Davey Martinez didn’t know what the Washington Nationals had in store when they traveled to Baltimore for tonight’s game when he spoke to reporters early on Sunday afternoon, but he assumed there would be a lot of testing involved for the first road game of 2020 for the defending World Series champs.
He talked on Saturday about not knowing how the COVID-19 testing would be handled, if it would take place in D.C., or before they were allowed into Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He joked on Sunday that it was likely to be both.
“Honestly, you know it’s funny, I think we’re going to end up doing both,” Martinez said. “I think we’re going to come here and get tested as we get in the ballpark as we usually do.
“We’ll probably change here, we’ve got some guys that are going to work out early here and won’t go on the road with us, so we’ll get our workout in, we’ll change here, go to Baltimore, and from what I’m hearing we’ll have to go through the same protocol to get into their stadium.
“I suggested to all the guys that it’s probably best — some guys wanted to drive — but I think it would be best that we all ride the bus together.
“I don’t know — this is our first time doing this, so I’d rather everybody be together and get everything done the right way the first time, and then we’ll see what happens from there.”
Comfortable as they’ve gotten with the health protocols in Nationals Park, the club knew it would be different when they had to start traveling to play games.
“I know it gets a little different when you travel and get in hotels,” Trea Turner told reporters in a Zoom call over the weekend, “but as far as day-to-day protocol at the field, I think we’ve done a great job, at least here, I don’t know necessarily what’s going on around the league, but here we’ve done a great job and I think it’s possible, and it’s going to be on us when we travel and go different places that we stick to doing what we’re doing when we’re at home and then we do those same things on the road.”
Tonight’s the test run. Next week, after three games with the New York Yankees and two with the Toronto Blue Jays in the nation’s capital, they’ll have to travel to ... well, they’re playing the Blue Jays again, but no one knows quite where right now (maybe Pittsburgh apparently).
“It kind of stinks having to change up the schedule almost immediately and not being able to play in Toronto,” Turner said, “and I know those guys are probably a little bit more upset about it, because they want to play in their home ballpark where they’re comfortable and whatnot, but it’s going to be a lot of adjustments this year, and hopefully they can kind of figure that out so we can game plan mentally knowing where we’re going and what we’re doing, but I think if we stick to the protocols and be safe I think we can get it done and hopefully those guys are doing it on their end and we can go in and play those games wherever it may be, whether it’s Florida or Buffalo, I’ve seen a couple things, but it is what it is and I just feel for them because I know they would like to play in their home stadium.”
The Nationals know where they’re going tonight. Here’s their lineup for the matchup with the Orioles:
#Nationals’ lineup vs #Orioles (6:05 PM ET on MASN) from #OPACY:— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) July 20, 2020
Turner - SS; Eaton (L) - RF; Castro - 2B; Soto (L) - LF; Kendrick - 1B; Thames (L) - DH, Cabrera (S) - 3B; Gomes - C; Robles - CF; Strasburg - RHP