Good Thursday Morning, Washington Nationals fans. Here are your headlines and latest analysis for Monday, September 20, 2021
Monday, September 20, 2021: Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins; 6:40 pm EDT
Tuesday, September 21, 2021: Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins; 6:40 pm EDT
Wednesday, September 22, 2021: Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins; 6:40 pm EDT
Thursday, September 23, 2021: Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds; 6:40 pm EDT
Friday, September 24, 2021: Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds; 7:10 pm EDT
Yesterday, the Washington Nationals avoided a sweep with a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rockies. There is nothing like starting the week with a curly W even if the team avoids a sweep over the weekend. This was Paolo Espino’s first game against the Colorado Rockies and the results were impressive. Espino pitched a quick four, scoreless innings on 61 pitches, striking out six. Espino pitched 5 ⅓ innings only giving up 3 hits, throwing 52 strikes, and only allowing three walks. In his post-game press conference, Espino said: “think the first inning was a little — I think I was thinking too much… I was trying too much around the plate. From that second inning on,I think [catcher] Keibert [Ruiz] and I, we were pretty much in sync a little quicker and we had a lot better pace throughout the game after that first inning.” The bullpen was actually able to hold the lead which enabled the Nationals to get the curly W.
Paolo Espino’s Line: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 Ks, 91 P, 52 S
On the other side of the ball, the Nationals were able to generate some impressive offense, especially off the bat of Juan Soto. Soto started yesterday’s game 19 for 27 over the past 11 games. Soto has had two doubles, a triple, a home run, five RBI’s, 12 walks, a hit by pitch, one stolen base, and nine runs scored leading him to have a .514 batting average. Man… just typing those stats it is impressive, The Nationals need to sign him to a long-term deal RIGHT AWAY! Anyways, Soto added another home run to his total yesterday afternoon which now stands at 26, with a 454-foot blast against Jn Gray in the third inning, that left many with their mouths wide open when you saw where it landed.
Nationals 21-year-old second baseman, Luis García, also continued his streak of being impressive at the plate. Garica registered his 13th RBI bringing his season average against left-handers this season to 18-for-52 (.346). Yadiel Hernandez got his 28th RBI this season. Hernandez has been impressive over the last seven games. He has a batting average of .300 with three RBI’s, nine hits, and one run over 30 at-bats. The Nationals now head out on their last road trip of the 2021 season with games against the Miami Marlins, Cincinnati Reds and then finish the road trip in Colorado against the Rockies. Read our series preview here.
The Nationals record is currently 61-88 and they are in last place in the NL East. In losing over the weekend, the team officially was eliminated from postseason baseball.
In other Nationals news, veteran catcher, Alex Avila, announced yesterday morning before the Nationals game, that he is planning on retiring at the end of this year. “All good things must come to an end,” Avila said on Sunday. “I’ll never not be involved in the game,” Avila said. “I’ll do something within the game. I don’t know what that is yet. You know, once the season’s over and going in the next few months, figure that out, see where it goes. But I’ll be involved. I love the game way too much.” “I don’t know what’s going to happen as far as what I’m going to do,” Avila said. “I’m definitely going to be doing something. I’m kind of excited to see what opportunities might be out there. Whether that’s with my dad or not. I’ll just be happy to be able to continue being involved in something that’s been a part of my life forever.”
Avila was signed by the Washington Nationals during the 2021 offseason. When Avila went on the IL for the second time during the season on July 29, 2021, he knew that his decision was final according to Savannah McCann of MLB.com. During his career, he has played in six postseasons, made one All-Star appearance (2011), and has been behind the plate for multiple future Hall of Fame pitchers including Max Scherzer both with the Detroit Tigers and the Washington Nationals.
COMING SOON, we will have a complete wrap-up of the 2021 Washington Nationals season, from highs to a lot of lows, however, one thing is for sure, it was great to see and be back at Nationals Park this summer.
Down on the Farm… Minor League Baseball teams end the 2021 Regular Season Yesterday afternoon marked the end of the 2021 inaugural Fredericksburg Nationals season. The team ended the season on a four-game winning streak and four series win in a row. The team ended the season in last place in the Low A East North Division with a 44-76 record. The Fred Nats also had 37 sellouts in 57 home games. Not bad for their first season. The Red Wings regular season ended with a 5-1 loss to the Buffalo Bisons Sunday afternoon at Frontier Field and went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base. Rochester will participate in the “Triple-A Final Stretch,” in which they will play 10 games as part of a new postseason tournament featuring all 30 Triple-A clubs.
Each team will play five additional home games and five road games. Rochester will play five games at Worcester from September 22-26 and will host Scranton/Wilkes-Barre from September 29-October 3. The first four games against the RailRiders will be at 6:05 p.m. and the season finale on Sunday will be at 1:05 p.m.