When Jeremy Hellickson went down in the first inning, the Washington Nationals called on Jefry Rodriguez. Sadly, he was let down by the bats in a 3-2 loss.
The Washington Nationals suffered yet another key injury on Sunday, as Jeremy Hellickson limped off with a hamstring injury. But in his place, Jefry Rodriguez stepped up and put in 4.2 innings without giving up an earned run.
But the Atlanta Braves ended up walking off in the ninth on a Charlie Culberson home run.
Rodriguez was called up from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday morning, with Tim Collins going on paternity leave. Then the right-hander was thrown straight into the fire, facing Freddie Freeman with one out in the first inning.
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So far this year with the Harrisburg Senators, Rodriguez had a 4-3 record with a 3.88 ERA. As we saw in the game, he has a lively fastball that can get up to the mid 90s. That’s paired with a great curveball that he used to get Kurt Suzuki swinging for his first major league strikeout.
If Hellickson is forced to miss extra time, it will be interesting to see if Jefry Rodriguez gets the spot start in his place. The other option would be Erick Fedde, but Rodriguez kept the NL’s most potent lineup at bay and will no doubt have impressed management.
Turner enhances All-Star case
With All-Star voting now open, Nationals shortstop Trea Turner is making his bid to go to his first summer classic. On Sunday not only did he hit a go-ahead two-run homer, he dazzled with the glove.
The young shortstop continues to make some highlight reel plays on defense this season. Despite taking a cleat to the hand early in the game, he responded with two spectacular bare-hand plays in the third inning.
Coming into Sunday’s game Turner had the joint best WAR among National League shortstops, with Brandon Crawford. And you would think that if he keeps up this level of play, he could be the NL starter in his home All-Star Game.
Matt Adams missing from lineup
After fouling a ball off of his foot in Saturday’s game, Matt Adams was left out of the lineup on Sunday. With a right-hander on the mound, Adams would usually play, but the Nats played it cautious.
Mark Zuckerman of MASN reported that Adams had an X-Ray on his foot, but that came back negative. It’s not known whether he was available as a pinch-hitter or not in the end.
But with the off-day Monday, the Nats may have played it cautious with arguably their best hitter this season. Hopefully, by Tuesday, the swelling will have died down enough to test it out and maybe make his return to the batting order. The signals so far would suggest they aren’t overly concerned about the ailment.
The Washington Nationals have an off-day on Monday, but that doesn’t mean the front office won’t be busy. It’s the first day of the 2018 MLB Draft, so eyes will be on who they selected Monday evening.