Game #136 Strasburg on the mound; Gio in the opposite dugout

The last 24-hours ended the question as to who would remain with the team out of the pending free agents as both Ryan Madson and Gio Gonzalez were both traded. For Gio, he only has to walk a few hundred feet to his new team while Madson has to fly to Los Angeles. Only Bryce Harper, Matt Wieters and Mark Reynolds remain as the only healthy members on the team’s pending free agent list. Kelvin Herrera, Jeremy Hellickson and Joaquin Benoit remain on the DL as they are also scheduled to be free agents after the season. In total, six players were ultimately traded in the past 31 days which started with Brandon Kintzler‘s departure.

This time last year Stephen Strasburg was the best pitcher in all of baseball in the second half of the season. In his last outing, Stras looked better than he did in his previous outing as he works his way back into form after a stint on the DL. If times were different, he probably would have been pitching his last two games at Harrisburg or Potomac — but these are not normal times as the Washington Nationals now need a miracle to secure a playoff berth and must play well just to finish with a winning record for that matter.

Tonight will matchup Strasburg against the Brewers Chase Anderson. Only Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, and Mark Reynolds have experience against him albeit very limited. Reynolds is 1-for-3 with a home run of course while Harper and Rendon are both 1-for-2 against Anderson.

While the Brewers added to their roster at the trade deadline,  they added Gio and Curtis Granderson to their team yesterday. The Nationals will add Austen Williams to the roster to take Gonzalez’s roster spot. Williams was a stand-out this year out of the Syracuse bullpen with a 1.19 ERA and a 11.61 K/9 . The Nationals are more depleted than they were before and will have to name a starter on Tuesday for Gio’s spot.

Rosters can expand today since it is September 1st, and teams can add any players who are on the 40-man roster. Manager Dave Martinez said on Wednesday that they will not add additional players until the Minor League schedule is complete but don’t expect that to be the case even though the Syracuse Chiefs season does not end until Monday. What is interesting is that Pedro Severino was told to be ready to come to D.C. today in case Wieters was traded and the word is Severino will be added to the roster today which will give Dave Martinez a 5-man bench even though Wieters was not traded.

General  manager Mike Rizzo did say he plans on activating top prospect Victor Robles in the next few days which should give us a glimpse into the future.  Could Bryce Harper “rest” so we can see an outfield of Juan Soto, Robles and Adam Eaton?

The Nationals yesterday had runners on-base all night long, but the middle of the order was awful as they were 3-15 with no RISP hits and 2 of those hits were from Soto. Anthony Rendon stranded 6 runners, Ryan Zimmerman stranded 5 runners, and Bryce Harper also stranded 5 runners and had a chance with one out in the 9th inning to pull a Bote and walk-off with the grand slam or do a Soto and just take a walk with bases loaded. Harper decided to swing at 3 pitches below the zone and struck out and the game ended last night on a Rendon groundout. Those postgame reports seem like a copy of paste because Nats fans have seen it so often and now with the state of the team are almost numb to the continual failure.

Last night, the team was 1-for-15 in RISP and the only success was from Trea Turner. Between Turner and Eaton, they were on-base 6-of-10 times last night.

Before tonight’s game, the Nationals announced they will be showing a tribute video of Gio Gonzalez.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium:  Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 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:

  1. Adam Eaton RF
  2. Trea Turner SS
  3. Bryce Harper CF
  4. Anthony Rendon 3B
  5. Juan Soto LF
  6. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  7. Wilmer Difo 2B
  8. Spencer Kieboom C
  9. Stephen Strasburg RHP
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