Davey Martinez talked at length before the series finale in St. Louis about switching things up at the top of Washington’s lineup. Trea Turner led off in the third of three against the NL Central club, Juan Soto hit second, something Martinez talked about all spring, and Victor Robles, who led off in all of his previous games this season, hit ninth against the Cardinals, as a sort of second leadoff man.
“We talked about this in Spring Training, that some days I’d like to try this, and I thought today was the perfect day for it,” Martinez explained.
Ryan Zimmerman also started at first base, with Josh Bell getting a day off after coming off the COVID IL this week.
Following the club’s 6-0 win, which gave them two of three on the road in Busch Stadium, the fourth-year skipper was asked if he planned to stick with the alignment he sent out for the finale with the Cards.
“I liked it,” he said. “We had a couple of opportunities, Robles just missed hitting a double or triple by six or seven inches, but I liked what we had going on today throughout the game.”
Would he stick with the lineup for a while, or got back to the one he’d used in most of the previous games before yesterday’s matchup?
“I’m going to do some work on the plane and get ready for Arizona,” Martinez said.
“I’ve been looking at some stuff already, so who knows. We’ll see what happens tomorrow, but I’m going to really dig in tonight on Arizona and see where we’re at.”
The Nationals got to fly home on a high note as well, having won their first series of the ‘21 season after struggling out of the gate with a makeshift roster that was impacted by all the COVID issues in the organization.
“It was a big win for us, our first series win, we got our boys back we’re missing. I would say one, but we’re really missing two [Jon Lester and Will Harris]. Hopefully we’ll get Will Harris back sooner than later as well, but it was big.
“We left Spring Training hoping to start the season off on the right track, unfortunately we had some guys who got COVID.
“We missed a lot of the players, but now they’re back, they’re healthy, they feel good.
“They got their shots, so we’re ready to get back to D.C. and play in front of many more fans, so we’re excited about that.”
The city and the Nationals officially announced last week that the capacity in Nationals Park could increase to 25%, so there will be more fans in the stands for tonight’s series opener.