Washington Nationals: Gray and Cabrera Lived Up To The Hype

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 02: Josiah Gray #40 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on August 02, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 02: Josiah Gray #40 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on August 02, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Edward Cabrera and Josiah Gray both had excellent outings and exceeded expectations for their matchup.

Sometimes when a game has immense hype, it doesn’t always live up to its billing. This wasn’t the case for last night’s Nationals Marlins game. Top 100 MLB Prospects Edward Cabrera and Josiah Gray squared off in a battle of NL East cellar dwellers.

Cabrera made his MLB debut and got off to a scorching start, retiring the first six Nationals in a row before allowing a single in the top of the third. He quickly mowed down the next three batters to erase the leadoff hit. In the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, Cabrera allowed a runner to get on, but his defense was able to bail him out. All three times they were able to turn a double play.

Cabrera was allowed to start the seventh inning, with his pitch count sitting at 57. However, it was a questionable decision due to it being the 23-year-olds first MLB start and that he had been bailed out multiple times by his defense.

Alcides Escobar started off the inning by working an eight-pitch walk. Cabrera quickly retired Juan Soto before running into trouble. Both Josh Bell and Yadiel Hernadez took him deep, to put the Nats on top. He then walked Carter Kieboom on four pitches and his night was over.

While he had a rough finish, Cabrera showed that he has the potential to be special. At the end of the night, he went 6.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits, while walking three, and striking out two.

From the jump, Cabrera’s fastball was electric, showing off some impressive movement while hitting 98mph with ease. His secondary pitches kept the Nationals off-balanced, especially his low 90’s changeup.

Josiah Gray started off his night by retiring the first four batters before running into trouble. In the second inning, he allowed a one-out walk, with the runner later scoring on a base hit. This marked the first run he allowed as a National that didn’t come via a solo home run. He was able to limit the damage to one.

From there, Gray pitched in and out of jams for the rest of the night. His curveball was crisp and allowed him to dominate matchups.

It wasn’t until the sixth inning that the Marlins scored again. Brian Anderson who had been hurting the Nats all night with his glove, mashed a no-doubter to put the Marlins up 2-0. Gray went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out seven and walking three.

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Unlike in his prior starts, Gray’s command was an issue, but he gutted through and showed how relentless he can be.

The game eventually went into the tenth inning with the Marlins hitting a walk-off single to win 4-3.

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