Washington Nationals Series Preview: First visit to Globe Life Field to play Texas Rangers

Wednesday evening’s recreation towards the Baltimore Orioles solely resumed taking part in to assist Austin Hays full his cycle towards the Washington Nationals, change my thoughts.

Okay, not likely. There was a spot within the rain to try to get extra of the sport in whereas the time was nonetheless smart earlier than it got here pouring down once more. Perhaps I’m simply bitter as a result of by the point the sport was referred to as, the Stanley Cup recreation had simply completed, so I missed the dramatic ending.

It was a particularly fast sequence by which Erick Fedde shut down the Orioles within the sequence opener because the offense nearly did sufficient, earlier than Baltimore attacked Patrick Corbin early and infrequently within the second recreation, giving them sufficient of a bonus to take the shortened recreation.

Subsequent for the Nationals is a visit west to tackle the Texas Rangers at their new ballpark for the primary time because it opened throughout the pandemic season in 2020.

The Rangers made some big strikes this offseason, bringing in each Corey Seager and Marcus Semien to man their center infield, Jon Grey to bolster their rotation, and different shrewd strikes equivalent to buying Mitch Garver and Nathaniel Lowe in trades.

Thus far this season, they sit at simply 33-35 coming into this sequence. Whereas they could not have anticipated to leap proper to the highest of the division, they may undoubtedly expect extra from this group.

Right here’s the lowdown from Globe Life Park forward of the three-game weekend sequence in Texas…

The schedule

  • Sport One: Friday, June twenty fourth, 8:05 pm EDT. TV: MASN 2, Radio: 106.7 The Fan
  • Sport Two: Saturday, June twenty fifth, 4:05 pm EDT. TV: MASN 2 and FS1, Radio: 106.7 The Fan
  • Sport Three: Sunday, June twenty sixth, 2:35 pm EDT. TV: MASN 2, Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Possible Pitchers

  • Sport One: Paolo Espino (0-1, 2.29 ERA) vs Dane Dunning (1-5, 4.38 ERA)
  • Sport Two: Josiah Grey (6-4, 3.95 ERA) vs TBD (0-0, -.– ERA)
  • Sport Three: Jackson Tetreault (1-1, 5.73 ERA) vs Glenn Otto (4-2, 4.24 ERA)

Who’s sizzling?

Josiah Grey: It wasn’t all that lengthy that we put Grey within the Who’s not? part of our previews, however in June, the right-hander has regarded mightily spectacular on the mound to this point.

In three June begins, Grey has allowed only one earned run in 17 innings of labor, hanging out 19 batters and strolling seven, good for a pristine 0.53 ERA, even when the three.07 FIP suggests there’s been some luck for the younger starter to this point this month.

In his final begin, Grey allowed only one hit over six scoreless innings whereas hanging out 9 and throwing a season-high 117 pitches, his second-straight triple-digit pitch outing. The Nationals look like taking the coaching wheels off a bit these days, and Grey has responded properly in his previous few begins. He’ll look to maintain it going when he begins the second recreation of the sequence.

Adolis García: The breakout star for the Rangers final yr, a waiver declare from the St. Louis Cardinals earlier than the season, is dusting off a few of the magic once more these days.

In his final 17 video games, García is slashing a formidable .328/.370/.612 with 5 lengthy balls, a triple, and a pair of doubles whereas hanging out 17 instances and strolling 5. All in all, that’s good for a 178 wRC+ in that stretch as he heats up once more on the plate for the Rangers.

With all the big-name strikes by the Rangers over the winter, possibly some on the skin forgot about García a little bit bit. He’s proving these days why he nonetheless must be accounted for.

Who’s not?

Steve Cishek: The Nationals bullpen giveth, and the Nationals bullpen taketh away. For a time, Cishek was one of many workforce’s extra reliable relievers however had crashed these days.

In June, Cishek sports activities an unsightly 7.71 ERA and 6.24 FIP in eight appearances, together with permitting seven earned runs in his final three outings, the latest of which was a four-run blow-up towards the Orioles within the shortened recreation on Wednesday.

The actual fact he was being utilized in such a low leverage spot with the Nats already a good approach behind and it nonetheless being early within the recreation exhibits the Cishek has misplaced a little bit of standing within the workforce’s bullpen. He’ll must proper the ship a bit if he desires a transfer to a contender this summer season.

Brad Miller: Superstitious readers, beware. That is nearly sure to invoke a jinx for this sequence. Again within the offseason, Miller was ranked #1 in our Nats-killer sequence however hasn’t been hitting like one as of late.

Since coming back from the IL on June tenth, Miller is slashing simply .167/.265/.167 with out an extra-base hit in 30 at-bats because the workforce’s main DH, with occasional begins within the nook outfield spots or at third base the place wanted.

So, absolutely count on him to interrupt out of his funk towards the Nationals this weekend, a workforce that he has traditionally put up MVP-caliber numbers towards throughout his main league profession.

From the opposing dugout

Take a look at a few of the high Rangers storylines from our buddies at Lone Star Ball…

Yet one more factor to look at

Do any of you acknowledge the person set to begin for the Rangers within the sequence opener on Friday?

A few of you’ll, however when you don’t, Dane Dunning is a former Nationals prospect who the workforce picked with the twenty ninth total collection of the 2016 MLB Draft, a decide they acquired as compensation for Ian Desmond’s departure to, funnily sufficient, the Texas Rangers.

Simply over a yr later, Dunning was shipped to the Chicago White Sox together with Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López for Adam Eaton. Honest to say that commerce labored out fairly properly for either side ultimately.

After 4 years within the White Sox group, Dunning was traded to the Rangers for beginning pitcher Lancy Lynn, although the now 27-year-old right-hander has had combined leads to Texas.

In components of two seasons with the Rangers, Dunning is 6-15 and sports activities an underwhelming 4.46 ERA in 41 appearances, 39 of which have been begins. Normally, he’s pitched higher than his report and ERA point out, which a 3.97 FIP in that span seemingly backs up.

This season has been a weird one for the right-hander although. At dwelling, Dunning appears to be like each bit the key league caliber starter with a 3.02 ERA and .195/.261/.369 slash line towards him. On the street, nonetheless, he has a 6.03 ERA and .308/.388/.420 slash line towards.

“One thing’s obtained to alter,” a annoyed Dunning instructed Evan Grant of Dallas Information after his most up-to-date street begin towards the Detroit Tigers the place he surrendered 5 runs in 4.2 innings.

“One thing’s obtained to be found out. I do know the numbers haven’t been nice. You’ve obtained to do one thing to alter and compete higher and provides our workforce an opportunity at successful.”

Happily for Dunning, he will get to face the workforce that drafted him in his dwelling ballpark this weekend, so will likely be hoping that he can proceed his sturdy run of begins going when he takes the hill on Friday.

Sequence Preview Trivia

Final sequence’ trivia query: 10 gamers have hit a house run as a member of each the Orioles and Nationals, however just one has hit a house run for the Orioles towards the Nationals and for the Nationals towards the Orioles. Are you able to identify that participant?

Reply: Mark Reynolds

Right here’s our trivia query for this sequence with the Rangers, and now we have a query regarding the Rangers’ new ballpark, with this sequence marking the primary time the Nats have made the journey there.

Which 5 gamers presently on the Nationals’ energetic roster have both had a plate look or pitched to a batter within the MLB common season at Globe Life Subject?