The Nats just can’t seem to figure out the business of scoring runs outside of the home run. Poor Trevor Rosenthal just can’t seem to locate his pitches. Poor Davey Martinez has nobody he can trust.
On the bright side: it’s still (somehow) April.
Here’s what’s phresh in Philly:
Nationals fall to rival Phillies in series opener (MLB.com)
After their loss to Philly, the Nats said they felt like they were ready to begin winning a ton of games — which doesn't really seem right until one considers how many chances the team had to win that they blew.
Trevor Rosenthal and Chris Davis Are Making a Sad Kind of MLB History (The Ringer)
Trevor Rosenthal will probably get a batter out sooner rather than later. Someone, some time, is going to fall for 99 MPH. But there has to be a mental aspect to it at this point, which is to say that Rosenthal is probably getting in his own way. Chris Davis, on the other hand, might just be washed up. Either way, both don't look like themselves, which is distressing for everyone except the guys facing them.
Phillies and Nationals counting on second-year managers to change (SI)
Both Gabe Kapler and Davey Martinez, after resoundingly disappointing first years, have gotten a second shot, and are changing their approach. Davey wants to be "more defined with bullpen roles" after seeing the negative impact a lack of defined roles had on his team last season.
Michael A. Taylor "excited" to return only 3 1/2 weeks after spraining knee (MASN)
“I wouldn’t have thought that,” Martinez said. “When I saw him fall and try to get up and fall down again, I thought that was not good. To his testament, he worked hard and he’s back. It’s nice to have him here with us and have him as a part of the 25-man roster.”
Michael A. Taylor comes off injured list (MLB.com)
Taylor has been in Harrisburg for a while (who knew!) and took an Uber, of all things, to join the team in Philly. Given how serious the injury seemed at the beginning, it's a heartening sign for the Nationals that MAT is already back.
Michael A. Taylor returns to Nationals ahead of series opener in Philly (WaPo)
Taylor has felt just fine for longer than a week with his injury, but he needed the rehab assignment to get his timing back in sync after the break. In the meantime, Andrew Stevenson went back to Triple-A Fresno.
Nationals come up one play short in series-opening loss against the Phillies (WaPo)
The Nationals had to go to their bullpen early yesterday, tapping on Wander Suero and Kyle Barraclough to limit the damage. But then Justin Miller faltered — and the team couldn't find a fourth run.
Phillies top Nationals in home run derby (MASN)
“We keep playing like that,” manager Davey Martinez said, “I really believe we’re going to win a lot of games.”
Martinez will use Rosenthal again in low-pressure spot (MASN)
Trevor Rosenthal, he of the infinite-ERA, has been relegated from his set-up spot in the eighth and will try and find some success in low-leverage situations to get him back on track, given that his stuff still bites.
Nats won't use Rosenthal in pressure situations (ESPN)
"If it happens that we get a chance to put him in like we did yesterday, he's going to pitch," Martinez said. "He's part of the eight. He's got to pitch, but he also understands that he has to throw strikes. We'll see what happens in the next few days. Hopefully, we got a big lead today, and we can try to get him out there again see what happens."
Matt Reynolds on fire in first week with Triple-A Fresno (MASN)
Reynolds is hitting .400 over the first four games, while Nick Raquet got off to a strong start in Potomac.
Two Major League Baseball Teams Back in Court With Each Other Over TV Money - (Hollywood Reporter)
"Nevertheless, the Orioles are evidently taking the position that this makes Major League Baseball a minority owner in the Nationals to the extent that any internal arbitration would be corrupted."