For the fifth straight week, Washington Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez’s approval rating has risen. Martinez was down to a season-low 11% approval rating in Week 9 of the FanPulse voting, but that was up to 20% in Week 10, 24% in Week 11, 40% in Week 12, and this week it is up to 45%. Of course the Nationals have been on a 19-14 run over that stretch, and they’re now three games under .500 having won seven of their last 10 and 11 of 16 so far in June.
Over that same stretch, the overall confidence in the direction of the team has gone from 13% in Week 9 to 52% this week (Week 13), though that’s down slightly from 56% last week.
The Nationals themselves seem to be more confident, as they’ve turned things around over the last few weeks following a rough first two months of the 2019 campaign which saw the team go 24-33.
Martinez talked after the Nationals beat the Phillies in the first of two games with the Phillies yesterday about the lineup being significantly different now that they have a few players off the IL and back producing on an everyday basis. It clearly has made a difference.
“When we’re healthy,” Martinez said, “... you look at our lineup and we’ve got a good mix of guys in our lineup, we’ve got guys that can hit the ball in the seats, we’ve got guys that can run a little bit down there. I like the way our lineup is ... and I talked about that a lot — about how we can stretch out innings, because our guys are healthy.”
It’s also helped that the bullpen hasn’t been atrocious, which it was early this season, and the Nationals have been getting solid starting pitching pretty much all season, so there’s hope yet, even though they were still 8.0 games out in the NL East entering play Thursday night...
AND NOW THIS:
The national baseball question of the week got a little more interesting with the news out of Tampa Bay on Thursday. FanPulse voters were asked this week which city should get a team if Major League Baseball were to expand.
Montreal (31%) came out on top, followed by Nashville (20%), Las Vegas and Portland (tied, 19%) and Charlotte (12%).
With the Rays (X-rays? Rayspos?) actually play some of their home games in Montreal in the near future? Would you like to see a team in Smashville? Where would you put one if you’re given the chance to play Commissioner?
Where are you on these questions? If you didn’t participate in the FanPulse survey the first three weeks, you can still sign up above or HERE.