The Washington Nationals pulled off another improbable comeback from five runs down to beat the Phillies last night in the opener of this weekend series that will finish up at the site of the Little League World Series in a Sunday night game known as the annual Little League Classic. While last night was an amazing win from the surging Nats, it comes with the price of more stress having to cover too many innings in the bullpen. This is a bullpen that is pitching a man short since the team elected to go with a 6-man rotation and a 7-man bullpen. They may need to rethink that because of all of the days off coming up. Also, September 1 is less than two weeks away, and the Nats can add an additional pitcher to the staff.
With last night’s 56th win of the season, the Nats have already surpassed their win total from last year, and the team has 39-games remaining in this 2023 season. Every win just betters the total from last year as the Nats are on a 74-win pace that would be 19-games above last year. Add a +10 to that total, and maybe the Nats could win 84+ in the 2024 season and be legit Wild Card contenders.
This team is showing a resilience that few thought they would see. They are relentless as they go after wins. They are doing this with a struggling starting rotation. Chad Kuhl was at 9.41 ERA as a starter, Joan Adon is at 7.62, and Trevor Williams is at 5.20. Add to that, Josiah Gray on this extra rest, is pitching to an 11.12 ERA in August and averaging just 3.77 innings in each of those three starts. This model is not sustainable. Manager Dave Martinez needs another fresh arm or two in the bullpen.
Here is how they rank:
No. 6 Starter: Joan Adon 7.62 (starter’s ERA only)
No. 5 Starter: Trevor Williams 5.20
No. 4 Starter: Jake Irvin 4.76
No. 3 Starter: Patrick Corbin 4.71
No. 2 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 4.38
No. 1 Starter: Josiah Gray 3.96
Here is your Baseball Savant Statcast Link for the game.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 4:05 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app