Game 72 lineups: Nats vs. Diamondbacks

Summer has arrived in the nation’s capital, a conclusion you probably already drew for yourself upon stepping outside at any point today. It’s hot, it’s muggy and that means the ball is probably going to start flying at Nationals Park for the next few months.

That’s not a bad thing for the Nationals, who wouldn’t mind hitting a few more homers. Provided they keep giving up as few as they have so far this season. They’ve hit only 58 through 71 games (third-fewest in the majors) but they’ve given up only 59 (second-fewest).

Jake Irvin has done a nice job keeping the ball in the yard, serving up 0.8 home runs per nine innings, a big improvement from last year’s 1.5 rate. He’s also been great at keeping the ball in the strike zone, reducing his walk rate from 4.0 to 1.7 per nine innings. The right-hander will look to keep that up tonight against the Diamondbacks, who may be the defending National League champs but enter this series a half-game behind the Nats in a wide-open wild card race full of teams hovering just below the .500 mark.

Arizona’s struggles so far this season have been on the pitching front, and that includes tonight’s starter: Slade Cecconi. The 24-year-old rookie, a first-round pick in 2020, is 1-5 with a 6.70 ERA. And notably, he’s served up 12 homers in only 44 1/3 innings. Perhaps the Nationals lineup can take advantage of that on a hot summer night in D.C.

Nationals Park
Gametime: 6:45 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM, 88.7 FM (Spanish),
Weather: Partly cloudy, 89 degrees, wind 11 mph out to left field

SS CJ Abrams
RF Lane Thomas
LF Jesse Winker
2B Luis García Jr.
1B Joey Meneses
DH Eddie Rosario
C Keibert Ruiz
3B Nick Senzel
CF Jacob Young

RHP Jake Irvin

CF Corbin Carroll
2B Ketel Marte
DH Joc Pederson
1B Christian Walker
LF Lourdes Guerriel Jr.
RF Jake McCarthy
3B Eugenio Suarez
C Gabriel Moreno
SS Geraldo Perdomo

RHP Slade Cecconi

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