“The boys came out ... they had this sense of energy. You could tell they wanted to be out in the field today. It was a good day.”
The visiting team connected for five doubles and three home runs, went 4 for 10 with RISP, and gave Max Scherzer a 5-0 lead to work with after a rally in the top of the third, before adding on runs throughout the rest of the game while Scherzer put together a solid start, striking out 11 in six innings of work.
“Max set the tone, really. I mean, he came out, he pitched really well,” Martinez said.
“When you’ve got that kind of pitching, guys are fired up. They came out and we scored a bunch of runs.”
It definitely helped that the bottom of the Nationals’ order, 7-through-9, came up big, with Josh Harrison, (2 for 5, two-run home run), Michael A. Taylor, (1 for 3, two runs scored), and Victor Robles, (3 for 4, double), all contributing, while Trea Turner, at the top of the order, went 3 for 5 with a run scored and 3 RBIs.
“It was awesome,” Martinez told reporters.
“We need all these guys to start hitting and like I said earlier, we’ve got to try to extend our lineup. Those guys can hit down there, I know Victor can hit. So, to see him break out today and get three hits, it was nice, so let’s keep it going. When he gets on base, all of a sudden that bottom of the lineup, he flips the lineup over and we can score a lot of runs.”
“I think for the most part 1-9 we had a lot of good at bats,” Harrison said in his own Zoom call after the game.
“We forced them to come in the zone, and a lot of times when you do that, you get pitches — we put good swings on pitches tonight, and one thing about starting pitchers that we talk about, is getting them in the stretch, drive that pitch count up, if we’ve got guys on base, that’s — he’s the one that’s in trouble because he’s got to make pitches, and we did a good job of hunting what we wanted tonight, and not missing them.”
Turner said having Robles on in front of him made a big difference.
“I think it’s huge,” the shortstop said.
“Especially with Juan being so hot and only one more batter behind you. If he’s hitting third or fourth, then it’s a little different, but I think just turning over the lineup in general is really important.
“It just felt like the rally [in the third] was going with him always getting those hits and I think it’s just more quality at bats. When he can get two or three hits in a game and that’s your nine-hole hitting, I think that’s huge for us. And I think that’s a big reason why we put up so many runs tonight, is because he had such a good game for us.”
Would Martinez stick with the same lineup against a right-hander, after going right-hand heavy against left Martín Pérez last night?