Click here to watch Nats win #26 on June 2nd 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 #26 came in the 59th game in the 2019 season, and the Nats took the a 25-33 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 was a marquee matchup in this game with Max Scherzer going up against Sonny Gray of the Reds. You just never knew which Sonny Gray you would get in a game. This early June game had the Nats chipping away at that 12-game deficit under .500, and Scherzer was finally got some run support from his teammates.
Manager Dave Martinez stuck with Gerardo Parra for another start after he was red-hot the game before, but this time Parra looked lost at the plate. That was okay though as Brian Dozier had a big game as did Anthony Rendon as they paced the team’s offense.
The last time Max Scherzer pitched before this game in Cincinnati, he had to drive in one of the two runs that scored for him. He departed after the 6th inning with a 2-1 lead. Scherzer did his part — his teammates did not do theirs. So went the early season of Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals. On the days the multiple Cy Young winner pitched, the team record was a horrific 2 wins and 10 losses and most of that was based on the lack of run support which wass about 2 runs a game if you take out the 12-run game and the 5-run game which are the only two he had won.
Clearly frustration has set in because Max said that after his last start. Besides throwing a complete game shutout, what else does the Nats ace have to do to win a game? He can only control what he can control. Baseball is a team sport.
“It’s frustrating. You reflect on the things you could have done to help the club more,” Scherzer said.
The only other thing Scherzer could do is drive in two runs instead of one and pitch a shutout. Today, manager Dave Martinez is going for more thump in his lineup with Gerardo Parra in rightfield and Matt Adams at first base to go up against the Reds righty Sonny Gray. Trea Turner is back at leadoff and Kurt Suzuki is catching. Martinez is sitting Adam Eaton today who has a good track record against Gray with a .429 average for all of their time in the American League but today Martinez is mixing it up a little after sitting Victor Robles the game before.
The team has a day-off after this game before a two-game series at home against the White Sox and then they travel for a four-game series against the Padres and then they travel to Chicago for another two game series against the White Sox before another day-off on Wednesday June 12th. The starting pitching could certainly use the rest, and the bullpen has been taxed the prior two days after short outings from Patrick Corbin (2 2/3 innings) and Erick Fedde (four innings).
With this rubber game of the series, the winner of this game seals the series win. The Nationals really could use the win to inch closer to the .500 mark and get Max Scherzer into the win column.
Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds
Stadium: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, Ohio