Washington Nationals Series Preview: Scuffling Milwaukee Brewers make the trip to D.C.

If it hadn’t been clear over the past three years, there has positively been a altering of the guard within the baseball of the Nationwide League East from the Miami Marlins to the Washington Nationals.

Following a sweep in Washington earlier this season, the Marlins took yet one more three-game sweep in opposition to the Nationals in a comparatively convincing style this week. It was virtually a 3rd sweep had the Nats not held on in further innings within the earlier collection in Miami.

Even when the Nationals lastly received by way of 9 scoreless innings from their pitching workers, they bumped into Sandy Alcantara, who would possibly simply be the very best starter within the NL proper now, earlier than shedding in further innings.

After a ten-game street journey, the Nationals head house once more to tackle the Milwaukee Brewers, who scuffle out of a house stand the place they misplaced six of seven in opposition to the San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies.

In these six-straight losses, the Brewers posted a .185/.252/.270 slash line with the fourth-lowest OPS in that span, whereas the normally glorious pitching workers held an ERA of simply 5.40.

Right here’s the lowdown from Nationals Park forward of the three-game weekend collection…

The schedule

  • Sport One: Friday, June ninth, 7:05 pm EDT. TV: MASN 2, Radio: 106.7 The Fan
  • Sport Two: Saturday, June tenth, 4:05 pm EDT. TV: MASN 2, Radio: 106.7 The Fan
  • Sport Three: Sunday, June eleventh, 1:35 pm EDT. TV: MASN 2, Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Possible Pitchers

  • Sport One: Erick Fedde (3-4, 4.88 ERA) vs Aaron Ashby (1-4, 3.13 ERA)
  • Sport Two: Patrick Corbin (2-9, 6.71 ERA) vs Eric Lauer (5-1, 2.38 ERA)
  • Sport Three: TBD (0-0, -.– ERA) vs Jason Alexander (0-0, 2.25 ERA)

Who’s scorching?

Steve Cishek: As soon as the MLB lockout ended, Cishek was considered one of a number of gamers that the Nationals attacked proper out of the gates and signed to a one-year deal, hoping that he might solidify the bullpen and doubtlessly be traded on the deadline if all went to plan.

Regardless of a bumpy begin, Cishek is beginning to appear like the reliever the Nationals hoped for once they signed him.

Together with his two appearances in opposition to the Brewers the final time these two groups confronted off, Cishek has tossed 8.2 innings of one-run ball, hanging out 4 and strolling 4, however he’s executed a very good job limiting onerous contact in that span with a tough contact proportion of 29.6%.

Cishek has regained his standing within the Nats’ bullpen and is considered one of supervisor Dave Martinez’s go-to arms in excessive leverage spots.

Aaron Ashby: For the second collection in a row, the Nationals are capable of keep away from Corbin Burnes beginning for the Brewers, not that it’ll make it a lot simpler given the opposite pitchers that they’ve, together with Ashby, who has just lately shifted to the rotation with nice success.

In his three begins since closing out a 7-0 win throughout the Brewers’ collection in opposition to the Nats, Ashby has made three begins overlaying 17.2 innings whereas permitting simply 5 earned runs, hanging out 26, and strolling 5, giving him a 2.55 ERA and a couple of.52 FIP in that span.

Ashby is ready to start out the collection opener on Friday and is trying like he may very well be a everlasting a part of the rotation if he retains up this degree of efficiency for the foreseeable future.

Who’s not?

Keibert Ruiz: The protection and baseball IQ behind the plate for Ruiz has drawn rave critiques from all who’ve seen him play. The bat has continued to be a bit hit-and-miss, which isn’t an enormous shock for a younger participant nonetheless adapting to the majors.

Because the final time the Nats met the Brewers, Ruiz is slashing simply .163/.250/.209 with a pair of doubles, 5 walks, and three strikeouts. His current efficiency has dropped him from the two-spot within the order, again right down to sixth or seventh within the lineup.

There’s nonetheless lots to be enthusiastic about with Ruiz, together with his protection and his plate self-discipline on the whole. The younger catcher simply wants to start out squaring the ball up, as he was earlier within the season, and he must be there to scrub up any site visitors on the bases once more.

Andrew McCutchen: From manner again in his days with the Pittsburgh Pirates all over to final season with the Philadelphia Phillies, McCutchen has all the time had a knack for torturing the Nationals on the plate, even when he’s in a chilly streak as he’s now.

Following a stint on the COVID IL in Might, McCutchen has slashed simply .198/.253/.259 in 20 video games since his return, with six walks and 21 strikeouts in that span. The outfielder has only one house run in that span, however, sure, you guessed it, it was in opposition to the Nationals.

So, even with the rut that McCutchen seems to be in, stay up for a 7-for-13 weekend with two house runs and at the least 5 RBIs.

From the opposing dugout

Take a look at among the prime Brewers storylines from our mates at Brew Crew Ball…

Another factor to look at

We could also be round a 3rd of the best way by way of the season, however the information cycle is already heating up across the commerce deadline lower than two months away.

It was fairly clear coming into the season that the Nationals have been going to be sellers come the commerce deadline, given the lackluster roster that that they had put collectively. The workforce’s 21-38 begin to the season has solely confirmed the plain that they received’t be making an attempt so as to add.

In his weekly spot with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports activities Junkies, Nats GM Mike Rizzo mentioned that if issues continued this fashion, which there have been no indicators of stopping, that might be the case.

“I might assume that if we’re enjoying on the fee we’re enjoying, we’ll most likely watch out sellers,” Rizzo mentioned. “Guarantee that we maximize the gamers at the least with expiring contracts, and I don’t suppose that might come as a shock to anyone on the radio station proper now.”

So, a whole lot of consideration turns to among the workforce’s commerce candidates and the way they carry out over the following month as they try to put themselves within the store window for a contender.

Josh Bell and Nelson Cruz appear all however gone barring a sudden drop in kind on the plate or an damage to both. Steve Cishek doubtless shall be too, in addition to Sean Doolittle and Víctor Arano if they will return wholesome and return to the shape they have been in on the mound earlier than the accidents.

But it surely may not simply be expiring contracts that depart. Some gamers with extra workforce management may very well be dangled to potential suitors to try to choose up extra prospects in return.

No, Juan Soto isn’t getting traded although, everybody related to the Nationals has made that completely clear. However the likes of Yadiel Hernández, Tanner Rainey, Kyle Finnegan, and perhaps even Victor Robles might fetch good returns for the appropriate workforce, given their worth and workforce management.

The efficiency of a whole lot of these potential commerce candidates will begin to come to the fore for this workforce, beginning with this collection in opposition to the Brewers, as if the Nats can get one or two impression prospects from trades, it would profit them in the long term.

Collection Preview Trivia

Final collection’ trivia query: On this present day in 2018, the Washington Capitals received the Stanley Cup. A number of days later, they made an look with the cup at a Nationals sport, ingesting their weight in beer in a set down the third-base line. However who did the Nationals beat 7-5 in that sport?

Reply: The San Francisco Giants

Right here’s our trivia query for this collection with the Brewers, as we glance again at a former Nationwide who pitched in opposition to them for his new workforce just lately…

When the Nationals confronted the Brewers earlier this season, former Nat Trevor Gott made an look in opposition to them for Milwaukee. Who did the Nationals commerce away to amass Gott, together with Michael Brady, forward of the 2016 season?