Washington’s Nationals had a chance to take over first place in the NL East with a win and an Atlanta loss on Tuesday night, but the Braves rallied with three in the eighth and one in the ninth in what ended up a 7-6 win over the New York Mets. One night later, however, as the Nats completed a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles, and claimed their sixth straight win on the current road trip, the Braves dropped a 4-1 decision that left them a 0.5-game back.
Davey Martinez’s Nationals have now won ten straight on the road, improving to 20-8 away from the nation’s capital this season.
At this point, however, Martinez said he isn’t too concerned about the NL East standings.
“For me it’s just taking one day at a time and when September rolls around we’ll see where we’re at and go from there,” he told reporters on Tuesday night.
“For me it’s just about how we’re playing well right now,” Martinez said on Wednesday in Baltimore.
“We’ve just got to continue to play the way we can play, and we’re having fun, the boys are having fun, and we’ll just worry about tomorrow when it gets here.”
With a 1⁄3 of the season in the books, Martinez was asked what positives he’s taken from the first 54 games, over which the Nationals, in spite of their long list of injuries, are 32-22.
“For me it’s all about watching these guys grow as a team,” the first-year skipper said.
“They’re playing together now as a team, as a unit, and it’s fun to watch. They’re pulling for each other, they’re picking each other up. Like I said before, I’ve asked these guys to do some things that they’re not very comfortable with doing, and they’ve done really well, so I’m just looking forward to continuing to do what we do and go out there and play good baseball.”
Washington and Atlanta have split the six games against one another so far in 2018, with each team taking 2 of 3 in their respective homes.
Will the Nationals, who are 8-2 in their last ten, keep rolling on the road, or will the Braves, who’ve dropped four of ten, right the ship and reclaim the division lead this weekend? Or will they split them, which would be kind of boring.