In desperate need of wins, the Washington Nationals went out and dropped 2 of 3 to Miami this weekend, with Sunday’s loss to the Marlins a deflating 12-1 blowout in D.C. which Davey Martinez told reporters afterwards was ugly.
Gio Gonzalez struggled, there were defensive miscues, and the Nationals managed just a run on two hits against a team that had dropped six straight overall after Friday’s series opener and 12-straight on the road before taking the second and third games in the nation’s capital.
“In all honesty, it was an ugly game and everybody saw it,” the first-year skipper said.
“Gio couldn’t keep us in the game and it just got ugly. Tommy [Milone] gave us what he got, we saved the bullpen, but you know what, we’ve got to regroup.
“We’ve got a day off, get some rest. Tuesday, we’ve got another game Tuesday, a big game, and just go home tomorrow and rest, let’s go, we’ve got to get going.”
The big game Martinez was referring to is, of course, tonight’s matchup with the NL East’s second-place Philadelphia Phillies, who are 1.0 behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves, after the Phils lost two in a row to end this weekend as the current first-place team dropped four straight to the Colorado Rockies.
Martinez’s squad starts the three-game set with the Phillies, (who’ve won 6 of 10 with the Nationals this season), 7.5 games back in the East with 37 games left on the schedule.
To lose a game like they did on Sunday at this point in the season?
“It was tough,” Martinez said. “We fell behind early, we scored a run and then we fell behind again, and [Jose] Urena was pretty spot-on. He pitched a complete game. So like I said, I want to forget about this one and have a day off tomorrow and come back Tuesday ready to go.”
Bryce Harper, who went 0 for 3 at the plate on Sunday and misread a couple balls hit his way in center, was asked after the loss if it was just “one of those games” that got away?
“I’m not really sure,” Harper said. “I think just going out there and trying to win ballgames, that’s what we’ve got to do. Today we just didn’t make that happen. Urena threw the ball pretty well and you guys saw the rest I guess.”
Was there any different message in the clubhouse after the loss to the Fish, which was, as Martinez said, an ugly one at a bad time for the Nationals?
“You know, I think when you get beat 12-1 or whatever it was,” Harper said, “I think you kind of assume what happened, and take it how you want, and try to go about it the right way tomorrow and enjoy your off day and get ready for a big series against Philly.”
It looked like it was lining up to be a real big series just a week or so back, but the Nationals’ 2-5 road trip and losses to the Marlins left them with just a 12.6% chance of returning to the postseason according to Fangraphs.com’s Playoff Odds, down from 47.3% two weeks back after they’ve dropped nine of their last 14 games.
Adam Eaton summed up where the Nationals find themselves after Sunday’s loss.
“A good week or two, a sweep of two teams that are ahead of us, can get us right back in the ballgame. But we’ve got to do it now,” Eaton told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman. “Last week. A month ago. We’ve got to get going if we want to play in October.”