NLCS Game 3 lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals

You couldn't conjure up a better forecast for the first National League Championship Series game played in the District of Columbia. There isn't a cloud in the sky. The temperature at gametime will be in the upper 60s, dropping into the low 60s later in the evening. This is what October is supposed to look and feel like.

Nationals Park should be rocking tonight, starting with the pregame festivities that will include the ceremonial first pitch thrown out by Parker Staples, a pediatric cancer patient who also happened to throw out the first pitch on May 24, a date that anyone who follows this team knows has some significance. The national anthem will be sung by the great Dwight Clyde (D.C.) Washington. The lineups will be announced by Michael Buffer. (Yes, the boxing ring announcer.) Buckle up, folks this is going to be something.

Robles-Diving-Catch-Blue-Sidebar.jpgThe big lineup news: Victor Robles is back after missing five games with a strained right hamstring. As promised by manager Davey Martinez, Robles is playing now that he's healthy, bumping Michael A. Taylor back to the bench. Yes, Taylor played well in the interim, but Robles brings a lot more to the table, and now Taylor can be a contributor off the bench, particularly as a pinch-runner.

The Nationals may need to manufacture runs tonight, because they're facing an elite young right-hander in Jack Flaherty. In 17 starts since the All-Star break, the rookie has allowed a total of 14 earned runs, striking out 140 over 112 1/3 innings. They're going to have to be patient and try to drive Flaherty's pitch count up, hoping to get to the St. Louis bullpen as early as possible.

Of course, the Nats have got a pretty good right-hander on the mound themselves tonight. Aside from those two early home runs in Game 5 at Dodger Stadium, Stephen Strasburg has been brilliant in the postseason. He's 2-0 with a 2.40 ERA in three games this month, with 21 strikeouts and one walk in 15 innings. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:38 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM,
Weather: Clear, 67 degrees, wind 5 mph out to center field

SS Trea Turner
RF Adam Eaton
3B Anthony Rendon
LF Juan Soto
2B Howie Kendrick
1B Ryan Zimmerman
C Kurt Suzuki
CF Victor Robles
RHP Stephen Strasburg

CF Dexter Fowler
2B Kolten Wong
1B Paul Goldschmidt
LF Marcell Ozuna
RF José Martínez
C Yadier Molina
3B Tommy Edman
SS Paul DeJong
RHP Jack Flaherty

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