Sánchez vs Serpientes:
Aníbal Sánchez’s first start in the majors since 2020 was a five-inning, 90-pitch outing in a 5-4 loss to Atlanta’s Braves in which he gave up four hits, two walks, and four earned runs.
Sánchez, 38, sat out of the 2021 season, after pitching for the Nationals the previous two of his 15 big league seasons, and he returned to Washington this winter and started his 16th in D.C. last week.
“I thought he threw the ball well. He really did. He didn’t throw as many curveballs as I thought he would throw,” Martinez said after Sánchez’s 2022 debut.
“His cutter was good, his changeup was good. He threw a few curveballs at the end there, but I thought he was going to throw more curveballs. But by design, because he does his homework, he wanted to pound the lefties with cutters and changeups, and the righties, he threw the ball in quite a bit, so it was good to see him go out and compete like that.”
Start No. 2 for Sánchez got off to a rough start, with the veteran right-hander giving up a single by Alek Thomas, a walk to Ketel Marte, and a bloop hit to center field by Christian Walker which loaded the bases in front of David Peralta, who hit a sac fly to left to make it 1-0 D-backs early in the second of three for the Nationals in Chase Field.
Carson Kelly got hold of a 2-2 changeup down and in in the first at-bat of the D-backs’ 2nd, and hit a 407 foot home run to put the home team up 2-0 on Sánchez and the Nationals.
Sánchez walked Kelly with one out in the D-backs’ 4th, then gave up a double to center by Jake McCarthy, and Kelly took third on the hit and scored on a grounder to first base off of Geraldo Perdomo’s bat, 3-1 Arizona.
Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 93 P, 54 S, 5/4 GO/FO.
Madison Bumgarner held the Nationals to two (unearned) runs on two hits and four walks in his outing in the nation’s capital back in April, striking out five of the 20 batters he faced, in what ended up a 6-1 win for the visiting Diamondbacks.
Going up against Washington again tonight, this time in Arizona, Bumgarner, 32, took the hill in Chase Field with a 3.15 ERA and a .252/.316/.430 line against in 10 starts and 54 1⁄3 innings pitched, versus his 4.71 ERA and .282/.348/.465 line against in nine starts and 42 IP on the road this season.
Bumgarner tossed two scoreless to start, as his teammates gave him a 2-0 lead, but he gave one back in the top of the third.
Victor Robles popped up a bunt which somehow wasn’t caught, stole second after he got picked off by Bumgarner, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a chopper to third off Lane Thomas’s bat, 2-1 D-backs.
A man with confidence.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 24, 2022
Victor Robles is 11 for 11 on stolen bases this season. pic.twitter.com/ekMo7YGwU9
It was 3-1 after four, and Bumgarner was up to 9-straight Nats’ hitters set down and 61 total pitches after he retired the side in order in a nine-pitch fifth.
A 12-pitch sixth, in which he worked around a one-out hit by Lane Thomas, left the lefty at 73 pitches overall, and a 15-pitch sixth in which he worked around a hit-by-pitch on Nelson Cruz left him at 88 total with what was by then a 7-1 lead.
Victor Robles hit a 1-0 cutter from Bumgarner out to left for a 413-foot shot which made it a 7-2 game in the D-backs’ favor, and the left-hander retired the next two batters to finish with 98 pitches overall on the night.
Victor Robles stole all the bases with this blast pic.twitter.com/omkZM68OzX— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 24, 2022
Madison Bumgarner’s Line: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 Ks, 1 HR, 98 P, 68 S, 5/3 GO/FO.
Juan Soto had two streaks going heading into tonight’s game, as Dave Jageler, one of the radio voices of the Nationals, along with Charlie Slowes, noted in pregame notes he puts out Twitter before each matchup:
Game 96 notes...Juan Soto has two impressive career long streaks going on. He has reached base in 27 straight games. And he has not struck out in a career best 10 straight games. That covers 44 plate appearances and 34 at bats since Seranthony Dominguez of PHIL fanned him on 7/7— Dave Jageler (@DaveJageler) July 23, 2022
Soto struck out in second trip to the plate against Madison Bumgarner, ending the no-K run at 45 PAs, and he was 0 for 3 after he K’d on a check-swing strike three in the top of the 6th, putting the on-base streak in jeopardy as well...
He got one more shot in the first at-bat of the ninth, against righty Luke Weaver, and Soto ... K’d swinging for the third time tonight.
Nats’ righty Andres Machado took over on the mound and gave up leadoff and two-out hits, by David Peralta and Jake McCarthy, respectively, as the D-backs added to their lead in the sixth, 4-1, and McCarthy came around on a two-out liner to right by Geraldo Perdomo, 5-1. Josh Rojas walked to keep the inning alive, and two more scored on a double to left by Alek Thomas, 7-1.
The force is strong with this one. pic.twitter.com/mrDY3a67Zc— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) July 24, 2022
Erasmo Ramírez finished off the sixth, and returned to the mound in the seventh, and set the D-backs down in order to keep it a six-run game.
Steve Cishek retired the side in order, striking out two, in the bottom of the ninth.
Luke Weaver retired the Nationals in order in the ninth to end this one...
Nationals now 31-65