After a big (25 runs big) night against the New York Mets in the first of two in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, the Nationals were trying to avoid an offensive letdown in the second of two with their divisional rivals.
“I just want them to have good at bats,” Davey Martinez said after the Nationals’ 5-3 win in the series finale, which saw the Nationals score three off Noah Syndergaard then add two runs in the bottom of the eighth as the Mets tried to fight their way back into it.
“Whether we get hits or not just continue to have good at bats, and they did that, especially that last inning,” Martinez said.
“We wanted to score a couple more runs and they put some pretty good at bats together.”
“Syndergaard is one of the best in baseball,” Bryce Harper said after going 1 for 3 against the starter, with an RBI single.
“His changeup was pretty dang good today, I thought we jumped on the heater pretty well as a whole and got some runs.”
Asked about the contributions from Adam Eaton (1 for 4) and Trea Turner (1 for 4, three runs scored) at the top of the lineup, and Turner’s speed in particular, Harper said they were two invaluable parts of the lineup.
“Him and Eaton at the top right there, our table-setters, are huge,” Harper explained. “It just lengthens our lineup so much and when you have those two guys getting on base all the time and then [Anthony] Rendon right there as well, it just helps us get more runs and we’re able to do a couple different things with our lineup. When your seven-hole hitter is Daniel Murphy, you’ve got a chance, so it’s a special lineup.”
And the Nats, who’ve won five of their last seven games, and decided to keep their roster mostly intact instead of blowing it up at the trade deadline, are 5.0 games back in the NL East with 55 games left to play starting with tonight’s matchup against the Cincinnati Reds.
“Everything is behind us now,” Martinez said. “The trade deadline, everything, so I told these guys, I said, ‘If we play baseball like we’re capable of playing, this is going to be really interesting.’ And I told them, I said, ‘I just want you to come out and just play the game like it’s supposed to played, each one of you. You guys all have individual talents, just use it. It’s going to take a village, and they know that. This is a pivotal time of year, but in the last two days, you see what they’ve done, I think all the trade talks and all the stuff, it’s frustrating to hear all those kinds of things, but they know hey, this is what we are, this is who we are, and going forward we’ve got a chance to do something special.”
A win over Cincinnati tonight would be special.
HERE’S THE NATS’ LINEUP FOR THE 1ST OF FOUR WITH THE REDS IN D.C.:
#Nats vs #Reds 1 of 4: pic.twitter.com/jswU4KC2DI— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) August 2, 2018