Washington’s five-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies left the Nationals at 90-69 on the season, with three to play. That 90 win total was a goal that both GM Mike Rizzo and Davey Martinez, the Nats’ manager, talked about going into the season, and Martinez said after the finale with the Phillies on Thursday that he wants to keep going and finish strong in the final series of the regular season.
“I like the 90 [wins] I really do,” Martinez told reporters in the nation’s capital.
“I’ve said that for years. Our goal leaving Spring Training is to get to 90 wins. Typically, 90 wins will get you into the playoffs. I like that number. But let’s not just end there. Let’s try to get to 91 tomorrow.”
Adding a few more wins will, of course, make the it more likely that the NL Wild Card game on Tuesday takes place in the nation’s capital, which, Rizzo said this week would, obviously, be a positive development.
“I think it’s important,” Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies.
“I think it’s a credit to our fanbase. I think that they deserve it, and they’ve earned it, and I think that it’s important for them, and just strategically to win a baseball game, you have a better chance of winning a home game than a road game, and the Brewers play well at home. When that dome closes it gets really loud in there, and I think it’s important to try to win out, to play a home game not only baseball-wise but for our fanbase because they’ve earned it and they deserve it.”
Of course, in the 48 hours after Rizzo spoke to the Junkies, things have gotten interesting in the NL Central, with Milwaukee winning their seventh straight and St. Louis dropping two in a row, so the Cardinals are now just 1.0 game up in the division with three to play for each of the teams in their respective regular season schedule, the Brewers in Coors Field with the Rockies, and the Cardinals at home for three with the imploding Chicago Cubs.
“We’re still going to see how it all plays out,” Martinez said when asked about roster choices for the Wild Card and the Nats’ potential opponents, but as he’s said all season, the Nats are just focused on the next game on the schedule.
“Right now we’re taking things one day at a time,” he added.
“And I told the boys: Just keep playing good baseball. Don’t worry about what other teams are doing. Just keep showing up every day and playing good baseball, and things will take care of itself.”