Grace with the Nationals in 2018
|Washington Nationals – No. 33|
|Born: December 14, 1988|
Palos Verdes Estates, California
|April 22, 2015, for the Washington Nationals|
|MLB statistics |
(through July 17, 2019)
|Earned run average||4.10|
Grace graduated from Palos Verdes High School and then played college baseball at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for the Bruins from 2008 to 2010. He was mostly a relief pitcher, but started six games during his career. Over his three-year career at UCLA, he pitched in 72 games, going 4–4 with a 3.92 earned run average (ERA) and 75 strikeouts.
Grace was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the eighth round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. He was converted into a starting pitcher with the Nationals and made his professional debut that season with the Gulf Coast Nationals. After spending three seasons without success starting, Grace was moved back to relieving before the 2013 season. Grace spent 2014 with the Double-A Hagerstown Suns and Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs.
Grace made his major league debut with the Nationals on April 22, 2015, pitching a scoreless inning in relief against the St. Louis Cardinals. After an outing against the Cincinnati Reds on May 31, 2015, in which he gave up four runs without recording an out, the Nationals optioned Grace back to Syracuse. Grace spent most of the remainder of the 2015 season and then the 2016 season with the Chiefs, being promoted for brief stints in both seasons after rosters expanded in September.
In the 2017 season, a shaky first-half performance by the Nationals' bullpen and a string of injuries to major league pitchers meant Grace served as a regular up-and-down reliever, shuttling between the Nationals and the Chiefs as needed. On July 14, 2017, Grace was called upon with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning of a 5–0 game against the Reds, in his first appearance at Great American Ball Park since May 31, 2015, and induced a game-ending groundout to secure his first major league save.
- Matt Grace's near-perfect relief lands him Harrisburg Senators Player of the Week honors
- South Bay draftees making noise
- Benincasa, Grace promotions reveal strong Nationals system
- Matt Grace moves on to the Nationals radar
- Former Palos Verdes High, UCLA baseball star Matt Grace a phone call away from major leagues
- Spratling, Shotgun (April 22, 2015). "Former UCLA pitcher Matt Grace makes MLB debut". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- "Nats send Grace to minors". FOX News. June 1, 2015. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- Keeler, Ricky (November 14, 2015). "Washington Nationals 2015 Player Review: Matt Grace". District on Deck. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- "Nationals add seven players to active roster". MASN Sports. September 2, 2016. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- Castillo, Jorge (June 15, 2017). "Nationals recall Matt Grace, option Trevor Gott to Syracuse". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- Kay, Joe (July 14, 2017). "Bryce Harper homers twice, Nationals beat Reds 5-0". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved July 15, 2017.