Yes, the Washington Nationals dropped two of three in Miami, to a Marlins team that had just four wins in 19 games when the series began, and they did drop last night’s matchup against the Colorado Rockies, though Bud Black’s team is on the upswing, with a total of seven wins in their last eight games after a they ended an eight-game losing streak, but... there are reasons to remain positive.
Like the play of Brian Dozier on the current road trip, for example. Dozier is 3 for 13 with three home runs in the last four games after he hit a three-run blast in last night’s loss.
Davey Martinez, who’s noted that he’s liked what he’s seen from his second baseman in the last few games, reiterated last night that the 31-year-old infielder is getting more and more comfortable at the plate after going 9 for 51 (.176/.236/.255) with one double and one home run over the first 15 games.
“Dozier again is starting to swing the bat really well,” Martinez said on Monday in Coors Field.
“When he’s hitting like that — he’s always hit home runs — what I love about Dozier is his all-around game,” the manager said. “He starts heating up, his defense is really good, he’ll start running the bases, start stealing bases for us, and driving in runs. He’s notorious for being a slow April starter, but he’s starting to heat up now.”
Signed to a 1-year/$9M deal this winter after a down year in Minnesota and LA in 2018, the eight-year veteran and Washington’s front office are hoping for a bounce-back season, but Dozier said it took him a little while to break some bad habits and start to feel good again at the plate.
“There was a lot of different things early on to fix some bad habits and stuff,” Dozier said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after last night’s game.
“We’ve done that. We’ve cleaned that up. I think the biggest thing is now just the approach, getting comfortable and really attacking pitches.”
With shortstop Trea Turner (broken finger) and Anthony Rendon (bruised elbow) both out of the lineup, the contributions from Dozier and Ryan Zimmerman, who’s started to heat up as well, are welcome, as Martinez and his squad try to get things going as a group.
Will they be able to even things up tonight in the second of three with the Rockies in Coors Field?
Still no Anthony Rendon in the lineup as the Nats and Rockies go at it again...