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Arizona Diamondbacks: May starts with three games against the Washington Nationals

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Apr 30, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso is doused with gatorade after hitting a walk off home run in the thirteenth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso is doused with gatorade after hitting a walk off home run in the thirteenth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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The Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals, two of top two offenses in baseball, collide in Nationals Park at Washington D.C.

Scoring runs have not been a problem for the N.L. East leading Washington Nationals (17-8) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (16-11). On the other hand, the ninth inning has been an issue for both teams. For the Nationals, field manager Dusty Baker named right-hander Blake Treinen the closer on Opening Day. Treinen’s stay in the role was short lived.

For the Nationals, field manager Dusty Baker named right-hander Blake Treinen the closer on Opening Day. Treinen’s stay in the role was short lived. The Wichita, Kansas native made nine appearances as the closer before being removed from the role on April 19. The righty accumulated a 6.14 ERA and opposing batters hit .323. Since Treinen was removed, Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover have shared ninth inning duties and combined for five saves.

Back-to-back meltdowns by Diamondbacks’ closer Fernando Rodney was and still is a hot topic of discussion. Daniel Descalso did what he could to distract fans, but Rodney is under a microscope. Manager Torey Lovullo, speaking with AZ Central, indicated the 40-year-old will remain in his role. Many now argue his 14 ER in 10 innnings and a 2.30 WHIP will not get the job done.

"“For right now, Fernando is our closer. It’s going to be the same situation the next time he’s ready.”"

After Saturday’s loss, Lovullo, in evaluating his closer, said he would consider Rodney’s full body of work. As Lovullo pointed out, Rodney has converted six of eight save opportunities, but none of his appearances have come easy.  The Cuban native has allowed 23 baserunners and 21 total bases.

Archie Bradley, who owns a 1.13 ERA, has been the Diamondbacks’ best pitcher this season. The right-hander has struck out 19 in 16 innings. Bradley could replace Rodney. For now, Lovullo said Bradley will remain in the bullpen instead of replacing Shelby Miller in the rotation.

The Diamondbacks went 2-5 against the Nationals last season. Arizona is 4-4 in their last eight games at Nationals Park.

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