Hope you slept fast because we’re right back at Nationals Park for a rare early Saturday afternoon game. The Nationals are looking to bounce back after last night’s 7-1 series-opening loss to the Giants in which Patrick Corbin gave up seven runs in just 1 2/3 innings.
The Nationals needed to make some changes to their roster this morning in order to bring up a pitcher for today’s start. Although Monday’s rainout gave the staff a needed break, Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Diamondbacks created a conundrum for today. And after Paolo Espino’s two innings of work last night, the Nats needed reinforcements for their second game against the Giants.
Aaron Sanchez, who made his way to D.C. from Triple-A Rochester last night, is set to make his Nationals debut against his former team. The 29-year-old right-hander is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts with the Red Wings. He has a 3.93 ERA over his seven-year major league career, including a 1-1 record and 3.06 ERA over nine appearances (seven starts) with the Giants last year.
In order to select Sanchez's contract and make room on the 40-man roster, the Nats designated right-hander Patrick Murphy for assignment.
Manager Davey Martinez has made a significant change to the top of his lineup this afternoon. Lane Thomas is in the leadoff spot with César Hernández moving down to the sixth spot. After posting a .364 on-base percentage in 45 games with the Nats last year, Thomas gets his first chance to lead off this season.