This Washington Nationals series with the Braves wraps up today tied 1-to-1. Last week, the Nationals had Patrick Corbin, Max Scherzer, and Anibal Sanchez lined-up for this series which was hailed as an advantage for the Nationals in this key series. But the best laid plans soon became a disaster in real-time when Scherzer was scratched and placed on the 10-day IL again with Erick Fedde replacing Scherzer en route to being crushed last night yielding nine earned runs. Scherzer has now missed three starts which unsurprisingly was booked as three losses, and Scherzer was lined up for this Sunday in Arizona and will miss that start too. Where do the Nationals go with Corbin, Sanchez, and Stephen Strasburg as the only reliable starting pitchers for manager Dave Martinez.
Can general manager Mike Rizzo do anything to prop up his starting rotation at the trade deadline? We will see as we are just hours away from the 4pm trade deadline. For the entire season, the number five spot in the rotation has been a giant black hole, and now that Scherzer is on the IL, there are now two spots that have been almost automatic losses. For the season, the Nationals are 9-15 in games that were not started by the “Big Four” and that is an unacceptable .375 winning percentage. Injured starter Jeremy Hellickson could return to the rotation in August, and the status of Max Scherzer is still unknown due to his shutdown from his upper back injury.
“One of these two guys has got to step up,” manager Davey Martinez said about Joe Ross and Erick Fedde. “They have to step up. I’ve said it before. We feel like they belong here, but they’ve got to start making pitches and keeping us in the ballgames.”
Today’s starters are Anibal Sanchez for the Nationals and the right-handed rookie Mike Soroka for the Braves. The Nats have a rested back of their bullpen, and a day-off tomorrow. The Nationals just faced Soroka a week ago, and the Nats won that game. Matt Adams hit a home run off of Soroka, and Trea Turner and Juan Soto were both 2-4 with an RBI against Soroka. Adam Eaton was also 2-4 against Soroka, and Anthony Rendon got an RBI off of him.
The Nationals scheduled this as noon-time game, and they should get in most of the game before any rain. The Nats did not need to schedule an early game to accommodate the Braves flying back to Atlanta, It was last week that the Orioles scheduled a night-game when the Nats needed to fly that night to Atlanta. The Braves have the Reds in for a four game series after the Reds just were involved in a blockbuster trade last night and expected to try to trade Tanner Roark and Alex Wood today.
Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 12:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, FOX Southeast, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)
Line-up subject to change (without notice):