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⚾️⚾️ The Morning Briefing: Rutledge makes debut; Ward activated from IL
Here are the latest headlines and analyses around the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for today, September 14.
Good Morning Washington Nationals Fan,
Here are the latest headlines and analyses around the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for today, September 14, 2023. My name is Haden Raymer, let’s dive into the news.
Leading today’s Morning Briefing: Jackson Rutledge made his debut
2019 first-round pick Jackson Rutledge made his debut last night. After only going 3.2 innings, Rutledge ended up allowing seven runs and 10 hits. Now like I said yesterday, this Rutledge is far from a finished product. His mechanics were clearly off, missing high and arm side on a little over five percent of his pitches. Those waste pitches are going to make it harder to get batters to chase outside the zone.
The good news is, there are already easy tweaks to be made. Rutledge’s changeup, which is generally considered his fourth-best pitch, got hit six of the 16 times he threw it. If they can either tweak it or throw it less in his next start, better results may come. Another positive sign for Rutledge is batters weren’t barrelling him too much, which could suggest that he got unlucky to a certain degree. A batting average on balls in play that starts with a five would back that up.
This start is far from what Rutledge can be, and hopefully, this is the worst start of his career.
The Nationals ended up losing the game 7-6. They flirted with a comeback victory, but could not seal it with the bases loaded and one out. Drew Millas and Dominic Smith led the comeback with home runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Dominic Smith also doubled in the game, as did Lane Thomas. While the double was the only contribution from Thomas offensively, he did mow down two runners on the basepaths, giving him the league lead in outfield assists with 17.
Dominic Smith is the Nats Report Player of the Game. The final game of the series begins at 12:35 p.m.
Thad Ward activated from IL
While the plan with RHP Thaddeus Ward has not been disclosed, I would imagine that he will be used to eat innings if Jake Irvin gets shut down. The Nationals have optioned RHP Mason Thompson and LHP Joe La Sorsa in corresponding moves for Rutledge and Ward. There is likely one more bullpen move this season, with Tanner Rainey currently working back from Tommy John surgery.
Down on the Farm: What happened last night with the Nationals Minor League teams
The Rochester Red Wings lost game two of the series against the Lehigh Valey IronPigs 10-5. Blake Rutherford went 2-4 with a double. Jake Noll homered. Frankie Tostado went 2-3 with a walk. Mitchell Parker made his Triple-A debut, going three innings, and striking out three while allowing five runs and four walks.
The Harrisburg Senators lost 7-4 to the Bowie Baysox. Robert Hassell III homered. James Wood, Brady House, Yohandy Morales, Trey Lipscomb, and Israel Pineda all got a hit, although none for extra bases. Andrew Alvarez threw four innings, striking out four while allowing four earned runs.
The Wilmington Blue Rocks season is over.
The FredNats season is over.
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