“I thanked all my sons in there,” he joked, motioning towards the clubhouse.
The win gave Washington a split of the four-game set as they prepare for four games with the Philadelphia Phillies and three with the Atlanta Braves as part of an important 11-game homestand in the nation’s capital.
Martinez remained on message, however, when asked about the Nationals’ mindset going into tomorrow night’s series opener with the NL East’s 2nd-place Phillies, who are 5-5 over their last ten games going into the divisional matchup.
As the second-year skipper has insisted all season, he’s not looking past each day’s game and the task at hand.
“We’re got to take care of tomorrow,” Martinez said.
“Obviously we all know who we’re playing, they’re ahead of us, and we’ve just got to worry about tomorrow. Keep playing like we’re playing, like I said. [Patrick] Corbin is on the mound tomorrow, get him through six or seven innings tomorrow and we’ll go from there, but keep swinging, we swung the bats well today, so keep swinging the bats, and compete tomorrow.”
B̶i̶g̶ ̶C̶i̶t̶y̶ ̶d̶i̶d̶ ̶a̶ ̶B̶i̶g̶ ̶C̶i̶t̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶!̶— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 16, 2019
Big City did a Great Territory thing!
(In this case, the Great Territory thing was hitting a grand slam and a 3-run HR in the same game.) pic.twitter.com/vLDRCctqLg
Whether it was the Nationals’ bats or the D-backs’ pitchers, the final results (15 runs, 15 hits, four home runs) were impressive, with Matt Adams hitting a three-run home run and grand slam, Kurt Suzuki and Anthony Rendon hitting home runs, and Howie Kendrick (3 for 4) and Adam Eaton (3 for 3, 2 BB) all chipping in on a big day for the Nationals’ offense.
“They were good,” Martinez said. “They stayed through the middle of the field, they hit the ball well all day. Matt Adams, what a day, but he can do those things.”
Adams returned from an oblique injury scare (it turned out to be back spasms) to go 3 for 10 with three home runs and eight RBIs in the the series with the D-backs, starting twice and playing in three of the four.
The first of his two home runs on Sunday was a three-run blast in the third, on a letter-high, 3-2 sinker inside that ended up in the seats just above the out-of-town scoreboard in right.
His slam, which came on an 0-1, center-cut sinker, landed halfway up the second deck, for a no-doubter that put the Nationals up 15-3.
“He’s letting the ball travel a little bit,” Martinez said of the sluggers’ approach at the plate, “... getting the ball up in the zone, not chasing, and swinging at strikes.”
A pitch before his three-run blast, Adams hit a sinker a couple inches more in on his hands into the right field corner, but foul, breaking his bat, but he picked up a new one and lined the next offering, which didn’t make it in, over the scoreboard.
“3-2, I’m just trying to get a pitch and not miss it,” Adams told MASN’s Alex Chappell in an on-field interview after the game.
“So try to keep my swing short and stay through it and not do what I did on that foul ball, get too quick, so I told myself just to slow down and take a nice easy swing.”
Adams’ seven-RBI game was a career-best, and the fact that he did it with his own father in attendance in Nationals Park, was, he said, “Awesome,” as was the catch he and his dad had on the field before the game.
“It’s a yearly thing,” he explained. “No matter where we are on Father’s Day, he tries to make it out, so happy to have him here and before the game it was something special.
“He’s always wanted to play catch so it was nice to be able to finally let him do his dream and play catch before the game.”
Some of the players on the team who are fathers had their children there as well, and a few threw out ceremonial first pitches.
“The players enjoyed it,” Martinez said. “They loved it, and to have their kids out there and be with them on Father’s Day is pretty special.
“And like I said, we continued with the Father’s Day gift that I got today, which was nice, and we’re able to have a nice victory.”