Nationals Notebook: A rocky finish to a solid series out West

Stone Garrett is hitting .583 with a homer and five RBI to make the most of his call-up. (AP Photo/Geneva Heffernan)

On their way to 55 wins last year, the Nationals actually had more wins on the road than at home (29-26) and even though this season is a little over a week old, that’s where we’re trending at this time (2-1).

The schedule-makers did the Nats no favors by starting them with consecutive series against a pair of playoff teams from 2022 (and those two teams currently lead their respective divisions).

But it’s all going to even out eventually, especially with every team in the MLB playing each other this season. After getting swept by still-unbeaten Tampa Bay, the Nats were able to split their four game series in Colorado.

Even with the come-from-ahead 7-6 loss Sunday where Chad Kuhl came undone in the sixth inning (a taxed bullpen prevented Manager Davey Martinez from pulling Kuhl after the fifth), the Nats are crawling out of the crater they found themselves in after the first two series of the season.

Digesting the Division: Atlanta (6-4) is the early leader with the bat of Matt Olson (.350 with three homers and 11 RBI) being one of the reasons why. The New York Mets (5-5) early hero is Kodai Senga (2-0 with an ERA of 1.59 and 14 strikeouts) while Miami (4-6) is led by Jesus Luzardo (0.71 ERA and 15 strikeouts). Philadelphia (3-6) has the familiar face of Trea Turner hitting .308 with four runs and two RBI. After climbing to third place last Sunday, the Nats (3-7) are back in the basement again.

O’s Woes: the Birds find themselves in last place of the American League East after dropping two straight to the New York Yankees. The pitching wasn’t as bad as it was at Fenway Park, allowing 22 runs over six games (they were scorched for 27 the first weekend). The schedule lightens up this week with consecutive series against sub-.500 teams in Oakland and the Chicago White Sox.

Last Week’s Heroes: Stone Garrett made the most of his call-up by hitting .583 with a homer and five RBI while Victor Robles batted .417 and Alex Call had a team-high six runs scored and five RBI. MacKenzie Gore and Josiah Gray each struck out six over six innings in their respective starts while Mason Thompson allowed one earned run over six relief innings over three appearances.

Last Week’s Humbled: Patrick Corbin allowed six runs over six innings to drop to 0-2 on the season while Kyle Finnegan’s nightmare 2023 continues after coughing up five runs over 0.1 inning. His ERA for the week was 19.29, a little better than Erasmo Ramirez’s 22.50. Riley Adams hit 1-9 for the week while Keibert Ruiz batted 3-20.

Game to Watch: Tuesday Josiah Gray makes his third start of the season and he’ll try to match zeroes with one of the best. Shohei Ohtani is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA while batting .321 with six RBI in eight games this year, making every start must-watch. Even with the 9:38 p.m. game time.

Game to Miss: On Monday, the 9:38 start time will be a factor as Patrick Corbin (0-2, 9.00 ERA) pitches against Jose Suarez (0-1, 12.46). Not the best way to begin a series.

Dave Preston

Dave has been in the D.C. area for 10 years and in addition to working at WTOP since 2002 has also been on the air at Westwood One/CBS Radio as well as Red Zebra Broadcasting (Redskins Network).

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up