Game #56 The happy flight arrived at 3:45AM in Cleveland

The Washington Nationals won a key series against the Braves, and now have this weekend series against the very hot Cleveland Guardians, a team in first place in the AL Central that was just voted the 5th best team in MLB power rankings. Only the Phillies and Dodgers have scored more runs than the Guardians this season. Tonight’s challenge: Patrick Corbin and his 6.12 ERA is on the mound with a back of the bullpen that has pitched a lot in the past two days.

That happy flight from Atlanta to Cleveland did not arrive until 3:45 AM with a long drive to the team hotel. The American Airlines Charter jet AA9721 did not even take-off until 2:28AM local time due to traffic in Atlanta. Part of the problem is that the Braves are playing at home in Atlanta and did not schedule an early game to accommodate the Nationals. Most teams do that as a courtesy.

Jake Irvin, Mitchell Parker, MacKenzie Gore, and Trevor Williams combined for just one earned run in their first five innings of work in that series against the Braves. That’s just .25 runs on average. Round that down to zeroes. Can Corbin replicate that? The team could really use six to seven innings of shutout baseball from Corbin.

For the bullpen, Dylan Floro, Robert Garcia, and Hunter Harvey all pitched the past two games in Atlanta. None of them should pitch tonight. Manager Dave Martinez and his pitching coaches need to figure it out.

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

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

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has a new leader with Trevor Williams at +1.7 WAR, and MacKenzie Gore at +1.5 WAR followed by Jake Irvin at +1.3. Jacob Young takes the top spot at +1.1 for position players and Hunter Harvey is at the +1.0 mark. In total, 21 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another six at a neutral 0.0 WAR. Lane Thomas jumped up +0.5 since his return and goes from negative to a positive +0.2 now. Once again, Eddie Rosario has fallen back into negative numbers in the past week, and he is there with Josiah Gray, Tanner Rainey, Joey Meneses, and Keibert Ruiz. All of those players have to dig out of their holes.

“It was a good series to see the whole team compete. Not one guy is doing it — everybody is contributing. It’s been a good series.”

— manager Dave Martinez said after yesterday’s game

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 3.93 and 14h in MLB. The Nats are now 24 points from 12th best in baseball. Think about shaving about one-third runs off of that ERA total and what that would mean.

Here is how they rank:

No. 5 Starter: Patrick Corbin 6.12
No. 4 Starter: Mitchell Parker 3.45
No. 3 Starter: Jake Irvin 3.43
No. 2 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 2.91
No. 1 Starter: Trevor Williams 2.22

Washington Nationals vs. Cleveland Guardians

Stadium: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
1st Pitch: 7:10 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 56:
The Nationals won on 05/29 on the road against the Atlanta Braves resulting in a record of 24-32. But you knew this already. Anibal Sanchez threw 6.0 scoreless and with a 14-run lead and instead of pushing Sanchez for more past his pitch count of 80, Kyle McGowin got the rare 3.0 inning save while giving up four runs. That was a classic. Box Score / Standings
The Senators won on 06/23 on the road against the Yankees resulting in a record of 30-26.  Box Score / Standings

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