Tanner Roark struggled on the mound in last night’s series finale in Citizens Bank Park, but the Washington Nationals, who scored five runs, went 3 for 12 overall with runners in scoring position and 11 left on base in the 7-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
“We had a lot of runners in scoring position,” Dusty Baker told reporters, “... and lately we’re not hitting with runners in scoring position so we’ve just got to go the drawing board on that one and we’ve just got to pick up our overall game.”
With four games remaining in the regular season and then four days off before the start of the Nationals’ NLDS matchup with the Chicago Cubs, there isn’t much time left for getting in the at bats that some of the Nats need to get their timing down as they prepare for the postseason.
“That’s a long time, and so on one hand you can get guys healed and healthy and set your rotation,” Baker said when asked last night about the balance of keeping players rested and sharp.
“On the other hand you don’t want them to rust out by inactivity. So there’s a definite balancing act, and you don’t know if you’re doing it right until you get there.”
Baker was clear, however, that he wasn’t looking past the games that are left because there is work to be done before he and the Nationals take on the Cubs.
“My thoughts are finish the season strong and then we’ll worry about Chicago,” Baker said. “We’ve got another four days to go and we want to finish strong and go into the new season with some momentum.”
After dropping two of three to the Phillies, the Nationals try to start building up that momentum in this weekend’s four-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates.