Game 73 lineups: Nats at Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas – Hello from Globe Life Field, the only active major league ballpark the Nationals have never previously visited (not to mention the only one your humble beat writer has never previously visited). For the first time in 17 years, the Nats face the Rangers on the road, and there are all kinds of connections to this matchup.

For example, Paolo Espino made six relief appearances for the Rangers in 2017, three years before making it back to the big leagues with the Nationals. The veteran right-hander gets the start tonight, his third since being added to the rotation. After throwing 89 pitches in five innings last week against the Phillies, Espino should be good to approach the 100-pitch mark tonight, making him a full-fledged starter.

Starting for the Rangers, meanwhile, is Dane Dunning, whose name may sound familiar. That’s because he was one of the Nationals’ first-round picks in the 2016 draft (along with Carter Kieboom) and then was included with fellow pitching prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López in that winter’s blockbuster trade with the White Sox for Adam Eaton. Dunning has had a bit of a winding path since, undergoing Tommy John surgery in the minors, making his major league debut for Chicago in 2020 but then getting traded to Texas for Lance Lynn. He’s now an established member of the Rangers rotation, entering tonight’s start with a 1-5 record, 4.38 ERA and 1.329 WHIP in 14 outings.

And then of course we can’t ignore the biggest connection between these franchises. At the end of the 1971 season, Senators owner Bob Short moved the club here to Texas and renamed it the Rangers, a decision that still stirs up all kinds of emotion from longtime D.C. baseball fans. But let’s at least acknowledge this: If not for that move all those years ago, the 2019 World Series would not have been won by the Washington Nationals, right?

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at TEXAS RANGERS
Where:
Globe Life Field

Gametime: 8:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Indoors

NATIONALS
2B César Hernández
RF Juan Soto
1B Josh Bell
DH Nelson Cruz
SS Luis García
C Keibert Ruiz
LF Yadiel Hernandez
3B Maikel Franco
CF Victor Robles

RHP Paolo Espino

RANGERS
2B Marcus Semien

SS Corey Seager
CF Adolis García
RF Kole Calhoun
DH Mitch Garver
C Jonah Heim
1B Nathanial Lowe
3B Ezequiel Duran
LF Brad Miller

RHP Dane Dunning

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