Game 31 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies

The Nationals are in the midst of a rough stretch, no doubt about it. They’ve lost five of their last six and are back in last place in the division. And yet, when you consider they lost three of those games by one run (two via walk-off) and another by two runs, the situation very easily could be reversed. Is that reason for optimism or pessimism? Guess it depends on how you prefer to view life (or, at least, baseball).

Soto-High-Fives-Gomes-White-Sidebar.jpgThe next three nights, then, present an opportunity to flip the script and get back on track against a Phillies club that currently sits in second place in the National League East, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Nats. It’s already been a wild ride for Philly, which has enjoyed winning streaks of four and five games but comes into this series having lost two in a row to the Braves.

The Nationals have Juan Soto in the lineup and in right field. They also have him batting second, behind Trea Turner. It’s a very good 1-2 punch, but it does push some struggling hitters into prominent spots right behind them: Josh Bell is batting third, with Kyle Schwarber in the cleanup spot. And Yan Gomes has been moved up to No. 5, ahead of Starlin Castro and Josh Harrison.

Erick Fedde gets the ball to face former high school teammate Bryce Harper and Co., which should be fun. This will be the first time fans are in attendance at Nationals Park to greet Harper since late in the 2019 season. Curious to see if the boos are as vociferous post-World Series title as they were before it.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 63 degrees, wind 10 mph left field to right field

NATIONALS
SS Trea Turner
RF Juan Soto
1B Josh Bell
LF Kyle Schwarber
C Yan Gomes
3B Starlin Castro
2B Josh Harrison
CF Victor Robles
RHP Erick Fedde

PHILLIES
LF Andrew McCutchen
2B Jean Segura
RF Bryce Harper
C J.T. Realmuto
3B Brad Miller
1B Rhys Hoskins
SS Didi Gregorius
CF Odúbel Herrera
RHP Chase Anderson

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