Every player on this Nats team contributed tonight to a 2-1 win against the Mets to support a nice 6 inning one run game from Max Scherzer who tweaked his hamstring six days ago. Nobody knew except Max that he would make this start tonight. Six days ago there were plenty of doubters on when Scherzer would make his next start. Trea Turner led off the game with his career 10th lead-off home run which set a Nats team record surpassing Alfonso Soriano who hit nine in just the 2006 season. The Nats other run came from a bloop single by Victor Robles and that was all the offense the team would need. The Nats bullpen saw a great save by Daniel Hudson and a 1 2/3 innings from Tanner Rainey on 13-pitches went the fireman route to snuff out two inherited runners in the 7th to go with his clean 8th inning for a well-earned “hold” for the team. Continue reading
Photo by Andrew Lang for TalkNats
When you score 16 runs in a game, you want to show that your offense can score a lot of runs again. Before last night, the Nats had been on a 2.9 runs per game pace. Obviously that 16-run outburst will skew the numbers. Pitchers throwing the Rawlings in low lev sure is easier than clinging to small leads like we saw on Saturday. After Max Scherzer bowed out of his last start after 1.0 inning of work due to a tight hamstring, he is right back at it six days later. The ace will need to show that he is healthy. Continue reading
Photo by Katie Moran for TalkNats
The Nats desperately needed a laugher this season, and they got it on the arm of Patrick Corbin and the bats of Asdrubal Cabrera, Juan Soto, and Trea Turner in a 16-4 blowout in CitiField. The Nats are technically 3-0 on the road this season. If you count the 2019 postseason, that road winning streak is 11-games dating back to October 4, 2019 in Game 2 of the NLDS in Los Angeles. Continue reading
Photo by Craig Nedrow for TalkNats
Does it feel like the Nats are still in Spring Training mode? It feels like a lack of urgency. Using the struggling Sean Doolittle in a key spot on Saturday was a flashback to Doolittle on August 9th to August 17th last year when Doo gave up 10-runs in 4.0 innings. The Nats shut him down the next day and placed the closer on the 10-day IL with right knee tendonitis listed as the cause. He returned in September with a fresh arm and was one of the stars the rest of the way and through the World Series. Yes, the Nats and Doolittle have little time to figure out what is wrong with the 2020 version.
There is also that tug-of-war with the starters. Hooking pitchers like Austin Voth and Erick Fedde too quick and allowing Anibal Sanchez and Stephen Strasburg to self-destruct on the mound has been emblematic of the issues to date. To a lesser extent, late inning matchups are not being taken advantage of in a sabremetrics sense with pinch-hitters where key at-bats have gone to fails in situational hitting. All of this has led to a 4-7 record with a 3-run deficit in a suspended game against the Orioles that could make the team 4-8. Continue reading
Photo from the Nationals team store
Sometimes sports brings out the ugliness in people. The Nats lost a winnable game and are now mired in a 3-game losing streak to match the 3-game winning streak that preceded that. Last night, it was so ugly on social media for Sean Doolittle that he deactivated his Twitter account. Doolittle stood up to the microphone after the Nats lost the game. He didn’t sneak away. Doo faced the music. Continue reading
Photo by Marlene Koenig for Talknats
The Nats had a 3-0 lead going into the 8th inning. Austin Voth, Javy Guerra, and Tanner Rainey combined for a shutout of the Orioles. Manager Dave Martinez went right to Sean Doolittle in the 8th inning, and the first two batters smashed home runs, and he struck out the lefty Chris Davis before he was pulled for Daniel Hudson who appeared to not have sufficient time to warm-up. Hudson quickly put two on-base followed by a three-run home run to lose the lead and take the loss. Sure, the Nats had a chance with two runners on-base in the 8th inning with Howie Kendrick in the batters box, but there was no clutch to be had. Continue reading
Voth on the mound; Photo by Marlene Koenig for TalkNats
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Last night was an awful night for baseball in Washington, D.C. It was not a competitive game, and manager Dave Martinez waved the white flag when the score ballooned over 8-0. These two teams are at it again tonight. Continue reading
Photo by Craig Nedrow for TalkNats
The Nats have a 3-game weekend series against the Orioles in Nationals Park (weather permitting). The difference a few days make. O’s fans were talking about PLAYOFFS after a 5-2 start to the season, but then the Marlins ripped through Baltimore and swept them in four games to throw the O’s back in the pack. The Orioles at the time had the third best record in the American League only trailing the Yankees and Twins. The Nats do not have much to brag about either as they have a similar record at 1-game under .500.
The betting lines are certainly interesting in this game. A quick look at the graphic tells you how Vegas is looking at this one, and as we always say, there is a reason we play the games. The Nationals are -180, so you would have to bet $180 to win $100 (as the favorites).
Like Vegas, the Nats are thinking Anibal Sanchez bounces back and Orioles starter and ex-Nat Tommy Milone flops. The lefty was the Orioles starter on Opening Day and was not good, but bounced back and stymied the Tampa Bay Rays over 5.0 innings. The Nats like hitting lefty pitching so we will see how this goes. All of a sudden, Milone has become a strikeout pitcher with a finesse repertoire. Sanchez last worked in the Nats “sim” game on Saturday.
Expect manager Dave Martinez to have three of these four in the lineup: Carter Kieboom, Asdrubal Cabrera, Howie Kendrick and Josh Harrison.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 6:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MASN2, MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice:
The Rolaids Relief award has a fireman’s helmet as being symbolic of how the best relievers in baseball history were known to extinguish the other team’s flicker of hope
We got to a point where we would just say, “All bullpens are bad” and then when your bullpen is actually good — you just don’t what to say. When the Nats PR department flashed a stat to the media during Thursday’s game that the Nats’ relievers had adopted seventeen inherited runners and did not allow one of those runners to score — it boggles the mind.
Last year, Daniel Hudson came to the Nats in a fireman’s role. He did not want to be a closer and relished his role while he led the Majors in allowing the fewest inherited runners to score when he was traded to the Nats in 2019, and you wonder if he taught his Nats’ teammates some tricks. That fireman’s role in bullpen’s of yesteryear was what impressed fans back then. Of course bullpen roles have evolved as starting pitchers went shorter and shorter in games. Continue reading
Photo from Nationals official Instagram
If you watched Juan Soto‘s 2020 debut, you probably noticed the foam cutouts of his father, mother, brother, sister, and uncles in the first three rows of Nationals Park in section 106. Soto got Fathead to create these custom cutouts of his familia. It was like “Bring your family to work” day in replica.
“I just wanted to feel my family here,” Soto said after the game.“With all this has been crazy. I just wanted to feel my family back there, and I have a couple uncles who have never been to the field in this stadium, so it’s their first time.”