On the back of a strong from Erick Fedde on Tuesday, the Nationals split the road series against the Baltimore Orioles. They might have had a chance on Wednesday, but after an Austin Hays cycle in six innings and the rest of the game being canceled because of rain, the Nats could not pull off the two-game sweep.
Their road trip moves out west to Texas where they take on the Texas Rangers (33-35). The Nationals luckily avoid Martín Pérez, the left-handed starter who overnight became one of the most dominant arms in baseball. The Rangers lineup has been underwhelming after adding Mitch Garver, Marcus Semien, and Corey Seager this offseason. On to the pitching matchups!
Friday, June 24, RHP Paolo Espino (0-1, 2.29 ERA) vs RHP Dane Dunning (1-5, 4.38 ERA) | First Pitch: 8:05 ET
Paolo continues to impress after a breakout of sorts in 2021. For Paolo, the bar to clear is low, and as long as he keeps the team in the game, as he has done, he will continue to look like a serviceable piece of the Nats rotation.
Former Nationals’ prospect Dane Dunning will be facing his former team for the first time since they traded him for Adam Eaton back in 2017. He has turned himself into one of the best pitchers at coaxing groundballs, but when that ball is in the air, it is often out. Dunning, like many current Nats, tends to issue a lot of free passes.
Saturday, June 25, RHP Josiah Gray (6-4, 3.95 ERA) vs LHP Kolby Allard (0-2, 5.06 ERA) | First Pitch: 4:05 ET
After 58 innings, we are starting to get a clearer picture of who Josiah Gray is as a pitcher. His control still needs refining, as a 4.21 BB/9 is unacceptable. His home run rate has dropped between this year and last, which helps explain his improvements between 2021 and 2022. If he can improve his command and coax more groundouts, Gray is an All-Star.
Kolby Allard, a first-round pick in 2015, has struggled in his cup of coffee in the big leagues so far. He was optioned recently but is projected to be brought back up to throw the bulk of the innings on Saturday. Allard’s poor numbers are in part because of a small sample size. With more innings than the 16 that we have seen, he may begin to look better, or he might just be bad.
Sunday, June 26, RHP Jackson Tetreault (1-1, 5.73 ERA) vs RHP Glenn Otto (4-2, 4.24 ERA) | First Pitch: 2:35 ET
Tetreault shoved against a hot Phillies team on Sunday. He allowed three unearned runs over seven innings and struck out two. More strikeouts will come as he figures out major league hitters, but he looks good for what many expected to simply be a replacement-level arm.
Former Yankees prospect Glenn Otto has looked ok in his first eight games of 2022. To remain in style with the other young arms that are throwing this weekend, Otto too struggles with walks. He throws a solid four-pitch mix of a fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup, with the fastball being used over 50% of the time.