Game #18 Strasburg starts, line-up changes as Harper gets rest day, Twins scratch Ervin Santana: Game Thread

The season yesterday officially moved passed the 1/10th completion mark as people are embracing the “Dusty Effect” that Talk Nats proposed in early February and while it is too early to make bold assumptions on the season, the Nats enter today’s game at a Major League best record of 13-4. The term “Dusty Effect” is now catching on.

There are struggling teams that are saying to their fans that “it’s early” as teams with high expectations like the Houston Astros are 6-12, the Yankees are 7-9, and the Tampa Bay Rays are 7-10. ┬áThe Nats were at that same point last year as the Tampa Bay Rays on April 24th at 7-10. In 2012, the Nats at this point in the season were an identical 13-4 on their way to a 98 win season. The results are telling to what a fast start means, and the Nats hope to keep pace with their 2012 record of 14-4 before tomorrow’s team ‘rest’ day.

Today at 1:35pm the Nats make their push to match their 2012 record as they send Stephen Strasburg to the mound to face call-up righty Tyler Duffey who is replacing Ervin Santana who was scratched. Duffey started 10 games in his rookie season last year and pitched to a 3.10 ERA and a 1.310 WHIP. The Twin Cities hurler was like the Tale of 2 Cities as he pitched like an Ace in his home park at an OPS of .489 versus an OPS on the road of .836.

Last year Duffey was a fastball and curveball pitcher. He throws a 4-seamer and a 2-seam sinker and relies on his curveball 45% of the time. His fastball velo averages 90mph and his curveball is at 80mph. Duffey will throw harder early in the game, and has the ability to get the fastball up to 94mph.

There is no charts today since Duffey hasn’t faced any Nats and Strasburg hasn’t faced any Twins position players.

It is a day-off for Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa.

Line-ups (subject to change without notice):

  1. Matt den Dekker RF
  2. Michael Taylor CF
  3. Daniel Murphy 2B
  4. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  5. Anthony Rendon 3B
  6. Jayson Werth LF
  7. Wilson Ramos C
  8. Stephen Drew SS
  9. Stephen Strasburg RHP
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