Well, if you had “losing 2 of 3 to the Greinke-less DBacks in August” on your checklist of things you think the Nationals need to do to make the playoffs, then last weekend was probably reassuring for you. For the rest of us, it’s less confidence-inspiring.
Here’s the scoop from San Francisco:
Patrick Corbin struggles in first start against D-backs (MLB.com)
“I never got in a rhythm out there, they had some good at-bats. Obviously, they’ve seen me, I’ve seen them,” Corbin said. “I just thought they put good at-bats together, made it tough on me and I just never really executed pitches as well as I have.”
Howie Kendrick, Roenis Elias placed on injured list (MLB.com)
In the meantime, Max Scherzer threw 40 pitches from 70 feet, but has still yet to toe the rubber.
Kendrick, Elías to IL; Javy Guerra, Andrew Stevenson rejoin roster (MASN)
Kendrick has experienced issues with his hamstring in the past, so the Nats shut him down to stay safe, while Elías doesn't think his hamstring will take all too long to heal.
Sunday's top prospect performers (MLB.com)
Jackson Rutledge made it through five innings in Hagerstown, only allowing one hit and one earned run.
Nationals can't rally, drop third straight series (MASN)
“We’ll get it back together,” manager Davey Martinez said. “We will. We’re battling back. We’re swinging. We’re hitting the balls pretty good. We scored five runs today, a bunch last night. We just need to get more consistent. We need to have those shutdown innings again like we did when we were going really good.”
Wander Suero’s seventh-inning struggles leave Nationals with a 7-5 loss to Arizona (WaPo)
Patrick Corbin struggled, and then the Nats handed (an oddly well-rested) Wander Suero the ball, giving up two marginal runs in a ballpark that was anything but kind to their pitching staff.
Nationals’ Howie Kendrick, Roenis Elías land on 10-day injured list with hamstring strains (WaPo)
Howie Kendrick thought he had cramped up, but the Nats are calling his injury, along with that of Roenis Elías, a hamstring strain — though both don't seem too serious at the moment. (On the bright side, Javy Guerra, who was DFA'd, is now back with the team.)
Nationals pitch two position players against Diamondbacks (WaPo)
Gerardo Parra—who's been agitating to pitch for ages—threw in the low nineties with his fastball, but walked four and gave up a single. Brian Dozier then proceeded to navigate his way out of the game, marking the first time in Nationals history two position players pitched in a game. (Apparently, longtime friends Dozier and Eduardo Escobar engaged in some banter before he threw him one down the middle and got dinner with Escobar.)
Nationals Sign T.J. Rivera To Minors Deal (MLBTR)
Rivera hasn't seen the majors since 2017, and has since been getting healthy from a Tommy John surgery. Now, the Nats will see if his offense clicks in Harrisburg.