With last night’s win, the Washington Nationals have won 11 in a row against Miami, 15 of the last 16 with the Marlins, and 15 of 18 overall in the 2019 season series against their divisional rivals, with one more to play today in South Florida. The Fish fought last night, however, and did not quit when they fell behind 4-0 in the eighth, rallying to tie things up before a ten-run top of the 10th inning gave the Nats the win in extras.
“They don’t quit,” Davey Martinez said after the Nationals battled back after blowing the late lead in Miami. “They keep coming back, and they had some good at bats there late, and we scored a bunch of runs, but they won’t quit. We’ve seen this all year with them, and they are going to keep playing until the final out.”
A night after a 6-4 win in which they scored four of six runs on home runs, two of them by Trea Turner, and a two-run blast by Asdrúbal Cabrera, the Nationals scored 10 without any homers on Saturday night, with 16 hits combined, seven of them in 19 at bats with runners in scoring position.
Does Martinez prefer winning one way or another? With homers or manufactured runs?
“Ten runs. Either way. That’s what I like,” Martinez told reporters. “I always tell the guys, we just score one more than the other guys. That’s the thing. But the at bats, especially that last inning, they were crisp, and they were really good. They got some balls to hit, they hit them hard, and I like it. I like it when they hit the ball hard, they hit the ball up the middle, stay up the middle of the field.”
Ryan Zimmerman and Victor Robles singled to start the 10th, and Brian Dozier hit a one-out RBI single after coming on for an injured Asdrúbal Cabrera late in the game.
A RBI single by Adam Eaton brought Robles around, after Zimmerman scored on Dozier’s hit, and after an intentional walk to Anthony Rendon.
Juan Soto took an unintentional walk to force in the third run, 7-4, before Kurt Suzuki, in his first at bat since September 7th, hit his 11th double of the season to clear the bases, 10-4.
Dozier, who’s started just three times in September, with Cabrera tearing it up at the plate, ended up getting the game-winning hit.
“Professional,” Martinez said of Dozier. “Veteran guy. He understands. I liked him there because of the sinkers in. I thought he was going to get a sinker in, and he crushed it.”
And Suzuki coming through with the big hit, though his injured elbow won’t allow him to get behind the plate right now?
“I told him he was pinch hitting,” Martinez said, “... and he got up there and I said, ‘Don’t take a fastball. Get ready to hit the fastball. You haven’t swung in a while ... ‘ but he got up there and was ready to hit, right from the first pitch. If we can get him going, down the stretch we need him, so hopefully at least he can pinch hit and hopefully he can get back out and catch here soon.”
Soon, hopefully, but not today. Yan Gomes (2 for 5 last night) is back behind the dish today in the series finale.
Dozier is getting his fourth start of the month after Cabrera injured his ankle sliding into the plate early in last night’s game.