The Washington Nationals on Thursday morning had won 4-of-5 games before the one-run loss on Thursday night. After dropping the first game of this doubleheader, the Nats need to stop this two-game skid.
For tonight’s game, they turn to Chad Kuhl to be the stopper. He is pitching on an extra day’s rest after the rain-out yesterday. He now finds himself pitching against his former team. Kuhl was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 9th round of the 2013 MLB Draft from the University of Delaware. He spent eight pro years with Pittsburgh before reaching free agency and signing with the Rockies for the 2022 season. As we reported before his last start, Kuhl’s wife, Amanda, had extensive surgery for breast cancer in Washington, D.C. and started chemotherapy yesterday. The Kuhls made this public yesterday when they announced they were teaming up for charity with the Nats’ Philanthropies to raise funds for breast cancer research. All thoughts and prayers go out to the Kuhl family.
While Patrick Corbin took the “L” in Game 1 earlier today, it was the bullpen that allowed the winning runs to score, and manager Dave Martinez was clear about the walks and lead-off walks today. But there’s a bigger message about a full bullpen working to get the job done, and they have not. We sent out a series of tweets about the issues we had seen about Martinez’s reliance on Mason Thompson and Hunter Harvey in particular. Sure enough, Thompson melted down in the Thursday loss after he pitched three innings just two games prior.
The Nats starters ERAs are a combined 4.52 with Corbin unfortunately eating an extra earned run when his inherited runner in the sixth inning scored today on a 2-run homer given up by Carl Edwards Jr. Corbin’s ERA did improve overall.
Here is how they rank:
No. 5 Starter: Chad Kuhl 7.36 ERA
No. 4 Starter: Patrick Corbin 5.74
No. 3 Starter: Trevor Williams 4.10
No. 2 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 3.00
No. 1 Starter: Josiah Gray 2.93
If the Nats can play tomorrow’s game due to the forecasted poor weather, 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: 6:05 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app
Line-up subject to change (without notice):