There was no day-game yesterday to accommodate a Washington Nationals getaway day so the Nats chartered Delta jet took off just after midnight (EDT) and arrived in Dulles at 2:04AM. “Get on that plane…and have a nice happy flight. Come back tomorrow — be at home and get ready for tomorrow,” manager Dave Martinez said after last night’s game. Yep, that win must have made the flight feel short. Tonight’s starter, Max Scherzer, flew back to D.C. earlier so he could get a normal night’s sleep.
Part of the challenge of baseball is adjusting to the sleep schedules. Another part of adjusting to baseball is working out of slumps. The Nationals have a few players in that category. Matt Adams has not had a hit in nearly two weeks, Adam Eaton is 1-for-18, Juan Soto is 2-for-20, and Ryan Zimmerman continues his struggles against right-handed pitching with another O-fer where his R/R batting average dropped to .189 for the season.
Managers must know when to rest players and when to play others so they don’t lose their timing like Matt Adams. The last game that Juan Soto was not in the starting line-up was on July 4th. Soto is batting .278 since the All-Star break, but he was doing fine (batting .309) until he played against the two veteran lefties last weekend in Chicago. That would have been the optimum time to give Soto a day-off against either Jon Lester or Cole Hamels. As of last night, Soto left St. Louis batting a season low .293 since the first week of his career.
Tonight, the Marlins start righty Dan Straily. Maybe not a game to start Matt Adams who is 1-for-his-last-10 against Adams. Mark Reynolds (.400) is 2-for-his-last-5 and Zim is 2-for-his-last-6 against Straily. Bryce Harper is 2-for-16 against Straily and Daniel Murphy is 1-for-13. Eaton and Wieters have hit Straily well.
Good luck penciling up your line-up card Davey! Marlin’s manager Don Mattingly has a more challenging issue as his team is facing Max Scherzer. Catcher J.T. Realmuto is 3-for-his-last-31 against Max Scherzer and others have never had a hit off of the reigning “Cy” so there you go.
Miami Marlins vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 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: