Game #52 Nats want to start a winning streak!

Michael Taylor by Marlene Koenig for TalkNats

The Nationals for years have seemed to not be good on “get away” games. In the final games of series this season, the Nationals are a poor 6 wins against 9 losses, and 4 wins and 6 losses on “get away” games which is the day you leave for another city. That Padres game on Wednesday where they couldn’t push across runs like yesterday could be a mindset that has to change. If the Nationals had a reverse of series finale games, they would be firmly in first place. How can manager Dave Martinez change that focus to close-out series with more urgency? Easier said than done. 

The Nationals will once again go with their platoon at 1st base with Matt Adams going against the right-handed starting pitcher. Davey Martinez did stick with Mark Reynolds last night when Marlins manager Don Mattingly brought in his righty closer in a tie game to face him and what did Reynolds do? Ho hum, just crushed a long home run for the game winner off of Brad Ziegler.

Today, the Nationals will face rookie Elieser Hernandez for the first time. The righty has been both a reliever and a starter for two games and came up from High-A ball to finish the 2017 season and became a Rule 5 Draft claim from the Houston Astros. With the Buies Creek Astros last season, he finished with a 3.98 ERA and became a player the Astros were willing to expose to the Rule 5 Draft when the Marlins took a chance on him.

So far Hernandez has been rather good in results this season while teams try to formulate a scouting report on him. All of the runs scored off of Hernandez has been by lefty batters. In his two starts, Hernandez has been pulled both times after he has completed just 5 innings which is a key today to get Hernandez out early and get into the Marlins bullpen because they are the worst bullpen in the NL and the second worst in the Majors with a 5.74 ERA.

The Marlins bullpen has been averaging just short of 4 innings per game and have logged 194 1/3 innings in just 51 games. Shockingly they only rank 4th in taxing their bullpen. The Reds, Rays, and Brewers have them beat and the Angels and Dodgers are not far behind them. By the way, the Nationals rank the 3rd best in using their bullpen the least at 143 2/3 innings.

For the Nationals today, they go with Stephen Strasburg who has been searching for his sound mechanics that he found at the end of 2017. Tanner Roark passed Strasburg for 4th on the staff in starter’s ERA. Can Stras get back to being the second ace on this staff?

Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins
Stadium: Marlins Park, Miami, Florida
1st Pitch:  1:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN2; 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. Bryce Harper RF
  3. Anthony Rendon 3B
  4. Matt Adams 1B
  5. Juan Soto LF
  6. Michael Taylor CF
  7. Wilmer Difo 2B
  8. Pedro Severino C
  9. Stephen Strasburg RHP
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