Game #68 History on the line

The Washington Nationals just notched a 5-game winning streak last night for the first time since June 24 of 2021. They managed that by skipping Patrick Corbin‘s scheduled start on Tuesday as the team took advantage of Monday’s day-off. Now, Corbin is going to the mound today with three extra rest days and history on the line. The team’s last 6-game winning streak was on September 27 of 2019. The pitcher who started that streak: Corbin. That was then, and this is now. Will this be a history lesson or will history be made?

Can this 2024 version of Corbin pitch a winner for the Nats today? He might have to pitch deep into this game after the hi-lev bullpen arms have all been used in this series already.

Manager Dave Martinez had to use closer, Kyle Finnegan, two days in a row logging 2⅓ innings and 34 combined pitches. Hunter Harvey has now pitched 2⅔ innings and 48 max-effort pitches in these two days which is mind-blowing. The team didn’t use Derek Law last night after he pitched 1⅓ innings on 27-pitches on Tuesday. Dylan Floro has pitched two-days in a row, and he was the problem last night allowing 3-runs to score and left the tying run on second base with no outs, and needed Harvey to pitch around that mess. Robert Garcia threw 22-pitches last night and did not pitch on Tuesday. Jacob Barnes has not pitched in this series but did warm-up for the ninth inning. Jordan Weems and Tanner Rainey have not been seen for day, and both have been relegated to the “C” bullpen.

It was very surprising to see Harvey pitch last night after going 1⅓ innings on Tuesday night. Martinez said in the postgame that he “had to use” both Harvey and Finnegan. No, you had other choices. You chose to use them. The hope is that Harvey’s arm recovers fully from that workload. This is essentially a six-man bullpen right now without Weems and Rainey.

One key point was in the top of the 8th inning last night, and the Nats had bases loaded and no-outs. Mason Englert, a right-handed reliever, was brought in to face the righty Nick Senzel in a 5-1 game. ­Credit to @VeroBeachGuy who immediately said you need to pinch-hit with Ildemaro Vargas and go lefty on Englert. Good call Vero, but Martinez didn’t do that and Senzel weakly popped-up, Jacob Young K’d, and CJ Abrams grounded out. The Nats didn’t score and then with that 5-1 lead Martinez kept Garcia pitching instead of giving Floro a clean inning. It was nearly a disaster, and instead of a laugher in the 8th inning the lead was cut to 5-4 before Harvey saved the day. Of course the Nats score two runs in the 9th inning and Finnegan only gives up a home run to win it at 7-5.

With Trevor Williams on the 15-day IL, he pitched last on May 30. When he was placed on the IL, Martinez told the media that he would be shutdown for a period of tw0-week. We are at the two-week mark today. Do we get an update today? Will that shutdown be extended?

Here’s what we think the starting rotation could look like going forward without Josiah Gray, Williams, and Cade Cavalli:

  1. Thursday: Patrick Corbin vs. Tigers
  2. Friday: MacKenzie Gore vs. Marlins
  3. Saturday: DJ Herz vs. Marlins
  4. Sunday: Mitchell Parker vs. Marlins
  5. Monday: Day-off June 17
  6. Tuesday: Jake Irvin vs. Diamondbacks
  7. Wednesday: Corbin vs. Diamondbacks
  8. Thursday: Gore vs. Diamondbacks
  9. Friday: Herz vs. Rockies
  10. Saturday: Parker vs. Rockies
  11. Sunday: Irvin vs. Rockies
  12. Monday: Corbin vs. Padres
  13. Tuesday: Gore vs. Padres
  14. Wednesday: Herz vs. Padres
  15. Thursday: Day-off June 27

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has Jake Irvin on top with a +1.8 WAR, and Trevor Williams at +1.7 WAR, and MacKenzie Gore is at +1.5 WAR. Jacob Young is at the top spot with +1.3 for position players with CJ Abrams right behind him at +1.2 WAR. Mitchell Parker is at the +1.0 mark. In total, 20 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another four are at a neutral 0.0 WAR.

“I can’t say enough about Harvey again, and Finnegan. We tried to stay away from them. We had to use them again today. So, who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow? But we come out with a victory.”

— manager Dave Martinez said after yesterday’s game

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 4.02 and 14th in MLB. The Nats are 16 points from being the 12th best starting rotation by ERA.

Here is how they rank:

No. 5 Starter: Patrick Corbin 6.15
No. 4 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 3.44
No. 3 Starter: Mitchell Parker 3.21
No. 2 Starter: Jake Irvin 3.00
No. 1 Starter: Trevor Williams 2.22

Washington Nationals vs. Detroit Tigers

Stadium: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
1st Pitch: 1:10 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, tune to Channel 176 for the home broadcast and the road team is online only.

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 68:
The Nationals lost on 06/13 at home against the Diamondbacks resulting in a record of 31-37. But you knew this already. Box Score / Standings
The Senators won on 07/01 at home against the Red Sox resulting in a record of 39-28. A Curly Ogden complete game shutout.  Box Score / Standings

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