Game #73 with Jon Lester’s task of doing what Joe Ross did yesterday!

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

The Washington Nationals have only been above .500 this season for one game, and that was back on Opening Day when Juan Soto hit that walk-off single. This team has a chance to get back above .500 tonight in Miami, albeit not an easy task.

There are exactly 90 games remaining in the regular season, and that makes the math a little easier to take this 36-36 team and work scenarios to got to 90 wins the team would have to play .600 baseball the rest of the way to win 54 more games and reach 90. After this series in Miami, the Nats will go through what will feel like playoffs every night for the next 17 games as they will face teams that currently would be in the playoffs based on today’s records. They are set to face the Mets, Rays, Dodgers, Padres, Giants leading up to the All-Star break on July 11, and the Padres again in the first series after the All-Star break.

Tonight the Nats have Jon Lester on the mound, and he will face the righty Pablo Lopez who is having a solid season. The Nats have some history against him.

Nats batters vs. Lopez

In injury news, Josh Bell will not play today, and his status is unknown pending his MRI for his sore oblique. Whether they put him pre-game on the 10-day IL is an unknown. The Nats only have a 4-man bench and just three without Bell. To add to the woes, Ryan Zimmerman is mired in a deep slump. He has just 3 singles since June 11 and is slashing .125/.160/.125/.285 while Bell was the team’s second hottest hitter batting .290 with a .371 OBP and a .920 OPS over the past two weeks. Just as Bell was heating up, he got hurt.

Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins
Stadium: Loan Depot Park, Miami, Florida
1st Pitch:  7:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, Bally Sports Florida, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)

Line-ups subject to change without notice:

1. Kyle Schwarber LF
2. Trea Turner SS
3. Juan Soto RF
4. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
5. Josh Harrison 2B
6. Yan Gomes C
7. Starlin Castro 3B
8. Victor Robles CF
9. Jon Lester LHP

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