Game #31 Nats give it another try to get above .500

The Washington Nationals played an absolute thriller in Texas last night and came away with a 1-0 victory in the process. Starter Trevor Williams set a modern baseball record by starting a game and working out of two bases loaded situations over two innings with no outs, and came away with a scoreless start over 5.0 innings. He played Houdini and made the baserunners disappear twice. That is walking a tightrope over fire that few survive — yet he did. A suggestion: Don’t Try It Again.

With the win yesterday, the Nationals got back to .500 and have a chance to get over .500 and possibly enter in a tie for the third Wild Card spot in the NL. Yes, that feels very premature discussing that — but it is a fact. Since the trade deadline of 2021, it has been nearly three years of doom and gloom — so when we get these little successes — enjoy it. No, don’t go out and make October plans for playoff seats just yet. But have fun with it as some have said.

Today’s matchup is the rookie, Mitchell Parker, against the veteran, Nathan Eovaldi. With a right-hander on the mound, manager Dave Martinez just went back to the same outfield defense on the corners and Keibert Ruiz catching the rookie. Parker’s initial success against the Dodgers and Astros happened with Riley Adams as his battery mate. Things did not go well with Ruiz behind the plate in Miami. Was that just a bad coincidence? Who knows, the ole saying is that if it isn’t broke — don’t fix it. On top of that, Ruiz is playing five to six days a week and batting below his weight — and that comes after a severe case of the flu in which Martinez said Ruiz lost 18-20 pounds. Shouldn’t Ruiz play less to get back into shape?

The kid deserves the best defense around him. That would mean Eddie Rosario in left field, and Alex Call in right field, and Jesse Winker to the DH. Basically you are essentially substituting Call for Senzel who is a career 0-2 against Eovaldi with a K. Rosario actually has a home run against Eovaldi in their head-to-head matchups. As we have said before, Rosario is due for a breakout game sooner than later. You know, the supposed Law of Averages. Why not this week?

After today’s game, the Nats jump on their plane to head back to Washington, DC for the weekend in what will finish 13 consecutive days without a day-off. Martinez has done a good job in managing his starter’s workloads.

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

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

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has CJ Abrams at the top at a +1.3 WAR followed by MacKenzie Gore and Trevor Williams at +0.9. Hunter Harvey is at +0.8 WAR, and Jake Irvin at +0.7. In total, 21 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another five at a neutral 0.0 WAR.

“We’ve got to start working better at-bats. Start seeing a little bit more pitches. We’re going up there, and it’s swing, swing, swing, swing. We’ve got to start working counts a little better.”

— manager Dave Martinez said yesterday

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 4.38 and tied for 22nd in MLB. Obviously the sample sizes are still small at this point considering we are just under the 20 percent completion mark in the season. 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 4.28
No. 3 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 3.19
No. 2 Starter: Trevor Williams 2.27
No. 1 Starter: Mitchell Parker 1.69

Washington Nationals vs. Texas Rangers

Stadium: Globe Life Field, Arlington, Texas
1st Pitch: 2:35 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 31:
The Nationals lost on 05/03 on the road resulting in a record of 13-18. It was a blown save loss by reliever Dan Jennings in this one as the hobbling Nats were still without Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, and Ryan Zimmerman. This was also the time the Nats were spiraling to their bottom point of 19-31. Box Score / Standings
The Senators won on 05/26 at home against the Chicago White Sox and crushed them 8-2, resulting in a record of 14-17. Box Score / Standings

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