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Washington Nationals vs St. Louis Cardinals - Grapefruit League GameThread

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Washington and St. Louis meet this afternoon at 1:05 PM ET in West Palm Beach in the next-to-last game of the spring, which is also the first game on MASN this spring. So you know, like watch or whatever.

Major League Baseball Suspends Spring Training Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

For Davey Martinez’s club, it’s one more with the St. Louis Cardinals today and then one on Monday afternoon with the Houston Astros, before they get two days off in advance of the season opener of the 2021 campaign against the New York Mets in the nation’s capital this coming Thursday night.

Martinez talked after this past Friday night’s game about trying to get his expected regulars out there for nine innings’ worth of work in these final tune-ups before Game 1 of 162.

“For me it’s getting them out there used to standing on their feet for a long period of time, for a full game, and also their recovery,” the fourth-year manager explained.

“The next day is important in how they recover, and so far they’ve all recovered very well.

“They played the last few days. Tomorrow we have an 11:00 game — some of these guys will have a day off, and then we’ll get them back on the field for the next couple games and play probably full games then.”

He also talked about figuring out how he wants to line things up this season, after he put Victor Robles ninth on Thursday before moving him back to the leadoff spot he’s hit in all spring on Friday.

“For me, what I like about Victor is what he’s doing so far this Spring Training. I spoke to him yesterday,” Martinez said. “I brought him in the office, and like I said, this is not really set in stone. We may do something else. But I told him, I said I don’t want him to change anything that he’s doing.

“He’s done really well in the leadoff spot and hit the ball hard and is accepting his walks. We want him to do the same thing hitting ninth.

“As I make these lineups up, obviously after the first inning, you really don’t know where you’re going to hit. You may come up third, you may come up fourth, you may come up second, so I reiterated that to him as well.

“He understands the fact that his conversation to me was he’ll do whatever it takes to help the team.”

While he’s had Robles, Trea Turner, and Juan Soto 1-2-3 quite a lot this spring, the idea of a lineup with, essentially, two leadoff hitters 9-1 is something he’s done previously, and it’s a lineup he likes for several reasons.

“I love the speed,” he explained.

“If Robles can get on base with Trea and Soto — but in that nine hole it gives him the ability to go ahead and steal a base if he can, and then all of a sudden now you’ve got Trea, who can drive him in, and when he gets on base he can do the same thing for Soto, so I like that combination a lot.”

What combination will he ultimately choose to go with? How will he line them up for Game 1 of 162 on Thursday? Who knows. We do have his lineup for this afternoon’s game at least...

HERE’S THE NATS’ LINEUP FOR TODAY’S GAME WITH THE CARDINALS: