Do the 2020 Washington Nationals, who are 12-22 after last night’s loss, who haven’t scored a run in 18 innings, and who’ve now lost five straight, feel the urgency of their situation?
“Yeah, we definitely feel that,” manager Davey Martinez said after last night’s 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank Park.
“We’re in the stretch run now, it’s here. It’s upon us. We want to go out there and try to win games, but our focus is going 1-0 tomorrow, we have to start tomorrow.
“The window of opportunity is closing, but I’m not going to put that kind of pressure on these guys. I just want them to come out tomorrow, win tomorrow and go from there.”
FivethirtyEight.com gives the Nationals a 10% chance of making the playoffs after last night.
Fangraphs.com has them at a 5.1% chance of making the playoffs, a year after they won it all.
There’s some time, but as the Nats’ skipper said, that window of opportunity is closing.
If they someone work their way into a postseason spot, it will be so 2019 of them, and thanks to 2020 being so 2020, with expanded playoffs in a shortened season.
“In three weeks, everything can change, you now,” Asdrúbal Cabrera said, “and honestly, I believe in my teammates, my guys, and at some point everything is going to turn to our side.”
“I believe that if we were to flip things around and get going, we can get ourselves right back into this,” Max Scherzer said after a frustrating night in the City of Brotherly Love.
“At the end of the day, we’re only a few games out of contention. For as bad as we’ve all played. Anything can happen in a month. You can clip things around in a month, that’s why when you [get on] these losing streaks you want to end them, because if you get on a winning streak all of a sudden we can climb right back into this. We need to go, we need to start playing better, and we got to find ways just to play better and get wins.”
They haven’t scored any runs in two games, but they did face two pitchers, in Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, who are going strong right now. So how do they turn it around?
Their manager said that he wants to see more of the same because he believes the club is swinging it well, and hits will start to find holes, or grass, or the other side of the fence, or something.
“Just keeping hitting the ball hard, they’ll fall, keep having good at bats, keep hitting the ball hard, we’ll get through it. But we’ve got to believe in it. I tell them all the time, I say, ‘Nobody is going to give us anything. We knew that. We’ve got to believe in ourselves and keep working hard,’ and they’re doing that. And this thing will turn around, and when it does all of a sudden we’ll start winning games and start having more fun.”
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE FINALE WITH THE PHILLIES:
NOTE: Yes, that is Adam Eaton leading off, Davey Martinez just talked about the thinking there, more on that to come shortly...