If there were too concerning things about the Washington Nationals that happened in the month of August, it was the sloppy defense and the bullpen getting a lot of work. In the bullpen, the Nats had four relievers pitch in ten or more games.
On the plus side, Mark Melancon continues to excel in the closer’s role. Recently, he made five appearances in six days, but still was effective. In the month of August, Melancon went 7-for-7 in saves and had a 0.66 ERA. He has proven to be the dominant closer the Nats have been looking for.
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In the setup spots, Shawn Kelley did pick up a save last night and he held opponents to a .229 batting average, which was an improvement from his July opponents batting average against of .286. Blake Treinen did have a 4.50 ERA in August, but five of the seven runs he gave up occurred in one game (August 24 against the Orioles).
One surprise in the bullpen from the month of August was Matt Belisle. The 36-year-old right-hander had a 1.50 ERA in 11 games and threw the third most innings of any reliever on the Nats.
There were two disappointments in the bullpen this past month. Oliver Perez was awful in August as he had a 12.71 ERA in nine games. Yusmeiro Petit had a bad month as well if you go by his 9.90 ERA in eight games and an opponent batting average of .354.
With Sammy Solis on the disabled list due to shoulder inflammation, Mike Rizzo went out and acquired Marc Rzepczynski. Rzcepczynski hasn’t given up an earned run yet in a Washington Nationals uniform and left-handers have only one hit against him.
Right now, this bullpen has some good pieces, but it’s not a bullpen I have complete trust in just yet. We will see which players come up to help the bullpen in September. It will be interesting to see what situations Dusty Baker uses Koda Glover (4.07 ERA in August) in as well.