The ignominious stats of the day are about what losing does. There are two big numbers on the line today for the Washington Nationals. The team is at 99 losses for the season, and they want to avoid their 100th loss for as long as they can. This is also the 21st salvage game in a series this season meaning the Nats have come into the final game of a series with a chance of getting swept. The team has been swept 11 times this season and want to avoid a dozen of those.
So here we are with another salvage game in a series and while the odds were stacked against the Nats in last night’s game against Cy Young hopeful Sandy Alcantara, you saw how Friday night’s game was there for the taking if it was managed differently when the score was tied 1-1 to end the fifth inning. It isn’t as if the Marlins are a good team. With a loss today, the Marlins are at 90 losses. But so far in the 18 head-to-head games between these two teams this season, Miami has crushed the Nats and have held them to just 2.56 runs and produced a .205 batting average and a .590 OPS. So the Nats either finish at 4-15 with a win today or 3-16. Oh well, here we are again needing a win to avoid a sweep, and Anibal Sanchez has the mound in his hometown Miami.
The Nats batters, except Alex Call, are happy that they don’t have to face Alcantara today. Actually, Joey Meneses got Alcantara for the Nats’ only run of the game with a first inning home run that looked promising at the time. But the Nats could not score another run for the final eight innings.
How great has Meneses been? His WAR is up to +1.2 and that is a +4.3 for a full season. Meneses is batting .324 with an All-Star level .930 OPS. If Meneses can finish the season with an OPS above .900 it will be one of the best stories in baseball for 2022, and certainly the best story for the Nats’ season.
Edward Cabrera takes the mound this afternoon in the final series of 2022 between the Nats and Marlins. Washington will fly back to D.C. to start a series against the Atlanta Braves at Nats Park.
Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins
Stadium: loanDepot park, Miami, Florida
1st Pitch: 1:40 pm EDT
TV: MASN2; Bally Sports Florida; MLB App (out-0f-market only)
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Lineups (subject to change without notice):