Going up against right-hander Pablo López last night, Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez went with the same lineup that scored five runs on eight hits against rookie hurler Sixto Sánchez in the first game of Washington’s doubleheader in Marlins Park on Friday.
“Same lineup as the first game yesterday,” Martinez said. “I liked it. It worked yesterday, see if it works today. Actually some of those guys are swinging the bat pretty well.
“[Eric] Thames is hitting the ball well. I liked [Andrew] Stevenson’s at bats yesterday, it was really good. I kind of like the way it sets up.”
They managed just three runs on five hits in a 7-3 loss to the Fish last night, with López surrendering three hits, three walks, and two earned runs in five innings, and the Marlins’ bullpen gave up just a couple knocks over the next 3 2⁄3 innings.
“[López] was actually pretty good,” Martinez said.
“We built his pitch count up, but his changeup is really, really good. We just didn’t square very many balls up.
“We had a couple guys good at bats, Stevenson had a good at bat. Carter Kieboom worked a good walk, and [Luis] García has been having really good at bats since he’s been here.”
“When we get these innings and we get guys on base, we’ve got to move the baseball,” he added, after the Nationals went 1 for 4 with runners in scoring position and six left on base overall.
“We’ve got to put the ball in play, we’ve got to stay in the middle of the field like I always talk about, so these guys are throwing 94-95 and have those changeups like that, it’s tough.
“But you can’t miss your pitches. I think that happened a lot today where we got a pitch to hit and we missed it. So, like I said, we’ll come back tomorrow.
“The guy pitching tomorrow [Sandy Alcantara] in the first game he’s pretty good,” Martinez said. “He’s throwing up in the upper 90s, but so was the guy yesterday that we faced and the lineup did well, so we’ll come back tomorrow and we’ll do it again.”
Martinez didn’t want to hear talk of the 19-31 record last night’s loss left them with when it came up in his post game Zoom call. It was the record they had before they turned things around and charged to the World Series title. It isn’t happening this year.
“Just so you know, I really don’t like that number,” Martinez said. “It worked out last year, but I’d rather be 31-19. But hey, we just got to keep battling. We’ve got to keep it going for the next ten games or whatever it is, and just try to go 1-0 tomorrow. That’s where we’re at right now.”