The Nationals begin a nine-day road trip with a quick two-game inter-league series in Cleveland tonight, and we will see if this game has a playoff type feel. The Nats debut a brand new lineup and Trea Turner in CF!
The Indians pitch their ace righty Danny Salazar, and the Nats have Gio Gonzalez.
This is also game #100 which leaves 62 games remaining after tonight’s game. It is also a good time for some of the struggling players to work their way out of slumps. Ryan Zimmerman returns to the active roster as well as Sammy Solis with Michael Taylor and Lucas Giolito sent to Triple-A Syracuse.
If you think lefties are the answer to Salazar, that has not been the case this year as he is tougher on lefties than righties by nearly 85 points in OPS. Lefties slash .193/.263/.305/.568 against Salazar. Lefty batters in the past two seasons only hit .138 off of Salazar’s changeup. Salazar is mostly a four-seam fastball pitcher with the change-up right behind it in usage. The fastball sizzles at an average of near 96mph. The rest of his repertoire is the sinker, slider, curve and cutter. Batters who sit on the four-seamer or the change-up can have success against him.
Once you get Salazar near 80 pitches, his slash changes to .269/.358/.398/.756 as he starts missing location. Work him hard and frustrate him as he will make mistakes.
Here are the Nats stats against Salazar:
Here is Gio Gonzalez‘s stats against the Cleveland Indians:
Washington Nationals and Cleveland Indians
Stadium: Progressive Field, Cleveland Ohio
1st Pitch: 7:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN, Sports Time Ohio, MLB.tv
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Trea Turner CF
- Bryce Harper RF
- Daniel Murphy 2B
- Wilson Ramos C
- Jayson Werth DH
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Danny Espinosa SS
- Ben Revere LF
Gio Gonzalez RHP