Dusty Baker’s Washington Nationals had hits up and down the lineup on Thursday, with Trea Turner the only starter to go without one in the series opener in Citi Field.
Former New York Met Daniel Murphy went 3 for 5 with a triple, and Anthony Rendon went 2 for 4 with a double. Matt Wieters doubled. Brian Goodwin collected two two-base hits, and Bryce Harper and Michael A. Taylor homered in what ended up an 8-3 win over the Nats’ NL East rivals.
Baker was asked after the game about the difficulty of navigating the Nationals’ order for opposing pitchers the way they’ve been hitting this season.
“And then as soon as we get Trea going, then it will be tough for anybody to navigate,” he said.
“But you’ve got to get guys on in front of those guys, I mean, that’s the secret.
“Because you don’t want them leading off the inning, or you don’t want the pitcher to be in the windup, you want him to be in the stretch, and it’s a great feeling when you’ve got guys that you know can hit and they know they can hit.”
Baker also talked about the production he’s getting from his outfielders, with Taylor and Goodwin starting where needed with Jayson Werth currently on the 10-Day DL after fouling a pitch off his left foot during the last road trip.
In 14 games in June, Goodwin is 13 for 42 (.310/.362/.714) with three doubles, a triple and four home runs.
“He wants to play,” Baker said, “and it’s who I’m matching him up against, guys that I think throw kind of into his swing and he’s learning, he’s learning how to hit, his confidence is [through] the roof right now, and he’s playing ball, and he can do a lot of things.
“I rested Michael yesterday and he got a big home run today, and Goody can play center, right, and left, he can play three positions and it’s good to see Michael and Anthony, whenever I give him a day off it seems like he responds -- I don’t know what his batting average is after a day off, but it’s pretty good. And Murph continues to play great everywhere, but especially here in New York.”
On Friday night in New York, Matt Wieters and Taylor combined for three hits in the 7-8 spots and hit back-to-back home runs in the third, Rendon homered in the sixth, and Harper and Ryan Zimmerman hit back-to-back, RBI singles in the ninth, one out before Rendon took a bases-loaded walk, for the Nats’ Nationals’ seventh run of the game in a 7-2 win.
“It gets to be a feeding frenzy sometimes,” Baker said after the win. “We have a lineup, up and down the lineup you don’t know who could possibly back-to-back.
“When Murphy or Zim and Harp and those guys back-to-back, Rendon, in the middle of the lineup, but when you back-to-back toward the latter part of your lineup, that’s a pretty good lineup.”