Washington Nationals: Matt Grace latest pitcher let down by poor offense

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WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 04: Matt Grace #33 LOOGY (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 04: Matt Grace #33 LOOGY (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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It was supposed to be a 4th July celebration for the Washington Nationals. But Matt Grace became the latest pitcher to fall victim to the Nats’ poor offense

Things didn’t look great for the Washington Nationals when Erick Fedde left the game in the second inning. But they got a fantastic emergency outing from Matt Grace, who deserved better run-support from his team.

Grace ended up going four innings, allowing just the one hit with no walks, giving up no runs. It’s almost as if he’s done this type of thing before.

This performance brought back memories of his spot start against the San Diego Padres. That night he went 4.1 scoreless innings, allowed two hits and one walk, striking out just one hitter.

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With the Nationals lack of a true long reliever, Grace’s ability to step in on both these occasions has been invaluable. It also will likely mean it’s not something the front office look towards at the deadline.

Even though he’s out of options, he’s proving that he deserves to be on the team. Since returning from the DL, he’s got a 2.37 ERA and only been scored upon three times in 13 appearances. Count on him being a useful bullpen arm moving forward.

Fedde suffers shoulder inflammation

As mentioned, starter Erick Fedde left the game in the second inning, and at the time there were no clear signs as to what it was. After the game, it was revealed to just be shoulder inflammation.

The Nats starter seems to think that after a few days rest he’ll be ok and ready to make his next start. But it’s worth wondering whether a cautious approach is best, especially with the All-Star break not far away.

With Austin Voth and Jefry Rodriguez both already on the 40 man roster, they could fill-in until the break, and maybe have Stephen Strasburg back after. By doing so, they’d be preserving their top pitching prospect from any further damage, and one who’s already had a Tommy John surgery.

Tim Collins designated for assignment

With Matt Adams coming off the disabled list before Wednesday’s game, the Nationals needed roster space. In a somewhat surprising move, it was Tim Collins who was DFA’d to make room.

Collins did have an option remaining, however, due to being in the big leagues for five seasons, they needed his permission for the option. Clearly, he didn’t give permission, else they wouldn’t have designated him for assignment.

Collins had a 2.77 ERA, but some of his peripherals weren’t great. He was on course for career-worst figures in H/9, HR/9, and K/9, but it was still a small sample of just 13 innings. Unfortunately for the lefty, it was a numbers game for the team, and he was the one to go.

Next: Grading the Nats Bats

Now with a series against the Miami Marlins coming up, it really is do or die for the Washington Nationals. Failure to get a positive outcome will spell the end of their season in July.

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