason. The magic number to clinch the National League East remains two - they did technically clinch a tie for a wild card berth last night, but let's just ignore that - so they'll need to pull off the same double play they needed last night: A win over the Pirates and a Mets loss to the Phillies.

Beyond the obvious stakes, this also is a big night for Joe Ross, who makes his second start back from shoulder inflammation, looking to build upon his three-inning, 51-pitch outing in Atlanta on Sunday. Ross only gets one more of these after tonight before the playoffs, so he best make the most of the opportunity.

Former Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova starts for Pittsburgh, and he's been excellent since his midseason acquisition (5-1, 2.93 ERA in nine starts), though he was roughed up by the Reds his last time out. Dusty Baker is going with the same lineup as the series opener, with Stephen Drew again filling in for the injured Daniel Murphy ...

Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM, XM 184/869,
Weather: Mostly clear, 72 degrees, wind 6 mph out to right field

CF Trea Turner
LF Jayson Werth
RF Bryce Harper
3B Anthony Rendon
C Wilson Ramos
2B Stephen Drew
1B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Danny Espinosa
RHP Joe Ross

PIRATES (77-76)
2B Adam Frazier
RF Josh Bell
CF Andrew McCutchen
3B Jung Ho Kang
1B John Jaso
SS Sean Rodriguez
LF Matt Joyce
C Francisco Cervelli
RHP Ivan Nova

Sunday's starter could depend on tonight's outcome
More on Petit, Gonzalez, Harper and Zimmerman

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