If there were any positives to take from last night’s loss, the Washington Nationals did get a couple good at bats from Juan Soto (1 for 4, 2B, BB) and Josh Bell (1 for 5, 2B, 2 R), both of whom were in mini-slumps going into the series opener with the St. Louis Cardinals. Davey Martinez talked after the game about the positive developments he saw, with Bell doubling to left field and Soto doubling to right on a scorched line drive.
“I like the fact that Bell stayed on the ball, hit the ball the other way,” Martinez said. “Like I said, it’s just a timing thing with him, but he’s getting better and I like where he’s at.”
“As we all know, Juan can hit, and when he takes his walks and gets the ball in the strike zone, and he hit a bullet, too bad he couldn’t get the ball up in the air, but he hit a bullet to right field, over the right fielder’s head for a double. We get those two guys going, we’re going to score some runs.”
They need to. Through 14 games (with much of the league at 16 or 17 games) the Nationals are tied for the second-lowest run total in the league (51, though they have the 4th highest batting average, while they’re ranked 21st in OBP, with the 9th-highest SLG).
“Our lineup, we got a good lineup, we’re going to score runs,” Martinez continued.
“If we can get length out of our starting pitchers, our bullpen has been doing well, so we just got to keep pushing forward, we’ve got to stay positive, and tell the guys, ‘Hey, we’ll get it together, I promise you we’ll get it together. So keep swinging the bats. Things will turn around,’ and that’s what it’s going to take to get on a little winning streak and move forward.”
Bell, who sat out last week in St. Louis, with Ryan Zimmerman starting against right-hander Adam Wainwright, who’s going again tonight, said that he thinks the entire lineup will begin to click soon, as he tries to get his own timing down after missing some time on the COVID-IL early this season.
“I think that obviously it’s not ideal,” he said of last night’s 12-5 loss, “but we always expect to win.
“So, I think that everyone is just going to rinse this game off tonight and try to bounce back tomorrow.
“We put on some runs on Wainwright last go-around so hopefully we can do that again.”
Bell is getting the nod this time against Wainwright. He’s at first and batting third in tonight’s matchup.
NOTE: The lineup has changed as of 6:13 PM with Juan Soto scratched and placed on the 10-Day IL with a left shoulder strain. Andrew Stevenson is in. Yadiel Hernández is up...