Game #26 Mitchell Parker trying for Nats history

The Washington Nationals came away with a win to open their series in Miami by a final score of 3-1. It took a while for the Nationals’ offense to push across some runs, and the highlight of the game happened on a 2-run single by Joey Meneses to score CJ Abrams on the back-end of the play with a Matrix slide that was impressive.

With a win today, starting pitcher Mitchell Parker would set the Nationals’ record with three wins to start a career which has never been done before in Nats’ history. While Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg both won two in a row to start their careers, Parker has had to traverse the toughest of matchups against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros to win his first two games. Parker cannot let-up today against the Marlins in a pitcher’s park. He has to shove as the Marlins have their best active pitcher, Edward Cabrera, on the mound.

The pregame news we broke in the early morning was that Alex Call was being called up to replace Joey Gallo who was being placed on the 10-day IL with a left shoulder AC joint strain. Gallo was on a 290.25 strikeout pace for the season prior to being put on the IL. That would smash all previous records, and set by Mark Reynolds in 2009 with 223 Ks. But of note, Reynolds was 20th in MVP voting in that season as he smashed 44 home runs with a very strong .892 OPS. Gallo, was struggling with just three home runs and a poor .597 OPS.

Manager Dave Martinez is sticking with catcher Keibert Ruiz again to start tonight’s game, and as Stever20 pointed out, Ruiz’s had two rehab starts for Harrisburg prior to joining the Nationals on Thursday — he is now starting his fifth game in a row. While catchers have done that before, Ruiz missed considerable time after a severe bout with the flu that Martinez claimed had set Ruiz back nearly 20 pounds in body weight. Ruiz is batting just .158 with a weak .475 OPS versus catcher Riley Adams who is batting .250 with a strong .755 OPS. Defensively, Adams is also considered to be a better defender than Ruiz also. Also, Adams caught Parker effectively in his first two starts. What’s going on here?

Also, Nick Senzel returns to the lineup after he dealt with his own bout with a stomach bug on Thursday on Friday. On Wednesday, he homered against the Dodgers. He will play the DH in this game with Trey Lipscomb at third base. Lipscomb had an over the shoulder catch heading away from the infield into foul territory which was one of the top defensive plays, and add his two key hits from yesterday that has certainly earned him another start.

Here’s what we think the schedule could look like going forward:

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

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has CJ Abrams at the top at a +1.0 WAR followed by Hunter Harvey and Trevor Williams at +0.8. MacKenzie Gore, Jake Irvin, Mitchell Parker, and Jesse Winker are all at +0.6 WAR. In total, 20 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another four at a neutral 0.0 WAR.

“That’s a good win on the road. First game of the series. I’m proud of the boys. They fought. … Really proud of the group. It’s a group effort. They played really well. So let’s come back tomorrow and go 1-0 tomorrow.”

— manager Dave Martinez said after yesterday’s game

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 4.56 and tied for 24th in MLB. Obviously sample sizes are miniscule at this point. The Nats have been slowly moving up in the rankings. At this point in the season, the ERA movement is in smaller increments due to the total innings increasing well over triple-digits.

Here is how they rank:

No. 5 Starter: Patrick Corbin 6.51
No. 4 Starter: Jake Irvin 4.55
No. 3 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 3.12
No. 2 Starter: Trevor Williams 2.70
No. 1 Starter: Mitchell Parker 1.50

Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins

Stadium: loanDeport park, Miami, Florida
1st Pitch: 4:10 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 online only, and the opposing team on Channel 178.

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 26:
The Nationals won on 04/28 at home against the San Diego Padres resulting in a record of 12-14. The game went to 11-innings and finished with a Matt Adams walk-off home run! The Nats bullpen pitched 8.0 scoreless innings in the game. Box Score / Standings
The Senators won on 05/17 at home against the Cleveland Indians resulting in a record of 12-14. Box Score / Standings

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