That was a welcome change for manager Davey Martinez, whose club had scored a total of 17 runs in the previous six games, and hadn’t left Nationals Park since returning for the start of Spring Training 2.0 in early July.
“It was fun to see the boys break out of it,” Martinez said.
“They came out and they swung the bats well today. Let’s keep it right there and come back tomorrow and do it again. The boys swung the bats really well.”
Getting out on the road, it seems, might have been just what the Nationals needed after the defending World Series champs spent the last six-ish weeks at home in the nation’s capital.
“I think right now we were home for I think 40 or 41 days or something like that,” Martinez said. “We didn’t know what to expect going on the road this year.
“The train ride was good, it was comfortable, the hotel, we got to the hotel that we always stay at and it was really nice and quiet.
“Sometimes it’s good just to kind of get away and do something different and I felt that tonight with these guys.
“We showed up, they took batting practice, they were all bubbly and live, and rip-raring to go, and you saw the way they played. So, let’s keep it going. I was joking around with them today, I said, ‘Maybe we’ll have to wear our grays at home.’ Because it seems like, yeah, we do score some runs when we wear grays.”
Patrick Corbin, who put together a solid, six-inning outing in the series opener, said he too thought the change of scenery may have helped.
“I think so,” Corbin explained. “When I was in Arizona we had that quite a bit. We’d open at home, but our Spring Training was there, so it never really felt like you left Spring Training and obviously things are completely different this year, but we were in D.C. for Spring Training 2.0 and then stayed there for a bunch of games, didn’t really get to travel, so I think it was a good way to get out of there, see something different, and we know the talent that we have and we haven’t been playing as well as we’d like, so it’s a great start to this road trip, and Max [Scherzer] on the mound tomorrow, and it’s going to be fun.”
Will the Nationals keep it going in the second of four in Citi Field?
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR TONIGHT’S GAME WITH THE METS: