New York: Sunday, July 04, 2021
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New York: Sunday, July 04, 2021
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Sports News:
Nationals prepared to ride injury bug — no, ‘injury rat’ — in critical July stretch

The Washington Nationals tore by way of the ultimate days of June, placing the ending touches on a stretch that included 14 wins in 17 video games, putting the crew firmly in the National League East combine. Kyle Schwarber was the driving pressure of that revival, which noticed the Nationals end the month two video games again of the first-place New York Mets.

But after a torrid end to the month of June, the Nationals are limping into July — actually. The most notable and regarding loss is Schwarber, who rounded the first-base bag Friday and pulled up with a hamstring pressure. Manager Dave Martinez and head coach Paul Lessard instantly ran out to Schwarber, and the left fielder — who had clubbed 16 homers in 18 video games — hobbled off the sphere.

Schwarber was positioned on the 10-day injured listing Saturday, turning into certainly one of 9 Nationals with that injury designation. Three others are on the 60-day injured listing. As Washington makes an attempt to stabilize after struggling a four-game sweep to the Los Angeles Dodgers to start July, the membership is banking on a hodgepodge group of gamers to carry the load heading into one other pivotal collection — this time towards the San Diego Padres — till the scores of injured gamers can return.

“I don’t feel like we have an injury bug; we have an injury rat running around the clubhouse,” Max Scherzer stated after his begin Friday. “It just feels like it’s biting everybody at this point in time.”

That rat has proved extra prolific than may’ve been initially suspected. Schwarber doesn’t know the timeframe for his restoration from the numerous hamstring pressure he suffered. Catcher Alex Avila, who performed 5 innings at second base Thursday to cowl for Washington’s injury shortages, landed on the 10-day injured listing this weekend with strains in each calves.

A day earlier than that, the Nationals positioned infielder Jordy Mercer on the 10-day injured listing with a strained proper quadricep. Relief pitcher Tanner Rainey was positioned on the shelf with a stress response in his proper tibia. Shortstop Trea Turner hasn’t performed since he jammed a finger sliding into third base to full his cycle on Wednesday. Martinez expects Turner, who wasn’t positioned on the injured listing, to play once more in the beginning or center of this week.

The listing of accidents goes on, and on, and on, with incremental progress for many who’ve been injured longest — Stephen Strasburg threw a 51-pitch bullpen Friday — coupling with Martinez’s name for positivity.

“We’re gonna keep battling,” Martinez stated. “It’s unfortunate we have so many injuries, but in this game, it happens. We gotta keep going, we gotta keep battling, we gotta find a way. We gotta kind of will it some days.”

Washington turned its season round with 19 wins in June, however most of these collection got here towards bottom-tier golf equipment. To attain the playoffs, these are wins a crew should get. But with the Nationals already in a gap, the ultimate two collection forward of the All-Star Break towards the Padres and San Francisco Giants — two groups in the playoff image if the season ended now — comes into focus.

The Nationals are two video games underneath .500 and seven.5 video games again of a Wild Card spot. They’re 4 video games again of the Mets, main the NL East. For common supervisor Mike Rizzo to determine whether or not to promote or purchase on the commerce deadline, the subsequent seven video games in California may play a task.

“We’re in a critical stretch here, and we’re having guys dropping like flies right now,” Scherzer stated. “It’s unfortunate.”

For the second, although, Washington should depend on a solid of gamers the crew didn’t count on to carry such giant roles. With Turner sidelined, the Nationals traded for 34-year-old shortstop Alcides Escobar, who had been taking part in Triple-A ball in the Kansas City Royals’ system. Yadiel Hernandez may see main time in the outfield, together with Gerardo Parra. Tres Barrera will again up Yan Gomes behind the plate till Avila returns.

The bullpen is stuffed with extra questions. Closer Brad Hand entered in the seventh inning throughout Sunday’s loss to strive to maintain the sport shut in a spot Rainey, Kyle Finnegan or Daniel Hudson may’ve taken if wholesome.

But down by 4 runs, the Nationals’ offense went quietly, with out the standard firepower that helped information the membership by way of a resurgent June. That’s the way in which the primary 4 video games of July have gone, creating distance as soon as extra in the NL East standings whereas casting doubt over a push for the playoffs — a minimum of externally.

“I can tell you now these guys are positive before the game, and they want to play well, and they want to pick up the guys who aren’t able to play right now,” Martinez stated. “I know they’re going to come out tomorrow and play hard again.”

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