To preview the Sunday night matchup between the Washington Nationals and New York Mets, I got to talk with Aaron Boone from ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball
Yesterday, I had the privilege to get the opportunity to have a conversation with Aaron Boone from ESPN. Boone is one of the analysts who will be calling the Sunday night matchup between the Washington Nationals and New York Mets this weekend at Citi Field.
Our first topic of conversation with Boone was about the Washington Nationals manager, Dusty Baker. Last season, the Nats at this time were fighting for a playoff spot while the Mets were the team in the driver’s seat in the NL East. I asked Boone about Baker’s impact and he said:
"“Baker is one of the most impactful managers in baseball this season. He’s done a nice job of relieving the pressure off this team. He’s one of the most impactful managers in baseball this season.”"
Another aspect of Baker that Boone mentioned was his “commitment to giving guys days off, which has led to the bench having an impact.”
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One of the main storylines around this series is Daniel Murphy going back to Citi Field, where he has buried the Mets this season. Talking about Murphy’s MVP chances, Boone replied: “if he’s not MVP, he’s in the middle of the conversation. It’s remarkable the impact Murphy has had.”
Right now, one of the concerns around the Washington Nationals is their bullpen. But, Mark Melancon has done a great job of stopping those concerns in the ninth inning. While some in the business, Boone talked about how he liked the move by the Nats to acquire Melancon:
"“I love the move”, said Boone. “It was under the radar. There’s no denying how great a closer he [Melancon] is. He’s rock solid.”"
Tomorrow night, Max Scherzer will take the mound for the Nats at Citi Field against Seth Lugo. With the way Scherzer has pitched lately, Boone talked about what stands out to him when he watches Scherzer pitch:
“It’s the pace he pitches with. The intensity he brings and the enjoyment he has on the mound.” Boone also mentioned about how Scherzer works fast, he doesn’t waste pitches, and he has action on all of his pitches.
One of the hitters who have helped this Nationals lineup become more dynamic is Trea Turner. Boone talked about how Turner has “electric speed” and he has been “the complete impactful leadoff hitter.” Plus, he did point out that Danny Espinosa has been “rock solid defensively” at shortstop.
When I asked him about the struggles Bryce Harper has had at times this season, Boone brought up that Cubs series from back in May at Wrigley Field and “how it did a number on him mentally. He got out of his comfort zone, looking for pitches.” With the Harper has been lately, Boone said “those issues seem to be behind him.”
At the end of our interview, I asked Boone if he thinks the Washington Nationals are the team that are the most equipped to match up with the Chicago Cubs in the National League. He seems to think so:
“If [Stephen] Strasburg comes back, their rotation can matchup with anyone. They have potential in the bullpen and Melancon puts everyone in that bullpen into a better role.”
Once again, we would like to thank Aaron Boone for taking the time to talk with us and to help us preview this matchup between the Nationals and the Mets. You can find the broadcast information for Sunday night’s game below and you can also watch the game on the WatchESPN app:
|Sun, Sep 4||7 p.m.||Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet|
Karl Ravech, Dallas Braden, Tim KurkjianESPN 8 p.m.Washington Nationals at New York Mets presented by Taco Bell
Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone, Jessica Mendoza, Buster OlneyESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes TV, ESPN Deportes Radio