When you are winning ballgames by large margins, the stress level is lessened. Seventeen of the Washington Nationals’ thirty-four games were decided by 3-runs or less, and those games have too often come down to little margin for error. The Nats are now 6-5 in blowout games, and are now only at a -5 run differential overall after last night’s blowout. How quickly the mood can change to optimism after two decisive wins.
Tonight, the Nats send Joe Ross to the mound to push these modest modest back-to-back wins to the start of a winning streak. With some of the struggling players getting back in the swing of things, the team just needs Juan Soto to join in the fun. He is batting 6-30 (.200) since he returned from the IL.
The team will face the 32 year old Seth Frankoff who you all have probably heard of if you grew up in Wake County North Carolina or attended Apex High School. He owns a career 13.50 ERA, and could just act as an opener for the Diamondbacks in this one. None of the Nats have faced him before.
We are waiting for an update on Victor Robles who took a fastball off of his lower hamstring last night. He came out of the game and was replaced by Andrew Stevenson who went 2-3 and clobbered a 3-run homer in the 9th inning off of position player David Peralta — and they all count in the record book.
Since April 28, pitching coach, Jim Hickey, has his starting rotation looking like all aces with a starter’s ERA in that span at 2.69 for the best mark in the Majors. All of this without Stephen Strasburg who had been on the IL. The entire pitching staff has held opponents to a .192 batting average against which shows how good they have been overall, and they have a pitching staff ERA at 2.88. Unfortunately, the Nats W/L in those 14 games is 7-7 due to the three losses in the bullpen.
Washington Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Stadium: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
1st Pitch: 8:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, Bally Sports Arizona, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)
Line-up subject to change (without notice):
1. Trea Turner SS
2. Josh Harrison 2B
3. Juan Soto RF
4. Kyle Schwarber LF
5. Starlin Castro
6. Josh Bell 1B
7. Yan Gomes C
8. Joe Ross RHP
9. Victor Robles CF