Matthew Aaron Grace...Attended Palos Verdes (CA) High School and UCLA...College teammate of eventual first rounders Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer... In three seasons for the Bruins, went 4-4 with a 3.95 ERA (69 appearances, 6 starts), totaling 72 strikeouts and 38 walks in 98.0 innings...Appeared on the summer collegiate baseball circuit in 2009 (Cape Cod League - Cotuit Kettleers) and 2008 (Northwoods League - Alexandria Beetles).
Experienced a career year in 2018, serving as arguably the most reliable member of Washington's bullpen...Posted career-highs in nearly every pitching category across the board...Recorded more strikeouts per 9.0 innings (7.2), fewer walks per 9.0 innings (1.96), a better strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.69) and a better WHIP (1.14) relative to his career numbers prior to 2018...His career-high 56 appearances were tied for the most on the club...Ranked among National League left-handed relievers in walks per 9.0 innings pitched (5th, 1.96), ERA (7th, 2.87), opp. OBP (10th, .285), strikeout-to-walk ratio (10th, 3.69) and WHIP (11th, 1.14)...Pitched more than 1.0 innings in 15 outings, posting a 2.17 ERA (7 ER/29.0 IP) and a 11.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio (23 SO/2 BB) in those outings... Tossed scoreless relief in 13 of last 16 appearances of the season (1-0, 4 holds, 2.19 ERA, 9 SO, 2 BB)...Allowed just 1-of-13 (7.7%) inherited runners to score during this stretch...For the season, left-handed batters hit .258/.305/.315 and right-handed batters hit .229/.272/.379...Of the 96 left-handed batters he faced, he struck out 19 and issued just four walks...He did not walk a left-handed batter until July 9 at Pittsburgh (G. Polanco), a span of 43 left-handed batters across his first 25 appearances of the season...Tossed a season-high 4.0 innings on July 4 vs. Boston as he held the eventual World Series Champions to one hit while striking out four batters in scoreless relief...Recorded his first career hit on Aug. 21 vs. Philadelphia, a single off of Hector Neris.
Began the season with Triple-A Syracuse before being recalled to Washington on five occasions before sticking for good after June 15 recall...Ap- peared in a career-high 40 Major League games...Went 1-0 with two saves and a 4.32 ERA in 40 games (one start)...Was thrust into duty to make his first MLB start (spot start to replace Max Scherzer) on Aug. 18 at SDP (4.1 IP, 2 H, BB SO) as Washington won, 7-1...Collected the first save of his Major League career on July 14 at CIN...In 81 at-bats against left-handed batters, did not allow a single extra-base hit...Lefties hit .235 (19-for-81) with nine walks and 21 strikeouts...From his final recall (June 15) through the end of the season, he allowed one earned run or fewer in 27 of his 33 appearances...Allowed 15.4% (2-for-13) of inherited runners to score, which would have ranked fourth in the National League, but fell just short of qualifying to be among league leaders.
Went 2-3 with a 2.94 ERA (17 ER/52.0 IP) in 38 games between the Gulf Coast League Nationals and Triple-A Syracuse...Was recalled on Sept. 2 for his first MLB assignment of season...Allowed just one hit in five appearances (3.0 IP)...Struck out four batters and did not issue a walk across his five Major League appearances in 2016...While at Triple-A Syracuse, opposing left-handed batters recorded just a .274 slugging percentage (15 H, 2 2B) in 62 at bats.
Began the season with Triple-A Syracuse before being recalled to the big leagues on April 22...Made his MLB debut that night against St. Louis (1.0 IP, BB)...Earned his first Major League win, May 4 vs. MIA...Appeared in 17 games for Washington before being optioned back to Syracuse on June 1... Returned to Washington when rosters expanded, September 2... Allowed just one earned run in 5.0 innings spanning nine September outings...Did not walk a batter over that stretch...On the season, allowed just one extra base hit in 38 at bats against left handed batters, striking out nine and walking just two...For the second straight season, allowed just one home run.
Enjoyed a breakout year, going 5-1 with a 1.17 ERA (10 ER/77.0 IP) in 50 appearances between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse...Tallied 62 strikeouts while holding opposing hitters to a .211 batting average...He surrendered just one home run...Began the season with Harrisburg before being promoted to Syracuse in mid-June...Follwing the season, appeared in 10 games for Mesa of the Arizona Fall League, posting a 3.18 ERA (4 ER/11.1 IP).
Worked exclusively out of the bullpen for the first time in his professional career...Went a combined 9-3 with a 3.53 ERA (26 ER/66.1 IP) in 42 appearances between Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg...Was promoted to Harrisburg on June 1
Spent the entire season with Single-A Potomac...Went 9-12 with a 4.84 ERA in 26 games/24 starts...Tossed two seven-inning complete games (6/9 vs. Salem and 8/21 vs. Carolina).
Posted a career-high 12 wins, second-most among Nationals farmhands...Spent the entire season with Single-A Hagerstown.
In his first professional exposure, went 1-2 with a 6.41 ERA (19 ER/26.2 IP) in 10 games/seven starts between rookie-level GCL Nationals and short- season Single-A Vermont...Was promoted to Vermont at the end of August, where he spent the remainder of the season.