Washington salvaged the series finale with the San Diego Padres in the nation’s capital, and Davey Martinez’s Nationals snapped a three-game losing streak and avoided being swept in their own home when they rallied from a 6-0 deficit for a 7-6 walk-off win. But it did take the Nationals eleven innings to win the third of three in D.C., with five relievers taking the hill for the home team. So where do the Nats stand as they prepare for a four-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals?
“We’ll have to sit down and we’ll see how these guys feel tomorrow,” Martinez said after the game, when asked about having to lean on his bullpen for eight innings when right-handed starter Jeremy Hellickson struggled.
“We’ve got a pretty long night ahead of us, we’ll play tomorrow night, so we’ll see how these guys feel tomorrow. I would really like to stay away from Joe [Ross] if I can, but he keeps coming in and he keeps telling me he’s good — like he wanted to go back out there and I told him there’s no way, I’m not going to do that, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow, but he’s been outstanding, he really has, he pitched out of a bases-loaded jam and was really good.”
Erick Fedde (4.0 IP), Kyle Barraclough (1.0), Ross (1.0), Tony Sipp (1.0), and Justin Miller (1.0) all kept the Padres off the board as the Nationals fought to get back into the game, and the offense produced 14 hits, four of them home runs, and won in spite of going just 2 for 12 w/ RISP.
The win left the Nationals two games under .500 at 12-14 heading into the series with the 17-10 Cardinals, but they’ve won just four of the last ten, and Martinez said on Sunday that he’d like to build on the walk-off win and try to make things easier on themselves than after what has been a rough start to the season.
“What I want these guys to do is enjoy the win tonight,” he said, “come back tomorrow, we play a tough opponent in St. Louis, but let’s continue to play good baseball. We fell behind, and as I say all the time, these guys, they don’t quit, they battle, they battle, they battle, and today we ended up on top, so let’s come out tomorrow and score first and we’ll go from there.”
Still no Anthony Rendon in the lineup, and Ryan Zimmerman went on the IL yesterday, with Adrián Sanchez called up from Triple-A to help out off the bench.