Every game played is another game you can X off the schedule as the Nationals have to show more urgency with only 63 games remaining in the regular season. In order to win 90 games, the Nationals will have to go 41-22 to finish the regular season. Great teams can achieve that pace, and unfortunately the Washington Nationals have not been a great team this year. They played great on Sunday, and games like that have been the exception in a season filled with poor play.
General manager Mike Rizzo knew the weak links in the Nationals roster. A novice could see that the team was in need of a #3 pitcher yet the team is stuck with pitching Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark in two of every five games. The Nationals have only won 1 of Gio’s previous 7 starts, and they have only won 1 of Tanner Roark’s previous 10 starts. Combined this duo has led their team to a 2-15 record in that period. If they were just .500 in those 17 starts, the Washington Nationals would be in 1st place.
Part of the issue in those Roark and Gonzalez starts is an offense that has been non-existent at times, but the pair has pitched to a combined ERA of 7.03 in those 17 games which has not helped and just as bad they have only averaged 4.82 innings in those games which has stressed the bullpen.
The other issue at hand is the Nationals tried to put Ryan Zimmerman into a spot that did not need fixing. Matt Adams has been bashing the ball as the Nationals first baseman where he is hitting over .300 with a slash of 1.043. If general manager Mike Rizzo wants to fix a weak position, it is clearly the catcher’s position where the Nationals are the worst in the Major Leagues. While Matt Wieters got a single last night late in the game when the game was all but over, he is batting .202 on the season which essentially had the Nationals batting with 4 players at or below .220 last night. The fact the Nationals only managed 5-hits last night was disappointing but not a surprise given the line-up construction.
There is a good chance that manager Dave Martinez will sit Trea Turner tonight as punishment for not running out a bunt that was fielded by the pitcher. There is also a good chance that Ryan Zimmerman starts again tonight because DMart hinted at that yesterday that he would like to start Zimmerman for the first two games in this series. Again, the first base situation was not in need of fixing. Can Ryan Zimmerman play catcher? I did not think so.
Stay tuned for the line-ups and the pre-game news conference.
Washington Nationals vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Stadium: Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1st Pitch: 8:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN2; MLB.TV app out-of-network
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice:
- Adam Eaton RF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Juan Soto LF
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Daniel Murphy 2B
Bryce HarperMichael Taylor CF
- Wilmer Difo SS
- Spencer Kieboom C
- Jeremy Hellickson RHP
UPDATE: As you noticed, Trea Turner has indeed been benched due to his lack of hustle last night. Bryce Harper has been scratched (waiting on why), and Matt Adams with the 1.043 OPS at 1st base will sit again tonight in favor of Ryan Zimmerman who the manager wants to “get going”. Adams was already “going” with a higher OPS than Zimmerman has had in his entire career. Can Zimmerman hit a couple of home runs tonight and carry his team?