MLB

7
Final-11 3 4 5 6   7 8 9   10 11 R H E
Washington2 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 790
Cincinnati2 0 1 3 1 0 0 0 1 8120
8
  W: A. Warren (3-0)   L: M. Thompson (1-2)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)5:10 PM CT, September 24, 2021
Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio  Attendance: 16,021

Unstoppable Juan Soto leads Nats into rematch with Reds

According to STATS
According to STATS

Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds

  1. The Reds split the first two games of their series against the Pirates and the third game was rained out on Wednesday. That ended the Reds' run of eight consecutive series losses, matching their longest such streak over the last 39 seasons. They also lost eight straight series in 1989 and 2007.
  2. With Patrick Corbin (8-15) opposing Luis Castillo (also 8-15) on Thursday, it will be the first MLB game in which each starting pitcher entered play with at least 15 losses and no more than eight wins that season since September 30, 1980, when Oakland's Brian Kingman (7-20) faced the White Sox' Steve Trout (8-15) in Chicago. Kingman beat Trout that night, 5-1.
  3. The Nationals scored exactly seven runs in each game of their three-game series at Miami. This is the first time the Nationals have scored seven runs or more in three consecutive games since they did so in their final three regular-season games of the 2019 season.
  4. Juan Soto reached base safely all five times he came to the plate in Washington's win at Miami on Wednesday (three hits, two walks). Soto has a .538 on-base percentage in the 62 games he has played since the All-Star break (74 hits, 72 BB and 2 HBP in 275 PA).
  5. The Nationals have won 22 of their 30 games against the Reds since 2016, though the Reds won two of three when the teams played each other in Washington in late May this year.
  6. Nick Castellanos was 0-for-5 in the Reds' home loss to the Pirates on Tuesday, lowering his batting average at Great American Ball Park this season to .361. That's still the highest home batting average in the major leagues this year (minimum 200 plate appearances).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/23/2021 thru 9/26/2021

Juan Soto keeps giving fans of the last-place Washington Nationals plenty of reasons to keep watching as the season draws to a close.

Opposing pitchers can't seem to find a way to retire the Nationals' right fielder, as he has reached base 11 straight times heading into Friday's second game of their four-game series with the host Cincinnati Reds.

In his last 16 games, Soto is 29-for-54 (.537) with four doubles, one triple, five homers, 12 RBIs, 19 walks, one hit-by-pitch, one stolen base and 16 runs scored.

"He's a player that's having an unbelievable year," said Nationals manager Dave Martinez. "It's the Most Valuable Player. It's one player. For me, Juan should have consideration to be in that MVP (contention). He's had a phenomenal year."

The 22-year-old Soto is also making history.

In the first inning Thursday against Cincinnati starter Luis Castillo, Soto worked a walk. The free pass gave Soto 131 on the season, one more than Bryce Harper's previous franchise mark of 130 in 2018.

The Nationals' right fielder is the only qualified player in the majors to have more walks (131) than strikeouts (84) this season, and also leads with a 1.56 walk-to-strikeout ratio.

"It feels really good," Soto said. "After that slow start (to the season) and then just coming from the bottom and coming all the way up, it feels great. We're going to see at the end of the day how it goes."

For the Reds, the 3-2 loss Thursday marked their 18th defeat in their last 27 games. They have fallen all but mathematically out of contention in the race for the second National League wild-card spot.

With the St. Louis Cardinals wiping out a 5-0 hole in Milwaukee earlier in the day and sweeping the Brewers with an 8-5 win, their 12th straight victory, the Reds fell 5 1/2 games back in the wild-card chase.

"For us, the focus of the last 10 days is to absolutely leave it all on the field and finish as strong as we possibly can," Reds manager David Bell said. "We'll see where we end up. Obviously, we can't control the Cardinals because we don't play them anymore."

The Nationals will send right-hander Paolo Espino (5-5, 3.94 ERA) to the mound in the second game of the series. Espino will be making his first career start against Cincinnati.

Espino will be starting his 18th game of the season and is coming off one of the best outings of the bunch. On Sunday in Washington, he allowed just three hits while striking out seven over 5 2/3 innings in a 3-0 win over Colorado.

The Reds will counter with right-hander Sonny Gray (7-8, 3.84). Gray allowed two hits over six shutout innings in a 3-0 win at Washington on May 27 for his first victory of 2021. Gray is 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in six career starts against the Nationals.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 24, 2021


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