Washington’s offense struggled to get much of anything going against Miami Marlins’ right-hander Zac Gallen through the first five innings last night, but the Nationals finally put some hits together in the top of the sixth, with Trea Turner, Adam Eaton, and Anthony Rendon connecting for back-to-back-to-back singles that tied things up at 1-1 and brought an end to Gallen’s second big league start.
“He’s got good stuff,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez said when asked what changed in the sixth.
“I mean slider was good, kept the ball down, we finally got the ball up in the zone, and we had one inning where we had three hits, boom, boom, boom, but he has really good stuff.
“I’m just glad that we were able to get him up a little bit and we started hitting the ball.”
Wei-Yin Chen took over on the mound for the Marlins, got the first out of the sixth, but then served up a three-run home run by Matt Adams which put the Nationals up 4-1. They added three in the top of the ninth on a wild pitch, sac fly, and passed ball with runners on third, all of which which ended up being important runs when the Fish rallied for four in the bottom of the ninth inning in what ended up a 7-5 win for Martinez’s squad.
The win was Washington’s 20th in the last 29 games, and it left them one game under .500 (39-40), 8.0 games out of first in the NL East, and 2.5 back in the Wild Card race.
“They’re playing well,” Martinez said, “all aspects of the game. We’re running the bases well, playing good defense, we’re putting the balls in play we need, we’re taking our walks, we’re getting good starting pitching, our bullpen has been doing well, so let’s, like I said, come here tomorrow, and go 1-0, and then go from there.”
Patrick Corbin, who earned a second straight win with seven strong innings of work on the mound in Miami, echoed his manager’s sentiments when asked about the run the team has been on in the last month-plus.
“I think everything is working, really,” Corbin said.
“The starting pitching has been pretty solid, our offense has been great, I think defensively has been something that we have been really good at during this stretch here, so if we just do our job out there we know they’re going to make the plays for us behind us and the bullpen has stepped up too, they’ve been great for us as well and coming in and putting up zeroes, so everything seems to be working and just hopefully continue to keep it going.”
Will the Nationals make it three straight over the Fish tonight?