Following the completion of their three-game sweep of the Cubs and 6-1 road trip through Pittsburgh and Chicago, Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez talked to reporters about what he’s seeing from the offense that produced 55 runs in the seven games.
“The thing that I love the most,” Martinez explained, “is that, hey, they’re bearing down with two strikes, they’re not giving in, we’re fouling some pitches off, we’re putting the ball in play, we’re coming up with big hits, they’re taking their walks, and all of those things matter.
“It’s just not two or three or four guys, you watch all our guys right now, we hit some balls good today.”
“They are playing well,” Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon added after dropping three straight to his former bench coach in Chicago and Tampa Bay, “.. everything they are hitting is finding a spot, they played well. They’ve got some speed which they utilized, they created contact which they utilized. They played well.”
“We fight, no matter the count, we fight,” Trea Turner told reporters in Wrigley Field when asked about the Nationals’ approach at the plate as they’ve won 56 of the last 80 games.
“I think that’s what our lineup does really well is take our walks and make sure we get guys in the zone,” the shortstop added.
Maddon agreed, indirectly.
“The big difference,” in the series, he said, “was they weren’t chasing out of the zone and we were. That’s the difference in the series, primarily, I give them credit.”
“You look at their on-base over their batting averages and it’s normally significant,” Maddon added, “and they’ve got some veteran hitters in there of course too, and bully for them.”
Turner, who reached base in 8 of 16 plate appearances in Chicago, talked about the top of the order getting on base and the importance of what he and Adam Eaton (who sat out of the series finale but reached base in 13 of 31 PAs on the trip) have done to spark the offense.
“It’s just being on base,” Turner said. “For me I feel like I don’t force steals sometimes just because me being at first puts pressure on them to make better pitches to the guys behind me, and I think that when they pay attention to me then [Anthony] Rendon, and Eaton, and [Juan] Soto get better pitches to hit behind me, so as far as putting pressure on them, I think it’s just us being on base, and me and Eaton lately have been on quite a lot and I think that helps our team tremendously.”