Aces from Irvin, Defense Mattered, Clutch HR from Winker, Save from Law, and Meneses sent to AAA

The Washington Nationals nearly had a perfect game today. One single and one walk from perfection in a 1-0 win as Jake Irvin was aces today going 8.0 innings of scoreless baseball with 8 Ks. The score remained 0-0 until Jesse Winker entered as a pinch-hitter and smashed a curveball over the out-of-town scoreboard for a home run that traveled 407 feet. With the fatigued bullpen, Derek Law was the only reliever needed, and he took the closer’s role and got a timely Web Gem from CJ Abrams to help him go with a 1-2-3 save in the 9th inning.

After the game, the Nationals announced that first baseman Joey Meneses was being optioned to Triple-A Rochester with no official corresponding move announced. A source tells us that the Nats will activate Juan Yepez but the team is sitting on it. One rumor was that the team had a possible trade scenario longshot in the works. Of course all of this is complicated, and they don’t have to announce anything until tomorrow.

While Meneses has been a good RBI man, he was only batting .231 with a weak .597 OPS. With Joey Gallo on the 10-day IL with a hamstring injury, it has been Meneses playing every game since that injury.

Back to the encouraging news of the day as Irvin just looked like a No. 1 pitcher today, and pushed his ERA for the season down to 2.80. He had an 87 Game Score today for the best this season for the Nats, and just edged out DJ Herz’s 83 Game Score on June 15. Max Scherzer has the team record of 104 in his complete game no-hitter with 17 Ks. Mitchell Parker had a 79 Game Score on April 21, and Irvin also had a 76 on May 28.

Irvin’s rankings in the NL are:

– ERA (5th, 2.81)

– Opp. OBP (5th, .264)

– WHIP (6th, 1.00)

– Opp. AVG (7th, .213)

– Opp. OPS (8th, .625)

With the All-Star game in less than two weeks, Irvin is now the Nats top WAR player per FanGraphs, and he is certainly ranked as one of the best in all of baseball.

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