Game #91 Mitchell Parker will try to even this up!

The Washington Nationals have very little margin for error, and that does not mean defensive errors as determined by the official scorer, rather just making mistakes. James Wood had less than a week’s time in the Majors yesterday so some of this he should get a pass for when he makes a mistake. Each game, each play, is a learning experience. Wood doesn’t have a lot of experience in left field.

In the second inning yesterday, Wood allowed a flyball to drop in front of him — and it was clearly his ball. Wood was criticized on-air by MASN’s color analyst, Kevin Frandsen, on two occasions yesterday that also included a baserunning mistake that veterans have made too when Wood was doubled off of first base on a line drive that was caught by a middle infielder. Frandsen was right in both cases, and so was manager Dave Martinez who spoke about the fly ball that led to two runs scoring. That non-play resulted in extra laborious pitches that took a 19-pitch inning to a 29-pitch inning and redlined the young starter, DJ Herz. The situation snowballed as each extra pitch eventually pushed Herz into a career-high 102 pitches in the game. But you could easily try to hit rewind and see that maybe Herz throws 5.0 scoreless if he didn’t have to redline in that second inning.

We say it over-and-over that defense matters, and so does baserunning, and every other aspect of the game. There were other mistakes in the game, and Herz made a few himself.

The team has called-up a spare arm in Joan Adon who has been working out of the bullpen in Triple-A. He was on standby as we announced last week given how stressed the bullpen was — and still is. Herz was optioned to Triple-A which will mean the Nats will need a spot starter for Friday against the Brewers. That could be another MLB debut with a player like Brad Lord or Andrew Alvarez or the team could go to Jackson Rutledge. Herz, after throwing 102 pitches, could probably use the extra rest, and he would be eligible to return to the rotation after the All-Star break in that weekend series against Cincinnati. But expect the Nats to re-seed their rotation to start the second half.

Manager Dave Martinez rested Kyle Finnegan and Hunter Harvey due to the blowout score. He did use Robert Garcia, Derek Law, Dylan Floro, and Tanner Rainey.

The Nationals are the slight betting favorites today, at -115 to win on the moneyline. That means if you bet $115 you would win $100. Bet $11.50 and you win $10.

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 a week ago on Friday — and now finish up a week from today. 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.

Here is what the rotation could look like:

  1. Monday: Mitchell Parker vs. Cardinals
  2. Tuesday: Jake Irvin vs. Mets
  3. Wednesday: Patrick Corbin vs. Mets
  4. Thursday: MacKenzie Gore vs. Mets
  5. Friday: TBA vs. Brewers
  6. Saturday: Parker vs. Brewers (All-Star Futures’ Game)
  7. Sunday: Irvin vs. Brewers (MLB Draft)
  8. All-Star Break (HR Derby)
  9. All-Star Break (All-Star Game)
  10. All-Star Break
  11. All-Star Break
  12. Friday: TBA vs. Reds – July 19
  13. Saturday: TBA vs. Reds
  14. Sunday: TBA vs. Reds

Your top Washington Nationals on the FanGraphs’ WAR leaderboard has CJ Abrams on the top at +2.3 and the team’s top All-Star is just fractionally ahead of MacKenzie Gore and Jake Irvin. Jacob Young is at +1.8. In total, 25 Nats’ players are in positive WAR and another four are at a neutral 0.0 WAR.

“[Wood] was looking at the infielders [on that fly ball]. He needs to come run. Outfielders take precedence over infielders. He needs to come and just catch the ball.”

— Nats’ manager Davey Martinez said after yesterday’s game

The Nats starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 3.97 and 13th in MLB. The Nats are 18 points from being a Top-10 starting rotation by ERA. Look at those rankings of teams.

Here is how they rank:

No. 5 Starter: Patrick Corbin 5.49
No. 4 Starter: DJ Herz 5.17
No. 3 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 3.83
No. 2 Starter: Mitchell Parker 3.61
No. 1 Starter: Jake Irvin 2.80

Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 4:05 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 91:
The Nationals won on 07/13 on the road against the Phillies resulting in a record of 49-42. They won’t drop below .500 the rest of the season. But you knew this already. Box Score / Standings
The Senators lost on 07/22 at home against the Chicago White Sox resulting in a record of 51-40.  Box Score / Standings

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