Nationals Game Notes: May 28 vs. St. Louis Cardinals

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St. Louis Cardinals (25-24) vs. Washington Nationals (29-20)
RHP Adam Wainwright [4-3, 5.77] | LHP Gio Gonzalez [3-2, 2.87]
Saturday, May 28 l Game #50 / Home # 25 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:15 P.M.
Television: FOX l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

SETTING THE SCENE

The Nationals and Cardinals split the first two games of this four-game set and will settle the series with two more, starting Saturday night in the District and concluding Sunday afternoon of this holiday weekend.

  • The Nationals topped the Cardinals, 2-1, on Thursday night for the 1,700th victory of Dusty Baker’s managerial career…Baker is the 17th all-time winningest manager in MLB history, and the second active manager, behind only San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy (1,732 victories)…Baker is 69 wins behind Jim Leyland for the 15th spot on the list.
  • The victory, which matched career win No. 1 for Baker as his 1993 San Francisco Giants topped the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-1, on April 6, 1993, was Washington’s fifth straight over STL…The five-game winning streak over the Cardinals matched a Nationals record (2005-present) vs. STL (also June 14, 2011-Aug. 31, 2012).

MOVING RIGHT ALONG

The Nationals will wrap up this homestand and then depart on a three-city, nine-game, 11-day road trip to Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Chicago (White Sox).

  • At 29-20 (.604), the Nationals have the fifth-best record in the National League behind the Chicago Cubs (31-14; .689), San Francisco Giants (30-19; .612) and New York Mets & Pittsburgh Pirates (both 28-19, .596).
  • WSH has posted a +48 run differential, the second-best mark in the NL (Cubs: +123).

CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP

With a single in the sixth inning on Friday night, Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy tied the Nationals record (2005-present) for hits in a month with 40…Murphy currently leads Major League Baseball in multi-hit games (24), batting average (.393) and hits (70)…He also ranks among MLB hitters in OPS (2nd, 1.039), slugging percentage (4th, .612), on-base percentage (4th, .427) and doubles (T12th, 14).

  • Having played in 47 of the Nationals’ 49 games, Murphy has at least two hits in more than half of the games he’s played in…He has also hit safely in 23 of his last 27 games, going 43-for-105 (.409) with seven doubles, five homers, 21 RBI and 16 runs scored.

ESPI POWER

Nationals SS Danny Espinosa clubbed his second home run in as many nights on Friday…The blast, a solo shot off Jaime Garcia, was Espinosa’s 19th career home run hit as a right-handed batter (compared to 54 as a LHB).

  • This is the eighth time in Espinosa’s career he’s hit home runs in back-to-back games, his first since Aug. 14 & 15, 2015 at San Francisco.

1 Comment

On the minus side, it looks like Geo Gonzales is back to his inconsistent (at the very best) pattern. On the plus side we have Lucas Giollito (sorry about the spelling) ready to come up and take his place. On the plus side the hitting of the veterans is beginning to return to form. That is with the exception of Jason Werth. On the plus side he can be replaced by any number of good hitting prospects in the minor league system. Or maybe he could try what Harper did and get a clean shave and start hitting home runs. Getting a shave and a haircut would no doubt increase his speed on the base paths as well. Dusty Baker really needs to impress on him that he should start looking like a ball player rather than a 1960’s San Francisco hippie.

Harold G. Pavel

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