A COVID outbreak before the season even started, a less-than-stellar start with a makeshift lineup, continuing struggles once players came off the COVID-IL, and now a couple injuries to key pitchers, along with slow starts for some starters. It hasn’t been an easy early couple weeks for the Washington Nationals. So how are they holding up under the adversity?
”The boys are good,” manager Davey Martinez said after Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“The boys are ready to play every day. They’re excited about, for the most part, all of them being back, you know, our regular players. They’re playing hard every day, every inning of every game. We’ve got to put this one behind us.
The loss in the series finale with the D-backs meant a split of their four-game set, but as Martinez always says, you can’t change the past, or look into the future when there’s an opportunity to start turning things around every day.
“We just got to put this day behind us,” he said after putting both Stephen Strasburg and Wander Suero on the IL on Sunday, “... come back tomorrow, we’ve got St. Louis coming into town, and try to win that first game of the series.”
“We played pretty well the last two days,” Trea Turner said, after homering twice in a losing effort.
“Won some good ballgames, and then we just fell a little short today, but I feel like we’re going in the right direction.
“We just got to play a little bit better, but guys are going to go down throughout the year, and we’re going to need guys to step up, and hopefully those injuries are minor ones, and we can get those guys back obviously as soon as possible, but next man up, and we got to play baseball. Everybody goes through it and we’re not going to be the only ones with it, so hopefully we just continue what we’re doing, build on this series, and play well against the Cardinals.”
In spite of the lack of success overall, Martinez said, he’s seen positive signs, and eventually, he believes, things will start to go the Nationals’ way.
“We hit some balls good. We chased a little bit more today than we normally do, we usually walk a lot more in situations, we chased some pitches, especially later in the game,” he said, “but other than that, I thought we hit the ball really well. And you know my thing with these guys, and you watch them and when we’re hitting the ball up the middle of the field, left-center, right-center, it’s only a matter of time before the balls drop, we start hitting more home runs, but you see what Trea did today, he hit a ball out to left-center field, pretty good, and then he stays on a ball and hits a ball out to right-center, those are the things I think the whole lineup can do.”
They managed to take 2 of 3 from the Cardinals on the road in Busch Stadium last week, how will the club do with St. Louis in the nation’s capital this week?