The Washington Nationals have dug themselves into quite a hole, and now they must dig themselves out. They have their key free agent signing from 2019, Patrick Corbin, on the mound tonight. To say he has been inconsistent is an understatement as he has pitched to an awful 5.40 ERA this season with 6-of-17 starts being very good. In fact, his last start was against these Padres and he dominated them.
In case you forgot, the Nats are mired in a 5-game losing streak that started back in San Diego and ran through San Francisco. Time is getting short for the Nats to step up. They played poor baseball from the start yesterday with a lead-off walk, a botched pitch-out throwing error, and some of the worst pitching and fielding we have ever witnessed in the history of this franchise.
“I think second half we’re going to try and get out of the gate quick. We have to. The trade deadline is at the end of July. We think that we’ve got a team that can compete in the National League East and we’ve showed that when we’re healthy, we’re as good as anybody, but we haven’t been healthy. We [were] getting unhealthier as we got to the break and…we crawled into the All-Star Break,” general manager Mike Rizzo said this week on 106.7 The Fan radio.
Rizzo had just spoken about needing a quick start for the Nats, and he made the decision to sign free agent Rene Rivera to a deal yesterday. Someone made the costly decision to start him in last night’s game with no acclimation to the pitching staff. The chemistry was off like the cleaner who mixed bleach with vinegar and got a nauseating reaction. What was Rizzo thinking? Tres Barrera and Jakson Reetz were doing just fine until Alex Avila was going to be ready to come off of the 10-day IL.
Team chemistry is such an important factor. Adding good players is another. Rivera hasn’t been good in almost forever. Sure, he has had his fits and spurts, but overall he is a .628 career OPS hitter and at 37 years old has diminishing defensive skills. After yesterday, the only way to go — is hopefully up.
Of course tonight’s game is subject to Mother Nature’s call as the weather in the D.C. area is marked as dangerous now with high winds and thunderstorms engulfing the region.
San Diego Padres vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, Bally Sports San Diego, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)
Line-ups subject to change without notice: