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Washington Nationals news & notes: Nats and Phillies’ opener postponed; doubleheader in CBP today; Robert Garcia gets opportunity...

Notes and quotes to get you through till this afternoon when the Nationals and Phillies play two in CBP...


Monday’s planned series opener between Washington and Philadelphia was postponed by inclement weather in the City of Brotherly Love, so the Nationals and Phillies will start their four-game matchup with a doubleheader today in Citizens Bank Park.

It’s a single-admission twin bill with the first game at 4:05 PM ET and the second 30 minutes after the conclusion of the opener, and it’s reportedly going to be Trevor Williams in the first game against Zack Wheeler and Josiah Gray and Ranger Suárez in the nightcap. Here are all the details from the Phillies:


With two of three against the NL-Central leading Milwaukee Brewers in D.C., and a sweep of the Reds in Cincinnati, Davey Martinez’s Washington Nationals (49-63 on the year, 22.5 back in the NL East and 9.0 games back in the Wild Card race as of Monday), are doing their best to spoil things for their opponents, though Martinez said on Sunday the club is not thinking about being spoilers, but just focused on (wait for it), going 1-0 every day.

What? You thought Martinez would go off brand? A reporter asked if the manager and his club took any joy from being spoilers.

“I take joy in winning, in going 1-0, that’s the big thing for me,” Martinez said.

Washington Nationals v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Jeff Dean/Getty Images

“None of us here like losing, we really don’t, but for us to come out and play the way we played, we just got to keep going 1-0 every day, right? That’s the beauty of this game.”

Martinez’s club is on a nice run in the last few weeks, 11-5 in the past 16 games, and winners of four straight going into this week’s four-game series with the Phillies in Philadelphia, PA’s Citizens Bank Park.

As they’ve played well recently, the sixth-year manager in the nation’s capital said he’s seen the club’s confidence grow.

“I think they’re starting to believe in one another,” Martinez said over the weekend.

“When one guy doesn’t do something, they feel like the next guy will do the job.

“That’s the beautiful thing about playing a team game. Everybody’s got to put forth an effort. They’re all doing it, they’re all pulling for one another, and they’re having fun doing it.”

Robert García’s New Opportunity:

A 15th Round pick by Kansas City in 2017, out of the University of California, Davis, Robert Garcia was traded to and made his major league debut with the Miami Marlins, coming to the franchise in 2021 and pitching for the Fish earlier this summer before he was placed on waivers and claimed by the Washington Nationals on August 1st, as the club navigated the trade deadline.

“Terrific Triple-A season so far,” GM Mike Rizzo said of Garcia’s work at AAA Jacksonville in the Marlins’ system, where he put up a 2.85 ERA, a 3.74 FIP, 4.83 BB/9, and 13.61 K/9 in 31 games (30 out of the bullpen) and 41 IP on the year. He pitched just a 13 of an inning with Miami before he was placed on waivers.

“A lefty that has two good pitches and has shown a propensity to strike guys out,” Rizzo added.

“Tough left-on-left. And a guy we think will add to a deficiency of our minor league system.”

Miami Marlins v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

“Another left-handed reliever that we like,” manager Davey Martinez said once the waiver claim was announced. “He throws in the mid-90s, got a good curveball, good changeup. He’s got some swing-and-miss in there. He’s striking out 13 per nine.

“His walks are a little bit high, but hopefully we get him here and we can kind of straighten him out a little bit. We like him. We’ve always been short on left-handed relievers here, so having another one definitely helps.”

Garcia is now one of three lefties in the bullpen for Martinez to choose from, called up a day after he was claimed by the club, and he finally got into a game in Sunday’s 6-3 win over the Reds in Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, where he tossed two scoreless on 31 pitches, walking one and striking out two with the Nationals up by two runs at the time.

Garcia issued a leadoff walk, but got a K and a double play to end his first inning of work, then returned to the mound in the seventh with a 1-2-3 frame. His fastball averaged 94.7 MPH in the outing, in which he threw it 52% of the time, getting up to 97, and he mixed in changeups (42%), and a couple sliders (6%).

“I’ve seen his stuff, his stuff plays, really good changeup, he keeps the ball down, he’s in the mid-90s, so he did great,” Martinez said when asked about using Garcia when he did.

“That was a big two innings for us right there. He came in and shut the door down right there.”

“He had a sneaky fastball,” the manager continued.

“His changeup was really good, threw a couple of nice sliders, but he pitched in and out, kept the ball down, and that’s kind of what we knew about him.”