Washington’s 5-4 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday gave them a 5-2 record on their seven-game road trip to San Diego and Minute Maid Park, and a 41-24 record on the road overall this season.
That the Nationals have managed to win 24 of 37 games so far in the second-half, Dusty Baker said, with a make-shift roster while they wait for a number of expected everyday players to get healthy, is a testament to the hard work whoever has been called upon to fill in has put in thus far.
“We just try to mix and match every day and have the best lineup that we can come with on that day,” Baker said late last night, before the long flight home from Texas.
“Just like today, we had [Pedro] Severino, I batted him in the DH spot and I knew that it was going to come up maybe if we could get to [Dallas] Keuchel, that they only had one left-hander out there and then [Severino] gets an RBI, I mean, we got two runs without — I don’t think -- without hitting the ball out of the infield. These guys, they come to play, and that’s all I ask is effort and try to be smart and hustle.”
With all the injuries they’ve had to deal with this season, reporters wondered about Baker’s decision to replace left fielder Howie Kendrick with Andrew Stevenson before the bottom of the tenth inning, but the Nats’ skipper said the veteran outfielder was just fine.
“I went with my speed defense out there,” he explained. “I might have gone with that earlier, except I knew [Kendrick’s] spot’s going to come back around to hit. And you’re going to need him to hit. Howie’s doing -- these guys are dragging. And they’ve given us all they have, and you can tell [Daniel Murphy] is slowing down, [Ryan Zimmerman] is slowing down, so we might have a real abstract lineup tomorrow since we get in at five o’clock in the morning and these guys need a blow, so we’re going to take our shot tomorrow.”
Bryce Harper, one of the many Nationals recovering from injury, tweeted that the Nats actually ended up getting in at 4:30 AM, and he wasn’t thrilled.
Just landed in DC! Great scheduling— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) August 25, 2017
Harper wasn’t going to play either way tonight, but he suffered along with his fellow teammates.
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE SERIES OPENER WITH THE METS:
#Nats vs #Mets 1 of 4: Stevenson RF, Sanchez 3B, Murphy 2B, Lind 1B, Difo SS, Taylor CF, De Aza LF, Lobaton C, Cole RHP— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) August 25, 2017