Game 93 lineups: Nats vs. Marlins

At last, the Nationals have completed the toughest portion of their schedule, a 17-game gauntlet against the Mets, Rays, Dodgers, Padres, Giants and Padres (again) that proved every bit as difficult as you’d have thought, even moreso given their depleted roster. They finished that stretch 6-11, though against the National League West contenders, they were 3-11. Not very good.

Fortunately, the schedule finally eases up beginning tonight with the opener of a three-game series against the Marlins. You can’t assume anything in this sport, certainly not with this team at this time. But the Nationals have to at least feel like they have a better chance at stringing together wins now than they did against their previous competition.

Thumbnail image for Lester-Fires-White-Sidebar (1).jpgIt will require, however, a better pitching performance from Jon Lester, who has been atrocious of late. The left-hander doesn’t need to be great. He just needs to give his team a chance to win and provide innings, something that has proven quite difficult for him recently. Because of injuries to Stephen Strasburg and Joe Ross, Lester’s spot in the rotation remains secure for now. But it won’t stay that way much longer if he doesn’t start proving he deserves to remain part of it.

The lineup is identical to Sunday’s 8-7 win over the Padres. That means Andrew Stevenson in center field over Victor Robles and Tres Barrera behind the plate over René Rivera. Stevenson was kept on the active roster after serving as the 27th man for Sunday’s pseudo-doubleheader, with Andres Machado optioned to Triple-A Rochester. That means for the first time in weeks, the Nats are going with a five-man bench and only an eight-man bullpen.

MIAMI MARLINS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 86 degrees, wind 7 mph out to left field

NATIONALS
2B Alcides Escobar
SS Trea Turner
RF Juan Soto
1B Josh Bell
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew Stevenson
LF Gerardo Parra
C Tres Barrera
LHP Jon Lester

MARLINS
SS Miguel Rojas
3B Jon Berti
1B Jesús Aguilar
RF Adam Duvall
C Jorge Alfaro
2B Joe Panik
LF Lewis Brinson
CF Monte Harrison
LHP Ross Detwiler

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