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The continuing education of Washington Nationals’ rookie Luis García...

Davey Martinez is trying to guide Luis García through his early days in the majors...

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MLB: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Luis García connected for one of the two hits Philadelphia Phillies’ right-hander Aaron Nola gave up in Nola’s eight innings of work on Tuesday night in Citizens Bank Park, with one out in the top of the second.

García, Washington’s 20-year-old rookie, went out for a 1-0 changeup off of the plate and lined it to left field for an opposite field double and the first hit off Nola, eight batters in.

The next time up, in the fifth, García got four knuckle curves from Nola, in a six-pitch at bat, and he offered at three of the four and missed, swinging at 3-1 and 3-2 curves he didn’t get close to.

The third time up, in Nola’s final inning of work in the eighth, it was more of the same. Nola started García with a changeup outside-ish, that the infielder took for a strike.

García spit on the next pitch, a curve low and in that dropped well below the zone, but offered at and missed 1-1 and 1-2 curves inside, both of which ended up in the zone.

García finished the night 1 for 3 with two Ks and a .259/.286/.370 line after 16 games and 56 plate appearances, over which he’d walked twice and struck out 12 times.

Manager Davey Martinez talked after Tuesday’s game about what García could take away from the strikeouts and the way Nola attacked him.

“Once he goes through this league and he understands what they’re going to do, he’ll start making adjustments,” Martinez said. “We all went through that as a young player. He stayed on a changeup and hit it to left field which was kind of nice.

“Then breaking balls came and he just couldn’t lay off them. In those situations like that, and I tell him, two strikes, you want to see the ball up. He can hit a fastball up.

“I told him, I said, ‘You got to get the balls up,’ and when they make a mistake up there you got to be ready to hit it.”

Nola wasn’t throwing anything up in the zone to the rookie though.

“Everything was down, they were throwing those knuckle curves down and in to him, and that’s a tough pitch for a left-handed hitter.

“It just goes down to your back foot and he was swinging over them.”

“That first at bat I was actually looking for the changeup,” García said, through interpreter Octavio Martinez, in his own post game Zoom call, “and he started me off with a fastball, but I sat on the changeup second pitch and I hit it, and made good contact with it.

“The next two at bats I was also looking for the same pitch, the changeup ... and he threw some great pitches, he worked me a lot better, and I was obviously unable to make contact. But his approach was much different and I was still looking for the changeup, but he threw me some real good pitches.”

“I talked to him about the breaking balls [from Aaron Nola],” Martinez recounted before the third game of four with the Phillies on Wednesday, “... and he said, ‘I knew he was going to throw them. I just swung at them.’ So, that’s just part of him being young. And I said, ‘That’s great, but if you know they’re coming, you’ve got to stay back and really try to stay up the middle if they’re strikes.’”

García, who’s acknowledged patterning some parts of his game on teammate Juan Soto’s, could learn from the 21-year-old wunderkind’s approach at the plate.

“It’s all about recognizing what they’re trying to do to you and picking it up,” Martinez said.

“That’s one thing. You talk about García and then you talk about the other spectrum, Juan, how good Juan is at recognizing what they’re trying to do to him right away. Sometimes it’s within an at bat, and he’s got the knack to do that, that’s what makes him so special. García, he’s starting to learn more and more each day.”

“We talk to him a lot about hitting with two strikes,” the manager continued, “... about taking his walks, about not chasing so much.

“He just loves putting the ball in play. He’s got good bat-to-ball skills. A lot of times you don’t need to do that, you just need to wait back and wait for a pitch that you think you can drive and go from there. He’s got to learn to hit with the counts. Just because you’re 1-0 doesn’t mean you have to swing at the next pitch. Hell, you go 2-0 and next thing you know you’re sitting in the driver’s seat. He’s got to learn all these different things and how to work counts. But he’s very smart.”

Reiterating the need to stay back and stay up the middle, Martinez said if you can’t do that, “... the best thing you can do, especially when you get to two strikes, is always look for the ball up. With two strikes, for me, as a hitter, I always try to look for the ball up because you have a better chance of hitting it and putting it in play than the balls that were down.

“Pitchers are taught keep the ball down or elevate way high ... so you’ve got a better chance of getting the ball up and putting it in play than you would on a ball down that’s going to hit the dirt.”

Considering he hadn’t played above Double-A before this season, and is still only 20 years old, García still has a lot to learn and plenty of time to do it.

What has he learned in his first couple weeks in the majors?

“First of all, I feel like I’ve learned a lot of things up here, but most importantly I think it’s my focus per at bat on the particular pitcher that I’m facing, trying to notice what his approach is to the hitters previous to my at bat, paying attention to that and just in terms of my body, just trying to stay balanced in my at bat,” García said.

“The thing that I’ve learned the most is to have more self-confidence in myself,” he added.

“To believe more in myself and make sure I work a lot more out there, which I feel I haven’t been in the past, so I need to definitely put more work into my game.”

He’s off to a good start though, and his manager has been impressed with the early returns.

“You can tell he has no fear,” Martinez said. “When he strikes out, he doesn’t carry it on the field. He just goes out there and plays and has fun.”

García connected for one of the three hits Philly righty Zack Wheeler allowed in Wednesday night’s game, lining a 3-1 fastball outside to left for an opposite field single in the seventh.

In the ninth, however, he stepped up with two on and two out as the potential tying run and rolled over a high first-pitch curve from closer Brandon Workman and sent a weak grounder to first to end the game.

“We talked about García earlier on,” Martinez said, “in that situation, an 0-0 breaking ball, he could have took it and worked the count and tried to get a fastball. In his previous at bat, he got a fastball up in the zone and he smoked it. So, we just got to — in those situations, just work at bats. When we’re going good we stay in the middle of the field, and we drive in runs that way.”