OMG! MAT! Why isn’t Michael A. Taylor playing every day? There is no question we’ve heard more often in the last few days. He’s back in tonight.
Taylor, 27, entered last night’s game with a 10-game hit streak going, over which he was 15 for 34 (.441/.500/.618) with a homer, three doubles, four walks, six Ks, eight stolen bases, and six runs scored. Not bad, Michael.
In 24 games going into last night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles in Nationals Park, the Nats’ center fielder was 26 for 71 (.366/.430/.606) with seven doubles, two triples, two HRs, eight walks, 17 Ks, 10 stolen bases, and 10 runs scored in 79 plate appearances.
Taylor didn’t start last night, or in either of the previous two games, prompting questions for Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez, who assured reporters, and Taylor, that he’d get back out the and get at bats.
With Adam Eaton back, Juan Soto impressing, and the Nationals trying to get Bryce Harper right at the plate, Taylor has been the odd man out in the last few games.
“It’s definitely hard,” Martinez told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman before the second of two with the Orioles on Wednesday.
“I’ve had a conversation with him, and I’ve told him it’s a long season and he’s going to play. It just so happens right now that we’re facing some guys who are pretty good against right-handed hitters. And we’ve got a lot of good left-handed hitters.”
Taylor has a .245/.320/.381 line against right-handers on the season and a .236/.286/.431 line against lefties.
Martinez said he’s told Taylor to be ready when needed, since when he’s not starting he could be called upon as a pinch hitter in big spots.
He’s now extended his hitting streak to 11 games with pinch hits in each of the last two games.
Orioles’ righty Kevin Gausman (.307/.345/.534 vs RHBs; .255/.314/.414 vs LHBs) is on the mound for the O’s tonight, and Taylor (who’s 1 for 3 with a double in a small sample size against Gausman) is back in there.