Game #28 Nats go for some history

The Washington Nationals are coming off of one of their most improbable wins in their history, with a comeback from 7-runs down. With 23-runs scored in their past two games and three wins in this four game series, the Nats could win a rare four game series today. The last time they won a series of four or more games was on September 26, 2019 as they took a five game series from the Phillies. Yes, 2019. These scrappy Nats don’t give up, and they fight until the end. With a win today, the Nats would also reach the .500 mark for the first time, this late into a season, since July 2, 2021.

None of Trey Lipscomb, Jacob Young, or Alex Call were on the Opening Day roster. They were all injury replacements, and yesterday they combined for an 8-for-11 day at the plate, two Web Gems, two walks, two HBPs, three stolen bases, a key outfield assist by Call for a DP, and EIGHT runs scored by that trio. Add in the fact that Nick Senzel was hitting below Mendoza this weekend, and he hits two home runs and drives in five in that win on Sunday.

As improbable as the win was yesterday, the top stars weren’t the names you were expecting. Like we said, three of them weren’t even supposed to be on this roster. How much is this reminding you of the Diamondbacks and Reds of last year? There are few believers in the Nats, and none of them are in the national media. But the few believers are most of the guys in that Nationals’ clubhouse. It’s a great time for an old quote.

While many believe general manager Mike Rizzo’s quote in context was about clubhouse snitches and the entire debacle with former Nats’ reliever Brandon Kintzler, it certainly takes on a different context now for any player who hasn’t bought into manager Dave Martinez‘s vision.

Remember, the Nats team with Call, Young, Lane Thomas, and CJ Abrams, and this same pitching staff (except Mitchell Parker) finished the 2023 season at 35-37. Turn one of those L’s to a Curly W and that would have been a .500 record. So don’t be surprised by this current team that is putting together a season that is sniffing a .500 record with a better roster. No the roster is far from perfect. Nobody is expecting the Nats to win the NL East this year.

While ESPN, The Athletic, MASN, and FOX Sports act like there is only one team doing anything in this region, that isn’t much different from the coverage of the Nats in 2019 when they beat the Brewers, Dodgers, and Cardinals in the playoffs and advanced to the World Series. Some still say the Nats were lucky to win the World Series. Sorry, luck never gets you that far. You could say the Nats were unlucky in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, and even 2021. Those teams were all built to win. This 2024 team wasn’t a team built to win — but with a few tweaks and upgrades and who knows.

The Nationals do not have a day-off until a week from today. Here’s what we think the schedule could look like going forward:

  1. Monday: Jake Irvin vs. Miami
  2. Tuesday: MacKenzie Gore vs. Texas
  3. Wednesday: Trevor Williams vs. Texas
  4. Thursday: Mitchell Parker vs. Texas
  5. Friday: Patrick Corbin vs. Toronto
  6. Saturday: Irvin vs. Toronto
  7. Sunday: Gore vs. Toronto
  8. Monday: Day-off May 6
  9. Tuesday: Williams vs. Orioles
  10. Wednesday: Parker vs. Orioles
  11. Thursday: Day-off May 9
  12. Friday: Corbin vs. Red Sox
  13. Saturday: Irvin vs. Red Sox
  14. Sunday: Gore vs. Red Sox
  15. Monday: Williams vs. White Sox
  16. Tuesday: Parker vs. White Sox
  17. Wednesday: Corbin vs. White Sox
  18. 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 at +0.7 WAR. In total, 22 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another three at a neutral 0.0 WAR. Joey Meneses is working himself back to positive territory, and is at -0.3.

The Nationals will have Jake Irvin on the mound, and the Nats will face another lefty starter with the Marlins going with Trevor Rogers.

“I really feel like we got to find other ways to [win], and having these guys, having them be athletic, letting them play the game, paying attention to detail, they’ve been really good. They’ve been really good at it. When they get on-base, hey, they know they want to get second base, and I’m not I’m not going to hold them back.”

“I told them we’re going to pick spots where you guys can go and they’re both aggressive. It’s been fun to watch them, it really has. We’re gonna push the envelope a little bit. It’s just who we are. We created this identity where we’re going to try to be aggressive, and right now they’re doing well with it.”

— manager Dave Martinez said over the weekend

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 4.62 and tied for 23rd in MLB. Obviously sample sizes are still small 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 6.82
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: 6:40 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 28:
The Nationals lost on 04/30 at home against the St. Louis Cardinals resulting in a record of 12-16. Anibal Sanchez fell to 0-4 on the season. Box Score / Standings
The Senators lost on 05/22 at home against the St. Louis Browns resulting in a record of 12-16. Box Score / Standings

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