The regular season is almost over but there is still work to be done. Max Scherzer pitch for the Nats tonight. Scherzer comes off of a shutout performance where he gave us a “soundbite” that will be one of the memorable moments of the 2015 season along with his no-hitter which was a near perfect game, and of course his 1-hit gem.
The Nats PR and graphics people continue to Tweet out some great Bryce Harper MVP campaign pieces:
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 23, 2015
The Orioles counter with Chris Tillman who has struggled this season and comes into the game with a 5.19 ERA. Tillman was a 2nd round pick of the Mariners and a Top Prospect who has never lived up to the advanced hype because of his lack of consistency. He got traded to the Orioles along with Adam Jones in the Erik Bedard trade and has 2 years of team control remaining after this season.
Tillman is a 4-seam fastball pitcher for nearly 1/2 of what he throws and the velo is around 91-93mph. He will mix in some sinkers, curveballs, changeups, and sliders. The sinkers aren’t thrown often as strikes and the sliders sometimes hang, and his 4-seamer will miss location making Tillman a pitcher who can be beat if you let him make mistakes.
Ryan Zimmerman owns Chris Tillman going 3-6 and all 3 hits are HRs. Nats players have faced Tillman many times. Escobar has faced him 23 times and boasts a .391 OBP. The Nats faced him earlier this year in Baltimore and CRob went 2-3, Desi 3-10, MAT 1-2, Rendon 1-3, Ramos 2-8, and somehow Bryce is only 1-6.
Let’s face it, the Nats have to play better than last night. The Orioles tried to hand the Nats the game with multiple blunders and errors and lots of walks. Part of the reason the Nats couldn’t capitalize was the moving strike zone last night, but most of it was poor situational hitting and what appeared to be a lack of hustle by a few, but also some poor execution on defense, and Gio was ineffective giving up 4 runs over 4 2/3rds innings.
Detroit radio is reporting that Bruce Rondon was sent home, and this from Brad Ausmus:
“Bruce Rondon, because of his effort level, has been sent home. Other than saying that [general manager] Al Avila and myself completely agreed on it, there will be no other details or comment.”
Reading through game comments last night and this morning, many were disappointed in the Nats effort level. A ball that bounded off the Orioles rightfielders’ glove for an error skipped away to the side wall and Michael A. Taylor only got to 1st base. Ian Desmond was picked off 1st base and while that wasn’t a lack of hustle, it’s the mental part of the game to wonder what happened with him or the batter as to how that happened. Gio walking 2 consecutive batters then giving up a RBI hit to an American League pitcher who rarely swings a bat. How would you rate Werth’s effort level and throw on a double in the corner that scored Machado from 1st base?
Rizzo was back on his Wednesday segment with Grant & Danny on 106.7 and was asked about Matt Williams future. Rizzo’s tone seemed to change and if someone knows how to post up the segment it’s worth the listen.
This probably sums up the feelings of many on the level of play last night:Re: Last night’s game, I turned it off when Gonzalez was pulled and the Nats hadn’t capitalized on four (or was it five?) BBs. The lack of any production from the walks illustrated a notable weakness in the offense this season.