Game #147 finale in Pittsburgh

The Washington Nationals had a golden opportunity to dominate in a struggling Pirates team in Pittsburgh, and once again, the Nats’ starting pitching did them in again. With 16-games remaining in this season, the Nats need to make hay while the sun shines. With 65 wins in the books, the Nats need to get back to winning ways to finish strong on this season.

“I don’t think this is a successful season. But it’s an encouraging season.”

— GM Mike Rizzo said yesterday

Clearly the pitching has to improve both in starting pitching and the bullpen. That will come both in internal improvement from the current pitchers, addition by subtraction in personnel, and hopefully, a major free agent acquisition this offseason. If not, expect more of the same.

Today’s matchup is between two starters that were their respective team’s All-Stars and both have struggled since the All-Star break. It is Josiah Gray trying to guarantee a split in this series going up against RHP Mitch Keller.

The Nats had another roster move as they brought back RHP Thaddeus Ward off of the 15-day IL and optioned Joe La Sorsa back to Triple-A Rochester. Ward was a Rule-5 pick of the Nats and he has been a low leverage “mop-up” reliever for the Nats, yet he has struggled to a 7.12 ERA this season in 22-games. He has given up almost as many walks (24) as he has had strikeouts (26) and that just does not work — especially when you’re inserted for low leverage innings.

“We got to stay in the game early. We’ve been like that all year. We never give up. I’ve said that before. We’re going to play hard for 27 outs. We did that again today.”

— manager Dave Martinez said

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 4.95 for 24th best in MLB.

Here is how they rank by starter’s ERA:

No. 7 Starter: Jackson Rutledge 17.18
No. 6 Starter: Joan Adon 6.00
No. 5 Starter: Trevor Williams 5.44
No. 4 Starter: Patrick Corbin 5.13
No. 3 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 4.42
No. 2 Starter: Jake Irvin 4.20
No. 1 Starter: Josiah Gray 4.13

Here is your Baseball Savant link for the game.

Washington Nationals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Stadium: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1st Pitch: 6:35 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app

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