Game #51 has the Marlins best against the Nats best; Alcantara vs Scherzer

(Photo by Steve Mears for TalkNats)

We have one week of baseball remaining for Nats fans and ten games to play with doubleheaders for today and again on Tuesday. There is no rest for the weary although the Nats will get plenty of rest after next weekend as their winter will start much earlier than expected.  The 19-31 Nats won’t pull off the miracle of 2019 in this 60-game sprint. 

“We know it’s going to be a short season, and we can’t really do the whole 19-31 and make it a story again,” Yan Gomes said before the 2020 season.

It was like déjà Vu all over again — except this time there won’t be an improbable run to the postseason and a happy ending.

“Just so you know, I really don’t like that number. It worked out last year, but I’d rather be 31-19.” manager Dave Martinez said last night when asked about the 19-31 record.

When Gomes made that comment in the pre-season, it got laughs. The odds made it long odds that the Nats could not start two consecutive seasons with a 19-31 record, yet they did. With ten games remaining in this COVID season, there is not enough remaining games to get everyone healthy and make a run for a 93-69 record. The best the Nats can accomplish at this point is a 29-31 record, and that would require Matt Williams to do a Babe Ruth impersonation as required when the Nats win 10-games in a row. Even a finish to 29-31 would not assure the Nats a playoff berth.

“Anything is possible — in this game especially, anything is possible so. You make the promise — you have to live to it,” Williams once said as the Nationals’ manager.

Martinez is already talking about next year, and he will have plenty of time to plan and lament what went wrong. The World Series winner always has the shortest off-season from the parade to when pitchers and catchers report in February. The regular season losers have 4 ½ months to think about it. The little things were a problem in 2020. The big things too.

“My plan next year in Spring Training is to attack all of those things again and be ready,” Martinez said. “Be ready for Opening Day.”

Technically, Martinez’s time with the Nationals ends shortly unless his team option is picked up for the 2021 season or his contract is extended. Davey certainly deserves the 2021 season to lead these Nats to hopefully a 31-19 start.

For today’s doubleheader, it all begins at 1:10 this afternoon with Max Scherzer on the mound for a 7-inning game followed by Ben Braymer‘s first career start in the second game of the doubleheader.

The Nats face Miami’s best in Sandy Alcantara, and we know when Max is his best, he is unbeatable. Enjoy this final road day of 2020 for the Nats before they had home to face the Phillies and Mets.

Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins
Stadium:   Marlins Park, Miami, Florida
1st Pitch:  1:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN, FOX Sports Florida, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)

Line-up subject to change (without notice):

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