Nationals

Quick Links

Nats vs. Brewers series preview

827675.png

Nats vs. Brewers series preview

By Doug McKinney
CSNwashington.com

Nationals @ Brewers
58-39 1st in NL East 44-53 4th in NL Central

The Rundown
Thursday, July 26 - Sunday, July 29
Series 33
Season Series Record vs. Brewers: First meeting of 2012

Pitching Probables
denotes left handed pitcher

Thursday, July 26 8:10 pm
Edwin Jackson (5-6, 3.73 ERA) @ Yovani Gallardo (10-4, 2.66 ERA)

Friday, July 27 8:10 pm
Ross Detwiler(5-3, 3.01 ERA) @ Mike Fiers (3-4, 1.96 ERA)
Saturday, July 28 7:10 pm
Jordan Zimmermann (7-6,2.31 ERA) @ Randy Wolf (3-6, 5.46 ERA)

Sunday, July 29 2:10 pm
Gio Gonzalez (13-5, 3.13) @ Zack Greinke (9-3, 3.44 ERA)

Whos Hot & Whos Not
Nationals
Hot: 2B Danny Espinosa .400 AVG, 2 HR, 7 RBI in last 10 games
Not: RP Henry Rodriguez 6.43 ERA, 6 BB in last 7 IP

Brewers
Hot: RF Corey Hart - .304 AVG, 2 HR, 11 RBI in month of July
Not: Closer John Axford 15 ER, 4 L since June

A Series Look
Winners of five straight, the Nationals should not have a problem against the faltering Brewers in this weekends four game series. The Brew Crew has lost six games in a row, including three heartbreaking losses in Philadelphia. Milwaukees pitching staff ranks 13th in ERA in NL. They have one of the worst bullpens in all of baseball.

Thought to be a postseason contender by pundits and analysts in the preseason, the Brewers are 9.5 games out of the wild card and are deemed total sellers at the trade deadline. They feature one of the biggest trading chips in SP Zack Greinke (who may be of interest to the Nationals).

Ryan Braun is still Ryan Braun and is putting up his typical numbers (28 HR, 69 RBI). But outside of him and a few complementary pieces (Hart, Aramis Ramirez), the Brewers line-up is badly missing Prince Fielder.

While the Nationals are 6-18 all-time at Miller Park and have yet to win there since 2009, there is no excuse for Washington to go into Milwaukee and not take three out of four. At the very least, they should come away with a split which would make for a 5-2 road trip.

Prediction: Nationals win 3-1

News and Notes
>MASH update: OF Jayson Werth (wrist) could return to the big leagues on Tuesday when his former team, the Phillies, are in town for a 3-game series. Werth is currently rehabbing in AAASyracuse and last night he led off playing CF.

>Odds & Ends: GM Mike Rizzo continues to say the wild RP Henry Rodriguez is assured a roster spot, but the club will have some difficult decisions to make once Werth and Chad Tracy (groin) are back. Rodriguez, who has a great deal of potential, lacks confidence as well as control on the mound. At some point you just have to cut ties If OF Rick Ankiel, who was recently designated for assignment, doesnt get picked up by the Yankees, it wouldnt surprise me if the Nationals persuaded the former pitcher to play for AAASyracuse (with a chance for September call-up). The Nationals love his defense and clubhouse presence.

Down on the Farm

>AAASyracuse: Give credit to SP John Lannan for his victorious spot start on Saturday night against the Braves. In his 7 inning, 2-run performance, Lannan stopped the bleeding after the Nats blew a 9-0 lead the night before and dropped the first game of a day-night doubleheader. That performance went a long way with not just his teammates who remain very close with the two-time Opening Day starter but the Nationals front office. He should be back up on August 3 for the Nationals doubleheader with the Marlins.

>AAHarrisburg: OF Brian Goodwin has struggled to hit since being called up, but when he does make contact, they have usually gone for extra base hits. Goodwin has two homers in seven games Fellow OF prospect Destin Hoods bat has really come to life, hitting .353 in his last 10 games.

>A (Advanced)Potomac: 2011 1st round pick SP Alex Meyer has yet to give up an earned run in Class A Advanced. The 69 righty is 1-0 with 12 strikeouts.

>A (Short Season)Auburn: 2011 1st round pick 3B Anthony Rendon is playing 3B for Auburn tonight. Expect him to play there for up to a week and then be promoted to Potomac. Rendon hit two home runs for the GCL Nationals.

Quick Links

Washington Nationals announce the addition of a bullpen cart

diamondbacks_bullpen_cart_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals announce the addition of a bullpen cart

Sean Doolittle has gotten his wish - the Washington Nationals will now have a bullpen cart for the remainder of the 2018 season. 

In a release on Thursday, the Nationals announced that they will unveil a the WGL Energy Bullpen Cart on their upcoming Friday night game against the Miami Marlins. The cart will be at all remaining home games at Nationals Park.

Both the Nationals’ pitchers and opponents will be able to utilize the cart to enter a game as a reliever. The cart will transport the relief pitcher from the bullpen to their dugout instead of the traditional long trout out to the mound. 

Players are not required to use the vehicle if they do not want to. 

Earlier this season, Doolittle was the first National ever to use the bullpen cart at Chase Field, against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Afterward, he noted that although he had less time, he was not out of breath and “loved it.”

In addition to the Diamondbacks and the Detroit Tigers, the Nationals are the third active team to have a bullpen cart. Per the release, this is the first season that the bullpen cart has been used in MLB since 1995.

MORE NATS NEWS:

Quick Links

Ozuna homers, Cardinals beat Nationals for 8th straight win

usatsi_11087562.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Ozuna homers, Cardinals beat Nationals for 8th straight win

Marcell Ozuna homered and Austin Gomber tossed six shutout innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

St. Louis has won a season-high eight straight. The Cardinals, who are 18-9 since the All-Star break, captured their sixth successive series after taking the first three of the four-game set.

Daniel Murphy homered in the ninth for Washington, which has lost four in a row and seven of nine to fall below .500 and nine games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The current skid began with a loss to the Cubs on a two-out, walk-off grand slam.

Ozuna homered in the second inning, his 14th of the season and his first since July 30.

Gomber (3-0), in his fourth start of the year, gave up three hits, struck out six and walked four.

Bud Norris pitched the ninth to pick up his 23rd save in 27 opportunities.

Harrison Bader and Yadier Molina added run-scoring hits for St. Louis, which improved to 19-9 since Mike Matheny was fired and replaced by interim manager Mike Shildt.

St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter extended his on-base streak to 33 games with a walk in the fifth. It's the longest current streak in the majors. Carpenter left the game in the seventh after he was hit on the hand by a pitch from Matt Grace, but X-rays were negative.

Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) left in the fifth inning after colliding with Bader on a play at the plate following a wild pitch. Hellickson gave up three runs, two earned, on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two.

Bader, who had three hits, also made a diving catch of a liner off the bat of Bryce Harper in the fourth.

The Cardinals, who have an NL-best 12-2 mark in August, remain one game behind Philadelphia for the second wild card spot. They are four games behind Chicago in the NL Central.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg threw a simulated game on Wednesday. He threw around 70 pitches and could be ready to return early next week, manager Dave Martinez said.

Cardinals: LHP Brett Cecil was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday. Cecil, who had been sidelined with inflammation in his right foot, pitched four scoreless innings in four appearances with Triple-A Memphis. LHP Tyler Webb was optioned to Memphis.

UP NEXT

RHP Tanner Roark (7-12, 4.12) will face RHP Luke Weaver (6-10, 4.66) in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday. Roark has won his last four decision, Weaver is 1-4 with a 5.13 ERA in nine career games against NL East foes.