Game #53 Nats go very right in the lineup

The Washington Nationals were KRuiz’ing with an 8-0 lead on Monday until the Braves were let back into the game with a 4-run surge in the 7th inning and one out with 2 runners on-base. Derek Law dialed up one of the most timely double play balls of the season to end the threat. Starter, Mitchell Parker, had a gem going until the 100th pitch of his game — but certainly I questioned the wisdom of pushing the rookie to exhaustion before the inning even started. Consider this rookie has to pitch in five days with no extra rest. His scoreless gem was forever tainted by three earned runs when his gas tank was on fumes.

Instead of a laugher that the “B” bullpen could have closed out on Monday, the “A” bullpen had to step in, with Hunter Harvey and Kyle Finnegan, to ensure that the Braves wouldn’t score any more runs in the game. It was two nights in a row that manager Dave Martinez botched the bullpen assignments, and on Sunday it cost the team a win in the 8th inning. Yesterday, the win was preserved — but we won’t know at what cost until we see Parker on the mound again in 5-days after he just threw a career-high 100 pitches. Martinez after the game said he was “stretching” him out. For what, 120 pitches?

So if Parker said he wanted to pitch the 7th inning, the manager needs to survey everything going on including bullpen availability and Parker’s physical condition, plus a look into the future. Since Parker only got one out in the 7th inning, the bullpen still had to cover three innings, less the one out Parker got. Most pitchers will tell you they are fine when they aren’t. Heck, most athletes will tell you they are fine when they aren’t. These are alpha males. Your job as a coach is to be the adult in the room and say, “NO, thank you!”

“We talked to Floro, and he said he was good to go today so we decided to go with him.”

— manager Dave Martinez said after Sunday’s loss by Floro

The one-third completion mark in the season will happen after the 54th game which is set for tomorrow with the Braves. This will give you a good indication on some of the players with a large sample size. The Nats will fly to Cleveland after this 4-game series.

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

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

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has Trevor Williams at +1.5 WAR followed by CJ Abrams at +1.2 MacKenzie Gore is next at +1.1 and Jacob Young gets above the +1.0 mark. In total, 20 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another five 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 who is a few more games from climbing into fair territory.

“We hit the ball really well early on to score some runs. It’s a great way to start off, especially with those guys that tend to score some runs. We got off to a good start.”

— manager Dave Martinez said after yesterday’s game

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 4.11 and 17th in MLB. The Nats are now 13 points from 15th best in baseball.

Here is how they rank:

No. 5 Starter: Patrick Corbin 6.12
No. 4 Starter: Jake Irvin 3.79
No. 3 Starter: Mitchell Parker 3.45
No. 2 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 3.04
No. 1 Starter: Trevor Williams 2.29

Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves

Stadium: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
1st Pitch: 7:20 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 180.

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 53:
The Nationals won on 05/26 at home against the Marlins resulting in a record of 22-31. But you knew this already. Box Score / Standings
The Senators won on 06/20 on the road against the Philadelphia Athletics resulting in a record of 27-26.  Box Score / Standings

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