When Max Scherzer pitches in Nationals Park this season, he has a 1.77 ERA and a WHIP of 0.673 with a 14.4 K/9 rate. Scherzer hopes to continue that dominance and today must face the catcher who was his battery-mate for his 2 no-hitters and his historic 20-strikeout game. Yes, Wilson Ramos is back as a visiting player, and yes, he is holding a press conference shortly for the D.C. media You can bet the Nationals crowd will be fired up to see one of their all-time favorites — but once the game starts, he’s just an opponent.
For the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, they were the team that gave Nationals manager Dave Martinez his first job as a bench coach. The Rays are here for a quick 2-game series, and they send righty Nathan Eovaldi to the mound tonight. He has only pitched one game in his last start and was working on a no-hitter while he was accused of doctoring the baseballs. Lefties in Eovaldi’s career have hit him better than righties to a .291 BAA and an OPS of .781. Eovaldi did not pitch last year in the Majors but in 2016 he was a 4.76 ERA.
The Nationals made 4 more roster moves today. We announced earlier that Jefry Rodriguez was returned back to Double-A Harrisburg which was a wise move since he wouldn’t be available to pitch for 3 more days, and Jeremy Hellickson was placed on the 10-Day DL with a hamstring strain. To replace the two vacant spots, Tim Collins returns from paternity leave and Matt Grace was activated from the DL. That gives the Nationals 4 lefties and 4 righties in the bullpen.
In other good news, Matt Adams and Pedro Severino both return to the line-up. Adams was nursing a bruised foot, and Severino was resting his tired legs as he has never played as much as he has been as the Nationals primary catcher.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 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:
- Trea Turner SS
- Bryce Harper RF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Matt Adams 1B
- Juan Soto LF
- Michael Taylor CF
- Wilmer Difo 2B
- Pedro Severino C
- Max Scherzer RHP