It was May 4th when the Nationals had just scored 4-runs in the 8th inning to turn a loss into a win against the Phillies, and the team moved to 4 games under .500. The Nationals are in a similar spot tonight where they could be back to 4-under with a win. It seems almost inconceivable for this team that was 12-games under water just 15-games ago on May 23rd. Since that date, the Nationals are 11-4 with three of those four losses in that one-run loss variety. You know, the type of loss like Saturday that just tears your heart out. Losses are going to happen, and it always depends what you do the next game. In this case the Nationals won back-to-back Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg games which they also did a week ago, and while you would think that should be the norm — and it should be — those are the only times that dynamic duo has done it all season.
Tonight, the Nationals turn to Anibal Sanchez to pitch in an AL Central stadium which he did for several years in his career for the Detroit Tigers from 2012 to 2017 with a designated hitter and all. Sanchez has pitched in Chicago many times before and he has faced Jose Abreu in 26 at-bats, and Sanchie has faced all but 3 of the current White Sox position players. The Nationals and White Sox just faced-off last week in Washington, D.C., and will have this quick two-game series in Chicago.
The White Sox are rumored to be calling up the righty Odrisamer Despaigne who many of the Nationals players are familiar with, but there are several Nats players who have never faced him like Adam Eaton, Yan Gomes, Victor Robles, Juan Soto and Kurt Suzuki. Matt Adams and Brian Dozier are the only two Nats who have hit Despaigne well, but the other thing is this is not the same pitcher who dominated Kendrick back in 2015. Despaigne has bounced around for the last four years with five different teams, and he has spent this season until today in the Minors with the Reds and White Sox affiliates. In a small sample size of 3 starts for the White Sox Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte he has been good, but that is in sharp contrast to how he was with the Reds affiliate where he struggled.
There is a lot of Nationals history in this stadium going back to 2011 when Jim Riggleman walked-off…to Caddies…and John McLaren took over as the interim-manager for 3-games in Chicago and won in the 14th inning of his debut with Collin Balester in relief. Roger Bernadina skied over the centerfield wall to rob ex-teammate Adam Dunn of a game winner, and Bernadina along with Mike Morse and Laynce Nix were the offensive stars that day. Jordan Zimmermann was brilliant on that day throwing 7.0 scoreless innings, but Drew Storen blew the save. The Nationals actually had a Nats record 3 blown saves in that game with Storen, Todd Coffey, and Tyler Clippard all committing the unthinkable. Those Nats took advantage of two former Nats in that game with Brian Bruney and Matt Thornton giving up runs after Edwin Jackson matched JZim going 7.0 innings giving up no runs.
Washington Nationals at Chicago White Sox
Stadium: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois
1st Pitch: 8:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN, WGN, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)
Line-up subject to change (without notice):
Adam Eaton back in the South Side of Chicago.
Trea Turner – SS
Adam Eaton (L) – RF
Anthony Rendon – 3B
Juan Soto (L) – LF
Howie Kendrick – DH
Matt Adams (L) – 1B
Brian Dozier – 2B
Kurt Suzuki – C
Victor Robles – CF
Aníbal Sánchez – RHP pic.twitter.com/jZAsTQ0HRg
— Talk Nats ⚾ (@TalkNats2) June 10, 2019