What a difference a week makes or in this case two weeks when the Arizona Diamondbacks rolled into Washington D.C. and pushed the Nationals further into the abyss and a season’s worst 5-games under .500. Some of you remember that 10-inning loss as you were jumping off the ledge when Austin Adams walked in the game-winning run after loading the bases with a walk which was mired in a managerial snafu by Dave Martinez who had the premature call to the bullpen before a pinch-hitter was officially placed into the game. The Nationals hit rock bottom on that Saturday in the park and since then salvaged the last game of that series against these Diamondbacks with a nice 3-to-1 win that started what is now a dominant Nationals 11-and-2 record in this stretch.
Baseball can reward you for persevering, and in addition, most respect when you admit to a mistake. Those were takeaways from that disastrous loss exactly two weeks ago. Ryan Zimmerman summed it up well when Dave Martinez spared the excuses and took responsibility for his mistake.
“It’s nice to have someone who’s honest about everything. It’s a novel concept. Like even after the games in here which obviously haven’t been going our way — it’s keep going, keep playing hard.”
Something changed on that Saturday in Nationals Park two weeks ago. Robert Lamm and Peter Cetera sung it well. “I’ve been waiting such a long time” — for this. This. Two weeks ago the Nationals were 5-games under .500 and today could go 5-games over .500. It seems like the tale of two seasons. The learning portion where you make mistakes has now blossomed into May flowers where you appreciate the beauty of the results on the field of dreams. The aromatic smell of success has filled these Nats with confidence. You saw it with Max Scherzer last night. When the game throws you some lemons just squeeze it into lemonade and know that you have teammates, coaches, and a manager who will pick you up. In baseball, it takes a team to win games. Even as dominant as Scherzer was with his pitching and his bat last night, he still needed his teammates to perform well to win.
“♪♫♬Listen children all is not lost, all is not lost. Oh no, no… Can you dig it? Yes I can. I’ve been waiting such a long time.”
Maybe the message, children, is never to give up no matter how dire it seems. Dig it? Yes I can. Today it is Stephen Strasburg‘s turn for the resurgent Nationals. Coincidentally, the last time the Nationals had a blow-out win, it was 10-days ago with a 9-to-3 win with Strasburg against the Pirates who were a 1st place team when they rolled into Washington for that 4-game series.
No matter what happens with the results this weekend, the Diamondbacks will still own the top spot in the NL West. They have also been bit by the injury bug, and today have called up righty Troy Scribner from their Triple-A affiliate to replace Robbie Ray who was injured and would have pitched today. Scribner has struggled in Triple-A at a 5.68 ERA and was actually a waiver claim pick-up when the Angels gave him the DFA. Scribner gives up the walks to lefty batters if they stay patient and don’t chase pitches. He is also prone to serving up meatballs to righties and lefties.
Updated: Mark Reynolds was added to the roster and Ryan Zimmerman to the 10-day DL. To make room for Reynolds on the 40-man roster Joaquin Benoit was transferred to the 60-Day DL.
Washington Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Stadium: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
1st Pitch: 4:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice:
- Trea Turner SS
- Bryce Harper RF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Matt Adams 1B
- Howie Kendrick 2B
- Andrew Stevenson LF
- Michael Taylor CF
- Pedro Severino C
- Stephen Strasburg RHP