Going into yesterday’s doubleheader, which followed Monday night’s postponement over the condition of the field in Citizens Bank Park after a weekend full of rain in Philadelphia, Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez told his players that both teams were going to be dealing with the same issues.
“We told the guys, ‘Hey, both teams got to play on the field, alright,’” Martinez told reporters after the Nats’ 3-1 win in the first game.
“‘Just go out there and play, don’t worry about the field, just play. The more you worry about it, you tend to like try to hold up and that’s when injuries happen. So just go play the game and let’s come out on top,’ and they did, they played well.”
The condition of the field in the end?
“They said it wasn’t bad,” Martinez said. “They said it was okay. It was soft but they said it was playable.”
In spite of reports that more rain was expected in the City of Brotherly Love, the Nationals and Phillies managed to play both ends of the doubleheader without any delays, with the Nats rallying to take the nightcap with a three-run top of the ninth that tied things up, 6-6, before Juan Soto’s 10th inning home run gave the visitors a 7-6 lead that held up.
Martinez’s squad completed their second doubleheader sweep in four days after they beat the Chicago Cubs twice on Saturday.
It was the conclusion of a couple long, weird, delay-filled days for the 2018 Nats.
“It was strange, but it ended well,” Martinez said. “Kudos to those guys in there, like I said, they don’t quit. They keep playing, they play hard.”
The key to the ninth-inning rally, which started with back-to-back walks by Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto, who scored on RBI singles by Matt Wieters and Andrew Stevenson, before a bases-loaded walk by Trea Turner forced in the tying run?
“The walks,” Martinez said, “and putting the ball in play. That was big, but being patient and taking our walks, that was the key. Keeping the train going, so like I said, I’m really proud of their at bats all day today.”
Will the Nationals make it five-straight wins in tonight’s series finale in Philadelphia?