On what is usually considered a dreaded West Coast road trip, the Nationals have cruised to a 6-1 record through the first seven games, allowing us to slide into a new episode of the District 34 podcast.
Byron Kerr and I are back to recap the Nats' West Coast swing so far, in which they are outscoring their opponents 44-29 over a three-game sweep of the Giants, winning two out of three against the Athletics and winning the opener versus the Dodgers. The lineup is slugging, the pitchers are dealing and the wins are stacking up.
The only blemish on this trip may be Joe Ross' start against his hometown team, the A's, on Saturday. Ross gave up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits and two walks over just three innings in his shortest outing of the season. Should the Nats send the right-hander back down to Triple-A Syracuse or let him work out his kinks with the big league club?
Meanwhile, Gio Gonzalez turned in his eighth quality start of the season in a 4-2 win over the Dodgers. Gonzalez gave up just two runs in six innings to improve to 5-1 with a 3.03 ERA on the season. Is Gonzalez's production providing protection for Ross, and how much credit does catcher Matt Wieters deserve for the southpaw's success?
We recap this week's episode by looking ahead to Max Scherzer's start against the Dodgers tonight and the marquee matchup between Stephen Strasburg and Clayton Kershaw in Wednesday's series finale. Plus, Byron gives some insight on the production of the Nats' top prospect Victor Robles at high Single-A Potomac.
Thank you to District 34's new production assistant Paul Mancano, who will be helping out with the podcast for the remainder of the season. And thanks to you, the fans, for listening and spreading the word! Be sure to subscribe, rate and review District 34 on iTunes and Google Play!