Game #83 A series to win in Tampa

The Washington Nationals have been in a need of a game without mistakes, and the only one came on the stadium construction that should have been a pop-up out that turned into a freebie do-over that led to a home run — and the only run that Tampa would score in the game. The Nats were as close to flawless as you could get. Without the do-over, starter Jake Irvin would have had a 6.0 inning no-hitter and a shutout going. Instead, manager Dave Martinez gave the ball to his bullpen after the 6th inning — or should we say — his rested bullpen, to close it out an 8-1 win.

Today, the Nats have Patrick Corbin on the mound for a potential series win in Tampa. This is the final game of this 9-game road trip that began in Colorado. The Nats will fly back to D.C. to face the Mets in a 4-game series that will stretch into the July 4th holiday, and tomorrow is the much-expected call-up of the Nats’ top prospect, James Wood. One player will be set to leave the Nats roster.

The Nationals are big betting underdogs this afternoon at +150 to win. The reason the Nats are underdogs is because Patrick Corbin is on the mound. If you look at Corbin’s most recent three starts, he has only given up a combined 5-runs and averaged just 1.67 runs per game. Can Corbin replicate what he did earlier this month against Arizona?

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 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 used Kyle Finnegan and Hunter Harvey because they needed the work. Derek Law pitched the 7th inning, and the Martinez just had to use those three relievers. Every reliever should be available today. You would hope to give Law and Jacob Barnes a day-off.

The starting rotation picture is getting interesting as Josiah Gray is scheduled to pitch today for Triple-A Rochester. If the evaluators like what they see from Gray today, you would expect him to be inserted back into the rotation next week, and don’t be surprised to see a 6-man rotation just to give the starters an extra day in the middle of this 17-game marathon without a day-off leading up to the All-Star break.

Here is what the rotation could look like:

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

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has the two top pitchers as MacKenzie Gore at +1.9, and Jake Irvin at+1.8 WAR. For the position players, CJ Abrams is at +1.9 and Jacob Young at +1.7. In total, 21 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another eight are at a neutral 0.0 WAR. Eddie Rosario had dropped to the lowest point on the Nats roster at a -1.2 WAR.

“We’re not hitting a lot of home runs. We have to create havoc [on the bases]. We have to figure how to win in different ways. … I want them to be a little smarter [running the bases]. We’re going to play aggressive.”

— manager Dave Martinez said after yesterday’s game

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 3.90 and 12th in MLB. The Nats are 13 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 3.03
No. 1 Starter: Trevor Williams 2.22

Washington Nationals vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Stadium: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
1st Pitch: 1:40 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 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 83:
The Nationals won on 06/30 on the road against the Detroit resulting in a record of 42-41. They won’t drop below .500 the rest of the season. But you knew this already. Box Score / Standings
The Senators won on 07/15 at home against the Indians resulting in a record of 47-36.  Box Score / Standings

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