Game #82 starts the mathematical 2nd half of the 2024 season and a nod to Hope Row

The Washington Nationals have a lot of work ahead of them as they have fallen to fourth place in the NL East. The mathematical second half of the season begins today. With T-2 days until the arrival of James Wood, here is to new beginnings. Right now, we have to find our optimism in tiny slivers of hope. Do you remember the “Hope Row” story? This is just the beginning as general manager Mike Rizzo said there would be top prospects (plural) called up. You have to think Dylan Crews is enjoying the strike zone and ABS challenge system in Triple-A. He’s pushed his K rate down to nearly 10 percent. Wood will likely head out of Rochester with an OPS over 1.000. Help is on the way from Hope Row.

The Nationals are betting underdogs this afternoon at +115 to win. The reason the Nats are underdogs is probably based more on how the Nats have played recently as they are now mired in a 4-game losing streak. They will call on Jake Irvin to be their stopper.

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 that the Nats just started on Friday. 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 didn’t get to use Kyle Finnegan and Hunter Harvey again, and Harvey now 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 did so again last night with another inning. Jordan Weems and Dylan Floro worked the remaining 2.0 innings last night.

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

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has MacKenzie Gore at +1.9, and Jake Irvin at+1.8 WAR. Jacob Young took back the team lead for position players at +1.8 WAR followed by CJ Abrams at +1.7. Mitchell Parker is at the +1.4 mark. In total, 21 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another eight are at a neutral 0.0 WAR. Eddie Rosario dropped to the lowest point on the Nats roster at a -1.2 WAR.

“We’re doing OK.”

— manager Dave Martinez said after yesterday’s game

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 3.93 and 13th in MLB. The Nats are 21 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 3.32
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: 4:10 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 82:
The Nationals lost on 06/29 on the road against the Detroit resulting in a record of 41-41. They won’t drop below .500 the rest of the season. But you knew this already. Box Score / Standings
The Senators won on 07/14 at home against the Indians resulting in a record of 46-36.  Box Score / Standings

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