Two days after the Washington Nationals were held hitless through 7 1⁄3 innings by the Los Angeles Dodgers’ left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, New York Mets’ righty Noah Syndergaard took another no-hit bid into the sixth before Wilmer Difo singled to break it up.
Though they avoided becoming part of another franchise’s history in each case, the Nats lost both of the games.
Last night, the Nationals were in a 4-0 hole against the Mets early, when they failed to turn a double play in the first, and three batters later, a grand slam put the visiting team ahead.
They couldn’t get much of anything going against Syndergaard, but second-year manager Davey Martinez was more concerned about the defensive miscues once again putting the team behind right out of the gate.
“We just got to swing the bats better,” Martinez said after last night’s 6-2 loss.
“I saw some guys actually swing the bats a little better today, but that first inning bit us, it really did. You’re down four when the double play gets you out of the inning, 0-0. Like I’ve said before we’ve got to play clean baseball, we really do. Gotta give us a chance. Give us a chance. It’s a different game if we get out of that inning.”
As the Nationals have dropped 14 of the last 20 games, however, they’ve made errors fairly regularly, with their 28 errors overall this season the 4th-most in the National League, their .981 fld% the 4th-lowest, their -25 Defensive Runs Saved 2nd-worst among NL teams, and their -13.3 UZR/150 15th out of 15 NL clubs.
So are there drills, or is there extra work they could be doing to try to turn it around?
“We do extra drills,” Martinez said. “We take ground balls every day. It’s just a matter — like I said, sometimes when a team is struggling, you try to do a lot more, and just play the game. Really. All you’ve got to do is play the game. You’ve done it a million times, I mean that’s a double play ball 10 of 10 times, just play the game, don’t make it hard on yourself, just do the little things, keep it simple.”
Will they play a clean game, avoid giving the opposition extra outs, and even things up with the Mets in the second of three in D.C. tonight?