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⚾️⚾️ The Morning Briefing: Jackson Rutledge excels in second start
Here are the latest headlines and analyses around the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for today, September 20.
Good Morning Washington Nationals Fan,
Here are the latest headlines and analyses around the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for today, September 20, 2023. My name is Haden Raymer, let’s dive into the news.
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Leading today’s Morning Briefing: Nationals win on the back of Rutledge’s start
Jackson Rutledge had a much better start in his second go-around. He threw 6.1 innings on only 78 pitches, striking out two and allowing two runs, both on solo home runs.
The big key for Rutledge was throwing his changeups less to lefties. In his previous start, he was throwing changeups to lefties 25 percent of the time. He dropped that usage last night and didn’t allow a hit on the three that he threw to a lefty. He also generated way more whiffs, getting 10 swings and misses in last night’s start. The next key for Rutledge is throwing more competitive fastballs.
Rutledge to me has been quite interesting. For someone as tall as he is, he ranked rather low in extension and release height. Of the 14 players his height or taller, he’s tied for last in extension and is middle of the pack in release height. This could explain why despite that high-end velocity that he brings and as tall as he is, doesn’t get that strikeout stuff you’d expect. His 96 mph fastball plays about the same as Griffin Jax, who is 6’2”.
Joey Meneses won the Nationals the game with his pinch-hit three-run home run. Jeremy brought a fun stat in his game recap (which you can read here), but when Joey Meneses hits a home run, the Nationals are 9-1.
And of course, Joey Meneses is the Nats Report Player of the Game. The series finale begins at 1:05 p.m. with Josiah Gray taking on RHP Michael Kopech (5-12, 5.47 ERA) on MASN2.
Tanner Rainey throws in front of staff
Tanner Rainey is getting ever so closer to making it back into the majors. Yesterday he threw a bullpen in front of the coaching staff according to a tweet from Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post. While Rainey may not be back this season, having a healthy Tanner Rainey would be a huge addition next season for a Nationals bullpen that has solely relied on Kyle Finnegan and Hunter Harvey for much of the last two months.
Down on the Farm: What happened last night with the Nationals Minor League teams
The Rochester Red Wings lost game one of the series against the Indianapolis Indians 19-1. Derek Hill homered and singled. Brady Lindsly singled for the only other hit for Rochester.
The Harrisburg Senators season is now over.
The Wilmington Blue Rocks season is over.
The FredNats season is over.
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