Washington went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position in the series finale with the Atlanta Braves in SunTrust Park, with four runners left on base in what ended up a 4-2, walk-off loss.
A potential top-of-the-ninth-inning rally, which saw each the Nationals’ first two hitters reach base, was squandered when Mark Reynolds lined out to center and Brian Goodwin and Michael A. Taylor struck out, then the Braves walked off in the bottom of the inning, taking their third game in the four-game set.
Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters, after the Nationals’ 7-3 road trip ended, that the approach he saw, especially in the late-game shot at a scoring opportunity on Sunday, was something he’d like to see change.
“In big moments, we’ve asked for them to put the ball in play, and we struck out a few times in big moments today, and unfortunately we couldn’t score those runs,” Martinez explained.
The eventual return of patient hitters like Adam Eaton, who’s currently at AA Harrisburg and Daniel Murphy, whose rehab with the Senators isn’t going as well or quickly as the Nationals probably hoped, could change the lineup significantly, but for now the players who are out there have to get it done.
“I’ve got all the confidence in the world in the guys we’ve got, and they’ve been doing well,” Martinez said on Sunday. “We’ve been playing well, so we’ve just got to keep our heads up, we’ve got a day off tomorrow, which our bullpen really needs really bad, and our boys too, so we’ll come back Tuesday at home and play Tampa [Bay].”
The Nationals and Rays start a two-game set in the nation’s capital tonight, where the Nats will try to improve on their 12-14 record in Nationals Park.