We give you five players to watch in this week’s series as the Washington Nationals host the Seattle Mariners for three games
It was a rough week for the Washington Nationals (26-17) as they lost four of the six games on their road trip. Despite three home runs from Daniel Murphy, the offense scored a total of 14 runs in the last five games. Plus, there were more bad games from the bullpen.
However, Stephen Strasburg made everyone happy Sunday afternoon when he went 7.2 innings, gave up two runs, and struck out 11 in a win over the Braves and Koda Glover was able to pick up a four out save. That increased the Nats lead in the NL East to seven games as they return home for a six game homestand.
Their first opponent for this homestand will be the struggling Seattle Mariners (20-25). Seattle has lost its last three games by a combined score of 26-3 and they are in last place in the American League West (ten games behind the first place Astros).
Seattle’s starting rotation has been hit with numerous injuries as Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Drew Smyly, and James Paxton are all on the disabled list. Without those pitchers, the Mariners starters are in the bottom five of the American League in ERA (4.43) and strikeouts (191).
If you were a looking for a team with a worse bullpen than the Nats, it may actually be the Mariners. Seattle’s relievers have a 5.40 ERA, which is the worst in baseball (Nats – 5.40) and they have only converted eight saves in 19 opportunities. Edwin Diaz is no longer the closer and manager Scott Servais is going with a closer-by-committee for right now.
On offense, the Mariners have scored 206 runs (tied for 13th in baseball) and they are getting one of their superstars back at the right time. Tomorrow, Robinson Cano (.296, eight home runs, 28 RBI’s) is going to come off the disabled list and be back in the middle of the order.
With Cano’s return, that should help the offense generate more runs when you consider this team has talent in their lineup. New shortstop Jean Segura is hitting .336, Nelson Cruz is leading the team in home runs (11), and new acquisition Jarrod Dyson has a team high 12 stolen bases.
Here are your starters for this week’s series:
Now, let’s take a look at five players to watch in this series, starting with a designated hitter moving to the outfield this week.