Game #74 One game with Arizona

The Washington Nationals played one of their most complete games in all phases of baseball yesterday with the starting pitching and bullpen completing the team’s second combined shutout of the season yesterday. The defense and positioning was excellent. The offense was good and probably a tad unlucky.

You would have to give Trevor Williams and CJ Abrams the top stars in that game. Both came through in a game where the conditions were rough. It rained for most of the game, and they came through for a big win. Williams went 6.0 scoreless and Abrams was 3-3 with a oppo homer and excellent defense at shortstop.

Speaking of rain, today was supposed to be a day-off to fly to San Diego, but the Nats and Diamondbacks will play today as a makeup game for a smoke-out from those Canadian forest fires. The winds carried the smoke over D.C. and the game was postponed due to the poor air quality.

The Nats have a 10-22 record in the past 32-games and right in the middle of those numbers are an 0-2 against Arizona — but back on June 6, the Nats faced LHP Tommy Henry and got five runs off of him and knocked him out of the game at 4 1/3 innings. Of course Erasmo Ramirez blew the game, and the Nats lost. Well, Ramirez is gone, and Henry is starting this game against Jake Irvin of the Nats.

We’ve been talking to [Victor Robles] for years about playing deeper, and the numbers we get indicate that he’s a much better center fielder when he plays deeper. Two is I really enforced it this year because of the fact that I didn’t want him running into the walls like he does because of the issues. So I’ve tried to keep him healthy.

“I know he felt weird being that deep. We didn’t ask him to play as deep as he was playing [on Monday night after the second inning and on Tuesday]. There was a number that we gave him. We showed him specifically where that should be. He chose it upon himself to go that deep.

“So this is something that we’ll work with him when he comes back. But I think it’s gonna save him. It’s gonna make him a little bit better. What we try to do here is what we do with all [of our defense] is try to take away the slug, which tends to beat us quite a bit. So we want to take that away. And if he can’t get to a ball in front of him, then typically it should be a base hit. But we get the ball in front, keep the double play in order.

— manager Dave Martinez said yesterday

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 4.58 for 20th best in MLB. What was such a strength for this team is just now one of the weaknesses as the starting rotation has to improve.

Here is how they rank:

No. 5 Starter: Jake Irvin 5.25 ERA
No. 4 Starter: Patrick Corbin 4.89
No. 3 Starter: Trevor Williams 4.14
No. 2 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 4.02
No. 1 Starter: Josiah Gray 3.64

Here is your Baseball Savant Statcast Link for the game.

Arizona Diamondbacks 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

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