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Trevor Rosenthal works scoreless ninth in return to Nationals

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Trevor Rosenthal works scoreless ninth in return to Nationals

Trevor Rosenthal's first stint with the Nationals went about as poorly as it could have. Sporting an ERA of infinity for some time, the reliever acquired in the offseason only made it through seven appearances before the Nationals decided to make a change. Part of this was due to a nagging injury, but the demotion would also allow Rosenthal a chance to figure things out.

After over a month in the minors, he finally got his second chance, and it went pretty well.

Handling the final frame in Washington's 12-1 victory over the White Sox on Monday night, Rosenthal worked a scoreless ninth inning. Yes, the appearance came in a very low-leverage situation, but his work on the mound was the best he's shown all season. For example, his only other outing that didn't result in a run being scored happened because after just two batters and no outs recorded he was pulled from the game.

Rosenthal did walk one batter in his return but was able to regain composure and keep things under control courtesy of a timely double play. 

Monday's one inning is far from the proof needed to show that Rosenthal can become a trusted option for the Nationals. But for a pitcher whose struggles stuck out in a bullpen full of poor performances, it's a step in the right direction.

Now, Rosenthal will have to continue the trend consistently, and get it done in some more high-leverage situations. 

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Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg lined up as Wild-Card Game options if Nationals make it

Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg lined up as Wild-Card Game options if Nationals make it

Washington has options at the end of next week.

It shuffled this weekend’s rotation in order to put end-of-season choices in play. Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg are in a place where they could each influence the final game of the season or the Wild-Card Game.

First, to this weekend: Aníbal Sánchez, Strasburg and Austin Voth are lined up to pitch against Miami. Sánchez has a 3.31 ERA against the Marlins this season, Strasburg a 1.19 ERA in four starts, Voth has not faced the Marlins.

Voth was moved back a day to accommodate this setup. Sánchez and Strasburg will be on regular rest. Patrick Corbin receives an extra day off before he starts the Phillies series. 

Which, in part, is what this is about. Corbin pitches the opener Monday. He is set to pitch again Saturday. Which means he could possibly be available for an inning in the Wild-Card Game on Oct. 1 and definitely available if needed for Game 1 of the National League Division Series, which starts Oct. 3, exactly when Corbin would be on regular rest.

Scherzer, who looked sharp most of Wednesday in St. Louis, should pitch the night portion of next week’s split day-night doubleheader against Philadelphia. The day-side portion of that game will fall to Erick Fedde or Jeremy Hellickson, the latter of which has not pitched in a major-league game since May 19. 

Pitching on Tuesday means Scherzer can pitch Sunday in game 162 if the Nationals need to win to get in. Otherwise, it means he can pitch Oct. 1 on extended rest. Should Washington make the postseason -- still a lot of work to do there -- and win the Wild-Card Game -- getting ahead of ourselves -- he would be able to pitch Game 3 of the NLDS in Nationals Park.

Next is Strasburg. After pitching Saturday in Miami, he should pitch Thursday against Philadelphia. That alignment puts him on regular rest for the Wild-Card Game. Which leaves the recently much-discussed choice: Scherzer or Strasburg to start a winner-take-all game? Both could be available. At the least, Scherzer could pitch game 162 or (gasp) 163 and Strasburg would be available for the Wild-Card Game.

So, a subtle shift this weekend set up everything to come. That’s if the Nationals can get into the postseason.

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Nationals Roundup: Max Scherzer lets up five runs in Cardinals series finale

Nationals Roundup: Max Scherzer lets up five runs in Cardinals series finale

The Washington Nationals were in hopes of winning their final matchup against the Cardinals today after yesterday's win.

Here are the most recent news and notes.

Players Notes:

Starting pitcher Max Scherzer allowed five runs in Wednesday’s game against the Cardinals. This is only the second time this season out of his past 20 starts that he allowed more than a single home run.

First baseman Matt Adams was seen practicing his swing Wednesday morning for the first time since he sprained his AC joint in his left shoulder last week. He’s expected to hopefully return in the closing week of the regular season. 

Starting pitcher Patrick Corbin struck out 11 batters on Tuesday’s game against the Cardinals, but he also allowed two unearned runs in their 6-2 win.

Injuries:

C Spencer Kieboom: Elbow, 2020

C Kurt Suzuki: Elbow, day-to-day

RP Joe Ross: Arm, day-to-day

RP Roenis Elias: Hamstring, possible late September

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, out indefinitely

1B Matt Adams: Shoulder, day-to-day

RP Jonny Venters: Shoulder, 2020

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, out indefinitely

Coming Up:

Friday: 9/20: Nationals @ Marlins, 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park

Saturday 9/21: Nationals @ Marlins, 6:10 p.m., Marlins Park

Sunday 9/22: Nationals @ Marlins, 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park

Source: Rotoworld

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