MILWAUKEE – The Nationals have found themselves in this position far too often this season, desperately needing to win a series finale to avoid a sweep. It’s happening today for the fifth time in 13 series to date, the second in a row after they found themselves in the same situation in Miami to begin this road trip. Without a win today here in Milwaukee, they’ll head home 1-5 on the trip and 13-29 overall on the season.
Given how much they’ve struggled to score runs, Davey Martinez has decided to try something different with his lineup. For the first time this season, Juan Soto will bat third instead of second. Rationally, it shouldn’t make any difference. Emotionally, maybe it will feel more comfortable for Soto to hit in his more traditional spot in the lineup, perhaps getting a chance to bat more with more runners on base.
The choice to take over the 2-spot for today is Keibert Ruiz, and that feels warranted given how productive the young catcher has been recently. Ruiz is batting a robust .370/.482/.522 this month, and he’s reached base in eight of his last nine plate appearances. Hopefully, he can keep the same mindset batting higher in the lineup for the first time.
The pressure’s also on Aaron Sanchez to try to contain the Brewers lineup, which scored five runs in five innings off Patrick Corbin Saturday night. Sanchez lasted only 3 2/3 innings in the first game of this road trip, allowing four runs on eight hits and three walks to the Marlins.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at MILWAUKEE BREWERS
Where: American Family Field
Gametime: 2:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 59 degrees, wind 13 mph out to center field