Jun 30, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
Who makes the All-Star team? – The 2015 MLB All-Star Game rosters will be announced this upcoming Sunday and Monday in a two-day special aired on ESPN. The starters will be revealed Sunday night, while the reserves will be announced on Monday.
The Nationals should have at least two All-Stars, barring something unforeseen. Those would be Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer. Harper is setting records in fan voting and will likely start the game, depending on his health. And if Scherzer doesn’t make the roster, something is wrong. He has a very good case to be the National League starter.
After that, it’s anyone’s guess. Drew Storen seems to have a very good case. He has a 2.10 ERA and is tied for second in the NL with 23 saves in 25 appearances. There are only so many spots for closers, but he certainly seems to be right on the bubble.
Yunel Escobar also has a solid chance it would seem. The versatile infielder is fourth in the NL with a .324 batting average and has been indispensable for the Nationals.
Denard Span is having another solid year with a .305 average, but has only appeared in 53 games. He might be the one Nats player with the most realistic ‘longshot’ chance.
Can rotation keep it up? – With Doug Fister and Stephen Strasburg back in the fold, the Nationals’ rotation is starting to look like many dreamed it would heading into this season, Tanner Roark’s spot start on Sunday not withstanding of course. If their last turn in the rotation is any indication, the Nats’ starting staff is becoming a real strength.
Take Roark’s forgettable day out of the equation and the Nats’ rotation’s numbers since last Friday are insane: 0.71 ERA, 51 IP, 4 ER, 43 SO, 5 BB. That’s across seven total starts from their regular rotation of Max Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, Fister and Strasburg.
Those numbers are not sustainable, but the Nats could definitely use more dominance from their starters with their lineup missing Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon. Harper, Escobar and Span are all banged up and could use days off, as well.
Giants are heading to Washington – The Nationals close the upcoming week with their first matchup against the San Francisco Giants since their NL Division Series last October. The Giants, of course, went on to win the World Series after taking out the Nats in four games.
San Francisco has been a very streaky team, much like the Nationals. They won 13 of 15 at the end of May, then lost 11 of 15. Now they are winners of eight of their last 12 as they head to D.C.
The series will feature two national TV games, but unfortunately no Scherzer. Strasburg vs. Madison Bumgarner on the Fourth of July, however, is not too shabby of a pitching matchup.
NL East Standings
Offensive game of the week: Ian Desmond 6/25 vs. Braves – 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
Pitching game of the week: Max Scherzer 6/24 vs. Braves – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 3 SO. 100 pitches, 76 strikes.
Quote of the week:
A sarcastic Gio Gonzalez on Saturday’s start being rained out after 1 1/2 innings:
I mean, this rain kind of caught us all off-guard. I mean, we didn’t know it was coming for like three days, so…
Tweet of the week:
— Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer) June 25, 2015
MON – OFF
TUE – 7:10 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Zimmermann)
WED – 7:10 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Fister)
THU – 7:10 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Scherzer)
FRI – 6:00 p.m. vs. San Francisco Giants (Gonzalez)
SAT – 11:05 a.m.vs. San Francisco Giants (Strasburg)
SUN – 8:00 p.m.vs. San Francisco Giants (Zimmermann)
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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