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Washington Nationals’ lineup for 2nd of 3 with the Pittsburgh Pirates in D.C.

Davey Martinez’s club tries to make it two in a row over the Pirates and three-straight overall.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh’s Pirates are not doing well this season, they are in some sort of (perpetual?) rebuild, but still, at 23-42, they’re not that much worse than your Washington Nationals, whose win last night left them 28-35 so far in 2021.

Going into last night’s series opener, manager Davey Martinez wasn’t taking anything for granted, since the Nationals need to start piling up wins, and putting together streaks, if they’re going to get back in the mix in the NL East.

“We got to focus on just playing baseball and worry about us,” Martinez said when asked about going up against the Pirates.

“I never take it for granted that these guys are young. For me it’s never about rebuilding in the major leagues, it’s about competing, and these guys are going to come ready to compete. So, we got to be ready. I looked at some of their stuff, and they play well, so we got to come and play baseball the way we’re capable of playing and like I said, the biggest thing is to score first and then go from there.”

The Nationals didn’t score first last night, but they scored one more run than the Pirates and took the series opener of the three-game set.

The win was the club’s fourth in the last six games, and though it hasn’t always been pretty, it doesn’t have to be. A win is a win is a win.

“I’ve said this before,” Martinez said after the 3-2 curly-W over the Pirates, “when our offense starts clicking and we start scoring runs, we’ll consistently win games, and I believe that.

“Our pitching has been keeping us in the game. We just got to get on the board early and continue to score runs, when we do that, we’re going to win some games.”

Kyle Schwarber, who homered for the fourth time in the last four games, and singled a run in as well, talked after the win about keeping the momentum going at the plate after going 5 for 14 with the four homers, three walks, and three Ks in the first five games on the nine-game homestand.

“Obviously you want to carry momentum in at bats, I think that’s definitely a factor,” the 28-year-old slugger said after hitting a 1-0 changeup from starter JT Brubaker to right field for the RBI single, before lining a 1-0 curveball from reliever Clay Holmes out to right for the go-ahead homer in the seventh.

“Every at bat is different. Different situations, different pitchers, things like that, you know, things like today, the guy’s got a really good sinker, so you’re trying to stay behind the sinker, and I’m thinking left-center field there, and if any breaking pitch comes, that’s when you want to think right-center, right field, and [Holmes] hung a breaking ball and was able to take it to right-center.”

Will Schwarber lead off again tonight? Will he hit another home run? Will the Nationals win a third-straight game overall and claim a series win over the Pirates? Will we think of yet more questions to fit in at the end here? No, we will not. We will post the Nationals’ lineup though.