Game #69 The Father’s Day finale of the 4 game series in NYC

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there and to all those who mentor children. To the coaches and teachers and those who take their time with a child, we say thank you. The Nationals are clad in baby blue this weekend to honor those father figures and to raise funds for prostate cancer and awareness.

The business trip in New York finishes up today, and Dusty Baker would tell you there is more work to take place. The Nationals won the first three games in this four game series. The pitching match-ups seemed to favor the Nationals in this series until today as Jacob deGrom going up against Joe Ross has the Vegas line in favor of the Mets. But there is a reason we play the games.

The Mets did their best in this series to work Gio Gonzalez, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg in the first three games. The Nationals “elite” starting four occupy 4 out of the top 5 in pitch counts. It continues to be a disturbing trend and is a cautionary tale on baseball’s marathon season.

Part of the reasons for the high pitch counts have been predicated on the success of the Nats starters going deeper into games based on effectiveness, but Clayton Kershaw has pitched in 14 games just like the Nats big four, and Kershaw has pitched 13 more innings than Tanner Roark but 96 fewer pitches. Part of the issue is pitch efficiency and part of it is pushing these starters deeper into games because of the shaky bullpen. Max Scherzer on Friday pitched and grunted his way through pitches 104 to his final pitch at 118.  

Down on the farm in Triple-A Syracuse, some good news on Sammy Solis who threw a perfect inning in relief with 3 balls-in-play for outs. Andrew Stevenson was 4-for-4 yesterday and carried their offense as his teammates only added 3 hits in the game. Stevenson is now batting .234 and .444 his last 10 games. Brandon Snyder leads that team in batting at .278. In discouraging news, according to our sources Trevor Gott continues to receive treatment on his right arm, and he has now gone 3 days without throwing since throwing 52 pitches 4 days ago.

The matchups today has Joe Ross going up against a Mets team that has hit him well in small sample sizes. On the other side, Bryce Harper has faced deGrom in 21 official at-bats and is batting .381 with a home run, but Anthony Rendon and Michael Taylor have no hits in 13 and 11 at-bats respectively. Daniel Murphy (.500 BA) has seen deGrom well, and Ryan Zimmerman (.357 BA) has 2 career home runs against deGrom. Trea Turner and Matt Wieters are both 3-for-9 and Wieters also has a home run against deGrom.

A.J. Cole pitched his previous game on June 14th while giving up 5-runs in just 5 innings raising his Triple-A ERA to 5.68. Cole takes Shawn Kelley‘s spot as he heads to the 10-day DL with neck and trapezius discomfort.

Washington Nationals at New York Mets
Stadium: CitiField, Queens, New York
1st Pitch:  1:10 pm EDT
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® (Internet 869)

Line-ups (subject to change without notice):

  1. Trea Turner SS
  2. Brian Goodwin LF
  3. Bryce Harper RF
  4. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  5. Daniel Murphy 2B
  6. Anthony Rendon 3B
  7. Matt Wieters C
  8. Michael Taylor CF
  9. Joe Ross RHP
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