Game #63 The Nats need a stopper and more offense

The Washington Nationals are now tailspinning from a 4-game losing streak. When they had a no-hitter through five innings from Mitchell Parker, and a 2-0 lead going into the 7th inning — they gave the game away last night. We are all frustrated, and this team just can’t put it all together. Tonight, Jake Irvin needs to be the stopper, and his offense needs to give him some much-needed run support.

For the bullpen, manager Dave Martinez has his closer Kyle Finnegan fresh and most of the bullpen except for set-up man, Hunter Harvey, as the Nats got 7.0 full innings from Parker last night. Jacob Barnes threw a quick 1-2-3 final frame last night after he threw 39 pitches between Monday and Tuesday, and he should probably get the night off. Derek Law pitched 3.0 innings but only 37 pitches on Monday and should be ready to go. It was Jordan Weems who got most of the burden of short outings by the starters prior to last night, and he covered 4.0 innings and 59 pitches on Monday and Wednesday. So you hope to not have to pitch Harvey, Barnes or Weems, and that gives Martinez five other relievers to help if needed tonight with Dylan Floro as a key arm if Harvey is not used tonight.

With Patrick Corbin‘s downs and ups this season, you have to wonder what his future is in this rotation — but with DJ Herz up now and Trevor Williams injured, there is nobody to step in until Cade Cavalli and/or Josiah Gray are ready. Gray will pitch a rehab game with Single-A Fredericksburg on Sunday, and Cavalli will do some bullpen work after his rehab start with Wilmington High-A did not go too well.

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

  1. Friday: Jake Irvin vs. Braves
  2. Saturday: MacKenzie Gore vs. Braves
  3. Sunday: DJ Herz vs. Braves
  4. Monday: Day-off June 10
  5. Tuesday: Patrick Corbin vs. Tigers
  6. Wednesday: Mitchell Parker vs. Tigers
  7. Thursday: Irvin vs. Tigers
  8. Friday: Gore vs. Marlins
  9. Saturday: Herz vs. Marlins
  10. Sunday: Corbin vs. Marlins
  11. Monday: Day-off June 17

The Nats will go with more right-handers tonight to face the Braves’ lefty starter. After tonight’s game, there are just 99 games remaining in the season. The Nats enter this game at 27-35 and in third place in the NL East. This is the worst mark of the season for the Nats. They need wins, and need a bunch of them.

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has Trevor Williams at +1.7 WAR, and Jake Irvin at +1.6. Jacob Young is at the top spot with +1.4 for position players, and MacKenzie Gore is also at +1.3 WAR. Hunter Harvey and Mitchell Parker are at the +1.0 mark. In total, 21 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another five are at a neutral 0.0 WAR. Lane Thomas is back into neg territory at -0.1.

“Keep the train rolling. Walks are good sometimes. Base hits are good sometimes. All of a sudden you get a ball you can juice, and all of a sudden you have three or four runs. But we have to get back to TEAM at-bats. Get on-base, and move baserunners. … We have to work better at-bats.”

— manager Dave Martinez said after Wednesday’s game

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 4.15 and 17th in MLB.

Here is how they rank:

No. 5 Starter: Patrick Corbin 6.15
No. 4 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 3.57
No. 3 Starter: Mitchell Parker 3.47
No. 2 Starter: Jake Irvin 3.39
No. 1 Starter: Trevor Williams 2.22

Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves

Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 6:45 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 opposing team will be online and the Nats broadcast will be on Channel 177.

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 63:
The Nationals lost on 06/07 on the road against the Padres resulting in a record of 28-35. But you knew this already. Box Score / Standings
The Senators won on 06/28 at home against the Philadelphia Athletics resulting in a record of 36-27.  Box Score / Standings

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