Game 3 lineups: Nats vs. Braves

It’s not particularly fair to MacKenzie Gore, who takes the mound today wearing a Nationals uniform for the first time in a regular season game. The left-hander shouldn’t have to deal with any added pressure in his long-awaited club debut. But make no mistake: The Nats really need him to pitch well.

When you drop the first two games of the season by a combined score of 14-3, you need to ask your Game 3 starter to put together a really nice outing. So the pressure most certainly is on Gore this afternoon against a tough Braves lineup that already torched Patrick Corbin and Josiah Gray.

Gore, one of the centerpiece young players the Nationals received from the Padres in the Juan Soto trade, was unable to pitch for his new team last year due to elbow inflammation. He did make it through the entire spring healthy, and looked quite sharp in his final Grapefruit League start against the Yankees. But as Gray can tell you, there’s a huge difference between spring training and the regular season. Gore will need to be in peak form today.

The Nats could certainly help their young starter out by providing him some early run support for a change. They’ll try to get something brewing against a pitcher none of them have seen before in the big leagues: Jared Shuster. The 24-year-old lefty (a first-round pick in the 2020 draft) makes his major league debut this afternoon; he struck out 145 batters in 139 1/3 minor-league innings last season.

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM,
Weather: Sunny, 52 degrees, wind 16 mph in from left field

RF Lane Thomas
DH Joey Meneses
3B Jeimer Candelario
1B Dominic Smith
C Keibert Ruiz
LF Alex Call
SS Ildemaro Vargas
2B Luis García
CF Victor Robles

LHP MacKenzie Gore

RF Ronald Acuña Jr.
1B Matt Olson
3B Austin Riley
2B Ozzie Albies
DH Travis d’Arnaud
LF Marcell Ozuna
CF Michael Harris II
C Sean Murphy
SS Orlando Arcia

LHP Jared Shuster

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