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Trevor Rosenthal finally records out in 2019

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The Nationals destroyed the Phillies on Wednesday night, winning by a 15-1 margin. While losing by such a wide margin may be shameful in and of itself, it may have been a specific incident within Wednesday’s game that was of greater shame to the Phillies. Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp struck out against reliever Trevor Rosenthal, becoming the right-hander’s first out of the season.

Coming into the game, Rosenthal failed to record outs on any of the nine batters he had faced. On March 30 against the Mets, he gave up back-to-back singles to Wilson Ramos and Jeff McNeil, walked Amed Rosario, then served up a two-run single to J.D. Davis. The next day, he allowed an RBI single to Rosario before being yanked. On April 3 against the Phillies, he walked Maikel Franco and Scott Kingery before the Vaudeville hook pulled him off stage. Finally, on April 7 against the Mets, he hit Dominic Smith with a pitch, then uncorked two wild pitches before walking Luis Guillorme.

With the Nationals leading 15-0 in the bottom of the ninth, manager Dave Martinez decided to bring Rosenthal into the game in the lowest of low-leverage situations. Things started off as bad as usual, with Rosenthal walking Rhys Hoskins on five pitches. That marked 10 consecutive batters faced to begin the season without recording an out. Rosenthal, however, bounced back by blowing a 100 MPH, 2-2 fastball past Andrew Knapp for the first out of the inning and the first out of the season for Rosenthal.

Rosenthal’s performance certainly did not inspire any confidence. After fanning Knapp, Rosenthal issued back-to-back walks to Odúbel Herrera and César Hernández to load the bases. Franco grounded out to first base to bring in a run, marring the shutout. Aaron Altherr, an outfielder who came in to pitch the top of the ninth, flied out to right field to end the game.

Rosenthal’s ERA no longer reads “INF” (for “infinite”), but is an unflattering 72.00. With one inning under his belt, he has yielded eight runs (all earned) on four hits and seven walks with one strikeout.

Braves clinch postseason spot with 10-1 win over Nationals

Dansby Swanson
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The Braves clinched a postseason berth with Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Nationals. Now, the only question is whether they’ll get there with an NL East division title or via one of two wild card spots currently up for grabs.

Granted, things are looking pretty good on the division title front. After losing their second straight game to the Braves, the Nationals sit 10.5 games back of first place in the NL East, and every other division rival is at least 15 games out. The Braves, meanwhile, carry a magic number of four; should they clinch, it’ll be their 19th franchise title and 14th since they migrated to the East division in 1994.

They certainly looked like postseason contenders on Saturday. Mike Foltynewicz led the charge with six innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball, limiting the Nationals to four hits while rookie right-hander Austin Voth kept the Braves scoreless through 5 2/3 frames. Things started to tip in Atlanta’s favor in the sixth inning: Nick Markakis put the team on the board with an RBI single, and a four-run breakout in the seventh helped cement a sizable lead. Over the last three innings, the Braves found opportunity after opportunity against the Nationals’ bullpen, capitalizing on walks, throwing errors, and productive outs as they climbed toward a double-digit finish.

The win didn’t come without some sacrifice, however. The Braves lost Charlie Culberson to a facial injury after he was struck by a Fernando Rodney fastball in the seventh inning, and they’ll likely be without him for the remainder of the regular season — pending a formal diagnosis, of course. Culberson’s loss isn’t the only one the club is feeling right now, either, as Johan Camargo ended his season with a hairline fracture in his right shin and Freddie Freeman is playing through a minor bout of elbow soreness after making an early exit from Friday’s 5-0 shutout.