Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez talked after last night’s comeback win about the job his squad did in continuing to fight after they fell behind 6-1 in the second game of three with the Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank Park.
“Great build, great momentum,” Martinez told reporters.
“I said this earlier, we’re going to play hard every day ... every out. We’re going to play hard, I know that about these guys, and you saw today, you saw what they can do.”
Anthony Rendon doubled in a run in the 6th, 6-2, Yan Gomes hit a two-run home run in the seventh, 6-4, and Howie Kendrick hit a solo shot later in that inning, 6-5. Victor Robles, in a 2-2 count, with two out in the ninth, hit a game-tying blast, 6-6, and Juan Soto hit a homer in the tenth, with two on, 9-6, before Robles doubled in another run, 10-6.
That all came in a game in which starter Stephen Strasburg was lifted after just four innings in which he gave up six hits, four walks, and six earned runs. Joe Ross (two scoreless), Matt Grace (two scoreless), Kyle Barraclough (1/3 of an inning) and Sean Doolittle (1 2⁄3 scoreless) picked Strasburg up with six scoreless combined.
“Joe comes in the game,” Martinez said, “gives us two unbelievable innings, Gracie comes in the game, and then Doo coming in and getting [five] outs, I mean that’s incredible. It really is. I’ve asked [Doolittle] to do things he’s not comfortable doing, and he’s done them, hands down.”
While the bullpen has earned the criticism they’ve received early this season, Martinez said he thought he finally saw the relief corps the Nationals believed they had assembled in the offseason in last night’s game.
“We thought we had a really good bullpen, and you see what they can do. I mean, it’s April,” the manager said, “we talk about hitters starting off slow, pitchers start off slow too, it just so happens that it’s the beginning, it’s magnified, and but I said it before, they’ll get it right and you saw it tonight, that they were right tonight.”
Martinez also talked about the eleven-game run within the division to start the season that ends tonight, with the third of three against the Phillies, and the intense atmosphere so far in the games against the Mets and Phillies in New York, Philly, and D.C.
“It’s a fun atmosphere,” he said, “... coming here and playing the games like this and playing against the division rivals. It’s fun, it’s a lot of fun, and I know the boys are up for it, we’re all excited about it, and we’ve got a whole year of this, so let’s keep it going.”