MLB Baseball

5
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
St. Louis0 0 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 570
Washington0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 051
0
  W: A. Pallante (4-4)   L: J. Gray (7-7)
10:35 AM PT11:35 AM MT12:35 PM CT1:35 PM ET13:35 ET17:35 GMT1:35 10:35 AM MST12:35 PM EST1:05 PM VEN21:35 UAE11:35 AM CT, July 31, 2022
Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia  Attendance: 28,738

Trade talk aside, Nationals go for series win over Cards

According to STATS
According to STATS

St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals

  1. The Cardinals begin a three-game set in Washington having lost 15 of their last 22 games away from home. They haven't won a series on the road since taking three of five at Wrigley Field from June 2-5.
  2. Miles Mikolas has lost five straight road starts and matched a season high by surrendering six runs over five innings his last time out at Cincinnati on Sunday. After allowing eight home runs over 94.2 IP in his first 15 starts of the season, he's given up six over 30.2 IP in his last five outings.
  3. Albert Pujols has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games at a .389/.436/.722 clip with three homers and six RBI. His 1.135 career OPS against Washington is his highest against any team and -- although he's played only four games against the Nationals since 2017 -- he has 27 RBI in his last 27 games against them.
  4. The Nationals are a major league-worst 15-36 (.294) at home and have lost 18 of their last 22 games at Nationals Park. Washington relievers have allowed one run over the last 22.2 IP, holding opponents to a .152 batting average during that stretch.
  5. Despite going 3-for-20 (.150) since the All-Star break, Josh Bell ranks fourth in the National League with a 1.011 OPS since June 16. He's hitting .139 (5-for-36) with one homer, three RBI and 15 strikeouts in his last 13 games against St. Louis.
  6. Juan Soto has reached safely in 30 of his last 32 games but is just 2-for-17 (.118) with seven strikeouts and five walks in his last five contests. He went 7-for-16 (.438) against the Cardinals last season after batting .132/.346/.263 in his first 12 games against them.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/29/2022 thru 7/31/2022

If this weekend is a showcase for the Washington Nationals' Juan Soto and Josh Bell as their names continue to surface in trade speculation, they're putting on pretty good shows.

The Nationals are trying to concentrate on picking up more wins, but the potential that these could be the sluggers' final days in Washington uniforms is part of the undercurrent.

A three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals comes to a close Sunday afternoon in Washington.

"Focus on just playing baseball. That's all we can do," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "I tell these guys every day, 'Let's control the controllables' and let's see what happens. ... Play the game and have fun."

The Nationals have won four of their last six games, with two of those victories coming by one run. That includes Saturday night's win over St. Louis.

Four of Washington's last nine victories have come by one run, so they might be getting a better handle on how to respond in close games.

In Saturday's game, Bell smacked a game-winning three-run home run in the seventh inning to help complete a comeback. Soto walked three times, singled once and scored two runs.

The Cardinals received good production from shortstop Paul DeJong in his first game following a promotion from Triple-A Memphis. He belted a two-run home run and a sacrifice fly.

DeJong was in the lineup after shortstop Edmundo Sosa was sent to the Philadelphia Phillies in a trade Saturday.

"Seeing him not be with us is not ideal, but we needed space on our roster and it made sense," Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said.

Sunday's game could be the last game for the Cardinals before catcher Yadier Molina returns from a right knee injury. He has been playing in rehabilitation outings with Memphis.

The Nationals will be checking the status of outfielder Victor Robles, who has homered in three of his last nine games. He left Saturday night's game after eight innings because of hamstring cramping.

Right-hander Andre Pallante (3-4, 3.53 ERA) is the listed St. Louis starter. This will be the rookie's 10th start out in his 28th game in the majors. He has never faced the Nationals.

Pallante has surrendered at least one home run in six of his last eight outings.

The Nationals are going with right-hander Josiah Gray (7-6, 4.45 ERA), who has won just once in his last seven starts. Yet he has a nine-game streak of lasting at least five innings.

This is a change of plans after right-hander Paolo Espino, who had been listed as Sunday's likely starter, was moved up a day and worked Saturday when Erick Fedde went on the injured list.

Still, Gray will be on normal rest because the Nationals were off Thursday, and he'll take on the Cardinals for the first time in his career.

Juggling the pitching assignments doesn't mean there's major concern regarding Fedde.

"We're being more cautious than anything," Martinez said.

--Field Level Media

Updated July 31, 2022

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