When he talked to reporters after last night's 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins, Davey Johnson said he planned to have a conversation with his team this morning. "That was a tough one," the 70-year-old skipper said. "Very frustrating. It's... I'm getting my dander up. We're better than this. We just haven't gone and done the things and it seems like when we play like this we just looked like we were lackadaisical, but I'll have a chat with them tomorrow."
"Offensively we're just kind of flat for some reason," Johnson said, searching for an explanation. "I don't why."
Something had to change in their approach at the plate though.
"We take a lot and then we're at the mercy of the pitcher," the manager continued, "I'd like to see us to be more aggressive, but tomorrow's another day."
The Washington Nationals' manager had that talk with his team today and the Nats, with help from 7.0 scoreless by right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, beat the Twins 7-0 this afternoon, connecting for 14 hits in the shutout win.
"[Zimmermann] pitched a great ballgame," Johnson said after the day half of today's split doubleheader. "[He] threw a lot of pitches early but finished up really great and the offense, that's what I'm talking about, that's what I like to see. We were more aggressive. We went after them. It was fun." Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche were both 2 for 3. Ian Desmond was 3 for 4 and Anthony Rendon was 2 for 3 with three runs batted in. The rookie second baseman's great day at the plate got a mention in Davey Johnson's post game interview today, so did his dropped infield pop in the third.
"[Rendon] has been swinging the bat good since he's been up here," Johnson said. "I was a little worried that he didn't have sunglasses on though. But he redeemed himself by catching a couple more after that. But everybody up and down the lineup did a good job. I liked their approach." Rendon, in particular, impressed, though Johnson couldn't help making another joke again later in the interview. "Anthony just didn't have his glasses on out there," Johnson said, "but he had his hitting glasses on."
Asked about the message he delivered in his pregame meeting and how he felt it was received, Johnson joked he would do it every day if he got the results the Nationals did in the win. "I'll have it every day if we get fourteen hits and seven runs," he said. "But it wasn't much of a meeting, just about three minutes or something like that. Just cheering them up."
Johnson was much happier with his team's approach in this afternoon's game and the confident look they had as they cruised to the win. "To me, confidence comes by attacking," the former major league infielder said, "Just being aggressive. Sometimes when we don't swing the bats we look like we're a little passive. And I liked our approach today, we were more in the attack mode and I liked that."