Game #93 is the finale with St. Louis

The Washington Nationals split yesterday’s doubleheader making this a rubber game to win the series. This is the final game of the season between the Nats and Cardinals, and while the Nats are looking up from last season, the Cardinals are spiraling down. The Nats have won 4-of-their-previous-5 series.

The Nats have a decision today on Jeimer Candelario who has a bone bruise on his thumb, and did not play at all yesterday — even in a key spot where he would have been needed as a pinch-hitter, Candelario was not used. Is today the day to make a decision as to whether they will place him on the IL? Jake Alu was brought up as the 27th man yesterday, and he would be the obvious choice to keep if Candy goes on the IL.

The Nats send their All-Star, Josiah Gray, to the mound to try to win this series while the Cardinals have their inconsistent starter Jack Flaherty going.

Since July 7 when CJ Abrams was installed at the lead-off, he got even hotter than he was before. He is slashing .476/.500/.619 with a 1.119 OPS and his OPS for the season is now at .706. In the past month, Abrams is batting .361 with a .410 OBP and a .952 OPS. This isn’t just a recent hot streak. It begs the question, did GM Mike Rizzo blow it by not extending the shortstop in the offseason? We wrote this article on Abrams’ 22nd birthday in October about extending him — the first to mention what this could mean for the Nats’ future especially considering the final decision was made to move top prospect Brady House from shortstop to third base this season in the minor leagues.

“We hung in there for a little bit.”

— manager Dave Martinez said

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 4.61 for 22nd best in MLB.

Here is how they rank:

No. 5 Starter: Jake Irvin 4.96
No. 4 Starter: Patrick Corbin 4.89
No. 3 Starter: Trevor Williams 4.42
No. 2 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 4.42
No. 1 Starter: Josiah Gray 3.41

Here is your Baseball Savant Statcast Link for the game.

Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Stadium: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
1st Pitch: 2:15 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app

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