Game #17 Nats limp into NYC as the underdog

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

With Anthony Rendon limping on that bruised toe, he is like his team right now who are hobbled. The Nationals are in New York now for a pivotal series with the rival Mets who are winning games by small margins with four of their twelve wins by one run and another four wins by two runs. One thing that could shock you is that the Nationals and the first place Mets are tied at batting .239 with runners on base. How is that possible? Yes, it is hard to believe that the Mets have also been run deprived and they are winning games on pitching from their bullpen and timely hitting late in games. The Nats have scored 67 runs this season and the Mets have only scored 65 — but full disclosure, the Mets have played two fewer games — but still!

Of note, in the 3rd inning today the season is officially 10% over for the Nationals with 90% of the season remaining to play and that is good news for the Nats to turn their season around.

Most of the Nationals issues could be attributed to not putting away teams early while they have had the opportunities. Manager Dave Martinez said just that after yesterday’s game, and unfortunately it is a constant theme.

“We had opportunities to put this team away early today, and we couldn’t do that,” manager Dave Martinez said. “We should have won some more games. The effort was there.”

Opportunities are made or lost in all facets of the game and the Nationals have faltered at key times in pitching, offense, defense, and baserunning. Yesterday’s game saw each of those facets fail at different points in the game, and the two players who had home runs for the Nationals were guilty of very costly baserunning blunders. Nobody is perfect in baseball as failing in a long career 70% of the time while batting usually puts you in the hall-of-fame. Small sample sizes skew the numbers, but we are getting closer

Tonight’s opportunities will start with Jeremy Hellickson on the mound and he will go up against Jacob deGrom who is no stranger to the Nationals. For the Mets, they got to see him when he pitched for the Phillies. Hellickson has had good success against the Mets’ lefty batters — but the same cannot be said against the righties giving Hellickson reverse splits.

We will obviously have updates this afternoon as the Nationals will have roster moves to make to add Hellickson which will include moving A.J. Cole to the bullpen.

Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets
Stadium: CitiField, Queens, New York
1st Pitch: 7:10 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. Trea Turner SS
  2. Howie Kendrick 2B
  3. Bryce Harper RF
  4. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  5. Matt Adams LF
  6. Matt Wieters C
  7. Wilmer Difo 3B
  8. Jeremy Hellickson RHP
  9. Michael Taylor CF

UPDATE: Trevor Gott is not with the team indicating he was most likely optioned back to Triple-A Syracuse for Hellickson’s spot, however the Nationals will need to create a 40-man spot for Hellickson so a 60-day DL move or a DFA is coming. Gott was optioned back to Triple-A Syracuse and the 40-man move was moving Jhonatan Solano to the 60-day DL.

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