Game #131 Winner takes the series!

Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. | Paolo Espino records a strikeout; Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

The Washington Nationals are 7-9 in their previous 16-games. And while that is nothing to brag about for a good team, it is very good for this Nats team to be at a .438 winning percentage for over half a month after their sell-off at the trade deadline. A win today would put the team in a much better situation as they will go up against all potential playoff teams with series against the Mets starting tomorrow, Cardinals on Monday (four games), Phillies the following weekend, and then back home for a day-off on September 12.

As expected, the Nats roster expansion adds back C Tres Barrera and RHP Mason Thompson from Triple-A Rochester to make it 28 players for the rest of the season. We will see if general manager Mike Rizzo brings up any players after the Triple-A season ends. It is hard to say what he will do going forward given that the CBA limits the roster to 28-players on September 1.

On the mound for the home team is Paolo Espino replacing Cade Cavalli who was placed on the 15-day IL yesterday, and the A’s will call-up lefty Ken Waldichuk for his MLB debut. Waldichuk was acquired as the top prospect in the Frankie Montas deal. This set-up for their prospect’s debut is the A’s equivalent of a soft-landing team to face — kind of like what the Nats tried to do for Cavalli last week against the Reds — and the best laid plans don’t always work out as we saw.

Those plans for the Nats season have been few things that have gone right, and that triggered the final sell-off of healthy star players at the trade deadline and a total reset. It makes this 7-9 run by the team very surprising since the best they could do with players like Juan Soto and Josh Bell was an 8-8 run from May 22 t0 June 7. That was the best 16-game run of the entire season. This run might have been a little more satisfying since the Nats beat Soto’s Padres two weeks ago in 2-of-4 games and outscored them 11-8. Yes, all we have are the little things to get excited about.

A season that felt lost right out of the gates when Stephen Strasburg was not going to be on the Opening Day roster, and Patrick Corbin failed to shine on Opening Day and the vast majority of starts after that in his spot as the front of the rotation. Lined up to start the season after Corbin were Josiah Gray and Joan Adon. What we knew then became the reality that a 100-loss season was going to be very achievable. Now we just hope the Nats can beat some of these potential playoff teams and win at least 53 games to avoid over 109 losses this season. That seems like a goal, right? The Nats record is 44-86 right now. Go at least 9-23 or better to finish the season. Win today, and that means winning at least eight more games the season.

Easy, right?

Oakland A’s vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium:  Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 4:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN2; NBC Sports Bay Area, MLB App (out-of-network only)
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app

Lineups (subject to change without notice):


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