Chris Speier will make his managerial debut for the Washington Nationals tonight as Dusty Baker is off for this entire series against the Padres while he attends his son’s High School graduation.
After the game last night, there was an armchair manager’s discussion on the internet as to the chess game gone awry in yesterday’s game. Raise your hand if you thought the move was to go in nibble mode on Nelson Cruz in that 6th inning when he hit the game winning 3-run home run off of Jacob Turner or was it now a checkers game because the correct chess move was to pull Gio after the first batter got on base.
If Cruz walks, you have bases loaded with one out. Maybe you leave Gio in to nibble on Cruz and have your doubleplay extraordinaire Blake Treinen ready for a Houdini act. It would be risky with Kyle Seager batting but that is exactly how the 7th inning unfolded as Treinen relieved Matt Grace.
Treinen walked Cruz and then induced a successful doubleplay ball on Seager. On the pitching staff, Treinen has the highest groundball rate and doubleplay rate on the team—but groundballs can find holes and turn into a larger disaster. When it works, it works great.
But in the chess game, you never want to put yourself in a compromising situation. Gio had been fortunate all game getting out of jams including bases loaded in the 5th inning and one out. Gio had walked 4 batters in the game to go with the 3 hits given up. Should Gio have been pulled after the lead-off single by Jean Segura with Robinson Cano in the on-deck circle? Gio was at 88 pitches when Segura hit his single.
In the post-season, I truly believe the hook would have been quick and Gio would not have even started the 6th inning with the top of the order coming up. As mentioned, Gio was fortunate to escape the 5th inning with no runs surrendered after walking the bases loaded.
Tonight, Chris Speier will be the manager and everyone will get to rate his managerial decisions. He will have Max Scherzer as his pitcher du jour and that certainly makes his life easier unless it comes to one of those “I
bleeping got it” discussions. When is enough, enough?
The Nationals will face right-handed Luis Perdomo tonight. Adam Lind is 2-2 against Perdomo with a home run and 3 RBIs. On the other side, Wil Myers has some ownage of Scherzer with a 4-9 and 2 solo home runs.
Hunter Renfroe has never faced Max Scherzer before, and the rookie has roots in the area as he was the mega star of the Cal Ripken wood bat collegiate summer league when he played for the Bethesda Big Train. That league isn’t as prestigious as the Cape Cod League, but who cares, that league has delivered several star players like Renfroe who shot up the draft boards when he was selected 13th overall as a 5-tool player in the 2013 draft. Trea Turner of course would be selected in the 1st round of the 2014 draft by the Padres and Joe Ross in the 1st round of the 2011 draft.
Wil Myers is on the Padres because of that Trea Turner and Joe Ross trade that involved the Tampa Bay Rays in a 3-team swap. Expect Trea Turner to be playing with a chip on his shoulder against his ex-team. Did you see what Lucas Giolito did last night against his ex-Syracuse Chiefs team? He threw a no-hitter in a 7-inning complete game. That is what you want to do against the franchise that traded you away!
Ryan Raburn was acquired today in a Minors move from the White Sox. He will be sent to Triple-A Syracuse. The Nationals will complete the trade with cash or a PTBNL.
San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, FOX Sports San Diego, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® XM 188 Sirius 145 (Internet 869)
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Trea Turner SS
- Jayson Werth LF
- Bryce Harper RF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Adam Lind 1B
- Matt Wieters C
- Michael Taylor CF
- Wilmer Difo 2B
- Max Scherzer RHP