Game 141 lineups: Nats at Pirates

If you’re interested in silver linings, here’s one for you: The Nationals are done playing the National League’s division title contenders for the season. Yep, they’re wrapped things up against the Braves, Phillies, Mets, Brewers, Giants and Dodgers, and though there are still series remaining with the wild card contending Reds and Red Sox, the worst of the schedule is now behind them.

And that could be significant, because of this fact: The Nats finished a dismal 22-55 against those six NL division contenders, which leaves them a solid 36-27 against everyone else. Obviously, it’s far too late to make a difference this year, but if you care about things like finishing strong and avoiding 95-to-100 losses, here’s your opportunity.

Thumbnail image for Bell-Swings-Blue-Sidebar.jpgThe stretch run begins tonight in Pittsburgh, where the Nationals will be facing a Pirates club that doesn’t include a lot of recognizable names. The fans at PNC Park might be more interested in cheering for the guy playing first base for the Nats tonight: Josh Bell, who makes his return and will be batting right-handed against Pirates lefty Steven Brault.

Interestingly enough, manager Davey Martinez has both Yadiel Hernandez and Luis García in the lineup against Brault, showing some faith in those guys’ ability to hit lefties.

And speaking of lefties, the Nationals send one of their own to the mound in Josh Rogers. The 27-year-old gets another chance to start a big league game after his solid debut last weekend against the Mets. There’s no guarantees for Rogers beyond this start for now, but he can do his part to stick around with another quality effort.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Where: PNC Park
Gametime: 6:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Mostly clear, 70 degrees, wind 15 mph out to left field

NATIONALS
CF Lane Thomas
SS Alcides Escobar
RF Juan Soto
1B Josh Bell
LF Yadiel Hernandez
3B Carter Kieboom
2B Luis García
C Riley Adams
LHP Josh Rogers

PIRATES
3B Ke’Bryan Hayes
2B Kevin Newman
CF Bryan Reynolds
1B Yoshi Tsutsugo
C Jacob Stallings
LF Anthony Alford
RF Ben Gamel
SS Cole Tucker
LHP Steven Brault

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