Game 65 lineups: Nats vs. Pirates

The Nationals are seeking a three-game sweep of the Pirates this afternoon, which is good news. This isn’t a position they’ve been in often this season, so a chance at a series sweep and a four-game winning streak should not be taken lightly.

There is, however, not-so-great news before we get to today’s game: Starlin Castro has been placed on the restricted list. What does that mean? It can mean a lot of things, but essentially it signifies an excused absence for a player, with the team having the option of continuing to pay his salary or not while he’s away. We will hopefully learn more from manager Davey Martinez shortly, but for now Castro (who didn’t play Tuesday night) is not with the club.

Mercer-Swings-Blue-Sidebar.jpgThe Nationals recalled Luis García from Triple-A Rochester to take Castro’s roster spot, and he’s right in the lineup today, starting at second base. Jordy Mercer is again at third base, so Josh Harrison will be coming off the bench. Otherwise, it’s the usual crew, with Kyle Schwarber leading off for the fifth time in six days.

This was supposed to be Max Scherzer’s start, but with the ace on the injured list, it’s Paolo Espino filling in this afternoon. Espino threw 50 pitches in emergency relief of Scherzer on Friday, so he should be good for at least that much, possibly a bit more, today. Jefry Rodriguez, who threw four innings Saturday night, is also available, as is pretty much everyone out of the bullpen.

PITTSBURGH PIRATES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Sunny, 79 degrees, wind 11 mph in from left field

NATIONALS
LF Kyle Schwarber
SS Trea Turner
RF Juan Soto
1B Josh Bell
C Yan Gomes
2B Luis García
3B Jordy Mercer
CF Victor Robles
RHP Paolo Espino

PIRATES
2B Adam Frazier
3B Ke’Bryan Hayes
CF Brian Reynolds
RF Gregory Polanco
1B Phillip Evans
LF Ben Gamel
SS Kevin Newman
C Michael Perez
RHP Chase De Jong

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