Game #6 Patrick Corbin with his second start!

We have been through one full turn of the Washington Nationals’ starting rotation, and based on first impressions — it is as bad as last year — and possibly even worse with the exception of MacKenzie Gore.

Here are your Nationals starting pitcher’s ERAs through their first turn in the rotation:

No. 5 Starter: Josiah Gray 9.00 ERA
No. 4 Starter: Chad Kuhl 7.20
No. 3 Starter: Patrick Corbin 6.00
No. 2 Starter: Trevor Williams 5.40
No. 1 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 1.69

Sure, these are miniscule sample sizes, and one turn through the rotation is not necessarily indicative of what a full season’s results will look like. But the lessons of relying on Spring Training stats is a constant reminder that evaluating talent is about the process and the analytics that go with it.

Maybe just maybe having a closer with a 27.00 ERA is a bigger issue. Kyle Finnegan earned a blown save loss last night in spectacular fashion by not retiring one batter while giving up five runs on three home runs. If it was not for a pickoff play, his evening might have been even worse.

The net result of poor starting pitching (sans Gore) and some low offensive output coupled with that blown save has put the Nats in a quick 1-4 hole. A win last night would have given some optimism with a 2-3 record — but it was not meant to be. The cruelties of baseball, and if you look at your Twitter feed this morning, fingers are firmly being pointed at manager Dave Martinez.

“I’m not going to pull him. He’s our closer. We’ve got to get him right, right? I was going to give him 25 pitches to try to get out of it. They were just on everything.”

— manager Davey Martinez

Look, it wasn’t Martinez who was pitching last night, but you have to have a reasonable hook for any pitcher that does not have it. As someone said, Finnegan was throwing Home Run Derby meatballs last night.

This is a getaway early afternoon game for both teams. After this game, the Nats will board their Delta charter jet and head to Colorado for a four-game series for the team’s first road trip of this 2023 season. After Colorado, the Nats have a three-game series against the Angels before returning home.

Here is your Baseball Savant Statcast link for the game.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Washington Nationals

Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 1:05 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app

Line-up subject to change (without notice):

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