Taking a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth and losing it when closer Sean Doolittle once again struggled against the New York Mets, was a brutal start to the three-game set in Citi Field, but Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez said in the immediate aftermath of last night’s loss that the focus turned to tonight’s matchup.
“Hey, you know what,” Martinez said, “we’ve still got a lot of baseball. It’s one game. We’ve got to come back tomorrow, win tomorrow and then we come back the next day and win the series. So, let’s focus on tomorrow, like I always say, go 1-0 tomorrow and worry about the game tomorrow.”
“A win is a win, I have to say,” Mickey Callaway told reporters after the Mets’ 14th win in their last 15 games and seventh straight overall. “You feel good about every win.”
It was an intense atmosphere from the start, with divisional rivals meeting up in mid-August with both teams still in the race for the NL East crown and National League Wild Card spots.
“That was definitely playoff-type atmosphere tonight,” Callaway added, before contributing at least part of the win to the support the home crowd provided.
“There’s no doubt about it,” he said, “we don’t win this game tonight if it isn’t for our fans.
“That was unbelievable. And they stuck around. Right. We’re down three in the ninth, and they stuck around.
“The stadium was still packed, and they were still believing and our players did the job.”
Stephen Strasburg, who gave up three runs on four hits and was in line for the win when he left the game, definitely noticed the crowd in Citi Field.
“They pull for their team,” Strasburg said, as quoted by MASN’s Byron Kerr. “I don’t know if they come play us again, but I hope all the fans are watching the game, ‘cause it gets into crunch time and those things really carry teams and get us to the next level.”
“It was great,” Martinez said of the atmosphere. “The boys had fun, they were into it. You saw, we played — like I said, we played really, really well until the ninth inning. I hope they come out tomorrow the same way, come out tomorrow and do the same thing and come out on top.”