Game #71 Ten games away from the halfway point in the season; Gio Gonzalez pitching in his hometown

In the winter months, we can’t wait for baseball, and after midnight we are technically in the summer months with ten games remaining for the halfway point in the season at the 81st game. We will then be able to multiply many of the statistics by two to project the full season, and some of the statistics for the Nationals players as well as players around the league look very good.

The Nationals blew an opportunity last night, and it happens as their 6-run lead quickly evaporated. Today is a new day as they say, and in the last day of spring, “Hope springs eternal”.

What we keep learning and reminded of is that you cannot keep pushing on human beings for more than their bodies can handle. The mind may think it can do what the body will not allow. For instance, throwing 44 pitches at maximum effort in an inning is not good for the arm. Throwing 52 pitches in an inning for a younger arm is potentially even worse. We sound like a broken record sometimes, but there has to be a voice of reason which the mainstream media doesn’t want to touch as they want to maintain a good working relationship with the coaches and manager of the Washington Nationals. We would like to also, but we also feel we can be the conscience for those who want to hear our opinions. In the end, these are just our opinions. Two years ago, we were right about Terry Collins handling of his pitching staff as he worked his starters and his closer sometimes like they had rubber arms. We saw Collins once throw Jeurys Familia at 57 pitches over a 3 day period and were shocked, but now we see young Trevor Gott throw 59 pitches over 2 days, Matt Grace has thrown 52 over the last 3 games, and Enny Romero throwing 68 pitches over 3 days. These are not long-men in the bullpen.

This chart over the weekend says all you need to know about pitch counts for the starters and Tanner Roark threw 663 pitches in the  month of May which is the most of any pitcher in one calendar month this year.

Cause and effect when you look at Roark’s June results could be poor mechanics, but Tanner Roark didn’t forget how to pitch. Tanner Roark now owns an 8.02 ERA in June and that gives him the benefit of 3 unearned runs on June 9th that does not impact his ERA.

Tonight Gio Gonzalez goes up against the right-handed Edinson Volquez who threw a no-hitter two starts ago and ignited the Marlins to go on a nice streak of wins and believe in themselves again. Expect Adam Lind to be in tonight’s line-up as he hits Volquez well. Ryan Zimmerman also has a good track record against Volquez. One player who has struggled is Bryce Harper who is 1-for-11 in his career.

We certainly don’t expect that Matt Grace and Enny Romero will be available to pitch tonight, but A.J. Cole, Matt Albers, Blake Treinen, and Joe Blanton did not pitch last night. In fact, Matt Albers has not pitched in over a week, and it is a mystery why he has not. We do expect that to be questioned today as we contacted some members of the media about it. Yes, you would think it would have been asked last night in the post-game presser with Dusty Baker, but it was not.

There also could be a roster move today so stay tuned on that.


Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins
Stadium: Marlins Park, 501 Marlins Way (NW 16th Avenue), Miami, Florida 33125
1st Pitch:  7:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, FOX Sports Florida, MLB.TV
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. Stephen Drew 3B
  7. Matt Wieters C
  8. Michael Taylor CF
  9. Gio Gonzalez LHP
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