The Washington Nationals pulled off a nice come-from-behind win last night. What they have only done once this season is win two games in a row. They did that back in Colorado three weeks ago. The Nats face a familiar foe today in Pablo Lopez who was traded to the Twins from the Marlins in the offseason. Lopez has shown with a fresh arm that he can be an ace of aces early in the season. He is a pitcher that few know about because he just flies below the radar. The Twins just signed him to a four-year extension this week.
For the Nats today, they turn to Chad Kuhl who was inserted into the Nats’ rotation when Cade Cavalli tore his UCL in Spring Training. Kuhl certainly has shown the ability to throw like a top of the rotation pitcher, and he just has been inconsistent. It is just too early with his three starts to find a pattern except to see that he has dominated lefties this year while struggling against right-handed batters, giving up a .385 batting average and a 1.236 OPS. Why that is happening is what the braintrust of the Nats has to fix.
Also to mention, we learned today that Kuhl’s wife, Amanda, is fighting cancer and will be starting chemo next week. You have to think the Nats’ pitcher has been carrying a lot of extra baggage on his mind with his wife’s health.
In the good news department, Joey Meneses crushed his first home run of the regular season last night. It sparked the comeback that then saw CJ Abrams, Lane Thomas, and Keibert Ruiz produce the final runs of the 3-2 win.
The Nats starters ERAs are a combined 4.83 and that number could be a whole lot better with smarter outfield defense with too many freebies given away on catchable balls. Yes, balls as in plural. Three balls falling between outfielders and two lost in the sun through 18 games is too much. Maybe the most surprising stat is that Trevor Williams takes the team lead in best ERA in nearly a tie with MacKenzie Gore.
Here is how they rank:
Just think what could be if the Nats offense gets going and Kuhl and Patrick Corbin can improve their ERAs. Everything is about balance, and last night was another of those one-run games with this one going the way of the Nats.
Here is your Baseball Savant Statcast link for the game.
Washington Nationals vs. Minnesota Twins
Stadium: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
1st Pitch: 2:05 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app
Line-up subject to change (without notice):