Tuesday, September 26, 2023
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MLB Preview: Washington Nationals (57-68) at New York Yankees (60-64)


The Nationals and Yankees will face off three times in 2023, all in New York…Nationals Assistant Hitting Coach Pat Roessler worked as the director of player development for the New York Yankees for 10 seasons (2004-13)…Josiah Gray graduated from New Rochelle High School and went to Le Moyne College…Former Montreal Expo/Washington National Brad Wilkerson (2001-05) is New York’s assistant hitting coach.

After enjoying a day off on Monday, the Washington Nationals open a three-game series against the New York Yankees on Tuesday.

  • The Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-3, on Sunday in the 2023 Little League Classic…The win clinched Washington’s third straight series victory.
  • Following this series, the Nationals will travel to Miami for a three-game weekend series before moving onto Toronto next Monday through Wednesday.

The Nationals have agreed to terms on a multi-year contract extension with Manager Dave Martinez, the club announced on Tuesday.

  • Martinez, 58, is in his sixth season as the manager of the Nationals…He is the longest tenured manager and has the most managerial wins (378) in team history (2005-pres.).

The Nationals have won seven of nine games and are 29-21 (.580) since June 24…It is the best 50-game stretch for Washington since they capped the 2019 season going 34-16 (.680) in the last 50 games.

  • Since July 8, Washington is 23-14 (.611), the third-best record in the National League and the fifth-best record in Major League Baseball behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers (26-9, .743), Seattle Mariners (26-12, .684), Baltimore Orioles (25- 12, .676) and Chicago Cubs (24-13, .649).

Washington’s starting rotation has pitched to a 2.22 ERA (7 ER/28.1 IP) and a .180 opponents average with just two home runs allowed over its last five starts…The Nationals are 4-1 in those five starts.

  • Trevor Williams (6.0 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 SO), Jake Irvin (6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 7 SO) and MacKenzie Gore (6.1 IP, H, 2 BB, 7 SO) each tossed at least 6.0 shutout innings during this stretch.

Keibert Ruiz leads Major League catchers in average (.342), on-base percentage (.405) and is second in slugging percentage (.573) and tied for second in hits (40) since July 9.

  • Ruiz is 14-for-36 (.389) with three doubles, three homers, nine RBI, three walks and nine runs scored over his last nine games.
  • He ranks fourth in the National League with a .365 average with runners in scoring position this season.
  • Riley Adams has produced multi-hit efforts in eight of his last 12 games and has hit safely in 10 of the 12…He is hitting .404 (19-for-47) with nine doubles, a homer, 10 RBI, four walks and four runs scored during this 12-game stretch.

CJ Abrams is third in the National League with 33 stolen bases… He stole 25 consecutive bases without being caught from May 5 to Aug. 10, the longest streak in Nationals history (2005-pres.) according to the Elias Sports Bureau…It was the longest active streak in MLB at the time.

  • Since being moved to the leadoff spot on July 7, Abrams is hitting .280with six doubles, a triple, five homers, 13 RBI, nine walks, four hit by pitch, 22 stolen bases and 26 runs scored.

With five more stolen bases, Lane Thomas would record the sixth 20 home run – 20 stolen base season in Nationals History (2005-pres.) and the first since 2016.

  • Thomas ranks in the National League in hits (4th, 142), doubles (T5th, 30), total bases (T7th, 236), runs (8th, 85) and average (8th, .289)…He leads Major League Baseball with a career-high 13 outfield assists.

Right-hander was acquired by the Nationals from the Los Angeles Dodgers at the 2021 Trade Deadline…Was Los Angeles’ No. 2 prospect entering 2021 and its Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2019…Was originally selected by Cincinnati in the second round (No. 72 overall) of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft out of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York…Was acquired by the Dodgers on his 21st birthday, Dec. 21, 2018…Is the Player Ambassador to the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy…Named to his first All-Star team in 2023.

Allowed five earned runs on five hits, walked three and struck out four in 3.0 innings on August 15 against Boston…He took the loss in Washington’s 5-4 defeat.

New Rochelle, N.Y. native has never faced the Yankees.

Gray ranks fourth in Major League Baseball with a 2.82 ERA on the road this season…He’s allowed three earned runs or less in 11 of his 14 road starts.

Gray ranks 15th in the National League with a 3.96 ERA…He paces the Nationals staff in opponents’ batting average (.257), opponents’ slugging percentage (.414), opponents’ OPS (.759) and home runs allowed per 9.0 innings (1.18).

Gray was selected to the National League All-Star team last month…He tossed a scoreless third inning in his first All-Star Game on July 10…He got Josh Jung out on a fly ball, struck out Jonah Heim and induced a ground ball by Marcus Semien.

Gray has allowed 1.18 home runs per 9.0 innings (17 HR/129.2 IP)…He allowed back-to-back home runs to lead off the game on April 1 vs. Atlanta (Acuña Jr./ Olson) and beginning with the next batter, has allowed just 14 additional home runs in the next 126.2 innings entering play tonight…This improvement comes after he led Major League Baseball with 38 home runs and 2.30 home runs per 9.0 innings last season.


AT A GLANCE: The Yankees continue their six-game homestand tonight with the first game of a three-game series vs. the Washington Nationals (through Thurs.)…are 0-3 on the homestand after being swept by the Boston Red Sox in a three-game set this past weekend…after this homestand, will embark on a season-long 10-game, three-city road trip to Tampa Bay (Fri.-Sun.), Detroit (8/28- 31) and Houston (9/1-3).

Have lost a season-high eight straight games, their longest losing streak since an eight-game streak from 8/19-26/95…their last longer losing streak was a nine-game streak from 9/13-21(G1)/82.

WHERE WE LEFT OFF: The Yankees fell to the Red Sox, 6-5, on Sunday at Yankee Stadium…RHP Clarke Schmidt (5.2IP, 4H, 2ER, 2BB, 8K, 1HR, 1WP) allowed just 2R/ER over 5.2IP in a no-decision…2B Gleyber Torres (2-for-4, 1R, 1 double, 1HR, 1RBI, 1BB) reached base three times, hitting a double in the fourth inning, a game-tying solo HR in the sixth and walked in the seventh…SS Anthony Volpe (2-for-4, 1R, 1HR, 3RBI) hit a game-tying three-run HR in the seventh inning…C Kyle Higashioka (1-for-2, 1R, 1HR, 1RBI, 1BB) hit a game-tying solo HR in the third inning… DH Aaron Judge (0-for-4, 1BB) reached base in his 13th straight game (since 8/6)…RHP Michael King (1.1IP, 2H, 3ER, 2BB/1IBB, 2K, 1HR) surrendered a go-ahead three-run HR to Justin Turner in the seventh inning…RHP Jonathan Loáisiga (1.0IP, 1H) tossed a scoreless eighth inning of relief…RHP Clay Holmes (1.0IP, 2H, 1ER, 1BB) recorded the loss after allowing a go-ahead RBI double to Justin Turner in the ninth inning.

GLEYBER DAY: INF Gleyber Torres reached base three times on Sunday, hitting a double in the fourth inning, a game-tying solo HR in the sixth and walked in the seventh… marked his eighth game this season with multiple extra-base hits (first since 8/6 vs. Houston; 1 double and 1HR).

Is batting .338/.423/.544 (23-for-68) with 9R, 5 doubles, 3HR, 6RBI, 9BB, 1HP and 4SB in 18 games during the month of August…has hit safely in 14 of those games and has reached base in 16 of those contests.

Has hit safely in 30 of his last 37 games (since 7/6), hitting .315 (46-for-146) with 19R, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 6HR, 14RBI, 12BB, 1HP, 3SF and 5SB in that span.

Has reached base multiple times in 10 of his last 17 games (since 8/2).

WHAT A RELIEF: RHP Jonathan Loáisiga tossed a scoreless inning of relief on Sunday…has retired 16-of-17BF since returning from the injured list on 8/7.

WELCOME TO THE SHOW: The Yankees recalled OF Everson Pereira from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to tonight’s game…will be making his Major League debut… in 81 combined games with Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, has batted .300/.373/.548 (91-for-303) with 53R, 17 doubles, 2 triples, 18HR, 64RBI, 32BB, 5HP, 3SF and 11SB…in 35 games with Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre, has hit .312/.386/.551 (43-for-138) with 29R, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 8HR, 33RBI, 13BB and 4SB…is currently ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 3 prospect in the Yankees organization and the No. 80 prospect in all of baseball… is tabbed by Baseball America as the No. 4 prospect in the Yankees system and the No. 77 prospect in all of baseball… was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on 7/2/17.

BRONX BOMBERS: Yankees batters have hit 102HR in 66 home games this season, the fourth-most home runs by any team at home this year…trail only Atlanta (123HR), Texas (113HR) and Los Angeles-NL (104HR).

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: INF Anthony Volpe hit a game-tying three-run HR in the seventh inning on Sunday vs. Boston…four of his last 5HR and seven of his 17HR this season have either tied the game (three) or given the Yankees the lead (four)…marked his second HR this season that tied the game or gave the Yankees the lead in the seventh inning-or-later (also a go-ahead two-run HR in the eighth inning on 4/22 vs. Toronto).

Has 3HR in his last nine games (since 8/11).

Six of his last nine hits, 10 of his last 20 hits and 14 of his last 30 hits have gone for extra bases (5 doubles, 2 triples, 7HR).

His 17HR this season are the most by a Yankees shortstop (min. 50% games at SS) since 2019 when Gleyber Torres hit 38HR (77G at SS/65G at 2B).

Ranks fifth among American League rookies and eighth among Major League rookies in home runs.

His 17HR are the most by a Yankees rookie since 2018 (Miguel Andújar-27HR; Gleyber Torres-24HR).

Is the first Yankees rookie to record at least 17 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season since Alfonso Soriano recorded 18 home runs and 43 stolen bases in 2001… is one of just 10 players in the Majors this season to do so and is the first Yankee to reach those marks since Brett Gardner in 2017 (21HR, 23SB).

ALL RISE: OF Aaron Judge has reached base in each of his last 13 games (since 8/6)…marks his second-longest on-base streak this season, trailing only his 18-game on-base streak from 5/12-31…has reached base multiple times in eight of those 13 games.

Has reached base safely in 61 of his 70 games this season, batting .276/.407/.617 (67-for-243) with 52R, 11 doubles, 24HR, 48RBI, 56BB, 3SB and a 1.025 OPS.

Has reached base safely in 38 of his last 41 games (since 5/12)…is batting .286/.444/.707 (40-for-140) with 31R, 5 doubles, 18HR, 32RBI, 40BB and 1SB in that span.

His next game played will mark the 800th of his career… has 244 career home runs in 799 career games…the previous home run record through 800 career games was Ryan Howard with 236HR.

Has 14BB in his last 13 games (since 8/6), 26BB in his last 26 games (since 5/29), 38BB in his last 38 games (since 5/15) and 43BB in his last 46 games (since 4/26).

Since being reinstated from the injured list on 7/28, leads the AL and ranks third in the Majors in walks (21), trailing only Kyle Schwarber (27) and Matt Olson (22).

With his next home run, would become just the second Yankee in franchise history to record at least 25HR in six of his first eight Major League seasons…would join Joe DiMaggio (seven)…would also be the only AL player to hit at least 25HR in six of the last seven seasons since 2017.

The Nationals are one of three opponents he has not hit a HR against in his career (0HR in 2G vs. Arizona, 0HR in 5G vs. St. Louis and 0HR in 10G vs. Washington).

Has hit .329/.427/.614 (23-for-70) with 14R, 2 doubles, 6HR, 12RBI, 12BB and 1SB in 19 Interleague games this season…has batted .310/.403/.629 (127- for-410) with 84R, 19 doubles, 2 triples, 36HR, 70RBI, 63BB and 9SB in 113 career Interleague games.

His .627 SLG and 1.031 OPS in Interleague play since 2017 are the highest in the Majors…his .404 OBP is also the fourth-highest in the Majors during that stretch.

Despite missing 51 games on the injured list this year, is tied for seventh in the AL in home runs (24).

LEMACHINE: INF DJ LeMahieu has batted .350/.391/.580 (55-for-157) with 25R, 8 doubles, 2 triples, 8HR, 25RBI, 9BB, 2HP and 1SF in 41 career games vs. the Nationals.
 As a Yankee (since 2019), has hit .312 (107-for-343) with 63R, 17 doubles, 4 triples, 12HR, 34RBI and 46BB in 91 Interleague games.

LHP Carlos Rodón will make his seventh start of the season in tonight’s series opener vs. Washington…was reinstated from the 15-day injured list prior to tonight’s game… was originally placed on the 15-day injured list on 8/7 with a left hamstring strain…missed 12 team games…last pitched on 8/6 vs. Houston, allowing 5ER over 2.2IP (ND, 3H, 2BB, 5K, 2HR)…left the game in the third inning with left hamstring tightness…missed the first 88 team games this season…began the year on the 15-day injured list (retroactive to 3/27) with a left forearm strain and was transferred to the 60-day injured list on 6/1…finished sixth in the NL Cy Young voting in 2022 after going 14-8 with one complete game and a 2.88 ERA (178.0IP, 131H, 59R/57ER, 52BB, 237K, 12HR) over 31 starts with the San Francisco Giants…the two-time All-Star (2021 with Chicago-AL and 2022 with San Francisco) has finished in the top-six of Cy Young voting twice (fifth in 2021 and sixth in 2022)…over the previous two seasons (2021-22), went 27-13 with two complete games and a 2.67 ERA (310.2IP, 222H, 98R/92ER, 88BB, 422K, 25HR) in 55 starts…over that span, led the Majors in K/9.0IP (12.23) and opponents’ SLG (.307), ranked second in opponents’ BA (.196) and opponents’ OPS (.567), third in WAR among pitchers (11.1, FanGraphs), fourth in ERA (2.67), opponents’ OBP (.259) and double-digit strikeout games (16), fifth in HR/9.0IP (0.72), tied for sixth in wins and seventh in strikeouts…was originally selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 16th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft but did not sign and went on to play three seasons at North Carolina State University (2012-14)…was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the first round (third overall) of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft…signed a six-year Major League contract with the Yankees extending through the 2028 season on 12/21/22.

LAST TIME OUT: Made his sixth start of the season on 8/6 vs. Houston, allowing 5ER over 2.2IP (ND, 3H, 2BB, 5K, 2HR)…left the game in the third inning with left hamstring tightness…was placed on the 15-day injured list the following day with a left hamstring strain.

VS. WASHINGTON/INTERLEAGUE: Will be making his first career start vs. the Nationals.

Will make his fourth Interleague start this season (also 7/7 vs. Chicago-NL , 7/14 at Colorado and 7/26 vs. New York-NL)…is 13-10 with a 3.71 ERA (138.1IP, 114H, 59R/57ER, 51BB, 148K, 14HR) in 27 career Interleague games (26 starts)…is 9-2 with a 1.88 ERA (62.1IP, 13ER) and 67K over his last 11 Interleague starts (since 8/7/21 at Chicago-NL with Chicago-AL).

Went 5-0 with a 1.44 ERA (31.1IP, 5ER) and 35K in five Interleague starts in 2022. 2023: Is 1-4 with a 7.33 ERA (27.0IP, 23H, 22ER, 18BB, 25K, 8HR) in six starts this season…has missed 100 team games on the injured list this season.

Began the year on the 15-day injured list (retroactive to 3/27) with a left forearm strain and was transferred to the 60-day injured list on 6/1…missed 88 team games.

Made his Yankees debut on 7/7 vs. Chicago-NL at Yankee Stadium, recording the loss despite allowing 2ER in 5.1IP (4H, 2BB, 2K, 1HR, 1WP)…was returned from rehab and reinstated from the 60-day injured list prior to the game.

Earned his first win as a Yankee on 7/26 vs. the Mets after allowing just 1ER over 5.2IP (4H, 3BB, 4K, 0HR, 1HP).

Missed 12 team games on the 15-day injured list with a left hamstring strain…was originally placed on the injured list on 8/7.

HOME SWEET HOME: Will make his fifth home start this season…is 1-2 with a 6.11 ERA (17.2IP, 12ER) and 16K in four starts at Yankee Stadium this season.
In 77 career games (75 starts) at home, has gone 30-22 with a 3.63 ERA (419.0IP, 363H, 180R/169ER, 162BB, 477K, 48HR).

Over his previous two seasons at home (2021-22), went 14-5 with a 2.07 ERA (147.2IP, 99H, 35R/34ER, 41BB, 206K, 9HR) in 26 starts…opposing batters hit .187 (99-for-530)…allowed 2R-or-fewer in 22 of those starts, 1R-or-fewer in 18 of those starts and seven of those starts were scoreless.

Made four career starts at Yankee Stadium as the opposing starting pitcher, going 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA (25.0IP, 12H, 6ER, 11BB, 24K, 1HR)…all four starts were quality starts.

Went 8-2 with a 1.93 ERA (84.0IP, 61H, 19R/18ER, 26BB, 121K, 5HR) in 15 starts at home in 2022 with San Francisco…opponents batted .199/.263/.301 (61-for306)…10 of is 15 starts at Oracle Park in 2022 were quality outings.

His 1.93 home ERA last season was the second-lowest by a qualified Giants starter in a single season since Oracle Park opened in 2000, trailing only Tim Lincecum’s
1.88 home ERA in 2009…was also the fourth-lowest ERA at home in the Majors.

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