Game #27 Patrick Corbin hopes to repeat success

The Washington Nationals got a laugher win in Miami, and needed it. While the game not start off as a laugher, the Nats ran away with the game in the fifth inning capped by a Jesse Winker grand slam. At the top of the 9th inning, the Nationals had an 11-1 lead. The Marlins didn’t opt to pitch a position player, but manager Dave Martinez inserted Tanner Rainey for the 9th inning. Rainey gave up more runs than the Marlins had scored in the previous 17 innings off of Nats pitching. The good news, the Nationals have now won the first two games of this four game series.

There is the continuing discussion of why Rainey and his 8.10 ERA remains on this team. His fastball is averaging just 93.4 mph this season which is a huge difference from the 97.0 he averaged in 2022 — but it is more than that. The movement is worse than the MLB average in both vertical and horizontal movement which is why it is getting clobbered when it isn’t located. A total of 15 percent of his fastballs have been barreled up this season for a .774 slugging percentage and an 1.161 OPS per Statcast.

Manager Dave Martinez has been sticking with Eddie Rosario in his starting lineup to get him going. Well, it is not well. Rosario can’t buy a hit on a day that his teammates were feasting on Marlins’ pitching — Rosario went hitless and watched his batting average drop below HALF MENDOZA to .094 and a .317 OPS. Come on, the Nats’ worst hitting pitcher with at least 120 games, John Lannan, hit .097 in a Nats uni. Rosario has had 68 plate appearances with only 16 strikeouts. He has put 48 balls in play with 6 hits. But he has other problems, his hustle at times on defense has been questioned, and he doesn’t run a Hard-90 even on routine plays which sets a bad example for a young team.

It really is time for a team to decide if they want to send a message that change is necessary when players are not meeting team standards. Other teams wouldn’t tolerate a player slow-jogging after balls on defense. Rosario did it on a double that became a triple in the ninth inning, and a bloop double on Friday down the line. Hustle costs you nothing. Sure, you DFA the player, and he probably does better somewhere else. Fact is, it would be difficult to play any worse. Rosario’s -0.8 WAR is beyond bad. That’s a -4.98 for a full season at that pace.

The Nationals have Patrick Corbin on the mound after his great start against the Dodgers five days ago, he has to hope to repeat that success where he was throwing his slider for more strikes and his highest percentage this year. Combined with a heavier use of his slider and cutter, Corbin helped himself out with more strikeouts and shut down the might Dodgers’ offense. The Nats face a lefty themselves today, and it should give Martinez an opportunity to give Alex Call his first start.

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

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

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has CJ Abrams at the top at a +1.1 WAR followed by Hunter Harvey, Trevor Williams, and Jesse Winker at +0.8. Jacob Young jumps up the charts to join MacKenzie Gore, Jake Irvin, and Mitchell Parker at +0.6 WAR. In total, 21 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another five at a neutral 0.0 WAR. Joey Meneses is working himself back to positive territory, and is at -0.2.

“Winker with the big blow. He put us up top — and I think the guys kind of loosened up a little bit. We started swinging our bats. … It was a good day offensively, a good day. So, we got to come back, and do it again tomorrow.”

— manager Dave Martinez said after yesterday’s game

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 4.49 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 1.69

Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins

Stadium: loanDeport park, Miami, Florida
1st Pitch: 1:40 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 179.

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 27:
The Nationals lost on 04/29 at home against the St. Louis Cardinals resulting in a record of 12-15. It was the first game in the start of that series. This was the stretch that the Nats were playing without both Trea Turner (broken fingers) and Anthony Rendon (contusion). Carter Kieboom was the team’s starting shortstop. Box Score / Standings
The Senators lost on 05/18 at home against the St. Louis Browns resulting in a record of 12-15. Box Score / Standings

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