Game 59 lineups: Giants at Nats

Well, the Nationals will try again tonight to send Max Scherzer to the mound to open a four-game series against the Giants.

The Nationals have a ragged bullpen, even with an unscheduled off-day from Thursday night's rainout, and need length from Scherzer, and that has a good chance of happening.

For his career, the right-hander is 4-5 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.131 WHIP in 10 career starts against San Francisco. In nine of his 12 starts this season, Scherzer has thrown at least six innings, and he's gone seven, six and 7 2/3 innings, going 1-2 with a 2.18 ERA and a .174 batting average against.

The current Giants have a cumulative .151/.192/.333 slash line lifetime off Scherzer with 35 strikeouts in 93 at-bats. Most of the damage has been done by shortstop Brandon Crawford, who has torched him for a .400 average (6-for-15) with three doubles, two homers and five RBIs. Only one other Giant has a homer off Scherzer, but third baseman Evan Longoria is on the injured list with a left shoulder sprain (and he's 2-for-19 against the righty). Catcher Buster Posey is 1-for-12, first baseman Brandon Belt is 3-for-12 and infielder Wilmer Flores is 0-for-17.

Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani owns a 2-1 career record against the Nationals, with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.364 WHIP in eight outings, including five starts. But he's been one of the Giants' hottest pitchers, going 5-1 in his last six starts, which makes his 5.28 ERA in that span easier to overlook.

Thumbnail image for Bell-Safe-at-Home-White-Sidebar.jpgThe Nationals have a cumulative .266/.321/.435 slash line off DeSclafani. First baseman Josh Bell is 9-for-23 off him, with two homers and five RBIs, and third baseman Starlin Castro is 6-for-19 with a solo homer. Jordy Mercer's lifetime .308 average (4-for-15) earns him a start at second base over slumping Josh Harrison, whose average has fallen from .285 on June 1 to .257 after a 2-for-24 bender.

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM,
Weather: Chance of rain, 68 degrees, wind 11 mph in from right field

SS Trea Turner
RF Juan Soto
1B Josh Bell
LF Kyle Schwarber
C Yan Gomes
3B Starlin Castro
2B Jordy Mercer
CF Victor Robles
RHP Max Scherzer

RF LaMonte Wade Jr.
1B Brandon Belt
C Buster Posey
SS Brandon Crawford
CF Steven Duggar
2B Donovan Solano
LF Mike Tauchman
3B Jason Vosler
RHP Anthony DeSclafani

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Friday morning Nats Q&A

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