A night after they went 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position and 19 left on base in a 7-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals, the Washington Nationals went 4 for 10 with RISP and six runs scored on 12 hits in a 6-0 win on Saturday afternoon in the nation’s capital.
Four of the six runs they scored came in the first two innings, with Juan Soto driving in a run with a single in the first, and Kurt Suzuki homering as part of a three-run second before they added two late while Max Scherzer tossed seven scoreless before handing it to the bullpen.
“I think we did a good job of getting people on base yesterday,” Trea Turner said after going 2 for 4 with a run scored on Saturday, “... that means we were having good at bats if we had that many people on, it was just a matter of getting a hit at that right time, and early on we got those hits [today] and that gave Max the room to work with, and [that] kind of was the difference in the game I guess.”
Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said he liked the way the Nationals bounced back after what was just their 11th loss in the last 37 games.
Saturday’s win wasn’t mistake free. Adam Eaton got thrown out at home early, Trea Turner got picked off first and tagged in a rundown in the second (though a run scored from third when Victor Robles bolted down the line on the play), and Max Scherzer got a little excited after a hit and stolen base in the fourth, and got tagged out after he was caught off second on a grounder to third. But overall, it was a good response after a loss... and it was the 9th win in the last 11, the 14th in the last 18th, 23rd in the last 33, and 27th in the last 38, which left them 6.0 games out in second place behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East, and a 0.5 game ahead of the third-place Philadelphia Phillies.
“I am very happy [with] the way we’ve been playing baseball,” Martinez said. “I know we made some baserunning mistakes today, but you know what, they’re playing aggressive.
“For the most part we’re actually doing the things that we talked about throughout the year, which is some of the little things, so let’s continue to do that, we’ve got one more game before the break, for me, let’s finish up strong, and then we can go and relax and have a couple days off and come back and start the second half off the same.”