|4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)5:05 PM CT, May 14, 2022
Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia Attendance: 22,949
Astros, winners of 11 straight, continue road trip in Washington
Houston Astros at Washington Nationals
- The two teams have not faced each other since the 2019 World Series when the Nationals beat the Astros in seven games. Washington is 14-2 against Houston in the last 16 regular season games between the clubs.
- The Astros have won ten straight games and allowed just 11 runs in those 10 games. Houston is the first MLB team to win 10 straight while allowing fewer than 12 total runs since Baltimore did so in the 1974 season.
- Jeremy Pena has a nine-game hit streak and is looking to become the first Astro rookie to have a hit streak of 10 games or longer since Yuli Gurriel in 2017 (11 games).
- The Nationals are averaging 2.47 runs per game and are hitting .200 at home this season compared to 5.88 runs per game and a batting average of .301 on the road. Those are the largest home/road differences (home worse) in both batting average and runs per game
- Juan Soto has eight home runs and 11 runs batted in this season. The 11 RBI are the fewest among the 32 MLB players with at least six home runs this season.
- Cesar Hernandez has at least one hit in 26 games this season, which is second in the majors (behind Rafael Devers' 27). His teammate Josh Bell is tied for fourth on this list with 24 games with a hit.
- Rockies' Bryant back on IL with bad back
- Tigers snap Twins' streak on HR in 10th
- Twins standout Ryan lands on COVID list
- Pirates use long ball to outslug Rockies
- Ps Lopez, Houser lose arbitration cases
The math doesn't look good for the Washington Nationals going into Saturday night's game against the Houston Astros, who are the hottest team in the majors.
The Astros hold an 11-game winning streak. After beating Washington on Friday night, they've won four games on what's scheduled to be a nine-game road trip.
The Nationals have won four home games all season, dipping to 4-14 at Nationals Park.
It already has been a nice homecoming for Astros manager Dusty Baker, who's a former Washington skipper. With Friday night's 6-1 victory, the 72-year-old moved alone in 10th place in all-time managerial victories with 2,009 -- one more than Leo Durocher.
It was Baker's first game in Washington since he finished managing the Nationals following the 2017 season.
"I always wanted to leave a place in better shape than when I came," Baker said of his return. "... It's a little strange coming here (and to the visiting dugout), but I had great memories here. People were great. I enjoyed the town."
Nationals manager Dave Martinez replaced Baker in Washington. He's also a former player under Baker, so they have long ties and Martinez has seen Baker's work from various vantage points.
"Just the constant positivity," Martinez said. "That's Dusty. When things go down, he finds a way to lift you up. I learned a lot from him in that respect."
The Nationals might need a dose of that these days as they've struggled.
Houston ripped three home runs across the first three innings Friday night. The Nationals managed just eight singles one game after registering just two extra-base hits in a loss to the New York Mets, so there has been a power outage for Washington.
Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez has three homers in the past two games, including a massive blast to center field in the series opener.
Baker said second baseman Jose Altuve, who slipped awkwardly in the field, was taken out as a precaution. Altuve, who homered to begin the game, would probably have been given a day to rest Saturday anyway, Baker said.
The Houston pitching staff is in a good spot after Framber Valdez logged 7 2/3 innings and gave up one run.
"When we get starting pitching like that, then the bullpen stays relatively fresh and that's very important," Baker said.
The Astros will go with right-hander Cristian Javier (2-0, 0.83 ERA) on Saturday as Houston skips over Jake Odorizzi's spot in the order. Odorizzi got off to a slow 2022 season but has won three straight games, giving up one run in 17 2/3 innings.
"We've still got him in the plans. Still got him in the rotation," Baker said.
Javier has never faced the Nationals.
Washington will counter with righty Erick Fedde (2-2, 3.90 ERA), who has allowed just one run across 12 innings in two starts this month. Fedde has never faced the Astros.
Fedde's problem has been efficiency, with his pitch count going above 90 four times this season. He has walked seven with seven strikeouts in the two May games.
The Astros are waiting to see the status of shortstop Jeremy Pena, who left Thursday's action because of a sore right knee.
"Hopefully he'll be available in this series," Baker said, "I'm not exactly sure when."
--Field Level Media
Updated May 14, 2022