“For me it’s — I think still we’re playing at home, which is kind of nice,” Davey Martinez told reporters before the final “home” game of the four-game set with the Jays in D.C. last night.
“But you know the whole object is — one is safety, obviously. The only difference is we’re going to wearing gray pants. I don’t know what shirt we’re going to be wearing, but we’ll have grays on at home which is kind of weird.
“And we did wear our grays at home during out intrasquad game, so they’re used to that.”
Will it make a difference for the Nationals, who’ve lost four of their first five games in this 60-game MLB campaign?
What would probably make a bigger difference is some cleaner, crisper play from the 2019 World Series champs, who have gotten off to a slow start early this season. Davey Martinez said after the 5-1 loss to the Jays that he’d like to see his club have more fun out there while they’re playing better baseball.
Easier said than done, of course, considering what the Nationals have dealt with so far in a season that is, in case anyone forgot, being conducted amidst an ongoing pandemic.
“We got to find a way. We got to find a way,” Martinez repeated.
“Everybody is under the same circumstances. So, we’ve got to go out there, loosen up, and do the little things. I talk all the time about doing the little things.
“Let’s focus on the little things and big things will happen.”
While there’s a lot going on around them, like waiting for Juan Soto to return after he tested positive for COVID-19, wondering how Stephen Strasburg is doing as he deals with a nerve issue in his wrist/thumb, and worrying about their fellow players from the Marlins, who have had
15 16 players test positive and have had their season postponed for now, including a series with the Nationals that was supposed to happen in Miami this weekend, how do you block it all out and play?
“Once the game starts, the focus is just on playing, it really is,” Martinez said.
“Focus on the moment. Focus on that pitch. Focus on that ground ball in the infield and throwing it to the base.
“Go out there and do what you’ve done your whole life. These guys have been playing their whole life, and just have fun doing it.
“They’re here because they know how to play, and they’re really good. All these guys are good.
“We’ve got to forget about everything else going on. Believe me, I know it’s not easy, but we’re here, and we’re doing everything we can to keep our guys safe.
“Go out there and just relax and just have some fun.”
HERE’S THE UPDATED NATS’ LINEUP FOR THE 3RD OF 4 WITH BLUE JAYS:
#Nationals: Howie Kendrick is scratched from lineup w/ upper back stiffness, available to pinch hit.— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) July 29, 2020
New lineup vs #BlueJays:
Turner - SS; Eaton (L) - RF; Cabrera (S) - DH; Thames (L) - 1B; Suzuki - C; Castro - 2B; Kieboom - 3B; Stevenson (L) - LF; Robles - CF; Scherzer - RHP