Yes, the Washington Nationals did score 14 runs on 19 hits in their series-opening win over the St. Louis Cardinals. And yes, Dusty Baker did win his 1,170th game as skipper, passing Jim Leyland on the all-time wins list for major league managers...
But it was the way the Nationals went about it that tempered the enthusiasm about their 4th win of the season.
“We had a rough night on our infield,” Baker said after the Nats won in spite of the fact that they committed four errors.
Ryan Zimmerman in the third, Anthony Rendon in the fourth, Daniel Murphy in the fifth, and Stephen Drew in the sixth, all committed errors.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been part of a game with four errors,” Baker said.
“And everybody on the infield made an error and I was like, ‘Stephen’s left,’ and I was like, ‘Please don’t make another error,’ and then he bobbled that ball, but he had a great offensive night. We had a great offensive night.”
Drew went 3 for 4 with four runs batted in. Zimmerman went 3 for 4 with two runs scored. Murphy went 1 for 6. Rendon? 0 for 6 with 2 Ks and seven left on base.
“[Murphy] hit three balls on the nose, four of them, and three were caught,” Baker continued.
“We just kept scoring. It was kind of an ugly game, but when you score it will cure most of the ills. And this is what I asked for in Philadelphia. And we got some two-out hits, Adam Eaton had a great night tonight, and it was all the way around.”
Eaton went 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored. Bryce Harper went 4 for 4 with two walks and two runs.
Eleven of the Nats’ 14 runs came after Drew made a diving play at short to start an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP that stopped a Cards’ rally in its tracks in the top of the fifth. It was like they flipped a switch and turned on the offense... except Baker said that’s not how it works.
“You just don’t flip a switch or we would have flipped it a long time ago,” Baker told reporters.
“We were hitting some balls hard tonight and Zim continues to be hot, and the only guy that we really need to get going now is Anthony. I’m not worried about Anthony.
“I hope he’s not worried himself, because Anthony is going to hit, so we have most of our guys swinging the bats pretty good.”
As for claiming the 16th spot on the all-time wins list for his own and passing Jim Leyland?
“That just means I’ve been around a long time and had a relative amount of success,” Baker said, “and I got some more work to do.”
We talked about Dusty’s big win, the Nationals’ errors... and the hits and runs: