The Washington Nationals lost another close game yesterday, or at least it was close from a tie game in the eighth inning when it was tied at 5-5. The game ended at 9-5 when Kyle Finnegan served up the game winning grand slam with two outs. The Nats are now mired in a 5-game losing streak.
We are at game 150 and if this was 1960, we would only have four more games remaining in the season. In 1961, the American League expanded to 162 games and the National League followed the next season. Enjoy these final dozen games.
The situation with Finnegan is perplexing as he continues to struggle with two-strike counts and is now at the lowest K/9 of his career at 8.3 with his highest HR rate of 1.3 HR/9 of his career. Finnegan’s FIP is 4.32 and that does not work for a closer or even a set-up man. Pitching to contact just is not a sustainable model for a Hi Lev reliever.
The Nats needed a fresh arm given all the work on the front of the bullpen so they bring back Cory Abbott and option Amos Willingham to Triple-A. Oddly, Thaddeus Ward was not used yesterday in what appeared to be a mop-up situation after Trevor Williams lasted only two innings. Manager Dave Martinez had a quick hook yesterday, but not on Friday when the Nats had a 3-run lead. By the way, I agree with Martinez’s pull yesterday of Williams even though he only threw 70 pitches with three runs surrendered. I wrote about the issue with leaving Irvin in past 90-pitches in the mid-fifth inning.
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 5.55
No. 4 Starter: Patrick Corbin 5.13
No. 3 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 4.42
No. 2 Starter: Jake Irvin 4.34
No. 1 Starter: Josiah Gray 4.07
Here is your Baseball Savant link for the game.
Washington Nationals vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Stadium: American Family Field, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1st Pitch: 2:10 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app