It’s been a rough go of it for the Nats this year, just won their first series in over a month. Former Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez doesn’t seem to have brought that Joe Maddon magic along with him, and every new team that comes into DC has to be double checking wikipedia before the series to see if he’s still in charge over there.
- OBP: Contreras (.410)
- ISO: Contreras (.303)
- HR: Baez (11)
- R+RBI: Baez (60)
- wRC+: Baez (166)
- BSR: Bryant (1.7)
- Defense: Baez (2.9)
- SP K/9: Darvish (11.79)
- SP BB/9: Hendricks (1.61)
- SP FIP: Lester (2.71)
- RP K/9: Edwards (11.12)
- RP BB/9: Kintzler (1.83)
- RP FIP: Ryan (2.08)
- WAR: Baez (2.1)
- OBP: Anthony Rendon (.415)
- ISO: Rendon (.324)
- HR: Victor Robles (8)
- R+RBI: Rendon/Robles (45)
- wRC+: Rendon (179)
- BSR: Robles (1.9)
- Defense: Scherzer (2.7)
- SP K/9: Scherzer (11.98)
- SP BB/9: Scherzer (1.52)
- SP FIP: Scherzer (2.24)
- RP K/9: Wander Suero (11.81)
- RP BB/9: Justin Miller (1.83)
- RP FIP: Sean Doolittle (2.26)
- WAR: Scherzer (2.1)
Something about Nats park seems to make their pitchers look really good on defense somehow. Maybe it’s the fact that the press box is located somewhere in Alexandria.
News, transactions, injuries, blood vengeance, etc.
The Nats have a decent number of position players on the shelf. Most notable are SS/CF Trea Turner who has been out since early April with a broken finger, and Ryan Zimmerman, who is out with plantar fasciitis and is easing his way back. Turner could be activated from the IL this series.
The Nats were fairly active in free agency, though most notably not with one player. They signed former Dbacks ace Patrick Corbin to a 6/140 deal, though I could have sworn that he signed with the Yankees.
Anthony Rizzo took BP on Thursday and should be back this series barring any setbacks. No real news on nominal closers Brandon Morrow and Pedro Strop rehab so far.
K/9, BB/9, ERA, projected ERA listed for each pitcher
Friday: Cole Hamels, LHP (8.88, 3.08, 3.08, 3.77) vs Max Scherzer, RHP (11.98, 1.52, 3.64, 2.90), 6:05 PM CT
The Cubs didn’t get an easy draw, starters-wise in this series. I don’t know what there even is to say about Scherzer. He’ll finish in the top 3 yet again for the CYA.
Hamels was solid in his last start, holding the potent Brewers offense to just one run in seven innings. Aside from his opening game against his former team, Hamels has performed above and beyond what anyone/I expected going into the season. The peripherals looks pretty good too – I guess Arlington TX is just his kryptonite.
Saturday: Jon Lester, LHP (9.08, 1.86, 1.16, 3.85) vs Stephen Strasburg, RHP (11.84, 2.83, 3.63, 3.34), 6:15 PM CT
I’m always surprised when I see that Strasburg has never had a season with a BB/9 over three. He’s not a guy who works particularly deep into games on average, but you’d think there would be more walks with the pitch counts he racks up from time to time. He’s already hit double digit strikeouts twice this season, and I would not be surprised to see that number move up this weekend.
Big Jon has been nails this year, and only doesn’t show up on leaderboards due to his short DL stint not giving him enough innings to qualify. Lester has been on a roll since his return, allowing just one earned run in his four starts.
Sunday: Cyle Hendricks, RHP (7.33, 1.81, 2.86, 3.67) vs Jeremy Hellickson, RHP (7.25, 4.25, 6.00, 5.03), 6:05 PM CT
Cyle’s slow start is a thing of the past, and even his bat has heated up. Hendricks had a shot at his second straight complete game last weekend, but the bullpen ended up closing it out. He certainly seems to have found the pinpoint control that he wasn’t quite feeling in his first few starts.
Hellickson had a good season kind of out of nowhere with the Nats last year, so they decided to bring him back on another cheap deal. Hellickson throws a lot of strikes, and his good seasons directly correspond to the seasons when most of those strikes didn’t find themselves over the fence. Oddly enough, he’s had a tough time finding the strike zone this year, as his walk rate has nearly doubled relative to his career average.