Slowly but surely the Nationals are getting their injured players back. Today it is Juan Soto returning to the active roster after suffering from back spasms. The lineup card is very close to what manager Dave Martinez penciled up on Opening Day except for today Wilmer Difo is at shortstop and the newly hired outfielder, Gerardo Parra will have his first baseman’s glove tonight. That is not a misprint. Howie Kendrick could have played tonight or tomorrow afternoon’s game, and Martinez opted for Parra who has 20 starts at first base during his tenure in Colorado the previous two seasons. Parra has an .808 OPS against the Dodgers starter, Walker Buehler.
The Nationals start Max Scherzer who has been the workhorse for the team with little to show for it as he only has one win on the season. Scherzer can only do what he can do on the mound which has been mostly very good. What Scherzer needs is good defense and some run support.
In run support, it has been some feast and famine recently and mostly famine. They have now scored 3-runs or less in 21 of the team’s 38 games (55%) and 12-of-their-last-15 games. Runs are at a premium. Last week, the Nationals showed small ball works with the havoc they wreaked in bunting. Last night, they did not challenge the inexperienced third baseman, Max Muncy, with a bunt even when the Nats had men at second and first and no outs with Adrian Sanchez pinch-hitting in the 8th inning. They never scored that lead runner.
Washington Nationals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Stadium: Dodgers Stadium, Chavez Ravine, California
1st Pitch: 9:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN2; MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice: