Washington’s Nationals fell behind 5-0 early in last night’s series opener with the Chicago White Sox, but the red-hot Nats battled back with nine unanswered runs and took the first of two with the Pale Hose by a final score of 9-5.
The win was the Nationals’ eighth in the last ten games, and it got them within six games of .500 (27-33), and within 6.5 games of first place in the NL East.
What was manager Davey Martinez’s favorite part of the comeback?
“I can’t pick just one, I liked everything. The boys, hey, they battled back,” Martinez said.
“The best thing I like about it is it’s a team effort and the team is playing really well.”
Now that the lineup they expected to field on a daily basis is close to 100% healthy, the sort of comebacks they put together actually seem possible.
“We talk about it all the time,” Martinez said. “We have length now all through our lineup, and it’s nice. If one guy can’t get it done, there’s a guy behind him that picks him up and gets it done, and it’s been that way now for like the last 10 days.
“They’re playing really well. Like I said, it’s the little things that matter to me and us, and they’re starting to buy in and it’s awesome.”
You can’t find a much better example of someone stepping up than Howie Kendrick.
Kendrick took over for an injured Brian Dozier last night, after Dozier got hit on the right forearm by a pitch and had to leave the game after trying to play through it.
Kendrick came on for Dozier in the field in the fourth and hit a leadoff home run in his first at bat in the bottom of the inning, then followed that blast up with an RBI double in the six-run fifth that wrapped up with the Nationals ahead, 9-5.
“He’s unbelievable,” Martinez said of Kendrick. “Like I said, I love just to watch him, the way he plays the game, and he’s a true professional. My concern is like I’ve always said, to make sure we have him for the whole year.”
“He got hit and got an X-ray it was negative, but it’s all muscle and he just tightened up, he couldn’t move these two fingers, so Howie comes in and does what Howie does.”
Is Dozier going to be available today?
“We’ll have to see,” Martinez told reporters. “Like I said, he’s got a nice contusion right now, so I’m assuming he’s going to stiff, but don’t quote me on that, but hopefully he’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
Uh, sorry for quoting that. Dozier is not in the lineup for this afternoon’s game.