Nothing is normal these days with the Washington Nationals. People are wondering if there is a curse on this team. Last night, they reportedly were stuck nearly 8 hours on the team’s Delta charter on the tarmac in Philadelphia before deplaning and heading back to a hotel in the City of Brotherly Love. The plane was eventually repaired at Philadelphia International Airport, and the team departed at 10:49 am EDT and arrived at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 12:36 pm EDT (11:36 am CDT) The team immediately was en route to their team hotel in Milwaukee for a few winks before they head to the field in a few hours for their 7:40 EDT game time tonight which we will call Sleepless in Milwaukee.
If yesterday was any indication of playing tired, you could just look at Jake Noll who was called up to replace the injured Matt Adams. Noll flew overnight from Las Vegas to meet up with the team for the game on Sunday and was inserted into the starting lineup. In the first inning, Anibal Sanchez threw a pickoff throw to Noll which he did not see coming and the ball clanked off of his chest. He was fortunate the ball did not nail him in the head. Later that inning Noll had a routine groundball clank off of his glove for a 2-run error. Sleep deprivation is real.
“I don’t really have an excuse for the [error]. I messed up,” Noll said. “I should’ve made the play. Big play in the game, and I didn’t come up with it.”
Not only are the Nationals tired but they are playing now with 5 replacement players for injured players of which three of those players rank as “star” players in Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, and Juan Soto. The Nationals are now playing with a third-string first baseman at times after injuries to both Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Adams, and their backup centerfielder, Michael Taylor, hurt his risk and is listed as day-to-day and could go on the injured list also.
“[Rendon] is going to hit today and, barring no setbacks, he should be ready tomorrow,” manager Dave Martinez said.
It is a real SNAFU and we do not know if Max Scherzer flew ahead to Milwaukee yesterday because he might have stayed behind in case the team needed a pinch-hitter. There you have it except for the most startling Scherzer statistic of the season which is that the Nationals have lost six of Scherzer’s seven starts. The Nationals have also lost 10 of their 11 opening games in series. Scherzer will play a large part today in the team turning these horrific records around.
The Brewers at least got to stay home although they are tired after an 18-inning marathon game on Saturday night that seemed to go on forever. They have the righty Jhoulys Chacin on the mound tonight.
Washington Nationals vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Stadium: Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1st Pitch: 7:40 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:
Eaton – RF
Robles – CF
Kendrick – 1B
Gomes – C
Dozier – 2B
Difo – 3B
Stevenson – LF
Kieboom – SS
Scherzer – RHP