Pitching Matchup: Stephen Strasburg outdueled Max Fried when the Washington Nationals’ right-hander and Atlanta Braves;’ lefty went head-to-head back on May 28th in SunTrust Park, with 2009’s No. 1 overall pick giving up five hits, two walks, and two runs over seven innings, while Fried, a 2012 1st Rounder (7th overall) gave up nine hits, three walks, and four earned runs in 5 2⁄3 IP in the 5-4 win for the visiting team.
Strasburg is (11-2) in 16 outings since that game, with a 3.69 ERA, 23 walks, 117 strikeouts, and a .224/.279/.382 line against in 100 innings on the hill heading into tonight’s rematch with Fried in the series opener in the Braves’ home.
Fried’s (8-1) in 15 starts over that stretch, posting a 4.71 ERA, 26 walks, 94 strikeouts, and a .293/.348/.448 line against in 80 1⁄3 innings, and the left-hander is going up against a Nats’ roster that’s put up a .285/.357/.480 line against left-handers this season, which is good for 2nd/1st/2nd across the line among NL teams in 2019.
Nats’ Bats: Only a seven-run ninth, and three-run, walk-off home run kept the Nationals from getting swept in the three-game set with the New York Mets this week, but Davey Martinez’s squad, he said after the finale in D.C. on Wednesday, has still been swinging the bats well in the last few weeks.
On Wednesday, they connected for seven hits and two walks off Zack Wheeler, but scored just one run on the right-hander, then added three runs on reliever Jeurys Familia, but it wasn’t enough as the Mets jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the sixth and never gave it up.
“We had good at bats, we hit the ball pretty hard, we just couldn’t get that one timely hit,” Martinez said after the 8-4 loss to Wheeler and the Mets.
“[Wheeler] had, I think what 69 pitches in three inning of something like that, but we hit the ball hard. I was pleased with our at bats, just couldn’t get that one timely hit.”
What will they be able to do against Fried in tonight’s series opener?