Game 94 lineups: Nats vs. Braves

The first half of the season comes to a close today, and not a moment too soon for a Nationals club that has sunk to new depths previously thought unreachable. They enter today’s game on a nine-game losing streak (their first since 2008), having also lost nine straight to the Braves over the last month, having lost 15 of their last 16 games overall and owning the majors’ worst record at 30-63. (Oh, and there’s also that little matter about Juan Soto.)

So it’s against that backdrop they’ll try to snap the losing streak and somehow head into the All-Star break on a positive note. But to do that, they’ll need to score a lot more runs than they’ve been scoring, especially early. They’ll have to do that against Spencer Strider, the Atlanta rookie who completely overwhelmed them in a start here last month. So, good luck with that.

And then to add one more challenge to the afternoon, the Nationals are going with a bullpen game today. This is their sixth game in five days, so they were either going to have to call up a fill-in starter from the minors or go with all bullpen arms. They could’ve activated Josh Rogers off the 15-day injured list, but the lefty will be making another rehab start today for Triple-A Rochester. So they’ll have to make do with a bunch of guys out of their bullpen. On the bright side, they don’t have another game to play until Friday at Arizona, so Davey Martinez doesn’t have to worry about holding anyone back.

ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where:
Nationals Park

Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Chance of storms late, 85 degrees, wind 6 mph out to center field

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

RHP Erasmo Ramirez

BRAVES
DH Ronald Acuña
SS Dansby Swanson
1B Matt Olson
3B Riley Austin
LF Eddie Rosario
RF Adam Duvall
C William Contreras
2B Robinson Canó
CF Michael Harris II

RHP Spencer Strider

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