Click here to watch Nats win #4 on MASN via MLB.TV at 6:30 pm tonight with the rest of us. Just a quick reminder of what we are doing if this is your first time: 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 it.
If you think that Max Scherzer‘s name as the starting pitcher is a misprint for this eighth game of the season, you are wrong. This is Scherzer’s third start of the season, and with this game he will have started every 2.67 games as of that point in the early 2019 season. Scherzer is a starter and not an “opener” so those were legitimate starts. The veteran pitcher had already thrown 205 pitches in the first two games of the season, and had not received a run of support from his offense. Maybe Max needed to take matters into his own hands and knock in some runs, and we all know he is capable of doing that. But then again the Nats scored 4-runs off of Mets starter Zack Wheeler in the first homestand of the season in just 5 innings.
The issue with the Nationals was really not the starting pitching — it was the bullpen last year. The 8th inning is when you started to pray. In the first 7-games of the 2019 season, the bullpen had given up 17-runs —just— in the 8th inning. That is 2.43 runs per game in the 8th inning and a 21.78 ERA in the 8th inning!
The Nationals bullpen’s ERA climbed back into double digits at 10.02, and that tells most of the story to say they had been bad as a group is an understatement. With five games in five days that week, manager Dave Martinez pushed hard on the 5 arms he had been relying on while at the same time he had gone easy on Trevor Rosenthal who had only faced 7 batters and Wander Suero had faced 10 batters. “Everyday” Matt Grace had pitched in six of the seven games so far and Justin Miller and Kyle Barraclough had each pitched 4 1/3 innings out of the bullpen.
Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets
Stadium: CitiField, Queens, New York