If you believe what’s out there in reports like Ken Rosenthal’s at The Athletic earlier this week, the Washington Nationals are on the fence with the non-waiver trade deadline approaching and their ability to stay in the race in the NL East (or Wild Card) a matter of perspective.
“Seven games back in the NL East, 5 1/2 games back in the race for the second wild card,” Rosenthal wrote before the four-game set in Miami started, “the team might need to win three of its next four games ... to stave off growing internal pressure to sell, according to major league sources.”
Davey Martinez’s squad took the first two from the Marlins, winning their second and third straight overall, and they had a chance to win Saturday night’s game as well, rallying to tie things up at 1-1 in the top of the ninth before stranding the go-ahead run on third base after they got Juan Soto there with one out.
“We had a guy on third base, less than two outs, I thought we’d get the job done,” Martinez said. “We didn’t get that big hit, that big fly ball, so we had to continue to play.”
Of course, the Nationals needed a ninth-inning rally to get the one run they did score in the 2-1 loss, with Marlins’ starter Trevor Richards holding them off the board through six, giving up just three hits and two walks while striking out eight.
“I’m proud of the boys, they battled,” the Nationals’ manager said.
“Richards was really good, his changeup was really, really good today, so they battled, we came back, and tied the game and just we couldn’t finish it.”
Will they be able to finish off a series win against the Marlins in this afternoon’s finale in Miami?
Will one game really decide what the Nationals do at the non-waiver deadline, or did the first 104 games (over which Washington went 52-52) make that decision for them?
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE 4TH OF 4 IN MARLINS PARK:
#Nats at #Marlins 4 of 4: pic.twitter.com/zwph3QsxA7— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) July 29, 2018