Game #81 Middle game of the season

The Washington Nationals averaged 6-runs scored per game in San Diego, and need keep that up in Tampa tonight as well as the team has to get back to some ace pitching and shutdown bullpenning.

At the end of the game tonight, the Nats’ season is mathematically half completed. The team opens the series at 4-games under .500, and they have to get back to their winning ways.

The Nationals are betting underdogs this afternoon at +140 to win. The reason the Nats are underdogs is probably based more on how the Nats have played recently.

By the way, there are no more days-off going forward until the All-Star break, and this is another 17-games in a row marathon of games. If there are no rain-outs affecting games, the team is set to play 97-games before the All-Star break, and that would leave just 65-games after the All-Star break.

Manager Dave Martinez had the team’s day-off yesterday to rest his entire bullpen. Both closer Kyle Finnegan and Hunter Harvey got rest days, and Harvey hasn’t pitched since his blow-up on Monday. It was Jacob Barnes who did the heavy lifting on Wednesday covering 2 2/3 innings and Jordan Weems and Tanner Rainey worked the final two innings for the Nats.

The starting rotation picture is getting interesting as Josiah Gray pitched a 1-run easy start on 73-pitches last night in Rochester over 6.0 innings, and he is now scheduled to pitch on Sunday for Triple-A Rochester.

Here is what the rotation could look like:

  1. Friday: Mitchell Parker vs. Rays
  2. Saturday: Jake Irvin vs. Rays
  3. Sunday: Patrick Corbin vs. Rays (Josiah Gray rehab start in Rochester)
  4. Monday: MacKenzie Gore vs. Mets
  5. Tuesday: DJ Herz vs. Mets
  6. Wednesday: Parker vs. Mets
  7. Thursday: Irvin vs. Mets – July 4
  8. Friday: Corbin vs. Cardinals
  9. Saturday: Gore vs. Cardinals
  10. Sunday: Herz vs. Cardinals
  11. Monday: Parker vs. Cardinals
  12. Tuesday: Irvin vs. Mets
  13. Wednesday: Corbin vs. Mets
  14. Thursday: Gore vs. Mets

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has MacKenzie Gore at +1.9, and Jake Irvin at+1.8 WAR. CJ Abrams takes back the team lead for position players at +1.7 WAR followed by Jacob Young at +1.6. Mitchell Parker is at the +1.4 mark. In total, 22 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another seven are at a neutral 0.0 WAR. Eddie Rosario dropped to the lowest point on the Nats roster at a -1.2 WAR.

“We just got to forget about [that Padres] series. We [had] a day off in Tampa. Hope the guys enjoyed it. Let’s come ready to play again and have a good weekend.”

— manager Dave Martinez said after Wednesday’s game

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 3.93 and 13th in MLB. The Nats are 16 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 just behind Patrick Corbin at a 5.48 ERA:

No. 5 Starter: Patrick Corbin 5.46
No. 4 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 3.60
No. 3 Starter: Mitchell Parker 3.30
No. 2 Starter: Jake Irvin 3.13
No. 1 Starter: Trevor Williams 2.22

Washington Nationals vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Stadium: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
1st Pitch: 6:50 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 81:
The Nationals won on 06/28 on the road against the Detroit resulting in a record of 41-40. The Nats go above the .500 mark! They won’t drop below .500 the rest of the season. But you knew this already. Box Score / Standings
The Senators won on 07/13 at home against the Indians resulting in a record of 45-36.  Box Score / Standings

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