The Nationals open their fifth series of the season today, and their opponent this time is the Rockies of Colorado. For the Rockies, their game had lots of drama with an early game brawl that had multiple ejections. The Rockies will have multiple suspensions looming, but if they appeal their suspensions. Players like Nolan Arenado should be able to play during this 4-game series in Washington under an appeal of what should be a lengthy suspension. When the Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez was ejected in the brawl to start the 4th inning, the Rockies had to cover 6 innings with their relievers. The Nationals had to cover 6 2/3 innings yesterday with their relievers in their 12 inning marathon. Both teams will be a little short in their bullpens.
Rockies’ manager Bud Black covered 3 innings of yesterday’s game with his long-man which is something the Nationals desperately needed after A.J. Cole departed a close game in the 6th inning. Nationals’ manager Dave Martinez will once again need to circumnavigate his bullpen and stay away from Ryan Madson who has pitched two games in a row.
“I was a little concerned with Madson,” Martinez said. “I really didn’t want to use him [yesterday], but he said he was available. But my concerns will be tomorrow. See where he’s at tomorrow.”
The Nationals will pitch lefty Gio Gonzalez today, and he is set to face righty Chad Bettis. Old friend Ian Desmond will be batting in the middle of the order for the Rockies. Desmond was an original Montreal Expos draftee in the 3rd round of 2004 and a star with the Nationals until he reached free agency after the 2015 season.
With the warmer weather in Washington, D.C., the Nationals players can begin their defrost, and hopefully some of the Nats’ players will shift into gear.
There are three Nationals starting pitchers who have higher batting averages than Michael Taylor (.163), Matt Wieters (.143) and Ryan Zimmerman (.111). We can only hope that the Nationals cold players can get hot. The Nats will need these players mashing as the team will be without Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy for a while.
Colorado Rockies vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB App out-of-market; MLB Network (out-of-market)
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice: