One night after a dispiriting, 15-14 extra innings loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, Washington came out swinging in the series finale in Nationals Park, connecting for 19 hits, eight home runs, and 16 runs total in a 16-8 win which gave the Nats two of three in the weekend series and wins in seven of ten and nine of their last 12.
“After a long game yesterday, coming back and jumping on top of them early, that shows you what kind of team this really is,” Davey Martinez said after the Nationals 13 runs in the first three innings and cruised to a win.
“They’re relentless. They come out, they’re ready to play, and they go out there and the key — I told them early, I said, ‘Hey, let’s jump on them early, score first. Let’s score first and get on them right away and they did that.”
And the eight home runs? Matt Adams hit a three-run home run in the first, followed by a solo blast by Victor Robles, and after Adam Eaton drove in two with a triple in the second, Brian Dozier, Anthony Rendon, and Juan Soto homered in the third, before Eaton hit a solo shot and Soto connected for his second of the game in the fifth, and Dozier hit his second of the afternoon in the eighth.
SEE. YOU. L8ER.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 18, 2019
Matt Adams homered.
Victor Robles homered.
Brian Dozier homered.
Anthony Rendon homered.
Juan Soto homered.
Adam Eaton homered.
Juan Soto homered again.
Brian Dozier homered again.
Today's 8 HRs matched a #Nats single-game record. pic.twitter.com/RR1zrz21jN
“We’re swinging the bats,” Martinez said. “We’ve been swinging the bats well for a while now, so we’re just swinging the bats really well. We’re getting good pitches to hit, we’re taking our walks, and we’re just hitting the ball really well.”
With a total of 32 runs on 40 hits in the three-game series, it’s safe to say the Nationals are swinging the bats well (or the Brewers’ pitchers were struggling). Building up a big lead in the finale with the Brewers helped make it easier on Martinez’s club, after they fought their way back into Saturday night’s game only to lose it in the end.
“The thing is that that other club over there, they’ve got some pretty good hitters,” Martinez told reporters, “so to come out and keep scoring and putting it on them like that, I’m proud of the guys.”
Saturday’s game was a 5:40 marathon which wrapped up around 12:45 AM, with a quick turnaround before the finale, but the Nats responded to the difficult circumstances, and secured the series win.
“They came ready to play. I told them we’re not going to do much today, show up late, and get ready to play at 1:35, but be ready to play. I said we can win a series here again, so just come out and be ready to play and they did that.”
Watching his team fight all night on Saturday impressed their second-year skipper, but the Nationals running away with the finale before a road trip in which they’ll play seven games in seven days with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs was a nice way to end a big 5-1 homestand.
“Winning definitely feels way better, obviously,” Martinez said, “but what I like is the fight that these guys have, after yesterday, after playing so many innings, after being here till 2:00 in the morning, going to bed at 4:30 in the morning and coming back and doing what they did, that’s a testament that these guys are ready and they want to play and they want to win, and I love it, so now we get on the bus, get on a plane, and head to Pittsburgh.”