This afternoon game with the Braves is the first half of this day-night doubleheader. This game is also the first of this four game series. At the conclusion of this game, there will only be 50-ganes remaining in the regular season.
The Nationals are expected to activate starter Jefry Rodriguez for this game. The Braves have lefty Max Fried scheduled.
On June 3rd, JRod made his MLB debut against these same Atlanta Braves and shut them out over 4 2/3 innings. Rodriguez’s 4-seam fastball was working on that day, and that was the difference as he had them off-balance working in his sinker, changeup and curveball also. While the Nationals would like to see JRod go deep into the game, you would think they would happily take another shutout from JRod if he can get his team at least 5-innings.
As expected, reliever Greg Holland was officially signed today as a free agent and will be available to pitch. The Nationals will only be responsible for about $160,000 of his salary which is his prorated portion of the league minimum as the Cardinals are responsible for the rest. Holland had a 7.95 ERA and a near 2.25 WHIP with the Cardinals this season.
“Get outs,” Holland said is his goal. “I’ll be ready when the phone rings.”
Manager Dave Martinez sees Holland as a 6th or 7th inning set-up man in the Nationals bullpen. To make room for Holland, the Nationals optioned Jimmy Cordero back to the Minor Leagues.
Manager Dave Martinez could have pitched Max Scherzer in Game 1, but they elected to go with JRod in this one. With the Braves pitching lefties in both ends of the doubleheader, we could see Ryan Zimmerman starting one game and Mark Reynolds for the other. The catcher assignments will probably be Spencer Kieboom in the first game and Matt Wieters catching Max Scherzer. Michael Taylor should start at least one of the games and Difo as well with Murphy.
Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 1:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB.TV app out-of-network
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice: