When the Washington Nationals opened this 4-game series with the Arizona Diamnondbacks, there was a precedent set in that the Diamondbacks had not lost a series all season. Winning two games of the four games in this series would not get the job done. The Nationals would have to win at least three games to spoil the D’Backs streak, and it was mission accomplished last night for these Nats as they took the first 3 games in this series and now go for the rare 4-game sweep that the Nats had already done to the Pirates in this young season when the Pirates were in first place.
In the modern Mother’s Day tradition, all the players will be donning pink caps and pink ribbons, and many will have pink bats, cleats, batting gloves, arm sleeves, and other swag. For these two teams, they also get the honor of being the ESPN Sunday Game of the Week. Pitching tonight for the national audience is a great opportunity for Jeremy Hellickson who pitched a perfect game 5-days ago until the bottom of the 7th inning. What a feat for a player who was on the scrap heap.
Opposite Hellickson is the righty Zack Godley who will face a more right-handed line-up because Godley has reverse splits. Godley also shrinks in high leverage spots so if the Nats can turn up the pressure on him — he could fold.
The keys to beating the Diamondbacks was shutting down the reigning NL Player of the Week, A.J. Pollock, who batted .423 the previous week with a 1.000 slugging percentage from blasting four home runs. Many Nats fans felt that Matt Adams or Wilmer Difo deserved the honor but the popular vote went to Pollock.
To all the Mother’s out there — Happy Mother’s Day and thanks for all you do!
Washington Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Stadium: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
1st Pitch: 8:08 pm EDT
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice: