The Washington Nationals were impressive during the home stand, as they won both series. They begin a 10-game road trip with the San Diego Padres on Thursday.
After sweeping the last series against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Washington Nationals (41-25) faced a major test in their recent series against the Chicago Cubs and passed it with flying colors. They won two out of three games against one of the better teams in the National League.
The positive aspect regarding the series overall is the Nats are showing they’re capable of winning close games. The team is 11-7 in one-run games during 2016 and it’s terrific for them moving forward.
The other highlight continues to be the clutch hitting from left fielder Jayson Werth. Werth delivered his second walk-off hit in the last four days on Wednesday to give the Nats a series victory.
Werth is heating up as he is hitting a scorching .361 over his last 10 games with four extra-base hits and 11 RBI. Werth has a .353 average and .950 OPS in late and close situations this season.
Tonight, the Washington Nationals will begin a road trip on the West Coast facing the San Diego Padres (27-40) in the opener of a four-game series at PETCO Park. The Padres have been a major disappointment this year, as they sit 14 games out of first place in the NL West.
The Padres have found it tough to score runs (11th in the NL with 268 runs) consistently this year, considering they have been shut out 10 times this year. However, there are some players finding success at the plate.
Wil Myers is in the midst of a solid campaign with 14 home runs, 39 RBI, 13 doubles and a .281 average in 277 plate appearances. Jon Jay leads the club in hitting by compiling a .290 batting average and has amassed 22 doubles.
Even though Melvin Upton Jr. is hitting at just a .246 clip, but the low average is very misleading. He has 19 extra-base hits, 30 RBI, and 13 stolen bases.
The Padres don’t have the best starting rotation, as their staff is 10th in the Senior Circuit with a 4.45 ERA. There is only one pitcher in the rotation that has made at least 10 starts and posted a sub-three ERA; we’ll get to him later.
The bullpen for the Padres has experienced some struggles as well. Their relievers have compiled a 4.62 ERA (14th in the NL), and they have blown nine saves. However, closer Fernando Rodney is perfect in 13 save opportunities and has yet to allow a run in 23.1 innings.
Before this series get started tonight, here is my breakdown of the four pitching matchups:
Next: Tonight's Matchup