After 39-games on the IL, Trea Turner returns to the Nationals and joins his teammates to create what is nearly the lineup that manager Dave Martinez envisioned. Maybe this current roster is better in some ways with the addition of Gerardo Parra, but this team really-really needs the struggling players like Juan Soto, Yan Gomes and Brian Dozier to step it up.
The Nationals enter this game as winners of two games in a row, and they have Max Scherzer on the mound with an extra day’s rest.
“Going into today, we’re 1-0,” Martinez said. “Every series you play, you want to come out with a winning series. I tell the boys, ‘Just go out there and play.’ ”
There is another dynamic at play here which is this issue with the Nats poor results in opening days of series where the team is 2-12 this season, but you can look back further where the Nats are 0-for-their-last-10 on Friday games that stretches back to the 2018 season which has not made this a TGIF in Natstown for a long time.
The Nationals have been outscored 48-20 in those 10 consecutive Friday losses dating back to August 24th of 2018. General manager Mike Rizzo said the team will be changing up their processes today in their game prep for the opening of this series.
“ I don’t know what to make of it yet. We’re doing some analysis of it now,” Rizzo said. “First days are the busiest day for the preparation of that series. We do all of our advanced reporting, and we have all of our pitching and hitting meetings. We’re looking to streamline some of those processes and those meeting times, and do something different. It could be coincidental on who you are facing that day, and that type of thing. We’re looking into it, and see if there are any tweaks we can make in our preparation to allow us win that first game of series because if you don’t win that first game of the series it curtails your chance of winning that series.”
This series happens to be against the Cubs who were just humbled against the Reds in Cincinnati after the team from Chicago lost two of the three games in that series. They bring Cole Hamels to the mound tonight in a matchup with marquee appeal with Scherzer for the Nats. Hamels has a 3.08 ERA this season, and Scherzer hopes that great defense behind him makes a positive difference. Max has a league-leading 2.25 FIP which is the advanced stat that is an acronym for Fielding Independent Pitching that attempts to neutralize the effects of defense. It means that Max is having an exceptional season, and the hope is that Max’s ERA trends towards to his FIP number with better defense.
The Cubs just arrived in D.C. in the early morning hours after a lengthy and rainy night in Cincinnati that ended with a Cubs loss.
|Michael A. Taylor||13||12||2||0||0||1||1||1||7||.167||.231||.417||.647|
The stats are interesting against Cole Hamels. The player on the top, Adrian Sanchez, could be the player sent back to the minors as the corresponding move to Trea Turner being called up. Or, could Turner just take Anibal Sanchez‘s spot as he looks to be heading to the 10-day IL with a strained hamstring. We should know late this afternoon what moves the Nationals make.
For Davey Martinez, he was the Cubs bench coach not too long ago while learning under Joe Maddon. This is the third series that DMart will manage against his former team. Can he use his knowledge of Maddon and the Cubs to get a strategic advantage? You would hope so and that could help him exploit some of the Cubs flaws.
- · Recalled from rehab assignment and reinstated SS Trea Turner from the 10-day IL
- · Recalled RHP Kyle McGowin from Triple-A Fresno
- · Optioned INF Wilmer Difo to Triple-A Fresno
- · Placed RHP Anibal Sanchez on the 10-day Injured List (left hamstring strain)
For those questioning Trea Turner’s grip on the bat. This photo from Wednesday shows all fingers wrapped around the bat handle:
Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice: