Teams know how difficult winning streaks are to start and extend because they generally have to include sweeping series which are a challenge. This current winning streak started last Sunday against the Diamondbacks with tonight’s starter Anibal Sanchez who recorded the win, and is 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA in his last three starts. One of those Sanchez wins was a shutout against the Braves on May 29th. The Nats acquired Sanchez as a free agent after his 2018 resurgent season with the Braves, and maybe the right-hander had something to show his former team who did not re-sign him.
After last night’s game, the Nationals received a lot of “positive” air time for their Friday night win, and in particular the Trea Turner diving stop and the Victor Robles game-ender received Top 10 ESPN Sportscenter honors. There used to be weeks that would go by this season that the Nationals would not turn a spectacular play on defense. During much of April and May, they were receiving criticism for poor plays. In fact, during April and May, there were 22 unearned runs allowed (.38 per game), and since then, there has only been 3 unearned runs allowed (.17 per game).
The Braves put Mike Foltynewicz on the mound, and he is having a season that is the opposite of his 2018 All-Star season. He had a 2.85 ERA last year and received Cy votes. This year, he has a 5.53 ERA and has not been the same with a 2.4 HR/9. Nats hitters in the line-up have hit him well except for Matt Adams who is 1-11 against him. Gerardo Parra has hit him at a .375 clip, and Parra will sit as Martinez will go with Adams. At this point, it is hard to criticize anything that Nationals manager Dave Martinez has done lately. Davey has gone from being tagged as the village idiot to the guy who is pushing all of the right buttons. Maybe it really is all about players executing. Last night for instance, Tony Sipp had two outs and a runner on second base when he was pulled for Trevor Rosenthal in the 8th inning. Martinez could have walked Austin Riley with first base open and pitched to Brian McCann, but Martinez’s strategy worked as the beleaguered Rosenthal with that 19.50 ERA darted a 100 mph heater to the inside edge that retired Riley on a weak grounder.
There is a TV change for tonight’s game as it is being televised exclusively on the FOX broadcast and not available on MASN.
Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:15 pm EDT
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)
Line-up subject to change (without notice):