Game #109 Nats have a key weekend series in Arizona

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

The Nationals are in Phoenix, Arizona for a weekend series against the Diamondbacks. With yesterday’s day-off, the team could have reseeded their rotation, but they appear to have decided to keep the rotation in the order it has been in, and they will not skip Joe Ross (9.85 ERA) who will pitch tonight in Arizona. Ross pitched on Saturday with Stephen Strasburg on Sunday and with the day-off yesterday, they could have gone with Stras on regular rest to face left-handed Robbie Ray. The Nats have lost 2-in-a-row and will be looking for Ross to step up and be a “stopper” for his team.

Prior to this game, the standings have the Nationals in a three-way tie in the Wild Card with the Cubs and Phillies. Only two teams make the Wild Card round in the postseason, and the regular season is exactly two-thirds complete. The Cubs play the Brewers this weekend, and the Phillies play the struggling White Sox.

As we know, Daniel Hudson, Roenis Elias, and Hunter Strickland will all be in uniform for the team tonight at Chase Field. With those three relievers added to the roster, the Nationals have to clear one more spot on the active roster, and it is possible that could come from Brian Dozier who used the day-off yesterday for reportedly the birth of his child and is eligible for paternity leave. If Dozier is back with the team today, general manager Mike Rizzo will have to make another move. Without Dozier, the team would be playing with a 3-man bench which is not optimal.

The Nationals have faced their former farmhand, Robbie Ray, a few times before. Anthony Rendon has hit Ray well, and manager Dave Martinez might need to pencil in Howie Kendrick at second base if Dozier is not back and go with a lefty at first base which might work since Gerardo Parra has hit Ray well with a .364 BA and a home run.

Washington Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Stadium: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
1st Pitch:  9:40 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, FOX Sports Arizona, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)

Line-up subject to change (without notice):

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