Game #19 Celebration weekend

The Washington Nationals return from a long and successful road trip on the West Coast, and this weekend celebrates the 5-year World Series win against today’s Nats opponent, the Houston Astros. Many Nats’ alumni are returning for this weekend of celebration. Each day will have some added features for the fans in attendance. With the COVID health crisis in 2020, the Nats were not able to celebrate with their fans. This might be the closest they will come to it this weekend.

After tonight’s game, there will be postgame fireworks with a distinct 2019 theme to it. Tomorrow, arrive early because the first 20,000 fans to attend that game will receive a replica World Series ring that people in the media have given a thumbs-up to. Season ticket holders get to attend Saturday’s early batting practice and a Q&A with players and coaches from the 2019 team. That early entry will also get those fans a guarantee to get a ring. Sunday will have 2019 team members signing autographs, and the giveaway is a 2019 World Series toy for the first 8,000 fans 12 and under.

While Saturday is expected to be a sell-out if the weather is good, this should be a weekend with attendance near 100,000. Well done by the Nationals marketing department. When this event was first discussed, we were not sure we would so most of the retired players in attendance.

The list of scheduled players for the weekend from the 2019 team includes the current Nats: Patrick Corbin, Sean Doolittle (coach), Gerardo Parra (coach), Tanner Rainey and Victor Robles. And here are some of the retired players from the team who are scheduled to appear: Brian Dozier, Adam Eaton, Javy Guerra, Howie Kendrick, Anibal Sanchez, Kurt Suzuki and Ryan Zimmerman. One prominent name missing is Stephen Strasburg, and Dozier said in an interview on 106.7 The Fan radio that he thinks the World Series MVP will be there.

Many other Nats’ 2019 alumni are still on other rosters so we will have to wait for the 10-year for Max Scherzer, Yan Gomes, Matt Adams, Daniel Hudson, Michael A. Taylor, and Andrew Stevenson, and the 15-year to get Trea Turner and Wander Suero, and the 20-year for Juan Soto. Yep, we might have to wait until 2039 to get Soto — or maybe the Nats do the 10-year when Juan is playing in Nationals Park. One name with a question mark is Anthony Rendon. Will he ever return on an invitation? One other name missing is Asdrubal Cabrera. He was invited for this weekend, and not attending.

The Astros active Justin Verlander from the IL today to make his 2024 debut. The Nats will have their best pitcher on the mound in MacKenzie Gore. The Astros have been struggling out of the gate, and they have their best pitchers on the mound for this series.

The Nats rotation will continue without Josiah Gray until he is ready to return from his forearm muscular strain. Back to a 5-man rotation with Mitchell Parker added, here’s what we think the schedule could look like:

  1. Friday: MacKenzie Gore vs. Houston
  2. Saturday: Trevor Williams vs. Houston
  3. Sunday: Mitchell Parker vs. Houston
  4. Monday: Day-off April 22
  5. Tuesday: Patrick Corbin vs. Dodgers
  6. Wednesday: Jake Irvin vs. Dodgers
  7. Thursday: Gore vs. Dodgers
  8. Friday: Williams vs. Miami
  9. Saturday: Parker vs. Miami
  10. Sunday: Corbin vs. Miami
  11. Monday: Irvin vs. Miami
  12. Tuesday: Gore vs. Texas
  13. Wednesday: Williams vs. Texas
  14. Thursday: Parker vs. Texas
  15. Friday: Corbin vs. Toronto
  16. Saturday: Irvin vs. Toronto
  17. Sunday: Gore vs. Toronto
  18. Monday: Day-off May 6

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has Jesse Winker at a +0.9 WAR. That is incredible. Hunter Harvey at +0.7 and CJ Abrams are at +0.6 WAR with MacKenzie Gore, Jake Irvin, and Trevor Williams at +0.5. In total, 19 players are at positive WAR. But why is FanGraphs so low on Abrams? BBRef is at +0.8 and ESPN at +0.9. Every evaluator has a different WAR calculation. Suffice it to say Abrams is having a great start to his season.

“They’re fighters. They play with a lot of passion, and a lot of heart. The energy was really good on [Wednesday]. To get a win going back to the East Coast was awesome. Playing the Dodgers, it’s a great place to play. … We came out to the West Coast, it’s never easy, but we did well.”

— manager Dave Martinez said

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 5.25 and tied for 28th in MLB. Obviously sample sizes are miniscule at this point. Still a lot of work for the Nationals to improve in the rankings.

Here is how they rank:

No. 5 Starter: Josiah Gray 14.04
No. 4 Starter: Patrick Corbin 8.06
No. 3 Starter: Trevor Williams 3.45
No. 2 Starter: Jake Irvin 3.13
No. 1 Starter:  MacKenzie Gore 2.81

Houston Astros vs. Washington Nationals

Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 6:45 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app; In Spanish on DC 87.7 FM and La Pantera 100.7 FM/1220 AM. On Sirius/XM, the Nats will be on Channel 179, and the opposing team online only.

Line-up subject to change (without notice):

TalkNats is Celebrating the 5 and 100 year anniversaries of World Series Wins by providing Game-by-Game Summaries.
Game 19:
The 2019 Nationals lost on 4/20 against the Marlins and moved their record to 9-10 on that date. It was one of Max Scherzer‘s worst games of the year in a 9-3 loss. Box Score / Standings
The 1924 Senators lost on 5/6 against the Boston Red Sox resulting in a Senators’ record of 8-11 on that date. Firpo Marberry gave up 11 runs in relief (10 earned). Box Score / Standings

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