Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez talked after the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader with the Colorado Rockies, a 3-2 win, about lifting his starter in the fourth inning when there was a chance to score some runs, and using his relievers for a total of five innings total in the first game of two they had to play.
“When you have a doubleheader you really want to win the first game,” Martinez explained to reporters, “... and today we had a chance to win that game, so we went ahead there was no holds barred, you’re going to use your guys to try to keep it that way.”
Going back to last season, Martinez’s first as a manager, the Nats had swept three straight doubleheaders, and they took the day-half with the Rockies, leaving them 35-15 in the last 50 games with one more to play on the day and one more after that in the series.
What, Martinez was asked before the nightcap, are the biggest challenges of sweeping a doubleheader?
“Always winning the first one,” he said matter of factly. “You can’t win two without winning one, and then just I tell these guys rest in-between the games and get ready to play.
“When you win the first game it seems like the momentum is really good, and like I said, these boys have been playing really well. Really well.
“And let’s just go out there and continue to do what we’ve been doing.”
In the nightcap, Martinez’s squad shut the Rockies out, 2-0, sweeping the doubleheader and winning their 18th in the last 24, their 23rd in the last 31, 32nd in 46, and the 36th in their last 51 games.
It’s all come after the Nationals were 19-31 in the first 50 games of the 2019 campaign. All the little things that Martinez and his staff talked about in Spring Training and the start of the season that weren’t going right as they struggled, have started going right for the Nationals.
“I think it’s just myself and the coaches just staying with it, preaching it every day,” Martinez said, “and working with them and not giving up, not getting negative, staying positive with everything we preach, and I told them from the beginning, ‘Hey, this is going to turn around, but we’ve got to stay positive, there’s going to be no pointing fingers at anything that goes on here, we’re going to stick together,’ and they’ve done that.”
“We’re confident with everyone here,” Patrick Corbin said after tossing six scoreless against the Rockies.
“Just keep it going. There’s something special going on in this clubhouse and we feel that no matter who we’re playing every day we come in here we have a good chance to win and we’re just going to continue to do that and come in tomorrow and try to do the same thing.”
“They see it,” Martinez said of what the turnaround has meant to the club’s confidence, “... and now they see what they really can do every day, and what I love is they’re having fun, and they don’t feel like — if we’re down, they never feel like they’re out of the game, they just keep playing, keep playing baseball, we talked a lot about just playing nine innings every day, and we’ll go home and come back and do it again, and they’ve been doing that.”