Game #20 Ring Day for the fans

The Washington Nationals started off their homestand with a 5-3 loss after two unsuccessful shots to walk-it-off. It is hard to hit a sprinkler head on a strikeout. Manager Dave Martinez was ejected from the game in the eighth inning which was like déjà vu back to Game 6 of the 2019 World Series — and once again was correct on his argument. The Nationals have been on the wrong side of critical calls all season it seems. The Nats record fell to 8-11 in this young season with last night’s loss.

Last night, the postgame fireworks weren’t as fun to watch after the disappointing loss. The Nats had the four hardest balls hit in the game, and the name of the game was weak contact because the Astros got four key hits on weak contact and the Nats got zero. They found outfield grass and the Nats found leather. Lucky or unlucky depending on your perspective.

Two of those weak hits came in the second inning that led to three runs. Starter MacKenzie Gore was BABIP’d over and over. Joey Meneses had his best contact day of the season with nothing to show for it. All outs. Cold weather and bad luck and an ugly K in the final inning.

Joey MenesesFlyout101.9 exit velo27 degree launch angle391 feet in distance.790

The Nats just have to hope the luck turns in their favor. A prescient point that Ryan Zimmerman made before the 2019 postseason about getting some lucky bounces. With the Nats down by a score of 5-3 with two runners on-base and just one out, this was a signature walk-off spot — but the final two batters chased pitches and went down with two consecutive strikeouts to take a disappointing loss last night facing the same pitcher, Josh Hader, who they beat in the 2019 Wild Card game. In that game, Anthony Rendon didn’t chase pitches out of the zone and took his walk. Last night, Meneses and Nick Senzel chased their ways to Ks. Back to the field today with Trevor Williams on the mound.

Today, 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.

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 of the players like Dozier, Sanchez, and Suzuki attended last night’s game.

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

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has Jesse Winker at a +0.8 WAR. That is incredible. Hunter Harvey, CJ Abrams,and MacKenzie Gore are all at +0.7 WAR. Jake Irvin, and Trevor Williams at +0.5. Riley Adams jumped up to +0.3. In total, 18 players are at positive WAR.

“Obstruction, right? Look at the video. I don’t know if the [umpires] knew what I was arguing. I won’t argue a review. But the fact of the matter is they can sit down and get together and see. The fact that they can see it is brutal. I mean, Vargas almost broke his hand. The guy was blocking the base. That’s obstruction to me. I hope they look at the video and understand that that’s obstruction.”

— manager Dave Martinez said

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 5.31 and tied for 27th 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: MacKenzie Gore 3.60
No. 2 Starter: Trevor Williams 3.45
No. 1 Starter:  Jake Irvin 3.13

Houston Astros 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; 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 20:
The 2019 Nationals won on 4/21 against the Marlins and moved their record to 10-10 on that date. Stephen Strasburg threw an 8.0 scoreless gem to win 5-0. Box Score / Standings
The 1924 Senators won on 5/7 against the Boston Red Sox resulting in a Senators’ record of 9-11 on that date. Box Score / Standings

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