Washington Nationals Series Sneak Peek: Kids Go On A Journey To Face The Atlanta Braves
There was good and bad for the Washington Nationals in their four-game sweep at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies to start this week.
Their game certainly didn’t justify being swept aside and losing all four games. Some of Washington’s young players impressed at the plate and on the mound, though there are still plenty of rough edges that will need to be smoothed out the rest of the way.
This is the advantage of the situation in which the Nationals find themselves. They can work through the bumps without any pressure to keep up with the teams that are in contention for the playoffs.
One of those teams is the Atlanta Braves, which the Nats face this weekend.
This is the first time the Nationals and the Braves have faced each other since Ronald Acuña Jr.’s devastating injury, ruling him out for the remainder of the 2021 season.
There is still a lot of talent in this Braves squad, especially after a trade deadline where they came out and acquired Richard Rodríguez, Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario and Adam Duvall as they gear up to try to catch. New York Mets.
Here is the information from Truist Park ahead of the three game weekend …
- Game 1: Friday, August 5, 7:20 p.m. EDT. TV: MASN, Radio: 106.7 The fan
- Second match: Saturday, August 6, 7:20 p.m. EDT. TV: MASN, Radio: 106.7 The fan
- Third game: Sunday, August 7, 1:20 p.m. EDT. TV: MASN, Radio: 106.7 The fan
- Game 1: Erick Fedde (4-7, 5.01 ERA) v Kyle Muller (2-3, 2.43 ERA)
- Second match: Josiah Gray (0-0, 4.85 ERA) vs. Charlie Morton (10-4, 3.69 ERA)
- Third game: Patrick Corbin (6-9, 5.78 ERA) vs. Max Fried (7-7, 4.32 ERA)
Kyle Finnegan: With the trades of their two proven farms, Brad Hand and Daniel Hudson, the Nationals needed a new closer to end the games close. However, by the time those two were distributed, the rest of the bullpen had accumulated five career saves between them.
Enter Kyle Finnegan. The right-hander recorded the first stoppage of his career to secure a victory for Max Scherzer on his final start before being traded and scoring his second in the series against the Chicago Cubs over the weekend, becoming de facto closest to the team.
He’s more than deserved it lately, posting a 1.32 ERA with 11 strikeouts and five walks in his 12 appearances since returning from the injured list due to hamstring strain. leggings in early July.
Yes, he missed the save in the series final against the Phillies this week, but the four points he gave up weren’t all earned thanks to a Carter Kieboom defensive error in the inning.
Finnegan has been a great find for the Nationals since signing after being released from the Oakland Athletics minor league system. He might just be a substitute because of the trades, but he’s more than earned the right to pitch late in games for the team.
Kyle Muller: With some of the Braves system’s biggest prospects in recent years, such as Ian Anderson, Mike Soroka and Kyle Wright; you’d be forgiven for neglecting Muller a bit, who was generally ranked a bit lower than his fellow pitchers.
Lately, it’s Muller who’s been turning a lot of heads as part of the Braves’ rotation.
Initially arriving in the bullpen, Muller switched to rotation at the end of June and hasn’t looked back. In his six starts since then, the southpaw has a 1.88 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 28.2 innings, although he has also walked 16 in that span.
Muller will start the opener for the Braves in this series and they hope he can keep his strong run in the rotation.
Who is not ?
Tres Barrera: After taking over as the team’s starting receiver with a decimated catching body, Barrera caught fire at home plate, crushing balls left and right.
However, it always seemed like regression was coming at some point for someone who, although a solid hitter in the minor leagues, had never shown a history of that kind of dominance with the bat coming from the. agricultural system.
Since the trade deadline passed, Barrera is just 2-for-17 at plate with a pair of strikeouts, including a 0-for-10 streak this week, playing three of four against the Phillies.
However, the glove and Barrera’s presence behind the plate is what got him here and he continues to show good chemistry with the pitching staff since his recall. That should allow him to stay with the major league club the rest of the season, even with a new top prospect, Keibert Ruiz, looming, ready to take on the starter role when he’s ready.
Adam Duvall: While the Braves brought in new faces ahead of the trade deadline, they also brought a familiar face back to Duvall in a trade with the Miami Marlins.
So far, the reunion has not been entirely smooth for Duvall and the Braves. In the six games since returning to Atlanta, Duvall has reduced just 0.143 / 0.280 / 0.286 with a single home run and three RBIs as he apparently became the team’s new starting outfielder.
The Nationals are generally a team he has performed well against in his career, holding a .271 / .320 / .530 slash line against them. This also happened against a competing Nats team with a strong rotation as opposed to the rebuilding team they became the rest of the way in 2021, so it could be a series that sees Duvall bounce back from his slow start.
From the opposing canoe
Check out some of the best Braves stories from our friends at Talking Chop …
One more thing to watch
Remember not too long ago when the Nationals had best friends on the left infield in Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon? Well, they can have a new set in the infield even if one of them moves to the right sometimes.
Carter Kieboom and Luis García both joined the organization in 2016, the former via the draft and the latter as an international signing, but have never really played together until recently.
Kieboom was always one step ahead of García, being two years older than his fellow infielder, but whenever Kieboom rose through the ranks García followed shortly after and took his place in the post Kieboom had just left. , keeping them on a similar trajectory.
That changed in 2020 when Kieboom and García starred in the majors for the Nats. This year, they played together for the first half of the AAA season, giving the two players who Washington says will be a big part of their infield in the immediate future a chance to bond.
“They’re pretty close, they’ve been together for a while,” said Nationals manager Dave Martinez. “They understand each other. It’s fun to see these guys go out, play and get together. They are fine. They start to swing the bat like we thought. They have fun. The most important thing – I’m starting to see Carter smile a lot more, Luis is still kind of smiling, but he’s having fun.
“I just want to see them keep making progress and having fun there, and actually it’s a lot easier when you hit the ball and they start falling in love with you, that you can do these things, so hopefully they keep going to get their hits and help us win games.
In the series against the Phillies, Kieboom and García combined four home runs and seven RBIs, showing the balance and home plate promise the team has long seen in them.
The progress of the two young outfielders are going to be one of the key storylines for the remainder of the 2021 season for the Nationals, including this series in Atlanta with the two seemingly swinging a hot stick as the road trip begins this. weekend.