Many people have been commenting on how so many Nationals players since the Dream Gala have been playing with low energy. Who knows, but several players have been playing sick, and while they won’t use that as an excuse, it’s understandable — but the Gala was two weeks ago so you have to think it is more than that. When was the last time we saw Bryce Harper celebrating? Answer: June 9th when he homered off of Ty Blach which happened to be hours before the Dream Gala later that evening. Maybe we should rename it the Nightmare Gala. The Nationals have been atrocious since the Gala with only 3 wins and 10 losses, and Harper hasn’t homered since!
Here’s what we need: Bryce Harper has to hit a home run. We need to all think “home run” for Bryce Harper tonight on the ESPN Game of the Week broadcast. You can do it Bryce! The starters for tonight are Jefry Rodriguez for the Nationals, and former Nats farmhand Nick Pivetta. The Nats hit Pivetta hard when they faced him last and his ERA is up to 4.08.
Tonight, Rodriguez says his goal is to work in his new and improved change-up to go with his heater and his curveball. As we know, it all begins with fastball command for JRod.
Dave Martinez is sitting Adam Eaton after his 0-for-4 game yesterday and two throws to the plate where he did not throw out runners. Eaton later in the game jogged to first base on a groundball and again this lack of a Hard-90 is part of the problem on this team. Nationals manager Dave Martinez should be very familiar with Hard-90 as his former boss, Joe Maddon, called it Respect-90 which simply means run hard for 90 feet from the batter’s box to 1st base. It really isn’t asking a lot and has become contagious on this team where it has spread that players can’t do the basics. Hustle costs you nothing.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: ESPN National Broadcast; 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
- Juan Soto LF
- Daniel Murphy 1B
- Michael A. Taylor CF
- Wilmer Difo 2B
- Pedro Severino C
- Jefry Rodriguez RHP