New bullpen acquisitions on display
Both the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs made significant changes to their bullpen since the two teams met at the end of the June. First, let’s start with the Chicago Cubs, who added left-hander Justin Wilson to be the setup man to Wade Davis.
The Washington Nationals were one of the finalists in the Wilson sweepstakes before he was dealt to the Cubs on July 30. He has appeared in each of the last two games and has given up three hits and a run. After pitching back-to-back days, you would think he wouldn’t be available today.
In 44 games, Wilson has a 2.76 ERA, 13 saves, and has struck out 58 batters in 42.1 innings. During the month of July, he held opposing hitters to a .118 batting average with one home run. Maddon might use him in the eighth inning against the heart of the Nats order because he can face lefties and righties.
As for the Washington Nationals, their bullpen looks a lot different with the acquisitions of Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson, and Brandon Kintzler (who made his debut Wednesday night). While the roles aren’t fully settled yet, the Nats shouldn’t be in a position like they were in June where someone not a closer has to save a game (i.e Blake Treinen).
Now, the big question for the Nats will be how they deal with the loss of Enny Romero, who is on the disabled list with forearm tightness. That will mean they need Sammy Solis to step up as the third left-handed middle relief option besides Matt Grace and Oliver Perez.