Yan Gomes and Trea Turner homered. Victor Robles made another diving catch. But if there is one highlight to take from last night’s loss to the Braves in Nationals Park, it was that nine-pitch, nine-strike, three-K inning by Kyle Finnegan. Yep, an immaculate inning. It was only the 102nd time in MLB history that someone did it, and just the fifth time by a National. Yeah it really was impressive, and it’s another sign that Finnegan is comfortable in the majors at this point.
“He’s definitely gained a lot of confidence,” Davey Martinez said.
“He knows what he needs to do. He attacks the strike zone as you can see, he’s not afraid to throw the ball over the plate, which is awesome coming out of the bullpen, and he always wants the ball.
“He constantly wants to pitch. He never tells me he can’t pitch. There’s days where I have to tell him, ‘You’re not pitching today.’ So, but he’s one of those guys where I have all the faith in the world when he comes in to get outs for us and once again you saw what he did tonight.”
Go read your links... and watch Finnegan’s immaculate inning again:
Tanner Rainey could be key to Nationals' bullpen - (MLB.com)
"The numbers from Tanner Rainey’s fourth Major League season paint the picture of 10 up-and-down relief appearances."
Nats can't convert late chances at plate, lose to Braves - (MASN)
"So it didn’t really make much difference. The Nationals lost to the Braves, 5-3, because the guys who were at the plate at the critical moments couldn’t deliver."
Kyle Finnegan tosses Nationals' fifth immaculate inning - (MLB.com)
"The first at-bat only required three pitches. Same for the second hitter. And after throwing the first strike to the third batter, reliever Kyle Finnegan realized he was closing in on something special."
Marcell Ozuna hits grand slam, Braves beat Nationals in Max Fried's return - (Washington Times)
"Marcell Ozuna hit Atlanta‘s third grand slam in four games, Max Fried pitched five strong innings in his return from the injured list, and the Braves beat the Washington Nationals 5-3 on Wednesday night."
Another intentional walk has disastrous consequences for Nats in 5-3 loss to Braves - The Washington Post
For the second straight night, the Nationals' decision to offer Atlanta an intentional walk blew up in their faces, this time with a grand slam from Marcell Ozuna.
Nationals offense looks to simplify with runners in scoring position - (Washington Times)
"Last season, despite Washington finishing six games below .500, the bats came through in key opportunities. The Nationals hit .277 with runners in scoring position, the sixth best average in MLB. They scored 4.88 runs per game, the 10th most."
Strasburg, Suero to pitch in simulated game Thursday - (MASN)
"Both Strasburg and Suero had successfully thrown off flat ground and then off a bullpen mound in recent days, convincing the club’s medical staff they’re ready to ramp things up."
Juan Soto is back for the Nats. But for the moment, he’s their high-caliber pinch hitter. - The Washington Post
Juan Soto pinch-hit in a 6-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.
Mike Rizzo says Nationals expect to play better after rough start - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Speaking with 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies on Wednesday morning, Rizzo acknowledged that while the Nationals hoped to get off to a better start, they aren’t complaining about where they stand after a month of play."
NL East MLB's worst division?: Phillies, Mets, Braves, Nats look flat - (USA TODAY)
"A team-by-team look at what's gone wrong in the National League East – and if things can be turned around."
The No. 1 Defense in MLB … so far – (The SIS Blog)
"The Washington Nationals lead the majors with 22 Defensive Runs Saved in 25 games. That sounds weird, right? After all, the Nationals finished last in that stat in the shortened 2020 season."
Clark Griffith Was Too Cheap To Integrate Baseball - (Defector)
"[L]et’s offer up the Washington Senators—the second of three franchises to bear the name. Or, as it turns out, The Team That Could Have Integrated Baseball If Only Their Owner Would Have Kept His Word."
Have You Seen Me Lately? (Players Edition) - (Mayflies & Big Flies)
"Wondering where some of your favorite former Senators will be playing in 2021? Here’s a comprehensive list as the minor league season begins…"
Former Middie Kyle Schwarber plans to be ‘heavily involved’ in new Middletown Baseball League - (Dayton Daily News)
"Kyle Schwarber has said he wanted to revitalize Middletown High School’s baseball program after he retired from playing Major League Baseball."
Yankees could see several elite stars on trade market before July deadline - (nj.com)
"Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer: 2 votes. Pitching figures to be Cashman’s biggest concern, and they don’t get much better than the three-time Cy Young Award winner, who will be a free agent following the season after finishing a seven-year, $210 million contract."
Prospect roundup for May 4 - (MLB.com)
"Nationals: Drew Mendoza, 3B (No. 11) -- 1-for-4, 2B (Double-A Harrisburg) - Mendoza had one of the Senators' three hits in a shutout loss to Somerset."
"I honestly felt horrible coming in. I didn't sleep well... my body wasn't feeling great... I was like, 'hopefully I got five or six strong innings today.'"— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) May 6, 2021
Sure, John.@Orioles SP John Means with @RobertBrender & @SteveSaxSpeaks, after his first career no-hitter: pic.twitter.com/ZunW5kRdxX
NL EAST UPDATES:
Phillies prospect Luke Williams’ versatility came at a young age. Now one step from the majors, he's capable of playing eight positions - (The Morning Call)
"IronPigs manager Gary Jones has no such issue in Triple-A. If there is a defensive void to fill, Luke Williams is the answer. From his sophomore year in high school until now, he’s done everything except pitch."
Mets' offense comes up empty in Game 1 loss to Cardinals - (NY Post)
"New hitting coaches, same underachieving hitters."
Lewis Brinson draws more Byron Buxton comparisons - (MLB.com)
"Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson either played with or against Twins outfielder Byron Buxton at showcases leading up to the 2012 MLB Draft."
Braves hope Sean Newcomb rediscovers form in Triple-A - (AJC.com)
The Braves reinstated left-hander Max Fried from the injured list ahead of Wednesday’s game, which Fried will start against the Nationals. In a corres