The Washington Nationals were shut out for the second game in a row, as they could only muster four hits. They need to step up after some pitching injuries.
Sabathia managed to keep the Nats bats off balance, inducing a lot of soft contact during the game. This allowed him to have great success despite allowing three walks and only striking out three.
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The offense is now hitting just .195 since May 31st, and averaging only 6.5 hits a game. It’s not been pretty lately, but fans shouldn’t give up hope just yet.
After all, Daniel Murphy and Adam Eaton have both returned from injury in the last four days, and need time to get up to speed. The team also has the second worst BABIP in the majors at .273, where .300 is usually considered average.
The runs the team desperately needs may not be far away, if we can remain patient.
Murphy finally makes 2018 debut
After missing the first 64 games of the year, Daniel Murphy returned to the lineup on Tuesday. With the Nats able to use the designated hitter this week, it was the perfect time to bring him back.
The second baseman still looked extremely rusty at the plate, going hitless in four at bats. But, against Dellin Betances in the eighth inning, he worked an impressive 10 pitch AB before striking out.
Murphy in theory should be back in the lineup tomorrow, and potentially for two of three games in Toronto. If he can work his way back to game shape quickly, it will make this lineup even deeper and massively help the club’s playoff chances.
Michael Taylor has serious gold glove case
On the other side of the ball, Michael Taylor‘s case for a gold glove in 2018 grows stronger. He made a highlight reel catch in center-field in the fourth inning to deny Neil Walker.
He has the third most Defensive Runs Saved, with eight, among National League center-fielders. He trails only Lewis Brinson and Lorenzo Cain in that category. So as long as he can continue to get regular innings in the outfield, he’s sure to be in the discussion for the top defensive prize.
If Taylor can just keep swinging the bat like he has lately, he should still see significant playing time. Though he may be rested against particularly tough right-handers so Davey Martinez can field an all lefty outfield.
Erick Fedde gets the call for the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, with Sonny Gray opposing him. If they can put up crooked numbers and snatch a series split, the doubts quieten down temporarily.