Sánchez vs Seattle:
Aníbal Sánchez held San Diego’s Padres to a run on one hit in five innings of work on the mound in Petco Park last time out, walking two and striking out four, with the one run off him on a solo home run.
Sánchez threw a total of 79 pitches in the outing, in which he received no decision, leaving the 38-year-old veteran winless (0-5) in seven starts, over which he’d put up a 6.43 ERA, a 7.17 FIP, and a .259/.340/.533 line against in 35 IP, since returning from a stint on the IL with a cervical nerve impingement in his neck.
“I think today was the first time the whole year I was able to throw every single pitch in any spot,” Sánchez said after the outing, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“When I’m able to do that, I can get those kind of games.”
Given a 1-0 lead to work with before he took the mound today in Seattle, Sánchez tossed four scoreless on 73 pitches to start, working around a hit and two walks, with two double plays, after a one-out single in the first, and after a one-out walk in the Mariners’ half of the fourth.
Sánchez gave up a leadoff double by Carlos Santana in the home-half of the fifth, and one out later the Nationals went to the pen for Hunter Harvey, who struck out both hitters he faced on 11 pitches total...
Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 81 P, 46 S, 5/3 GO/FO.
Kirby vs D.C.:
George Kirby, 24, and a 2019 1st Round pick (20th overall), made his MLB debut earlier this season, and in 17 starts and 90 2⁄3 IP on the year before today, the right-hander had a 3.47 ERA, a 3.38 FIP, and a .266/.298/.413 line against.
Going into his outing against the Nats, Kirby was unbeaten in his last seven outings (3-0), with a 2.63 ERA, a 1.49 FIP, and a .259/.299/.299 line against in his last 37 2⁄3 IP, but he fell behind early in the second of two with the Nationals this afternoon, allowing back-to-back-to-back, one-out hits in the first as Joey Meneses, Luke Voit, and Nelson Cruz all singled to get the visitors on the board early with Meneses scoring on Cruz’s grounder to center, 1-0.
Following a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth, Kirby was up to 45 pitches overall.
Lane Thomas reached on an error in the first at-bat of the fifth, and Ildemaro Vargas singled to put two Nationals on with no one out. Victor Robles bunted both runners over, in front of César Hernández, who hit an opposite field grounder to third for out No. 2, before Meneses grounded out to second to end the threat and a 14-pitch frame which left Kirby at 59 total.
Cruz reached on an error with one out in the Nats’ sixth, and took third on a double to right by Keibert Ruiz, but both runners were stranded at the end of a 17-pitch frame, after which Kirby was up to 76 pitches.
A nine-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the seventh pushed Kirby up to 85, and that was it for the righty in the second of two with the Nats...
George Kirby’s Line: 7.0 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 Ks, 85 P, 69 S, 8/2 GO/FO.
Bad Streak! Bad Streak!:
Good and bad for the Nationals’ rotation from the club’s pregame notes for today’s game:
“Over the last six games, Washington’s starting rotation has pitched to a 3.23 ERA (11 ER/30.2 IP) with a .202 opponents’ batting average...
“They have allowed just seven extra-base hits (5 HR, 2 2B) along the way...They have allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of the six games.”
“A Nationals’ starting pitcher has not been credited with a win since Josiah Gray on July 6 at Philadelphia - a span of 40 games...
“According to the Elias Sports Bureau, 40 straight games played without earning a win by a starting pitcher is the longest such streak in Major League Baseball history.”
Aníbal Sánchez tossed 4 1⁄3 scoreless, giving Nationals’ starters a 2.83 ERA in the last seven starts, but didn’t go deep enough to qualify for a decision, so it’s now a streak of 41-straight starts without a (silly) pitcher win.
Hunter Harvey inherited a runner on third with one out in the Mariners’ half of the sixth, and the hard-throwing right-hander struck out both Cal Raleigh and Dylan Moore to keep it a 1-0 game in the Nationals’ favor after five.
Victor Arano worked around a one-out single by Jesse Winker in a scoreless bottom of the sixth.
Arano got one out in the seventh as well, then Carl Edwards, Jr. took over and got the next two for a combined scoreless bottom of the inning.
Diego Castillo retired the Nationals in order in the eighth.
Edwards, Jr. returned to the mound in the Mariners’ eighth, and ...retired two batters before he gave up a game-tying solo home run by Julio Rodríguez, who hit a hanging-a$$ 0-1 curve out to left-center for his 20th of 2022, 1-1 in T-Mobile Park. A 400-foot shot.
Kyle Finnegan took over after Edwards, Jr. walked Jesse Winker to extend inning, and got out No. 3 to keep it a 1-1 game.
Paul Sewald walked Keibert Ruiz to start the top of the ninth, and two outs later, gave up a two-run home run to right field by Ildemaro Vargas, who hit the third home run and 10th hit by a lefty off Sewald this season, 3-1 Nationals.
Finnegan came back out for the save, and gave up a leadoff double by Eugenio Suárez, who took third on a groundout. Finnegan got Carlos Santana looking at a cut-back sinker up and in for out No. 2, but a walk to Adam Frazier extended the inning for Cal Raleigh, who lined out to the warning track in center for the final out. Ballgame. Nats win, 3-1.
Nationals now 42-83