With three shutout losses in the last five games, including 2-0 losses in Max Scherzer’s last two starts, the Washington Nationals’ offense has struggled to get much of anything going, even as they’ve had a couple of their expected everyday players return from injury.
Of course, the opposing pitchers have had something to do with that, but the Nats’ hitters have had a rough time creating opportunities.
“I’ve always said, look, when a game is like that, we’re just looking to string along a couple hits, get guys on base, walk, do whatever we can, you know,” Davey Martinez told reporters after Saturday’s 2-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Nationals did what they could to try to get things going yesterday in the Rogers Centre.
“Michael [A. Taylor] bunted, I thought that was great,” Martinez said. “[Pedro Severino] tried to bunt, I thought that was great. If he gets the ball down he’s safe, so just do the little things, I’ve always said that, when you do the little things, good things happen, so today, it just didn’t happen.”
And the fact that it hasn’t happened three times in the last five games?
“It’s surprising,” Martinez acknowledged, “but it happens.”
“Sometimes you run into good pitchers. I know [Marco] Estrada threw well his last outing too, so it wasn’t a surprise.
“He’s not going to come in and just say, ‘Here you go guys, hit the ball.’ We battled, he battled, and we just couldn’t get nothing going.”
Daniel Murphy (1 for 15), and Adam Eaton (6 for 21), are both back in the lineup following prolonged absences for their respective injuries.
Murphy’s a work-in-progress. Eaton has seemingly picked up where he left off before he re-injured his ankle in early April, a year after he blew out his knee and injured the ankle when he stumbled at first base running out a grounder.
Is Martinez concerned that the frustration will build and lead to the Nationals pressing and potentially creating more issues?
“No, I don’t worry at all,” he said.
“We’ll stay upbeat. Tomorrow is another game. We’ll come in here. I’ll come in here my typical self and get them guys going, and we’ll see what happens.”