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⚾️⚾️ The Morning Briefing: Nationals narrowly avoid the shutout
Here are the latest headlines and analyses around the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for today, September 19.
Good Morning Washington Nationals Fan,
Here are the latest headlines and analyses around the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for today, September 19, 2023. My name is Haden Raymer, let’s dive into the news.
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Leading today’s Morning Briefing: Nationals nearly shutout in game one
The Nationals lost 6-1 last night. The game itself was relatively uninteresting, Joan Adon struck out five through his first four innings, but then things went south, as they usually do when Adon faces guys for the third time around. On the third time through, Adon allows his opponents to hit .576/.632/1.030. That adds up to an OPS of 1.662. That is not good. The good news is, the season is pretty much over. You might as well let him try to figure out how to get batters out on the time around. If things don’t change, you have an extremely effective twice-through-the-order starter that with a hopefully improved bullpen next season, could allow the Nationals to win a lot of games.
Getting through the lineup three times is difficult. There are very few pitchers in baseball who can do it consistently. Putting a leash on Adon doesn’t make him any worse of a pitcher. It is about putting him in the best position to succeed because when teams tend to put all of their players in the best position to succeed, they tend to do well. Just look at how the Tampa Bay Rays continuously compete despite having one of the lowest budgets in the league and losing key players to injury and off-the-field issues.
The real story in this game though came with the Nationals one out away from losing. Dominic Smith was up to bat and Mike Clevinger was one strike away from completing a complete game shutout. He threw a fastball high in the zone and over the middle of the plate, and Smith crushed it.
It’s been a frustrating season for Smith. He was brought in to provide veteran leadership, some power to the lineup, and hopefully, a prospect or two at the deadline. He brought the leadership, but Smith has hit .260/.330/.365 this season. That triple slash does not get traded for at the deadline to a contender. So when Smith hit his 10th home run of the season, he watched it for a little longer than he would usually and flipped his bat as he trotted to first. Nothing too outrageous, especially by today’s standards.
When he made it home, Clevinger started chirping at Smith. And as you can probably guess, the benches cleared. You can watch the whole event here.
And for that, Dom Smith is The Nats Report Player of the Game. Hopefully, that late excitement boosts the Nationals to win these last two games. Tonight Jackson Rutledge will make his second major league start, facing off against RHP José Ureña (0-6, 8.48 ERA) at 7:05 p.m.
Down on the Farm: What happened last night with the Nationals Minor League teams
The Rochester Red Wings have an off day. Tomorrow they will begin a series against the Indianapolis Indians.
The Harrisburg Senators season is now over.
The Wilmington Blue Rocks season is over.
The FredNats season is over.
Featured Story of the Day
Adam Wainwright wins his 200th game via ESPN
During the offseason, you will still be receiving the Morning Briefing. The current plan is to drop down to three days a week, on Monday-Wednesday-Friday. In here we will still be Nats-focused when we have Nationals news to talk about, but if we don’t I’ll keep you updated on the happenings around the league.
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