Game #70 Herz has more to prove

The Washington Nationals got a dominant performance last night from MacKenzie Gore. This afternoon, DJ Herz just needs to follow how Gore handled the Marlins hitters. Easier said than done for the young rookie who has much to prove with Josiah Gray nearing his return in about 10 days from the IL. Some believe the weakest link should leave the rotation or possibly move to the bullpen.

The Nationals are set to face lefty starters today and tomorrow and manager Dave Martinez will insert a righty dominant lineup for these games.

With Gore’s 7.0 innings of dominance and an 8-1 lead, the Nats only had to pitch Jacob Barnes and Jordan Weems last night out of the bullpen. A great opportunity to rest closer, Kyle Finnegan, who had pitched on Tuesday and Wednesday, logging 2⅓ innings and 34 combined pitches, and top set-up man, Hunter Harvey, who pitched 2⅔ innings and 48 max-effort pitches on Tuesday and Wednesday. This gives Martinez everyone rested for the most part, and maybe he can go easy on Derek Law given his workload in Detroit. Dylan Floro and Robert Garcia both worked on Thursday in Detroit. Tanner Rainey pitched a low leverage inning on Thursday, and is ready to take on a little more responsibility.

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 beyond the two-week mark today. Do we get an update today? Will that shutdown be extended?

Having pitched last night in a rehab start with Double-A Harrisburg, Josiah Gray pitched much better but still yielded one home run over his 4-innings. He threw 41 pitches and another 20 in a side-bullpen session. The team is cautiously building him back up and Martinez said yesterday to expect 5.0 innings and approximately 70-pitches in his next start on Tuesday or Wednesday. He was not sure at which affiliate Gray would pitch at next. Gray could return soon to the rotation. Here’s what we think the starting rotation could look like going forward without Gray, Williams, and Cade Cavalli:

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

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has MacKenzie Gore and Jake Irvin on top with a +1.8 WAR. Trevor Williams is at +1.7 WAR, and CJ Abrams reclaims the top spot with +1.5 for position players with Jacob Young right behind him at +1.3 WAR. Mitchell Parker is at the +1.0 mark. In total, 21 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another four are at a neutral 0.0 WAR. Eddie Rosario drops to -0.8 WAR and Keibert Ruiz is at -1.1 WAR.

“Today was about MacKenzie pitching his butt off. The boys came out swinging today. We did everything right offensively. We needed that. Our bullpen has been beat up a little bit, so for him to give us 7.0 innings like that with strong innings was great.”

— manager Dave Martinez said after yesterday’s game

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 3.87 and 14th in MLB. The Nats are 9 points from being the 12th best starting rotation by ERA.

Here is how they rank:

No. 5 Starter: Patrick Corbin 5.84
No. 4 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 3.24
No. 3 Starter: Mitchell Parker 3.21
No. 2 Starter: Jake Irvin 3.00
No. 1 Starter: Trevor Williams 2.22

Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins

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, tune to Channel 180 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 70:
The Nationals lost on 06/15 at home against the Diamondbacks resulting in a record of 32-38. But you knew this already. Box Score / Standings
The Senators won on 07/04 at home against the Yankees resulting in a record of 41-29.  Box Score / Standings

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