Click here to watch Nats win #2 on MASN via MLB.TV at 6:30 pm tonight with the rest of us. Just a quick reminder of what we are doing: As a group, we are going to be re-watching all 105 wins from the Nats 2019 season in chronological order at 6:30 pm each night. We will all try to sync up to the same point in the game, and this is a work in progress to maneuver to the same point in the game. Feel free to ask in the comments section where everyone is in the game so you can sync up. Last night, many people joined in at different points, and we all got to enjoy that first win of the 2019 season together as we saw some Trea Turner walk-off magic.
The MLB.TV library is unlocked and free to everyone for the 2018-2019 season courtesy of MLB. This win #2 was also a walk-off win, and it was big that the team rebounded after the disaster of the previous night’s game as Turner broke the index finger and middle finger on his right hand, and Matt Adams hurt his back as he flipped over the railing into the MGM seats chasing a foul ball.
After Turner broke his finger in the first inning the night before, the team fell flat as you would expect as they lost an integral player. The lethargic Nationals effort in that game ended in an 8-2 loss, and the Nats enter this game with a 1-3 record. The Nats bullpen once again imploded the night before. Tell us where you have heard that before.
But to lose Turner after only 3 games in the books and one inning into the fourth game was going to hurt. The speedy shortstop was already the top Nats’ player in WAR at +0.4, and “his production just cannot be replaced” as I wrote it then — and I was right and most of you were too. Fortunately, Anthony Rendon was having an MVP season, and Juan Soto would get hot soon enough.
Bringing up Carter Kieboom prematurely to take Trea’s spot did not work, and Wilmer Difo was not the answer and just more of the question mark on the early season. Turner was off to an MVP start to the season. Two hits on Opening Day against Jacob deGrom and the Mets then two home runs including the walk-off in game 3, and add to his record 4 stolen bases in 3 games. Sure, small samples sizes yadda, yadda, yadda but you could see it. His defense was so crisp, and he just had that look. Truth be told, he had a good season, maybe great, if you removed those first 50 at-bats after he returned from the IL and he played the rest of the season with 8 ½ fingers and still batted .298 on the season with an .850 OPS.
That 50 at-bat number for Trea from the broken finger until May 27th when he hit exactly Mendoza was his Spring Training as he hurried back. If you total up his other games, how’s about a .308 batting average compared to that .298 that the stat sheet shows. That .308 sounds so much better. Again, 8 ½ fingers on the bat.
With the lousy bullpen and Trea, Howie Kendrick and Michael Taylor on the IL with Matt Adams questionable, this team looked like a shadow of itself. Four games into the season, and there were already calls to blow up the team. It kind of set-up the negativity we would see for months and the empty seats in the stands.
Well, here we are in the fifth game, and Anibal Sanchez will make his Nats’ debut. He gets to face the Phillies ace Aaron Nola. Oh yah, Bryce Harper plays for the Philadelphia Phillies.
The show must go on. The Nationals called up Adrian Sanchez to take Turner’s place on the roster, and they will also have to make a decision on Matt Adams as he is listed as day-to-day. Kendrick and Taylor would be eligible the next day to come off of the IL.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.