Game #79 A big game for many reasons

The Washington Nationals had one of their best comebacks of the season yesterday, with contributions from players in the back of the lineup. Unfortunately, another blown save negated a great win. That happens to all teams in experiencing a heartbreak loss. It is what you do in the next game that says more. That is what the Nats did on Sunday, after a Saturday night blown save.

A year ago the Nats were in a similar situation with a first game of the series loss to the Padres, and they followed it up with a decisive MacKenzie Gore win. Who is on the mound tonight for the Nats: Gore.

Yesterday’s game left some Nationals upset with the antics of Jurickson Profar who had the walk-off hit at first base and celebrated with a lot of body language pointed at the Nats’ dugout as he took his party to the third base line. In Profar’s at-bat, he was also acting like RHP Hunter Harvey was coming to close for comfort for him which on replay was just some bad acting by Profar.

The Nationals are betting favorites tonight at -118 to win. The reason the Nats are favorites is based on the pitching matchups and Yu Darvish was scratched and the RHP Adam Mazur takes his place.

Manager Dave Martinez rested closer Kyle Finnegan last tonight. Hunter Harvey took most of the work with Derek Law covering 1 2/3 perfect innings last night. Robert Garcia pitched 1/3 of an inning and the rest of the bullpen got the night off.

The starting rotation picture is getting interesting as we get closer to decision time on Josiah Gray who will basically pitch as far as he can go tonight in Triple-A. He could be ready to join the Nats rotation on Sunday with an extra rest day if the Nats feel he is ready. Still no word on the plan with the injured Trevor Williams who has not pitched since May 30, and we expected Cade Cavalli to make another rehab start on Wednesday or Thursday until he came down with the flu. Given all of that information, everything beginning with this weekend could change if Gray is activated to the Nats active roster.

This is schedule might change on Sunday depending on how Corbin pitches tonight:

  1. Tuesday: MacKenzie Gore vs. Padres (Josiah Gray pitches in Triple-A)
  2. Wednesday: DJ Herz vs. Padres
  3. Thursday: Day-off June 27
  4. Friday: Mitchell Parker vs. Rays
  5. Saturday: Jake Irvin vs. Rays
  6. Sunday: Patrick Corbin vs. Rays
  7. Monday: Gore vs. Mets
  8. Tuesday: Herz vs. Mets
  9. Wednesday: Parker vs. Mets
  10. Thursday: Irvin vs. Mets – July 4
  11. Friday: Corbin vs. Cardinals
  12. Saturday: Gore vs. Cardinals
  13. Sunday: Herz vs. Cardinals
  14. Monday: Parker vs. Cardinals
  15. Tuesday: Irvin vs. Mets
  16. Wednesday: Corbin vs. Mets
  17. Thursday: Gore vs. Mets

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has MacKenzie Gore at +2.1, and Jake Irvin at+1.8 WAR. Jacob Young has the top spot with +1.6 for position players with CJ Abrams next at +1.5 WAR. Mitchell Parker is at the +1.4 mark. In total, 22 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another six are at a neutral 0.0 WAR. Eddie Rosario dropped to the the lowest point on the Nats roster at a -1.1 WAR. That means that a league average replacement would add 1.1 wins in theory. That is not good. Yes, Rosario stays, and James Wood is still in Triple-A.

 “I’m proud of the boys coming back. This is a tough one. It’s a tough one. These guys are not gonna let up, either. So we got to come back tomorrow and do it again.”

— manager Dave Martinez said after yesterday’s game

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 3.86 and 13th in MLB. The Nats are 14 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 4.50 ERA:

No. 5 Starter: Patrick Corbin 5.46
No. 4 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 3.49
No. 3 Starter: Mitchell Parker 3.30
No. 2 Starter: Jake Irvin 3.13
No. 1 Starter: Trevor Williams 2.22

Washington Nationals vs. San Diego Paders

Stadium: Petco Park, San Diego, California
1st Pitch: 9:40 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 188 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 79:
The Nationals won on 06/26 on the road against the Marlins resulting in a record of 39-40. But you knew this already. Box Score / Standings
The Senators lost on 07/12 at home against the Indians resulting in a record of 43-36.  Box Score / Standings

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