The Washington Nationals elimination from postseason contention was confirmed Saturday afternoon, but Austin Voth did manage to impress in his spot start.
With the Washington Nationals season now mathematically over from a playoff standpoint, they need to be evaluating future pieces the rest of the way. One of those pieces is Austin Voth, and he impressed in a spot start Saturday.
He went five scoreless innings, with the only blemishes on his line a couple of first-inning walks and a Michael Conforto single in the fourth. The young right-hander also posted five strikeouts before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth.
It was much better than his first major league outing against the very same Mets back in July. Back then, he allowed seven runs on nine hits and three walks, lasting just 4.1 innings and striking out three.
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Voth was able to locate his pitches really well in this one, throwing 49 of his 73 pitches for strikes and his fastball was a particular weapon. He recorded three Ks on the pitch, and it was back up at his normal low 90s level rather than high 80s which he had sat it in his last couple of minor league seasons.
One of the keys to 2019 and beyond for the Nationals will be the reliability of guys like Austin Voth, who need to fill in if someone goes down in the rotation. If he can keep up this performance level in next year, then the Nats will go some way to rectifying that issue next season.
Mathematical elimination confirmed
After several weeks knowing that it was going to be the case, it became official on Saturday afternoon. The Nats were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
They were eight games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the wild card with nine games to play, so when Tyler O’Neill won the game for the Cards earlier in the day, it sealed the Nationals fate. To make things worse, the Atlanta Braves also clinched their first NL East title in five years a day after eliminating the Nats from that race.
Whether the confirmation of this outcome will affect Davey Martinez’s management of the team in any way remains to seen. We have seen Victor Robles starting in the leadoff spot more frequently lately, and even Adrian Sanchez getting some time, so that could continue at the very least.
Trea has a day
Back to the game at hand, and Trea Turner had an exceptional day at the plate and on the basepaths. The shortstop finished the game 2 for 3, with a walk, a home run, and a stolen base, as he provided the spark for the offense.
His stolen base was his 41st of the season, which ties Alfonso Soriano for the most in team history. He also extended his lead in the major league stolen base standings with that swipe, even though it feels like a low total for the speedster.
The bomb, on the other hand, was his 18th of the season as he continues to build on a new career-high in that department. He has an outside chance at a 20/40 season, which on Soriano accomplished way back in 2006 as a Washington National, and would be quite an accomplishment for Turner.
The Washington Nationals wrap up the series with the Mets on Sunday as Erick Fedde takes the hill. The impressive righty will aim to build on his last three outings where he’s piled up 22 strikeouts in just 16 innings.