Davey Martinez talked after the Washington Nationals’ 16-8 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday (which came twelve-ish hours after they scored 14 runs on 18 hits in a 15-14 loss), about his team’s approach at the plate, and the eight home runs they hit in the series finale in the nation’s capital.
“They’re relentless,” Martinez said.
“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.”
Martinez’s club had a 13-0 lead after three in D.C. on Sunday, and they cruised to their fifth win in six games on the homestand.
As for all the home runs? The eight the Nationals hit tied a franchise record for the most homers in one game.
“We’re swinging the bats,” the second-year skipper said.
“We’ve been swinging the bats well for a while now,” he added, “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.”
Before the first of four with the Pirates in PNC Park, Martinez again addressed the offensive explosion that started in last Wednesday’s 17-7 win over the Cincinnati Reds, and continued after a 2-1 win in the series opener with the Brewers this past Friday.
“Our guys are swinging the bats well,” he reiterated.
“We’ve got a game today against Pittsburgh, so let’s keep it going, but every one of those guys are contributing, which is really good. Our lineup is full of guys right now that are hitting the ball, and getting on base, and taking their walks and playing the game, so let’s come out today and do the same thing.”
Martinez’s squad did just that.
Adam Eaton homered in the second at bat of the series opener with the Pirates, another run scored on a sac fly, with Asdrúbal Cabrera hitting a ball to deep right after Anthony Rendon bounced a double off the center field wall and moved over to third on a wild pitch.
Matt Adams drove in two with another homer to right in the first, putting the Nationals up 4-0 after a 1/2-inning in PNC.
Trea Turner hit a three-run blast to left in the second, after Yan Gomes walked and Joe Ross reached on an error on a sac bunt, 7-0.
As the Nationals’ PR team noted, the Nats’ 15 home runs to that point in the recent three-game stretch going back to Saturday night, were the most in franchise history, and one shy of the MLB 2019 high, which was set by the New York Yankees early this month.
Eaton’s home run was his 11th of the season, giving the Nationals nine players with at least 11 HRs on the season, led by Anthony Rendon (28), Juan Soto (27), Matt Adams (20), Brian Dozier (19), Victor Robles (16), Kurt Suzuki (13), Howie Kendrick (13), and Trea Turner (12).
Asdrúbal Cabrera hit the Nationals’ fourth home run of the game in PNC late to put the visitors up 13-0. That’s how it ended.
The Nats’ 43 runs in the last three games are the most in a three-game stretch in franchise history, and their 62 runs in the last five games, the Nationals’ PR team added, are the most in franchise history as well, and they’re the most in a five-game stretch MLB-wide since the 2007 Yankees scored (63) in five.
“They’re putting together good at bats,” Martinez told reporters after his team connected for 15 more hits in the win in PNC Park, “and it’s one of those things where all of a sudden everybody is clicking and we’re scoring a lot of runs.”
“Our team right now, we have a lot of [functional] pieces. We’ve got guys that can get on base, guys that steal bases, guy that can move the ball, hit the ball all over, and then we have the guys in the middle that can juice balls, and Trea at the top, and now Eaton, what he’s doing, so our lineup is pretty thick right now and I’m proud of the guys and the way they’re swinging the bats, and the good news is that you know, they’re up there, they’re swinging at good pitches, and they’re not afraid to take walks.”
But seriously, 13+ runs in four of the last five games?
“It’s really hard to explain,” Martinez acknowledged. “You’ve got to have everybody in your lineup really swinging the bats, and they’re doing that right now, you know, I told them get some rest and come back tomorrow and do it again.”