Game #81 Halfway finished; Gio to the stopper role, Sammy Solis returns

After today’s game, we will begin the mathematical second half of the season. Gio Gonzalez gets the start for the Nationals and will face Michael Wacha of the Cardinals. The Nationals also had some more roster moves.

The rumors of the demise of Sammy Solis were great exaggerated and not only has Solis arisen from the 60 day DL where he was placed yesterday — he is in St. Louis today and activated off of the 60 day DL that he was placed on yesterday. Solis literally went the MLB Injury Report to the active roster as Jacob Turner, the former 1st round draft pick and top prospect, was designated for assignment. While Jacob Turner was not great overall, he seemed to give it his all and was a flexible part of the pitching staff as spot-starter, long-man, set-up man, and finisher. In all, Turner logged 39.0 innings for the Nationals, and at one point, he looked like he found a home until his usage in the bullpen changed and he faltered.

General manager Mike Rizzo looked like he found a steal in Jacob Turner then it got strange. On May 14th, Jacob Turner entered the game as a reliever and pitched 2/3 of an inning. Only 3 days later, he was starting and was not stretched out. He pitched 5 shutout innings against the Pirates, but Dusty Baker sent him out for the 6th inning with a pitch count of 66 pitches when it was discussed that Turner would throw 60 to 70 pitches on that day since he was not stretched out. Nobody was warming in the bullpen and as mentioned Turner had just pitched 3 days before and was not stretched out. Turner threw 23 pitches to get just one out in the 6th inning while giving up 3-runs. His pitch count was 89 when he left. Turner never seemed to be the same after that appearance. But Turner also never complained. Turner hadn’t pitched more than 32 pitches in any of his 5 previous appearances. Yesterday, Turner gave up 5-runs and never had much. Jacob Turner’s tenure went from good to bad quickly. We wish him luck in the future.

As for Solis, it was just 4-days ago that he came in for relief for the Syracuse Chiefs and gave up 3-runs in 1 1/3 innings with 2 hits and a walk and one of the hits was a home run to Ji-Man Choi. Solis was pitching for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs where the statline just did not look good. He finished in Syracuse with an 8.10 ERA. Welcome back Sammy.

In the wake of the injury to Trea Turner, Nationals manager Dusty Baker said he would be using Brian Goodwin and Michael Taylor at lead-off in Turner’s absence. Brian Goodwin led-off yesterday against the right-handed starter Mike Leake. Today, Dusty Baker switched up the line-up again and is going to lead-off Michael Taylor against right-hander Michael Wacha.

Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals
Stadium: Busch Stadium,  700 Clark Street, St. Louis, MO 63102
1st Pitch:  7:15 pm EDT
TV: FOX nationals broadcast, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® XM  (Internet 869)

Line-ups (subject to change without notice):

  1. Michael Taylor CF
  2. Brian Goodwin LF
  3. Bryce Harper RF
  4. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  5. Daniel Murphy 2B
  6. Anthony Rendon 3B
  7. Stephen Drew SS
  8. Matt Wieters C
  9. Gio Gonzalez LHP
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