The Washington Nationals come into this game needing to right their bullpen that must turn in a game with no runs. As you look around the Major Leagues, bullpens all over are failing, and in fact 21 of the 30 teams already have at least one blown save. There are three teams with 3 blown saves already, and they are the Tigers, Mariners and Giants. Of the 9 teams that have not had blown saves, six of those teams have only had 2 or fewer chances for saves and the White Sox have not had a save opportunity so far this season.
ERA’s are not a great stat for relief pitchers, but just to show you how bad this first week of the season has been, the MLB average ERA for relievers is at 4.21. That doesn’t include allowing inherited runners to score on the starter’s ERA.
The issue with many teams is that in the first few weeks of the season the relievers are used more as starters do not go as deep into games, and managers are learning the correct balance. The Nationals have also played 3 games in Philadelphia which is a hitter’s park.
Dusty Baker is fine and said he isn’t throwing in the red flag or for that matter is not waving a white flag.
“Not really,” Dusty Baker said. “How are you going to toss a red flag and you’ve played these [few] games? You know what I mean? They’re winning that seventh and eighth on us. We’ll figure it out. Our guys, we’ve just got to figure out kind of. We’re still in the process of figuring out where to slot guys in the part of the game…Some weird stuff happens in [that] ballpark, cause you’re never really safe with the lead [there] because the fences are so accessible…”
The bullpen will work itself out, and again, this is almost a league-wide issue exacerbated by have to play one extra innings game and covering the remainder of the Guthrie start where the bullpen had to cover 7 ¹/³ innings. Koda Glover probably needs a rest, and Blake Treinen has now had two days rest.
Tonight, it is Tanner Roark and Adam Wainwright as the starting pitchers. The Nationals made a DL move with Trea Turner retroactively back to yesterday and with day-offs he could only miss 8 games with the new 10 day disabled list. Michael Taylor, as expected, was called up to take his spot.
St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, FOX Sports Midwest, MLB.TV
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Adam Eaton CF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Bryce Harper RF
- Daniel Murphy 2B
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Jayson Werth LF
- Stephen Drew SS
- Matt Wieters C
- Tanner Roark RHP