Click here to watch Nats win #18 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. Many people are joining in at different points, and most people are not commenting — rather just following along.
The MLB.TV library is unlocked and free to everyone for the 2018-2019 season courtesy of MLB. This win #18 came in the 43rd game in the 2019 season, and the Nats took a 17-25 record into this game.
When Mets killer Daniel Murphy departed D.C., the Washington Nationals needed a replacement to torment the Mets, and the rookie Victor Robles stepped up admirably into that role. Robles had 4 of his 8 home runs and batting .357 against the Mets through May 16th of last season. In the previous game, Robles had the rare feat of combining a bunt single with a home run in a game. In the 7th inning, Mets reliever Tyler Bashlor seemed to deliberately buzz Robles’ tower with an up-and-in pitch. The dangerous pitch sent the 21 year old spinning out of the way of a head shot and onto the dirt.
It will take more than the Nats home run leader, Victor Robles, to win this rubber game of this series. Yes, Robles was the unlikely team leader in home runs at that point in the season, and besides Howie Kendrick and Anthony Rendon, the other Nats needed to step-up at the plate. Starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez needed to step-up on the mound for the Nats and he did.
“The balls are going to be in-play a lot so you have to be ready to field the balls,” manager Dave Martinez said about Sanchez pitching. “You have to play good defense behind him. Let him go out there and do his thing.”
In 2018, Sanchez led the Majors in weak contact induced. General manager Mike Rizzo signed Sanchez to a lucrative deal with the knowledge that he relied on competent defense behind him since he is not a strikeout pitcher.
“Hit, pitch, play defense. I think we’ve been doing a little bit of everything, but at different times,” Kendrick said at the time. “That’s what happens when it all comes together. Hopefully, we can consistently do that moving forward.”
The Mets sent Zack Wheeler to the mound. His team was below .500 at 20-21 with a fanbase calling for a change at manager as Mickey Callaway‘s team had struggled. He was hired before the 2018 season to return the Mets to the playoffs, and his boss, Brodie Van Wagenen who is an agent turned G.M. basically guaranteed the playoffs setting high expectations. He got Mets ownership to spend big. BVW added four players with All-Star pedigree like Robinson Cano, Jed Lowrie, Wilson Ramos and closer Edwin Diaz.
“I think this will and should be a playoff team,” Van Wagenen said prior to the 2019 season.
New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.