Game 108 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies

Game 108 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies
There are players we know are going to be part of the Nationals' plan in 2022, and there are players we know are not going to be part of their plan in 2022. And then there are those who don't really fall into either category. They aren't necessarily building blocks for the future, but they also still serve a valuable function and could return next year to do the same. Like Paolo Espino. At 34, he's hardly in position to be a long-term part of the Nationals rotation. But he's been really...
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Orioles and Yankees lineups (updated)

Orioles and Yankees lineups (updated)
Cedric Mullins brings an 11-game hitting streak into tonight's game against the Yankees in the Bronx. Mullins is 17-for-44 (.386) with three doubles, a triple, two home runs, four walks and four stolen bases during his streak. Last night marked his team-leading 33rd multi-hit game of the season. He's batting .318 (14-for-44) with two doubles, four home runs, five RBIs, three walks, four stolen bases and eight runs scored in 11 games against the Yankees this season. Left-hander Nestor Cortes...
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Game 107 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies

Game 107 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies
Games like last night, when a recently acquired prospect makes his debut, are about the future. Games like tonight, when a struggling veteran takes the mound yet again, are about something else. Patrick Corbin is part of the Nationals' future, but that's only because his contract dictates it. He's signed for three more seasons and still owed $82 million. He's not going anywhere. So the Nats need Corbin to figure out how to be an effective pitcher again, something he hasn't been since the...
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Orioles and Yankees lineups

Orioles and Yankees lineups
Cedric Mullins is back in the lineup, after a rare rest yesterday, as the Orioles begin a three-game series against the Yankees in the Bronx. Austin Hays is in left field and Anthony Santander is in right. Ryan Mountcastle is the first baseman and cleanup hitter. Pat Valaika is starting at second base. The Yankees won two of three games against the Orioles in New York in April. The teams split four games later in the month in Baltimore and the Yankees won two of three at Camden Yards in...
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Game 106 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies

Game 106 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies
The debut of a promising young pitcher is always exciting. Perhaps the circumstances that preceded Josiah Gray's debut tonight at Nationals Park weren't cause for celebration, but now that it's happened it's worth embracing. This isn't Gray's major league debut; he pitched twice for the Dodgers in the last few weeks. But there's an entirely different kind of hype and pressure for this start than either of those. He's not just a prospect who was called up. He's now one of the prospects...
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Game 105 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs

Game 105 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs
It's a gray Sunday at Nationals Park, and I actually mean that in the literal sense. Rain is forecast on and off throughout the afternoon. Hopefully, it doesn't impact the game, but the grounds crew has the tarp ready to go just in case. Metaphorically, it's been a gray several days for the Nats, who just wrapped up one of the worst months in club history, going 8-18. And that's just their record. As we know, a whole lot of other stuff happened that wasn't directly related to wins and...
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Orioles and Tigers lineups

Orioles and Tigers lineups
Austin Hays is leading off today and playing left field and Ryan McKenna is in center as the Orioles close out their series in Detroit and attempt to win three of four games. Maikel Franco moves up to fifth in the lineup. Pat Valaika is playing shortstop. Austin Wynns is behind the plate. Cedric Mullins and Ramón Urías get a breather. Ryan Mountcastle is the designated hitter today. He has 10 hits and seven RBIs in his last 10 games. Spenser Watkins is making his fifth major league start...
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Game 104 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs

Game 104 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs
At the end of an emotional 36-hour stretch for a completely gutted Nationals roster was this perhaps unexpected fact: The Nats not only beat the Cubs on Friday night, they also picked up a game on everyone in front of them in the National League East. They're now 6 1/2 games back of the Mets. No, the front office isn't suddenly regretting their decision to trade away eight veterans in the first step of an acknowledged franchise rebuild, but the guys who do take the field every night the rest...
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Orioles and Tigers lineups (updated)

Orioles and Tigers lineups (updated)
Anthony Santander is the cleanup hitter tonight as the Orioles continue their series against the Tigers in Detroit. Santander is starting in right field and DJ Stewart is in left. Austin Hays is on the bench. Pat Valaika remains in the lineup at second base. Pedro Severino is catching again tonight. He homered twice last night for his second career multi-homer game, and has hit three in the last two games. He's 5-for-14 in his last four games. Severino is batting .333/.400/.767 in his last...
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Game 103 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs (plus roster moves)

Game 103 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs (plus roster moves)
Hey, don't forget: There's still a baseball game to be played tonight! After the Nationals made six franchise-altering trades over the last 24 hours that netted them 12 new prospects for eight veterans, manager Davey Martinez's new-look team now has to turn its attention to a three-game series against the Cubs, who will also have a new-look roster. Originally, it appeared that Jon Lester was tonight's scheduled starter, but since he was traded to the Cardinals at the last minute, Paolo...
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Game 102 lineups: Nats at Phillies

Game 102 lineups: Nats at Phillies
As if there hasn't been enough drama already today, there's still another ballgame to be played in Philadelphia! The Nationals and Phillies face off one more time, with another scheduled seven-inning game. And with a big line of thunderstorms bearing down on the area at some point later this afternoon, it may be a good thing the game is only scheduled for seven innings. Patrick Corbin gets the start, one day after he was originally supposed to pitch. The left-hander may be hours away from...
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Game 101 lineups: Nats at Phillies (plus roster moves)

Game 101 lineups: Nats at Phillies (plus roster moves)
All eyes will be fixated on the transaction wire over the next 30 hours or so, not only as we get closer to tomorrow's 4 p.m. trade deadline, but also because the Nationals had to make a number of roster moves this morning after 13 members (four players, nine staffers) tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. Not to mention the potential of needing to fill other roster spots if some players depart later today via trade. As if that weren't enough of a wrench thrown into today's plan, the...
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Game 100 lineups: Nats at Phillies

Game 100 lineups: Nats at Phillies
In what is shaping up to be one of the most significant weeks in club history, the Nationals do still have games to play every night. It may be too late for their performance on the field to change the front office's mind about what comes next, but they will be taking the field nonetheless and attempting to win a game against the Phillies. Losers of five straight and 16 of their last 21, the Nats will try to get back on track tonight behind Erick Fedde, who was sharp last time out, allowing...
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Game 99 lineups: Nats at Phillies

Game 99 lineups: Nats at Phillies
Just how dire has the Nationals' predicament become? Well, consider the following ... The Nats are 5-15 this month. That's the worst 20-game stretch this team has experienced since June/July 2018. And prior to that, it hadn't happened since 2010, the last time the franchise lost 90 games in a season. What does that mean? Well, there are 64 games now left. The best 64-game stretch in club was 44-20, which came (not surprisingly) during the 2019 season. If the current Nationals somehow go...
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Orioles and Nationals lineups

Orioles and Nationals lineups
The Orioles are going for the sweep this afternoon with John Means making his second start since exiting the injured list. Means allowed five runs in five innings Tuesday night against the Rays and the Orioles held him to 78 pitches. He's made one career start against the Nationals and surrendered three runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning on Aug. 16, 2020. Ramón Urías gets a break today, with Pat Valaika at shortstop and Domingo Leyba at second base. Trey Mancini is the...
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Game 98 lineups: Nats at Orioles

Game 98 lineups: Nats at Orioles
Needing a win to prevent a three-game sweep by the Orioles at Camden Yards, the Nationals today turn to a most unlikely pitcher to halt a three-game skid, secure a win in the season series against the Birds and provide some momentum heading into a four-game series in Philadelphia that could make or break Washington's campaign. Righty Paolo Espino (2-2, 3.00 ERA) is 2-1 with a 2.63 ERA in six starts this season, morphing from a journeyman to a trusted resource out of necessity. The 34-year-old...
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Game 97 lineups: Nats at Orioles (Scherzer scratched)

Game 97 lineups: Nats at Orioles (Scherzer scratched)
The Nationals need a stopper, someone to prevent a single loss from turning into a losing streak and give them some momentum against a weaker opponent. Facing the Orioles in the middle of three interleague games at Camden Yards, it seemed right-hander Max Scherzer (7-4, 2.83 ERA) would be just the tonic for what ails the Nats. In his career, Scherzer is 7-2 with a 3.17 ERA and a 1.024 WHIP in 14 starts against the Orioles. In Baltimore, he's made seven starts and gone 4-0 with a 3.48 ERA and...
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Game 96 lineups: Nats at Orioles

Game 96 lineups: Nats at Orioles
This season's edition of the Battle of the Beltways concludes this weekend in Baltimore after the Nationals swept the Orioles in D.C. in May. Manager Davey Martinez has been asked a lot recently about how he can use Josh Bell and Ryan Zimmerman in the same lineup, with Bell getting some reps in left field during batting practice recently and Zimmerman trying to get his swing back from earlier in the year. That won't be a problem this weekend, though, in an American League ballpark. Bell is...
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Game 95 lineups: Nats vs. Marlins

Game 95 lineups: Nats vs. Marlins
The Nationals find themselves in a position to sweep the Marlins tonight, and that's exactly the position they hoped to be in at the start of this critical week. They've taken advantage of a softer schedule, and now they'll try to take complete advantage of it and win their third straight over Miami, fourth straight overall. Erick Fedde gets the start, and he'll look to do what Jon Lester and Paolo Espino did before him: Shut out the Marlins without issuing any walks. That latter part is...
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Akin starting Wednesday (plus lineup and other notes)

Akin starting Wednesday (plus lineup and other notes)
Left-hander Keegan Akin is starting Wednesday afternoon's series finale against the Rays at Tropicana Field, the last road game before the Orioles enjoy an off-day and then host the Nationals over the weekend. Akin is 0-5 with an 8.19 ERA and 1.800 WHIP in 13 games, including eight starts. He faced the Royals on Friday and allowed six runs and eight hits with three walks in three innings. Thomas Eshelman stays in the bullpen for long relief. The current rotation sets up as Akin, Jorge...
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