|4:40 PM PT5:40 PM MT6:40 PM CT7:40 PM ET19:40 ET23:40 GMT7:40 4:40 PM MST6:40 PM EST7:10 PM VEN3:40 UAE (+1)6:40 PM CT, May 7, 2019
Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Attendance: 31,023
Nats turn to Strasburg while Brewers to go opener route
The injury-plagued Washington Nationals hope that a healthy Stephen Strasburg can turn around what has been a rough road trip.
Strasburg (3-1, 3.45 ERA) is slated to pitch on Tuesday at the Milwaukee Brewers, who will go the "opener" route in an effort to help the slumping Freddy Peralta.
Following the Brewers' 5-3 win in the series opener Monday, Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell told reporters that right-hander Adrian Houser would start the Tuesday game because Peralta sports a 12.81 first-inning ERA over 20 career starts.
Peralta is also 0-1 with 10.50 ERA in one career appearance, a start, against the Nationals.
After Houser's outing? Counsell told reporters Peralta "is going to be involved in the game."
"We're trying to win the game and get Freddy back on track, and doing anything we can to do that," Counsell added. "That's what we're considering for tomorrow."
Houser (0-1, 8.44 ERA) has appeared in two games this season, starting once. On April 22, he gave up five runs on nine hits with a walk and three strikeouts in four-plus innings of a 13-5 loss at St. Louis. He served up a pair of home runs in that outing. Houser pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief against the New York Mets on Saturday.
One area the Nationals will be looking to improve upon is their defense. They made four errors and had just five hits on Monday. Rookie shortstop Carter Kieboom continues to struggle in the field and at the plate. He was charged with his fourth error, and he went 0-for-4, dropping his average to .128.
"We just can't make plays; we just need outs," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said after the loss, his team's third in four games on its current trip. "It's tough to win. We have to play better defense."
Strasburg is 0-2 with 4.74 ERA in his career against the Brewers in four starts. Current Milwaukee hitters are 15-for-76 (.197) against him. Christian Yelich is 9-for-39 (.231) against Strasburg. Yasmani Grandal is the only other Brewers player with at least 10 at-bats vs. Strasburg (3-for-10, double, home run, two RBIs).
However, Strasburg has 1.25 ERA in his past three starts with 29 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings. Opposing batters have a .162 average against him during that span.
The Nationals sat on the tarmac for nearly eight hours in Philadelphia after their game Sunday against the Phillies. The team returned to their hotel for a few hours, left Philadelphia about 10 a.m. ET and arrived in Wisconsin about seven hours before the first pitch.
Then Washington lost two players to injuries Monday. Catcher Yan Gomes sustained a left forearm contusion after he was hit by a pitch in first inning Monday, and he came out two innings later. Outfielder Andrew Stevenson had to exit with back spasms in the fourth inning.
The Nationals already have everyday players Ryan Zimmerman, Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, Matt Adams and Juan Soto on the injured list. Rendon (left elbow contusion) is slated to come off the IL on Tuesday, according to Martinez.
The Brewers added bullpen depth Sunday when veteran right-hander Burch Smith was called up from Triple-A San Antonio. He was 3-1 with a 1.37 ERA in five starts for the Missions and joined a Brewers bullpen that was needed for nearly 13 innings in a 4-3 victory Saturday over the New York Mets.
Smith warmed up Monday night but did not get into the game.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 7, 2019