Game 5 lineups: Nats vs. Blue Jays

This has become a recurring theme every day during this unprecedented season: The Nationals spend the morning and afternoon dealing with major news events, then have to actually take the field to play a ballgame in the evening. So far, that has resulted in a 1-3 record. They’ll try to flip that back in a more positive direction tonight in the second of four games with the Blue Jays.

Voth-Throws-White-Exhibition-Sidebar.jpgAustin Voth will try to do what Aníbal Sánchez couldn’t do last night: keep Toronto’s hitters in the yard. Voth actually was pretty good at that last season as a rookie, allowing only five homers in 43 2/3 innings. Among the Nationals’ regular pitchers, only Max Scherzer, Wander Suero and Fernando Rodney had a lower home run rate.

Of course, it won’t matter much if the Nats lineup can’t score some runs. Despite rapping out 11 hits last night, they managed to bring only one man across the plate. Some of it was bad luck (they hit into four double plays, three of them rockets off the bat) but some of it was poor situational hitting. We’ll see if they can rectify that tonight against an old friend.

Yes, Tanner Roark is starting for the Blue Jays, his first appearance at Nationals Park as a visiting pitcher. It’s a shame fans won’t be there to welcome the right-hander back; I wouldn’t be surprised if the team still plays a short video for Roark before or during the game, though. For those who lost track, Roark started last season with the Reds but then was traded to the Athletics. He finished 10-10 with a 4.35 ERA in 31 starts.

Here’s to an evening of enjoyable baseball action, and nothing but good news on the health and safety front ...

TORONTO BLUE JAYS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 6:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Slight chance of storms, 83 degrees, wind 9 mph out to right field

NATIONALS
SS Trea Turner
RF Adam Eaton
1B Howie Kendrick
3B Asdrúbal Cabrera
DH Eric Thames
2B Starlin Castro
CF Victor Robles
C Yan Gomes
LF Emilio Bonifácio

RHP Austin Voth

BLUE JAYS
Lineup TBA

RHP Tanner Roark

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