It’s great to have All-Star players on your team like Scherzer, Doolittle and Harper, and the Washington Nationals have other star players like Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, and Juan Soto who are near the tops of baseball in analytics. This week, Mark Reynolds took home the hardware of Player of the Week and beat out his teammate Trea Turner who also had a spectacular week with the bat and glove. With all of this star power that the Nationals possess, wins just don’t come easy for a team that used to be built on starting pitching.
The Nationals saw another breakdown in starting pitching yesterday and their modest 3-game winning streak was snapped. Today, they put Jefry Rodriguez back on the mound with the hopes that he can go deep into a game after Tanner Roark struggled through 4 long and arduous innings yesterday.
The Nationals activated Matt Wieters from the 10-day disabled list ahead of schedule. They sent Pedro Severino back to Triple-A Syracuse and the best thing for Severino right now might be a few rest days to get his legs back from under him. He was used as the primary catcher in Wieters absence, and finally this week he showed some life in his bat. But the Nationals want their highly paid veteran back and we will see if it makes a difference.
There were no other moves to shore up the bullpen much to the surprise of many and especially after watching Ryan Madson give up as many runs (4 ER) in 2/3 of an inning as Tanner Roark gave up in 4.0 innings. Madson looks a shadow of his former self, and Justin Miller also. Miller for his part gave up 2 runs yesterday in 1.0 inning of work. Matt Grace covered 2 innings yesterday and Brandon Kintzler took another for the 4 2/3 from the bullpen and Matt Reynolds worked 1/3 of an inning to finish the game. Desperate times desperate measures. It seems these relievers are taking “one” for the team a lot these days and they need help — but how long can they go at this pace? It seems Madson and Miller are past the perishable date.
The Pirates are pitching Ivan Nova tonight and he has been struggling most of the season with a 4.48 ERA.
Washington Nationals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Stadium: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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
- Juan Soto LF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Bryce Harper CF
- Matt Adams 1B
- Daniel Murphy 2B
- Adam Eaton RF
- Matt Wieters C
- Jefry Rodriguez RHP