It was six days ago when Vance Worley did a “Cy Young” imitation on the mound in Marlins Park. Worley, as you might remember, was with the Nationals in Spring Training and did an admirable job, but management chose Jeremy Guthrie over Vance Worley and the journeyman went on his way only to end up now with the Marlins. Last week Worley and his defense befuddled the Nationals batters while holding them to only two-hits over 7 innings of shutout baseball relying on some great defense and luck of the BABIP gods. He only struck out 3 batters and had the great fortune of 3 doubleplays.
In that game, AJ Cole was the opposing pitcher and he did not get much luck but also did not make his own luck giving up 2 home runs and 5 runs over 5 innings. Much of Cole’s issues started with 4 walks, but the real story could have been that Cole took the Nats into the 5th inning with only a 1-0 deficit and he was stung by his own team defense when Dee Gordon led-off the 5th inning with a triple over Bryce Harper’s head that should have been caught and then Cole unraveled. Dusty Baker had nobody warming in the bullpen when the damage could have been limited, and it was unfortunate as Cole gave up 4 runs in the inning and departed after the inning with a 5-0 deficit.
As they say in baseball, today is a new day and if AJ Cole can replicate what he did in the first 4-innings in Miami for today’s game he will give his team a chance, and that is all you can ask for.
In a strange coincidence, it was in that same game 6 days ago that Enny Romero was last seen and heard from. He was removed from the game with an apparent injury and the next day put on the 10-day disabled list with a left forearm strain; however, there has not been a word since then except to say last Wednesday that he would be seeing a doctor. Romero also has not been seen on social media where he was very active, and in none of the pre-game or post-game pressers with Dusty Baker has a media member asked about him.
The bullpen without Romero has been doing well as we saw in Chicago over the weekend and again last night.
The Nats goal tonight should be to support Cole in lowering his ERA and raise Worley’s from that 5.31 that he enters tonight’s game with.
Miami Marlins vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, FOX Sports – Florida, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® Sirius 132 XM 186 (Internet 869)
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Brian Goodwin CF
- Adrian Sanchez 2B
- Bryce Harper RF
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Adam Lind LF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Wilmer Difo SS
- Jose Lobaton C
- AJ Cole RHP