Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Nats-Bucs Round Two, J-Grove v Hellickson & Notes

Today: First toss is at 7:05 and the game will be on AT&T SportsNet and 93.7 The Fan. It's pups in the park night.

Pitchers: RHP Joe Musgrove (3-3, 3.79) goes against RHP Jeremy Hellickson (2-1, 3.81). After getting paddled in a couple of games, J-Grove tossed a shutout against the Padres before going on the DL with an infected finger, and this is his first game back. He faced the Nats once in 2017 and tossed a scoreless inning in relief. Hellickson has been pitching pretty well, but in his last two starts, he's gone 8-2/3 innings and given up 12 runs (11 earned). In his defense, he gave the team nearly five frames and had his ERA jump by over a run while pitching under the weather and taking a beating from Miami in his last outing, so we'll see if he's back to snuff today. He tossed 5-2/3 innings of shutout ball during a 3-1 Nats win against the Bucs earlier in the year.

J-Grove is back (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Lineup: Corey Dickerson LF, Starling Marte CF, Gregory Polanco RF, Elias Diaz C, J-Bell 1B, Jordy SS, Max Moroff 2B & Musgrove P. J-Hay, who is batting .179 in July, gets a sit-down, as does Austin Meadows, who is hitting .200 this month. Eli is back in action for Cervy.

Notes:
  • Felipe Vazquez is down tonight after working three straight games.
  • Welcome to the club: the Nationals have now lost 10 of their last 14 games. Also, their starter yesterday, Jefry Rodriguez, didn't have such a great day at the yard last night and was optioned to AAA.
  • Quicker than Starling swiping a base: Joe Musgrove was activated from the DL and Alex McRae has been optioned to Indy.
  • Yesterday was the first full day off of the year for J-Bell. He had appeared, either as a starter or pinch hitter, in all 89 of the previous contests.
  • Colin Moran was working on fielding bleeders at third - the Bucs give up quite a few infield knocks - and Amore took a few throws at first, a position that should keep his noggin out of harm's way.
  • Clayton Holmes' outing at Bradenton yesterday was solid. He went six innings, giving up a run on four hits with eight whiffs and, key for him, without a walk.
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