Down 2-1 in the sixth last night, the Washington Nationals had a chance to respond when San Francisco’s third baseman, Evan Longoria dropped a foul pop down the left field line from Bryce Harper, who eventually took a one-out walk and Andrew McCutchen missed a liner to right off Ryan Zimmerman’s bat.
Matt Adams K’d swinging in the next at bat, however, and Matt Wieters sent a fly ball out to center for the final out of the inning.
“That was a big turning point in the game,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said after when ended up a 4-2 loss in the series opener in AT&T Park.
“If that happens, we do something different in the bullpen,” he added, “... and unfortunately we didn’t knock those runs in. Look, we hit -- I think we had 16 hard-hit balls today, and just couldn’t score any runs.”
Martinez said much the same about Ryan Zimmerman when he was making good contact but wasn’t getting many hits over the last few weeks.
Asked if it was frustrating or encouraging that the team was making solid contact but not getting results, Martinez said it depends on how you look at it.
“You can look at it both ways,” he explained. “If you ask me as a player I’ll be very frustrated, if you ask me as a manager, I’d say the guys are swinging the bats well, so keep swinging.
“They can’t catch them all, just keep getting good at bats. They’re taking their walks, they’re having good at bats.”
The Nationals went 0 for 7 with eight left on base last night. Martinez’s squad will try to get it right tonight in the second of three in AT&T.
Tanner Roark starts for the Nats against Giants’ lefty Ty Blach.
Going into the game, they have a combined .197/.290/.296 line vs lefties, which has them 15th/12th/15th among NL teams early this season.
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR TONIGHT’S GAME WITH THE GIANTS:
#Nats @ #Giants 2 of 3: Turner SS; Kendrick 2B; Harper RF; Zimmerman 1B; Sierra LF; Taylor CF; Sanchez 3B; Severino C; Roark P— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) April 24, 2018