The Washington Nationals returned to Washington, D.C. on their chartered Amtrak in the late hours after Thursday night’s game in New York City. They got the highly anticipated rainout yesterday which has led to the doubleheader today. Patrick Corbin takes the first game of this twin bill and Chad Kuhl will get the nightcap. Reliever Jordan Weems was named the 27th player for today per MLB rules which allow an extra player for at least one game of a doubleheader.
The Nats have won two series in a row against two teams that would have been in the playoffs if the season was over. Not too shabby. The Nats will take it. Even though their 9-15 record isn’t attractive, that mark is just 6.0 games under .500. What they have to do is just keep winning series.
“Playing doubleheaders is never easy. We definitely would’ve much rather played yesterday. The morale is good. We’re upbeat. We’re playing well. Playing yesterday would’ve been good.”— manager Dave Martinez in his pre-game media session
The Nats starters ERAs are a combined 4.45, and for the first time in over a week that number is higher due to Trevor Williams eating four earnies in his start on Thursday against the Mets. That game certainly was not a clinic in defense. From a bad outfield throw to a ball not caught at the wall by an outfielder, to a ball not scooped at first base, to a grounder that has to be gloved at the first base line, five runs scored as a direct result of questionable defense. The Nats, for most of the season, have been making the routine plays. That game was the worst defensive game of the season.
Here is how they rank:
If the Nats can play tomorrow’s game, it looks like the team will need a “spot starter” for Wednesday’s game against the Cubs. Cory Abbott, Joan Adon, and Jake Irvin could all be candidates for that. If there is a rainout tomorrow, then the Nats can just pitch Josiah Gray on Monday, MacKenzie Gore on Tuesday, Williams on Wednesday, and then choose between Corbin or Kuhl on Thursday with no need for that spot starter.
Here is your Baseball Savant Statcast link for the game.
Pittsburgh Pirates 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):