Game #73 Corbin needs to lead his team!

The Washington Nationals got shutout last night with Jake Irvin struggling through 5.0 innings. This afternoon, they will count on Patrick Corbin to beat his old team, the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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Game #72 Nats have to keep winning series

The Washington Nationals need Jake Irvin to continue the streak of great pitching performances in this homestand. With dominance from MacKenzie Gore, DJ Herz, and Mitchell Parker, it is Irvin’s turn to step up.

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The DNA of this 2024 Nats team

When we analyzed the 2024 season over the winter, the slivers of optimism were from taking the team’s post-All-Star break record of 35-37 in 2023 — and what was right and what was wrong. How could you add four wins to that to be a playoff team? Basically, it was some addition by subtraction and adding real value.

What was right in 2023 was Lane Thomas, CJ Abrams, and Jacob Young and their run-and-gun offense in the second half that was the same strategy the 2023 Arizona Diamondbacks took to the World Series. Build a better defense, upgrade with a stud starting pitcher, a third baseman, and get a first baseman of impact — and then wait for your top prospects, James Wood and Dylan Crews to impact the roster.

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Game #71 Parker for the lefty sweep on Father’s Day

The Washington Nationals got a dominant performance from MacKenzie Gore on Friday, and then one that topped that yesterday from DJ Herz. Now another lefty, Mitchell Parker, will face a similar Marlins offense in this Father’s Day early afternoon game at Nationals Park.

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DJ Herz takes a spot in the record books; Just Breathe…

Yesterday, DJ Herz pitched the gem of the season for the Washington Nationals on a day that the offense was a little sluggish. The Nats needed Herz’s zeroes with a scant 1-0 lead then a 2-0 lead when he exited after 6.0 innings of shutout baseball. Herz was so good that he nearly had a no-hitter — and one grounder found a seam through the infield and made its way onto the green outfield grass for the only hit on Herz’s record. Of the 19 batters he faced, 13 went down via the strikeout. Only six baseballs were put in-play.

At times, the rookie left-hander looked at the embroidered message on his glove in cursive that reads “Breathe.” I asked him if I was reading it correctly, because at first, all I had was a fuzzier photo and asked him if that said “Breathe”, and he responded, “Yes it does.”

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Game #70 Herz has more to prove

The Washington Nationals got a dominant performance last night from MacKenzie Gore. This afternoon, DJ Herz just needs to follow how Gore handled the Marlins hitters. Easier said than done for the young rookie who has much to prove with Josiah Gray nearing his return in about 10 days from the IL. Some believe the weakest link should leave the rotation or possibly move to the bullpen.

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A win, a sin, some fightin’, Marlins swing & missin’

Friday’s game did not start-off the way you pencil it up. There was not the normal pleasantries that you would expect in a workplace. If a baseball dugout was a typical workplace, H.R. would get an urgent call, and MacKenzie Gore would probably be fired for fighting. Dugouts allow spitting on the workplace floor, and cursing is a norm — and they draw the line there to not allow fighting or gambling — two no-no’s. Actually nothing is normal in that concrete alcove. Every work day is unpredictable.

Third baseman Nick Senzel did not know the speed of the opposing catcher and lollipopped a throw to first base with two outs — and Nick Fortes beat the throw to score a run — the only run that the Miami Marlins would score in that game. The Washington Nationals would win 8-1, but Gore did not know it would turn into a laugher. After that throw by Senzel, there was a little physicality in the Nats’ dugout between Gore and Senzel. That got the juices flowing, and the Nats woke up, and never looked back after scoring 7-runs the next inning.

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Game #69 Nats are at home with work to do

The Washington Nationals are back home and have the Marlins for the weekend. Tonight is Mike Rizzo bobblehead night, and the first 20,000 fans will snag one of those. Tonight’s starter, MacKenzie Gore, is pitching on extra rest due to a fingernail problem. Gore pitched to a Nats win over Atlanta on June 8.

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A semi-happy flight; 5-game winning streak ends.

What could have been, is usually how a team replays it in their minds, after a loss. The Washington Nationals were riding a 5-game winning streak coming into this game. They got everything they needed from starter Patrick Corbin who gave up only one-run in 5⅓ innings. The offense, defense, bullpen, and extreme BABIP bad luck were an issue. The bullpen didn’t miss enough bats when they needed strikeouts in this 7-2 loss. Also, 2-runs was not going to cut it for an offense that saw their bats go cold for the most part.

The team’s last 6-game winning streak was on September 27 of 2019. The pitcher who started that streak: Corbin. How do you like that for some historical coincidence. Unfortunately, the Nats bullpen feels like a bicameral split between good and bad. Kyle Finnegan and Hunter Harvey on the good side then everyone else. Finnegan and Harvey have a combined 2.42 ERA and most of that in high leverage spots, and the rest of the bullpen has a 4.67 ERA and that doesn’t include the 35 inherited runners who have scored mostly on the starter’s ERAs.

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Game #68 History on the line

The Washington Nationals just notched a 5-game winning streak last night for the first time since June 24 of 2021. They managed that by skipping Patrick Corbin‘s scheduled start on Tuesday as the team took advantage of Monday’s day-off. Now, Corbin is going to the mound today with three extra rest days and history on the line. The team’s last 6-game winning streak was on September 27 of 2019. The pitcher who started that streak: Corbin. That was then, and this is now. Will this be a history lesson or will history be made?

Can this 2024 version of Corbin pitch a winner for the Nats today? He might have to pitch deep into this game after the hi-lev bullpen arms have all been used in this series already.

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