Game 45 lineups: Nats vs. Braves

When the 2020 regular season ends two weeks from today - How crazy is that? - and we try to find answers for what went wrong for the Nationals, it might be easy to point out the heartbreakers they lost to the Braves as especially low points. To be sure, there have been some really tough losses in there, a couple of blown saves by Daniel Hudson and a couple more one-run losses this week.

And yet, if they can win this afternoon behind Max Scherzer, the Nationals will have split the season series with the likely division winners: five wins a piece. Sure, they easily could’ve gone 6-4 or 7-3. But a .500 record against perhaps the toughest opponent they’ll face all season wouldn’t be the reason the Nats miss the playoffs. (The 0-6 record against the Phillies and 3-6 record against the Orioles and Red Sox? That’s a different story.)

Soto-Catch-Blue-sidebar.jpgAnyway, the point is that the Nationals have played the Braves really tough. And a win today would help confirm that. Scherzer will be looking to pick up where he left off last week with a dominant start against the Rays. This will be his one and only start against Atlanta this year, and it’ll be quite a test for him to face this potent lineup.

The Nats are facing Kyle Wright, who enters 0-4 with an 8.05 ERA, 2.211 WHIP and staggering 8.5 walks per nine innings. Suffice it to say patience is key against the struggling right-hander. One nice development today: Juan Soto is back playing left field after being restricted to DH duties with a sore left elbow.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 12:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 76 degrees, wind 6 mph out to center field

NATIONALS
RF Adam Eaton
SS Trea Turner
LF Juan Soto
1B Asdrúbal Cabrera
C Kurt Suzuki
DH Eric Thames
3B Carter Kieboom
2B Luis García
CF Victor Robles

RHP Max Scherzer

BRAVES
CF Ronald Acuña Jr.
1B Freddie Freeman
DH Marcell Ozuna
C Travis d’Arnaud
SS Dansby Swanson
RF Nick Markakis
LF Adam Duvall
3B Austin Riley
2B Ozzie Albies

RHP Kyle Wright

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