Game 21 lineups: Nats at Rockies (Noll recalled)

DENVER - Hello from Coors Field, where the air is not only thin but really cold. At least today, it is. The high temperature might crack 50 degrees this afternoon, and it’ll be dropping down through the 40s during tonight’s series opener. You’d think that would be a bad thing for hitters, but I’m not sure it’s possible for any game in this ballpark to be bad for hitters.

The Nationals certainly hope the altitude helps get their bats going after a sluggish weekend in Miami that at least ended on a high note with Sunday’s 5-0 victory that included two homers by Ryan Zimmerman and another by Brian Dozier. Zimmerman has to be hoping to carry that performance into this one, because he loves Coors Field: In 37 career games here, he bats .361 with 10 homers, 43 RBI, a .440 on-base percentage and 1.113 OPS.

Hellickson-Throws-Gray-Sidebar.jpgJeremy Hellickson, on the other hand, tonight makes his first career start here. Seriously. The guy has been around both leagues for a long time, and he has pitched in each of the 29 other current MLB parks, but this is the first time he’ll take the mound here in Denver. The right-hander’s repertoire (relying on downward movement and weak contact) doesn’t seem real conducive to pitching here, but we’ll see if perhaps he can figure something out and continue his strong start to the season.

Meanwhile, the Nationals have recalled Jake Noll from Triple-A and optioned Austin Adams back to Fresno, a move that suggests Anthony Rendon’s elbow is still bothering him but not enough to warrant a trip to the injured list. Given that they were playing with a three-man bench and zero backup infielders Sunday, they needed to do something to give themselves more of a safety net. So Noll returns and the club will go with a seven-man bullpen for the moment.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at COLORADO ROCKIES
Where: Coors Field
Gametime: 8:40 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 99.1 FM, 820 AM, MLB.com
Weather: Cloudy, 49 degrees, wind 7 mph in from right field

NATIONALS (10-10)
Adam Eaton RF
Victor Robles CF
Juan Soto LF
Howie Kendrick 3B
Ryan Zimmerman 1B
Yan Gomes C
Brian Dozier 2B
Jeremy Hellickson RHP
Wilmer Difo SS

ROCKIES (9-13)
Charlie Blackmon RF
David Dahl LF
Nolan Arenado 3B
Trevor Story SS
Ryan McMahon 2B
Mark Reynolds 1B
Ian Desmond CF
Tony Wolters C
Tyler Anderson LHP

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