Last week, Nationals manager Dave Martinez promised that A.J. Cole would get another start this week and true to his word, Cole is the starter in this early afternoon finale against the Braves. In Cole’s career he has a 2.65 ERA against the Mets, 3.13 against the Phillies, 5.56 against the Marlins, and a jaw-dropping bloated 19.96 ERA against the Atlanta Braves in 3 games. The Braves have been Cole’s kryptonite, and they stack the lefties against him. Maybe this is a lesson of, if you don’t succeed — try, try again.
This morning the Nationals are rumored that Adam Eaton will be placed on the 10-day DL with a left ankle bone contusion. Taking Eaton’s place on the roster appears to be Moises Sierra who was not in the Triple-A Syracuse Chief’s game last night. The issue with adding Sierra is that he will need a 40-man roster spot and none exists right now. As suggested, the Nationals could put Victor Robles on the 60-day DL to open a roster spot or they could DFA Jhonatan Solano or another creative move like activating Matt Wieters who played last night at High-A Potomac in a rehab game and the Nats could DFA Miguel Montero. Stay tuned.
The other creative moves will come with a day game after a night game where Ryan Zimmerman (career 0-6 against McCarthy) will probably rest and be replaced by Matt Adams who is a career 5-for-10 against Braves right-handed starter Brandon McCarthy. Will Pedro Severino start at catcher in this on-going marathon or Matt Wieters or Miguel Montero? The 24-year-old has now started four games in a row. Keep in mind, Sevi also played in that 12-inning game on Sunday.
In addition, the Nationals have now won two games in a row with their aces on the mound.
“If you want a stopper,” Ryan Madson said. “There’s no other place to look than Max Scherzer. And then to be followed up by [Stephen Strasburg]. It’s fun to watch. And that’s why this team is going to be really good.”
In this series, we like what we have seen from the starting pitchers. The statistics back that up. Now we will see if A.J. can put in a quality start.
Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 1:05 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:
- Brian Goodwin LF
- Trea Turner SS
- Bryce Harper RF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Matt Adams 1B
- Howie Kendrick 2B
- Michael Taylor CF
- Pedro Severino C
- A.J. Cole RHP
Updated: Adam Eaton has been placed on the 10-day DL; Moises Sierra has been activated and put on the roster and takes Miguel Montero’s place on the 40-man roster as Montero has been DFA’d and Matt Wieters comes off of the 10-day DL to the active roster.
“We gave [Miguel Montero] the opportunity,” Dave Martinez said. “It just didn’t work out for him. It was not easy telling him. I’ve known him and his family for a long time.”
With the DFA of Miguel Montero, the catcher tandem will now be Matt Wieters and Pedro Severino. The catching assignments will be a work-in-progress. We should see a pattern form in the next week to analyze.