Games 1-2 (and 6-7, if necessary) of the 115th World Series will be played under American League rules in the Houston Astros’ home, Minute Maid Park, so the Washington Nationals’ manager, Davey Martinez, was asked in his pre-Series press conference on Monday which player he planned to use as his designated hitter in those games, and if he had settled on a final roster for the Fall Classic.
“We’re going to meet here again,” Martinez said shortly after the team arrived in Texas.
“We met once, we’re going to meet again after the workout tonight and finalize stuff.”
As for the DH?
“I think at this point either Howie [Kendrick] -- Howie will probably DH, yeah.”
Kendrick, 36, was named the NLCS MVP after going 5 for 15 with four doubles and two walks in his 17 plate appearances in the four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals.
He finished the regular season with a .344/.395/.572 line, 23 doubles, and 17 homers in 121 games and 370 PAs, and he had a .280/.400/.360 line in seven games and 30 PAs as a DH this season.
Martinez said he didn’t really expect too many tweaks from the roster they put together for the National League Championship Series.
With a week off following Game 4 of the NLCS, he said his team was well-rested as well, but ready for the matchup with the Astros. What did they do to keep sharp while waiting for the ALCS to play out?
“We worked out,” Martinez explained. “We had a day off in-between but we worked out. Yesterday the weather was miserable in Washington, and we had a scheduled workout.
“I didn’t think we were going to be able to do anything. The boys came out. We practiced in the rain. We had a sim game in the rain. The weather was cold. They were all into it.
“[Aníbal] Sánchez threw, a couple of our bullpen guys threw to the hitters, we had a good time.
“They’re all in. They’re ready. These guys are excited to be here, and let’s go have some fun.”
With all the momentum they had, after their dramatic wins over the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers, and then the dominant performance against the Cardinals, was there concern that it wouldn’t carry over through the long layoff?
“I truly believe that these guys are fired up to be here,” Martinez said. “We played a lot of unbelievable games this year. We’ve come a long way.”
“So I think they’re excited,” he added. “Like I said, excited to be here and ready to play. They looked good yesterday, and this whole week. I joked around after we clinched, I told them, I said, Hey, I’m going to give you guys a day off. And they all laughed, especially Anthony [Rendon]. He said, ‘Just one?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘Our work is not over. We’ve got to come back,’ and we scheduled workouts the next four days and these guys were all in. They got their work in. We did a lot of stuff in the training room. They did a lot of stuff in the weight room, strength conditioning, a lot of running activities, and they hit. They hit a bunch. So we’re ready to go.”