Photo by LouAnn Solis Greene for TalkNats
Credit to the Washington Nationals after losing a heartthrob on Saturday, the Nats were immediately repaid on Sunday and returned to the winning column last night for a lucky flight to San Francisco. The Nats and Giants face off in a three-game series that will end in an afternoon game on Wednesday. Four at-bats went hot in Arizona, with Lane Thomas, Luis Garcia, Keibert Ruiz and Joey Meneses hoping to add momentum to this series. A rest day on Saturday proved good for CJ Abrams, who finished well in Arizona to join the charts.
Sure, it’s all about consistency, and with Victor Robles transferred to 10-day IL with a back problem, the team loses their most consistent bat. Yes Robles. He has the highest batting average and OPS of any regular. Perhaps that’s more of a reflection on how the power hitters in this roster lack power. For the last two years it’s thrown trainer Jim Hickey in the hot seat, and now it’s up to trainer Darnell Coles to feel the heat in that loss of power. Sure, Arizona got a lot better for two days, but two days doesn’t make a season. There is still a lot to be improved.
Taking Robles’ place in the squad is Jake Alu, as announced by manager Dave Martinez last night. Will he play Alu? That is the question for now. We’ve seen injured substitutes like Jeter Downs and Donovan Casey sit on the bench over the past year. But the hope is that tonight or tomorrow we see Alu there against one of the right-wingers. The matchups could get tricky as the Nats take on the Giants’ top two tonight and tomorrow in Anthony DeSclafani and Logan Webb.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will be difficult as rookie Jake Irvin will make his second MLB start, and on the other side against DeSclafani, who started his season with good numbers. Irvin had his first MLB side session in the bullpen, as well as charting pitches and wiping the veterans on the team. They’re hoping he makes some positive adjustments and builds on his first positive start against the Cubs.
— Manager Dave Martinez
The combined ERAs of the Nats starters are 4.64, and the thinner air in Arizona has bloated the ERAs a bit. For the first time in over a week, the order changed as Trevor Williams dropped to third place in ERA.
How to rank them:
#6 Starter: Jake Irvin 2.08 ERA
No. 5 starter: Chad Kuhl 9.41
#4 Starter: Patrick Corbin 5.17
No. 3 starter: Trevor Williams 4.25
#2 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 3.65
No. 1 starter: Josiah Gray 3.03
The pitching is still looking good, and in the thinner Arizona air, the offense tried to carry the team Saturday and Sunday after enduring some really tough pitchings against the Diamondbacks on Friday night.
Here’s your baseball savant Statcast link For the game.
Washington National vs. San Francisco Giants
Stadion: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
1st place: 9:45 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan Radio and via the MLB App
Subject to change (without prior notice):