Washington took two of three from Arizona in D.C. when the Diamondbacks visited the nation’s capital in early May, winning the second and third games in Nationals Park after dropping the series opener. They were close games, however, with the D-Backs winning by three and the Nationals taking two-run, and one-run decisions.
Before the start of last night’s game in Chase Field, Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker talked to reporters about what he expected from the matchup with the NL West’s second-place team, who started the series with the second-best home record in the majors (33-15), behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers (39-12).
“They’ve got an outstanding team,” Baker said. “They’ve got real good pitching, seem like they play very good defense, they’ve got a lot of speed and they use it.
“They’re basically the same team that we saw [in May]. We only saw them three games. It’s tough to really contrast when you’ve only seen a team three games.”
“I know [Paul Goldschmidt] is as good as it gets, you know what I mean?” Baker added.
“And [J.D.] Martinez is really going to help them. They’re without [Yasmani] Tomas. [Jake] Lamb is an All-Star. They’ve got a good team.”
In spite of the fact that the Nationals fell behind 5-0 early in last night’s opener, they battled back and tie it at 5-5 before losing on a walk-off single by Brandon Drury.
“Well, the only thing that counts is the last run,” Baker told reporters, “but that was a great comeback by us.”
“We just came up short. It was a great game to watch and participate in, we just came up on the short end.”
Tanner Roark takes the mound tonight against debuting lefty Anthony Banda.
Banda, 23, is a Brewers’ 10th Round pick in 2012, who was acquired by the D-Backs back in 2014 in the trade that sent Gerardo Para to Milwaukee.