Nationals

Quick Links

Around the NL East: Mets being cautious with Harvey

usatsi_8776996.jpg

Around the NL East: Mets being cautious with Harvey

ATLANTA BRAVES  

The Braves are nosediving as the season comes to a close. After being swept by the Marlins, they've dropped eight straight and have fallen to fourth place in the NL East (not that it matters, considering how poor the rest of the division is). Things are so bad right now that Atlanta is on pace to have its worst season since 1990, when the team lost 97 games. If there's a potential bright spot, however, it's that Cuban defector Hector Olivera has been called up. The 30-year-old needs to show well to give Braves fans something to be hopeful for in 2016. 

MIAMI MARLINS 

Oh boy, here we go again with Marlins drama. Miami will reportedly ask manager Dan Jennings to return to his role as general manager after the season is over to find a more experienced person for the job. Of course, why the Marlins thought Jennings was a good fit for the managerial job in the first place is questionable at best, so now that decision looks even worse since they're apparently looking for his replacement after less than a season with him at the helm. But given that this is the Marlins, is anyone surprised?

NEW YORK METS  

The Mets have reached the point where they must find creative ways to preserve their young starting pitching for a postseason push, with the highest profile case being Matt Harvey. A year removed from Tommy John surgery, doctors have reportedly "suggested" that the 26-year-old righty pitch no more than 180 innings for the season. In turn, the club has been skipping a few of his starts in recent weeks. He's thrown 166 1/3 frames this season, meaning he only has about one to two more starts left in him before Terry Collins may to find other guys to fill in.  

All of this sets ups what will be a huge series against the Nats early next week. While New York is still up 6 1/2 games, it still has six head-to-head match ups left with Washington that'll truly decide who wins this division. What we know now is that Harvey and Jacob deGrom are scheduled to start in two of the three games, and that the Nats will counter with their top three starters. Will the gap between these two clubs shrink this time next week? We'll have to see. 

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES 

At 53-81, the Phillies own the worst record in the game. The club hopes they're in the process of bottoming out, but that all depends on what happens to GM Ruben Amaro Jr. A recent report says that Amaro's fate will be decided over the next month. Given how much the Phils have been struggling for the past four years, logic says that team president Andy MacPhail will likely make sweeping changes in the front office and coaching staff this offseason. 

Quick Links

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

usatsi_10847206.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

Quick Links

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

screen_shot_2018-05-21_at_7.52.30_pm.png
@MLB

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.