Game #50: The 5th Anniversary of 19-31

The Washington Nationals were losing 1-0 last night, and their offense didn’t have a baserunner in three innings. The Mariners’ pitcher had a perfect game going and averaging 8-pitches per inning. Then Luis Garcia Jr. happened. He crushed a Weaver into the visitor’s bullpen on an oppo shot that put the Nats up 3-1. Starter, MacKenzie Gore, looked like the ace that we were all hoping for. He went 7.0 innings and never allowed another run past the second pitch of the game.

Today marks the five-year anniversary of the 2019 team’s 19-31 start. It just shows that good teams can find their way back. Being 12-games under .500 looked bleak, but the players, manager, and front office never panicked even though many in the media had thrown in the towel. Five years ago, I wrote that the team was riding a rollercoaster of ineptitude. Most of it pointed at the bullpen. This team certainly has some under-performers.

Better times are ahead if you are an optimist. Look at that photo above of James Wood (middle), Dylan Crews (left), and Brady House. Add in CJ Abrams at shortstop, Jacob Young in center field, Garcia Jr. at second base, and find a competent first baseman, and an ace for the top of the rotation, and you have a playoff team. We are 50-days from the draft, and maybe at pick No. 10, the Nats get one more key piece to their puzzle.

A manager will always look smarter when their players do their jobs. As we always say, take yesterday’s win and get another to get some momentum going. A winning streak could change everything.

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

  1. Friday: MacKenzie Gore vs. Mariners
  2. Saturday: Trevor Williams vs. Mariners
  3. Sunday: Patrick Corbin vs. Mariners
  4. Monday: Mitchell Parker vs. Atlanta
  5. Tuesday: Jake Irvin vs. Atlanta
  6. Wednesday: Gore vs. Atlanta
  7. Thursday: Williams vs. Atlanta
  8. Friday: Corbin vs. Cleveland
  9. Saturday June 1: Parker vs. Cleveland
  10. Sunday: Irvin vs. Cleveland
  11. Monday: Gore vs. Mets
  12. Tuesday: Williams vs. Mets
  13. Wednesday: Corbin vs. Mets
  14. Thursday: Parker vs. Braves
  15. Friday: Irvin vs. Braves
  16. Saturday: Gore vs. Braves
  17. Sunday: Williams vs. Braves
  18. Monday: Day-off June 10

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has Trevor Williams at +1.3 WAR followed by MacKenzie Gore at +1.2. Jake Irvin, CJ Abrams, and Luis Garcia Jr. are all at +1.0, and Jacob Young at +0.9. In total, 20 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another four at a neutral 0.0 WAR. The issue at the moment is about the four players at the extreme bottom in negative numbers that includes Lane Thomas.

“We got to get the ball in the zone and take good aggressive swings, and for the most part, they did that all night. We got some balls in the zone. We hit some fastballs. So we had some really good at-bats, really good at-bats. Guys stayed in the middle of the field. We hit a home run the other way. Keibert finally got in his legs a little bit, spread out a little bit and really stayed behind the baseball. So it was good.”

— manager Dave Martinez said after yesterday’s game

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 4.14 and 16th in MLB. The Nats are now 14 points from 15th best in baseball.

Here is how they rank:

No. 5 Starter: Patrick Corbin 6.29
No. 4 Starter: Jake Irvin 3.79
No. 3 Starter: Mitchell Parker 3.32
No. 2 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 3.04
No. 1 Starter: Trevor Williams 2.35

Washington Nationals vs. Seattle Mariners

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 180 and the opposing team online.

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 50:
The Nationals lost on 05/23 on the road against the Mets resulting in a record of 19-31. But you knew this already. It was another blown save by the Nats bullpen that blew a Strasburg gem. Don’t worry, you remember that the future was brighter. Box Score / Standings
The Senators lost on 06/16 on the road against the Chicago White Sox resulting in a record of 24-26.  Box Score / Standings

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