Last homestand theWashington Nationals welcomed back Dusty Baker from the visitor’s dugout, and today it will be World Series heroes, Trea Turner and Daniel Hudson, who return as visiting players. The Nats have prepared a joint video tribute for Turner and Hudson to play just before first pitch.
This series against the Dodgers is just more of the relentless schedule which hasn’t given the Washington Nationals many chances against against non-contending teams lately. At some point, the Nats will face some struggling teams.
For manager Dave Martinez, he will have Lane Thomas lead-off for the first time this year. While Cesar Hernandez has really stepped up the past few weeks as the lead-off hitter, there is a lefty on the mound tonight for the Dodgers, in Tyler Anderson, which gives Martinez an opportunity to go back to what was successful for him in September last year with Thomas batting first. Nelson Cruz is back in the lineup after he twisted his ankle yesterday, and Alcides Escobar is in there at shortstop. What’s a little odd is that Hernandez has the best career stats against Anderson, and Lane Thomas has never faced him.
Speaking of Martinez, it was written by Bob Nightengale in the USA Today this morning that the Lerner ownership group was going to extend Mike Rizzo’s contract for the 2023 season, but no decision was made on picking up Martinez’s $4 million option. That’s right — $4 million which would make him in the Top-5 highest paid managers in MLB it looks like based on reports, since manager’s salaries are not public. For instance, Baker’s salary was listed at $1.5 million on one site which was actually less than what he made with the Nats. A source told us that if Rizzo is extended, the Lerners would defer to Rizzo to make the decision on Martinez’s contract for next year.
Of course with new ownership, it could call be a moot point, and a new ownership group could clean house. It would seem smart to at least transition with Rizzo in charge and make a decision down the road. But then again, relying on Nightengale’s word that this is going to happen is risky given his track record of botching stories. Obviously the best chance that Martinez has in staying is for Rizzo to lobby for him.
On the mound for the Nats is Joan Adon in his biggest test of the year against a very good Dodgers team that includes the left-handed Freddie Freeman who feasts on right-handed fastball pitchers. The Dodgers had a win in-hand yesterday until Max Muncy dropped a routine grounder which was set to be the last out of the game, and instead allowed the tying and winning runs to score.
The Nats will certainly miss Clayton Kershaw in this series as he is on the 10-day IL but they will face Walker Buehler tomorrow, and Julio Urias on Wednesday. The Nats will have Josiah Gray on Tuesday and Erick Fedde on Wednesday.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN2; Sportsnet LA; MLB App (out-0f-market only)
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Lineups (subject to change without notice):