The two best teams statistically in the NL, and on most power rankings, will face-off in a 4 game set at Wrigley Field beginning tonight at 8:05pm. The Nationals have Joe Ross as their starter with Kyle Hendricks going for the Cubs.
The Nationals also have Ben Revere being evaluated right now in Chicago to see if he will be activated from the DL tonight which would require a corresponding roster move. All signs point to Matt den Dekker as the odd man out, but Rizzo could surprise everyone and make a different move like sending Michael Taylor to Triple-A Syracuse to play every day. Taylor’s bench pinch-hitting record has been poor (.083/.154/.333/.487), although you must consider the sample size; however, his overall picture is just not good right now to be fair. Matt den Dekker in a sample size that is much larger than Taylor’s has been a more than serviceable pinch-hitter over his career including 3 game winning hits as he has slashed .250/.308/.389/.697, and it’s hard to explain it, but den Dekker steps up his game when the stakes get higher. In his career with 2 outs and RISP, den Dekker slashes .333/.368/.417/.785 and in all High Leverage situations which has been 81 plate appearances, den Dekker has slashed an incredible .292/.363/.417/.779 in his career.
As DonH pointed out, there are other implications here as Michael Taylor would burn an option year if he was sent down. It may be inevitable anyway as someone will have to leave the roster when Trea Turner is called up.
Here are the Nats stats against Kyle Hendricks:
Here are Joe Ross’ stats against the Cubs:
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Michael Taylor CF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Bryce Harper RF
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Daniel Murphy 2B
- Jayson Werth LF
- Wilson Ramos C
- Danny Espinosa SS
- Joe Ross RHP
Courtesy of Section222: This is a great Nats celebration video View post on imgur.com