Game 157 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies

Anibal Sanchez throw blue back away

What do you say we try this again?

The first attempt to play a day-night doubleheader at Nationals Park this weekend didn’t work. Though the Phillies beat the Nats 5-1 on Friday afternoon, the nightcap was postponed about 30 minutes before scheduled first pitch. So now they’ll attempt to do it again today and tonight, despite the forecast still looking really bad.

The Nationals will go with Aníbal Sánchez in this afternoon’s opener, holding Tommy Romero for a potential nightcap. Sánchez has been on quite the roll over the last six weeks. Add up his last seven starts, and the 38-year-old is 3-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 0.932 WHIP. He hasn’t surrendered more than two runs or more than four hits in any of those seven starts, truly a run of dominance to wind down his season.

Kyle Gibson starts for the Phillies, with Noah Syndergaard held back for the nightcap. Gibson faced the Nationals back on Aug. 5 and dominated, allowing one run on two hits over eight sparkling innings, though he was roughed up by the Blue Jays and Braves his last two starts.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where:
Nationals Park

Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Rain, 60 degrees, wind 16 mph in from center field

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Game 157 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies

Luke Voit swing cherry blossom

One down, three to go. Hopefully, this is the last time this season the Nationals will play a doubleheader as they try to get tonight’s nightcap in before the remnants of Hurricane Ian hit our area. Unfortunately, the forecast doesn’t look good, even though I’m furiously knocking on wood.

The Nationals have been dreadful against National League East opponents, which may play into the Phillies’ advantage this weekend. The Nats are now 2-14 against the Phils this season after this afternoon’s 5-1 loss. The Phillies are clinging onto a one-game lead over the Brewers for the National League’s final wild card spot.

If we are able to play baseball tonight, Tommy Romero will make his Nationals debut after being claimed off waivers from the Rays on Aug. 25. He was brought up as the Nats’ 29th man for the doubleheader, and although technically available for both games, is scheduled to start the nightcap. The 25-year-old right-hander went 1-0 with a 7.71 ERA and 1.714 WHIP in 4 ⅔ innings over three appearances (one start) with the Rays. He posted a 2.33 ERA and 1.138 WHIP in six games (two starts) with Triple-A Rochester.

Noah Syndergaard will make his 10th appearance, ninth start, for the Phillies tonight. Since arriving in a trade with the Angels, the right-hander is 4-2 with a 4.59 ERA and 1.388 WHIP over 49 innings. His last outing was just his second relief appearance of his career (and first since 2016) as he pitched two scoreless innings against the Blue Jays.

Syndergaard has struggled against the Nats in his two starts against them this year, giving up 11 hits and four runs in five innings on Aug. 4 and eight hits and three runs in six innings on Sept. 9. Both of those games were at Citizens Bank Park and the Phillies won each. 

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Orioles and Yankees lineups

Adley Rutschman Cedric Mullins black away

NEW YORK – A weekend series at Yankee Stadium brings so much baggage to the Orioles.

They could be eliminated from the wild card race. They could surrender Aaron Judge’s record-setting 62nd home run of the season.

This is a unique visit that didn’t turn out as they wanted.

The Mariners won again last night and the Rays lost, leaving the Orioles five games behind the last wild card and with their magic number for elimination down to one. They still need a win to reach 81 and guarantee their first non-losing season since 2016.

The Orioles have lost five of their last six games, including three straight in Boston to close out the penultimate road series of the year.

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Game 156 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies

victor robles swings white

And away we go …

It’s the final home series of the season, or at least it’s supposed to be the final home series of the season. Rain and the Phillies’ standing in the wild card race could force everyone to come back here Thursday to play however many games still need to be played to decide the race.

There’s plenty of time to worry about how the weekend is going to play out, but here’s the safest bet of all: Today’s first game should be completed with no issues. It’s Erick Fedde on the mound for what could be his final start of the season, facing a Phillies lineup that roughed him up for four runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings earlier this month.

The Phillies, who have had all kinds of trouble scoring runs, desperately need a quality pitching performance from Bailey Falter, who makes his third start against the Nats this year. The lefty has allowed a total of five runs on 11 hits in nine innings, though he has struck out 10.

Both teams are allowed a 29th player for the doubleheader, and the Nationals are using theirs on right-hander Tommy Romero, who was called up from Triple-A Rochester. Claimed off waivers from the Rays last month, Romero had a 2.33 ERA in six games (two starts) for the Red Wings and has intrigued club officials. He's available to pitch either game today, if needed.

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Orioles and Red Sox lineups

Mullins Santander celebrate gray

BOSTON – The Orioles play their final game at Fenway Park today with Gunnar Henderson at third base and Kyle Stowers in left field.

Ryan Mountcastle, who struck out four times last night as the designated hitter, is playing first base.

Cedric Mullins is in center field and Austin Hays is in right. Anthony Santander is the designated hitter.

Terrin Vavra goes to the bench, with Rougned Odor playing second base.

Mike Baumann stays in the rotation and makes his third major league start. He went four innings and threw 58 pitches while allowing two runs against the Astros.

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Game 155 lineups: Nats vs. Braves

josiah gray pitches white

It hasn’t been a pleasant experience for the Nationals to face the Braves this season. (Not that it’s been much more pleasant to face anybody else in the NL East this season.) Tonight, they get one final shot at beating the defending World Series champions and perhaps dealing them a blow in their attempt to surpass the Mets to win the division this year.

It’s Josiah Gray back on the mound for what again could be his final start of 2022, though there still remains a need for somebody to pitch next week’s final series in New York, so don’t just assume this is the end of the road. Regardless, the 24-year-old right-hander would love to wrap things up on a positive note, because it’s been a difficult September for him (18 earned runs, 25 hits, 11 walks, five homers in 19 1/3 innings).

Gray has actually faced the Braves only once this season, way back on April 13 at Truist Park. He tossed five scoreless innings, allowing only one hit. A lot, of course, has changed since then.

Jake Odorizzi starts for Atlanta. The Nats saw him this spring when he was with the Astros, but this is the first time they’ve faced him since he was acquired by the Braves. Davey Martinez goes with a lineup that again includes CJ Abrams as No. 2 hitter, with Luis García returning to play second base after sitting out Tuesday’s game and Riley Adams back behind the plate.

ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where:
Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 66 degrees, wins 9 mph left field to right field

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Orioles and Red Sox lineups

urias dugout gray

BOSTON – Ramón Urías has returned to the Orioles lineup tonight as the third baseman, with rookie Gunnar Henderson moving to shortstop.

Urías is receiving treatment for spasms between his neck and right shoulder.

Rookie Terrin Vavra remains on the bench, but his left hamstring is much better and he’s available to play. Vavra felt it grab Sunday while running the bases and came out of the game.

Anthony Santander is the left fielder, and Austin Hays is in right. Rookie Kyle Stowers goes from left field last night to the designated hitter role tonight.

Kyle Bradish is making the 22nd start of his rookie season. He tossed 8 2/3 scoreless innings with two hits, no walks and 10 strikeouts Thursday night against the Astros and will try to bring the same stuff to Fenway Park.

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Game 154 lineups: Nats vs. Braves

GettyImages-1415049802

The disparity between the Nationals and Braves has been on display all year long when these two teams face each other. The Nats are 4-13 against Atlanta in 2022, and while there are multiple reasons for that, it’s hard to ignore this fact: They’ve been out-homered by the staggering total of 38 to 14. That disparity only increased Monday night, when the Braves hit three more home runs during an 8-0 shutout victory in which both teams finished with six hits.

This is all to make the point that the Nationals might want to try to break out the power bats tonight against Kyle Muller, called up by the Braves from Triple-A Gwinnett to start this game. The Nats faced the lefty once last season, scoring three runs in 4 2/3 innings off him. He’s made only two big league starts this season, producing a 10.57 ERA.

If the Nationals can score some runs, perhaps Paolo Espino can deliver five solid innings, keep Atlanta in the ballpark and put himself in position to finally earn his first win of the year. This is Espino’s fourth start (fifth overall appearance) against the Braves this season, and he’s allowed 11 runs (nine earned) on 20 hits in 16 1/3 innings.

ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where:
Nationals Park

Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 67 degrees, wins 9 mph left field to right field

NATIONALS
RF Lane Thomas
SS CJ Abrams
1B Joey Meneses
DH Luke Voit
LF Alex Call
2B César Hernández
3B Ildemaro Vargas
CF Victor Robles
C Tres Barrera

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Game 153 lineups: Nats vs. Braves

CJ Abrams swing red home

The last full week of the regular season is here, and with 10 games against division rivals playing for postseason positions remaining on the schedule, the Nationals can have an effect on the October playoff picture.

Tonight begins a three-game set against the Braves, who beat the Nats two out of three last week in Atlanta. The Braves have already secured their spot in the postseason but are looking to gain ground on the Mets, who have a 1 ½ game lead in the National League East and are idle today before starting a home series against the Marlins tomorrow. Having struggled against divisional foes all season long, the Nats are just 4-12 against the Braves this year and 1-6 against them at Nationals Park. 

Cory Abbott will make his eighth start of the season tonight while still searching for his first major league win. He’s 0-3 with a 4.85 ERA over his 14 appearances on the season with a 5.70 ERA as a starter. His lone outing against the Braves came in his last start a week ago, when he allowed four runs with six hits and two walks over four innings at Truist Park.

Likewise, rookie right-hander Bryce Elder will make his second consecutive start against the Nats. He held them to just one run on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts over 5 ⅔ innings on Wednesday, a game in which the Nats rallied to win. Elder is 1-3 with a 3.38 ERA over his eight appearances, seven of which were starts.

ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB Network (outside of D.C. and Atlanta markets only), MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 The Fan, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 70 degrees, wind 7 mph left field to right field 

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Game 152 lineups: Nats at Marlins

Sanchez red

MIAMI – Though it’s been inevitable for a while now, the Nationals’ march to 100 losses nevertheless isn’t something anyone wanted to be a part of. Alas, the time has arrived to reach that unceremonious milestone, perhaps as soon as today if they can’t salvage one win this weekend against a Marlins team that has absolutely dominated them all season.

If they’re going to delay the inevitable for at least one more day, the Nats simply are going to need to score more runs than they have against this Miami pitching staff. How bad has it been? In 18 head-to-head games, they’ve scored an average of 2.55 runs, posting a .205/.279/.312 slash line. Is it any wonder they’ve gone 3-15 in those games?

Today’s Marlins starter looking to continue the trend is Edward Cabrera, who of course dominated the Nationals in his one previous outing against them this year: one run, two hits in six innings during a 12-2 win here on June 7.

Aníbal Sánchez starts for the Nats, and while that thought may have sent shivers down everyone’s spines earlier this summer, remarkably the veteran right-hander has become their most consistently effective starter down the stretch. Over his last six starts, Sánchez is 2-1 with a 1.53 ERA, having allowed a grand total of five runs on 14 hits over 29 1/3 innings. How about that?

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at MIAMI MARLINS
Where:
loanDepot Park
Gametime: 1:40 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Indoors

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Game 151 lineups: Nats at Marlins

Erick Fedde throws gray

MIAMI – It was only six days ago the Nationals faced Sandy Alcantara. The Marlins ace went the distance that afternoon at Nationals Park, tossing a complete game on only 103 pitches. The good news: The Nats managed seven hits off the right-hander. The bad news: They scored only one run. And because they were so aggressive, often putting the first or second pitch of an at-bat in play, they allowed him to keep his pitch count so low, he was able to cruise through nine innings.

So, what’s the strategy tonight at loanDepot Park? Continue to be aggressive and hope more of those hits produce runs? Or try to make Alcantara work and perhaps get him out of the game sooner and force the Marlins to go to their bullpen? There’s no right answer, of course. The Nats just have to hope they can find a way to beat the Cy Young Award favorite and avoid their 99th loss of the season.

Erick Fedde makes his 25th start of the year for the Nationals, his fourth against the Marlins. Historically, the right-hander has been successful against them, but he labored last weekend in D.C., allowing three runs on seven hits while throwing 87 pitches in only four innings before getting hooked. Fedde has got to find a way to be more efficient tonight to give his team a chance against Alcantara and Co.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at MIAMI MARLINS
Where:
loanDepot Park
Gametime: 6:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Indoors

NATIONALS
RF Lane Thomas
2B Luis García
1B Joey Meneses
DH Luke Voit
LF Alex Call
SS CJ Abrams
3B Ildemaro Vargas
CF Victor Robles
C Riley Adams 

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Game 150 lineups: Nats at Marlins

Josiah Gray throw gray back

MIAMI – Fresh off what I’m sure was a relaxing day off here in Miami, the Nationals open a three-game weekend series with the Marlins, their last chance to face a team that isn’t in the pennant race before the season ends.

The Nats took two of three from Miami last weekend in D.C. in one of their better performances during an improved September stretch. Their only loss came to Sandy Alcantara, and unfortunately they’ll have to face the presumptive National League Cy Young Award winner again Saturday. So that perhaps puts some added pressure to win tonight’s opener.

That means Josiah Gray needs to put together a solid outing, something he hasn’t done in a while. In three September starts so far, the right-hander has a 9.45 ERA, with 10 walks and five home runs allowed over only 13 1/3 innings. He hasn’t earned a win in any of his last 15 starts.

You would hope the spacious outfield here at loanDepot Park would help Gray keep the ball in the yard. So the key to success, then, may well be his ability to limit the walks that have so often plagued him this year.

The Nationals go up against Braxton Garrett, the rookie left-hander who enters with a 3.68 ERA in 14 big league starts. He faced them once before, on July 4 in D.C., where he allowed only one run on four hits over 7 1/3 impressive innings.

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Orioles lineup vs. Astros

Gunnar Henderson black

Gunnar Henderson stays at third base tonight as the Orioles try to win their third game in a row.

Manager Brandon Hyde is starting Ramón Urías at second base and using Jesús Aguilar as his designated hitter, with Kyle Stowers and Terrin Vavra on the bench – moves motivated by Astros right-hander José Urquidy being a reverse splits guy.

Austin Hays is in left field after entering last night’s game as a defensive replacement.

Anthony Santander is in right field and batting cleanup.

For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Adley Rutschman C
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Anthony Santander RF
Gunnar Henderson 3B
Jesús Aguilar DH
Ramón Urías 2B
Austin Hays LF
Jorge Mateo SS

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Game 149 lineups: Nationals at Braves

Game 149 lineups: Nationals at Braves

ATLANTA - Last night’s injury to Patrick Corbin shined an even brighter light on the Nationals’ missing pitching depth.

But it doesn’t get to the heart of the team’s central issue right now: lack of run production. 

The Nationals have scored just five total runs over their last three games, including two in each of the first two games of their series against the Braves. They haven’t left the yard since a four-homer game against the Marlins on Sept. 17.

After Joey Meneses’ four-hit day in the series opener Monday, no Nat collected more than one hit in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss. Washington went just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. 

Atlanta, meanwhile, clinched a postseason berth with last night’s win and the Brewers’ loss to the Mets. 

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Game 148 lineups: Nationals at Braves

Patrick Corbin throwing gray back

ATLANTA - It’s been an awfully long time since the Nationals have put together a complete offensive game. The Nats haven’t scored more than five runs in a game since a Sept. 8 blowout win in St. Louis. 

A day after Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara tossed a one-run complete game in Washington, the Nats' bats sputtered again in Atlanta last night, plating just two runs on nine hits in a 5-2 loss.

Optimism comes in the form of the opposing pitcher, veteran Charlie Morton, who has been prone to surrendering the longball this season. The 38-year-old has allowed 24 homers in 28 starts, tied for sixth-most in the National League.

Nats starter Patrick Corbin is two spots ahead of Morton on that list, lobbing 27 dingers in his 29 starts. 

Last night’s loss dropped the Nats to 3-11 against the Braves this season and 13-48 against the NL East as a whole.

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Game 147 lineups: Nationals at Braves

vargas swing @ STL gray

ATLANTA - The Nationals' penultimate road trip of the season begins in Atlanta, with serious National League East implications at play, at least for the home team.

Cory Abbott, hours before his 27th birthday, takes the mound for the Nats as they open a three-game series against the Braves, who sit just one game behind the Mets in the division. Serving a variety of roles for Washington this season, Abbott is looking to improve upon a quietly impressive September, during which the righty has posted a 3.48 ERA in 10 1/3 innings. 

Abbott will face an Atlanta lineup that lacks star second baseman Ozzie Albies, who fractured his right pinkie in Sunday's win over the Phillies. The 25-year-old will be sidelined for the remainder of the regular season. He'll be replaced by rookie Vaughn Grissom, who bats ninth in the series opener tonight.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where:
 Truist Park

Gametime: 7:25 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Sunny, 86 degrees, wind 6 mph out of the north

NATIONALS

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Game 146 lineups: Nats vs. Marlins

meneses and voit

The Nationals haven’t found themselves in this position very much this season, but here they are today: After back-to-back wins over the Marlins the last two nights, they have a chance to sweep a series for the first time in 2022.

To do that, though, they’ll have to either outpitch Sandy Alcantara or score some runs off him. Neither is an easy task. Alcantara remains the favorite to win his first career Cy Young Award this fall, entering today’s start with a 2.43 ERA across an MLB-high 203 2/3 innings. He is the very definition of a modern ace, and the Nationals have had all kinds of trouble against him.

This is Alcantara’s fourth start against the Nats this season. He’s 2-0 with an 0.78 ERA, having allowed only two runs and 19 batters to reach base across 23 innings. He pitched a six-hit, zero-walk shutout the last time he faced them, June 8 here in D.C.

So, if the Nationals aren’t going to outslug the Marlins today, they’re going to have to outpitch them. Aníbal Sánchez, the long-ago Marlins right-hander, faces that task this afternoon. He has pitched quite well recently, with only three runs allowed over his last five starts, spanning 23 1/3 innings. His last outing lasted only two innings, though, because of that long rain delay in Philadelphia one week ago. So he’s plenty rested for this one.

MIAMI MARLINS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where:
Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 82 degrees, wind 8 mph out to center field

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Game 145 lineups: Nats vs. Marlins

fedde throws white

The Nationals did the unthinkable and actually beat the Marlins on Friday night. Now they’ll see if they can somehow do it two days in a row and really reverse their season-long struggles against their sub-.500 division foes.

As was the case Friday, the Nats are facing a Miami left-hander. They’ll need to be better against Trevor Rogers than they were against Jesús Luzardo, who didn’t give up a run until Joey Meneses’ inside-the-park homer in the bottom of the seventh. Rogers has not had a good season (4-11, 5.35 ERA) but he’s been quite good against the Nationals (3-0, 2.25 ERA).

On the bright side, Erick Fedde has always been good against the Marlins (4-1, 1.86 ERA in nine career starts) and he held them to two runs on three hits over six innings in his last outing against them on July 3.

MIAMI MARLINS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where:
Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 82 degrees, wind 8 mph out to left field

NATIONALS
RF Lane Thomas
LF Alex Call
1B Joey Meneses
DH Luke Voit
3B Ildemaro Vargas
2B Luis García
C Riley Adams
CF Victor Robles
SS CJ Abrams

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Orioles and Blue Jays lineups

Gunnar-Henderson-looking-up-black-away

The Orioles must rebound quickly from last night’s 6-3 loss in Toronto, which kept them 4 ½ games behind the Rays for the last wild card, but six behind the Blue Jays.

Gunnar Henderson, who hit a home run last night with two outs in the ninth inning, is starting at shortstop. Terrin Vavra is in left field, his first appearance in the lineup since Sept. 1.

Kyle Stowers is the designated hitter, and Anthony Santander is in right field.

Adley Rutschman is catching again. Rutschman hit his first home run last night from the right side of the plate. He was hitting .158 with a .513 OPS against lefties.

Rutschman and Henderson are the youngest pair of Orioles teammates to homer in the same game since Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop on May 8, 2016 versus Oakland.

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Orioles and Blue Jays lineups

Rougned Odor clap black away

Gunnar Henderson is the Orioles designated hitter tonight for the opener of an important three-game series in Toronto.

Henderson has reached base in 13 of his first 14 career games and has recorded a hit in 11 of 13 starts. He’s among five players in Orioles history with at least seven extra-base hits in his first 14 games, joining Trey Mancini, Manny Machado, Curt Blefary and Cedric Mullins.

Second baseman Rougned Odor has returned to the lineup after a two-game absence. Ramón Urías is the third baseman.

Anthony Santander is in right field, and Austin Hays is in left and batting eighth.

The bullpen has tossed 11 consecutive scoreless innings.

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