Game #74 Nats need this series win before they fly West

The Washington Nationals needed zeroes from Patrick Corbin to beat his old team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Corbin delivered four innings of zeroes on his way to a 5.0 inning, one-run start that put the Nats in a position to win the game 3-1.

While the process for Corbin’s start was frustrating given that the only run he gave up was in a 2-strike count with bases loaded, that was the only run that scored after he loaded the bases with no outs. Maybe he didn’t pitch his best game — but he limited the damage and kept his team in the game — and Jesse Winker hit the key 2-run homer for the game winner.

Manager Dave Martinez got nearly 4.0 perfect innings from his bullpen that was one single shy of perfection. Derek Law pitched two key innings followed by a hold and save by Hunter Harvey and Kyle Finnegan. Both Harvey and Finnegan were efficient avering 13.5 pitches between the two of them yesterday. On Tuesday, Jacob Barnes ate 2.0 innings to really keep Dylan Floro and Robert Garcia fresh if needed today. You have to think Law isn’t available today, and they probably want to rest Barnes also.

Shortly before game-time yesterday, CJ Abrams was scratched with his wrist hurting. The team ordered an MRI to see what is going on with his wrist. We should hear on that shortly. On top of that, we also learned that Jacob Young is still experiencing pain with his middle finger on his throwing hand.

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 well beyond the two-week mark now. Do we get an update today? Has that shutdown been extended? It is incredulous to think that we have heard nothing on Williams who had led the starting staff in ERA.

On Josiah Gray, he pitched last night in another rehab start with Double-A Harrisburg and it was certainly a mixed bag of results with three walks in just 5.0 innings and two earned runs. He cruised through the first two innings then ran into trouble. He threw 79 pitches with his fastball sitting in the low 90’s. On Tuesday, Martinez was no longer willing to say what the next step for Gray was going to be. He could be back in Washington’s rotation or make another rehab start. What’s the rush? On top of that, Cade Cavalli will go back with Wilmington and make another rehab start on Friday.

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

  1. Thursday: MacKenzie Gore vs. Diamondbacks
  2. Friday: DJ Herz vs. Rockies (Cade Cavalli rehab start in Wilmington)
  3. Saturday: Mitchell Parker vs. Rockies
  4. Sunday: Jake Irvin vs. Rockies
  5. Monday: Patrick Corbin vs. Padres (Josiah Gray is also lined up for this day)
  6. Tuesday: Gore vs. Padres
  7. Wednesday: Herz vs. Padres
  8. Thursday: Day-off June 27
  9. Friday: Parker vs. Rays
  10. Saturday: Irvin vs. Rays
  11. Sunday: Corbin vs. Rays
  12. Monday: Gore vs. Mets
  13. Tuesday: Herz vs. Mets
  14. Wednesday: Parker vs. Mets
  15. Thursday: Irvin vs. Mets

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has MacKenzie Gore at +1.9, and Jake Irvin with a +1.7 WAR. Trevor Williams is at +1.7 WAR, and Jacob Young hasthe top spot with +1.3 for position players with CJ Abrams right behind him at +1.2 WAR. Mitchell Parker is at the +1.3 mark. In total, 22 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another six are at a neutral 0.0 WAR. Eddie Rosario drops to -0.9 WAR and Keibert Ruiz is at -1.0 WAR. Kyle Finnegan is back into positive WAR.

“Good teams, that’s what they do — they’re not going to hit every day. I talk about it all the time that hitting is hard, and you’re going to go through those lapses where it’s like that where you score two or three runs — but you’ve got a chance to win. That’s what I love about this team. They don’t give up.”

— manager Dave Martinez said after yesterday’s game

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 3.82 and 12th in MLB. The Nats are 3 points from being a Top-10 starting rotation by ERA. Look at those rankings of teams.

Here is how they rank, and if we insert DJ Herz, he would be ahead of Patrick Corbin at a 3.77 ERA:

No. 5 Starter: Patrick Corbin 5.60
No. 4 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 3.24
No. 3 Starter: Jake Irvin 3.24
No. 2 Starter: Mitchell Parker 3.06
No. 1 Starter: Trevor Williams 2.22

Washington Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 1:05 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 175 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 74:
The Nationals won on 06/20 at home against the Phillies resulting in a record of 36-38. But you knew this already. Box Score / Standings
The Senators won on 07/06 at home against the Yankees resulting in a record of 42-32.  Box Score / Standings

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