Game #11 Stephen Strasburg wants to continue yesterday’s momentum

Sometimes you need to get on your knees and pray to the baseball gods; Photo by Craig Nedrow

Today’s roster will get a changeup as Miguel Montero is set to return from his paternity leave. With Pedro Severino playing so well and Matt Wieters set to return from the 10-day DL on Thursday, there are going to be some difficult decisions that will transpire with these roster moves. There was a hint yesterday that the Nationals could carry three catchers on the roster. With Severino catching Scherzer last night, the ace arguably had his best start since his October 3rd no-hitter in 2015.

Manager Dave Martinez does not need to carry three catchers to placate Miguel Montero. The newly acquired catcher has had his opportunities to make some positive impact, but so far it has been a conglomeration of a .000 batting average and below average defense. The Nats catcher situation was a mess before and after the acquisition of Montero.

While Ryan Zimmerman is not going anywhere, he is suffering a similar fate to Montero with an on-base-percentage only 22 points higher and a batting average of .097.  Zimmerman’s defense has been less than stellar and while he has not been charged with any errors, he has missed throwing to other bases and hasn’t fielded grounders that have clanked off his glove. What ails both Montero and Zimmerman could just be the curse of the baseball gods where balls just are not finding the outfield grass, but sure, neither player is as bad as the statistics show.

“I try not to think about line-ups and more about the players,” Dave Martinez said in Spring Training. “We wanted to get another veteran catcher. We have a veteran pitching staff. [Miguel Montero] calls great games. He is astute to all the analytics, [and he is] a great guy to have around. He really is. He’s a funny guy, very high-spirited, very competitive and loves to win.”

We heard Pedro Severino is a funny guy, high-spirited, very competitive and loves to win also. With Montero, a DFA is a real possibility and it will not be an easy decision this week. With Zimmerman, he is not going anywhere, and the strategy could be moving him back in the batting order. The other choice could be more time on the bench to platoon with Matt Adams. On Sunday, Bryce Harper went 3-for-4 with a home run batting in front of Adams.

In a larger scope, the question is which Ryan Zimmerman is he? The great 2017 version or the slumping 2016 version — or somewhere in between. Smarter minds have to figure this out.

Sometimes a player’s worth is the proverbial bag of balls, Photo by Craig Nedrow for TalkNats

For tonight’s game, Stephen Strasburg will get the start for the Nationals and Mike Foltynewicz for the Atlanta Braves. Both teams faced these opposing starters last week.

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium:  Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app

Line-ups subject to change without notice:

  1. Adam Eaton LF Brian Goodwin LF
  2. Trea Turner SS
  3. Bryce Harper RF
  4. Anthony Rendon 3B
  5. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  6. Michael Taylor CF
  7. Wilmer Difo 2B
  8. Pedro Severino C
  9. Stephen Strasburg RHP

Update: Adam Eaton was scratched due to what the Nationals have said is a left ankle bone bruise.

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