Washington Nationals Series Preview: New season, same old first opponents in the New York Mets


Right here we go once more. Opening Day is again, a bit later than scheduled, for the Washington Nationals.

Even when the expectations for the staff aren’t significantly grand and can doubtless finish with out many significant video games in September and October as they appear to transition into a brand new period, the fact is that they begin the season 0-0, identical to everybody else within the majors.

And for the Nationals, this yr begins in opposition to a well-known opening opponent within the New York Mets.

The Nats and Mets have been scheduled to open the season in opposition to one another in every of the final 4 162-game schedules that MLB has been launched between 2019-22.

The catch is that each 2020 and 2021 have been postponed so the Nats and Mets opened in opposition to different groups.

Right here’s the lowdown from Nationals Park forward of the primary sequence of the season…

The schedule

  • Sport One: Thursday, April seventh, 7:05 pm EDT. TV: MASN, Radio: 106.7 The Fan
  • Sport Two: Friday, April eighth, 7:05 pm EDT. TV: AppleTV+, Radio: 106.7 The Fan
  • Sport Three: Saturday, April ninth, 7:05 pm EDT. TV: MASN and MLB Community (out-of-market), Radio: 106.7 The Fan
  • Sport 4: Sunday, April tenth, 1:35 pm EDT. TV: MASN and MLB Community (out-of-market), Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Possible Pitchers

  • Sport One: Patrick Corbin (0-0, -.– ERA) vs Tylor Megill (0-0, -.– ERA)
  • Sport Two: Josiah Grey (0-0, -.– ERA) vs Max Scherzer (0-0, -.– ERA)
  • Sport Three: Aníbal Sánchez (0-0, -.– ERA) vs Chris Bassitt (0-0, -.– ERA)
  • Sport 4: Erick Fedde (0-0, -.– ERA) vs Carlos Carrasco (0-0, -.– ERA)

Who’s sizzling?

Keibert Ruiz: No person completed the abbreviated spring slate hotter for the Nationals than Ruiz, who slugged two dwelling runs in his ultimate two video games.

The backstop’s ultimate slash line in Spring Coaching was a robust .333/.360/.667 with 4 extra-base hits and 7 RBIs in simply 24 at-bats. Set to hit fifth within the order to begin the season, search for Ruiz to begin sizzling with loads of baserunners forward of him.

Dominic Smith: The commerce rumors involving Smith going to the San Diego Padres in a possible Eric Hosmer deal positively didn’t faze the primary baseman turned outfielder.

In 26 spring at-bats, Smith boasted a dominant .423/.531/.846 slash line with a pair of dwelling runs. Even with the Designated Hitter coming to the NL this offseason, Smith figures to solely play a rotational position for the Mets between first base, left area, and DH this season.

Who’s not?

Aníbal Sánchez: He’s again! After sitting out the 2021 season fully, Sánchez returned to the Nationals this spring on a minor league contract and evidently did sufficient to impress the staff that he had his contract chosen and might be a part of the Opening Day rotation.

No matter he did to impress the staff, it positively wasn’t in his final begin. Towards the St. Louis Cardinals, Sánchez allowed 10 runs in 4 innings of labor with three walks and simply two strikeouts. He’ll be hoping to do only a bit higher this Saturday in his season debut.

Mark Canha: One of many newer faces in Queens this yr, Canha definitely didn’t have the beginning he would’ve needed together with his new ballclub, placing up a measly .219/.219/.344 slash line in 10 video games throughout Spring Coaching.

Canha tasks because the Mets’ major beginning middle fielder this season, however he’ll must do higher than he did this spring so as to maintain down that position over the course of the yr.

From the opposing dugout

Take a look at a number of the high Mets storylines from our buddies at Amazin’ Avenue…

Yet one more factor to observe

Hmm, this can be a powerful one. If solely there have been some franchise icon coming again to the place he ascended from an excellent pitcher to a Corridor of Fame-caliber pitcher.

As you could have heard many instances, Max Scherzer will make his first begin for the Mets in opposition to the Nationals, the staff with which he lastly added a World Sequence title to his stellar résumé.

After deGrom’s damage, it seemed like Scherzer might have even began on Opening Day at Nationals Park, identical to the nice previous days. Nevertheless, with a slight hamstring tweak and potential rain on Thursday, Scherzer will play it cautious and certain begin on Friday as an alternative.

“It’s going to be enjoyable,” Juan Soto mentioned of going through his former teammate, as quoted by Jessica Camerato of MLB.com.

“Even when he was right here, he was speaking to me, he was going backwards and forwards, what he’s going to throw me and what he’s going to do.

“I do know he didn’t give me any of his particular issues, however I believe it’s going to be enjoyable. He’s going to attempt to strike me out, and I’ll attempt my greatest to not strike out as a result of I do know he needs that actually dangerous.”

In an attention-grabbing twist, that now units Scherzer as much as face one of many gamers he was traded for, Josiah Grey, on Friday. Let’s simply hope that the brand new Apple TV+ deal will give this sport the sort of manufacturing that it deserves.

Sequence Preview Trivia

In a brand new characteristic of our sequence previews this yr, we’re going to have a trivia query every sequence so that you can attempt your hand at and reply down within the feedback, then we’ll reveal the reply in our subsequent sequence preview. If it’s well-liked, we might even maintain rating over the season.

So, to debut this new a part of our sequence previews, right here’s our first query…

The Nationals have confronted 4 former Cy Younger winners on Opening Day since 2005. Jacob deGrom, who was set to take action once more this yr earlier than he was shut down with an damage, is without doubt one of the 4 pitchers. Are you able to identify the opposite three?

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