Nationals Game Notes: June 22 at Los Angeles Dodgers

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Washington Nationals (43-29) at Los Angeles Dodgers (40-33)
RHP Joe Ross [6-4, 3.13] | LHP Julio Urias [0-2, 4.50]
Wednesday, June 22 l Game #73 / Road #41 l Dodger Stadium l Los Angeles, C.A. l 7:10 P.M.
Television: MASN2/ESPN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

THE MIDWEST BECKONS
The Nationals and Dodgers will wrap up their three-game set on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium with Washington looking to snap its four-game losing streak…The four-game skid is only the second of that length for the Nationals this season (matching a four-game losing streak from May 5-8)…Washington split a four-game series with the San Diego Padres over the weekend and have opened this road trip 2-4…At the conclusion of Wednesday’s contest, the Nationals will pack up and head east overnight before an off day and a three-game weekend series in Milwaukee.

  • Since May 29, the Nationals have built a National League East division lead from zero to 4.5 games…They’re averaging 5.5 runs per game and outscoring opponents, 121-91.
  • At 43-29 (.597), the Nationals have posted their best record through 72 games in club history (2005-pres.), and boast the third-best record in the National League, behind only the San Francisco Giants (45-27, .625) and the Chicago Cubs (47-22, .681)…Washington’s 43-29 record is also the fourth-best record in MLB, behind SFG, TEX (46-26, .639) and CHI.

SLUGGIN’ SHORTSTOP
Nationals SS Danny Espinosa clubbed his 13th home run of the season on Tuesday night…In just 70 games, Espinosa has already tallied the third-highest home run total for a season in his career, matching his output from the entire 2015 season, and only seven behind the career-best 21 he hit in his rookie season (2011).

  • Only two shortstops in Major League Baseball have hit more home runs this year than Espinosa, who is averaging one home run every 17.46 at-bats…He trails only COL SS Trevor Story (18) and LAD SS Corey Seager (15) for total HR hit by a shortstop thus far.

SEND THESE GUYS TO SAN DIEGO
The latest round of NL All-Star balloting was released Wednesday…Here’s where a few of your favorite Nationals stand:

  • C Wilson Ramos has hit safely in 15 of his last 18 games, posting a .343 (22-for-64) average with three doubles, five homers, 13 RBI, five walks and 14 runs scored during that span….Ramos, who is currently third in the NL among catchers with 899,063 votes, is tied for fifth in MLB in batting average (.332) and leads all Major League catchers in average, on-base percentage (.378), slugging percentage (.548) and fewest strikeouts (28)…Ramos also leads MLB catchers with 38 RBI and his 11 home runs are T2nd behind KCR’s Salvador Perez…After hitting .229 in 2015, Ramos is the only player in MLB to have increased his average at least 100 points from last year to this year (min. 100 PA in 2016 / 500PA in 2015), per Elias.
  • 2B Daniel Murphy, who has racked up 1,573,890 votes to date and is gaining on current leader CHI 2B Ben Zobrist, is tops in MLB in batting average (.352)…Murphy also leads the NL and ranks among MLB hitters in multi-hit games (T3rd, 29), OPS (3rd, .978), and hits (3rd, 93) while his .395 on-base percentage is 14th in MLB and 10th in the NL.
  • If the voting ended today, RF Bryce Harper would be starting in the NL outfield for the third time in his career with 1,824,808 fan votes to date, second among all NL outfielders…Harper, the 2015 National League MVP, is tied for first in MLB in walks (57) and also ranks in the NL in on-base percentage (6th, .403) and OPS (14th, .901)…His 13 go-ahead RBI rank tied for fifth in the NL…Harper clubbed his 15th home run of the season on Tuesday night and is hitting .333 (8-for-24).

1 Comment

The Nats have the same peculiar problem they seem to be perenially plagued with.
The inability to hit with men on base and especially with men in scoring position. They have homerunitis to the enth degree. They don’t seem to be able to get the sacrifice fly when needed, to drop the safety bunt when required, to hit a ground ball the other way or simple singles. They may be able to get away with these bad hitting habits with mediocre pitchers but not with the really good ones. Punch and Judy baseball may not be all that glamorous but it usually the only way to scratch out hits against the really good pitchers. I think that Dusty Baker has probably been too tolerant of players who constantly go against his good advice. None of this bodes well in playoff baseball.

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