Click here to watch Nats win #21 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 #21 came in the 52nd game in the 2019 season, and the Nats took the a 20-31 record into this game. This is where manager Dave Martinez started preaching “Go 1-0 every game” and eventually the Nats turned a losing record into a winning record. It took the Nats until June 28th to reach a winning record and they got to 12 games above .500 on August 21st. They dug themselves a deep hole and it took much longer to dig out of it.
This game originally took place on May 25th, and Patrick Corbin once again was involved with the win. The night before the Nationals won an ugly game. Dave Martinez’s team needed that win, and they pulled it out even though there were four errors committed by the Nationals, and Trea Turner was fortunate that he wasn’t assessed another fielding error in the game.
“That was a sloppy game … But we have to play better. We have to be consistent,” manager Dave Martinez said about the May 24th game. “We have to play clean baseball. If I’m a fan, I’d be frustrated.”
In that game, the Marlins bullpen just gifted the game to the Nats, but much credit to Juan Soto for a 3-run home run that could have been one of his most significant home runs of his young career.
The Nationals really started to put together some wins even though they didn’t have a winning streak longer than three games until June 16-21. By winning more than they lost the rest of the way, the Nationals pulled off the miracle of the last century. They would win 74 games the rest of the season going forward after May 23rd and 86 wins when you consider the postseason (105 wins altogether). They would lose 74 games for the entire regular season plus the postseason. 105-74 sounds great after you began 19-31.
The game included one scary moment you will remember when Victor Robles squared to bunt and a ball appeared to have hit him in the face. Fortunately, the ball grazed his chin. It looked serious as homeplate ump Tim Timmons was animated waving on the trainer while holding Robles down. Miraculously, Robles was fine and got on-base and scored on a Yan Gomes double all the way from first base. This was a well-played game, and the only botched play in the game was a faux pas on running the bases by Adam Eaton as he tried to go first-to-third on a bloop single, and he was tagged out in a rundown.
Since we are not watching losses, this is the game that seemed to send Corbin into some dead arm as he looked horrible for his next three starts (all losses). We will see Corbin next in win #34. He was really the pitcher who was the star of the first two months for the Nats and as good fortune happened, he got back on track at the end of June and was a star for the Nats.
Someone gave him Corbin the nickname “Patty Ice” after his incredible performances in the postseason’s elimination games. Maybe that nickname will stick.
The Nationals added James Bourque to the roster before this game and optioned Joe Ross to Triple-A Fresno.
There was concern growing about Sean Doolittle and his use and usage. He had turned in two consecutive poor appearances. Doolittle gave up 3-hits in the 9th inning the night before including a 450+ foot home run after his 6-run meltdown on Wednesday. On this night, Doo was saved by his defense when Victor Robles made a diving catch on a low liner, and a fortuitous bounce off of the mound directly to second baseman Brian Dozier who was positioned perfectly to glove it to finish the game. The Bourque move did not pan out as we know and maybe Davey started to push his starters to rest Doolittle.
Miami Marlins vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
Turner SS Eaton RF Rendon 3B Soto LF Adams 1B Dozier 2B Robles CF Gomes C Corbin LHP