Game 99 lineups: Nats at Phillies

Just how dire has the Nationals’ predicament become? Well, consider the following ...

The Nats are 5-15 this month. That’s the worst 20-game stretch this team has experienced since June/July 2018. And prior to that, it hadn’t happened since 2010, the last time the franchise lost 90 games in a season.

What does that mean? Well, there are 64 games now left. The best 64-game stretch in club was 44-20, which came (not surprisingly) during the 2019 season. If the current Nationals somehow go 44-20 the rest of the way, they’d still only get to 89 wins. Yeah, that might be enough to win the National League East this year, but have they given us any reason to think they have a 44-20 closing run in them?

So the countdown to Friday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline is on. Before that, though, is a four-game series at the Phillies, who do still have reason to believe they’re in the race at 49-49.

Thumbnail image for Ross-Throws-Gray-Side-PIT-Sidebar.jpgThe Nats get Joe Ross back tonight after a brief stint on the injured list with elbow inflammation. Ross was able to make it back without a rehab assignment or simulated game, so he might need to be on some kind of pitch count for this one. His return is nonetheless a welcome development for his team, which needs all the pitching help it can get.

To make room for Ross on the active roster, the Nationals optioned Yadiel Hernandez back to Triple-A. You can find fault with the reasoning for it, but it should be quite clear at this point the organization values Gerardo Parra and Andrew Stevenson more than Hernandez right now, which is why they’re staying and he’s heading back to Rochester.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADEPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Clear, 88 degrees, wind 5 mph in from left field

NATIONALS
2B Alcides Escobar
SS Trea Turner
RF Juan Soto
1B Josh Bell
3B Josh Harrison
LF Gerardo Parra
C Tres Barrera
CF Victor Robles
RHP Joe Ross

PHILLIES
2B Jean Segura
C J.T. Realmuto
RF Bryce Harper
LF Andrew McCutchen
1B Rhys Hoskins
SS Didi Gregorius
3B Ronald Torreyes
CF Odúbel Herrera
RHP Spencer Howard

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