Washington Nationals ready to get revenge after day off

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 05: Manager Dave Martinez
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 05: Manager Dave Martinez /

The Washington Nationals got their much-needed day off after losing their home opener to the New York Mets. Now, they will seek revenge.

Good morning, Washington Nationals fans!

Today is Saturday, April 7, 2018. The forecast has improved, for lack of a better word, and there is a good chance the Nats and New York Mets get their game in.

First pitch scheduled for 1:05 on MASN 2.

More from District on Deck

It plans on being a blustery day. Although the dire snow predictions are cut down, the wind and possible precipitation will play a factor. This has the feeling of a deep October night over a quiet April Saturday.

For Gio Gonzalez, not only does he need to battle the weather but, he is tasked stopping Washington’s three-game losing streak. He needs the offense to step up behind him and hit with runners on. As long as he throws strikes and dictates the pace, the odds are in Washington’s favor.

The bullpen is rested. We expect Adam Eaton to play and, following his ejection, there is extra incentive for Trea Turner.

It is important the Nats hit these bumps in the road early.

Although the core of this team has been together for years, the coaching staff has not. Better to handle adversity now and grow as team than cruise into October without a serious challenge.

It will come together. Now, the links:

District on Deck analyzes the Nats’ offensive approach

Over the last couple years, with Dusty Baker at the helm, the Nats had an all-around solid offense that loved to steal bags. Now, with rookie manager Dave Martinez in charge, the Nats have altered their offensive approach. Brian Foley takes a deeper look into the new-look offense.

ESPN follows Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor enjoyed a breakout season in 2017, but the team ultimately failed to advance past the National League Division Series. Then, he went home to a ’65 Mustang. Eddie Matz sits down with the Nats’ center fielder to discuss his breakout campaign and new ride.

The Washington Post ponders the Nats’ short bench

To begin the year, the Nats have elected to carry eight relievers and just four bench players. While this gives them more matchup flexibility late in games, they are limited in terms of offensive substitutions. This become especially evident when Trea Turner was ejected on Thursday. Chelsea Janes ponders the decision to carry a short bench.

MASN profiles Matt Grace

Everyone recognizes the late-inning trio of Brandon Kinztler, Ryan Madson, and Sean Doolittle, but the middle relievers receive much less recognition. Among these middle relievers is lefty Matt Grace. Early in the year, Grace has become one of Martinez’s favorite left-handed weapons. Ryan Sullivan profiles the under-the-radar lefty.

Next: Our favorite Nationals Park memories

With that, we hope you enjoy the beginning of the weekend and some afternoon baseball!